May 05

Reaching the non-gun owner electorate in 2014: The cart has been before the horse.

Years ago, I began to see how second amendment content was truthful, accurate and needed, but that something was missing. Among liberty bloggers, we bring this preaching to the choir up from time to time, but little seems to be done. Though many liberty writers do write for the mainstream, second amendment authorities still do not break away from the gravitational pull of our subculture. I propose a few perspectives and solutions.

The sudden increase in gun sales since 2008 I do not attribute to liberty writers as much as to the 2008 election. Furthermore, I do not attribute the increase of gun ownership by some 10 millions to fears that one had best acquire a gun before it’s too late.

Instead, I attribute the groundswell of gun ownership to a public perception of change in law, attitudes of officials (more clearly divided as friend or foe), and apprehensions of a system who will not help. Yes, the liberty writers furnished the facts, but the 2008 election – and noticeable attitudes of hostility against our way of life – were the catalyst. There is a great deal to learn from that and to apply it is our plan.

Looking at a mid-term election this Fall, I’m eager to see motivation of the electorate, of Congress, and of state legislators on the deeper respect for the armed citizen as a method of reducing spending. In short, if constituents affirm armed citizens in concentration and latitude, you can get a better handle on spending.

The reason I post this analysis is this: many authors and news analysts are missing the mark in their liberty content by concentrating on truthful facts but ignoring associating or explaining meaning and relevance for their readers of those facts.

As an example, I see fabulous content in discussion and education, but a lack of how it is relevant to our national problems. The content focuses on heritage, civil rights, self-defense, propriety and reason, integrity, education, oath of office, some tech-talk and current law. What is missing is what second amendment values has to do with what galls Americans most as one free people and how gun control is key to the galling torment.

The nature of the problem is that many writers expect the relevance of gun ownership to be self-evident, but it is not; this has always been an extremely common presumption among most writers for generations. It’s obvious to liberty purists, sure, but not to those who can see only their own household problems and do not yet not see what the second amendment really has to do with them, much less solving those problems; to these readers – still tens of millions of them remaining – gun control has nothing to do with their problems. … and we look like single-issue voters!

This is because readers have various values, and their world view — and how they interpret content – is processed against a backdrop of their world view values. If everyone reading is a gun owner, your content will not only speak about gun rights but be written for such consumers.

This is why, to millions, gun rights advocates seem to be single-minded.  What is missing in liberty content is how to connect the dots of gun control to their harassment on nearly every subject of importance to the average home not as a single issue, but as a key to getting America back to what nearly everyone wants most: their independence.

The secret to education and even motivating the laity is found in the increase in 2008, and it has nothing to do with getting-a-gun-while-you-still-can thinking. How I know this is here: whether you have bought one handgun or a dozen, if they come for the guns, they’ll get them all, no matter how many you got while you could. Something else was motivating those millions, and I point to it in The CPR Corollary. Let’s go over some of that here.

In this, there is a second concept to be applied in liberty content of the blogosphere: addressing issues of concern to the fence-sitting electorate to show how smart it is to be an armed citizen over the concerns no one to date has addressed on a large scale. Not even conservatives stumping for office.

The sea change for us is to stop writing for each other as consumers of the product and to write for the remainder of the electorate who is not a consumer of our content and who must get behind the armed citizen as the norm instead of remaining agreeable, but uninvolved. Some of these people tolerate second amendment; they need to affirm it and have a very good reason why. Some of the best books on the subject of gun rights still leave out how germane the subject is to the average household: regaining their personal independence from servants.

10 million citizens became so uncomfortable with socio-political trends that they elected to be armed as a means of avoiding trouble from both thuggery and a very uncooperative, indifferent system. Being armed means not being at the mercy of either by avoiding trouble. This is why it did not come before 2008 in spite of all the liberty content posted.

There are still tens of millions more who are waiting — yes, waiting — to hear how they get out from under harrassments they are sure is not even related to second amendment rights. The key to mustering this bloc is in addressing their assumptions and worry about owning a gun at all. One can disabuse them of lies as bloggers do every day, but until their concerns and misgivings are addressed in terms of how gun control hurts them all over, facts alone will not move them. Facts will have no meaning for them.

What is missing is what this has to do with what galls everyday Americans most as one people and how addressing gun control is key to understanding the galling torment.

The liberty writers need to do three things and fast: change your content from gun ownership to how this improves personal independence which can reverse spending for openers; second, change your readership and your audience to the non-gun owner electorate; third, do a lot more mainstream media outside the liberty community audience. For instance, instead of being sought out as an authority to comment on a recent tragedy, market yourself as an authority on personal independence entirely replacing the term personal responsibility and always including writing why.

In the mid-term 2014, we can show that one does not persuade the electorate or Congress at gunpoint, but at counterpoint expressed in terms of relevance to the home. We fight abuses of due process by applying proper due process, education of relevance of the armed citizen to impeach such abuses, and specific calls to action for the non-gun owner electorate to play a part in reversing the very programs which the non-gunowner themselves personally resent as much as anyone. Everyone in America can name some program they resent as being worthless and costly to them, adverse to their homes, not to mention tolerated against their better judgment. Showing how gun control led the way to that is vital, and it is not being done. And in the mainstream, it can really get up steam.

Many have been educating the lay public on second amendment issues of history and purpose, but have put the cart before the horse in organizing their content for persuasion. What’s needed now is to reverse these two and show relevance first, facts second. This is done by addressing the issues of concern held by tens of millions who have hesitated so far to support second amendment values because – for lay thinking – the importance of being armed is not yet self-evident. Posting facts, figures and heritage does not make relevance self-evident. The remaining tens of millions are waiting to learn what it really is about guns just as certainly as voters are waiting to hear a candidate on the stump who gets it.

Changing content to relevance to the home, changing readership and listeners in specifically going much more mainstream should help create more of a national will which will be supported by Congress as much as the electorate supports it.

It’s not more gun owners that we need, it’s more of a wider acceptance of the armed citizen as the norm that we need, because we need to regain our values system and personal independence, and that requires a national will. To reach these people, think of your content as two-sided: on one side, you present FACTS; on the other side, your show RELEVANCE to the home. Almost every posting you put up must contain both.


The metaphor of Sidewalk CPR and being armed is obvious to anyone, but so what? The CPR Corollary goes much further than the obvious and addresses how the initial opposition to training millions in CPR is identical to the opposition to the armed citizen in the millions today. Read how this is useful if you’re a liberty advocate. Download your free copy here.


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