New Activist Who Wishes to Remove Gun Control from the Political Sphere


I've joined this forum mainly due to the I-591 & I-594 initiatives coming up this November. I have been following the debate over gun laws since my early teens (this was just around the time the first AWB expired - hopefully for good) and can't help but notice that the same tired, worn-out talking points continue to be regurgitated by those on the prohibitionist side of this area of political discourse.

So why have I joined this forum?

  1. My primary career choice is the emerging field known as Big Data. This is of special interest to those who wish to have a better hand at dealing with public opinion and electoral politics. Hopefully I can meet people via this forum that I can voluntarily support via campaign data collection and coordination.
  2. I found this forum through a search for Dave Workman. My main motivation for joining this forum is literally because I hope to get in touch with him about matters concerning the I-591/594 initiatives coming up this November. Hopefully I can get in touch with him and other people who can help me donate my skills for campaigns in the state of Washington that affect gun owners. ;)
  3. Last but not necessarily least, I absolutely love memes. Simple images/posters that are able to drive powerful points home at little to no cost are something gun rights activists need to use a whole lot more often. Especially when the anti-gun side has deep pockets at their disposal. Here is a sample of the kind of things I like to produce, it costs nearly nothing to distribute these via social media:
I still remember the day the 2013 gun bills came up for votes and had the honor of streaming the results via C-Span's website, and I was also thrilled to see the events in Colorado unfold the way that they did.

I want to learn more about how I can actually get involved in such issues and make more victories like these happen. :)
Yes, like the noxious weed I am. At least, according to my critics. I have received your message. Welcome to the party! ;)
Very glad to be here! I feel like this is an intellectual rite of passage for me in the sense that I'm finally getting around to applying what I know about the debate over firearms to actual policy activism.

I will post a longer reply today when I get off from work, there's a lot I would like to know about how to get involved in promoting grassroots at little to no cost.
It's difficult getting even $5 out of people to help pass I-591 and prevent I-594 from taking hold.
Ah yes, the classic public goods problem. Despite the fact that there are far more gun owners than billionaire oligarchs, many people still don't participate as much as they reasonably can.

This doesn't just apply to raising revenue for campaigns, but also to voter turnout as well:

The good news is that in spite of the public goods problem presented in voter turnout as well as a shortage of money, we can still overcome media bias, outside money, and what have you due to the fact that any "benefits" (technically there are none) for the gun control side to make their views law are going to be dispersed: the odds of being struck by lightening are higher than the odds of dying in a mass shooting.

Gun owners however actually have something at stake here, and this is why 2013 and the Colorado recall turned out the way they did. It's public choice theory 101 when you think about it:

I'll go into detail about some strategies that can be used to overcome the public goods problem in gun owner participation in campaigns, but for now I have a question about how the two initiatives will appear on the ballot: Are voters going to vote independently for both initiatives or check off only one of the two?

The answer makes a pretty tangible difference in how we go about all this. If people can vote yes for BOTH initiatives, that complicates things somewhat.
Both measures will appear on the ballot exclusive of one another.
Alright, that makes a pretty tangible difference. If it was the other way around, then we could more easily leverage the opinion of the median voter who will simply vote for anything that appears to be pro-gun even if they are totally unfamiliar with the issues:

The median voter attitude on any issue is the bedrock of political outcomes, though it's not everything if these potential voters don't feel enough is at stake for them to participate relative to people who are more directly affected.

This is largely why so-called "universal background checks" (a logistically impossible thing to have in any country) failed to pass the senate in 2013: median voters are against gun control as a whole (even if they might think universal checks can't be "that" bad) and thus felt compelled to participate due to the AWB and mag restrictions that were being tossed around.

The most-informed gun rights activists who actually knew cost/benefit-wise why universal checks are a bad idea became icing on the cake since they felt a lot was at stake for them personally.


So with knowledge of how the two initiatives will offered to voters in mind, it definitely looks like more emphasis needs to be placed on what's actually in the I-594 bill if we want to drive a wedge into it's electoral outcome. Many voters will think both initiatives are a good idea unless they actually know what both entail.

People will need to know (a.) that buried in the 15 or so pages of the bill is far more than innocuous-sounding "background checks." Also it would help if (b.) voters are made aware in short, easy to process talking points that universal checks are a dumb idea as is.

That latter point is largely why I made the "Universal Background Checks" demotivational meme in my opening post above. "Psychos willing to break laws against murder won't obey laws about private sales" or anything to that effect is easy for anyone to both process and come to agreement with.

I'm going to crash to bed for the night and get right on this topic tomorrow now that one of my biggest questions about the bills have been answered.


Doc in UPlace, if you have some free time on your hands and any advice about how I can integrate myself into Washington gun rights activism then I would love to meet in Lakewood sometime. ;)
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I have another question: How many of you remember or especially were active in helping stop I-676 from taking hold back in 1997?

Polls seemed to indicate a near 50/50 split in support and opposition for the measure, yet the revealed preference indicated that more than twice as many people were willing to turn in a ballot against it.

Would it be realistic to think a similar pattern will emerge with I-591/594, where the actual turnout for both initiatives will be much different from what polls suggest?

There's no way the 1997 victory against I-676 can be attributed largely to the near 3:1 disparity in spending between both sides. I could do a whole post on why diminishing returns on campaign spending among other things suggest money wasn't the main driving force there.

For now I just want to get an idea if there's anything that was done about I-676 back then that we can duplicate today.


I've started putting together a long list of top-down strategies for fundraising and PR that can be implemented over a two-month span.

I'm not sure all of it should be posted publicly but that's reversible if Dave deems that all of it isn't too sensitive to be in the open. More on that this weekend.


Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Rimfire Challenge Dec 12th @ DRRC
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA


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