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California RKBA

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by crkba, Jul 16, 2008.

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  1. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Hi,
    I'm new to this forum though I've had a link on my homepage to Oleg's a-human-right for aeons.

    I have a plan to put a California Constitutional amendment on the 2010 Primary ballot. I've bought the .net, .org and .com domains for "crkba" and they currently redirect to my family homepages where I have preliminary description of the plan. See California RKBA

    I've also started a blogspot here CRKBA Blog

    Basically, I'm trying to get momentum out of heller and give the lawyers something to hang their hat on in forcing the california courts to recognize rkba. I think the plan can succeed because I've identified a way of making the signature gathering as painless as possible and virtually online only.

    Please visit the above pages and let me know what you think, either here, on the blog or via my emails.

    Cheers
    Phil Terry
     
  2. Matt King

    Matt King Member

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    I think the best way to advance the right to bear arms in california is first to get the second amendment incorporated. I think this will happen in the chicago case currently making its way thru the courts. Next, challenge the state AWB as un-constitutional based on the fact that many of the guns banned (IMO) fall under the "common use" qualification.
     
  3. crkba

    crkba Member

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    pushing vs pulling

    Hi Matt,

    I agree that other events are going to happen...eventually.

    My fear is that the incorporation approach a) won't happen and b) is viewed by the state critters as the feds imposing on them. So they'll do what DC is currently doing, ie comply minimally.

    What I'm trying to do is to generate a grass roots "pull" effort to tell our state critters that hey, there may be votes in going pro-gun. If we can get this amendment then we can let the lawyers loose within CA without having to wait for incorporation...
     
  4. Matt King

    Matt King Member

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    I'm pretty sure that incorporation is going to happen. After all isn't the 1st amendment incorporated? The supreme court found that the second amendment is an individual right and I think the states would have a hard time arguing that it somehow it doesn't apply to that state.
     
  5. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Two things we need to do: get the Second Amendment incorporated and get our leader in California to recognize gun owners and those committed to the RKBA as a significant political and economic force.

    The first is critical, but it is being attended to elsewhere. Nonetheless, we need to recognize how important it is. As things stand now, the courts have not yet said that the 2nd Amendment applies to the states. We need clear judicial authority for that proposition so that we can use Heller to attack California laws in court.

    To accomplish the second, we need to swell the memnbeship of the California Rifle and Pistol Association and the NRA.
     
  6. Gray Peterson

    Gray Peterson Member

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    I agree with the idea of the amendment, but I'm not too sure of what'll happen after it gets submitted to the ballot and the general election campaign is concerned. I still think that the California anti-gun establishment can outspend CRPA/NRA Coalition by several orders of magnitude.

    Plus the provision that is proposed is WAAAAAY too complicated.

    How about this language instead:

    "The right of the individual to keep and bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state shall not be impaired, but nothing herein shall justify the carrying of arms concealed from view of others".

    Then again, that's just me in terms of seeing what should be thrown on there. Though honestly I would wait until AFTER the incorporation cases come down the pike with Nordyke and other cases.
     
  7. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    a few years ago some people tried to get a similar rtkba amendment on the CA ballot. they didn't even come close to getting enough signatures and it just died. they discovered early on why the only practical way to get enough signatures on petitions is to pay people to collect the signatures.

    I agree the proposed amendment is a little complicated.
     
  8. brighamr

    brighamr Member

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    crkba - I think you have a good idea. Take some of the feedback here with a grain of salt, but make sure to read all the feedback as occasionally it will make sense :) . Anything you do is better than doing nothing, and for that I applaud you.

    Are you following the CCW cases? Actually going to the court dates and following those cases may give you some "ammo" for your fight. It also might get you in contact with some very pro-rkba people who can help in your quest.
     
  9. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    That is just dead wrong. A badly written proposed amendment could well have unanticipated and very negative consequences.

    It is entirely possible the proposed amendment could fail. Would that be better than not doing it in the first place? I don't know. Maybe not. It may well be that as a few other posters have pointed out that CA has already incorporated the entire US constitution and does not even know it.
     
  10. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Thanks for all the responses, keep em coming.

    Lonnie, one of the main aims of this approach is to kill may issue ccw so I'm not adding that clause to the amendment.

    Fiddletown, in my opinion, as a lifetime member of more RKBA organizations than I can list, NRA and CRPA are useless in California, they appear to thrive on donations to reduce the rate of loss of rights, I want to fight back and regain rights. My approach is the nuclear option...

    Ilbob, Top down via heller won't get us any rights back. They will strive to interpret that everything is still ok and we will have to fight cases one by one to chip away. I'm going bottom up, Californians are instructing their legislature and courts that this is the way its going to be: no restrictions on guns. Did I mention it was a nuclear option... Also, I'm aware of previous failures and discuss that on my web pages... I think my online approach should help fix the signature gathering problem of the past. This is post the grass roots internet activisim of Ron Paul, Dean, etc.,

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  11. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Ilbob, agree if I word it wrong it could be bad thats why I'm looking for input. As I said on the web pages, this is a way off from being submitted to the AG, mid 2009 so we have time to refine and get some legal input from those who have such qualifications. However, the aim is not to water it down to make it anodyne and acceptable for the California girlymen and soccer mums.

    Instead I want to frame the discussion to convince them its in their best interests.

    Who knows by 2009 when the fuel rationing and food riots are hitting the streets people might have different opinions on RKBA :)
     
  12. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    You really believe that a mere amendment to the CA Constitution will mean anything to the judges and legislators in your state?

    Incidentally, I am not saying this is a bad approach. I am suggesting you have dramatically underestimated the amount of work involved. And even if the state goes along with the idea that people can go out and gather a single signature of themselves, what makes you think you can get enough signatures even that way?

    If it took someone a mere minute each to get a signature this way, you are talking something like 6 man years of work. Someone has to collate them into the prescribed order, and submit them.

    Do you have any idea how much paper you are talking about? Typically 500 sheets to a ream, so you are looking at 1500 reams of paper, or 150 cases.

    And most states have rules about how the things get submitted, usually in some kind of binder. You may have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in supplies to buy just to submit them.

    I don't think you should let the effort dissaude you, but you need to look at it a whole lot more realistically and come up with a well thought out plan that involves at the very least several hundreds of volunteers.
     
  13. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Well I quote the legislation that allows it and I wrote to the AG to confirm mechanics. They refused to comment against and I'm having to follow up with country officials to find out what "hidden" traps they may have. I am doing this with due diligence as documented on my website and blog, its not something I just blew off the top of my head in a forum discussion...

    OK, I can't argue with that one, if they are that lawless then the supreme court and the feds aren't going to sway them either....

    I don't "get a signature" or spend time on that part. Individuals download the forms, print em out, fill em in and mail them to me. I haven't found a sequence numbering requirement in the CA regs yet... Am checking with county officials for such like or for binding requirements etc. Yes I do discuss the volume of mail and requirement for volunteers as things ramp up on my webpages...

    If you have or know anyone who has experience of CA specific regs and requirements please put them in contact with me. I am serious about this and am putting forth real money to get this accomplished, I have not underestimated the effort required on my part. I may be overestimating the intestinal fortitude of CA gun owners to actually do something....

    I started this thread to seek positive suggestions and try to flush out and find like minded individuals who can offer to help. I'm not short of offers of opinions as to why its all a waste of time and won't work and....

    Thanks, I won't and I am not underestimating it. I will need help thats why I'm here trying to put out feelers ahead of time. I am seed funding this to get it off the ground and a volunteer grass roots internet co-ordinated campaign will keep the costs down. We can't let them price us out of the market of ideas and actually using the "tools for popular democracy" that were put there for us to use!

    And I don't mean to harp on your comments in particular ilbob, I understand your just trying to help and stop anyone or anything going off half-cocked for which much thanks. But everyone reading this, please forward to resources you think could help or might be interested in helping with this project.

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    First, you entirely miss the point of NRA/CRPA membership. Politics is a numbers game. How seriously any point of view is taken directly correlates with how many votes and how much economic power are perceived to be behind that point of view. So what counts is head count. More California members of the NRA and more members of CRPA mean that our positions will be taken more seriously because we appear to wield voting and economic power. Ideology means nothing.

    Second, yours is hardly the "nuclear option" unless you can (1) get it on the ballot; and (2) win. If you fail, it will merely be interpreted by the political establishment that the RKBA can not get any meaningful traction in California and therefore can be safely ignored. How realistically have you assessed your chances of succeeding? Indeed what makes you think that you can win when this has previously been tried and failed?

    Very true, and simple is better. I suggest that you look at some existing RKBA provisions already in the constitutions of a number of states. Arizona, Virgina (okay, it's realy a commonwealth) and Vermont come to mind. In many cases, existing state provisions would have the additional benefit of having already been dealt with by the courts of those states, some they come complete with some track record. While not directly binding on California courts, such a track record could be persuasive.

    The problem is that I doubt that there are enough California gun owners to swing this. You need to get California voters who don't own guns to sign on to this project. Without a bunch of them, I don't think that you can have the numbers you'll need.
     
  15. Librarian

    Librarian Member

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    I'm all for the idea.

    But do you have any idea how much money its going to cost?

    That's not meant as discouragement; it's a reality check.

    Here's the outline of the problem:

    If we go by recent estimates, about 30% of households have guns. So, you could count on possibly 30% of voters being at least somewhat sympathetic. You (or anyone) need to get an additional 20.1% of those voting in the election you select to go along with you.

    Do you recall the last election cycle and the Indian Gaming initiatives? Think about all the advertising that was on the airwaves. A successful campaign will have to match or exceed that effort. It will have to establish RKBA as non-threatening, revenue neutral.

    And you will have to get over the TV and radio stations and newspapers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose - the 3 biggest markets in the state - refusing your ad buys. There's no way to compel those media publishers to take your money, and I'm sure you're aware of the consistent anti-gun output in all three markets.

    Most successful initiatives have the backing of large corporate interests or large union interests. How do you sell RKBA to one of those major groups?

    Initiatives do succeed. How will you solve the problems so yours will be one of those?
     
  16. Oana

    Oana Member

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    I tend to think that a constitutional amendment would go nowhere at this time. But...if someone starts the ball rolling now, maybe five years down the line it could be a possibility. Do your research, choose wisely.

    Personally, I think there may be some real possibilities in pushing for shall-issue CCW before a full amendment. There's been enough of a brouhaha over Sheriff Carona in Orange County to get people thinking in that direction, if it's played right.
     
  17. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Fiddletown Politics is numbers...

    You raise good points if you goal is to train the assembly and senate critters not to pass bad laws, the only thing these puppies know is being thrown out by disgruntled owners. If they don't respect the owners, us, because of numbers or influence you are right they will ignore us and keep passing bad laws.

    Currently, when this happens we have no means to challenge it...

    By putting RKBA in the CA constitution we can now instruct our lawyers on what to go after, both existing bad laws, and any new laws the bad puppies keep passing. My proposal isn't instead of training them its how to clean up when the training fails or isn't yet effective.

    Which brings me to the second point. How to get it on the ballot and how to win. For me, the lack of visibility and publicity is a GOOD THING.

    Getting it on the ballot isn't a voting issue, people can't vote against putting it on the ballot... its a pure game of virally communicating and getting enough pro voices to sign.

    Since I came to California I've become aware in the past of various campaigns, either by word of mouth, online, etc. which I would have liked to have supported. How did I support them? I couldn't! You'd have to trip over one of their circulators in a parking lot and sign the piece of paper. Don't live in an area where they thought it worthwhile putting circulators then tough luck, won't get my signature.

    My approach avoids this. If you hear about it and go to the website and want to support you can download sign and post- done. One more vote for the initiative on the ballot.

    So its purely a question of getting 700,000+ signers from the gun community or those sympathetic to it.

    Second, I'm putting this out for a Primary election, june 2010. Turnout will be incredibly low if we don't stick it in the anti's faces and make a huge noise and look like we might be credible. So I don't need a huge percentage of the population. 8 million turned out for the last gubernatorial election - not primary. So we need only a bare majority of that turnout - which I want low so that the few gun owners who still exist out here stand a chance of winning. This is an internet meetup/flash mob/grass-roots take 'em by stealth approach. I exactly don't want a big in your face campaign to stir up the opposition.

    Third, to Librarian's point that we have to have a publicity campaign "remember the gaming initiatives." No, I don't accept that. Clearly if this were the case you could tell me off the top of your head how many initiatives are currently qualified and what they are for the Nov 2008 election (Presidential no less)? No? Why not? You missed all their huge campaigns? There are 12 approved and 18 still circulating!
    Check them out here

    I'm a veteran of the Ron Paul campaign (just a lowly local precinct captain) so I know how an internet campaign where all the media either shut you out or ridicule you can still get 5% of the California primary vote. Forget politics as usual, paper ballots and parking lot campaigns - this is California where the internet reigns...

    Finally, the only group I need to sell it to is gun owners and friends and family of same. I don't need unions or corporations. People here seem to want me to accept that these are a vanished race in california before we even begin. I believe they are an embattled group lying low and trying to survive who won't come out of the woodwork for half measures. We have to give them something worth fighting for... hence no half measures.

    Finally finally (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition) while
    my initial website doesn't reflect this yet I do intend to try and couch the arguments in a way which can encourage the non-choir boys and girls. Banging on about 2nd Amendment or right to carry tends to scare the sheep. If they can see it in terms of improving their quality of life they may buy in or at least stay home, or at least not vote no on the ballot. I've always liked Oleg's human-right site, he uses female and minority images to make quality of life points in simple real life issues and I'd want to try and mimic that style in my campaign.

    Does this make more sense now?

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  18. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Librarian 30% have guns need 20.1% more?

    I'm assuming your trying to say I need 50.1% ie a majority of eligible voters?

    I only need to win a simple majority of the actual voters on the day who actually cast a yes or no on the particular initiative. Lots of people who vote don't punch every button... so in a primary election the turnout is going to be less than 8million. 30% of the 36 million population/23 million eligible voters/15 million registered voters/8 million turn out at last election.... numbers are on my web page.

    This is doable guys... for a board which supports the THR policies of "positive supportive" discussion I'm surprised this is such an uphill battle...

    I was hoping for some pro bono advice from lawyers, people who've actually executed an initiative, some people with legislative insiders, you know helpful pointers....

    Gun owners - the new minority victim group

    not an appellation that our forefathers would like to see us embracing quite so wholeheartedly...

    Cheers
    Phil
    PS I reply to individual posts so people can cross reference what I'm replying to... I don't mean it to be anything personal and I apologize that I do tend to take a person's comments as an exemplar of a group think and combat it.... need to work on my communication skills.

    Please do keep them coming as I will need to be able to produce replies to these issues going forward and this definitely helps me get things straight.
     
  19. billwiese

    billwiese Member

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    No, it doesn't make more sense now, Crkba.

    The problem is even if you make it to the ballot there's still a fair chance it could LOSE - depends what's else on the ballot, what it's tied in with, etc.

    And the problem is that a fair fraction of gunnies don't vote - or guns are down their list. If you lose, you set back all the court/legal work that's in play. Some gunnies seem to vote guns way down the list because getting free gubmint cookies or voting the way their union tells them to is a higher priority.

    Also, not everyone that has a gun is a true gunnie. They're "duck hunters", have an old 38spl in the nightstand, etc. They may even actively vote against such an initiative.

    NOW IS THE WORST TIME EVER FOR AN RKBA AMENDMENT TO CA CONSTITUTION.
    We have too much in progress in the courts and too much is going our way. All of a sudden a ton of California stuff is, or shortly will be, in play.

    (BTW, Oregon seems to have RKBA in theirs and some bright folks tell me that theirs really isn't that great, its force is way way diminished to what's essentially a right to musketry - and that Oregon's general progun stance is still just due to the shape of the voter base.)

    Remember, a big part of the reason we have the assault weapons ban in CA is because a bunch of 'duck hunter' types said "I don't need XXX" to hunt with, and the old-line Garand/M1A guys didn't give a fig about 'black rifles'. (Some of these guys would later get popped for AW flash hider violations 12 years later.)

    We've been down this road once before just two years ago. Besides being a bad idea due to above, it didn't have a chance to even get a full round of qualifying signatures. Getting sigs at gun ranges and gun shops and the occaisional committed pro-gun biz owner (restaurant, muffler shop, etc.) doesn't offer the frequency or density required.

    Any California ballot drive these days requires $50-$100 mil to have even a chance of success - for both the required PAID SIGNATURE GATHERERS as well as an ad campaign to get traction. It can cost more to run a successful CA ballot drive than the direct costs to elect a President of the US.


    Bill Wiese
    San Jose CA

    CA gunnies: join http://www.calguns.net !
    CA gunnies: join the NRA!
     
  20. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Please read my webpages, main page, my comments on previous attempts, before banging off "it won't work."

    It will work (at least to getting on the ballot) because its an online viral campaign..... loophole in the mechanism a bug to sacramento a feature for me...

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  21. billwiese

    billwiese Member

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    Hi Phil,

    I admire your enthusiasm, but I talk to Really Smart People who understand CA elections and politics - and the damage to our rights this has a substantial risk of causing.

    I think a bunch of the Ron Paul types continue take their flash-in-the-pan momentary trivial successes a few months ago and incorrectly extrapolate that they have some 'special knowledge' of how to win elections.

    Sorry.

    I don't give a damn about getting something on the CA ballot when:
    (1) CA gun politics will get fixed in the courts, and it's under way;
    (2) if ballot campaign loses, we get set WAY behind;
    (3) there's no chance of getting $60Million to even have a chance of winning.






    Bill Wiese
    San Jose CA
     
  22. crkba

    crkba Member

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    How so. A failed ballot has absolutely no value in the courts for or against. If as you say
    then a failed ballot does no harm.

    Second, if the courts are so darn great how come we are this far behind in the bottom of the ninth (sorry couldn't resist the pun)

    Already two post Heller decisions in State courts have quoted Heller in support of gun restrictions. Heller was a two edged sword and scalia reaffirmed that states can restrict all they want under "reasonable". I know how CA lawyers and politicians and courts will interpret resonable and you won't like it. Hell look at DC's response to Heller!

    He also said three times in his opinion that restrictions could include "commercial transactions." Thats the first time I've seen that term of art in court findings and its the camel's nose.

    Call me a conspiracy theorist but I see trial balloons (there goes those puns again) like AB2062 as the way Scalia et al, see the rest of the country going in restricting guns despite his individual rights finding. You rightly excoritate the duck hunters - Scalia is a duck hunter of the first order!

    You can have guns, you just can't buy ammo or find a range to shoot on...
     
  23. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Bill,

    The problem I have with winning in courts is that you don't really win long term. I don't know your politics, and please don't assume mine are "ron paul types", so I don't know what issues to quote as an example but there must be cases where you feel someone twisting a single case in court has tied everyone's hands and stopped "the people" having a say. You feel cheated and resentful. It doesn't lead to good things...

    If you can win hearts and minds and get a popular vote for something, then simply use the courts to impose that view on the "elites" who try to ignore it I think better things come down the pike.

    I know I'm batting both ways here, I'm trying to "sneak" a const amemd in on a quiet primary and then use the courts to enforce it but hey, the great majority out there don't have our knack for logic and consistency :)

    I don't see a downside to a two pronged attack, from above via the scotus and feds, from below by the initiative process.

    Cheers
    Phil
    We're on the same side right?
     
  24. billwiese

    billwiese Member

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  25. crkba

    crkba Member

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    Sorry, I still don't get the argument.

    What is "our cause?"

    Getting "my" gun rights at any cost?

    Are you saying I risk exposing that, for want of a better paraphrase, your approach of leveraging the courts to impose rulings that you favor on the population at large isn't actually supported by that population?

    I thought we were on the high road and that the silent majority of the population, beaten down by years of those self same tactics from the other side, actually do support you and your use of the courts against a non-representative elite and will demonstrate such support if given the right "cause" to rally behind.

    Cheers, that one made me laugh so much. Maybe you've been in the trenches so long, fighting so up close with these people (for which by the way I truly do thank you) that you mistake a momentary single back step on their part for a victory. For those of us outside, coming in late, evidently noobs is the term, we hate to tell you but the big picture is that the opposition doesn't need any "emboldening" on our part to quite happily continue their forward march all over us.:(

    And exactly how many Californian DA's and AG's were in there?

    And since July 1st this "downsized" bureau is "so unfortunately" suffering a backlog on issuing authorization letters to out of state FFL's so now its becoming impossible to get them to "go through all the bother" of shipping me a gun to CA.

    Now being as interstate commerce is a federal matter how exactly did this organization you so successfully neutered manage to impose regulations on FFL's in other states? I was sure one of those F's stood for Federal. Where's the NRA and CPRA on that one?

    And no I didn't miss it because I'm not a member of an approved RKBA organization. For your info I am a life member of NRA, GAO, JPFO, etc, etc., etc. None of them flagged that one.

    And please for the final time, get off the Ron Paul Types. Seeing how that organization worked and learning some things was useful to me, it doesn't define me. I voted for him as a statement not because I "stupidly" thought he could win. And no I don't think CRKBA will magically set everything right instantly I'm saying it gives us more ammo... From your responses it seems bashing perceived Ron Paul Types is higher up your list than guns...

    See without any help from the anti's we've degenerated into slagging each other off because of our "differences." Its so easy to do and we're so good at it. I'll let you have the last word... promise...:)

    And most of that is obiter dicta and what isn't is open to the definition of "is" - "broad?" "class?"

    Thanks, I wondered why I felt so refreshed.:)

    See I think we are all working in the same direction, just by different paths. I can throw lots of doubt and FUD about your chosen pathway, see above, but how has that helped either of us against our common foe?

    RKBA forces are making the same mistake we made in England, we think the opposition is a monolithic entity of one mind and purpose and that to "win a war" against it we therefore need to impose discipline on "our" troops to present a single face against them: meeting at 3.00pm on the fields of Agincourt tomorrow chaps. No dissent or deviation can be tolerated.

    The truth is the opposition is as divided and diverse as we are. They exploit this, they set the duck hunters against the black guns, the handgunners against the rifle guys, the CCW paranoid whack jobs against the black helicopter militia types.

    We need to do the same. The right to keep and bear arms is a human right as attested by the Federal Government and its Supreme Court and the government and courts of the majority of the states. Is california willing to stand up and say that it doesn't want its constitution sullied by such "archaic" talk or is it happy to affirm its agreement with the rest of the country. My amendment isn't trying to get it to lead or break new ground, just affirm where we are vis a vis the rest of the country. If it won't do that, I for one would like to know that. Because that means that the powers that be think they are going to lead the rest of the country away from this ridiculous throwback by a fluke 5-4 decision led by some Reagan mistake. It means that, while I hope everything you think is coming down the pike turns out the way you think it will, they are not going to oblige you.

    I came to this site via Oleg's Human Right site which I have long admired. That is the way to win hearts and minds and increase support. I'm trying to get an amendment that simply affirms that belief. Yes it can be used by lawyer types to repeal and prevent encroachments on the practicalities of it but we have to have that bedrock to build on.
     
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