“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”
Theodore Roosevelt

This is as true today as it was a century ago, and this is a good reminder that as defenders of the 2nd Amendment, we have an absolute responsibility not only to fire that rifle but to make sure our aim is accurate.

We’ve all heard late night TV hosts doing street interviews at the expense of oblivious Americans who don’t know the name of their governor or can’t find New York on a map. Pretty consistently (at least for the last 20 or so years), polls show most Americans don’t know the name of the vice president, only about one-third could name all three branches of the federal government and just 38 percent of Americans know which party controls Congress.

It’s sad but true – too many Americans have no clue what’s going on. Some have tuned out because they are legitimately sick and tired of our ugly national divisiveness and others are simply more interested in celebrity figures or sports news. Should we let this bother us? If they stayed home and didn’t vote, it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but some of these folks do vote, and that has some pretty scary implications.

Let’s be real – heading to the ballot box when you know next-to-nothing about what a candidate believes or what a proposition really does is risky business. Do we really want people more interested in Kim Kardashian – who has her own team of armed security – to decide how many guns we can own, whether we can own them or how much ammo we keep at home? This is not a far-fetched scenario, because the choices made by the uninformed voting community have consequences for all of us.

We must take voting seriously. It’s a privilege – and even though politics certainly has an ugly, distasteful side, unplugging comes with a price that none of us wants to pay. Every single one of us needs to make certain our pro-gun family, friends and co-workers make it to the polls. Impress upon them the importance of voting – not just for the sake of saying they exercised this privilege, but because they understand what’s happening with our rights, and because they believe collectively, our voices can be the difference between winning and losing. Get your friends out to vote – and contrary to liberal propaganda, this is not an issue of Republican or Democrat. It’s an issue of whether you believe in the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution.

There are countless examples of races that have either been won or lost by very small margins – even here in California. In 2014 alone, two incumbents were defeated by a margin of just two votes per precinct. Our U.S. Senator Kamala Harris won her Attorney General seat by the same puny margin in 2010, which meant her race couldn’t officially be decided until four weeks after Election Day. It happens all across the country – in 2008, a House race in Alaska was decided by just one vote, and in 2006, an Oklahoma Statehouse seat won by 2 votes. Two recounts finally decided the Washington gubernatorial race in 2004 – by a mere 133 votes. You can bet the winners in each of these races believes that every vote counts.

If every gun owner in California were actively engaged, there is no question that we could change the face of the California legislature and stem the assault on our liberties. We have absolute, hard-core evidence that pro-gunners have made the difference in tight elections – yet what happens when we choose to do nothing?

Abraham Lincoln once said “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Stand with GOC, get your armed and informed self (and family and friends) out to vote so we don’t have to sit on a lot of blisters.


  1. Joe on June 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Keep up the good work Sam.

    • L.A. Paredes on June 30, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you – will do.