by Rob Morse
Clash Daily Contributor
How would you save the civil right of self-defense in the United States? It seems like an uphill battle. The gun-control side has their billionaires. They have the media and many politicians. What do we have on our side, the side of responsible liberty?
We start with the culture because culture is king. Culture drives politics, and politics drives legislation. To save the civil right of armed self-defense you hold a large conference for energized activists. You would gather these activists together and expose them to world class experts on the rights of civilian self-defense.
That sounds like a good idea, and that’s exactly what happened last weekend at the misnamed “Gun Rights Policy Conference” held in Houston. The GRPC should be called the “Civil Right of Self-Defense Family Reunion.” This is the 28th year of the conference, so it’s probably too late to change its name. Other events and conventions are about hardware. The GRPC is about people.
We could invite lawyers who defend the innocent tourist arrested in New York City for having a pocket knife in her purse. We could invite dignitaries who negotiate international arms treaties and standards. This is exactly what we had at the GRPC. You don’t believe me and want names? Anyone I mention means I’ve ignored a dozen equally deserving luminaries. How about lawyer Alan Gura who presented landmark cases at the US Supreme Court. Yes, Barack Obama is President, but there is still hope for honest gun owners.
Remember that licensed carry is now granted to ordinary citizens in 45 states! Through some citizens are denied the human right of self-defense because of the city or county where they live, that human right is growing across the United States. Maybe you already knew that, but you might have forgotten if you weren’t at the conference.
To water the grass roots of liberty, we would want activist to learn from sociologists and scholars who know the detailed history of modern human rights. These academics can describe the new research and the old. They relate both the worthwhile and the inaccurate reports being thrown into the public debate every day. I’m mixing my tenses again. That was exactly what happened in Houston at the GRPC. Professor John Lott spoke, and his is a name worth remembering.
You already know about the main stream media’s biased reporting on public violence. As an activist, you’d want to meet members of the media who actually respect civil rights. Yes, there really are journalists, authors and broadcasters who tell our side of the story. We can and should learn from them. What they do is important because the news and entertainment media touch millions of people every day. Thank God some of them are on our side. We can always use more. That is a fact.
Law enforcement officers separate theory from facts. They deal with young gang members and old grandmothers every day. They see the triumph and tragedy of self-defense more than anyone else. They also know the pitfalls of our legal system. I met legislators, judges and Sheriffs at the conference and you can too. Sheriff John Cooke from Colorado belongs in both the law enforcement and the politician category. Sheriff Cooke was active in the Colorado recall election, and is now running for State Senate. I could go on, and I’ve barely scratched the surface.
The results are tangible. It is the grass roots activist who scratches out a reply to the bigoted anti-gun article in the local newspaper, the sort of article that wants poor women disarmed in their homes. The ordinary activists are the ones who talk to their priests, pastors and rabbis to plan a gun safety course for school children. Activists simply invite their neighbors to go shooting for the first time. They meet with their local legislators. Billionaires can’t touch this.
The next gun rights policy conference is in Chicago. You belong there no matter what kind of activist you are. The first time you go to the Gun Rights Policy Conference, you will go to hear the speakers. You’ll come back again and again to meet the people just like you. I hope to see you there.
Rob Morse is slightly intelligent with a serious sense of humor. He has been driven crazy as a design engineer is several bleeding-edge high-tech companies. He remains faithful and committed to marriage with his wife of 29 years. His two children have successfully escaped into the wild. He writes about technology and society from his home in southern California.
Image: Author: Wojtekskalski; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license