Over the past few weeks, various debates regarding the 2nd amendment and gun rights have been reignited, and I’ve found myself repeating the same simple arguments that I’ve been making for years. Predictably, many of the most conservative people (and even some libertarians) have signaled their support for granting government the authority to make common sense restrictions on our right as individuals to own weapons. If you still do not understand why we cannot afford to budge an inch on the 2nd amendment, (“Let them ban bump stocks, I don’t use them – they’re just a novelty anyway”) please refer to the link to my arguments above before continuing.
Republicans reveal their disdain for liberty: Many conservative and liberal politicians from around the US have already announced their support for increased gun control. Taking aim at bump-stocks, a bipartisan US House bill has already been proposed that would ‘prohibit the manufacture, possession, or transfer of any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun, and for other purposes.’ The primary sponsor of the House Bill is Carlos Curbelo, a Republican from Florida. The bill has 25 co-sponsors, including 12 Republicans. If you are a constitutional conservative who still has hope for the GOP eventually returning to a tradition of liberty, this bill is only one of the infinite reasons why I’d recommend that you give up on that ever happening. The GOP hates liberty only slightly less than their opposition. I invite you to read this article, in which I prove that even in Mark Levin’s most optimistic dreams, the most constitutional conservatives in DC still produce tyranny.
Curbelo: A quintessential RINO:
Carlos Curbelo’s campaign website describes his position on 13 distinct issues, but none of them relate to the 2nd amendment or gun rights. He has seemingly taken great care to not reveal his position on gun rights, as demonstrated by only partaking in 3 key votes related to gun rights in his 26 years in congress, as presented by votesmart.org. We cannot find any speeches during which he mentions whether he supports gun rights. He has also abstained from simply telling the site his position on gun rights which is something that they encourage. His apparent tip-toeing around the issue has earned him a 71% rating from the NRA and a 90% rating from the GOA in 2016. Considering that the Gun Owners of America has a solid reputation within the gun community for their refusal to ‘compromise’ on the 2nd amendment, expect his GOA rating to plummet next year.
What are the NRA & GOA? The recent tragedy in Las Vegas caused an increase in the number of discussions I’ve found myself in regarding what everyday people like you and me can do going forward to ensure that our descendants maintain the right to keep and bear arms. On a basic level, the National Rifle Association, powered by its 5 million dues-paying members puts pressure on local, state and federal politicians to support gun rights and to oppose gun control. This is done in the form of “…letters, faxes, e-mails and calls to their elected representatives to make their views known.”, according to their website. Taking a thorough look at this page on their site can begin to reveal to you how weak the NRA is on 2nd amendment rights, but that gets much too deep into the weeds for this article’s purpose. The recent statement by the NRA announcing their support for possibly restricting bump-stocks was the final straw for many Americans who had supported them. The important and discouraging fact about the NRA is that they are funded by people who pay annual dues and donate to them. Naturally, people give them more money when they are more afraid of losing their gun rights. Therefore, it behooves the NRA to have a significant threat to the 2nd amendment perpetually just a few votes away from becoming new, feared reality. They suffer from a common conundrum – if they did their job well, they would hardly be needed. Skipping over the philosophical debate of this principle and whether it holds true, we must look to an alternative pro-gun advocacy association; the Gun Owners of America. According to the GOA’s website, “Americans have lost some of our precious gun rights and WE WANT THEM BACK! This is why GOA is considered the “no compromise” gun lobby.”
As mentioned above, the GOA has a better reputation than the NRA among 2nd amendment absolutists. Despite this, I would not recommend donating to them if I were asked for my opinion. As my article about the COS explains, the US is, at best, still hopeless. It may remain viable for one or two more generations, but it is not sustainable. Some consider our primary issue to be the national debt, which has already surpassed $20.4 trillion. Others believe that the US is doomed because of the dissolving of the family model. Many consider the largest issue to be fact that the government controls the education of almost every child in the US from around 4-22 years of age. Perhaps the ever-increasing surveillance state, the ever-increasing police state, or the steady increase in US involvement in foreign wars will eventually be its downfall.
Since it is clear to me that any national effort to improve or save the US is futile, I would recommend against wasting your time, money, and effort on gun rights on a national level. It is extremely sad to say, but the US government cannot be defeated. I have many friends wasting so much effort on campaigns and candidates that have no prayer of succeeding, and who could not actually improve our situation if they did win. I refuse to partake in this futility. Please do not waste money on opponents of Schumer or Ryan or Pelosi. You are better off throwing your cash in the garbage. If a few dollars could put a libertarian over the top in a close and meaningful race somewhere else, that could be a more productive use of your hard-earned money.
The one thing I recommend: If asked for my opinion, I would recommend that you work to maintain and expand the liberties and self-governance of an individual state. I would choose a state that already has a strong tradition of small government and personal liberties, and I would choose a state with the smallest possible population (giving each individual the most influence). Personally, I would choose a state that could potentially survive without the US government (border, ocean, & public support for independence). After much research, I determined that New Hampshire satisfied all of these requirements extremely well. New Hampshire state law arguably infringes on the 2nd amendment less than any other state, featuring no registration, seemingly no restrictions on guns, and permit-less carrying of handguns openly or concealed. It shares a border with Canada, it has access to the Atlantic Ocean, and it has only 1.3 million people, many of which support liberty and independence from DC (NH doesn’t really like Trump, McConnell, & Schumer – who does??). It also has the most libertarian governor in the US and the most overall freedom in the US.
So, unlike the other libertarians and conservatives in NYC who continue to spend their time and money campaigning against Senator Schumer or on NRA memberships, I quit my fantastic job and moved to New Hampshire, where I currently reside. If you ask for my opinion on what you should do to support gun rights, I consider anything on a national level or in most states to be futile. I recommend joining me in the safest and most prosperous US state and helping to keep it this way. All of my friends in NYC have great excuses why it is not practical for them to move. So did I. I could have had an amazing career if I remained in downstate NY, but I moved to where I could be most free and where I could have the most positive impact on freedom for my nation. Unless the law forbids you from moving, I strongly encourage you to move if you desire freedom for yourself, your family, and your descendants. I was a frustrated libertarian who spent 10 years hating NYC. I don’t want others to have to live that way for their whole lives. Get in contact with the Free State Project or any other NH libertarians, or contact me if that suits you. We would all be happy to help you relocate to the ‘Live Free Or Die’ state. Largely because of the FSP, this is the only state that I see as a viable setting in which to raise children. I have no confidence that any other state in the US will have basic freedoms in 20 years. But we have a plan. We will continue to gather as many active libertarians as possible, and we will increasingly elect libertarians (I’ve heard that over 40 FSP participants have already been elected to the NH House). When push comes to shove, we will firmly invoke the 10th amendment, and if all else fails, we will leave the union that has been destroyed by the Roosevelts, Obama, Johnson, McConnell, McCain, Ryan, Schumer, and Pelosi.
If you were to ask me how you could best assure that your descendants have access to firearms for their protection, I would have to recommend that you move to New Hampshire – it may be their only hope.