The gun issue changed my life. It taught me the value of freedom. It showed me how my government works or doesn’t. It introduced me to politics.
As a gun owner you are responsible for the safety of yourself and everyone in your home. You enjoy the freedom of gun ownership. You enjoy the fun of owning, collecting, competing, hunting, and recreationally shooting. You may even own your firearm(s) for self-defense. Whatever your reason, sooner or later, you will be find out that part of that responsibility is to contribute to the national debate on gun rights. You are in the fight regardless of your political views, knowledge of the system, ability to articulate, education or financial, gender, ethnicity, or marital status. You are a part of the political landscape because you believe in the right to keep and bear arms.
So what do you do? What organization do you join? Where should you send your money?
First of all, you know everyone is begging for your dollars. All organizations, clubs and committees are not equal. Beware of the ones with the best marketing, fancy logos, celeb endorsements.
Some groups do nothing. Some do a little. Some do as much as is they are able. Do your research.
Support the gun rights organizations that are working the local levels. I’m talking, your state organizations. They are underfunded, understaffed, under appreciated. I know there are the National blah, blah; and the blah, blah of America. You want to start being a soldier in the organization that is in your state. You know the one that has been begging you, annoying you to show up and be counted. Give them a second look.
The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights. It expresses the principle of federalism and states’ rights, which supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people.
Your local politics matter.
Every day, states take care of amenities and infrastructure, such as transportation and public schooling; the people who are elected in local elections have more impact and influence over citizens’ everyday lives than one may think. These people are accountable for almost everything the state is responsible for; the state controls taxes, welfare and the judiciary. Gun rights are a part of these. Once a state law does not contradict the federal constitution and is not an enumerated right of the federal government, the state can pass it. The state mandates most of the laws that people are afraid to break.
Locally elected officials are supposed to act on citizen’s behalf and convey their issues to the federal branch of the government. You know they don’t when it comes to guns. Therefore, participating in local elections is supposed to be the most democratic aspect of American politics; these elected officials are supposed to represent citizens.
If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Step up and make a difference.
A political activist is someone who is involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness of a certain issue or set of issues. It doesn’t pay but is needed now. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it be through protest, demonstration or lecture.
I have to warn you, it is an investment of your time, and resources. You will often look around and wonder WTF am I doing here? These clowns don’t care. These clowns have their own agendas. You will see the professional organizations, lobbyist and lawyers in those halls, but they all started somewhere and you are in the fight now, not a spectator. You being there on the ground, is important. Look, learn, and connect with someone, in the State house because the assistant, the intern, the low level person they send out to talk to you, (because they are too busy), will be someone important in the future. Don’t belittle, push off, blow off anyone you meet.
Now is the time for you to give back to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Don’t let people you would not want to share a beverage with speak for you. Your silence gives them consent to do whatever. And they have been.
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