Speaking to an energized, albeit smaller than normal, audience at the 37th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, author Dan Wos opened his remarks in a segment titled “What Winning Looks Like” by telling activists, “Winning looks like the Bruen case.”
He was referring to the powerful Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, issued back on June 23, striking down New York’s “proper cause” requirement to obtain a concealed carry license. Perhaps the most important aspect of that 6-3 majority opinion authored by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was the dismissal of the “two-step” approach adopted by lower federal courts when deciding Second Amendment cases. This approach combined history with “means-end scrutiny” which almost always tilted lower court decisions toward upholding gun control laws.
Wos emphasized the importance of defeating what he called “the anti-gun narrative.”
“If we don’t defeat this anti-gun narrative we’re going to be living in it forever,” he cautioned.
He recalled some of the history of the gun control movement, going back to when anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
“The Supreme Court rolled up the Constitution and hit the New York state legislature right over the head,” said Wos, author of “Good Gun, Bad Guy” series and a frequent contributor at Ammoland News.
He reminded the audience that the 1994 ban on so-called “assault weapons” which was part of the crime bill championed by then-President Bill Clinton, “did nothing to reduce violence.”
Turning his attention to current President Joe Biden, Wos said the problem the administration has with the Second Amendment is that it is getting in the way of what Biden had hoped to accomplish.
Wos said another example of winning is when an anti-gun neighbor asks a gun owner for advice on buying a gun.
A third example is when someone’s teenage son or daughter asks to go to the gun range, and other examples include having your spouse show interest in becoming a concealed carrier, and having public schools offer gun safety courses.
Wos was one of dozens of speakers who participated in the conference, held in Dallas, Texas. This year’s turnout was the first “live” event in three years. For the past two years, the event had been cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, but it was presented entirely online. Even in this form, it attracted tens of thousands of viewers. This year, the event was live-streamed, and it also had thousands of viewers.
Presented by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the weekend conference featured representatives from several gun rights groups, various attorneys pursuing Second Amendment cases, and journalists like Wos, whose focus is on firearms.
The full conference is now available on YouTube in two segments:
When gun sales skyrocketed in 2020, Wos said this was “winning” as well because the American public was not “buying it anymore” about gun control.
He said fear and hate are tools used by anti-gunners to “get people to support gun control,” but studies about the impact of gun control have proved anti-gunners wrong. Data suggests armed citizens defend themselves up to 2.5 million times annually with firearms, a fact which the gun control crowd cannot overcome.
Wos also cautioned the audience to listen for terms designed to demonize guns and their owners, such as “assault weapons,” “weapons of war” and “ghost guns,” and refute them when possible.
“Guns aren’t bad, guns are good and it’s our job to help society understand that,” he said. “The Second Amendment is not a privilege, it’s our right.”