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Old December 21st, 2008, 01:17 PM #11
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Two things that I have already started doing.

1. Take people shooting who have never been before. Every time they have fun and want to do it again. That opens up the topic of gun rights. And most people have no idea of what is going on with gun "control".

2. I have alot of friends and people I run into who hunt or are gun owners who are not a member of the NRA.
The first thing I ask them is why the hell not ! Then tell them to look up on their computer what has happened in U.K. and Austrilia.
And , again they usally have no idea.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 02:22 PM #12
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I offer to take people shooting. Most of them have fired a pistol/rifle/shotgun once and that's about it. I have a few friends who are single moms and they want something for the house. So take 'em out, help them find something they enjoy shooting and is effective for self-defense. Essentially teach them that a firearm is a tool, not something scary.

My US representative in Indiana has got to be getting sick of me. I'm starting to get the form replies from him. Time to move on to Senators and Maryland elected officials.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 03:11 PM #13
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Send Senators money?
I know that I am a NooB here and with Gun ownership as a whole, and believe me,Once I feel a little more informed, I will Be doing my part to help.(sorry for the run on sentence)
Maybe it is my ignorence, but as of right now, I ain't sending those crooks one cent of my hard earned money. No way no how.
Does writing letters work? Do they read them? I'm sorry to interject pessimissm into an otherwise great post/topic. It just seems like I've been hearing this stuff for years about writing letters to congressmen and such and it never seems to do much.
As of right now, I am working on collecting information and getting my facts straight so that I can help inform other interested people about the joys of gun ownership and our second amendment rights and the percieved peril that they are in.
What can a new guy like me do to help? I am willing..just not to send those people my money.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 03:42 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hornblas View Post
Send Senators money?
When I refer to Senators, you'll have to note that I'm refering to State Senators, not U.S. Senators. Many of our MD Senators are indeed good people and on our side, but may of them face tight re-elections every time. My experience is that our local folks do indeed read and answer thier mail.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 06:57 PM #15
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I'm short on time so I'll write more later.

To the Noobs here that aren't sure of what to do or don't want to send money yet to support any politicians:

Take a few minutes and write a letter, not an email, to these same Senators that you don't have confidence in yet. Tell them EXACTLY how they can earn your support. Suggest they co-sponsor pro gun legislation of vote against ANY anti-gun legislation. Tell them what you believe in.

Doing this simple thing is a very fair and neutral way to get started. Read their responses and if they don't satisfy you, write again let them know. Pressure and money are the two things that influence votes. Most of us are running pretty lean financially right now and sending money can be difficult. So use pressure to your advantage since it's virtually free.

JoppaJ hit the nail on the head, and there's no good reason for us to sit complacent waiting for legislation (good or bad) to be introduced.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 07:13 PM #16
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My congress people in Howard county know exactly how I feel about my gun rights and they STRONGLY disagree with me having a 2nd Amendment right! They say it's for the children and the police.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 07:14 PM #17
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ok guys, good points. it really ain't a big investment to sit and write a letter. I'll try it.
I'll search the forum for the addresses.Thanks .
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Old December 21st, 2008, 07:28 PM #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hornblas View Post
Send Senators money?
Does writing letters work? Do they read them? I'm sorry to interject pessimissm into an otherwise great post/topic. It just seems like I've been hearing this stuff for years about writing letters to congressmen and such and it never seems to do much.
As of right now, I am working on collecting information and getting my facts straight so that I can help inform other interested people about the joys of gun ownership and our second amendment rights and the percieved peril that they are in.
What can a new guy like me do to help? I am willing..just not to send those people my money.
Hornblas,

Individually, no, it doesn't do a lot. But you have to look at it as political calculus. The vast majority of the public doesn't care and doesn't get involved.

Those of us who do have power in numbers. First, you need to be writing your representatives. Admittedly in Maryland, that is an uphill battle since my reps (Van Hollen and Mikulski) are both anti-gun. But what the letter writing does is serve as a guide in those offices as to the level of constituent support.

It is said (and I don't remember reading where) that a phone call to their office by one citizen is roughly equivalent to the overall opinion of 1000 constituents who never bothered to pick up the phone. For every letter (not e-mail) received, it is equivalent to the opinion of roughly 10,000 constituents.

Your representative does not read your letter or answer your phone call unless you are very lucky. Their staffers do. Good staffers will pass along good letters for personal replies. But most of the time, the staffer will make a tick in the "yes" or "no" box on whatever topic/bill the letter is about and move on. Same applies for phone calls.

That is the purpose of the calls and letters. To give the representatives a gauge as to public opinion back home. As long as the numbers remain small along the lines of a dozen or so phone calls or a couple letters, they can safely ignore you.

When you start to put the fear of God into them is when the numbers climb in the dozens of letters and hundreds of phone calls. The higher it goes, the more likely it is the issue is a hot button one that the representative needs to listen closely to their constituents on.

It does have an effect and you've seen the results of this behavior but probably never realized it. Did you ever wonder why the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bills or the first Financial Bailout packages just suddenly died after intensive negotiation and late night sessions? From the news, you'd think the various Reps simply couldn't agree. Good for the news but not really what happened.

What happened was in both cases, the Senate and Congress switchboards were literally being knocked offline due to the volume of phone calls in opposition to those proposals. In the case of the immigration reform, hundreds of letters and bricks mailed to various Congressional offices. Estimates on immigration reform placed the opposition at around 78% nationwide and the financial bailout was anywhere to 10-1 to 100-1 against. The end result was the Reps being put on notice that this was not popular legislation and to kill. They had no choice.

Alas, the financial bailout was merely stalled and they passed by adding in $150 billion additional taxpayer dollars to essentially bribe the various districts into accepting it. Same $700 bailout with $150 billion in pork added. We'll see in two years how much a backlash there will be against our Reps since at this point they don't appear to be listening.

On gun control, this strategy works. When you write them (which I recommend in addition to phone calls), highlight the bill you are for or against, a couple points as to why, provide links to any statistics you provide (the FBI Uniform Crime Report, page 2 of the BATFE trace report and the CDC report on the ineffectiveness of gun control always are useful for countering various points) and explain that failure to tow the constituent line will result in you voting against them. When you tell them that, make sure to remind them why Congress was lost in 1994. It was due to their support of the "Assault Weapon" ban. Make sure they get that message. The only reason Democrats got back into control in 2006 was because the Blue Dogs ran on pro-gun platforms. Too many still remember what happened in 1994 and it serves useful to remind them to not repeat history.

Whether you agree with the overall effectiveness of this is up to you. Our goal as gun rights supporters is to achieve critical mass. Get the tick marks on the bill ledgers high enough for or against a given topic to get the representative to take notice. Done nationwide, this has a tremendous effect and coupled with the Internet, we can often keep bills stuck in committee permanently. We've done it for two years now with various gun control bills despite an anti-gun Congressional leadership. We can keep doing it.

We have to believe that as a group we can win. I know I'm a tick mark when I make the phone call and put the stamp on the envelope. But as long as enough of us trust each other that we're all doing the same thing, there is nothing we can't help defeat.

Also join the NRA. Often they serve as punching bag of the media but they do help stop things and if they can't, water them down enough to go from catastrophe to merely annoying. You may not agree with them on how they handle things (I don't) but I realize politics is about compromise and perception. If we can keep the Reps simplemindedly focused on the NRA, it gives us more leverage as grassroots and private citizens to amplify the NRA's message.

If the NRA got an additional 2 million members in the next two years, no gun control bill would ever make it out of committee. If you're already a member, offer to pay for someone else's new membership. Or take them shooting and do the same.

Sorry for the rant. Just my thoughts on the subject.

Matt
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Old December 21st, 2008, 08:41 PM #19
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Who Are Your Elected Officials?
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Old December 21st, 2008, 09:56 PM #20
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Well-
Every other Sunday I teach Youth rifle classes
I takae a newbie sooting as often as I meet someone who hasn't been shooting yet.
I send financial donation to support those that support gun rights.
I send letters to those same people.
I send letters to those who need persuading in our local governments.
I do my best to promote firearms whenever I have the opportunity.
I buy local so my money gets used locally.
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