I'm sick of politicians.
Democrats and Republicans continually prove themselves to be thinly-disguised collectivist sell-outs, and third parties haven't managed to make a dent in the status quo.
Historian (and influence on Bill Clinton at Georgetown) Carroll Quigley laid it out for us in Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time:
The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.I've seen nothing but confirmation of this, particularly with outright subversion of the Second Amendment in some cases and calculated opportunistic betrayals in others.
I play the game to fulfill a moral obligation to use every possible peaceful avenue of self-protection available.
Very cynical...certainly not very productive.
So when a friend in Texas wrote that he'd found a candidate for Congress who looked pretty good on guns, I checked out the campaign website. It was pretty much "I strongly support the Second Amendment" boilerplate interspersed with assurances that the candidate comes from a hunting family.
If you think about it, that's pretty much what John Kerry told us.
Long story short: A few years back, I developed a political questionnaire to help pin down the double-speak and weasel words that are the norm. It's past time for people who would presume to represent us to show us they understand what our rights are. I expect them to consider the right to keep and bear arms not as an embarrassing lip service requirement, but as an enshrined unalienable right. I don't want them just to defend it, I want them to know how and why to proudly champion it.
Here it is. Consider using it to pin down the next fork-tongued glad-hander who solicits you for support. And let them know you intend to make their answers--or lack of response--available to every gun owner within your sphere of influence:
1. Do you believe that the Constitution is the "supreme law of the land" and that the Bill of Rights acknowledges our birthrights?
2. If so, should these rights be proactively protected from infringement by all levels of government, including city, county and state?
3. Please give some examples of gun laws you consider constitutional.
4. Please give some examples of gun laws you consider unconstitutional.
5. Does the right to bear arms include the right for any peaceable citizen to carry them concealed without a permit, as in Vermont?
6. Do you believe that Americans have a right to own, use and carry weapons of military pattern, and will you use the prestige of elected office to publicly promote that right?
7. Do you support or oppose registration of weapons? Why?
8. Do you support or oppose licensing requirements to own or carry firearms?
9. What specific gun laws will you work to get repealed?
10. If elected, will you back your words of support for firearms rights up with consistent actions? How?
Regulars will probably recognize some of the questions above. I asked very similar ones of NRA Board of Directors candidates. Perhaps if more members had, we wouldn't have as much to complain about.