A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the wool-pulling that politicians do to keep voters in the dark or misguided. I noted that party bosses and politicians play a balancing game on certain issues, particularly gun issues, trying hard to seem to support a piece of legislation, while simultaneously making sure that the legislation fails. I warned readers to be on the lookout for such tricks and to hold politicians accountable not only for what they do, but also for what they don’t do.
A reader wrote to me complaining that I didn’t name names and expose the devious miscreant politicians in my column. He said that it was difficult for regular Joes like him to do the research needed to distinguish between pro-rights and faux-rights and asked for more guidance as we approach the 2012 elections.
I would love to do that, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are 100 U.S. senators. I keep tabs on them and can label all 100 pretty accurately. There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. I try to keep tabs on them as well, but with 435 of them, and changes every 2 years, there are many that I couldn’t identify as “pro” or “faux” with much confidence.
There are 50 Governors and state legislatures numbering anywhere from fewer than 60 members to over 400 members. While I try to keep tabs on the governors, I tend to only really look at them when a piece of legislation is pending in their state. It’s even worse with the legislatures. There are simply too many of them for our small staff to keep track of.
That’s why our organization, The Firearms Coalition, works closely with local grass roots groups when we involve ourselves in state and local politics. But that doesn’t help my reader looking for guidance on his politicians. For that, we have created an “open source” website called GunVoter.org.
The idea of the site is for grass roots groups and local activists to post information about their politicians – from the federal level down to local town councils – so that anyone looking for information about any politician’s record on gun issues can easily find it in one convenient location. The problem is that all of those grass roots groups and local activists have their own important projects that they’re working on, as do we at The Firearms Coalition, and the posting of information at GunVoter.org is often neglected.
That’s why GunVoter.org needs your help.
We are in the early stages of the run-up to the 2012 elections, and we’re just starting to post 2012 candidate information on the site, but even with a concerted effort from The Firearms Coalition and grass roots organizations from around the country, there will still be holes in our reporting. We need you to fill in those gaps.
You know your politicians better than we ever will. You actively campaign for and against these people and track their voting records. You go to church and participate in civic organizations with them, and your kids go to school with their kids. We need you to share what you know about politicians with the world at GunVoter.org. Every piece of information about a politician, particularly one up for election, is important.
Even if you only know a little about one politician, we invite you to share that knowledge at GunVoter.org. If you are looking for information about a particular politician or candidate, we invite you to post a question at GunVoter.org. Someone will usually answer a specific question within a day or two and provide good, factual information.
The key to the success of a site like GunVoter.org is participation. The more people participate, the more information is available and the more visitors there are adding information, asking questions and discussing the issues of the day. It all depends on you visiting the site, posting a question, an answer or some general information and coming back again and again to participate in the discussions and expand the site.
GunVoter.org is designed to be an open community of activists and concerned citizens sharing information and ideas in a free-flowing forum environment. Registering for the site is easy, and all personal information is kept in the strictest confidence. We are particularly looking for individuals to manage and moderate specific states and provide research on the politicians of their state or locale. If you’d be interested in helping to push GunVoter.org into the mainstream of political debate, I encourage you to go to www.GunVoter.org, register, and then send me a private message through the system.
There’s not a lot there yet, but with your participation we can turn GunVoter.org into the most useful candidate information service in the country. Please take a few minutes to go to GunVoter.org and register. Look over the site and share ideas about ways to make it better and more accessible. Gun rights is a reliable litmus test of a politician’s views on liberty, individual responsibility and respect for the Founders’ vision of the Constitution and the nation. Help us make GunVoter.org a central clearinghouse for candidate information on gun rights and other liberty issues.
I hope to see you soon at GunVoter.org.