Primary elections had limited purpose years ago when the backrooms of the political conventions actually decided the presidential candidates. Primary elections now confound the power brokers of the major parties. John McCain was the choice of those who voted in the Republican primaries and not the choice of the leaders of the Republican Party. His record on gun rights has been fuzzy, so he was not the top choice of many gun owners. Republican Party leaders need to ask themselves why voters chose John McCain over everyone else. To me the answer is simple, McCain is a moderate, and many conservative Americans are extremely uncomfortable with the far right wing of the Republican Party. Many voters who once called themselves Republicans now call themselves Independents. If the Republican Party wants to continue holding certain hard conservative lines, such as advocating for a largely unregulated financial industry, then they can expect to lose more voters. The Republican Party also is going to have to deal with the fact that many Americans feel it is the “white male” party, that the minorities and women are only token commodities. The Republican Party needs more minorities and more women. The Republican Party is doing a lousy job selling itself, and I feel they often take the support of their followers for granted.
Pro-gun organizations also need to do a better job selling themselves to minorities and women. Many elected Democrats are pro-gun; gun owners need to quit alienating friends and potential friends by slandering Democrats as a whole. I believe it very likely that during this election many gun owners will be voting for Obama for reasons they believe are more important than their right to keep and bear arms. If, by some miracle, the leaders of the Democrats today suddenly became pro-RKBA I believe the Republican Party would lose this election by a landslide. The Republican Party does not make it easy for gun-owners to vote with one voice.
I hope that I am utterly wrong in believing that this election year is going to be very bad for gun owners. Many people who call themselves Democrats don’t like guns and they don’t like the “in your face” attitude of gun-owners pontificating about their “rights.” Those who vote are those who decide “rights,” so don’t ever believe The Constitution of the USA cannot be changed. Gun owners need to win the hearts and souls of the Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. People cannot be sold on gun ownership if gun owners are daring them to “pry my gun from my cold dead hands.” If gun owners someday become the minority, there will be constitutional changes to our rights. We need to win friends and not make new enemies.
Black Man With a Gun is a very interesting pro-gun website. Kenneth Blanchard does a great job presenting the right to keep and bear arms from the perspective of a minority. I have no idea how the man will vote in November, but I do know he is a friend to gun owners and has changed the minds of many people.
James A. Zachary Jr.
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