FOREWORD: This article was published several years ago in response to the loss of two popular gun rights supporters to the pervasive apathy of the American gun owner. The Author and Armed Females of America decided to republish the article in response to the election of the most anti-gun President in history. If 80 million gun owners had gone to the polls the future of gun control wouldn't be quite so bleak.
Most Gun Owners Disgust Me!
"Typical gun guy: Full of ideas, full of criticisms, full of crap!"
Barry Laws - Second Amendment Activist
By Nicki Fellenzer
For the first time since I began an active role in the Second Amendment rights movement, I’m disappointed with many of my fellow gun owners and thoroughly disgusted with a number of others.
In the past few weeks we have seen the untimely demise of two crucial partners in the fight to restore our Constitutional rights. TWO in the past month! Sarah Thompson, the Executive Director of the Utah Gun Owners Alliance (UTGOA)
called it quits last month. And just last week Citizens of America – a national no-compromise gun rights campaign – announced it was ceasing operations.
Most gun owners in this country will shrug their shoulders and say, “So what? I’ve never heard of them anyway.” Most gun owners will go about their daily business, secure in the knowledge that their NRA membership is current and their rights are secure, because the NRA is out there fighting for them. Most gun owners don’t feel the loss of these two vital colleagues in the fight to protect their rights. At least not yet.
But I can guarantee you one thing: If we, as gun owners and Second Amendment rights activists, do not change the immediate course of our current path, those of you who shrug off these two devastating losses will soon feel the oppressive grip of tyranny on your shoulders.
Because the loss of UTGOA and Citizens of America has a much deeper significance than just the ceasing of operations of two gun groups. Their loss is directly linked to the unwillingness of gun owners in this country to get involved, to volunteer their time, to open their wallets, to vote, to stand up for their cause and to make any significant sacrifice in the fight to protect the Second Amendment. To quote Sarah Thompson, “…when we've asked for people to attend committee hearings, even just one per session, most of the time no one has shown up. When we've asked for volunteers to help with gun shows, political conventions, and other events, we've gotten only a couple of volunteers at best. Most discouraging,” Sarah continues, “UTGOA supporters have been almost entirely unwilling to get involved in electing pro-gun candidates, which is the single most important key to success.”
And guess what, friends, it’s not just Utah gun owners that have displayed their apathy for the world to see. According to the Citizens of America press release announcing its closing, “The founders of COA believed that since there were about 75 million gun owners in the U.S., if we could get $10 from ten percent of them per year, we would have plenty of funding. But we did not receive that sort of support - nowhere close, in fact. And very little support from corporations whose very existence depends on the free exercise of the right to buy, own, and use guns - that is, gun, bullet, and powder manufacturers. Though we have had much-appreciated help from a few gun-related corporations, as noted on the homepage, it was not enough nor regular enough, to make a long-term difference. Finally, no millionaires stepped forward to help, as seems so common in the anti-gun camp.”
Let me break this down for you, fellow gun owners and gun rights advocates: A national campaign dedicated to protecting you, your families and your freedoms was unable to get one tenth of you to shell out ten lousy bucks per year!
This would be pathetically laughable if it wasn’t so disturbing and sad! Ten dollars per year! That’s less than a dollar per month. That’s less than three cents a day.
Oh, but you already support the NRA, and if you supported every gun group out there you’d be broke? Then I would suggest to you: be a little more discriminating. Do some research. Find out who out there is really fighting for your rights and then dole out your support accordingly.
Oh, but you don’t have time to volunteer, and you work so hard to support your family that you don’t have enough time to spend with them in the first place? Then I would suggest taking action together as a family, introducing your spouse and children to the joy and duty of being truly involved in protecting their rights.
Take a look at the time you spend in front of the boob tube and the time you spend on the computer – on pro Second Amendment rights websites and web forums, bitching, moaning and complaining about the erosion of your rights and yet doing little else to change that sad fact.
When was the last time you volunteered your time to elect a pro-gun legislator, be it on a local, state or federal level?
When was the last time you wrote letters to the editor, wrote to your representative, called your legislator or voted?
When was the last time you actively donated your money to a worthy Second Amendment rights cause?
When was the last time you attended a rally or a march in support of our Second Amendment rights, participated in a petition drive or even forwarded an email containing crucial information about our gun rights to everyone in your address book?
How many times have you participated in the above activities in your life? Take a critical look. And then examine how many times you’ve done nothing. How many times have you ignored a call to action with the excuse that others will pick up your slack?
I would venture to say that an honest assessment of your involvement will show you exactly why Sarah Thompson and Citizens of America have ceased operations.
I’m fairly sure I’ll get a slew of emails telling me what a sanctimonious bitch I am, how holier-than-thou I am, how I have no clue how many gun owners are working to protect our Second Amendment rights, how YOU personally have been active in promoting and protecting gun rights. So be it. Because you know what? Regardless of your ardent denials, the facts speak for themselves, and the facts are these:
• A recent article by Ralph Weller of GunNewsDaily showed that out of a sampling of 12,000 gun show attendees in California,..a whopping 5.6 percent are registered to vote!
• Last year KeepAndBearArms.com ran a poll asking gun owners if they would contribute money to fund a Second Amendment Supreme Court lawsuit that would once and for all settle the question of individual vs. collective right to keep and bear arms. Poll results indicate that 1,800 people answered the question. Those 1800 respondents replied they would donate a combined minimum amount of more than $133,000. Since KeepAndBearArms announced that
Silveira vs. Lockyear is headed to the Supreme Court, maybe $25,000 in donations has trickled in.
• Overwhelmingly, the gun rights community regularly votes for Republican candidates, despite the fact that Republicans are just as responsible for the erosion of our rights as Democrats are. It’s a reflex. It’s tradition. Republicans are generally viewed as more pro-Second than Democrats, but even so… Gun Owners of America, a no-compromise national gun group that rates your legislators every year on how they vote to support your Second Amendment rights, has given an "A" rating to only three senators in the 108th session. Sixteen senators have received a “B” or “B-” on the GOA report card. The rest warranted miserable “C” and below ratings when it comes to defending your rights. And yet, there are 51 Republicans in the Senate currently, which means 32 Republicans who vote against your freedoms, against personal responsibility and against you. How many of these oath-breaking losers got your vote in the last election?
• On April 3, 2003 PAX, a stridently anti-freedom group, raised a half a million dollars in one night to support its odious cause. IN ONE NIGHT! Those involved included Steven J. Heyer (President & COO of Coca-Cola), Michael D. Drexler (CEO of Optimedia), actor Richard Belzer (Law & Order), Paul Shaffer (The David Letterman Show) comedian Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) and Joy Behar (The View). A single live auction raised $70,000 that night to help the effort to enslave you to gun control.
• Citizens of America couldn’t get 10 percent of you to contribute $10 per year.
These facts are a national shame, folks. Apparently gun owners talk a lot, but do little to actually defend their rights. They expect others to pick up their slack. They think their paltry $35 per year NRA membership will protect their freedoms. They don’t even consider the demise of COA and UTGOA as an important development on their pro-gun radar. Several reactions to this sad news from gun owners underscore this fact:
“They actually thought they could pull off $10 from 10% of the 75Mil gun owners?”
“I'm on line every day reading something shooting related. Mostly in the various forums I belong to. And I never heard of them.”
“Never heard of them until right now.”
“It's a free market, and the market has decided to kick one out. As far as I'm concerned that's a good thing.”
It is NEVER a good thing when another organization dedicated to fighting for your rights closes its doors. It means there’s one less group out there to counter lies, misinformation and outright subversive behavior that threatens your freedoms every day. It means there is one less group out there fighting for you. And the more pro-freedom activists give up the fight, the easier it will be for the anti-freedom leeches to suck away your freedoms.
Just think about that next time you sit down at your computer and read news that yet another anti-rights bill has passed with barely a whisper of protest from gun owners.
Think about Sarah Thompson, Brian Puckett and so many others who have fought for so long for you and your rights with a bare minimum of support and hardly any publicity.
Think about UTGOA and Citizens of America who have toiled endlessly to preserve your freedoms, without fanfare, with little if no publicity and no credit.
And finally, go ahead. Email me. Tell me how I’m wrong about gun owners. Tell me how you, personally, and your friends have done so much to support the fight for freedom. Tell me how it’s not your fault that we’re losing the most effective fighters in our cause to apathy, stinginess and ignorance. Tell me I’m pious, clueless, holier-than-thou and preachy.
I spend no less than 30 hours per week working to preserve your freedoms, despite the fact that I have a family, a full-time office job, and I’m a student working on my degree. I write this column for free, when I generally get $600 for one article of this length. I have donated my April salary from my part-time job to the Silveira case, even though we live paycheck to paycheck in this house. I’m not bragging. I’m simply telling you my level of commitment, so you don’t think I don’t practice what I preach.
So please – I urge you to contact me. I urge you to curse me, yell at me, contradict me and tell me I’m full of it. The facts speak for themselves. If you want to change those facts, get off your ass and do something about it.
Nicki is a US Army veteran, who spent nearly four years in Frankfurt, Germany on active duty at the American Forces Network. She is a former radio DJ and news anchor and a Featured Writer and Newslinks Director for Keepandbeararms.com. She is also a contributing editor to the National Rifle Association's newest monthly magazine, Women's Outlook and writes occasionally for the Libertarian Party. She resides in Virginia with her family. We are also proud to have Nicki as regular contributor to Armed Females of America.