As most people in the Washington State gun community know there is an I Will Not Comply! i594 event in Olympia December 13th. I plan to attend as do others.
I understand the strong emotions I’m picking up from a bunch of people. I have a lot of them myself. Just last week I retrieved the last of the guns I had loaned out*. That transfer wouldn’t have been legal had I waited until I-594 went into effect. A lot of the innocent, everyday type of things we do with guns will soon be illegal. The Second Amendment is no different than the First Amendment. If there isn’t an victim then it cannot be a crime to exercise that freedom in that way. But we have vile enemies who want to destroy our freedoms. We must stand up to them.
But we must be careful how we do this. Think back (I know most people aren’t old enough to remember, so do the research or trust me on this) how the civil rights protesters of the 1960’s accomplished things. And think how some of them made things worse.
The civil rights activists following Martin Luther King were peaceful and only used violence or the threat of violence for defensive purposes. Their firearms were concealed and in their homes and vehicles. Their firearms were not on display unless there was a really good reason for it.
The civil rights activists following the Black Panther Party** model had many guns on display.
Which side do you think got the most sympathy from people who “didn’t have a dog in the fight”?
The attitude from people at a distance from “the trenches” were that the Black Panthers were a bunch of criminals. When J. Edgar Hoover said they were, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country” it resonated with a lot of people.
Hoover certainly wasn’t friendly to King and company either. Conspiracy theories of the FBI assassinating King have a lot more credibility with me than those that someone other than Oswald murdered President Kennedy. But the big difference is how the majority of people respond to us. If politicians claim we are threat to society we want the majority of people to realize that politician is off their rocker instead of agreeing with them.
When we disobey a law, such as Rosa Parks did when she refused to sit in the back of the bus, we want people to recognize the unfairness and irrationality of the law rather than thinking we need to be “put in our place”.
To that end present yourselves as calm, rational, peaceful people deserving of respect and trust. The media is going to be looking for the most outrageous examples to put on display. Do your best to give them nothing except those acts which will further our cause.
We want to create reflection upon what we are saying and doing rather than generating a reaction that results in broader support for repression.
*This gun was to a friend that had someone try to get in her apartment late at night. She lived alone, was unemployed, broke, and couldn’t even pay her rent at the time. I took her to the range, did a bunch of training, then loaned her a gun until she could afford her own. The transfer to her would not have been legal without a background check and fees under I-594. As this gun was rather old, I had purchased it second hand, I didn’t want it being in a registry, and I didn’t want to pay money to get my own gun back so I retrieved it.
I know she went shooting with in at least a time or two since I loaned it to her so I was very pleased to see it well cleaned and lubricated when I got it back.
Originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
Initially, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of police officers and challenge police brutality.