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Gun Owners, Lock and Load for Grassroots Politics
Dr. Michael S. Brown

America's gun owners are some of her most loyal, patriotic, and productive citizens. Yet we have suffered unprecedented abuse during the seemingly endless Clinton-Gore years.

Having been demonized and used as scapegoats for societal problems that the administration won't address honestly, we have been targeted for annihilation by anti-gun organizations and the propaganda experts of the Democratic party. They think their divisive and destructive campaign will help put Al Gore in the White House and win back a majority in Congress.

Why do they think gun control will be a winning issue for them this year? Because they think we are the lazy, ignorant slobs portrayed by their elite media allies. They are making the fatal mistake of believing their own propaganda.

We have listened to their lies for eight long years. We have suffered from deceitful, carefully planned attacks designed to make the public fear and hate us. Now we're mad as Hell and we aren't going to take it any more. In the words of Admiral Yamamoto, they have "awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve".

Very few gun owners enjoy politics. Most just want to be left alone, but this election year we are going on the offensive like never before. It is time to stop writing letters to unresponsive, self-serving politicians. Between now and November, each of us must devote our energy to politics at the grassroots level, beneath the enemy radar.

If you don't already have your own plan, I would like to suggest a two part strategy.

First, get together with some of your shooting buddies and determine who the pro-gun candidates are in your area. In my area its easy, all the Republicans are pro-gun and all the Democrats are anti-gun. It may be different where you live, so check with your state gun organization or the NRA if necessary. If there are no good candidates to support locally, you can still participate by sending money to national pro-gun organizations. They will see that it goes where it will do the most good.

Contact the appropriate local party headquarters. You will find them listed in the yellow pages under "political organizations". You and your friends should volunteer to aid the campaign of one or more pro-gun candidates.

They will invite you to attend a meeting for volunteers where you will learn some eye opening facts about politics in your area. You'll find that they are desperate for people to help put up signs, make phone calls, ring doorbells or stuff envelopes. Volunteer for the type of work that sounds best to you. This is a great chance to make new friends and get to know your neighbors. You will have access to bumper stickers, literature and signs that you can use in phase two.

The second phase involves outreach to the community of gun owners. It starts at your county elections office. Grab a stack of voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications. Take them, along with the stuff you got from party headquarters, and contact all the gun oriented clubs and businesses that you can find in your area.

Ask the gun shop owners and gun club officers if you can leave voter registration forms and campaign literature where it can be picked up by gun owners. Make up some small signs on your computer explaining how important it is for gun owners to register and vote in this election. Make an attractive display by attaching the sign to a small box that will hold the forms.

Organize a political action team at your local gun club. Use the membership list to contact even more gun owners. Make sure that each one is registered to vote and ask them if they would be willing to volunteer themselves. The team should call everyone on election day and remind them to vote. Anyone who can't make it to the polls on election day should be given an absentee ballot application.

Arrange now to take election day (Tuesday, November 7th) off work. Use one of those vacation days that you've been saving for a special occasion. Campaign volunteers are especially valuable on election day to call voters who haven't yet voted or to drive people to the polling places.

This is your chance to make a difference. Don't just whine about how the government is taking away our rights. It will only happen if we let it.

There are roughly 80 million gun owners in America. Perhaps 5 million feel strongly enough about preserving their rights to have joined a gun rights organization. Imagine the impact that 5 million highly motivated campaign workers will have on the election. Others before us have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedom that is now under attack. Surely we can sacrifice some of our time between now and November 7th.

Good luck and good hunting.

Dr. Michael S. Brown is an optometrist in Vancouver, WA who moderates an email discussion list for gun issues in Washington state. He may be reached at: or through

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380.

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