Every time election time rolls around, politicians have a list of things that they do in order to craft the message that will most resonate with their supporters. It does not matter which party they are affiliated with, strategies are still the same when hitting the campaign trail. Every politician wants to make themselves seem like they are a Gen-U-Ine Man or Woman of the People.
They will press the flesh, look at the polls, hold town-hall style meetings, all to get a sense of what the constituents think, and want. Now, that is not to say that the average politician gives a hoot about what the people care about, but they sure want you to think they do.
We all know exactly what happens after an office gets its occupant. All of those campaign promises, all of that rhetoric, all of those generically answered “I care” e-mails…all of it soon forgotten, and in their place comes the favors to the donors and special interest groups. Yes, you might have written your candidate a check for that $100 you couldn’t really spare, but all that did was pay for a dozen T-Shirts, maybe a couple of yard signs.
What the politicians really pay attention to are the numbers with 5 or 6 digits, and a comma or 2. THOSE are the contributors that get an open door policy. THOSE are the Special Interest Groups that get a seat at the table. What do We The People get? We get the bill.
You have to understand that the people themselves only have but a few tools at our disposal that we can use to become part of the conversation, and money usually isn’t one of those tools. We have our voices, we have our pens, we have our keyboards, but the most important thing we have is our numbers. But how do we capitalize on those numbers?
A UNIFIED MESSAGE.
Yes, I understand that finding a unified message among millions and millions of Americans is a bit of a Fairy Tale. Hell, a room of 6 friends usually cannot agree on where to go have dinner, let alone which political agenda suits them. So, how can we do something, ANYTHING to create an impact on the way that politicians see us mere subjects? We have to start employing some tactics that they have never seen before….and that is why we are going to begin what we are affectionately calling the “Pistol Permit Push”
Being that I am writing this from my home state of New York, I will use this as the example of how and WHY this plan will work. According to the numbers last assessed in 2018, the number of Pistol Permit Holders in New York State was roughly 1.2 Million people…and that is in a state with 19.4 Million residents. That is around 1 Pistol Permit Holder for every 19 people. For a little comparison, according the New York Times, there are roughly 4,000 Pistol Permit Holders in the five boroughs of New York City….where 8.7 Million residents live. That is ONE Concealed Carry Permit holder for every 2,150 residents.
Looking at those numbers and the restrictions placed on Concealed Carry Permits, one might think that the reason the numbers are so low in NYC is because of the restrictions, whereas the rest of the state enjoys much looser requirements. Well, in part that is correct. Much of the reason why the restrictions are so stringent is because the people have failed in their duty as citizens. To understand this we have to take a look into the agenda of those in power.
City leaders know exactly how many people own handguns in New York City…those numbers are readily available from the Pistol Permit Clerk at One Police Plaza. What a politician sees is that there are ONLY 4,000 permits issued. Most of them are to the well-to-do, or to those that have a permit that has been issued to them through an employer…Security Company, Bank, Armored Car…and some issued to individuals that know what strings to pull and how to game the system. But there is another reason why the numbers are low…the people have become conditioned. First, they are conditioned to believe that 1, they don’t need(or want or like) a handgun, and 2, that they will NEVER be able to get one.
Now, just imagine for a moment that instead of there being only ONE applicant for every 2,150 residents, that the numbers were a little more like that rest of the state, and there were an additional 1.2 MILLION APPLICANTS. You would instantly see a very striking change in the way that local politicians from the City Council to Gracie Mansion view and treat the residents of their fair city. JUST having every single Second Amendment Supporter go and flood the Pistol Licensing Division with applicants would shock the entire system,
No longer would politicians be able to find excuses to restrict the rights of the people…not if the people demanded that their rights be returned to them.
Imagine if you will that the rest of the Second Amendment supporting residents of the state(where they CAN get permits) actually went and filed for them. Think about how differently the gun owning public would be viewed if instead of there being one permit for every 19 residents, it was one permit for every 4. I’m pretty sure that the good governor of the state of New York would have a much different opinion of gun owners if he thought that a good 25% of them were armed and ready.
Now, I am not saying that every citizen should run out and go through the entire process and buy guns…even though that would be nice. What I am suggesting is that everyone who supports the Second Amendment would go out and get their permit. Even if the people do not buy a handgun, JUST GET A PERMIT. See, the state has no idea what guns you buy, or don’t buy. ONLY your county knows what guns you have registered on your permit. The only thing the politicians know is HOW MANY PERMITS have been issued. Think about how different the message from the political class would be if they THOUGHT that gun ownership was 6 times more common than previously thought.
Further more, think of what politicians at the FEDERAL level would think if every state in the union saw a 300% increase in Concealed Carry Permits from coast to coast.
The Bigger Picture.
Yes, we know that the permit process is already an unjustifiable infringement, but that infringement came after a long process of battles, and concessions. Short of restructuring the entirety of the Federal System and the abolition of every gun law in every state, we have to start fighting with some of the same tactics that have been employed against us. For us to start making gains in the Second Amendment Arena, we have to be smart, and we have to think about the Long Game. One of the most important things we can do for our community is to bolster our numbers…even if those numbers are just on paper.
After all, politicians are only interested in numbers….imagine if instead of only 18,660,000 Concealed Carry Permit holders in the ENTIRE United States of America, there were 50,000,000.
Maybe instead of investing that $100 in a candidate that might or might not care about us after election day, we INVEST that $100 and Get a Concealed Carry Permit instead.
In the months to come, the Liberty First Foundation will be working with several other Second Amendment based organizations to promote operation Pistol Permit Push, so keep up with us for updates as they come available. Until then….GO GET YOUR PERMIT!
If you have any input on this idea, please submit them to [email protected]
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Photo by Jeremy Bishop.