Yesterday at the Second Amendment Freedom Rally, I ended up conducting an impromptu class on how to lobby your representatives. George at Newbie Shooter wrote it all down and wants to share it with you.
Let’s talk about how the sausage is made.
We have a Federal system in the US. We have a tendency to focus on the national government, and the antics of the clowns in Washington DC. I’m not sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that it’s easier for the networks to cover one National capital than to try to find out what’s happening at 50 state ones. But look at who actually makes the laws you have to live with.
Imagine that you went out right now and shot your neighbor. Who would arrest you? Which court would you end up in for your trial? And most importantly, which set of laws would you be tried under, State or Federal?
That’s why I’ve been telling people for years that the real action in gun rights is at the State level. The laws that determine what you can carry, where you can carry it, and what laws you have to follow before hauling it out and shooting someone are all made at the State level. If you can get what you want out of the State, you can basically ignore all but the worst federal attempts at gun law changes.
Your representative is a local resident. With 120 seats in the NC House, each one represents about 77,500 people. This sounds like a lot until you realize that the Representatives at the National level have districts nearly 10 times as large. This means that you have a much better chance of influencing your State representative.
The final thing to consider is that State representative jobs are often stepping-stones to higher political office. These guys want to move up. They don’t want to piss you off, which could end up messing up their future chances.
So get to your State capital (or at least the local office) and start telling your representative what you want them to do. Get their email address and their office phone number. Make sure that when they think of your issue they think of you first.
And what do you say once you get face to face with your representative? Click over to George’s post and he’ll tell you.