A Vigilant Course of Action
By Nicki Fellenzer
Since my article "Most Gun Owners Disgust Me" was published a few weeks back, I’ve been deluged with email – even more than usual – asking me what can be done to combat the apathy. I was heartened to learn that numerous gun owners were spurred to action – even if I excoriated the vast majority of you in print. I received letters of gratitude thanking me for the “much needed kick in the ass” and asking me what I thought was the best way to take action. To those of you who took the time to write, I say, “Thank you.” To those of you who began a vigilant course of action for our rights, I say, “Thank you,” and “Keep the momentum going.”
My motives were attacked by some, claiming that I was simply trying to extract money from gun owners for causes from everything to the Silveira lawsuit to Armed Females of America to KeepAndBearArms.com. I can assure you nothing can be further from the truth. However, I do know that many of you won’t believe me and will continue attributing false motives to my article, most likely in a vain effort to try to convince yourself that you aren’t as useless as you feel. So instead of trying to convince you, I’m simply going to tell you a few ways you can take action without dipping into your wallet.
First: In these days of the Internet, it’s easy to drop an email into your legislator’s box and sit back contentedly thinking you’ve done your part. I can tell you from experience this is a cheap way out that will rarely yield results. Legislative aides delete emails quicker than you can say “Gateway.” Use snail mail (yes it will cost you a stamp, OK?). Fax them your views. But best of all – pick up that phone and call them. Your Congresscritters have local numbers established just for you – so you don’t have to pay a penny for telling them what you want from them. The website for the House of Representatives has contact information for each and every one of your legislators. Don’t hesitate to pick up that phone. The Senate website also has a contact page where you can find information about your elected official. Each Senator’s website has contact information, including a mailing address for you to use.
If your representatives don’t know what you want, they won’t be able to effectively represent your views. If you simply pull the “Republican” lever at election time and do little else, your legislators will assume you’re satisfied and will continue raping the Second Amendment. Let them know by picking up that phone or spending the 37 cents for a First Class stamp to get your point across.
Second: The medium where your electronic correspondences are very useful is the Internet, specifically newspapers and magazines. In this day and age nearly every Podunk newspaper in the country has a website. Do you see an article that has misinformation about guns or gun owners? A letter? An editorial? Write them! Email them, and keep emailing them until they publish your view. Make sure your correspondence is clear, publishable and without error. Do not use obscenities or inappropriate language. The key to getting your letter published is to be logical, concise and legible. Remember when you write a letter to a newspaper or magazine, you represent gun owners. State facts. Shy away from mindless invective. The facts, logic and the Constitution are on our side. We don’t need ad hominem attacks or vacuous emotionalism.
Third: Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Talk to everyone you know. Many people aren’t politically aware. They don’t realize their rights are in danger. They are uninformed about firearms and Second Amendment rights. I have found invariably that a number of my relatives are completely clueless. They spew catatonically whatever filth Brady, the media or the congressional cowards feed them, without thinking or realizing the obscenity and absurdity of what they ooze. When I begin asking them questions about their statements and giving them some facts, they look at me blankly and say, “I didn’t realize that.” You can almost see the little light bulb illuminate above their crown. They begin to think, to reason and to comprehend. I don’t always turn them around 180 degrees, but I do succeed in planting a seed of rationality in their brains.
Also forward all news to all the gun owners you know. Don’t dump freedom-related news into your “Deleted” folder in your email box. Forward these messages to as many people as you know – regardless of whether or not they are gun owners – and explain your views on the particular piece. Information distribution is crucial to our battle. In this fight, an informed soldier is a well-armed one
Fourth (and very much related to the above): Read. Go to the Senate and House websites. Read up on pending legislation. Understand its implications. Read magazines, newspapers and websites. Numerous organizations, including KeepAndBearArms.com and Gun Owners of America list current news and provide links to keep you informed. People expend time and effort to keep you in the loop and provide the latest firearms-related news and commentary for you to use. Take advantage of it. It’s free.
Fifth: Contact your local pro-Second Amendment rights groups and ask how you can help. Volunteering costs you nothing but your time. And as your time is valuable, why spend it in front of the idiot box or the computer, when you can spend it actively promoting and protecting your Constitutional rights?
Understand something -- simply paying your life membership or your $35 annual fee to the NRA and sitting back to watch what they can do for you is worthless. It’s the cheap, lazy way out. Logging onto firearms message boards and complaining about the rotten shape of current affairs is worthless, unless you take action to remedy the sad state of politics you spend so much time complaining about.
In other words – I’m not asking you to commit your money. I’m not asking you for donations for any cause or organizations. I’m telling you that you can be a very effective activist and fighter for our freedoms – if you have the will and commitment.
If you continue your complacency and apathy, you have no cause to complain.
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.