Saturday, November 08, 2008

Moving On

Split milk, morning after, harsh recriminations aside, I woke up this morning thinking that if we're smart and focused, we can move forward and minimize our losses. This may be a bit Pollyanna-ish on my part, but here's my reasoning:
• There are a lot of other big ticket issues on the table for the new President.
• While we didn't prevail in this election — and in retrospect I doubt that there was any way to stop this landslide while saddled with Bush, the tanking economy, an upopular war, etc. — we're still a prickly cactus to swallow. With the big ticket items in play, does the new administration either want or need a nasty sideshow on guns?
• We have, as I stated in my podcast last Wednesday, Democratic and Republican allies.
• We also have an uncommitted middle, recently elected politicians — mostly Democratic — pols who would like to have an on-going career and who are not deeply in the antigun camp. Again, do you stick your hand into a hornets' nest if you don't have to?
Part of our moving forward battle plan depends on how things play out in Washington. In light of the challenges out there, the most logicial thing would be for guns to be back-burnered, which would be a best-case for us because it gives us more time to prepare. In case you missed it, here's the President's antigun agenda, from his own President-Elect website:
Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.
That defines our battlefield, which gives us a blueprint for preparation. For example, in the very near future an ad hoc group put other by me and several other media experts I've worked with will present a plan to the industry on fighting a new AWB. A large portion of that plan will be an education program, aimed at the uncommitted middle, that puts lie to the statement that such guns "belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets." One of the concepts that we pioneered a decade ago in the white heat battles of the Clinton Presidency was what I termed "reasonable doubt" — we weren't trying to convert people to our side; rather, we wanted to instill a "reasonable doubt" about the other sides' arguments, facts, legislation, etc. That reasonable doubt, coupled with the "soft and unstated" carrot/stick of support or opposition in future elections, can sway the uncommitted middle.

We must think asymmetrically as we move forward. We need to have response programs in place before the shoe falls, and — note to me! — we have to shun feel-good absolutism and focus on the new world political realities.

In the meantime, what do we personally need to be doing?
• Join the NRA...right now!
• Buy an AR and become a person who has a personal stake in the outcome of the coming battle.
• If you already own an AR, buy another one. The more "black rifles" in general circulation, the better.
• Buy standard capacity magazines.
• Take a deep breath and get ready for the fight!
BTW, here's a pretty good commenatry on what the next four years may look like from ShrinkWrapped, who recommends relaxed vigilance:
The idea that Barack Obama's election is going to usher in the long, dark night of fascism in America is troubling. I have no doubt that there are groups and individuals on the far left who would like nothing more than to form the nidus of an American brown shirted militia, but we are a very long way away from such an eventuality. Vigilance by the loyal opposition will be necessary int he next four years but I would like to echo Glenn Reynold's comment, in reaction tot he formation of an "Impeach Obama" group on Facebook:

Really, can't people at least wait until he's sworn in and, you know, actually done something to merit impeachment? Sigh.

It may well be true that Barack Obama is the most liberal President we have ever elected, but reality always supersedes ideology in America. One of the great strengths of our system is that it tolerates perturbations and because of our dynamic equilibrium has much more flexibility and error tolerance than any other political system. This does not mean that a powerful enough perturbation could not break the system, but it does mean that we have far more resiliency than a great many people imagine.

If Barack Obama institutes the full panoply of promised liberal and quasi-socialist policies in the face of the economic and geopolitical realities of our time, one of two outcomes is most likely. Either those of us who opposed him will prove to be correct and various setbacks large and small will accrue or we will find that we were wrong and liberal/quasi-socialist policies, although having never before worked anywhere, will prove to work and we will all benefit. If the former is closer to the reality, no amountof MSM biasand slanting would protect Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress (with approval ratings hovering somewhere south of President Bush's numbers) from an electoral correction in 2010 and 2012. If the latter is the case, we will have eight years of PresidentObama, the country will prosper, international relations will improve and I will happily admit my Conservative beliefs have been superseded by reality.

In fact, I doubt either of these outcomes are in store. Barack Obama is a very smart man and I would presume he has no desire to be a failed, one term President. Further, I do not think he is surrounded by economic illiterates. Just as the old military adage suggests that "no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy", in America no ideology has ever survived contact with an inimical reality.


Anonymous said...


"We must think asymmetrically as we move forward. We need to have response programs in place before the shoe falls, and — note to me! — we have to shun feel-good absolutism and focus on the new world political realities."

As I read, I was worried you had forgotten the zen aphorism - prepare for nothing so you are ready for anything. Then I read the quoted passage.

Absolutism is our foundation, not the whole house, and character is what we build on it as a reflection of our willingness to ensure our foundation is supported while dealing with the realities of this world.

As for shrinkwrapped's blog, two things. That thinking is pollyanna-ish, and dangerously so. Of course we do not act now (e.g. impeachment, we would have no support even from the people who voted for McCain.

What we do is watch and wait, be proactive (as MB has said), working with local, state and Federal level people in a positive way; and then be prepared in advance (ditto) to move swiftly and decisively when he does attemtp to deny people their rights and liberties.

The second thing for shrinkwrapped is this, two words: Jimmy Carter.

Anonymous said...

Amdist the current debacle, one glimmer of hope appeared yesterday. At the first press conference the young king held, I noticed a distinct deer in the head lights look. I really didn't believe it at first. I like others had brainwashed myself into thinking he might be taller and stronger than he is apparently. Clearly he never was a trial lawyer. Didn't have to confront an opponent face to face. Have to convince a jury face to face, mano a mano. He just doesn't have the timber and self confidence when on his own. When he read his introductory statement, it was the old silver tongued devil. But when taking questions I thought he fell flat on his face. He made a rude joke at Nancy Reagans expense and later had to call her personally to apologize (first real blooper!). He spent more time talking about his future dog purchase than anything. He, soon to be President of the greatest nation in the world, referred to himself in a formal press conference as a mutt. He even stumbled a bit when asked about the intelligence briefing he received the other day. There just wasn't that bright beaming smile and face. He looked shaken.

Just my observations as it ended. As a long time sales guy I look for the little things in customers and colleagues. The small tremble in the hand. The faultering voice. The raised eyebrow. The rose on the cheek. These are tiny windows into the emotions and reality of the person. As a sales guy that is when I know I've won and can pounce.

I think I noticed something yesterday. He may not prove to be as big a bad wolf as I at least thought.

pops1911 said...

We are so screwed!!!!!!!!!!

It's time to plan to act if necessary whether it's by letter or other means.

Anonymous said...

All this talk of Jimmy Carter and I have to say this:

I lived through the Carter years and I wouldn't wish that experience upon the country again.

Secondly, Obama ain't Carter. Obama strikes me as being a far more skilled politician than Carter ever dreamed of being.

All this Carter talk strikes me as wishful thinking at this point. Obama could govern well, get some lucky breaks, and win reelection in a landslide in 2012. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, MB and Larry. I agree with Michael that the big ticket issues will dominate his time initially and that the new president wouldn't want to queer his strength in Congress by blowing the miterms. I took less comfort than Larry apparently did in his impression that OB may not be as strong as he has seemed. This could mean he'd be more malleable to Schumer/Fenstein pressures. I have a hunch that the Chuckie/Di interest in crushing private gun ownership is more urgent, to them, than probably most of the big ticket issues facing the president. Either way, much of his priority organization likely will be influenced by those closest to him. Do we know much about Rahm Emmanuel beyond his reputation as a rat terrier?

Interesting times.

alfsauve said...

I do not agree that gun control will be on the back burner or that it is a poison pill.

Just the opposite. The economy, tax changes, redistribution of wealth, universal health care are far more complicated issues, and taking a cue from Hillary's debacle with health care, they will go slow on many of these issues. Congress will be looking for something to pass quickly. Something with which they can make their mark. Show their colors. Force everyone in line with. To put their "stamp" on it. This will be an issue they'll pressure middle-of-the-road dem's on to prove whose side they are on.

AWB is tailor made. The bill has already been filed back in June, it's just a matter of re-voting on it, with minor changes, like making it permanent.

I think the Brady Campaign's latest missive is a clue as to what will happen on 1/21.

My prediction (and you read it here first), is that Brady, Pelosi, Shumer want an AWB bill for Obama to sign on 1/21 as one of his first acts as president. He may even do it late on the afternoon of 1/20.

Anonymous said...

Alfsauve -- Your prediction may depend upon how quickly and effectively we move as a lobby. Michael's thoughts here ring true with me.

Anonymous said...

Alf, right on the money, b-ho has to no nothing, just sign the paperwork. Reid, Pelosi, Feinstein et al. will do the heavy lifting, no skin off b-ho's nose at all.

Besides, it is rare when Congress can only pay attention to one thing at a time - there are always 100's of things going on, most never seeing the light of day until they're voted on, and maybe not even then.

Anonymous said...

I concur with M.B.'s plan,start early, move fast. We need to make them look unreasonable I also think Alfsauve is right, they've had it in place and ready to go since the last one expired- maybe earlier. One of his speeches he talked of "citizens committies" "for homeland security. God help the Republic. the mushroom

Anonymous said...

Maybe one way to share info so that we, or many of us, can act in concert and have time on target effects on legislators and others:

Anonymous said...

In general, I think we have to follow a path similar to what MB suggested. I do agree with some of the other posters in that the Democratic leadership may feel confident enough to push the AWB early before we have time to regroup to oppose it.

As far as my plans go, I don't think that just purchasing more ARs is enough. We must get a larger segment of the US population involved in the shooting sports so that the undecided middle sees it and the associated tools as acceptable.

My plan, that I would encourage others to follow, (and remember, the US political system does work if we use it) is:

- Start writing those who will be in office in 2009 to tell them your opinions (politely please!) and that their actions will affect your future vote.
-Get openly involved in sport whether it is hunting or a shooting sport. I have never owned an AR, but now I am building two DCM/CMP AR rifles and I will actively compete with them.
-Have more forceful letters ready to go in case they move on the AWB early (still be polite and professional, and have your facts correct!).
-Join NRA and your state shooting organization.
-Donate to the NRA legislative action fund now.
-Be ready to volunteer your time and money to support pro 2nd candidates and defeat anti candidates in the next round of elections even if they aren't in your state. They make decisions for all of us. If anti legislation is passed, it must clearly be politically painful.
-Above all, represent yourself well. Be polite (but firm when needed) and educated on the subject. Do not let the anti groups marginalize us as kooks.
-Be ready to operate under regulatory changes. If owning a gun and shooting becomes more expensive or more difficult, be dedicated to complying with the changes and continue to shoot and own guns. Elections will come and go as will laws and regulations. We must be in it for the long haul.

Anonymous said...


As of Sunday 11/9/08 at 3:30pm ET the Obama website has TAKEN DOWN THE WEBPAGE outlining their URBAN POLICY concerning gun control.

Let's see if they put it back up !!!

It used to be at -

Your Humble Narrator said...

So... with all the press covering us "panicked" gun buyers, are we shooting ourselves in our collective feet by drawing this much attention to the issue? Longmont, Boulder and Loveland papers all have gun-counter front page pictures with articles explaining how a semi-crazed gun-buying public is storming our favorite shops in search of anything which has the potential to become a regulated item. What I wonder is this: are we doing ourselves a larger disservice by drawing undue focus? Rumor has it Fox News is going to run a bit from a gun shop in Longmont Monday morning (set your Tivo to Stun)... if BHO wasn't paying attention to us gun owners before, it's bound to get traction after that.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the typos. Still working on my breakfast coffee.

"phingism?" The word verification words here sometimes have a way of kick-starting the imagination. Either the website computer has a sense of humor or I'm getting hard up for laffs.

Anonymous said...

Incredible arrogance from the Euros:

How about a 'boycott all things European day'?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I don't know why that link isn't working.

Anonymous said...

try this

Anonymous said...

Thanks, nj_larry.