Quote of the day—Brennan Bailey

I submit that every politician, federal or otherwise, who runs on a claim of support for the 2nd Amendment should be faced with the following question:

What gun control laws will you work to repeal first?

I look forward to a day when gun haters are forced to debate the question of how they can reasonably accommodate our demands.  If that day does not come, and soon, our defeat is inevitable.

Brennan Bailey
January 31, 2013
From the gun email list at work.
[Only in rare cases can you win a battle or a war if you only defeat the attacks of your enemy. To win you must eventually go on the attack.

When you attack you are better able to chose their weakness which is far superior to defending your own. That is why we made progress on concealed carry for the last 20 years. Their denial of the right of self-defense was their greatest weakness. Prior to this strategy our opponents were close to banning handguns. The names of our opponents reflected this. Examples include National Coalition to Ban Handguns and Handgun Control, Inc. They say, in their own strategy documents, they should delay the attack on handguns in favor of an attack on “assault weapons” because of lack of progress.

“Assault weapons” were a softer target than handguns even though they had more interest in banning handguns. Our attack on their denial of a right to self-defense is a good part of the reason they could not make further progress on the handgun front.

With our success on the concealed carry and self-defense front we were able to make progress in the culture war and in the courts. We now need to find a new weakness to attack while continuing the attack in the courts on their continued denial of the right to self-defense.

At this point I don’t have any clearly winning ideas for a new front to attack. The most plausible would seem to be:

  1. Elimination of the registry and heavy tax on suppressors.
  2. With our huge debt, anything that costs money such NICS. California is currently unable to confiscate firearms from people they know have guns illegally because they don’t have the money (H/T to Mitchel M. from work for the link). We may be able to leverage this on multiple fronts. This is especially true if we can demonstrate the law not being enforced is pointless anyway.

The problem with the suppressor front is that it probably doesn’t motivate the vast majority of gun owners.

The problem with attacking the NICS check is that background checks seem like a great idea on the surface. It’s a “no-brainer” at first and even second thought. This will generate even less support from the majority of gun owners than making suppressors easy to obtain. It will be difficult to convince even strong gun rights activists background checks are pointless.—Joe]


16 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Brennan Bailey

  1. Your answer is to turn up the heat on 2A Originalism. The original purposes of the 2A are to deter tyranny from the Federal Government, and if that doesn’t work, replace the government by force of arms. Personal defense was a given when the BOR was written, as was hunting, which is why those two activities aren’t enumerated.

    No liberals want to have that conversation, so it is the one to have. Problem is, we have too many 2A squishes among our own numbers. That means the first conversations start right here.

  2. Actually I’d think suppressors would be an easier argument if presented as the safety devices they are. Background checks is a mo’ trickier problem, mainly cause of the decades of conditioning to them, but not insurmountable once you get folks to realize that axe murderers aren’t the only ones prohibited from legally buying a gun (& they aren’t even prohibited from buying axes!).

    Short barreled shotguns & rifles would also be a good place to start – “if my shotgun with an 18″ barrel is cool, then why would I get 5-10 federal time if it was 17 & 9/10ths of an inch? especially when cops use 16″ & 14″ barrels all the time cause they’re better for use in close quarters, kinda like a homeowner defending her home?”

    I’m trying to get motivated to lay it out a little better, but using emotional appeal in addition to logic (not in place of as the anti’s do) is gonna be more effective (imnsho) in convincing folks on the fence.

    But note that I used the feminine when referring to a homeowner acting defensively. Little things like that make a difference. Instead of some hot headed beer bellied 45 year old white guy, try to plant the image of a mid 20’s-mid-30’s RN, or waitress, who should be able to choose a 14″ bbl on her 870 Express Youth Model when glass breaking wakes her up int he middle of the night. Talk about some grandpa whose wrists can’t handle a .38, but that Czech Skorpion on the nightstand lets him sleep a little easier in a low rent neighborhood. Ask if any one of the Deacons of Defense would have passed a background check or gotten a permit from their local police chief.

    But all that pales in comparison to getting gun owners behind a push to repeal laws. “enforce the laws on the books” has been chanted so long it’s become near dogma. Too many settle – they deny “shall issue” is still gun control or that constitutional carry should be the goal, & getting them to fight for something instead of against something will be a challenge. It’ll be hard to convince them that despite all the effort they put into it, that bridge has to come down, straight into the Kwai.

  3. Joe, with the new regs coming down the line (July 2013 AFAIK) that remove the permission requirement from the Form1/4, I think you’re going to see a HUGE uptick in silencer sales. This is an easy win, because once a hunter has heard one, he thinks “I need one of those so I don’t have to wear muffs in the woods.” I know at least 8-10 people (not the “tactical types”) at my gun club that would buy a can tomorrow if they didn’t have to worry about the CLEO sign-off or a trust.

  4. I say we start attacking them using the 24th. Amendment. Why? Well, there’s No Taxation Allowed to exercise one’s Right to Vote. Nor to Attend or Not Attend Church, nor write a letter to the Editor, nor bring a Grievance to a Congressperson, nor to have an Abortion. Yet why is the RKBA subject to Taxation, Permits, Licenses, etc? Yet the 24th Amendment has set Precedent by Stating that Rights can’t be Taxed! Let’s start there.

    • That idea might have some merit, if you can convince someone to run with it. SAF would be a good choice, but they’re over-worked as it is. Barring that, you’d need someone with money that’s willing to be a test case, and that would probably involve being arrested/detained/charged with breaking the tax/permit/license laws first.

      I like the idea, but I don’t think we’ll see it happen.

      • I’ve never understood the reason for needing to be arrested in order to demonstrate irreparable harm. This article seems to indicate that it’s not necessary. There certainly seem to be a lot of preliminary injunctions granted for other types of alleged unconstitutional behavior on the part of the government. It would seem that the words “shall not be infringed” would make this a no-brainer for judges (but maybe that’s part of the problem).

  5. I’d suggest a simple national concealed carry mechanism. Minimal training, if any, and maybe a simple shooting test, then you could carry anywhere a cop can. puts a lot more armed good guys on the street and in schools, offices, etc. Remember, the cops are *second*, not first, responders. And these folks are your neighbors and co-workers, so they have the same interest in protecting folks that you do…..

    And I’d also suggest we start calling them “family defense rifles” that use standard capacity magazines…….


  6. Supposedly, 2/3 of the gun deaths in this country are suicides. How, then, do the anti-self-defense folks argue for a magazine size limit? I’d think multple rounds would be superfluous in that case…

    • And I’d guess a bunch of the homicides are committed with the first few bullets in a semi-auto, or with revolvers (although I don’t have the stats; I’m sure they’re somewhere).

      Bottom line, I believe the stats would show that magazine size is a factor in a small fraction of cases (kinda like “assault weapons” are a factor in only a small fraction of crimes). If only 4 rounds are fired, why does it matter that it could hold 12 or 16? Limiting the magazine to 10 – or to 7 – doesn’t affect the ability to fire the first 4.

  7. How’s ’bout find a friendly congressman or senator who will attach an amendment repealing oh,say, the 1934 act to EVERY piece of legislature that is written?

  8. Here’s an apparently unconsidered idea; how about creating a lecture series for Khan Academy and other online education efforts? As long as the references cited were from recognized works of scholarship (not our blogs :)), and the presentation was structured so as to be readily adaptable to the education format Sal Khan utilizes (essentially YouTube video formatting requirements), there isn’t presently anything like this topic on offer for high school and college students (KA’s target audience, with adult continuing ed. as a strong secondary market) at his or other similar schools. By making the assumptions and intentions underlying the history and governing documents a part of the overall presentation, you make them part of the students assumptions as well. Care would need to be taken to ensure explicitly documented sources and citations be provided for each “lecture” (which would largely supply the students with a “recommended reading list” to accompany the class), but denying the current crop of statist control freaks yet another generation of adherents seems a worthwhile effort to consider.

    • Get it presented and narrated by Alan Gura, and documented and edited by a group like GOA, CalGuns, 2ndAF, or a group like that, and it could be a winner.
      Lecture 1: What the 2nd say, what’s it mean?
      Lecture 2: Major laws (NFA 34, GCA 68, FPOA 86, AW 94)
      Lecture 3: Major Court Cases (Miller, Haynes, Heller, McDonald)
      Lecture 4: Crime trends in this country over time
      Lecture 5: Comparing national crime / homicide stats WRT guns
      Lecture 6: Assault weapons, magazines, scary words and black plastic shoulder things that go up
      Lecture 7: Firearms technology and doctrine over time
      Lecture 8: etc., yadda., yadda, and so-forth

      • @Rolf,

        Yeah, like that, but I was thinking making the 2A specific stuff a part of a more generalized course of study.

        Not trying to be devious, but …

        The point being, by contributing to the content and quality of the education being offered, we influence the basis upon which those students make future decisions – about gun restricting or tax increasing laws and such, maybe.

        We can’t keep ceding the next generation in our efforts to combat the current one. Besides, this is also how one develops allies out of neutrals too. How we present the information, along with how we react to the inevitable attacks against both us and the info itself, will have an influence on those satisfied with only watching now. This idea will require a decade (at least) to begin to have a visible effect politically, but I think it worth considering given the relative lack of cash cost required to put it into effect.

        • Absolutely. A whole Con Law course from a libertarian / freedom perspective would be GREAT, especially if it were presented by folks who obviously have the credentials (like Gura) to have a decent reputation.
          I also like Bill Whittles “What We Believe” series on YouTube. Have something similar in style, focusing on basic philosophy that most people can relate to. Not exactly pithy, but full of snappy one-liners and humor and example from history would do well. If we could get a Whittle-style for each chapter of Victor Davis Hanson’s “Culture and Carnage” on the paradoxes of what makes western Democracies so powerful militarily would also be helpful as well.

  9. Repeal the Gun Free School Zone laws. This is the single most idiotic law on the books. It does nothing to stop criminal activity, and only serves to disarm the law-abiding. They are nothing but disarmed victim zones, and leave our children defenseless. This should be pushed as an unconscionable dereliction of our duty to protect our children. The only people who obey those ridiculous signs are the people who are no threat – honest, law abiding gun owners, parents, teachers and administrators who could otherwise act as a first line of defense against insane gunmen like those at Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech. The simple knowledge that there may be armed resistance will likely act as sufficient deterrant to these nuts, as all but one mass shooting has occured in a Gun Free Zone. These nuts seek them out so they can maximize the carnage. Step one should be to get rid of these dangerous victim disarmament zones.

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