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A surprising number of citizens don’t understand gun owner concern over incumbent Presidential candidate Obama’s willingness to sign an assault weapons ban. As the interview with Ryan Gresham earlier in this journal pointed out, a lot of people don’t have a clue what was restricted by the last assault weapon ban, and neither understand nor care that commonly used firearms are capriciously included in classes of banned firearms owing to features that have no effect on lethality.

The only cure for ignorance is education and the best education is hands-on experience. Offer to take a co-worker to the range or ask your spouse if they’d like to invite several friends out for an hour or so at the gun club this weekend. Make the experience all about them, with low-recoil pistols and rifles for their first shooting experiences. Make sure they have good eye protection and effective hearing protection, and kindly but firmly insist on absolutely safe gun handling. Be sure they stay warm, dry, comfortable and safe. People who fear guns give up a lot of their irrational antipathy toward an inanimate object—a gun–when they learn that they can use it with complete safety if they know the gun safety rules and apply them rigorously.

Lead into or follow up a short and fun shooting session by sharing a nice lunch or a cup of coffee with your friends, so there is time to debrief, being sure to answer questions factually and without macho chest-beating, and using the opportunity to debunk all the uninformed myths about firearms use to which these non-shooters have been subjected. People are best led by example. Can you fill the leadership void on the firearms issue?

As November 6th looms, a lot of Americans are fed up with the whole charade and have started sending in their mail-in ballots and voting early to get it done with or to be sure they don’t forget to vote. If the races in your community are that clear cut, good for you. Get it done. If you are still undecided, please take some time to read up on the issues, and then be sure to cast your ballot in time.

This is not an election during which we dare to abdicate our responsibility to influence the future of the United States of America.

Do you live in a state where the outcome of the Presidential contest is said to be predetermined, and you’re discouraged because the electoral votes don’t align with yours? First, let me ask if you really dare to believe the pollsters, predictions coming from a biased media, and assertions made by political analysts? What if your state’s race is closer than you are being told? Personally, I live in a state that on the whole votes completely opposite of the way I do. Doesn’t mean I won’t vote, though. Every ballot sends a message, and we exert a lot more influence at the local and state level, some of which then carries up to national politics.

This is a good election in which to think like an elephant. No, I don’t mean to invoke the GOP symbol, rather the fact that elephants have surprisingly long memories.

Don’t forget the mean-spirited characterization with which Barack Obama portrayed rural people as bitterly clinging to their guns and their Bibles when he was campaigning for his first term in office.

Keep in mind a 2007 interview in which Obama said, “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry,” explaining why he voted for HR-218 to allow retired police officers concealed carry rights. (See http://www.ontheissues.org/Archive/Promise_to_Power_Gun_Control.htm)

Don’t forget Obama’s more recent statement in the wake of the Aurora, CO shootings that he thought a lot of gun owners would agree (presumably with him) that AK47 rifles belong in the hands of soldiers not citizens. A bit later, Obama’s press secretary said that the President favored renewing the assault weapons ban.

There can be little question about the kinds of gun legislation a second-term Obama presidency would encourage, nor much question about the politics of judges he’d appoint to replace retiring Supreme Court Justices, a topic that we have already discussed, so I need not echo it, only urge you to keep these facts in mind. Like the elephant, never forget! Use your ballot to make it clear that you remember past attacks on your freedoms.

[End of November 2012 eJournal.
Please return next month for our December edition.]