A Recipe To Save The GOP Part Two: How Allies Can Help
In an earlier post, I suggested adopting a distributist economic model could improve the GOP's electoral chances in the long run.
Now it's time to describe how two major organizations that are or are perceived to be allies of the Republican Party can help. These groups are the National Rifle Association and the Boy Scouts of America, both of which are disdained by the cultural left.
For starters, the National Rifle Association doesn't just oppose efforts to pass gun control laws. It has the Eddie the Eagle program to teach kids firearm safety, as well as shooting-sports programs. I propose the NRA put more money and publicity into both programs, the former to reduce the accidental shootings that give anti-gun people heartrending anecdotes to sway people to their side and the latter to teach people ignorant of firearms that although they can be dangerous if misused, guns are not objects of superstitious dread that must be kept away from everybody. In particular, the NRA should fund shooting-sports programs at children's summer camps. In particular, smaller camps that need money might be more receptive.
Overall in this country, the rate of gun ownership is going down. I am not suggesting ownership of guns for the sake of having them. I am not a gun owner myself because I don't see the need to own one and thus don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars. However, the fewer gun owners there are, the easier it will be to politically marginalize and then one day crack down on them. Reversing this trend by encouraging (responsible) firearms enthusiasm among the young will help ensure the right to bear arms survives should those who don't currently own guns change their minds.
Although the NRA has opposed gun control legislation as a slippery-slope toward confiscation (see the SKS controversy in California and how registration preceded confiscation in Britain and Australia), there might be a third option. A member of my alternate history forum who works in the California legal system has proposed strict liability be implemented in regards to firearms. For example, if someone's gun is stolen and they don't report it to the police, if the gun is later used in a crime, they get into trouble. Anecdotally, he's seen guns left out on the seats of cars where criminals can easily break in and get them. There's some reckless endangerment right there, but I don't know if it's possible to, say, slap a ticket on the car for that.
Advocating stricter enforcement against straw buyers would be a good idea as well, since that's another way criminals get their guns. None of these things would affect law-abiding gun owners (or if they did, they would only affect the most stupidly negligent among them) and in fact could be covered by the credo "rights have responsibilities" or to paraphrase Spider-Man, "with great power comes great responsibility." The NRA advocating this policy could back-foot gun foes and win over the more moderate people who support things like universal background checks, keeping them from being seduced by pro-confiscation forces like this fellow who wrote an article for the New York Times.
Now for the Boy Scouts. This article here describes how the Boy Scouts are in decline and suggests ways to counteract that. One solution is to admit girls, as many foreign Scout organizations and the American Venture patrols already do. Based on the New York Times article, there are a lot of girls dissatisfied with the "girly" activities of the Girl Scouts who could provide a welcome increase to the organization. For anyone concerned about shenanigans ensuing, I'm not aware of Venture events turning into orgies and furthermore, there is a concept called "adult supervision." A greater outreach to the growing Hispanic community would be a good idea as well, especially since the article claims Hispanics view the Boy Scouts as "elite and unattainable." This article here says in many countries Hispanics come from Scouts are for rich people, but that's not an issue I'm aware of in the United States. The Hispanic community is a largely untapped "market" for the Boy Scouts and if we want avoid irrelevance and remain the pillar of American culture we have historically been, that's a big opportunity.
The Boy Scouts of America has recently voted to allow gay youth, although not gay Scoutmasters. Although my religion as I understand it teaches homosexual behavior is immoral, I support this. I'm not going to name names, but I do remember getting a gay vibe off one of my fellow troop members. For all the harping about the potential problems that could result from gay kids in Scouts, I'll point out that they're already there. Again, "adult supervision." Furthermore, by requiring Scouts inclined this way to lie to stay in the organization they may love, the Scouting movement until recently was setting a stumbling block before them.
Politics reflect culture. A strong Scouting movement will inculcate generic "American" values and patriotism in young people regardless of race, religion, creed, etc. Although many Scouts I knew were Democrats (Republicans do not have a monopoly on patriotism and American values), none I knew were stridently anti-American or ludicrously alienated from their own civilization in the way some of the more belligerent leftists are. One of the more prominent Democrats in my old Scout troop joined the military, something hippies or people who think the celebration of the Fourth of July is a slap in the face to Indians and blacks (a friend of a friend said this online, but I can't find his blog at the moment) generally don't do.