Open Source Defense has an absolutely fascinating look at what works and doesn’t work when it comes to expanding the gun rights of America’s citizens, including this gem of a quote from Milton Friedman.
People have a great misconception in this way: they think the way you solve things is by electing the right people. It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.
The problem is, right now, it’s politically unprofitable for the wrong people to do the wrong thing, so they end up avoiding the downside and punting the gun control question further down the road. As of right now, there is no gun rights carrot for politicians to counteract the stick of “Enact gun control and we’ll kick you out of office.”
As a result, gun owners are in constant fear of politicians deciding to do the wrong thing and ban guns in one form or another because they have no positive reasons to expand gun rights. Gun politics in the U.S. is currently in a negative feedback loop. Very few politicians see the upside of expanding gun rights. Instead, there are legions of legislators who are worried about what might happen if they tried to restrict gun rights. We’ll solve this, of course, by making the carrot of increased gun rights as least as attractive to politicians (if not more attractive) as the stick of “enact gun control and we’ll throw you out,” is, but I have no idea when that will happen.
In the meantime, though, lets bask in the knowledge that the Gun Banner’s Plan A has not worked. They wanted to make guns “uncool,” like what was done with smoking. It’s failed. There are more gun owners now than ever before. This is due, in part, to the fact that smoking is optional, while the right to self defense is universal, and you can’t make an essential human right uncool, no matter how hard you try.
Just Plan A didn’t work, though, doesn’t mean Plans B-ZZ aren’t in the works. In the mean time, let’s enjoy the freedom we have, and work like heck to expand it even more.