Pro-Gun Activist Calls it Quits!


March 31, 2003, 08:26 PM
Pro-Gun Activist Calls it Quits!

by Lori Broadhead
Armed Females of America, National Director

Sarah Thompson is taking a “break.” Who is Sarah Thompson, and why should you care whether she takes a break? Sarah is the Executive Director of Utah Gun Owners Alliance, or UTGOA, a Utah-based grass roots organization. Sarah and her

Organization have been very effective in limiting or stopping infringements on our gun rights. Every legislative session, UTGOA sends an email to its subscribed members, alerting us to bills that would threaten our rights, if passed, along with instructions on how we can help stop it.

Sarah sent us pre written letters, a list of legislators and their contact information, seminars to attend, and flyers to hand out. UTGOA sent out extensive candidate surveys. The results were posted on their web site, so we knew how every candidate felt about the Second Amendment before we walked into a voting booth -- all this in return for our activism and donations.

“Quite simply, few people have been willing to get actively involved in working to promote gun rights." Sarah Thompson

To quote Sarah’s letter, informing us that she’s taking a break: “Since UTGOA was founded, we've helped to sponsor bills to provide for ‘right to carry’ (concealed carry without a permit), elimination of fees for background checks and permits, elimination of training requirements for permits, provision of storage facilities at courts, liability protection for those who lawfully use lethal force, recognition of out of state permits to keep our tourists safe, creation of Bill of Rights Day, protection of Constitutional rights of state employees, and more."

“Our efforts have gained not only local, but national attention, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal Online, the Boston Globe, as well as various radio programs.”

So, now you know who Sarah is, a viable, important part of the pro gun movement in Utah. Someone you needed in this arena, whether you live in Utah or not. If you don’t know why she felt it necessary to take a break from fighting for your rights, I’ll spell it out for you. She banged her head against a wall, one last time. According to Sarah, she’s “taking a break” because, “Quite simply, few people have been willing to get actively involved in working to promote gun rights."

“We appreciate those of you who have taken the time to contact your legislators, and hope you'll continue to do so. However, when we've asked for people to attend committee hearings, even just one per session, most of the time no one has shown up. When we've asked for volunteers to help with gun shows, political conventions, and other events, we've gotten only a couple of volunteers at best."

“Most discouraging, UTGOA supporters have been almost entirely unwilling to get involved in electing pro-gun candidates, which is the single most important key to success.”

Now, here’s why you should care whether Sara takes a break. After all of Sarah’s hard work, along with a handful of her dedicated volunteers, not one of the five pro-gun legislators was elected last November. Not one candidate reported having a gun owner volunteer in their campaign because of the candidate’s stance on gun rights, not one.

Luckily, we did have two solidly pro-gun incumbents retain their position, but imagine where we’d be if the other five had gotten elected, too. Two steps forward, five steps backward? Hello, is anybody listening out there in Utah? We lost FIVE pro-gun legislative candidates because you thought someone else would take care of the activism part of protecting your gun rights.

In defense of Utah’s gun owners, they may have been helping on campaigns but didn’t mention they were helping because of the candidate’s pro-gun stance. But honestly, do you really believe that? Did you volunteer with a pro-gun candidate’s campaign in your state or local elections last November? Armed Females of America has approximately 60,000 hits on our web site each month. Do you think you’re the only one who answered, “no” to that question? Out of 60,000 visitors, do you want to guess at how many has actually joined AFA? We have less than 200 members to date.

You wouldn’t believe how many people think, “I’m a member of the NRA, I already do my part.” Sorry, that doesn’t get you off the hook of being an activist in your own state and local politics. And, I know you know that on some level. “I gave at the office,” isn’t going to get your rights back that have already been taken, some with the NRA’s blessings.

You hear about a march, a boycott, a rally, and think, “they should do okay without me there, I’m too busy. There’ll be lots of other supporters.” Or, “I wish I could donate, but I just can’t, they’ll probably get a lot of other donations.” There aren’t any “they’s”; we will NEVER have enough supporters; there aren’t any “others” to carry your load. Nobody has stepped forward with deep enough pockets to stop this hideous thievery of our rights.

“I’m a member of the NRA, I already do my part.” Sorry, that doesn’t get you off the hook of being an activist in your own state and local politics. And, I know you know that on some level. “I gave at the office,” isn’t going to get your rights back that have already been taken, some with the NRA’s blessings.
If you think there are millions of us out there fighting for your right to keep and bear arms, so you don’t have to, you are dead wrong, there just aren’t. It’s you and me against millions of liberal dollars. Guess who wins when money is the deciding factor? According to some figures, there are 80 million gun owners in this country. Where are they? Imagine the clout we’d have if each gun owner contributed just one dollar. But, you do nothing.

Are all the gun owners so busy exercising their Second Amendment right that they don’t have the time to protect that right? Have they just forgotten that they need to do some scheduled maintenance occasionally so they’re up on what our government is doing to us? Or, do they just not care? I’ve often brought up the Second Amendment and how we’re slowly losing our rights to different shooting buddies and friends. I just get apathy in return, or complete and utter ignorance of the problem, and I’m always amazed that people can be so blind.

Gun owners are very apathetic of their gun rights, but then again, most Americans are apathetic about any of their Constitutional rights. Our rights are taken for granted until they’re taken away, or threatened. That’s the problem, isn’t it? You don’t see a need for political activism. Because you only use that one little handgun as home defense, you don’t really consider yourself a “gun owner.” I mean, you don’t go hunting, trap shooting, competition shooting, or collect guns. Why should you put yourself out there when all these unconstitutional gun laws don’t really pertain to you? Owning your one little home defense gun is against the law in may states. Did you know that? The “authorities” went door-to-door, confiscating those personal defense handguns, too. Did you know that? Yes, in America, our guns are being confiscated.

The government and gun haters don’t want to take your duck hunting guns, or limit their use, so why bother helping all those “gun nuts” who want to own an AK-47, right? After all, it’s people like that whose ruining it for the rest of us, huh? I’ll put it this way -- does freedom of religion pertain to you if you don’t go to church, or if you’re of a different religious belief than your neighbor? Yes.

Are you protected against cruel and unusual punishment, although you’ve never been to prison? Yes. Do you have freedom of the press, though you’ve never written a book? Yes. Should you protect these God-given rights, even if you don’t exercise them, no matter how others use or even abuse those rights? YES! It is your duty as an American to protect our Constitutional rights, all of them.

What makes the Second Amendment different from all the others in the Bill of Rights? The Second Amendment is the only one that gives us a tool to protect the rest of our rights. The right to keep and bear arms was given to us so that our government would think twice about tyranny, rising up against us. It doesn’t matter what your gun of choice is, or why you choose to own one, or if you own one at all.

Your RIGHT to own firearms is the only point to this discussion, and you should be protecting that right with all the fervor and passion you can muster. You don’t have to own a printing press to want the right protected to print anything you like. However, shouldn’t the owner of the printing press be in the forefront of protecting the First Amendment right? Gun owners should be in the forefront of protecting the Second Amendment right, too. In fact, gun owners have a greater duty to protect the Constitution, since our Second Amendment protects all other rights.

But instead, you do nothing. You don’t send a pre written letter to your Legislator, one of the fastest, easiest things you can do in political activism. You don’t make a phone call to your legislator; you don’t attend a rally or a march, and don’t participate in the latest boycott. You don’t write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper, or convince a friend to register to vote. You do nothing, but read a few articles and visit a few pro gun sites.

Then, you spend three minutes renewing your NRA subscription on line and feel like you’ve done your part. But, you’ve got your gun, by crackie, and the NRA will make damn sure you keep it, right? Shouldn’t we take charge of securing our own rights, and not leave it up to some huge corporation?

It takes both, folks. Go ahead, join the NRA, JPFO, GOA, AFA, KABA, Pink Pistols, SAS, or whatever pro-gun group you associate with, but get active, too. Money doesn’t always talk, and since our side doesn’t have near the funds that the anti-gun crowd does, we have to speak up. The anti-rights side has millions of dollars, and a lot fewer people than we do. However, their people are all activists, protesters, and whistle blowers. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. We’ve got the people, but nobody cares. Imagine how much noise 80 million people could make if we would all just come together as one loud voice for the Constitution.

How much did you spend on your morning espresso, or that movie rental to keep the kids occupied while you entertained company? We can all afford to send ten or fifteen dollars a month to our favorite grass roots organizations, but we don’t. We all have three minutes to send a pre written letter to our legislators, but we won’t.

We need warm bodies with a pulse to be out there, talking to their state and federal legislators. We need human voices and personal letters to speak for us. If you’re intimidated because you don’t know about politics, all you have to do is ask someone. Any one of our AFA Directors will be happy to walk you through sending your first letter.

I didn’t know diddly-squat about politics, and I’m still learning every day, but I never missed sending one letter that Sarah asked me to send. It was a no-brainer. All I had to do was find out my Senator and Representative names and districts, and the rest was easy. I’ve been writing and calling ever since. Of course, I’ve voted since I turned old enough to do so. If you’re not registered to vote, that’s your first step, and the most important you’ll ever take. Your voice is the loudest on Election Day; use it. Find out how to register by calling your County Clerk’s office.

I depended on Sarah to let me know what was needed of me in this political battle for my right to own a gun. ANY gun. It’s a fact that I’m the only AFA member in Utah, so it’s not hard to imagine that Sarah’s pleas for help were answered with a pass the buck attitude. Utah is also one of the highest ranked gun-owning states, so where are you? I’m not just talking about Utahans here. I’m talking to YOU. Where are the gun owners?

Yes, you -- the woman who loves visiting our site, but hasn’t joined. I’m talking to the man who loves our stance on gun rights, but hasn’t taught his wife how to shoot so she will understand this battle and join in. The guy who wished his girlfriend felt about guns the way that we do, but hasn’t introduced her to any of us, so we can help him.

Please, do some research, get involved, and register to vote. If Sarah’s stepping back is an indication of what’s to come of our Constitutional rights, I pity us all. Prove me wrong, stand up for your rights, then write in and tell us your success stories.

Lori Broadhead

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March 31, 2003, 10:19 PM
The truth hurts. I've said it before. No one WANTS to find the time to do the things that HAVE to be done. We must all hang together or we will most definitely hang seperately.

March 31, 2003, 10:34 PM
Well, Utah? I've been out of the state more than in it for the last 19 months. (I've probably haven't logged 90 days at home in that time, all of it broken up except 6 weeks when I came back from China.)

But I'm back and I'll be getting busy.

How about you?

March 31, 2003, 10:41 PM
Sarah burned out. We all do. Best wishes to her! :D

April 1, 2003, 01:55 AM
Amen, Blackhawk.

Burn-out, & most specifically from dealing with the inactivity of our own.

April 1, 2003, 08:25 PM
Burnout certainly, and no fault of Sarah's. Ours.

April 1, 2003, 08:30 PM
I've been told that Claire Wolfe's Think Free to Live Free: A Political Burnout's Guide to Life, Activism, and Everything ( is an awfully good book. Perhaps she would get something good out of it?

April 1, 2003, 09:30 PM
She's right. A couple years ago I used to be one of those lazy people who liked guns but wasn't politically active. Last year I helped elect a pro-gun state rep. Next year I intend to do the same and so on.

April 2, 2003, 02:16 AM
The article is putting the cart before the horse; forget about voting for a pro-gun candidate for a moment..

HOW ABOUT VOTING??? How's that as an opening??

April 2, 2003, 01:43 PM
I'd agree, twobliink, that voting's a goodly start, but if for the "wrong person," isn't that a "plus notch" against us, while a "not-voter" was a null?

An education process must take place beforehand (& yup, it's against some other things I've posted here/TFL).

Merely "exercizing the vote" is as dumb as firing a round into the air, IMNSHO. W/o proper intent, it's a safety hazard. ;)

As with some of my latest diatribes against "those on our side," I've found that "we" tend to accept more restrictions on our own rights than the antis'd want to intrude - sometimes ..... again, (stress) sometimes), but we are very willing to accept "reasonable restrictions" on those of us who would never, ever require these laws in the first place.

Very telling, I think.

"I would never, ever break this law, so go ahead & pass it."

But wait! INn verey instance of these passages, we lose more 'n more of what used to be "a right." No longer.

I am a huge proponent of the "we gots the slippery slope - big-time"-crowd & our side is more than willing to accept it.

I argue more with our5 side, than the antis - merely at an attempt to hold fast that we DO have The Right.

Give an inch - lose a mile.

& yessiree. I am seriously burnt out with our side _ always was - & merely regenerate here 'n there.


April 2, 2003, 03:05 PM
We're gonna be fighting rearguard actions forever, until SCOTUS rules and props up the 2nd.

Till then, the more fascist of the states like CA/NJ/IL/MD/MA will run amok, and set the stage for federal actions.

(NJ's "reforms" set the stage for the 1968 federal laws, and also the "AW ban")

Even if the AW ban sunsets, and it probably will for election year, there's nothing to prevent a new one from cropping up in the 2005 legislative session.

Then we'd be whacked: Certain rifles & magazines with certain features manufactured before 1994, and between date X & Y in 2003 would be legal....


April 2, 2003, 04:18 PM
I've met Sarah and she is a great person. I was really bummed when I heard about her quiting.

April 2, 2003, 05:08 PM
SCOTUS rules and props up the 2nd.

Uh-huh. And when Dianne Feinswine flies, maybe they'll repeal the income tax while their at it.
Newsflash. SCOTUS is another branch of the government. What do governments do? They consolidate their power, as such the second amendment won't be repealed, but it will be steadily eroded til it's just ink on a piece of paper.

This whole, "you have to vote" thing is just silly IMHO. Our firearms are not up to the will of the majority. Besides, at the federal level I only know of one pro-gun guy who isn't anti-freedom in some other way, that is Ron Paul. I'm not going to vote for quasi-fascist republicans just because they got a B- instead of a D from GOA.


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