This post and many others like it have had me thinking about the future of the gun control movement and potential strategies to keep our rights as citizens. I feel long term the gun control groups recent state by strategy is going to be bad for the gun control movement.
One state at a time
The state arena has several advantages compared to the federal level for both sides of the gun control debate. States are also much more responsive to their citizens than the federal government is. Opposition to a state law can rise very quickly and it can be taken down very quickly compared to the federal level. We must use the nature of the beast to help our cause.
The state by state battle for AWB laws will cost more money than a fight at the federal level. Instead of one big fight, they are going to have 50 smaller fights. The gun control movement can and probably will make early and quick progress in some states. While this might seem like a gain for them, it is really a lose. The are just refighting the battle they lost at the federal level. The are having to redo work that they have already done, expending time and money refighting battles we have already won at the federal level.
Drawing the battle lines
The pro gun movement should concentrate on saving the states that are a close contest between pro gun and anti gun. We must pick our battles wisely to conserve money, time, and energy. We must recognize that we cannot win every state.
Personally, while i do not agree with redone AWB bills, I am not going to fight a state living the way it wants to live (especially when it does not bother me), even if i do not agree with it. The further separation of red and blue states only gives people a clear choice. It also gives clear examples and test cases of gun laws. If our ideology is better, i think that, over time we will see that the good gun laws will become more and more common (that has already happened with CCW laws).
The gun control movement can either accept the status quo or try to create convert states for the gun control movement. I do not think the Brady campaign and other such friends are going to accept the status quo. Once they establish a foot hold in the solid blue states, they will move to the purple states. In the meantime, it will require constant work on the part of gun control advocates to create unfavorable conditions for their advances in the future.
It would benefit the pro gun movement, if their was a grassroots effort to expose individuals to guns in a constructive and beneficial way in these future battle ground states. You do not have to make people shooters, but just undercut many of the myths about gun owners. I personally think it is much easier to convince someone that owning guns is a natural thing than actually convincing them to own a gun. We need to lay the foundation now, so we have a base to draw from later.
One possible way of doing this, would be to have free demonstrations at ranges where then people who are just interested in guns, but have never tried shooting them could give them a few shots in a safe and open environment. You could also have demonstrations of extremely skilled practitioners of the gun arts. These demonstrations of course will cost money and might create some bad press, so their are some downsides.
Another, more proven method is friendship evangelism, this is where local gun clubs could really play a huge impact. The goal would not be to turn the friends into gun nuts, but to show them what shooting is like and explain why you DO own a gun.
Now is the time to organize and go on the offensive. We have some time to reach out and touch some people, we should take advantage of that before that opportunity passes.