Friday, September 14, 2007

A fundamental difference.

One of the more common arguments in favor or against gun control is democratic, the number of people supporting either side.

It is a well-known fact that the NRA has an enormous number of members (over three million at any given moment for the last pair of years If I remember correctly), whereas the largest gun control group, the Brady campaign, has far less contributing members.
Feel free to dispute that, this post isn't about the numerical difference, it's about the difference between the individuals.

Both large organizations like to organize rallies and speeches, worthless preaching to the converted IMO, the converted can bring others with them who may or may not fall prey to rhetoric.
I for one did not buy into the NRA's speeches, I was convinced by one man, Whose work can be found here, on his site Much more human than the -to me- faceless organization the NRA is, this man actually bothered to send me a thank you mail after linking people to his site.

That's what's so defining about the gun owners of America who are politically active. They're a closely knit community who are eager to embrace each other on any occasion, for any reason.
The striking power of the NRA isn't the political lobbying it provides or its ties with the industry, it's the raging, arduous fire that burns with passion in the hearts of people who support it.

These people go hunting together, partake in competitive sports involving firearms, they train police officers (!) to better protect their community and fund Eddie eagle programs in hope of keeping their children safe.
Those speeches and rallies pale in comparison to the effect of that kind of a social network.

What has the other side? People don't go to protests because it amuses them (I shouldn't hope so!), they're most often struck by grief or scared. The gun control proponents follow in the wake of tragedy. After the smoke has cleared and the bodies have been hauled off, they'll be outside your local high school with banners and protest signs. They'll organize meeting where people can vent their anger (and call for local business owners to be snuffed out). Sad people, scared people. Broken people.

Let's be honest here, the Million mom march is hardly a cheerful event compared to a
range party or organized camping trip followed by a raffle to support the local NRA chapter. And that's were that NRA power comes from, people fighting for their leisure, millions of citizens happy to donate some money in hopes of retaining their hobbies and pastimes.

If every parent of a "child victim" of gun violence would fill a bucket with their tears, they could not extinguish the fire that burns in every serious gun rights activist. Instead of sorrow we have joy, where they have regrets, we have hope. The things they fear, we seek to fight as much as they do, but we -will- prevail with our ways.
Our being right doesn't even have anything to do with it, we'll win because of sheer numbers and because of our conviction that we truly are right.

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