Do Something: From keyboard commando to activist

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  • By Write Winger
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Do Something: From keyboard commando to activist

We like the same groups, join the same forums, and comment on the same news stories. We share our opinions which nobody really reads or remembers, but gets our friends, acquaintances, and family members to ignore us.

It's really easy to like or share a Facebook post, to comment, or to make a meme. Unless it's a really dank meme; that takes the kind of skill only a select few are bless with.

We like the same groups, join the same forums, and comment on the same news stories. We share our opinions which nobody really reads or remembers, but gets our friends, acquaintances, and family members to ignore us.

Being a California gun owner, I first took to the internet to complain about gun laws with likeminded people. We'd complain back and forth, say what we were going to do or not going to do, post a pic, stay up late to argue with someone on the Internet who was wrong, and that alleviated the feeling for that day. But it did nothing.

And those days turned into years of doing nothing. We collectively spend so much time doing nothing, and we wonder why nothing gets done and complain why nobody else is doing anything. It's easy to want to do something, to want things to change, to vent our frustration to likeminded people, and that seems to satiate us until the next day when we do it all over again.

Saying a law is unconstitutional is easy. Saying you're not going to comply is easy. Saying "F*** Gavin Newsom!" is easy. It's fun, but it's easy. Protesting is easy, even if hardly anyone shows up because people like us have to work and provide for our families.

Things get hard when you have to back up your feelings and pronouncements with real world action or consequences. Not complying with gun laws is great until you're in handcuffs. Do I think it's unjust? Yeah. Working to restore justice and fighting for liberty is hard. Getting thrown in jail and fighting for your liberty from behind bars is harder, and more expensive.

We're in an uneven political war where one side gets to make and enforce the rules, and throw you in jail for breaking their rules. We're not at that time yet in which tens of thousands of good people who have jobs and families and comfortable lives are willing to risk it all to band together to throw off tyranny, or even keep one patriot from being hauled off to jail. Am I happy about any of this? No, but it is what it is. That's the reality, and no amount of private disobedience or social media ranting is going to do anything about it.

For now, however, there are other options. You do have power if you know how and where to wield it.

If you and likeminded people you know feel laws are unjust, spread the idea of jury nullification. The unfortunate thing about a lot of good people who don't comply and get arrested is that they plea out and accept their sentence. They're "guilty" of unjust laws, but they figure they might as well save their family's money and not risk a worse punishment or longer sentence. But if it's taken to court, you as a juror don't have to convict. The men arrested over their actions at the Battle of Bunkerville were just released after the jury said they wouldn't convict. The prosecutor now wants yet another trial, but the moral of this tale of justice is that all it may take is you to prevent injustice.

We have power in numbers... and a lot of money too; I know this because guns and ammo are expensive. But the color of justice is green, and lawyers are also expensive. Yet as we buy compliance parts or that last weapon before it's banned by December 31st, we also need to use our collective buying power to fund the very people we're demanding to "do something" about the laws being passed. If you do already donate to your favorite gun rights organization, thank you. Like really, thank you. You may not be able to "get involved" in any other meaningful way, but this is a sure way to make a difference because they know what they're doing. If an organization isn't getting funded, it has no way of "doing something" about anything. Set up a reoccurring monthly donation if that would be easier on your budget.

Also, consider being a plaintiff. You don't have to "be a test case" (meaning break a law and be taken to court); you just have to have standing (meaning the law will affect you). Call or email an organization and offer yourself up as a potential plaintiff to challenge these laws. Imagine, "Your Last Name" v. Newscum, or something equally satisfying.

While they work on the courts to convince a small number of judges to our side, it's up to you to work on the legislature to convince that other small group of people to our side. While you may not have the State representative you want, or the one you have is in the minority party without much power except to block the majority, find out what district needs money or help fighting for a wobbler seat.

Federally, if your U.S. Representative supports the right to keep and bear arms, it's up to you to write or call their office and tell them what you want them to do. Right now there's HR 3576, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act, which would nullify most of California's restrictions on rifle, shotguns, and magazines. Instead of commenting on a Facebook post, write down in a note on your Smart Phone your frustrations about this State's gun control laws and how that bill can help alleviate your frustrations, email it to yourself and print it out (or even write it out by hand), and mail it off to your Congressman. Real letters and real phone calls from constituents who voted for them do get their attention. Get them to co-sponsor HR 3576.

We also need more people who think like us to run for office. Yeah, that's asking a lot from the same people who are busy working and taking care of their families and are already too busy to write their Congressman, but it doesn't change the fact that people who are against us happily run for office because they want to be the ones running the government. It's a Catch 22: we believe in small government and that keeps us from getting involved in government, which leaves a void for big government nanny staters to fill which they're happy to do. Start small, like your kid's school board or city council. Work your way up. How do you think they do it? Search any of these politicians and you'll see a scripted path of one office to the next. Make those political connections, and climb that ladder.

Someone might tell you to "get involved", and you don't really know what to do with that. Well, I just gave you some options. Get creative; do what your talents allow. Let me be upfront and honest though, getting involved, truly involved, sucks. It requires endless amounts of time, money, energy, patience, and thought, of which none of us have. You won't see results and it'll piss you off. You'll work your ass off for months or years and it'll feel like it'll be for nothing, especially when you lose. And you just have to grit through it because you can't help but care about this stuff. But when you win, and eventually you will, it feels pretty damn good.

In the meantime, while you do what you can for the cause, also do what the government hasn't said you can't do for yourself, and do it a lot. I've always been a fan of finding as much liberty in the law as possible to still get most of what you want while fighting to regain what you've lost, and staying out of jail where you don't belong. There are businesses that cater to the this liberty, so support them while you still can.

If you do post about this, I'd like you to tell us what you did today as an activist to help motivate others to do the same.

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