I'm a little disappointed in the poor response I've received to my recent requests for assitance at various political conventions. In fact, a grand total of TWO people from this list have offered any assitance at all. Now, if this is because you are already working hard on someone's campaign, I apologize in advance. If not, feel free to be offended by this post.
We have the gun and self-defense laws we do in Utah only because some good folks have spent a LOT of time working to protect and advance good laws, while working to repell bad laws. People like Scott Engen, Will and Sarah Thompson, Bill Clayton, John Spangler, Clark Aposhian, and others have literally paid their dues on these issues and we are all beneficiaries of their efforts. From shall issue permits, to one of the fewest off limits locations in the nation, to some pretty good OC laws, to no registration, we all benefit in one or more ways from years of effort from those who have long been invovled in RKBA in Utah. Some of these guys are still actively involved. Others have had to move on to other efforts or otherwise reduce their involvement. But they all left Utah RKBA better than they found it.
What are YOU doing to help RKBA for your children, or anyone else?
Post about OCing into Walmart and there are 100 responses. Plan an OC dinner and 20 people show up.
But ask for a couple hours of time to hand out flyers or otherwise help pro-gun (or defeat anti-RKBA) candidates at a political convention on a Saturday morning and one can hear the virtual crickets chirping. It looks a bit like the old story of the Little Red Hen.
Walking around OCing is fine. But it, of itself, does NOT win elections.
Saturday we lost Aaron Tilton in convention in Utah county. He's been replaced by someone who is probably not nearly as good on guns. Curt Bramble avoided a primary and will be returning to the Senate where his record on RKBA is mixed at best. The Washington County convention a week earlier resulted in two GOP nominees (and almost certainly final legislators) who are both poor on guns.
The Salt Lake County GOP convention is this Saturday, May 3, the GOP State convetion is a week later on the 10th. Several very pro-RKBA candidates face very tough races including Sens. Madsen, Waddoups, and Buttars.
NOTHING but shear political involvement and will prevents our gun laws from being radically changed next January and February. NOTHING.
NOTHING prevents a new legislature, full of gun haters from making OC (with or without a permit) illegal. And don't think for a moment that the Utah SC, or even a very good decision out of the Heller case is going to provide any judicial protection if the Utah legislature decides to start changing our gun laws for the worse.
How many hours do most of us spend over the course of a month on this board alone, let along several others? How much money do we spend on ammo, guns, gun parts and accessories, and related activities?
If you want to see Utah remain at the forefront of respecting RKBA, I highly recommend you make it a priority to get involved politically. The upcoming conventions are a fine way to do it. If you are a delegate, great. If not, make sure your delegates know who the good (read pro-gun) candidates are. Volunteer to help a pro-gun candidate at convention for 2 hours. Baby sit the kids so your better half can attend convention as a delegate or volunteer. Maybe consider writing a modest check to a candidate. But one way or another, get off the computer long enough to actually protect your right to OC.
Paying dues to the NRA or even local gun group is NOT, in itself, enough. "Educating" the populace or even local cops by OCing will not do it. Show up and get involved. I GUARANTEE that the anti-gun people (this year most notably in the form of the Utah teachers' union) are. Their voices are being heard and they are electing their people to office. ARE WE? ARE YOU?