What to do When the "Moms" and their
Monied Minions are Getting You Down
By Claire Wolfe, June 14th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.
Do you get discouraged about the future of gun rights?
I do. I admit it. Even with the tremendous progress we've made in the last 20 years, I worry that in the long-run we may lose this battle -- and our freedom.
Mind you, I'm not saying I think we will lose. On the contrary, gun owners are a force to be reckoned with. Messing with us may produce the "interesting times" of the Chinese curse, but its not likely the antis will ever get what they want. Not while free people live.
I'm just saying that at times I worry enough about our future to feel bleak. It's something we may all have to deal with at times. Even when things are going relatively well, we may worry knowing that one Newtown, one Columbine, could change everything in a moment. A spate of public killings (like those that attention-seeking creeps have perpetrated in the last few weeks) can slowly grind away on the public consciousness, and our rights.
I personally worry because:
- Even though the enemies of gun rights have nothing but The Big Lie (they have no grassroots), big lies can become "truths" in millions of minds.
- What the antis can't achieve through bad legislation, they're gradually achieving through executive orders, bad regulation, over-zealous law enforcement and other means.
- Even supposedly "pro-gun" organizations and individuals are pushing to end privacy in gun ownership and to "improve" the National Instant Check system in ways that could end up denying millions of Americans their rights.
- Along with this, there is the ominously growing surveillance state, where secretive, unaccountable government agencies know not only what we own, but where we are at all times. If the tyrannical Cardinal Richelieu was able to say, nearly 400 years ago, "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him," then imagine how much more vulnerable our rights are in a world where everything we say and do is known to those who already consider us their enemies.
- The vast majority of the public that's not informed on the real issues sees public violence (like the recent run of spree killings) and thinks only, "That's terrible. We ought to do something about that." They're ripe for listening to easy "answers" and not likely to hear more reasoned, but counterintuitive argument.
- Too many fools on our own side have gotten too much publicity for their attempts to "normalize" guns by scaring the bejabbers out of people in restaurants and stores, giving Bloombergian "Moms" PR ammo to use against us all.
- A generation is growing up with limited access to firearms and the delusion that putting up "no guns" signs will protect them. In some cases, this generation is arriving in adulthood (physically, though not intellectually) with the belief that self-defense is actually wrong.
- Backlash is always a possibility. Pendulums do swing. Our amazing successes of the last 20 years were fueled by anger at 26 years worth of successes for the other side (beginning with the 1968 Nazi-inspired Gun Control Act, and ending with the double whammy of the Brady Law and so-called Assault Weapons Ban).
I worry above all that slow, insideous cultural and political changes will eventually erode our rights in ways we won't be able to fight -- and may not even understand until the loss of our freedom is a fait accompli.
All that is a lot to feel we have to push back against!
Again, I have to stress that worrying doesn't imply inevitability. As kids we may have worried about monsters under the bed when there was nothing under there more harmful than broken toys, smelly socks, and dust bunnies. As adults we may worry about getting cancer, going bankrupt, or our kids turning out bad -- real possibilities, but not made more likely by our worries.
In fact, when it comes to rights, worries can spur us into action -- and on to victory. That's exactly what happened back in 1994 when gun owners kicked into high gear to push back against the seemingly inevitable march of hoplophobia.
Dealing with it
Still, worrying isn't fun. And feeling crushed by worry to the point where you give up and give in is destructive -- both to individual lives and to liberty.
Maybe you're one of the lucky souls who doesn't worry. Or who worries only long enough to say, "Okay. Gotta fix that problem. Here I go!" If so, good for you. I admire and envy you.
But if you're one of the rest of us -- somebody like me who looks toward the future (or looks at the daily news) and sometimes feels daunted -- the question becomes how to deal with it. I have plenty of experience dealing with gloom and defeatism. Let me count (some of) the ways:
- Take care of yourself. Walk in the woods. Hug the spouse. Pet the dog. Take the kids out plinking. Remember that you have a life and it has more potential to be a good life than we sometimes realize.
- Put everything in perpective. New anti-rights developments often sound much more dire than they really are. Prioritize.
- Take care of your family, friends, and community -- and enjoy them.
- Stay alert and informed without letting things get to you. This is hard. The above three points will help you do it.
- Turn worry into anger -- and use it. Shannon Watts is telling another lie? Some local city councilperson is agitating against concealed carry? Some reporter refers to a creepazoid as a "gunman" (when in fact the creep in question used a knife and a car to attack roughly as many victims as he shot)? How dare they? How dare they try to lie and manipulate your rights away? You are better than they. You know better than they. Take a breath and calmly agitate for truth and rights.
- Analyze your own resources & decide what (if anything) you can do about a bad situation. What do you have to contribute? Teaching skills? Writing ability? Public speaking skills? Organizational ability? Money to contribute? Or even just your self and your spirit to attend a rally? Decide what you can do and what's worth your while to do -- and do it.
- Then, sometimes, you just have to let things go. You can't do everything. You'll burn out -- and then you won't be good for anything.
- Educate. Inform. Use resources like the rich ones you can find at this website to keep pushing the truth past all the Big Lies, past all the hysteria, past all the prejudice.
- Take a friend shooting. It's one of the greatest conversion tools -- one person, one mind, one heart, one new skill at a time.
- Join or otherwise support JPFO. You knew that was coming, didn't you? Of course we want (and need) you to contribute and buy our products. But this is more than just a self-serving recommendation. JPFO's core message -- that gun rights are civil rights and that guns are holocaust prevention tools -- takes the gun rights fight a step beyond where any other group take it. It's a message we're uniquely qualified to deliver. And it's a message that reaches into the depths of hearts and minds -- even, potentially, the hearts and minds of people who don't really like guns but who understand the cruel realities of history.
I'm hardly going to say, "Don't worry; be happy." That's not so easy to do and may not be wise when it comes to protecting rights. But if you're one of the many like me, who worry more than may be good for us, definitely put worry into perspective -- then use that energy to strike back against those who want to lie and manipulate you into helplessness. How dare they? We're better than they and we will prevail.
We will never be rendered helpless by the misdeeds of killers, liars, legislators, and fools. The real trick is, as they plot and connive, not allow ourselves to be rendered miserable and inert by our own fears.
Claire Wolfe hit the Internet back in 1996 with 101 Things to do 'Til the Revolution, which was followed by several other books. She came to the attention of JPFO's founder, Aaron Zelman, and became one of his main writing partners for seven years. Together they authored The State vs the People and the young-adult novel RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone. She is the author of The Freedom Outlaw's Handbook (successor to 101 Things), writes a monthly column in S.W.A.T. magazine and blogs regularly at Backwoods Home. The Claire Wolfe Archive
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