Holiday gift giving lessons learned from Oregon Measure 114

Holiday gift giving lessons learned from Oregon Measure 114
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The biggest disaster for our civil rights this past midterm election was Oregon’s Measure 114. For those who have not been in touch, this measure did the following:

  • requires permits issued by local law enforcement to buy a firearm;
  • requires photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background check, and fee payment to apply for a permit; and
  • prohibits the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and makes violations a class A misdemeanor.

The first item in the above list is the permit to purchase. It turns an enumerated right into a government-granted privilege. Anyone who hasn’t studied history or lived under a rock knows how something like this will be warped and abused in the future; it’s pretty much a given.

The second item in the list adds onerous requirements to get these government-granted permits. It adds a “fee” to the exercise of a right. It’s unconstitutional from the get-go.

The last item on the list again imposes restrictions on magazines; similar legal restrictions will be struck down in short order in other states in our new post-Bruen world.

These new requirements are the bedrock of the Gun Grab Lobby’s wishlist, who keep making false claims that they are all very popular and, if not for the intransigence of corrupt, NRA-funded lawmakers, would pass easily through the legislative process. But guess what? Oregon Measure 114 barely made it past the finish line. The final results were:

Yes: 975,862 (50.65%)

No: 950,891 (49.35%)

Even in a deep-blue state like Oregon, this gun control couldn’t muster 51%.


To me, it’s clear why this measure made it through:

Votes from the ignorant: The usual people who don’t own guns, know nothing about guns, want nothing to do with guns, but think they can impose their personal choices on everyone else.

Incomplete mobilization of gun owners: People who do own guns, understand the significance of gun ownership, but weren’t mobilized to go to the polls.

So what should Second Amendment advocates do to address the above factors so they aren’t repeated in other states?

First, I’ll address the ignorant. Hating guns and wanting to attack others’ rights is not an incurable condition. Once people get over their ignorance, you would be surprised at the amazing transition they go through. For those who are ignorant, the best you can do is to take them to the gun range yourself. There are specific groups of people that you can befriend and take with you to the gun range, such as law school or journalism students and new immigrants. (Shameless plug: I wrote more about that in my book, “Each One, Teach One: Preserving and protecting the Second Amendment in the 21st century and beyond.”)

If you are unable to take someone to the gun range yourself, or think that it will be more beneficial to hire a professional for the purpose, consider buying someone an Intro to Firearms class as a gift. Once you welcome a non-gun owner into the club, that’s another potential vote for preserving our rights.


Second, for those gun owners who were not mobilized, we need to look at what could have happened. My theory is that most of those who did not vote were simply out of touch. If you’re a member of any state or national gun rights groups, you are getting contacted one way or another, and asked/reminded/prodded to show up to vote. If you aren’t, it depends on your personal level of political engagement. What we can do here is to make sure that these people are receiving communications, and the best way to do that is to gift them a membership to a gun rights organization.

There are some prominent national organizations to choose from such as the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition. But a lot of the action happens at the state level, so it’s a good idea to consider gifting membership to a state-level organization as well.

So as you wrap up your holiday gift giving, please consider these for your family and friends whose votes could have helped stave off a disaster such as Oregon Measure 114.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year to everyone.


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