Carrots versus Sticks?

[The following was written by Brian Keith and posted here for the first time.—Joe]

Carrots Vs Sticks?
Or, why other gun rights activists make you so angry and what you can do about it

I spoke at the December 13th I Will Not Comply rally. As the first speaker, I encouraged thousands of armed citizens to shout “I Own Guns!”

At the January 15th rally, I was behind the scenes. I helped organize the I Will Not Comply people for some of the photos that were taken, and went with them through the Capitol to smooth feathers.

In both cases I was surrounded by people whose idea of the good life is roughly similar:

All peaceful adults should be allowed to defend themselves as they see fit.

(I say “allowed” because I am discussing our vision of the future and the specific reality we want to see happen. “Allowed” refers to the choices of the government and not to the nature of our unalienable rights.)

And yet, quite a few people at the Dec 13 rally are angry at the people at the Jan 15 rally. Many boycotted Jan 15.

And the reverse is true as well. Plenty of people didn’t go to Dec 13 for reasons ranging from the organizer not getting a permit to the planned civil disobedience to a disregard for Washington’s organized gun groups.

I met some good people Dec 13. And I met some good people Jan 15. And we all share the same stated goal.

So why are some of us at each others’ throats?

——

We see this same theme throughout history. A political minority wants more acknowledgment of their rights. Some people want to work within the current political system, while others take a more hard line approach.

I call these groups the Carrots and the Sticks.

The Carrot says “I’ll work with you on your terms, follow your rules, and in exchange you’ll give me more political power.”

The Stick says “Your rules exist to keep me powerless. I will break them and I dare you to try to stop me.”

(When I say rules, I speak of the political process as it is. Mentioning that the US Constitution or the Washington State constitution guarantee the right to keep and bear arms does us no good. It is true that they do, but what of it? We do not actually get to practice that right. So I speak of what actually is, now, and not what ought to be.)

Carrots usually achieve victory when they have Sticks backing them up. Alex Haley, Malcolm X’s biographer, referred to this in regards to Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK had some power through nonviolence. But the organization Malcolm X gave much of his life to had the numbers of trained men ready to do damage to earn freedom. And that bolstered MLK’s cause. The powers that be would much rather deal with Carrot than Sticks.

This is not to say that the Carrots like the Sticks that help them win. Simply to say that, in the absence of Sticks, the Carrots have little back up plan.

One Carrot that did win without Stick support is Gandhi. But he also said he would choose violence over cowardice if those were the only two options. Perhaps if his team had more guns they would have also pursued a Stick strategy.

In the American Revolution, many people tried the Carrot strategy for many years. Read the Declaration of Independence and you can see the transition of those men from Carrots to Sticks.

——

We have Carrots and Sticks in the gun rights movement.

Alan Gottlieb is the quintessential Carrot. I’ve never read him advocating breaking the law. In a conversation with him on Jan 15, I asked him why he wasn’t trying to stop background checks. I acknowledged that he had done more than any other individual in my lifetime to further the cause of freedom. So why was he compromising on background checks?

To paraphrase, he responded that politics is the art of the possible, and that repealing 594 was not politically possible at this time.

Fight political battles you can win. That’s the Carrot point of view.

Mike Vanderboegh is the quintessential Stick. He advocates breaking the law. He smuggles illegal magazines in to states that have banned them.

His tagline is “When freedom turns to tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote.”

——

Carrots get mad at Sticks when the Sticks make noise and rock the boat. The Carrot needs the boat steady, so he believes, so that he can get more political power.

Sticks get mad at Carrots when they compromise and value popularity or wealth over freedom. Sticks want freedom now, because compromise is what got us in this mess!

——

The Dec 13 rally was the biggest armed civil disobedience rally in the history of our country. The thousands who attended effectively nullified the Transfer prohibition of 594. When confronted with thousands of people not following the law, the State Patrol decided not to enforce the law, and many other law enforcement agencies have followed suit. Sticks: 1.

But a law enforcement organization choosing to not enforce a law at an event is not the same thing as protecting people at other times and in other places from that law. Matt Shea introduced a bill to repeal 594. And many other Carrots are on the move- from Gottlieb’s court case to get some parts of 594 thrown out to a law enforcement group’s attempt to make having your Concealed Pistol License count as your background check. None of these efforts have born fruit yet, but they are the only way we can continue to experience the freedom we claimed on Dec 13. Carrots: 1.

Gottlieb & the Carrots may have been able to get an injunction for the Transfer prohibition of 594. But Gavin Seim & the Sticks demonstrated that the law is unenforceable in a way no politician can ignore, and they did it fast. We are more free for their efforts.

Gavin and Mike could, in theory, introduce legislation repealing 594. But it’s Representative Matt Shea who actually did that, and it is he and his non-offensive demeanor that people can rally around. Few politicians can rally to the cause of a man who talks on the radio about how everyone should own tanks. When Matt Shea & the Carrots win with this bill, we will be more free for their efforts.

——

I titled this essay Carrots Vs Sticks? because I don’t think we have to be as angry at each other as we are.

Carrots: The Sticks are the only way we’ll ever get more free. It is only the threat of armed resistance that has stopped law enforcement in California, Connecticut, New York, and now perhaps Washington from enforcing clear laws banning guns and magazines. Sticks may embarrass you, but their principled stance is what buys you political capital as well as fundraising money. By all means keep trying to talk your way out of bad laws. It might work now, and it is almost always talking it out that eventually secures a state of liberty for the people. Stop badmouthing the people who have the guts to live free and demonstrate to the nation what freedom looks like. Remember, there were ten times as many people at the I Will Not Comply rally as at the Let’s Use The Political Process rally. Respect the courage of those who demand their rights.

Sticks: Don’t hate the Carrots for being politicians. It’s really rare for the people as a whole to get more free simply as a result of violating unjust laws. Rosa Parks didn’t write any laws. Nor did Malcolm X. They just resisted. Stay principled yourself, and by all means call out corruption when you see it. Stay professional in your demeanor as you commit felonies and make people uncomfortable. Be unfailingly kind and polite. Keep on doing what you know is right. And respect those who work in different ways to achieve freedom. (And wear suits and professional clothing when possible. I know you are more comfortable in your Carhartts- so am I. But you are the front lines of liberty. Dress like it.)

——

So what happens now?

Sticks will get angry at me for defending Carrots. And Carrots will get angry at me for defending Sticks.

And both will get angry at each other for being irresponsible short-sighted jerks.

And Bloomberg, Gates, and the rest of the anti-freedom crowd will grab the popcorn and laugh themselves silly.

Because every ounce of energy we direct at denigrating a fellow gun rights activist is energy we’re not directing at winning.

Carrots and Sticks have different tactics for winning.

If you really want freedom, take a page from the other guy’s book.

Are you a Carrot who puts your energy in to the political process?

Awesome- now go to the next rally at the Capitol with your long gun and demand to be heard. It’s February 7th at 10am. Don’t think the I Will Not Comply people are reasonable? Great- go and talk with them. Convince them of your point of view. https://www.facebook.com/events/1547594748829848

Are you a Stick who puts your energy in to demanding your rights in a public way?

Great- now go call your Legislator and schedule a meeting with them to talk about Matt Shea’s bill to repeal 594. It’s House Bill 1245. Find your legislator at http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

——

We need Carrots and Sticks working together full throttle to win back our rights. We all want the same thing. Let’s go get it.

57 thoughts on “Carrots versus Sticks?

  1. Great essay.
    It seems to me that a similar (not quite the same) distinction can be found in the pro-freedom political movement. There’s the Tea Party (similar to the Carrots), and the hard core no compromise on liberty people like Neil Smith (somewhat like the Sticks). There also seem to be some people trying to straddle the two — the Libertarian Party, perhaps.

    • Paul, I concur. Though the Libertarian party is definitely a Carrot organization. That’s why they never really stand up against the health care cartel- it would lose them political capital. And to a carrot, that is a crushing defeat.

  2. I’d like to meet Brian, there doesn’t seem to be many people willing to step out of fighting other people who want rkba. As a carrot (superficially) I haven’t heard folks saying there’s any room for incremental political change. This piece restores a little hope.

    • Boyd, I live in the South Sound if you’d like to get together for coffee.

      I think there is so little discussion of incremental political change because everyone who is paying attention feels under attack, and it’s hard to think clearly when you are under attack.

      I feel threatened by those who want to compromise on my rights just as much as I feel threatened by those who proposed the laws in the first place to remove them.

      And that’s not a recipe for clear thinking. Gottlieb is not, in fact, the same as Bloomberg. He may do things in the same direction, use the same language about gun owners, and even collaborate with writing some anti-freedom laws. But Gottlieb gave us Heller, which is the best chance my children have of living free.

      Fear makes us want to make friend-or-foe decisions right and left. But those decisions aren’t always completely informed, even though our mindset demands that we feel they are.

  3. This needs to be seen as many places as possible. Is it available for printing and dissemination through digital media? Can we put it on places like Facebook?

  4. It is not the sticks I have a problem with, it is the unsafe gun handling that they displayed that bothers me. You can still be a hard-core no-compromise stick with your empty rifle safely on your back, not chambered at the low ready. Chambered at the low ready is for when the shooting is about to start, not for telling you legislators at the capital “I am not going to comply and I dare you to do something about it”. Improper carry is how accidents happen, and in this case accidents could be how unnecessary wars start.

    Don’t be the dofus who accidentally starts a shooting war due to unsafe gun handling. Carry your gun responsibly, whether you are a carrot *or* a stick.

    • I absolutely agree.

      I am thinking of asking the other I Will Not Comply people if they would use yellow chamber flags at the next rally.

      I myself hate the idea of using chamber flags. I’m an American exercising my rights, for goodness’ sakes!

      But we can’t afford any issues.

      I saw in one place that a person who was at the Jan 15 rally thought he heard and saw people loading magazines in their rifles before entering the Capitol.

      Well, no, that was those people clearing their weapons to make sure everyone was safe. But it came across to some as dangerous- damage done.

      I’m great with lambasting people who don’t exhibit safe gun handling. I did it at the Dec 13 rally and will continue to call people out at future rallies.

  5. I am rarely moved to comment on things in blogs, but in this case, I have to say: THIS THIS THIS. The only thing I might (at the risk of muddying Brian’s extremely clear water here) try to add to this discussion is that it’s a continuous function, not a binary one. For the purposes of this essay, it is quite appropriate to clearly distinguish between carrot/stick people, but we should also be aware that putting people in two boxes is probably not quite correct either. Some people will be almost 50/50 carrot/stick. Some people identify with carrots but have stick sympathies, etc.

    I think that this is true in almost all traditional us/them divides. There are liberals who support gun rights, for example. And conservatives who don’t. And plenty of folks who don’t care much at all about the issue. I think that this “othering” that we tend to do harms the movement not just internally, but externally, when we spout insults about liberals or whatever. It puts people in boxes and makes enemies of the people who would rather be in our box on our issues.

    Perhaps this means I’m a carrot. 🙂 But I think that if we all stop “othering” each other, things will work a lot better. We will _all_ be able to remain truer to our ideals (and hopefully be respectful of others’ ideals too) and I think that’s an exceedingly good thing.

    • Tim, I agree.

      At the Dec 13 rally I was more of a Carrot- not talking about disobeying laws, but talking about just saying you own guns.

      At the Jan 15 rally I was more of a Stick- aiding the I Will Not Comply folks in their walking through the Capitol.

      It’s healthy that some people are focused on talking it out. And it’s healthy that some people are focused on sticking up for their principles no matter what. And it’s healthy that most people can choose which to do based on the situation at hand.

  6. When the decision in Heller came down, many people were disappointed that it did not go further and make findings favorable to the RKBA side. I (and others) pointed out that the courts are supposed to be incremental and can only address the question before them — otherwise they are activist courts!
    I compared the progression and the road ahead to the nearly 60 years of court cases brought by the NAACP between Plessey v Ferguson and Brown v Board of Education.

    • And we want nothing less than activist courts.

      It’s just hard to have patience when we feel attacked.

    • I enjoyed our brief chat at the rally.

      For now I will be putting my Carrot energy towards supporting Matt Shea’s efforts and my Stick energy towards supporting I Will Not Comply folks putting their best foot forward.

      Once we have 594 repealed, I may have more Carrot energy available to put towards SAF.

  7. I guess that I am more carrot than stick but I got very frustrated trying to persuade other carrots not to bash sticks. I had to back out of the debate to avoid getting as uncivil and ineffective as I was criticizing them for being. Hopefully, some of them will take this essay to heart.

    • Spread it wide and far.

      It’s really hard to empathize with people who seem to be hurting your cause.

      Hopefully my last recommendations for action in the essay will help anyone see a bit of the other side.

  8. Good one. It reminds me of the assertion that in a completely disarmed India, Gandhi would have gotten nowhere, that his severed head would have ended up floating down the river.

    I would temper the piece a little by saying that it is possible to do the right thing, or be in the “right crowd”, for the wrong reasons.

    • IIRC, Gandhi was all about “passive resistance”. That sounds to me like every shred of “I Will Not Comply” fervor, but by completely non-violent means. Perhaps Gandhi could be better categorized as half Carrot and half Stick?

      Still, it is indeed possible to be in the right crowd doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, just as it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reasons – good intentions, and all that – but it still pains me to see fellow gun rights activists attack each other with equal-if-not-more ferocity than we use with anti-gun activists. It’s counter-productive at best, and seriously damaging to our cause at worst.

    • I think he also said something about non-violence being a method that would work with the Brits, a civilized, fair-minded, and moral people, but would be a fast way to get your self slaughtered en masse against other types or rulers.
      You have to select your strategy and tactics with your opponent in mind.
      And, well said, indeed.

      • Look up “The Last Article” by Harry Turtledove. It’s an alternate history story where the Germans win WWII and take over India. Not pretty.

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  10. This is utterly awesome. Brian, many thanks for writing it, and Joe, many thanks for posting it!

    I’m reminded of the truism that diplomacy can’t work if it doesn’t have the threat of force behind it. This does not invalidate either force or diplomacy; it simply means that they are two very different tools that can help each other work better.

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  12. I consider myself firmly in the stick camp, but I appreciate the efforts of the carrots. We need the people that will talk pretty and write in legalese, but then we need the people that will stand there and say “this is how it’s gotta be”. I’ll stand there with my rifle and say that, and having it locked and loaded at low ready is not a hazard. The hazard comes with the person carrying it. I carry locked and loaded, because an unloaded gun is useless. I’ll use it only if I need to.

    • An unloaded gun feels useless to you because you are thinking about what you mostly use a gun for- defending against evil and ensuring freedom.

      But to people who are afraid of guns and don’t believe in the Constitution (state or federal), carrying your gun unloaded is plenty to activate their fear and bring up the question of whether we are a nation of Laws or a nation of Men.

  13. It’d be nice if it were just two different approaches to the same goal, but I don’t think that’s the case. I want the prohibited persons list eliminated, which would take care of background checks and any expansion thereof. A lot of folks, ostensibly folks on our side, don’t want that. They’re cool with background checks. They don’t realize how harmful they are, both in principle and application. So they’re fine with background checks per se, they just don’t want an “unreasonable” expansion.

    I don’t think it’s possible to fight an expansion of background checks without trying to eliminate the prohibited persons list. Whether it’s articulated or not, I think most of the “sticks” you referred to have the same notion.

    (as an aside, I do take exception to the word “sticks” in this regard. I know several Absolutists who are quite shapely. In fact there’s this one brunette… ah, but I digress…)

    So it’s difficult if not impossible to really reconcile these two factions, as both have competing goals – one wants a moderate level of gunowner control, the other wants none.

    “Allow” & the talk of “rules” & constitutions & Rights shouldn’t be dismissed. In every fight of any nature it’s really damn helpful, if not essential to have some sort of reasoning behind one’s actions. By saying that you’re merely dealing with the situation “as is” you’re undercutting your base. It’s true that despite applicable constitutions that our Rights aren’t respected, but you don’t tell the little old lady that it’s actually the muggers purse now that he’s run off with it do ya? 🙂 If you stop speaking of what ought to be, then you’ll only ever have what actually is as it is now.

    Chamber flags? Carrying unloaded arms? What would be the point? May as well carry cardboard cut-outs. Or un-barreled receivers. Yes, it’s dangerous to carry a loaded gun. Just as dangerous in our homes & cars & shopping malls as it would be in a state’s capital. But if they’re handled safely in the former I don’t see why they couldn’t be handled safely in the latter. Unloaded they’re merely awkward clubs (unless they have bayonets attached, in which case they’re awkward spears). Asking folks to keep the safety on & paws off the lever would be understandable, but an empty chamber doesn’t exactly speak of one’s resolve to resist an oppressive law.

    Brain, what you penned was well written. I just disagree with your originating premise. We’re not two sides trying to achieve the same thing. We have different goals as well as differing methods to achieve them. We could get along great & be much more effective if we did have one goal to work towards, but unless some of the carrots at the top you speak of decide that gunowner control laws are bad after all, then it’d be just as apt to compare your carrots with the hardcore anti-gunowners like Bloomie the hut.

    • “We’re not two sides trying to achieve the same thing. We have different goals as well as differing methods to achieve them. ”

      This, in spades. Thanks Publicola, for a very clear description of the real problem. Many, if not most people are truly confused about all this, and do tend to have a foot in each camp at times, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that there truly are two camps here.

      There are two kinds of people: those who want/need to control the lives of other people – for whatever reason. And then there are those of us who do not want to control any but our own lives. Those two are completely, unconditionally incompatible.

      I own my life and am completely responsible for that life and my safety. Nothing and nobody has any legitimate authority to prevent that or to dictate the terms.

      • “I own my life and am completely responsible for that life and my safety. Nothing and nobody has any legitimate authority to prevent that or to dictate the terms.”

        I completely agree.

        And most of our fellow citizens do not.

        It is our duty to bring them in to an understanding of this being the best way to live, and the Carrots are good for that.

        • “It is our duty to bring them in to an understanding of this ”

          No, that is not “our” duty… You may claim it as yours, but you can’t speak for anyone else. Neither Gottleib nor anyone else can speak for me, nor negotiate any “compromise” in my name, because I have not given them that authority.

          I have exactly one “duty” – to govern myself, not aggressing against others, and protecting myself and my dependents from those who do aggress.

    • I’d not mind the background check going away, but (a) I’d like it to still be available in some form so I can double-check a buyer I’m not personally familiar with, and (b) I’m well aware that actually telling people that will make most people think I’m a loon and not listen to anything more I say (much like the gun prohibitionists that never really say their goal is a total ban because they’d lose the moderate middle).
      We may not have the exact same goal, but we’re more or less shooting in the same direction – we may as well make it volley fire and not get in each other’s way.

      • Rolf, why? Why should it be your responsibility as a seller to verify the intentions of the buyer any more than it is for the seller of a car or a crowbar?
        The basis of this background checks notion is the idea of collective responsibility, the uncivilized idea that you should feel responsible for the wrong acts of someone else.

        • Why is it Rolf’s responsibility to be sure of his target and what is behind it? He’s sending something out into the world and wants to make a good faith effort that it does no unintended harm. It’s a Golden Rule thing. Just because the concept of “social responsibility” has been abused, doesn’t mean its invalid.

          • Not the same thing, Sean. By that token, I’d be responsible for the use and abuse of everything I ever sold or gave away to anyone. I am responsible for the things I own and use, the bullets I fire, but that’s the limit. I have no responsiblity to predict or prevent what someone else may choose to do with anything they own and use. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the gun grabbers and prohibitionists want to do to all of us.

          • Hmm. Can’t reply to MamaLiberty’s response to my comment. No button to do so.
            My target-backstop analogy is flawed. The bullet is not an actor. The remainder of my point is a possible explanation as to why Rolf might want to be able to background check someone he is considering selling a gun to. Note that Rolf didn’t say that he wants such a check to be required by, or implemented by, the State.
            How about this one: If she had survived the rampage, would Adam Lanza’s mother have any responsibility for Newtown? Adam was 20, which takes childness out of the equation. I don’t know Connecticut law, but it doesn’t appear that the father was prosecuted.(Yes, he lived separately.) So Adam’s parents may have met their legal responsibilities. Can they be condemned by non-legal standards as irresponsible? Should they feel guilt or shame?

          • Exactly. The bullet goes where you point the gun; the gun you sold goes where the buyer takes it. So in the former case, you’re reponsible; in the latter, the buyer is.

    • “Chamber flags? Carrying unloaded arms? What would be the point?”

      The point is to get the minimum effective dose of action in order to move liberty forward.

      The next step is to challenge the rule that open carrying is not allowed in the legislative gallery.

      We can do that with one person with an unloaded gun. Or we can do it with one thousand people with loaded patrol rifles.

      But the psychological effect on the people in our state who share our views must be considered.

      Would Rosa Parks be as beloved if she’d drawn a handgun and threatened to kill the police who dragged her off the bus?

      ——

      On us not having the same goals-

      Smoking is now banned in private buildings all over the state.

      That’s a tremendous violation of property rights.

      How did we get there?

      By airplanes having half the plane designated as non-smoking.

      It’s okay to work with people who have a similar general aim even if you know you’ll disagree on specifics later on.

      Nationwide Constitutional Carry is the only end goal I am interested in. And Gottlieb probably has no real interest in that. But Heller gets me closer freedom for all people regardless of economic status, race, or gender.

  14. Wow, I sure don’t see Gandhi as a “carrot”. If anyone worked outside the system, it was him.

    I have also made the argument that the carrots need sticks and vice versa. Think of the strongest argument a carrot can make to a politician: “Don’t make laws that will be ignored by a significant fraction of the population (as demonstrated by those sticks), and certainly do not make laws that even law enforcement refuses to enforce. You do not want this stuff thrown back in your face. It is embarrassing.”

    • To add one qualifier…

      Just because I believe that carrots can (at least sometimes) derive advantage from sticks and vice-versa, does not mean I think their motivations are the same. Publicola got it right. Carrots and sticks are fundamentally different (which is the source of the friction between the two).

    • That’s exactly the argument that Dec 13 presented to the State Patrol.

      We’ll see what happens on Feb 7.

  15. I think what Publicola and others are talking about is that there are some real carrots and some false flag carrots. (By analogy, think of the NRA — a fair approximation of a real carrot — vs the AHSA — a false flag effort.) And of course it’s not a binary division but a range of shades of gray.
    If you believe someone has the right intentions but you disagree on strategy or tactics, it should be possible to find common ground. If you believe someone actually has the wrong intentions and is attempting a snow job, that’s a different matter entirely. I think Brian is arguing about the former case, and Publicola about the latter. I believe both exist; I’m not sure about the proportions.

    Incidentally, it seems to me that much of the angst about the JPFO being absorbed by the SAF is tied to Brian’s topic: SAF is a carrot organization, JPFO very much a stick.

  16. Brian,
    Rosa Parks sought to get arrested, so that a sympathetic figure (her) could be used to draw attention to an unjust law and eventually get that law repealed.
    The Deacons for Justice & Defense sought to stop government from enforcing an unjust law in an abusive way. They were effective immediately and eventually the law in question was repealed. They used firearms. Loaded firearms.

    If the “will not comply” goal is to get arrested & appear sympathetic to garner support whilst challenging an unjust law in court, then unloaded guns would suffice. If however the goal is to show the law is unjust and any attempts to enforce it will be resisted, then a loaded gun is worth more than 1,000 empty chambers (unless of course there are bayonets involved, which I am a fan of).

    Patrol rifles though? Pfft. Youngins, I swanny. The only beef I have with open carriers is this: there’s no excuse to not be as classy as you can be & Garands are still available. It’s even easy to match your ensemble with your M1. Just sayin… 😀

    Brian it’s not a case of Gottlieb et al only wanting to go so far. For whatever reason they want to go in the opposite direction. You can’t oppose a law by supporting it. & if you believe that then I know some bass players that would just loooove to split a bar tab with you one week 🙂

    I cannot get to where I want to get (eliminate the prohibited persons list) by supporting an expanded background check. I can’t even get there by making a bad law less bad, as that makes it harder to eliminate it altogether. It’s like the frogs reaching down & admonishing the chef to only turn up the heat this much at a time, lest their fellow frogs realize they’re being boiled & jump out.

    It’s not different techniques; it’s different goals.

    As for Heller, the credit and blame for that one belong with Levy, Gura & Nelly. Gottlieb was on board with McDonald, not Heller.

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  19. [Stay professional in your demeanor as you commit felonies and make people uncomfortable. Be unfailingly kind and polite. Keep on doing what you know is right. And respect those who work in different ways to achieve freedom. (And wear suits and professional clothing when possible. I know you are more comfortable in your Carhartts- so am I. But you are the front lines of liberty. Dress like it.)]
    Except the sticks aren’t doing this. They’re so into “confrontation” they aren’t even selecting appropriate targets.
    Case in point is the Washington Legislature demonstration. Did the Legislature pass I-594? Nope. In fact, Bloomberg Inc. purposefully bypassed the WA Legislature with an initiative BECAUSE the Legislature REFUSED to pass a BC law. So WHY did the open carry folks “confront” the people who are already ON OUR SIDE?
    Open Carry Texas is making the same mistake down here. The Texas Legislature, working with our “carrots,” the Texas State Rifle Association and the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, has passed pro-gun bills every session since 1993. Every anti-gun bill during that time has been blocked. Yet OCT is hell-bent on “holding the Legislature’s feet to the fire” and similar statements.
    I agree with your point that there’s a place for the stick, but that place isn’t to beat your allies with.

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  21. Don’t forget about the carrots that are really just pieces of celery….

    They want the power that goes along with the carrot and to use the sticks but they have no problem with selling you both to the farmer.

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