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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for January 23rd, 2013

Claire Wolfe

Guns, grassroots, and unity

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

In the dark days of the Clinton (and let’s not forget, Clinton-D/Dole-R) gun bans, a local activist-leader gave me a copy of the Brady Bunch’s organizing manual.

Where he had come by it I don’t know and he wouldn’t tell. But his idea was that a young man and I should use it as a model to write an organizing manual for gun activists.

We eventually did write that manual (for print only and now long gone, far as I know). I wrote under a nom de plume I occasionally used back then.

But it took only minutes after opening the Brady’s book to realize that there was no freaking way we could base a gun-rights activist manual on it.

The reason: Everything in the Brady manual was directed toward getting corporate money and corporate media support. There was virtually nothing — nada, zip, zero — about grassroots organizing. Starting local chapters? Recruiting members? Forget it. Just get money and opinions from top of the hierarchy. Period. End of effort. That’s all you need to do if you’re a gun-banner.

Who cares what individuals think or want? Use the media to buffalo them into believing that there’s “widespread support” for “common sense gun control” and — ta da! — they’ll put up with whatever you want.

Eventually (to my surprise) we won the gun-rights battle. I’d hoped we wouldn’t have to fight the same old rights fight all over again … facing the same old proposals … the same old lies … the same old ignorance about firearms … and the same old limp-wristed compromising cowardice from organizations and well-placed individuals that claim to be “Second Amendment supporters, but ….”

Here we are, anyhow.


But times have changed (thank you, Internet). The grassroots now has a powerful medium of its own — and knows how to use it.

Here’s a fantastic example of what happens when gun-banners try to pretend to have grassroots support: “Northern Illinois gun control event blows up in the faces of sponsors”:

It was a bad Sunday for sponsors of an meeting to create a grassroots chapter of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence at the Glenview, IL Police Station Auditorium failed miserably as supporters of the Constitution and civil rights took part in the event.

In the end, unsubstantiated assertions by the gun control advocates were challenged by a boisterous audience.


And it seems that even some members of the formerly wishy-washy corporate gun crowd have gotten the message that gun owners are both united behind a solid concept of their rights and not to be trifled with.

Reader F. alerts me to an ongoing “situation” on the east coast. Reed Exhibitions announced just a few weeks before the big Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania that all ugly guns would be banned from the event.

Perhaps UK-based Reed believed the hype about “widespread consensus.” They shoulda done a reality check first. No sooner had they announced their crippling of the show when exhibitors started walking out en masse.

Most of the drop-outs are small businesses — many of them with little or no relationship to ugly guns. They make duck blinds. Boats. Camping gear. Spices. Archery equipment. Knives. But out they went — even though, for many of them, the ESOS show can make or break their profits for the year.

Big boys went, too. Cabelas — a full sponsor of the show — was among the first to pull out. Then went Ruger and Smith & Wesson. TV show hosts said, “No thanks!” The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said goodbye. Even the NRA, never known (except in the MSM) for its hardline attitude, dropped out. (Reportedly both the NRA and the NSSF had worked pretty hard to get Reed to change its tightly knotted little corporate mind.)

One after one, the exhibitors and sponsors stated, “We must be united in our support of the Second Amendment.” No more divides between the engraved-shotgun/sporting clays crowd and we more grubby gun owners. We’re all in — or we are OUT.

More are joining the boycott. It’s going to be interesting watching ticket sales plummet.

The show, which opens February 2, has now lost well over 10 percent of its 1,200 exhibitors. And boycotters have announced an online virtual show to compete with it.

No doubt some of the companies dropping out would be perfectly happy to support anti-gun compromises under other circumstances. (Ahem, Ruger …) Maybe some have just decided — given what gun owners did to Jim Zumbo, KMart, and S&W itself — that being firmly pro-gun is better than being wishy washy.

But no matter what their motives … they’ve learned the lesson. Do not mess with the millions of ordinary gun owners who care not only about their firearms, but about their inborn rights. Do not mess with individual, ordinary gun owners — who are powerful.

Claire Wolfe

Various & sundry ramblings

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013


I intended to write a long (and no-doubt Deeply Profound) meditation on the above. And on how, even if we were all flying around in those personal gyrocopters the futurists of the 1950s were all so certain we’d own now, life would still be pretty much life, humans would still be oh-so-very-human, and time would still be pretty much wasted.

But my brain has been feeling soggy and loggy the last few days, as if somebody left it in tepid bathwater and it got all pruney.

That may be a good sign. Sometimes I get like this when Ye Olde Braine is cogitating on something Vitally Important that it just hasn’t informed me about yet. But for now …


All that fancy pocket-tech isn’t only for looking at pictures of cats.



I also thought I’d write something reflecting on this rather interesting essay on how modern brains are being programmed to destroy logic. (Very long but thoughtful; the bit toward the end about new-minted gun-banner and former Vatican attorney Alexis Haller is an eye-opener.)

But go. Do your own reflecting. You’re better at it than I at the moment. (H/T to WL for the link.)


And here’s a charming monkeywrench for you folks who plan to bury guns — or not bury them. (Thanks JB!)


And while these are not exactly the height of fashion, it’s encouraging that clever people are still concerned about privacy.


It may be stuff like this that’s got my brain feeling as lively as a bowl of cold oatmeal this week. Obama worship. Not sure. But you’ve got to admit that when a large part of the nation thinks in these Obama-as-Jesus terms even after seeing him in action for four years, we are surrounded by some scary, scary people for whom logic and facts are definitely not factors.

I agree with Joel; Monday’s coronation ceremony (or re-re-coronation ceremony, as Bear pointed out) was weirdly inescapable even for those of us who usually manage to avoid all such rot.

Even the little bits of it I heard or heard about on the radio made it seem as though something far worse than usual has crawled into the heart of the land. I couldn’t decide whether the Second (or is it third?) Coronation of King Obama was more like a Roman spectacle or more like Germany in the 1930s. All it needed was Leni Riefenstahl.

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