Don’t Fall for the False Dichotomy

It’s inevitable that a person involved in the political realm will eventually be forced to make a decision between standing up for their principles or maintaining their political alliances. Gun owners who also oppose furthering the police state now have to make that decision. Between the two primary factions two options have emerged: HF237, which attempts to prohibit private sales, or HF1323, which will advance the police state.

Both sides in this debate have adopted an “us” versus “them” methodology. In face the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) has the following to say:

Some anti-gun activists have been working to create a split among gun owners, hoping to weaken our position by making us fight among ourselves. They are trying to portray the Criminal Control bill, HF1325, as a gun control bill.

As I mentioned in my coverage of HF1323 (HF1325 is a clone of HF1323 for those who are curious) the bill contains several points that I would qualify as gun control, specifically Section 12, which would make it a felony to falsely report your firearms as lost or stolen. I consider that section a method of gun control because in the event of an “assault weapon” ban it would prohibit you from reporting your “assault weapons” as lost. With the passage of HF1323 the police would have reason to kidnap you if you reported your firearms as lost during an attempted confiscation. This, in addition with the mess of data that the bill would mandate to be entered into state or federally managed databases, makes for a frightening proposition. Things get a bit more ridiculous when the GOCRA page presents only two two options:

Don’t let the gun grabbers divide and conquer us. Call and email your Minnesota senator and representative today:

  • Ask them to support Rep. Hilstrom and Sen. Ortman’s criminal control bill.
  • Ask them to oppose Rep. Paymar’ss [sic] bill.

That’s a false dichotomy because there is a third option, oppose both bills. There is no need to pass more legislation. What’s broken in regards to gun control isn’t the absence of restrictions, it’s the number of restrictions. Gun-free zones have greatly reduced the cost of performing violence. No amount of background checks, data in police databases, or new laws will correct that problem.

What surprises me isn’t GOCRA’s advocacy of HF1323, it’s their tenacity in supporting it. I haven’t seen any suggestion that people oppose both bills. In fact, based on what I’ve seen written on their website, they seem to imply that you’re either with gun owners by supporting HF1323 or you’re against them by opposing it. It’s a ridiculous attitude to hold and it saddens me to see it posted on their website.

As I said at the beginning of this post, eventually politics will lead you to make a decision between your principles or your political alliances. My principles won’t allow me to support any legislation that creates new gun control measures or grants more power to the police state. Fortunately I’ve escaped the political realm and am now working on solutions outside of the state’s ability to control. My solution relies on mutual cooperation instead of “us” versus “them” strategies. It’s also something different, which is desperately needed since the political means has lead to a continuous erosion of gun rights. I urge everybody to oppose both bills being presented and find alternative means of advancing gun rights. The time of passively begging politicians to give us a few scraps from the table is over. We don’t need their blessing, permission, or acknowledgement and it’s time we started realizing that.