Join Your State Gun Groups!
In light of developments in Virginia and the attempt at passing anti-gun legislation here in my state of Arizona, I felt it necessary to encourage fellow readers to join their state’s gun groups. As someone who recently spoke at a firearm rally (to a crowd within the range of 3500-4500 no less) in my home state of Arizona, I felt it necessary to write this. In my eyes, I find it absolutely pertinent to be politically aware and have the ability to stop any anti-rights bills before they pass.
But what are the benefits of becoming a member of your state gun group versus that of the many respected national ones such as Second Amendment Foundation and Gun Owners of America? The first and most obvious reason is that these are the laws that affect YOU the most. As someone who left the state of California due to the horrific gun laws, it’s clear that California’s overreaching firearm, economic, and social policies are to blame. Adding onto that point, this was especially evident in Virginia as the Bloomberg campaign went as far as to spend more than the NRA; 2.5 million dollars more if this CNBC article is any indication. This is further supported by anti-rights groups like Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives becoming more prevalent in the state legislatures and having the ability to pass their anti-rights legislation.
With regards to the legislative side of things, many of these state gun rights groups have a method of communicating to their known members through use of emails and/or social media, and have a presence within their respective state governments. My state’s gun rights advocacy group uses emails, a private Facebook group, Twitter, and an email system to let people know about the work they are doing.
Moving on, many of these groups are very specifically focused pro-rights, pro-gun groups, meant to draw in people from all political backgrounds. In an age where it feels as if you need to be on one partisan side that wants to take your rights away versus another side that wants to take your rights away incrementally, many state gun groups have a central issue that they focus on. That issue being firearm freedom within their respective states.
Speaking as someone who has volunteered for my state firearm group in gathering more members at gun shows, I have found that a very diverse group of individuals have joined thanks to the efforts of major YouTubers. Some of them have decided to join because of people like me, a former writer out of Palm Springs.
I don’t write this article to rag on the national firearm groups either. Having been at the Second Amendment Foundation’s Gun Rights Policy Conference, I understand the need to be involved in speaking on federal legislation as well. I understand that the fight not only lies with the states, but also within the federal government. I am however highlighting the importance of state firearm legislation. The NRA, as currently impotent as they may be, has active state firearm lobbyists. But as it stands they are currently spread thin, and the future of the NRA is unknown to many of us.
Onto my next point: Many of these groups are great for networking and allow for the opportunity to speak in front of many like minded firearm owners. The first time I went to the Arizona Citizens Defense League’s yearly luncheon meeting, I’ll admit I was intimidated. I brought a friend because I was afraid (and unsure) of what I might come across.
Much to my surprise, the people I met were friendly and enjoyed my perspective on the firearms rights struggle. I heard stories from remote parts of Arizona, parts I’d never even been to or heard of. It broadened my horizons and increased my understanding of Arizona. It bolstered my appreciation for firearm ownership more so than I already had.
But what if your state’s firearm group doesn’t have an active communication system, social outings, or even a way to inform their members of what goes on in the state?
With these groups being state based, it means you have a larger say in how they are run. My state’s gun group for instance has a comment and suggestion period at the end of each meeting. Members, regardless of enrollment status, are given the opportunity to make suggestions to the leadership board on how the Citizens Defense League should be run. Thanks to myself and a certain firearm meme page admin, we helped bolster the endeavors of the ACDL’s online presence (a must in today’s online focused world). We encouraged them to increase their online efforts toward the millennial and Z generation as to build more followers for the organization and strengthen its long term presence. To this day, the ACDL has been very reciprocal to new ideas and embracing change. I have no complaints toward their work.
In conclusion, the importance of state firearm groups cannot be overstated. Anti-rights activists will continue to push their anti-firearm and anti-freedom rhetoric against us, so we must fight back on both the national and state level to secure our rights into the future. These state laws affect us all on a local level and determine the future of the second amendment. We need to do everything we can to keep those freedoms.