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Columbia University Libertarians would like to put on a Machine gun Shoot/BBQ

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by AJAX22, Oct 20, 2009.

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  1. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    Hi all,

    I just got back from a meeting with the Columbia University Libertarians and they were very supportive of putting on a machine gun shoot-n-q to get Columbia/NYU students active on the RKBA.

    Essentially it would be a road trip to a nearby free state (unless there is a way to do it in new york or NYC but that is highly doubtful) where we would have the opportunity to teach gun safety to some of the top students at one of the most liberal schools in the country. then there would be some range time under VERY close supervision, followed by a BBQ and we'd probably get some pro RKBA speakers lined up to speak after the dinner.

    And in the process there would be GREAT PR opportunities for everyone involved.

    We'll probably be needing to find an 07FFL/02SOT or private gun owner/club who is located close to NYC (anywhere within 4 hours or so is workable) and we'll be trying to get together a lot of sponsorship (ammo isn't cheap).

    The NYU republicans seemed interested in participating and its possible that some other NYC based school organizations may be looking to get involved.

    If anyone here knows of any manufacturers/clubs/organizations who we can approach to try to get this off the ground please let me know.

    this will likely be very manpower intensive as it is vital that basic firearms instruction be provided as well as a high level of supervision, so if anyone knows of organizations who may be willing to provide supervision as well as firearms safety instruction that would be ideal.

    It is very likely that this will attract a huge amount of backlash from both the university and politicians (Bloomberg et all) but that just means national media attention and more to offer sponsors.

    Everything is still just up in the air, but based on the reception the idea received it could be a hugely successful event.... and if the university tries to block it from happening, the first amendment issues and positive press that would result from the institution suppressing free speech could be amazing.

    This is also a great way to get some of the more politically active, freedom minded individuals who are active in NYC focused on the RKBA....

    So.... suggestions? comments? criticisms?

    any input/help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Sounds great!

    I'd have to think on some things as far as concerns and/or suggestions.
     
  3. lomalinda

    lomalinda Member

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    Ajax,

    Sounds like a great idea. My understanding of the NYS gun laws is that full auto is illegal, much like it is back here our our lovely home state. However, FA is legal in CT--just not select fire. Perhaps you could find a range over there to use for this purpose?
     
  4. gyvel

    gyvel Member

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    And I should point out that transport of any NFA weapon into another state, whether temporary or not, requires a letter of approval from our friends at BATF beforehand.
     
  5. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    They allow Libertarians at Columbia?
     
  6. jn1965

    jn1965 Member

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    At first I thought he wrote Librarians!

    I worked at CU for 7 years back in the 1980's and it was crazy back then. We actually had a wymyn student come into our office to see if we had any objectionable material. (the poster of Nikki Knokkers went over big time)

    I applaud this effort.

    I can check with the club in New Paltz to see if they would not mind hosting.

    No FA, but would we really want people who have never SEEN a gun up close firing FA?
    Visions of the video of the girl with the AK-47 firing wildly come to mind...

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3a7_1255150590

    I am thinking bolt actions for them :D
     
  7. Yosemite Sam

    Yosemite Sam Member

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    Yeah I'd be kind of worried about people shooting full-auto from unsupported positions. Maybe FA with tripods from seated position. Or only have the n00bs shoot semi-auto and have experienced shooters demonstrate FA.

    Just trying to avoid the possibility of an "incident" reinforcing anti-gunners' views. "See I told you so" sorta thing.

    Would this event occur in the spring?
     
  8. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    Thanks for the input so far guys,

    I just want to be very clear on one point, this is NOT going to take place in NYC... so no worries on that front (thanks to those who have expressed concern).

    As far as crossing state lines with NFA items, that was one of the reasons for trying to involve an 07FFL/02SOT as they have considerable freedom with such things (it also would be nice to shoot post sample guns to save the wear on privately held FA firearms)

    As far as the appropriateness of NFA items for this shoot, I had similar reservations when we were conceiving this project. However the politically controversial nature of them could be extremely useful in trying to maximize the exposure of the event and ensuring it goes off successfully.

    By having NFA items present it serves to state in no uncertain terms that this is NOT about hunting.

    It also increases the chance of national media coverage, as well as increasing the chance of a backlash against the project from both the school and activist groups.

    With a high enough level of supervision it should be manageable, and participation would be completely revocable at the discretion of the supervisory staff.

    Even if FA use was limited to a few short bursts from a 1919A4 it would increase the success of the project and make it much more marketable.
     
  9. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    Yes this would have to be a spring event... probably a couple weeks before finals.

    There is no way it could be organized/funded in time for winter...
     
  10. docjonsn

    docjonsn Member

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    yes they do

    Pete

    (Columbia University,Teachers collage 1985 to 1989, English Lit.)
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You may want to contact the Westfield Sportsman's Club in Mass and talk to them about how to set this up.

    I also don't think that FA is a good idea for first time shooters since the cost is high and learning curve is a little steeper than just introducing them to shooting. OTOH, if you have other shooting trips to local ranges planned you could make the FA shoot to be the big end of year blast.
     
  12. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    I'm still wondering if FA is the way to go here. I can see a bunch of fence-sitting college students having a day at the range shooting machine guns, then still coming away thinking "well that was fun, but who really needs one of those anyway?"

    IMHO, it'd be much better to set up a suppressor shoot. The "cool factor" is already there, and it'd be much easier to explain the "benefits" of a suppressor (helps new shooters not be frightened, less noise pollution, etc) than a FA gun.

    Other than that, I think you've got a great idea, and wish you luck!
     
  13. rondog

    rondog Member

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    The first word that comes to my mind is, INSURANCE. What will you need, and can you afford it?
     
  14. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    With FA we completely eliminate any issues with 'hunting' or 'collecting' or 'sporting purposes'....

    The dialogue becomes purely about the RIGHT to keep and bear arms... It becomes a pure expression of freedom, unencumbered by any 'well this one is ok, but that one is not, and this one looks like it is sporting, and that one is scary'

    IMHO the de-mystification of machine guns/suppressors etc will go a long way to winning them over to our side.

    Kind of how when a shotgun doesnt wipe out an entire landscape with one blast, people stop being so awed and terrified of them.

    I want participants to come away from this having had fun, but being a little dissapointed and let down that machine guns are not the magical items they have been portrayed as in the media/pop culture.

    Once you can get people to accept that a machine gun is 'no big deal', you've won all the arguments... you don't have to fight for handguns, you don't have to fight for shotguns, you don't have to fight for 'sniper rifles', you don't have to fight for 'saturday night specials' and you definitely don't have to fight for 'assault weapons'...

    Machine gun owners tend to get thrown under the bus by many firearms enthusiasts.. but that is a very unproductive tactic... If we could simply illustrate that there is nothing evil about NFA items, then we wouldn't have to worry as much about creeping incramentalism.
     
  15. OurSafeHome.net

    OurSafeHome.net Member

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    I like your line of reasoning.

    I had the privilege of supervising Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX) and his staff during a sub-machine gun "fam-fire" exercise back in the 1990's.

    I got him to autograph my Libertarian party voter's registration card.
     
  16. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Just my opinion, but I think you might be better off doing a field trip as a group to an organized machinegun shoot put on by someone else. That way, your group would avoid the expenses and hassles of trying to organize one yourselves. Each person could just rent the gun(s) they want to shoot. That's expensive enough, and college kids aren't usually made of money. FA's are fun allright, but man, they cost a lot to feed.
     
  17. hnk45acp

    hnk45acp Member

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    Try PA, it's closer and a Class III state, IIRC Targetmaster is about 2 hours from NYC and they offer full auto rentals. I'd be willing to help any way I can. Also the folks down at the West Side pistol and Rifle range on 20 west 20th st can possibly give you some advice
     
  18. vancel

    vancel Member

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    I've been poking around your website to do some research for a book and came on this thread. I'm curious: Do you guys think it should be legal for private individuals to own grenade launchers, bazookas, stinger missiles, etc.? If so, how about mortars, howitzers, field artillery, etc.? ICBMs? Nuclear warheads? As far as I know, the word 'arms' (as in the Constitution, a right to keep and bear) simply means weapons. I'm wondering where you draw the line and why.

    Please note this might seem provocative, but I'm not 'anti-gun'. I own a .22 rifle, shoot for sport, and occasionally fire handguns at a range. But I am puzzled by the notion of promoting private ownership of a weapon that doesn't seem to have any sport purpose.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  19. rm23

    rm23 Member

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    Vancel:

    How about you start your own thread, rather than get this one locked?
     
  20. vancel

    vancel Member

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    Sorry, didn't mean to be disruptive.
     
  21. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    I’d like to start by apologizing if I haven’t been clear or I’ve come off as clear as I should, I had four midterms today as well as two club events and a seminar last night, so I’ve been a little tired.

    I’ll try to address some of the concerns that have been raised (mostly in other forums, but people tend to have similar concerns).

    One of the major goals at a club level is to create solidarity within the various conservative groups/individuals in the NYC college communities (i.e. Columbia University Libertarians, NYU republicans, etc.) And no matter what the outcome of this event, I believe that will be accomplished.

    As far as the larger game plan (and why I feel that it is important to use the media to our own ends)… well here is a rough idea of what we’ve been thinking:

    Even in an ideal scenario with ample resources, time, equipment, logistical coordinators etc, the actual number of individuals who could be brought out to shoot is minimal… you might break triple did gets if you did multiple group outings over the course of the year, which would be a good start, but it is really not enough in and of itself to form a self sustaining movement.

    If however we focused on doing one event that had media appeal we have a higher chance of other RKBA supportive organizations actually hearing about this in the media, seeing a strong response, and there is a good likelihood that the other groups will try to arrange similar outings (probably not NFA outings, but rather the type of basic instruction/familiarization that we would like to see occur on a large scale.) And yes, I do agree that basic instruction of large numbers of individuals is one of the long term goals… Keeping that in mind, With limited resources we need to act strategically. Realistically we have the opportunity to arrange for ONE larger event or a small handful of other events (ultimately resulting in the same number of participants either way). The smaller outings will likely fly under the radar… which is not ideal… Our opponents are better funded, and know how to play the media like a fiddle. Unless a school institution cracks down on a non NFA trip there is no chance that it will gain any real momentum outside of the organizations already participating. (Please keep in mind, If any well known school, or a state institution actually tries to squelch the meet, it then becomes both a 1st and 2nd amendment issue which is MUCH more likely to succeed in the long term.)

    if we use the media’s own bias against itself we can take what resources we can scrape together to give a tiny prod to them and they will broadcast from the rooftops in overblown exaggerated terms illustrating what we have done. This in turn can cause other groups to lend their efforts, draws in a wider pool of human and financial capital and ultimately can effect a more meaningful change. With enough manpower and capital I would love to see regular 2nd amendment road trips to free states from NYC… there is NO gun culture to speak of here in the city and that needs to change. NYC is a rather unique situation wherein there is a large population who is liberal primarily because there are no opposing viewpoints, and anti gun because they’ve never had the opportunity to use one, and as such they are strange mysterious fear inspiring objects. Educating and training the populace is a very worthwhile goal, but it cannot be accomplished to any significant degree by one or two small university clubs. It takes mass mobilization to get that sort of change, which requires media coverage… and since they won’t give favorable coverage, we need to trick them into thinking they have some sensationalist story, when in fact they are broadcasting and popularizing ideal representatives who can keep an on point message with regard to firearms and freedom.

    With regard to CU libertarians inadvertently promoting the ‘gun nut’ stereotype I firmly believe that we are ideally suited to challenging those pre-conceived notions. While we are a relatively small, our group has a high percentage of women, minorities, and disabled individuals, and every member has experience in high pressure debate settings and can hold their own calmly and intelligently while looking good and wearing a tailored suit. They can scream ‘GUN NUTS’ all they want, but when a well dressed, articulate, beautiful woman sits down for the interview, it makes them look bad and us look good. The same goes for our other members.

    People attending the event would be wearing business formal, or very nice business casual (depending on the weather) and every member would be conducting themselves impeccably. This would not be a work boots and blaze orange event. Many of our members are older students, some with military backgrounds, others with experience in the corporate world. These are NOT a bunch of whiny freshmen who drag themselves from the bar to the art hum department everyday at noon... these are some of the Top students at the school in economics, business, higher math, biology, chemistry, political science etc. and these are NOT stereotypical 'gun nuts'.
    These participants will, if anything, significantly better our impression in the national media... I can't stress this point enough, this group of individuals is absolutely the best possible candidate for a 2A representative.


    Essentially the tactic I am suggesting is not to give a man a fish, or teach a man to fish, but to try to hold an event with the intention of starting a movement which will inspire large numbers of those who know how to fish to teach those who don’t… thereby actually making a measurable impact.
    We have to understand not only our opponents but ourselves. As gun owners NOTHING motivates us like being told that something is ‘bad’ and that we shouldn’t do it ‘for the children’. There are a lot of firearms owners who would spend every weekend for a year teaching new shooters if Bloomberg told they couldn’t /shouldn’t teach NYC residents how to safely handle a firearm or promote 2nd amendment awareness. I guess this would be the ‘Tell a man he can’t fish and he’ll spend the rest of the week catching a fish just to slap you in the face with it’ theory.

    As far as the appropriateness of doing this NOW, as opposed to later… My answer to that is that the right time to do ANYTHING is NOW… can you think of a time in the last 30 years when we had a truly 2A friendly executive office and legislature? We won Heller, we have made huge inroads in reclaiming gun culture. If we give our opposition an inch, I guarantee you they'll take it. we need to keep the pressure on.

    If you wait for tomorrow, all you’ll wind up with is a bunch of wasted yesterdays.
     
  22. hnk45acp

    hnk45acp Member

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    Ajax although I admire what you are trying to do, I can't grasp exactly what it is you are trying to do.
    Are you trying to arrange a a FA shoot with your classmates?
    Are you trying to attract media attention for it?
    Why would the media attempt to cover your event?
    If you are trying to gain media attention, a simple shooting trip isn't going to do it.
    If you do get media attention what is your message?
     
  23. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    first and foremost its a shooting trip for NYC college students, which will help to bring togeather some of the pro RKBA/2A groups who are not particularly active or vocal. There is a lot of potential support here, but with no focus 2A rights supporters tend to put their energy into other things.

    Yes, I feel that media attention would be a good thing, exposure which shows what types of events can be held by motivated pro 2A groups will generate further interest in out of state shooting trips and help other groups to find ways of consolidating support for the RKBA movement. There are a very large number of supporters of liberty in NYC, but because they have no 2A outlet they focus on other things.

    Media coverage allows what would otherwise be a small event involving farily few people to have a larger impact outside of the immediate participants. No one here in NYC seems to realize you can live in the city and be active in the 2A fight.... we need to get that message out there.

    A simple shooting trip will probably not get attention, but as it has been pointed out, the media has an obsession with fully automatic firearms... if you ad 'machine gun' to the tag line of anything, it becomes national news.

    Admittedly it would be nice if a simple shooting trip with .22LR rifles had the same potential for exposure, my favorite firearm is my old .22 tube fed ranger back home... but the media doesn't react as predictably, and would likely ignore it or the debate would get sidetracked into 'hunting/sporting' uses, and how in NYC we have no 'need' of those kinds of things, since there is nothing to hunt.

    With machine guns it keeps the debate away from sporting use.

    If an attempt is made by university or city officials to stop the outing, it then becomes an issue of 1st amendment issue which gains a tremendous amount of support even in NYC, and people who otherwise would not get active in the 2A movement will do so because it has become about an issue they believe in.

    If we do get media attention, the message is:

    NYC is violating our constitutionally protected rights. If you are a 2nd amendment supporter in NYC, you are NOT alone, if you want to become educated on the right to keep and bear arms there are ways to do it even in an environment as hostile as NYC. This is not about guns, this is about freedom, this is about right, it is about liberty... We are not bad people, we are not dangerous criminals... but if we cross an arbitrary line on the ground with the constitutionally protected means to defend ourselves we are instant felons with a 3 year mandatory minimum sentance (IIRC)... Columbia University used to have one of the top rifle teams in the country... now we have to choose between education and having the means to defend ourselves.

    But we can work to change that, even in a city as biased as this one there are a lot of freedom minded individuals, you don't need to have a gun to have a vested interest in the 2nd amendment, get organized, get active, get a freedom safari together and go get educated on what REAL gun safety is. Learn how to be a responsible member of the 2nd amendment community. Not everyone with a gun is some sort of thug/redneck stereotype, most people are just regular Americans like yourselves who appreciate living in a free society. We want for New york to rejoin america, free america... where the constitution of the united states is still the supreme law of the land.

    obviously that is just a hastily thrown together blurb, the actual message will be written/re-written and carefully structured.
     
  24. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    I would suggest that any speakers stick to the topic of firearms rights and not go off on unrelated tangents about abortion, gay marrage, or pro or anti-war rants.

    Keep it libertarian.
     
  25. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    I would also have to voice some concern over FA for first time shooters. If you are concerned about getting around the Hunting/Sporting use, I have a suggestion. Maybe use semi-auto AR's. Yes they are widely used for hunting and that is the point. It may be beneficial for the cause to present SA AR platform rifles as truly multi purpose as we know them. You could also use Galils,AK's,etc, etc to accomplish the same effect as FA firearms. The wow factor of seeing students firing guns that look like FA will have the same effect as if they were FA, it will also make organizing this event muc, much easier. The media already has everyone beleiving that anyfirearm that looks like a deadly "assault weapon" is FA anyway. Use it against them!

    Bravo on your efforts!:)
     
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