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Insufficient Gun Owner Involvement in Unsuccessful Herrera Race Will Not Go Unnoticed

06/03/2024 10:37 AM | Anonymous

Insufficient Gun Owner Involvement in Unsuccessful Herrera Race Will Not Go Unnoticed    Ammoland Inc. Posted on June 1, 2024 by David Codrea

Establishment Republicans have spoken. Gun owners have responded. And Democrats couldn’t be happier. (Team Tony/Facebook)

“U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales prevails in primary runoff over gun influencer Brandon Herrera,” The Texas Tribune reported Wednesday. “The race became a referendum on the San Antonio Republican’s vote to support a bipartisan gun control package after the Uvalde school shooting.”

It also became a referendum — and a bellwether — for how involved gun owners are willing to involve themselves in the political process, and the results will no doubt encourage Democrats looking to this and the upcoming races for weaknesses to exploit, as well as Republicans looking to maintain the status quo.

Per The New York Times, with 95% of the vote tallied, Gonzales got 15,023 votes, and Herrera got 14,616. The difference between victory and loss was a mere 407 votes.

Per the U.S. Census, there were over 575,000 people over 18 in District 23 at last count. Even factoring out foreign nationals and illegal aliens who aren’t supposed to vote, that’s still an order of magnitude of eligible citizens voluntarily disenfranchising themselves.

“Measuring ownership is tricky, but there are snapshots,” The Texas Tribune noted in a 2022 analysis. “From 1980 to 2016, 46% of Texans, on average, had a firearm in their household…” Then factor in the District 23 majority is Republican down the line, president, senators, and congressman, and it’s hardly a wild leap to conjecture that 408 more votes for Herrera were more than doable.

Especially considering what big business area gun shows are. (Don’t get me started.)

Frustratingly, getting the right candidate depended on what gun owners were willing to do, and in this case, it wasn’t enough. But the community is not a monolith, so perhaps looking at types of gun owners will give clues as to where the potential for better participation exists. It’s also relevant to recall a quote attributed to the ancient Greek statesman Pericles:

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

First there are Fudds, hunters and sport shooters who either aren’t involved in politics, don’t get involved unless it’s their ox being gored, are willing to throw EBR (Evil Black Rifle) owners under the bus, and worst of all, Fudds for Biden and their ilk. If they’re not persuaded by now that their turn in the barrel will come, chances are efforts to recruit them will fall on deaf ears.

Another group resistant to persuasion are the TINVOWOOTers, those who maintain “There is No Voting Our Way Out of This.” Ultimately, they may be right, who knows? And that’s the point. We don’t know when, we don’t know where, and in the meantime, we see signs that participating in citizenship and using the remarkable framework bequeathed us by the Framers can yet bear fruit: The Supreme Court’s Bruen decision on the Second Amendment and just now unanimously siding with the NRA on the First are but two examples. And regardless of the way things ultimately go for Donald Trump in court (if some government actor doesn’t take him out), perhaps enough outraged Americans, realizing that Joe Biden is an irredeemably corrupt dolt, will make a stolen election too risky to try. In any case, we could all use more time to prepare before things fall apart, and gun owners dropping out now serves no one whose intentions are good.

A third group offers promises for improvements, gun owners who attempt in various degrees to stay informed and involved. We’re talking a mixed bag, though, with some immersed in activism, joining national and state gun groups and spreading the word, and others limiting their contributions to angry comments under articles. Everyone in this group knows work needs to be done, but not everyone lends a shoulder to the wheel, so we’ll see grassroots efforts where 10% of the members do 90% of the work, and we’ll see the same ratio sharing links to important articles via emails and ADVOCACY media (“social” media is for kitten pictures).  Unfortunately, an even smaller number actively involve themselves in political campaigns and donate or do the necessary grunt work (precinct walking, campaign  banks, poll monitoring, etc.)

The Democrats beat “us” at organizing just about every time, and while there’s a bit of validity to the “we have jobs and families” excuse, in the end that’s what it is—an excuse. Plenty of us have jobs and families and still manage to do what we consider our civic duty with the time, resources, and talents that we have, and to join with like minds, find what we can do and do it. And that brings us to the fourth group, one I have no answer for.

“We have no shortage of expectations and strong opinions about what we want. But when it comes time to step up to the plate, things get awfully quiet,” I wrote in my January 2007 Rights Watch” column for Guns Magazine, “Profiles in Apathy.”

In it, I recalled three endeavors where gun owner involvement was needed, electing one of ours against a gun-grabber, supporting a man persecuted by the Democrat political establishment for his efforts to recall an “assault weapon ban” author, and a national advertising campaign to spread the word on the Second Amendment. All ultimately mirrored the story of “The Little Red Hen,” where plenty wanted to eat the bread, but good luck finding help planting wheat.

If this doesn’t change, correction, if we don’t change that, gun owners will be telling two supposedly opposite groups they can get away with more betrayals and infringements.

First will be establishment Republicans. Biden Bipartisan Gun Ban Bill backer Tony Gonzales got a big boost when NRA A-rated Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed him instead of red meat 2A Brandon Herrera. And now Tony’s out there doubling down on his betrayal – with CNN. So, when November rolls around, what are gun owners going to do? Vote for the gun-grabbing Democrat?

No wonder Vichycons feel like they can get away with feeding us anything and we’re going to keep eating it. Alternatively, why should true believers put their lives on hold and themselves out there if the people they’re trying to represent leave them hanging? (And don’t say “Libertarian” unless you’re good with “the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.”)

The Democrats are also watching and taking note. Experts at Astroturfing, they know gun owners don’t have “angels” (wrong word?) like billionaire Michael Bloomberg to finance their subversion, and our efforts, from funding lawsuits against infringements to supporting candidates, and everything in between, depend on what individuals are willing to do.

They have to be encouraged by what they’ve just witnessed.
The question now is, is this what we — and they —
should expect from now until November?!

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