As I write this there is a lot of talk of the assault weapons ban making a come-back, and this had my gun owning friends worried. Worse still, I find their worry is translated into the same arguments used before, back when Republicans had a majority in both houses of Congress, and the Presidency. Well for gun owners, times are tough, and the world has moved on to a new reality. In an effort of “cross the aisle” support, I thought I would offer my advice to my gun owning friends, to help them through what looks to be a painful transition.
The Football Metaphor (with apologies to those lads who know football as footy)
Think of yourself as a fan of a major professional football team. Not just any team, but a dynasty team; one with multiple Superbowl trophies under it’s belt, and many fine pro-ball players sporting Superbowl bling on their fingers. Now imagine that your team just got beat in the Spuerbowl, for the first time in 8 years. Ouch! Sure it hurts to loose, and sure the feeling of loss is rather novel, but that does not mean your team is completely destroyed. You still have a lot of fine players on the roster, and you still have the same old excellent coaching staff. But even with all those things on your side, sometimes you still loose. Try to remember that the other teams want to win just and much, and that there is always next year. As we all know, crying in our beer is cathartic, but it doesn’t really help. What we need is to rethink our game, and start up with some new training.
First of all, it’s time for a new defense. Running a tight defense, trying to keep the opposing team from making big running plays, works well if you have the best offense. And lets face it, Republicans have always run a good offsense. As long as you can outscore the other team, your defense really only has to contain the opposing team, not stop them. This works well, as long as you have the best offense on the field. If you can force the other teams to make bad passes, while keeping their running game to a minimum, then your offense can come in an outscore the other guys.
And for the past 8-10 years, that has pretty much been the goal of gun owners. Minimize the weaker opponents, and concentrate on allowing your party to win. And for all that time, it worked really well. You had a good offense (Republicans got elected often, and to majorities), and you could easily contain any movement from your opponents with your tight defense.
That was then, this is now. Now you are facing a whole new team. Last year in the off-season (is there an off-season in politics?) the other side got themselves a new quaterback. And guess what? He has got a real arm on him. Say what you want, Obama can throw spectacular passes. And he has enough fast talking guys on his team to get under them.
In effect, another team now has the better offense.
So its time to open up your defense. Right now its better if you can limit the other team to a small running game, and defend more against the passing game. Because if you don’t, they are going to pass the ball right through your defense, and you are going to loose again this season. You’ve got to control the ball by rethinking what you are going to defend, otherwise, your in for another loss. Your offense is not going to out-pass this guy, so your defense has got to take up the slack.
What does this mean in the real word? Well, for starters, you’re going to loose on the assault weapons ban. Really. I know it hurts, and I know you think this means the camel’s nose is under the tent, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Democrats have the votes, AND the momentum. So you might as well know it going to happen, and deal with it. If you try to hold tight, it you try to defend this issue like it is the end of the world, you are going to loose. It’s an ugly truth, but it is still the truth.
But that is not the end of your game, its just the first few yards. What you want to defend against are large bans on guns, not selective bans on certian types of guns. No matter what you do, some of these are going to pass. It’s better to let them go, and defend against the bigger plays, than to try a goal-line defense on the 50, and watch helplessly while the other side passes the ball deep. Because sure as shootin, that is what is going to happen if you kepe to the old defense.
So here’s your stratgy for 2009, and for all the years until you get a stronger offense: Defend against the deep game, and worry less about the short game. Take the sort game on the chin, in excange for containment on the long game.
That, and start shopping for a better quarterback.