What does it take to be a leader in the effort to save our right to keep and bear arms? Let me reframe that. Are you tired of seeing so many people attack our precious right to keep and bear arms, and wish someone would do something about it?
Nah, that’s not quite it either. If you wanted to finally take a stand and stop putting up with the vicious animals and political bigots who want to disarm you, rip your guns from your hands and leave you helpless, keeping all the guns just for their dozens of state-run authorities, here’s what you need.
This column is, first, a barometer and self test for those of you already leading the gun-rights movement, even in a small way. But second, and more importantly, it’s a call to action to those of you who see the writing on the wall, are finally fed up and want to stop standing around while it happens all around you. What do you need?
1. A real fire-in-the-belly for Second Amendment rights, a desire to act (not just gripe) to see them preserved and an understanding of their importance and relationship to the preservation of freedom in America — and consequently world freedom.
The battle for gun rights is about more than just the guns in your house and hand. It’s about the freedom to have your house and the gun in your hand. If government can say you can’t have your gun — the very thing you can use to protect everything you have — then your right to everything is in jeopardy. That’s what this is all about. If you get that, you’re ready to step up. Do you get that?
2.An understanding and gut-level distaste for the forces ganged up against this fundamental human right, and a burning desire to see them defeated and crushed. Not stopped — crushed. They represent ultimate evil, whether they are aware (the worst kind) or simply dupes and ignorant (just as dangerous). There is little room to deal lightly with these folks, they are out to strip the public of their rights. How much nice does that deserve? Are you ready to dish it?
3. The ability to take command of the assets, contacts and attributes around you, and, applying whatever native skills life has given you, doing things to make things happen. That’s the leadership key right there. What things?
This implies first, the ability to sit, think and set some goals. You have to decide what’s important, decide how to get there and decide on a course of action you can take. Ideas are everywhere, you must choose, then act. Can you take action, that is — actually do something?
4. If you’re going to influence people to build strength in numbers, you need to be able to speak, or write persuasively. This includes casual contacts with other folks, and in gatherings. You must up and go, from gun shows to church to tea parties, clubs, you name it. The world belongs to people who show up. That scares most people off. They’d rather charge a machine-gun nest. If that’s you, accept it, you’re a soldier, not a leader, stop reading now. Or take a Dale Carnegie course or Toastmasters. I’m not kidding. It’ll change your life. Great stuff.
5.n As someone helping to lead the gun-rights struggle, you need desire to grow and expand your brain, stay current, eventually become a greater force in the firearms struggle in America, it’s a natural evolution. Once you take the reins for a walk, you start wanting to let the horse out for a trot, then a run, then a full gallop. It’s exhilarating. The road travelled starts becoming a passion. It becomes your road, unique to you. Sweet. Do you sense that passion?
6. So where are you going to get a reasonable starter set of ideas to act upon? What’s the catalyst for action? How do the best leaders actually do it? This answer you may not like, but there’s alternatives, so you’ll be okay.
The best leaders are inspired. It’s a gift. You have it or you don’t. Ideas just come to them, and they end up speaking in quotations everyone else uses for centuries. Ideas spring out of them and we’re lucky they exist. We had an uncanny supply all in one place when this country was founded, thank God.
The first alternative (for everybody else) is the brainstorm, which you should’ve learned in school but you’ll get here in this magazine. Sit quietly with a pad, write down a question and jot down every answer you think of no matter how wild, silly or decent it seems. One thing leads to another, it’s almost miraculous. In the end, some of the ideas are really good, and you distill them out.
The other shot is simple research. With the web now, just pick a state gun group, or tea party, look ’em up and see what they’re doing, it’s all there. Pick. How easy is that?
You want to lead? I’ll say it again: Can you take action?
Alan Korwin keeps resources on his website GunLaws.com for gun owners and for activists, try the TacticsThatWork button.