Yes, I owe a detailed State of the Club post, I’m working on it. I promise its not a “Game of Thrones” promise, it will get written, this year even!
But, coming off the success of the annual meeting, and the press that followed it (mostly local), and some other things that aren’t terribly important, it seemed time for a “what are you trying to do” type post.
Now apart from the fact that CalGuns is consistently surprised by our existence, and has been since 2014 at a minimum, a constant theme appears here, and in other arenas, about how can we possibly support gun rights?
How can we be considered legitimate if we won’t put the Second Amendment first, find ways to work with folks like the posters on CalGuns, make them see that “liberals” aren’t all out to get their guns, or share a stage with folks who would prefer we simply vanish, because they seem to think we are funded by the Deep State, Soros, Bloomberg or whomever the evil-du-jour is for them. How is that possible?
I am no longer interested in trying to answer that question.
We are not here for them. We’ve tried. Repeatedly. Its exhausting, and frankly, not worth our time. We keep getting told we’re not welcome. Or that we need to suck it up and share the stage with folks who we won’t.
So we stopped trying, mostly. It is what it is, but we decided we would rather get invited and choose to accept an invite, rather than seek praise from some abusive “parent” or “cousin” or unrelated jerk.
We do get invited. We go to things. We make friends. Some of them will be conservative, some republicans, and we WILL work with them as it makes sense. We will go to SHOT. We will go to GRPC. We will go places where we are invited, most of the time. We decline many. Why? We decline for safety reasons, for optics reasons, and for membership driven and ideological reasons. Reasons. We’ve been doing it for several years this way, it works for us and for our membership.
When external parties are telling us we need to eschew our mission and mandate, to abandon minority representation, to concede to hanging out with people who would rather we stop existing, or think we are simply delusional because we share a common thread on the Second Amendment, that might have us a little ragged around the edges. It is exhausting.
We are not here for them. We are here to find those undecided folks that, without education or resources, simply spout DNC talking points. Those folks are typically are center and center left folks. Usually democrats, sometimes independents, sometimes without labels. The so called far left already has it down, mostly, but we can be here for them as well, though we are frequently not left enough to represent them as a bloc. But those folks have their own representation. We are here for LGBT folks, even though they have their own groups as well. Inclusive, representative. Smaller than other groups.
We are here to provide education and discussion for those we are told to abandon for the cause. We want safe and educated gun owners, regardless of political leanings, sexual orientation, religion or skin color. We are here to talk to Democratic voters and Democratic politicians. We are here to talk to left leaning politicians and voters (right leaning politicos frequently decline the offer). We are here to talk about efficacy and root cause mitigation and rights preservation. We are here to talk about education. We are here to make our voices heard in the courts.
We are the safe space. Sarcasm intended.
We are also the gun lobby, in so much as that exists as a bloc.
We are these things even if we decide not to go to a rally or remove a rainbow sticker from our store.
All rights matter for all people. We are here. We are here for our members. We are here for those who would be our members.
And we’re not going anywhere.