Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What would Overton say?

One of the most important aspects of the NRA convention is the opportunity to meet people and exchange ideas. I had a chance to sit with, talk to, and banter about ideas with people who occupy the entire spectrum of thought on Second Amendment issues. I am a "no compromise, not another inch" "Threeper", yet I understand the necessity of an organization like the NRA. The NRA exists to cater to the "Middle 60%" of the gun owners. In doing so, they will annoy the extremes at each end of the gun owner spectrum "Fudds"-(for lack of a better term although I disdain the term personally)-and "The Three Percent".

In my earlier post "Three Percent Bitch", I advocated for our end of the spectrum to engage and take over from within. To make the NRA into our 800-pound gorilla. At least one Threeper wrote me off as an apologist and shill for the group. I know I pissed off a few more who didn't bother to comment. So be it. But, here is the rub: as a political organization, the NRA interfaces with politicians who are afraid of the fringe 40%. The NRA, as an organization, only really understands their own middle 60%, and is ALSO afraid of the fringe 40%. They are a group of moderates, talking to a group of moderates, who only want to get along and not take radical and unpopular stands on issues.

Here is where this benefits us. We need to move the Overton Window on them. It was moved against us gradually over many years, until guns were seen as outside of the mainstream. We need to normalize guns again. Part of that strategy is push the "fringe" farther out. Like it or not, the Threepers are considered "fringe" by the mainstream. We are written off as crazy, absolutist, uncompromising, etc.. Let's fix that.

Here is a core truth: We need the NRA. Here is another core truth: The NRA needs US.

We lose sight of the fact that, while they have sinned against us in the past, they are still listened to in the halls of Congress. We need to understand that our voices are heard the loudest when the biggest mouth is singing our song. Like I stated in Three Percent Bitch, we need to engage them from within and bend them to our will.

The NRA needs us too, and they don't yet understand why. They need the Threeper movement to push the Overton Window. We need to push the window towards the Constitutional Ideal; of Constitutional Carry without restrictions, nationwide. In doing so, we push what our goal is loudly and force the less "extreme" measures that relax restrictions into the 'normal mainstream' of thought and acceptability. And, we keep pushing.

Together, we Liberty-minded gun owners and Second Amendment advocates can accomplish much. To do so, we need to quit sniping at each other (well, most of the sniping), pull together, and act. Failure to do so has allowed the enemies of Liberty to push the window towards Statism at the expense of our freedoms.

The gun banners and leftist politicians use the Overton Window against us. It is time to turnabout and do the same to them. Are you with me?



Andy said...

I had no idea you considered yourself a Threeper. You are so nice and jovial and easy to get along with. Never would have struck me.

Newbius said...

Really? What does being nice have to do with it? :) I think that people use "Threeper" as euphemism for "crazy whacko wannabe militia-type".

The truth is that people like James Madison, John Jay, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and George Washington were the prototypical "threeper".

For Mike Vanderboegh's description of a "threeper", you can find this on his page at

"What is a "Three Percenter"?
During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.

Three Percenters today do not claim that we represent 3% of the American people, although we might. That theory has not yet been tested. We DO claim that we represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority. So too are the current enemies of the Founders' Republic. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.

The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any futher circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders' Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.

We are the people that the collectivists who now control the government should leave alone if they wish to continue unfettered oxygen consumption. We are the Three Percent. Attempt to further oppress us at your peril. To put it bluntly, leave us the hell alone. Or, if you feel froggy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS."

Andy said...


I was joking around when I said that. But....

"Really? What does being nice have to do with it? :) I think that people use "Threeper" as euphemism for "crazy whacko wannabe militia-type"."

I dunno where somebody would get the impression of crazy wacko wannabe militia-type. Oh wait...

"We are the Three Percent. Attempt to further oppress us at your peril."

I'm all for fighting for civil rights, including gun rights. But if MAIG got its way and somehow stopped private firearms transfers (i.e. must always use an FFL), I'd be pissed but I wouldn't threaten revolt over it, much less break the new law. Instead, I'd work to undo the infringement.

Resorting to open revolt is the LAST option.

Newbius said...

Andy, no argument from me. If you read that description again, you will note passive non-compliance with further infringements, and only the use of arms defensively. No offensive action, as that loses the moral high ground.


Andy said...

So riddle me this...

Upon which issue is the NRA compromising?

I seriously don't find the logic in the "no compromise" position.

Newbius said...

At the moment, they aren't. :)

Old NFO said...

Interesting take, and pretty much mirrors my conversations with a number of folks up there... You give them more credit than I do though- I think they are losing 25% on each side, plus the 'specialty' shooters...

Heath J said...

Agreed with you on all points.

It floored me during the convention how many of the gun community that I very much respect have nothing but derision for the Threeper in general.

Yes, there are plenty of chest beating blowhard idiots, but I'd have thought that the idea in it's purity would resonate with all freedom minded folks.