ACLU Letter


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scbair
August 23, 2008, 11:07 AM
I just received a letter from the ACLU, seeking a contribution to support legal action against the federal government's detaining of suspected terrorists. Now, I actually think the government should adhere to due process when detaining or arresting anyone. However, in light of the ACLU's demonstrated mathematical disabilities (only nine amendments in the Bill of Rights, according to the ACLU; the Second Amendment is not valid), I thought I'd bring them into the 21st Century. My response was handwritten on their contribution form (as best I can recall; I already sealed the envelope):

"Dear Mr. _______:

"As soon as I see evidence of the ACLU's involvement in protecting the rights of the citizens of Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and other locales that blatantly violate their civil rights as affirmed under the Second Amendment (validated by the U. S. Supreme Court in the recent Heller decision), I will support the ACLU.

"Respectfully,

My Name"


If the ACLU receives a deluge of similar responses to their mailings, the organization may actually decide to revise its stance. Money talks, and the thought of an untapped pool of contributors may be hard to resist.

Just a thought . . .

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hso
August 23, 2008, 11:11 AM
That's an excellent way to send a message. They asked for your contribution and you explained what they needed to do to get it.

How would we all be able to get such a letter to send the same message back? What's the main ACLU address so it won't get mixed with all the checks and MOs?


We may want to encourage others to cite the Cato Institute as where the money the ACLU asked for is going instead. Tell the ACLU that if they want to stay relevant and not be surpassed by Cato, they'll need to support the 2nd as an individual right.

zxcvbob
August 23, 2008, 11:16 AM
IMHO, they mostly just need to quit being antagonistic towards the 2nd.

.38 Special
August 23, 2008, 02:38 PM
Well done. There is far too much "The ACLU is a buncha COMMIES!" type thinking among gun owners. Polite, well written notes like yours are just what is needed.

.38 Special
August 23, 2008, 03:56 PM
On the one hand we have the ACLU essentially saying "We support some of the constitution but not all of it" and on the other we have gun owners saying, well, "We support some of the constitution but not all of it." I'm not sure there is any point in saying anything beyond that, namecalling notwithstanding.

Polite, well-written notes at least have some possibility of making a dent. "Buncha commies!!!" has no potential at all, other than reinforcing the stereotype of the drooling, mouthbreathing bubba with a gun.

<edit> This post made more sense before some of the other posts were deleted. Guess I'll leave it up as the sentiment is still valid...

hso
August 23, 2008, 04:32 PM
Did your post disappear? The reason is that it didn't follow the Activism forum requirements and probably wandered off to far into political discussion or negativism.

Read the sticky on "Before you post".

Knocking a plan and derailing a discussion are not part of the "plan" at Activism.

Posting a course of action, providing suggestions as to how to make the plan more effective, submitting information to make it more efficient, those are all acceptable.

"That's a stinky idea, let's talk about cats!" and "They're devils! Devils, I say!!!" isn't.
This forum is dedicated to activism to promote the RKBA.

It is the place to share with others the actions you have taken on behalf of RKBA or to propose actions on behalf of RKBA. actions taken or proposed on behalf of RKBA means that your post must describe an action taken or propose a plan of action on behalf of RKBA or it will be deleted.

On rare occasion a thread may be closed instead of deleted. Closed usually means that a moderator thought that your mistake might serve as a bad example to others in Activism so that they would see not to post whines, "Didja see...", cartoons, unrelated material, etc.

This is not the place to complain about politicians or discuss politics. Endless discussions complaining about politicians and politics sap the power of the internet for change. Those threads will be removed as a violation of the terms of this forum.

This is not the place to debate ideas. This the place to outline action to be taken.

This is not the place to use RKBA as the excuse to promote a broader agenda. Focus.

This is where we present actions we actually have carried out or action we want to carry out to make change happen.

There will be absolutely no arguments or comments about whether a given course of action is a good one. Such arguments always occur, about every single idea, and then no course of action is taken. This is the place to co-ordinate, not to talk somebody else out of doing anything.

If you cop a defeatist attitude in this forum, we’ll boot you. We don’t have time for crying. Any extraneous posts not directly related to the activity get deleted.

We get it that some of you hate the ACLU so much you don't want to try to change them, let's all try to stay in the 2A lane anyway, ok?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 23, 2008, 04:54 PM
When you mail letters of this sort, do NOT mail them to the lockbox (the address for sending money in), or the lockbox monkeys will just throw away the correspondence. Find the main HQ address to send it. Good job to OP.

ArfinGreebly
August 23, 2008, 06:09 PM
How would we all be able to get such a letter to send the same message back? What's the main ACLU address so it won't get mixed with all the checks and MOs?
Anyone have an answer for this?

OP: Good job.

Wondering aloud: If a letter arrived at the ACLU that said, essentially, "you asked for money, here's how you get it," would they concern themselves with verifying that they'd originated such a request, or would they be more concerned with counting the number of such requests?

And along those lines, how many such letters would get their attention, as in, "hey, Frank, we've been getting a lot of heat lately on this 2nd Amendment thing," and how many more to get them to contemplate actually acting on it?

zxcvbob
August 23, 2008, 06:53 PM
Go here and click on your state to find the local affiliate contact info: http://www.aclu.org/affiliates/
HTH

.38 Special
August 23, 2008, 09:22 PM
And along those lines, how many such letters would get their attention, as in, "hey, Frank, we've been getting a lot of heat lately on this 2nd Amendment thing," and how many more to get them to contemplate actually acting on it?

The one bit of negativity I will interject into this thread is the fact that, as you may recall, the comments published on the ACLU website in regards to their stance on Heller were overwhelmingly supportive of that decision and critical of the ACLU's continuing foolishness on the topic.

They seem not to care at all.

So it seems to me that it will take a substantial shift of leadership within the ACLU for our arguments to have any effect -- and the only way that is going to happen is to continue the POSITIVE contributions such as that put together by the OP. The "buncha commies" bit can only cause them to dig in their heels by confirming the stereotype.

Duke Junior
August 23, 2008, 09:46 PM
Good work,scbair.Enough letters with that tone and commonsense and perhaps the ACLU will get the message,move into the 21st Century, and start supporting the entire Bill of Rights as you aptly informed them.
This could be a decent organization if they expend 100%,not 90% effort.

hso
August 23, 2008, 11:46 PM
In spite of the fact that the ACLU has enormous inertia on this and getting a change will take effort, without that effort change will take much longer.

So, returning their begging letters to the "head office" with a note explaining why they didn't get the money the asked for has some potential of getting some attention.

Zundfolge
August 24, 2008, 03:33 AM
There are a lot of pro-second Amendment ACLU members ... many more than we in the RKBA community acknowledge, its mostly the leadership that supports the collectivist interpretation of the 2A.

Note that the Nevada Chapter of the ACLU has come out in support of the Second Amendment being an individual right. (http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/jul/11/only-nevada-aclu-opposes-gun-control/
)

One chapter down, 49 to go. :D

And maybe that is the better tactic. Get each individual state to change and eventually the leadership in NYC will have to come along.

Gentleman Ranker
August 24, 2008, 10:08 AM
PremiumSauces (Yesterday 04:54 PM) #7 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4844762&postcount=7) says:

When you mail letters of this sort, do NOT mail them to the lockbox (the address for sending money in), or the lockbox monkeys will just throw away the correspondence. Find the main HQ address to send it. Good job to OP.

Having once worked, temporarily, as a lockbox monkey, I vouch for what PremiumSauces says. Find someone in a policy position and send your brief, polite note to them. Don't use the self-addressed envelope they send you, though including the solicitation letter with yours might help. I don't know the ACLU's specific procedures, but I do know that such envelopes are usually routed through the organization's money-collection channels, and anything without money in it will be considered trash -- both by the monkeys and by the managers handling that end of things. That is my personal experience in another venue.

If you want to mail back the envelope empty or with their original solicitation in it just to cost them money, you can do that, but it's not going to be seen by anyone as a rational argument of any kind.

regards,

GR

PS: It may also be worth considering sending a similar note to your local ACLU chapter, though they may not have been part of the planning for the initial solicitation. Letting them know that they may be losing support for what the national organization is doing is worth considering. The actual effect will depend on where your local chapter is; some of them may be "more Catholic than the Pope", so to speak.

hso
August 24, 2008, 10:08 AM
Did your post disappear? See #6 if you wonder why.

hso
August 24, 2008, 10:10 AM
Gentleman Ranker,

Please explain why not to use the envelope that came with the begging letter.

Gentleman Ranker
August 24, 2008, 10:16 AM
hso requests:

Please explain why not to use the envelope that came with the begging letter.

I've edited my reply to add that information. Thank you for pointing out that omission. We all sometimes forget that not everyone has our experiences.

regards,

GR

4v50 Gary
August 24, 2008, 10:42 AM
Thank you GentlemanRanker for clarifying your post. It is good to know if one were to write a letter to the leadership of the ACLU or any other organization.

Galen
August 24, 2008, 04:30 PM
Would the Executive Director of my local affiliate be a good person to contact?

Gentleman Ranker
August 24, 2008, 05:14 PM
Galen (Today 04:30 PM) #19 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4847640&postcount=19) asks:

Would the Executive Director of my local affiliate be a good person to contact?
I would think so, but consider the following:


Find out what the ED's name is and use it. Sending it to "Executive Director" has less impact. You are not trying to show that you're a personal friend of his, just that you took the trouble to know enough about the organization so you know his actual name. You want to look like you know and care about their work and didn't just get them off some "enemies list". By the same token, don't do something creepy like send it to their home address. Know what I mean?


The ED may or may not be the person who reads it, but by addressing it to him or her, someone will at least decide if it should be sent to them. The ED may well route it to some other person. That is not necessarily a bad thing.


The ED of the local affiliate may or may not be in sympathy with the national organization, may or may not be getting a cut of the solicitation, may or may not have had some input in planning it, etc. They probably have more input to the national than you do, though.


It helps, especially if it's true, to show that you are in sympathy with at least some major part of the organizaton's goals, and would like to help them if only ... well, you get the idea. As others have noted, if you make it clear that the only thing that would please you is for all of them to hang themselves, they aren't likely to listen. They may not do what you ask, but give them some kind of incentive to care what you think.

I am not familiar with how the above applies specifically to the ACLU, but I have worked with organizations structured similarly, and I think that that approach will work as well as anything will.

Imagine, for example, that some environmental group was writing to your local NRA club about their concern with toxic lead levels at a range the club had. How would that letter have to read for you to take it seriously? [And if you don't think lead toxicity is a valid concern, at least in general, you need to read up on it.]

Just MHO, though.

regards,

GR

Galen
August 24, 2008, 06:33 PM
Gentleman Ranker wrote:

I would think so, but consider the following:

* Find out what the ED's name is and use it. Sending it to "Executive Director" has less impact. You are not trying to show that you're a personal friend of his, just that you took the trouble to know enough about the organization so you know his actual name. You want to look like you know and care about their work and didn't just get them off some "enemies list". By the same token, don't do something creepy like send it to their home address. Know what I mean?

The national site lists the names and contact information for all of the local affiliates. That helps.

I'll keep in mind everything you have mentioned. I have never written a letter to an organization before, so this will be new for me.

wally
August 24, 2008, 06:42 PM
I've been doing this for years, finally seems to have got me off their mailing list. That's all.

--wally.

Galen
August 24, 2008, 11:53 PM
Here is the first draft of a letter to my local ACLU affiliate. Tell me what you think.

Executive Director: Cathy Hazouri
ACLU Foundation of Colorado
400 Corona Street
Denver, CO 80218

Dear Ms. Hazouri:

I appreciate the services provided by the ACLU. I agree with the ACLU Foundation of Colorado's stand on many subjects: REAL ID; Freedom of Speech, Press, and Association; the Patriot Act; and Privacy and Religious Freedom to name just a few. I especially support the educational outreach program that works to make sure all people know what their rights are as enshrined by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

I would really like to be able to support the ACLU Foundation of Colorado. I support organizations that are willing to take an overreaching government (at any level) that dares to trample our individual rights. However, the national ACLU's stand that the Second Amendment is a collective right rather than an individual right, and the Colorado chapter's lack of any different stance on the issue prevents me from doing so. All nine justices of the Supreme Court agreed that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was an individual right, not a collective right. This is not a close decision; it is a definite and overwhelming decision in favor of the individual's right.

I am a firearms instructor. I understand the risks and benefits of guns as tools and weapons, and it is part of my job to make sure that people who own guns know how to care for them, use them, and store them so that the tool is properly used and does not harm innocent bystanders. There is risk involved in owning a firearm, but it is risk that can be managed. I do believe that disarming law-abiding citizens simply makes the streets safer for the criminal element.

Currently, I donate to the National Rifle Association, the Gun Owners of America, and similar organizations. I do this not because I agree with everything they do (I do not), but because these organizations are defending and supporting my Constitutional rights secured by the Second Amendment, while the ACLU does not. All it will take for me to donate my money and support to the ACLU Foundation of Colorado is for the Foundation to state that it respects the individual's right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights and in the Colorado Constitution, and that the ACLU Foundation of Colorado will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights. The ACLU of Nevada has made this statement, and I would like to see support for all the Amendments in my home state as well.

Sincerely.

Duke Junior
August 25, 2008, 03:13 AM
Tell me what you think.

Quite well done.
It is somewhat technical however to suggest that all 9 justices agree that the 2A is an individual right.That can be read in many lights.Judge Stevens particularly will probably not agree.
Be that as it may ,the overall decision confirms that the 2A is an individual,not collective right
The ACLU must face up to this new and final reality,come to terms with the decision and accept it.
If they don't, what credibility they have left will quickly erode, and they'll be in history's dustbin in short order.

hso
August 25, 2008, 09:29 AM
Galen,

Good work.

Gentleman Ranker,

Thanks for your sound advice.


Perhaps the best thing would be to send these to the local Executive Directors. The national offices of the ACLU probably have bags of mail delivered every day while the local EDs only receive a handful. A few hundred (or even thousand) letters amongst the bags at HQ won't mean much, but if half the mail one month is our side explaining to the local offices that we support all the BOR and ask that the ACLU do so as well those EDs may pay attention. Even if they don't influence the national organization to defend the 2A the way they do the 1st the state ACLUs can decide to throw in on our side.

Galen
August 25, 2008, 11:00 AM
Duke and hso,

Thank you for the feedback.

I don't know if I would call it technical or not. When I read Justice Stevens opening paragraph on the dissent it seams he makes it VERY clear that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right.

The question presented by this case is not whether the
Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.


I do believe it if fare to paraphrase the dissenting Justices opinion as "It's an individual right but..."


I have another paragraph that I am thinking of adding asking the ED to contact me for further discussion. I'll add that in the next draft after I see what kind of feedback I get on this.

Second Amendment Liberal
August 25, 2008, 11:40 AM
nice, OP. I wrote them a letter myself in the past but all I got back was "please visit our website to learn about the ACLU" or some such BS PR response.

ilbob
August 25, 2008, 12:27 PM
When you mail letters of this sort, do NOT mail them to the lockbox (the address for sending money in), or the lockbox monkeys will just throw away the correspondence. Find the main HQ address to send it. Good job to OPGood point. Most of the time the guys running the fund raising at these places are not really tied in closely with the people actually running things. The NRA is that way too, as are most groups that have more or less permanent professional money raising sides to them.

I would suggest addressing the letter to some specific person, not necessarily the president or executive director. BOD members come to mind. If people at different levels of the organization start getting heat about this, it will make more of a difference than if it is directed toward the professional fund raisers who could care less just who they are raising money for.

If they get five or ten thousand fund raising appeal letters back saying "not interested because of your bizarre stance on the 2A", it will make a difference.

HIcarry
September 19, 2008, 05:19 AM
How would we all be able to get such a letter to send the same message back? What's the main ACLU address so it won't get mixed with all the checks and MOs?

Use their website's "contact us" feature and ask someone to send info via snail mail about joining. That way it appears as if the ACLU solicited you for the donation when you include the donation/membership request with the letter to the ED as discussed in previous posts.

Just for fun, you might print out the followinng and include that as well:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/21/19133/5152

"Why Liberals Should Love the Second Amendment"

revjen45
October 2, 2008, 03:38 PM
Putting a bunch of washers in the envelope sees that it arrives postage due.

hso
October 2, 2008, 03:57 PM
Putting a bunch of washers in the envelope sees that it arrives postage due.

We've already determined that such tactics don't work for large organizations because their mail is screened and out of spec mail is dumped at no cost to them.

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