Usually, when a pro-gun group takes a shot at lawmakers, those lawmakers are responsible for pushing an obvious anti-gun agenda. When they do that, we all tend to agree with them.
However, that’s not always the case.
For example, in Wyoming, Republican lawmakers are fighting back against vicious attacks by a supposedly pro-gun group.
growing group of Wyoming lawmakers — including the vice president of the Senate — are coming after one of the state’s most aggressive gun rights groups after it lodged efforts to discredit incumbent Republican lawmakers in a number of vulnerable districts ahead of next month’s Republican primary.
The group, Wyoming Gun Owners, has been a consistent presence in Wyoming’s politics, presenting itself to residents as an uncompromising and unapologetically aggressive proponent for the Second Amendment in Cheyenne.
Throughout the last two weeks, however, the organization has focused on pitting its often aggressive campaign tactics and extensive digital operation against out-of-favor politicians.Established lawmakers like Cheyenne Sen. Tara Nethercott and Kemmerer Rep. Fred Baldwin have come under Wyoming Gun Owners’ microscope this summer, even with Nethercott running unopposed in her primary this year. Michael Von Flatern — a moderate Republican senator from Gillette — has received the most attacks over the years, dubbed the organization’s “Biggest Enemy to Gun Owners in Wyoming” and regularly disparaged outside of campaign season.
That’s…odd. I mean, why attack a Republican lawmaker who is running unopposed?
Well, you see, the big takeaway here is really who the group in question is. You see, Wyoming Gun Owners is run by perhaps the biggest grifters in the Second Amendment game.
Incumbents in highly competitive districts like House District 24, currently occupied by Rep. Sandy Newsome, have come under some of the most withering attacks from the organization, depicted by Wyoming Gun Owners as lapdogs of legislative leadership while they face intense competition from candidates on the right wing of the Republican Party who have pledged to back all of the organization’s legislative priorities.
“She hasn’t been in office long,” Aaron Dorr, the organization’s policy director, said in a recent video opposing Newsome in favor of her opponent, Nina Webber. “But she’s quickly made a name for herself as a do-nothing moderate who the leadership team can always count on to oppose any gun bills that come along, and to be a safe leadership vote.”
Now, I’m not really sure just what more Wyoming can pass. They’ve got constitutional carry on the books, preemption so local governments can’t pass their own laws, no real regulations at all beyond the federal laws that I can see, so just what does Dorr want here?
Oh, I get that the University of Wyoming’s campus is currently gun-free and I agree that has to be addressed; but to attack lawmakers who are ostensibly on your side simply because they might have been waiting for the courts?
Of course, Aaron Dorr and his brother are interesting individuals as it is. We’ve looked at them before. There’s reason to suspect that they’re not really doing much except stirring up hate and discontent on the right and using absolute faithfulness to the Second Amendment as their tool. I’m not saying they’re doing it on purpose, but they’re still accomplishing that.
Some will argue that shakeup needs to happen, that some lawmakers are just so comfortable that they need some discomfort.
That’s not necessarily wrong. The problem pops up when you’re looking at these Dorr-aligned groups and recognize that they’re taking in tons of money, holding rallies that paint the entire gun rights movement as extremists, then target lawmakers without any real concern over how politics is actually working.
For example, waiting for the legal challenge to the University of Wyoming’s anti-gun policy makes sense. If that decision and quashed the school’s efforts, then there’s nothing for anti-gun groups to try and challenge. Waiting made sense. Now, though, it’s time for lawmakers to act. I suspect many of them will.
If not, then we can have that conversation.
Yet since Aaron Dorr’s brother is on the record as opposing Second Amendment sanctuary counties and he hasn’t been attacked by his siblings, I kind of have to wonder just how vehement their defense of the Second Amendment really is.
The truth is, I look at anything the Dorrs or their networks push for with a great amount of skepticism. I think everyone else should as well.