I remember growing up that my father’s morning usually began with a cup of coffee and a look through the morning edition of the news paper that was tossed onto the front lawn. Then in the evening the 6 o’clock local news followed by the 7 o’clock evening news while we ate dinner. The day began and ended with current events.
Here in the 21st century I find that I do much of the same thing. My day starts with current events and ends with current events delivered to my smart phone. However, now the news never stops coming as there is no longer a set time for the delivery of information. The relentless flood of not just news but “expert” opinion and amateur comment does not give us time to investigate and digest all this information. It is easy to see why when a piece of news that impacts something that we hold dear sends us into a panic.
Therefore, when your newsfeed starts blowing up that Senator G. Grabber D-Blue State has introduced a bill to ban something gun related the internet immediately blows up. This get added to all the information we have coming at us not only from the federal level but through the magic of social media we also see what is happening on the state and local level all over the country. Before we would only see what is happing in our own areas and what happens in Washington. Now that we have access to what is going on all over the nation, we finally understand that this is not being done in isolation. The enemy is everywhere. It is relentless. It is unstoppable. So, we withdraw our children’s college savings and head down to the gun store to panic by the last AR or AK on the shelf. While we panic the enemy moves ahead with its plan.
We need to change our mental model and change it now. I hate to admit it but that fight or flight response that was hard wired into us by nature always seek flight first over fight. That is what those that believe what we believe about freedom have been doing. We are too quick to flee from the fight instead of turning around and punching some throats. Right now, I am here to tell you how we change that and move from a panic response and to activating a plan.
Get ahead of the hype
Just because a Politician says they are going to submit a bill doesn’t mean they will submit it or that it will go anywhere if they do. If they start talking about the bill or submit it before an upcoming election, they may just be doing it to boost support of their base before the election. If it is after the election and you know what the main issues are the lawmakers are looking to push during the session you can start directing the conversation about the issue before there is even a bill or before the first committee even starts discussing it.
A preemptive strike can often slow down much needed momentum or even kills the bill. Stirring up opposition to even the thought of submitting a bill can keep it from ever seeing the light of day.
Learn the Process
Getting a bill passed in a legislative body is not like getting something passed with your local home owners association. A senator does not stand up and say, “I want to ban magazines over 3 rounds.”, and then get a second and everyone says Aye. Each local, county, state and federal body have rules and procedures that they must follow before the bill even reaches who ultimately signs it into law. It is important that you know the path the bill will take so you can direct your efforts into stopping it.
You can track the progress of bills by visiting your state’s legislative website. For federal bills you can go directly to the Senate and House of Representatives web pages. Learn what committee or sub committee the bill is submitted to and what path it must take before reaching the floor for a vote. Does the bill have to go another body to be voted on? Does the other body have similar bill that needs to be reconciled? Is this a separate bill or something added to a current bill that can be stripped out? All these questions and more need to be answered. Knowing the path that the bill must take will help you ambush it and hopefully kill it.
Identify and activate allies
I don’t care who you are and how popular your YouTube channel is you cannot take on this task by yourself. You need to learn about and identify who your allies will be in this fight. You may turn to traditional sources such as the NRA, Gun Owners of America or any number of other gun rights groups that are out there. You need to know if this is something that is on their radar or an issue they would get involved in. These can be powerful members that if your fight is on the state or local level can bring resources to help. You need to ask yourself are there other groups that at first don’t look like this would be an issue for them that just need to know that it really is an issue for them. In the past few years who would have thought that groups like Black Guns Matter or Pink Pistols would emerge because they began to understand the right to bear arms is imperative to their survival? Ask yourself if there are any other groups out there that would care about this issue because it will harm them. Take the time to map out these potential groups then see if they will engage in the fight.
Some of these groups may have issues or stands that you don’t believe in. The only thing you may have in common is this one issue. It is ok to work with them to defeat the bad idea and part ways. If you try and find every group that lines up 100% with your ideology you will be alone. Work with them where you can.
Rally the Troops
In the future we are going to talk about finding people who will be activist for you. For now, you may just have your immediate friends and family along with your coalition allies. If you have a good social media following you can engage them as well. There are multiple ways to engage them and each one has its benefits although some are more beneficial than others. Letters to the editor, phone calls (if you have access to an organization that can do patch-through phone banks this is a force multiplier), office visits with legislators, petitions and attending committee meetings and public forums. Get your team organized and get the mission moving.
Make sure your activists know what the message is and stay on the message. There is nothing more effective and displaying a unified front. If someone is just a bit off message your opponent will split your support or flip the message.
At the end of the day, remember that it doesn’t take a massive army of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a difference. You would be amazed with how few people it takes to defeat the bad idea. All you need is a small group of passionate people who care deeply about the issue and are willing to put the work in. This has been the secret the other side has been using for years to beat us back. We should be willing to do the same.
Create your plan and activate your plan. The last thing you want to do is panic. You understand this when it comes to everything else you do to when it comes to preparedness. Now just apply it to Political Warfare.
Our freedom is at stake.
Derek is a US Marine Corps Veteran, Father, Conservative Christian and Political Organizer for an organization that fights for veterans. He works full time on the front lines to preserve liberty and teach others how they can do the same.