A few days ago one of the women I met online in my nine dates with six women in nine days adventure sent me an email asking information about a local gun range and instructor for a female friend of hers.
Yesterday I had my semi-annual eye exam (yes, my eyesight is quite good). I wore an Insights Training sweatshirt. As I walked in the door a female patient looked at me and said, “Insights! Are you an instructor?” “No”, I told her, “I’m just a student of theirs.”
It turns out she had worked at Weapons Safety Inc. (a gun shop and range) when Insights did a lot of their classes there and hence was quite familiar with Insights. The female optometrist asked the other patient a little about what it was like to work there and then it was back to business.
As I was waiting the female receptionist was talking to still another female patient about LASIK and told her that her ex had bad eyes and wore very thick glasses. He then had LASIK and the next year was able to win a rifle competition he had no chance of winning with his previous eyes. The woman she was talking to didn’t seem the least bit fazed.
This was all in the Seattle area. Historically Seattle is very anti-gun.
We have essentially won the culture war on guns. We need to keep taking new people to the range (I had another one scheduled for 2:00 PM today but she became ill and we are rescheduling) but short of a major screw up the worst case in the next decade or so is that progress toward our end goal is halted.
But there is another culture war that looks every bit as bad as things did for gun rights advocates 15 years ago.
We have long known something was very wrong with our country. The gun issue was/is just one symptom. TSA is a big deal. The war on drugs is a big deal. The government involvement in health care is a big deal. The welfare state is a big deal. The government involvement in education is a big deal. The national debt is a huge deal.
Looking at the bigger picture there are just so many things wrong that it is easy to want to just run away, create Galt’s Gulch, or encourage secession. 15 years ago the gun rights situation looked hopeless too. As Tam said if you arrived as a time traveler at a gun store in 1995 and told them the future of gun ownership in 2012 they would have found the time travel part the most believable part of your story.
I’m not saying “everything is going to be okay”. In fact in at least one way we have essentially a mathematical proof that it’s game over and we are just watching the clock run out. But the question is, what do we do about it?
Some people are buying gold and silver. Lots of people are buying guns and ammo. But you can’t eat gold or silver. You can eat a bullet, but one is your lifetime limit and few people consider the Smith and Wesson retirement plan the best they can do. Stockpiling food and water in the city, at best, will only get you by as long as your supplies last. And even if you join up with a like minded tribe deep in the woods it’s going to be at best a couple of generations until the latest fashion debate is about how to arrange which type of bird feather on your fur coat and there is talk of an “assault weapon ban” on crossbows with the real agenda of getting rid of all bows and arrows and maybe spears too.
I think there may be a better way. I have the big vision but I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to implement it. It’s sort of like I know I need a bridge across this dangerous ravine. I know a fair amount about different types of bridges but none of them seem to be feasible. I suppose it’s possible the “ravine” is actually the “Grand Canyon” and we simply don’t have the “technology”, money, and/or time to build such a bridge in the time we have left. But if you consider 1995 the darkest days in the gun wars and a win being clearly visible by 2003 (most people predicted the AWB probably wasn’t going to be renewed) then that only took eight years.
One way to look at that is those eight years is that they were essentially a politically delaying action until we got our culture war game on. I claim a similar situation exists today. I’m sure freedom has not yet reached it’s nadir but there is a fair amount of political action that will slow the descent. If we can get our culture game going for freedom then we might be able pull out a win before the clock runs out.
The problem is I don’t see how to win the culture war. I don’t see that we have effective weapons in this culture war. I don’t even see how to fight the culture war. People are certainly trying but we are rapidly losing.
With guns we could take people to the range and the anti-gun people didn’t have anti-gun ranges to compete with us. The anti-freedom people have “free stuff” and “security” to offer. It’s all a lie in the long, or even intermediate, term but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is here and now. The media shows the sick getting treatment, the hungry being fed, and the TSA proclaiming the world is a safer place when they find eight ounces of toothpaste in grandmas carryon luggage. The hidden costs and the cancerous belief that more government is the solution to every problem are difficult to see and in the “distant” future of a few years from now.
What are the freedom games that would be the equivalent of USPSA, IDPA, Steel Challenge, and Boomershoot? Something that quickly engages people and gives almost immediate feedback would be ideal. It is a video game? But maybe the definition of “immediate” can be stretched a bit. Perhaps it is an experimental city with no taxes on income, capital gains, or sales. Or maybe it is teaching philosophy in our schools.
The way I see it we can win the culture war in the next few years or we can say George Orwell was off by two generations.