NO ONE IS AS INTERESTED AS YOU ARE
NO ONE IS AS INTERESTED AS YOU ARE.
Nowadays everyone's attention span and time are limited. Be grateful if you get anyone's attention on our issue, even for a few seconds. Some wannabe activists come in even faster, then disappear faster. Take whatever you get from any volunteer. Praise and thank them. Don't be disappointed when they drift away. They will. But some come back. Keep the light on for them.
GUN RIGHTS GROUPS STINK.
At the same time, these organizations are the best thing since sliced bread. We won't keep our rights without them. It's normal to love them and hate them at the same time. Be sure your complaints about them go to the person who can do something about your problem. Never give up your membership -- it's much easier to fix things from the inside. Avoid griping in public -- our opponents love it when we do. Always handle our dirty laundry behind closed doors. Always.
THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET.
There is no single answer, rule, or solution. Never has been, and never will be. None of us will write the single brilliant letter to the editor or Internet message that will miraculously turn everything around. Keep steadily busy. Do as much as you can, whenever you can. Anything you do counts, but some things count more than others. Find out what counts. Then do it.
THERE IS NO FINAL VICTORY.
Preserving RKBA is an ongoing PROCESS. We are winning and losing battles during this process, but the war will never be over. Becoming active to keep your gun rights is a lot like cleaning your house: it's thankless and boring work, but necessary. Like dirt, the anti-gun crowd will just keep coming back. Forever. Your activism will keep us winning more than losing. Our opponents count on wearing us down. They love it when one of us (not you, of course) gets discouraged and drops out. When you fully understand and accept the reality that RKBA is a never-ending struggle, you're automatically in the top 5 percent of all RKBA defenders. Congratulations.
RKBA ACTIVISM IS BORING.
It's especially boring when you are doing things that really make a difference. Most of us want drama. We want to be entertained. Phone bank calling, precinct walking, going to RKBA grassroots seminars -- suddenly, even a trip to the dentist for a root canal will start to look better. Sorry, but there is no workaround on this aspect. Freedom is not free. It's a pain in the ass. Get used to it, get over it, and get to work.
USE THE POWER OF FEAR AND GUILT.
Gun owners are susceptible to these emotions. Awaken sleeping RKBA activists by tapping these powerful emotions. Fear and guilt will move mountains -- and fill the collection plate, and recruit new members. If gun owners won't become active for themselves, ask them to do it for their families. For their children. For their country. And -- this tactic works! -- ask them to do it for YOU.
WATCH OUT FOR MISDIRECTED, TIME-WASTING EFFORTS.
E-mail to elected people should be used only as alast resort -- unless the official already personally knows you. Focus on the stuff that works. If you're going to hunt ducks, go where the ducks are. Email is a LOT better than nothing. If your only choice between doing email and doing nothing, by all means, send email to legislators!)
POLITICIANS ONLY CARE ABOUT VOTES AND MONEY.
In-person visits, phone calls, and snail-mailed, handwritten letters to elected folks help -- because politicians know that if you take this much trouble, you and your family and friends will also vote.
Make yourself known to politicians for issues other than gun rights. Don't present yourself as a single-issue person. Praise and help politicians on THEIR pet projects. Then, when a new gun control law comes up, your opinion will seem especially credible. Otherwise, you will soon be stereotyped and discounted as a single-issue voter.
ANOTHER HOT TIP:
Politicians have to explain why they vote Yes or No on proposed laws. Sometimes they really need your help in composing explanations to their constituents. If you want your elected official to vote No on a seemingly popular new gun control law, she might be more willing to vote your way if you give her a "back door" -- a good, common sense explanation that she can give to all of her constituents.
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