Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grassroots Pt II

Mao also wrote “During the progress of hostilities, guerillas gradually develop into orthodox forces that operate in conjunction with other units of the regular army. Thus the regularly organized troops, those guerillas who have attained that status, and those who have not reached that level of development combine to form the military power of a national revolutionary war. There can be no doubt that the ultimate result of this will be victory.”

Traditionally, the individual ‘common man’ was limited in his/her ability to influence the public and legislators to writing letters to their congressmen, which may or may not be read, letters to the editor, which may or may not be printed, contributions, or being part of one of the orthodox organizations that supported his/her cause.

During this time of revolutionary change towards supporting firearm rights, however, a new form of media developed. AlGore extended his hand and the world changed. Word processors woke up and became smarter. Cables started boring through the earth connecting machines across the globe. The internet was born. The voice of the people could finally be spread outside of the 4th estate.

Many firearm enthusiasts took to this new media as if it were natural. Usenet, message-boards, websites, and blogs cropped up everywhere as gun nuts across the nation enjoyed the ability to discuss their hobbies with people thousands of miles away.

They also , probably inadvertently, adapted guerilla style warfare to the war being waged on firearm ownership. Anti-gun organizations that would start websites soon had sites with similar names countering or parodying them. Allowing comments on their blogs resulted in more pro-gun stances than supporters. Not allowing comments showed that they really aren’t interested in discussion as much as pushing their agenda without debate.

Even the traditional media hasn’t been immune to this. Reporters can no longer just sit in their offices and type up editorials with the expectations of a few opposing letters in return. Now their email gets flooded with responses, comment sections get filled, and their words are no longer just relegated to the papers they are printed in but are spread across the globe for analysis and critique.

This is, in essence, virtual guerilla warfare. Working individually or in small groups, we strike our opponents where they are vulnerable, move quickly, reacting to changes much faster than the large organizations can, and use their own resources against them. Over the last few years, this movement has evolved from individuals, to working together, to now complementing the actions of the orthodox organizations. The attempts by the anti-gun groups to equal this feat have, to date, been abject failures. In almost every instance, their “grassroots” sites have been run by paid sockpuppets or by the leaders of their groups. Very few actual anti-gun sites by individuals have been started or have lasted very long.

There can be no doubt that the ultimate result of this will be victory.

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