Because of recent national news stories (many misleading or inaccurate), there has been a huge surge in interest in our fight here in Connecticut. That’s a great thing. Not only is CCDL’s membership surging, but so are other rights groups’ as well. New groups are popping up all over in support of CT gun owners. That’s a great thing too. The more people involved, the better. But with that surge comes a few folks that either don’t understand our state’s laws, don’t understand the legal process, or don’t understand what CCDL has done, and is doing. Some of that stuff I want to try to address.
First though, there is an old adage about the four boxes of liberty. It usually goes like this:
“There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order.”
There is much truth to that statement.
Let’s start with the soapbox, and how it relates to CCDL and our state. The first step in the fight for our rights is to speak up and let our voices be heard. CCDL has helped organize gun owners to do just that at dozens of rallies, public hearings, and political events since our inception just 5yrs ago. We’ve continued to do that. Just yesterday CCDL members packed a community forum and forced Governor Malloy to face an issue he surely wishes would go away in an election year. And of course we’re organizing a huge rally to protest the anniversary of our loss of rights, with people from around the country joining us in solidarity.
The second step in the fight for liberty is the ballot box. The BEST way to protect your rights is to elect politicians who respect those rights and will not infringe upon them in the first place. Every election, CCDL does it’s best to identify and promote pro-Second Amendment candidates, and support the ones already in office. We offer them a chance to address our members at our meetings, and we encourage people to support their campaigns in every way possible. Sometimes our support is less apparent. The fact is right now our issue is very polarizing here in Connecticut. A very public push by CCDL for a progun candidate may generate an offsetting push by those who wish to restrict our rights. In that case we may work more quietly and directly with our members and with the respective campaigns. We’ve also been very successful in getting CCDL members elected to local Republican and Democratic Town Committees. This is vitally important because those committees influence what candidates get to go to the general election in the first place. Again, because in many towns ours is a polarizing issue, Town Committee members may not be wearing CCDL shirts and yelling “shall not be infringed!” at meetings, but we’re there, and we’re trying to make a difference.
Too many people think “I can’t do that”, or “why bother, my vote doesn’t count anyway”. Well, that’s a pile of poo. There are less then 2 million registered voters in CT, and in most towns only 30-60% of them actually vote in an election. There are also an estimated 500,000 lawful gun owners here in Connecticut. That means gun owners could potentially make up 25-50% of the vote. If every gun owner voted, and voted to protect their rights, we could win almost any election. Look at our last election for Governor in 2010. Just 1,145,799 people voted in that election. Dan Malloy won that election by just 6,404 votes. I’ll say that again. Malloy won by just 6,404 votes. That’s just about half of the current CCDL membership. If just 40 gun owners in each town had bothered to take 15 minutes out of their day and vote against Malloy (who was a known antigunner) and any other antigun legislators in their district, then maybe, just maybe we would not have the fight on our hands that we have today. EVERY VOTE MATTERS!
That fact is too many gun owners were complacent back in 2010. We allowed the most antigun governor (and many would argue one of the worst ever on many other issues as well) in the history of this state to be elected, and he then signed into law one of the most unconstitutional laws ever. Almost everything the antis had been dreaming of for decades became law.
Rather then wait for another chance at the ballot box, CCDL joined with others and advanced to the next level; the jury box. We have been the driving force in a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning the law. Here’s where some of the criticism starts to come in. I understand people want and expect instant gratification, especially when it comes to our constitutional rights. And really, in a perfect world, we should get it. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and the legal system is both slow and expensive to navigate. We filed our lawsuit as soon as possible after the law was signed. We’re less than a year into that process. For comparison, the landmark DC v. Heller decision took 6yrs start to finish. The McDonald v. Chicago case took 3yrs.
In my opinion, Connecticut is still in the jury box stage.
No, the first court hearing did not go the way many had hoped, but that really doesn’t matter. We’re appealing, which is just the second rung up the ladder to the top of the jury box. Even if we had won, the state would surely have appealed themselves, and we would be in the exact same place we are today. And while we didn’t win, we didn’t exactly lose. The judge in that case also helped us by reconfirming certain facts that may be useful down the road.
Remember, from day one our legal team has prepared for the fact that we may go all the way to the Supreme Court, like with Heller and McDonald. A careful observer may have noticed that our lead attorney at this stage is licensed to practice in both CT and NY. It’s no coincidence that he is also representing the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association in their lawsuit against the very similar NY antigun law also recently passed. Gun owners in both states, with assistance from groups like CCDL, NYSRPA, and the NRA must be prepared to fight this all the way. A win would help gun owners nationwide by hopefully settling once and for all that the 2nd Amendment is NOT limited to muskets or deer rifles or 10 round magazines.
Now, a supposedly progun group out there has accused CCDL of running some type of “scam” by “still collecting donations for an already failed lawsuit with no hope of winning” or some crap like that. Personally it didn’t make a lot of sense. Remember, Heller and McDonald had losses along the way, and yet they prevailed. They prevailed even though they originated in lower courts that were just as anti-gun as ours. They prevailed in a Supreme Court which has pretty much the same political makeup as we have now.
Lastly, to throw in the towel now and say there is no hope for success in the jury box stage, means your only remaining method left to reclaim your rights is the ammo box.
From my cold dead hands!
You can have my guns one bullet at a time!
Some people/groups seem to think we’re at this stage.
God I hope not.
This stage is war. Real mutha-effin’ war, not some movie or video game. This is your friends and loved ones dying, and they aren’t going to respawn in the next level.
I can only assume most of the people pushing for this next step either have no actual experience with war, or even a real self-defense shooting. Either that or they plan on being safely far away hiding in their mommy’s basement when it starts. They’re hoping some one else pulls that trigger first, because if they really believed everything they type on the internet, we’d be hearing about their glorious deaths in a hail of bullets. If we were really lucky, Palin Smith would even be there to capture the jack-booted brown shirts battling the Klingon patriot warrior for YouTube.
But that’s not happening.
So either there are a whole lot of chickenshits out there pounding out threats in a basement somewhere, or we’re not really at the ammo box stage yet.
Now I’m sure there are a few sick bastards who really do want to see the poop hit the fan, but the rest of these people are just backing themselves into a corner with no way out alive. The thug in the Governor’s office is not going to back down, he can’t. Government never admits it’s wrong. So whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha waitin’ for?
If you really believe there is no other option left, you should be out there eliminating your oppressors already. Be the badass hero you claim to be and pull the trigger already. Save yourself from the tyranny the rest of us sheeple are too stupid to stop. I’m sure once you eliminate a few of those gun grabbers with your mad skillz learned playing Call Of Duty on the X-Box for 8hrs a day, Malloy and the State Police will immediately decide the best way to end the violence will be to repeal all the gun laws ASAP.
Since it appears nobody is actually doing the above, I think it’s safe to assume we have NOT exhausted the other, non-violent options yet.
The police are NOT kicking down doors and confiscating guns, registered or not, yet. So for now, shut up, sit down, and go back to honing your skills on Black Ops while the grownups continue to work on a solution that DOESN’T involve your family and mine getting killed.
Speaking of registration… I’ve also heard a few people say “CCDL wanted us to comply with unjust laws!” and “CCDL is Malloy’s puppet!”. Interestingly enough, I’ve heard others say “CCDL told us to not to comply with the law, now we might be in trouble!”. Someone else said “CCDL called gun owners ignorant for not registering!”
All are wrong. From day one we’ve been of the opinion that how you handled this is a personal decision only you yourself can make. All we’ve tried to do is make sure gun owners had all the information and resources made available to them to make their own decision. For those that decided to register, we tried to ease the burden imposed by the state. We made the registration forms available and provided notary services free of charge. We answered thousands of questions and tried to make sure those that didn’t need to register did not mistakenly do so. We even stood with them in those horrible lines.
I know plenty of you (many personally) who intentionally did not comply. Great! I support your choice too. But it’s a sad fact that many gun owners didn’t comply by choice. Despite all the media attention, they either “don’t pay attention to political stuff” or they just didn’t realize the law applied to them.
No, not you.
If you’re reading this you’re involved and aware, at least you are now. I’m talking about all those gun owners who didn’t bother to vote against Malloy and the gun grabbers in 2010. I’m talking about the gal with a Glock 17 she keeps in the nightstand for protection and hasn’t shot it except for 15 rounds when she bought it. I’m talking about the guy who ran out and bought an AR-15 in 2008 when Obama was first elected because all his friends told him to buy it before all the guns were banned, and it’s been sitting in his closet ever since. I’m talking about the guy who has the magazine from his grandfather’s Korean War M1 Carbine on the shelf with the triangle folded American Flag in a case.
I’m talking about the guy with the $2500 .22 target pistols, as well as the 25yr old who bought a Walther P22 for plinking on the farm. These gun owners are not ignorant, but they are ignorant of the law. They didn’t even know their guns are now illegal. Maybe some of them tried to read the law, but face it, Public Act 13-3 is so long and poorly written even the State Police don’t really know what is or isn’t legal. While it should be obvious to anyone with an IQ above friggin’ moron that CCDL does not support unconstitutional laws, we think that these once lawful gun owners, who are now felons through no action or fault of their own, should be allowed to register without penalty, if they choose to.
CCDL supports the rights of ALL lawful Connecticut gun owners; even the ones who don’t know yet that their rights have already been infringed.