I currently provide consulting services to major global corporations. One effective way to do battle with a competitor is to place yourself in their shoes and plan out your own demise – exactly what I will do here today. Below is my concise strategy to completely ban firearms in the US within 10 years. I am not alone here, rest assured there are many groups that have paid tidy sums to have the same roadmap developed and are currently rolling it out in a very deliberate manner.
Step 1 – Divide to conquer. We know there were not enough votes to maintain the AWB and there are more gun owners now then there were in 2004. We know there is Youtube and forums that people gather on and multiply like cockroaches. We know that about 5 million AR-15s have been sold and probably the same magnitude of AK-47s if not more. We have surveys, Freedom of Information requests and NICS records at our disposal. We cannot defeat the entire gun owning US and we know it, but it doesn’t matter one bit. Let them believe the NRA is all powerful and they don’t have to act on their own, much less as a group.
First, make this a Democrat versus Republican issue. This will cut their forces in half immediately.
Next, divide the gun owners into niche groups and get them to turn on each other. We know there are gun owners that only hunt. We’ll craft a message that explains they hunt with three shotgun shells, why would anyone need a Saiga baby killer that can accept 10 or 20? That gun is only meant to destroy lives, you can’t even legally carry one into the field. That will resonate with at least some. We also know some only target or competitively shoot. Why would you need a 100 round drum magazine? Find a time when it was used to kill and convince them to give up someone else’s 100 round drum, in return for not touching their 1911. Then, find all the new concealed handgun people and show them how ridiculous it is to have a flash hider and PVS-14 night vision scope. These are offensive tools for the military and how would you like it if they got in the wrong hands and the bad guys entered your home one night with them? If we can make a reasonable law about offensive weapons, I’m sure we can live with your right to defend yourself against criminals trying to get them to kill your family and steal your guns.
This is by far the most powerful and greatest strategy to achieve our goal, divide the group off and pick them off one at a time. If we do nothing else, do this.
We will also hit them at the local, state and federal level. We have politicians and the media at all levels and they don’t. Make them defend several fronts and confuse the issue by launching similar but different bills. Have ten different definitions of an “assault rifle” and make them tell everyone how great assault is. “Assault” is a crime, force them to defend it daily. Our goal is to chip away and develop a base to build on; we just need small victories and don’t really care where they are or what we take out of their hands. Let the genie out of the bottle and she won’t go back.
Finally, divide the supply chain and make independent deals. Make a deal with Wal-Mart to slack off the government heat in exchange for them to voluntarily agree to stop selling semi-automatic weapons and 5.56 ammunition. Make a deal with the NRA to expand background checks in return for a larger voice or a few extra cops. Amazon.com is probably willing to do just about anything as are the other retailers from the west coast. People will see all of these big companies coming on board and each deal by itself will make some sense. Together, we gain a tremendous amount without giving anything up. It’s like winning without the burden of a congressional vote. Church groups are golden, get them on stage with you and host discussions about how bad guns are. Pass out candles and framed pictures of the fallen. Make sure we develop the agenda and makes sure it is gun control.
Step 2 – Hearts, not minds. Babies dying. Families destroyed. Tragic accidents. Candlelight vigil. Sensible steps. Moral obligation. Reasonable response. Blood. Funerals. Mothers crying. President’s crying. Enough is enough. Why is the US so much worse? Emotion sells, don’t deviate.
We sell to the heart and ignore the mind. People on average don’t know history and won’t take the time to research anything we or the other side says – plus, they tend to be limited by the truth. If we say it, it is true. “Assault weapons” are what we say they are, and can and should expand over time. The 5.56 is a high-powered killing machine designed to mow down military enemies 1,000 yards away and has no civilian use. Tyranny is so dead we don’t even bring it up unless we are talking about the Middle East. The second amendment applies to hunting with muskets. High capacity is anything over one round. Everything is high-powered.
Make up new names or find ugly names like “street sweeper.” “Tactical” companies play right in, go out and find guns with pictures of snakes, infidels, skulls and goblins on them. Put them on the news, in the press and on the morning and evening shows. Use those pictures for stories they aren’t even related to. Make famous a few YouTuber mall ninjas and tough guys who don’t shave. Use the word militia and northern Idaho with pictures of skinheads from the 1980s.
Answer questions with questions. Q: Do you believe in a natural right of self-defense? A: How many little children have to die before we act?
Statistics are great, start with strong societies like Japan that are inherently peaceful. They have no guns and just about no murders, case closed. Don’t worry about places like Chicago, nobody outside inner city Chicago knows or really cares. Chicago doesn’t even care. Canada and the UK are safe too. We want to be just like them, probably even better. The university brigade is your best friend here, start with UC Berkeley and go out from there. Find the janitor at Harvard and get him on MSNBC and CNN. He is an expert in a suit and tie and we all believe him. Combine university experts with their anecdotal statistics. Better yet, find a crazy gun owner and have a debate showing everyone how rabid they are.
Our side is the “pro” side and their side is the “anti” side. Remember how we turned the pro-life crowd into anti-abortion activists? Activists shoot people and blow up buildings. Pro-safety is the first step but not the last. Develop a name other than “gun owner” or “gun rights” and certainly stay away from the word constitution. Our enemies are anti-_____ activists, fill in the blank.
Finally, send every gun death story to the media and discuss it during all press briefings. Every issue can be tied back to the tragedy of the day. Are you old enough to remember when the nightly news read every American death nightly during the latter part of the Vietnam War? It is flat out effective. If it ends up showing something you don’t want to see (like the Oregon shooting stopped by a legally armed citizen who didn’t even need to fire a shot), simply let it fade. Nobody will pick it up except maybe Faux News. Every article should contain the following words: high-powered, high-capacity, military style, arsenal, explosives, cache, bulletproof vest, legally owned and certainly assault rifle. Have a high count for something; the number of deaths this year, the number of mass shootings, number of guns at the scene, number of bullets, just find big numbers. Don’t worry about accuracy, who is going to argue with you and take the side of the killer? Nobody will notice when the 10 assault rifle cache discovered in his car turns into only one two weeks from now.
Publicize reloading. Send the ATF in to inspect illegal ammunition factories cranking out thousands of high-power rounds in garages. Did you know your neighbor had a stockpile of explosive gunpowder, 5,000 detonators and 5,000 armor piercing bullets and was assembling them in the garage near the playground your kid uses? Let them argue terminology and defend the terrorists. We probably need a hotline like we had for drugs as well as several stock homemade videos of explosions and anarchists for the news to use.
Step 3 – Diversion – “an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of the principal operation” (from meriam-webster.com).
Beat the “ban” drum. Beat the executive order drum even louder. Let Feinstein and all of the pro-safety groups whip them into a frenzy. While the other side is all lathered up and running around putting out fires, we are free to get work done. Use existing powers to limit or tax imports (creating US jobs or protecting US manufactures from those pesky Russians and Chinese dumping illegal cheap imports into the US). Pass regulations to make it just about impossible to be an FFL. Raid a few. Send IRS auditors to the rest.
Work on Internet sales, how can they actually verify someone is 18 or 21? There should be a couple dozen hoops to set up somewhere. A good raid or ten would work well here too and doesn’t require anyone to vote on anything. Use stock pictures of a gun shop in the seedy part of town and tie it back to a shooting – “in a store like this…..” even if the store had nothing to do with any crimes.
Undercover gun show footage is great – everyone knows that is where evil goes for fun. We prove our point and make people afraid to buy or sell. Beat on the gun show loophole but never define it. “Narrow” it six or seven times, always limiting something but never quite fixing the problem.
What about shooting ranges? Do they comply with zoning requirements? How about making new ones? Noise ordinances? Have we tested nearby water for lead? I bet we can find a few holes in the outside wall the local news would love to hear about. What chemicals are in primers or powder that can hurt people or damage the environment? Same goes with gun stores, the city really should find a way to ban the sale of arms and ammunitions within city or county limits, don’t we have an attorney they could borrow or a “best practice” from another city we could share with them?
Get the point yet? Make life miserable for gun merchants and owners. Many will throw in the towel and give up. Make them drive long distances, spend lots of money and take tremendous amounts time to do the simplest task. Their group will get smaller over time and eventually they will go down in a whimper.
Step 4 – Money talks, especially when they don’t have any. Remember sin taxes on cigarettes and liquor? We make more money from smokes than Marlboro! Tax ammunition 50% and use the money for victim support and trauma bandages for first responders. Put it up for a vote with no riders, let them vote against grieving mothers.
Parlay this with Step 1 – people accept more taxes as long as we tax someone else. Go round and round and eventually you have everyone. Divide ammunition up and start with taxes on military ammunition, “armor piercing” or hollow points. What is military ammunition you ask? It is something we don’t want them to have. Expand it over time. A .308 or 30-06 can and will pierce a police officer’s Level IIIA vest, do we even have a name for ultra-high power cop killer armor piercing bullets yet? Vilify reloading, they are some of the most dedicated.
An NFA firearm or accessory now costs $200 just for the tax stamp, simply expand it to include things we can’t yet ban. Who would argue against a more solid background check for assault rifles (remember the truth doesn’t really matter here). $200 for the rifle stamp, $200 for a magazine stamp, $1,000 for a rifle (isn’t supply and demand great?), $600 for a case of ammo, $100 for mandatory locks and cases for the home and vehicle followed up with $150 for a state license = Joe be too broke to be a gun owner.
Levy a $1,000 annual FFL renewal fee plus $50 per firearm sale and use the money for more inspectors. We probably only have a few, or at least that is our story. Shouldn’t they also need $50,000,000 in liability insurance as a minimum? How can a hairdresser be required to be licensed, but not a guy selling the most high-powered weapon known to man? The owner and all their staff needs to be federally certified and licensed as well and that’s going to cost money a guy making $12 an hour just won’t have. The instructors are private citizens that also need to be certified. To protect the workers and gun shop owners, we’ll limit what they can charge to $50 for the four day course which will naturally restrict how many classes they offer and where. Add a test that they send in to us for an eight week grading process. They will have found another job by the time they get the results. Annual renewals with excessive paperwork work well.
Don’t forget about the local level, they deserve love too. They need the money new licenses and permits can provide – plus two sets of permits beats one any day. Inspectors are people that need jobs too, especially if we reward the ones that issue the most citations with promotions. Let’s see how they like “pay for performance.”
Step 5 – Frame it and hang it on our wall. We experienced a near miss when the NRA proposed an idea to end the real problem – social violence. This should serve as a stark reminder of our need to completely define the discussion. For anyone not paying attention, we are aiming to end gun ownership. Use tragic events to frame the discussion of gun control. Debate gun control, not violence or our society.
What would have happened if the NRA proposed a gathering at their headquarters to develop a comprehensive proposal to curb violence by addressing it as a social problem?
We frame the issue, we choose the venue and we choose the participant list. The issue is always gun control, we don’t debate the problem, we debate a version of the solution – gun control. The only question we want to hear is what type of gun control is best? How many rounds do people need? Should this gun be legal?
Use tragic events, then quickly transition to the core issue of disarming the nation. Every tragedy has the same solution.
Debrief – It would be almost comical if it weren’t playing out on the news every night. President Obama has chosen this place and this time as the battle royale. This is the big one. Canada had theirs, so did the UK and New Zealand. Today in the UK, you can be arrested for carrying a baseball bat in your car. I say this to reinforce the fact that you are either in support of private gun ownership or not. This isn’t the time to debate what types of magazines are “necessary”. Win this battle or the only magazine you will be buying will be Newsweek.
Six main reasons were cited by the authors as to why the Second Amendment is necessary (reference Wikipedia):
• Deter a tyrannical government
• Repel invasion
• Suppress insurrection
• Facilitate the natural right of self-defense
• Participate in law enforcement
• Enable the people to organize a militia system
Hunting and target shooting are notably absent. In fact, all of the above justifications involve fighting or war-time activities. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with deer or pieces of paper with circles on them. Noah Webster perhaps summarized it most eloquently (my emphasis) “Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”
I now take the liberty of combining the six known justifications for the Second Amendment into two:
• Defend the country against a tyrannical government
• Defend ourselves, our family and our neighbors against people who wish to harm and kill us
The most effective (and only logical) argument that the Second Amendment is antiquated and should be removed or revised would be to argue that these are modern times and the two bullets above longer exist. Regarding tyrannical government, as of this writing the world has witnessed the beginning of at least five revolutions in the last two years: Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia. In the last decade, at least five additional governments were overthrown by their citizens. I refuse to participate in the fantasy that American leaders are somehow genetically immune to future tyranny – it is an unfortunate human trait.
Neither can a sane person assume that Americans will never again face war or crime that requires citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves or the nation. Our armed forces and law enforcement are the best trained, best equipped, finest organization that has ever walked the Earth, yet we cannot expect them to be everywhere, always. Reference the LA riots, 9-11, Katrina, or any of the 6.6 million violent crimes committed every year in the US during “peace time.”
We need semi-automatic rifles with full capacity magazines for the same reason the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, police, National Guard, FBI, CIA, State Department, Secret Service, Border Patrol, and Homeland Security do – they are a very effective tool for stopping bad people from doing bad things to those we care about. Go back to the LA riots, if you were looking out your window and an armed group of thugs was heading to your front door, what weapon would you want?
If you think this is a republican vs. democrat or liberal vs. conservative debate, please wake up. Republicans, if you ever want to find a concentrated group of gun enthusiasts, head over to the union hall. The fight is those for the constitution and those against it. If one amendment falls, what holds the other ones up?
What do we do? Easy to say, hard to do – act as one unit and stand for someone you may not even agree with. You may only hunt birds and actually really despise the AK-47 and the punks on Youtube. The thing is that someday you will probably need that guy with the AK to stand for you. If he falls, who do you think is next? My daughter’s NRA instructor hit the nail on the head by having a student break a pencil. Then he handed 15 to the strongest guy in the class that couldn’t break them all at one time. Realize that there is an agenda to disarm you and this is simply the first fight.
The future depends on sportsmen and gun owners, make more of them. Find more like you and band together – you’ll need reassurance and a strong partner. Join whatever organization floats your boat, better yet join three or four.
Take your kid hunting. Take a neighbor shooting. Teach them both to be safe and respectful of life. Attend a rally or protest in a suit armed with children, mothers, an honest face and a bunch of facts. Volunteer as a gun owning group, volunteer to teach hunters education. Take the Scout troop to the rifle range to shoot arrows. Take a class or teach a class. Host a swap meet at the range. Invite people out to your property for shooting or hunting. Turn a fisherman into a hunter. Turn a bird hunter into a defensive pistol shooter. Buy them all a pocket constitution. Have you ever heard of Project Appleseed? They will send someone out to talk to your group for free.
You don’t have to be a gun owner to respect the constitution. Talk with as many people as you can, you may be surprised how many non-gun owners are just as afraid as you.
Buy arms and ammunition, a right not exercised is a right lost. You shouldn’t need another reason to pick up a new gun, magazines, ammunition or parts right now. Do it. Buy whatever you need, buy whatever you may need – the industry needs your support. Firearms, ammunition, magazines, parts, holsters, targets, everything. Make sure to tell the vendors your support is based on their support, one big happy family. Find the ones that actively donate and work with GOA and the NRA. Send them a letter thanking them – they will probably be getting a lot of heat soon. Convince others to do the same. Could you talk to 10 people to get them to send a single e-mail, letter or call? Do they support second amendment groups? Ask them why not and remind them their competitors do. Keep the heat on anyone that starts to go soft on our rights. Use your Youtube channel or your blog to magnify your efforts. Link to other like-minded messages.
Get a concealed carry permit and use it. In my state, each and every one either goes across the desk of a sheriff or police chief. What message will the small town sheriff that is up for re-election next year get if 500 cross his desk this month? Meet your local sheriff or police chief and thank them for what they do. Go as a sportsman’s group and hit the fire station on the way home.
Watch each company that meets with the administration or state and local government. Write them a letter thanking them for what they do and letting them know your continued business 100% depends on helping defend our constitutional rights. Let them know about your YouTube channel with 50,000 subscribers or the 10 forums you regularly post to. Send the letter out to other companies just in case. They may be caving or preparing to fight, you don’t know without asking.
For an offensive strategy, how about we also talk about the 2,500 babies killed every day in abortion clinics? Maybe we can discuss how Obama and David Gregory’s kids go to a school with 11 armed guards? Remind them this is in addition to the Secret Service, the school had the guards long before the Obama kids showed up – Obama and David chose to protect their kids with guns and now want yours. What about Bloomberg’s bodyguards? Hypocrisy doesn’t play well with most Americans. They already know politicians have a tendency to be elitist hypocrites, feed that fire with some good old facts.
The solution is measured, appropriate action in massive quantity. Pull people toward us, don’t push them away. Act as if your life depends on it because it just may. What are you going to do TODAY? What can you do during your lunch break? What about for 30 minutes tonight?
You have a natural right of self-protection that you enjoy today because Patriots banded together and gave their life so that you can be free. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring; liberty is the one gift we must give to our children and grandchildren just as it was handed down to us.