By Phil Reboli
Last week, a painfully unthoughtful op-ed was published in The Truth About Guns (TTAG), stirring up controversy within the gun community. Its author, Ms. Jennifer Sensiba, joined in the cacophony of hysterical commentary on Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene with her piece: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is Hurting the Gun Rights Movement.
Ms. Sensiba declared Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene unfit to be part of the guns rights movement. Instead, she recommended a coalition of mismatched ideologies led by single-issue congressmen who don’t draw attention or criticism from major news outlets.
Let’s be clear: Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is not handicapping the gun rights movement, as Sensiba claims, and a loose cluster of unoffensive, single-issue advocates is unrealistic.
There were demands that Sensiba be fired from TTAG or that she or the website offer an apology for the op-ed.
Ms. Sensiba missed important nuances in her op-ed, but censoring her undermines productive conversation. The responses to her op-ed were so overwhelmingly negative that it caused readers to publicly declare a consensus on Congresswoman Taylor Greene…just not the one Ms. Sensiba wanted. From time to time, the “gods of bad ideas” need an offering so that the community coalesces around certain tenets.
The type of person Ms. Sensiba thinks is the ideal champion is neither real nor effective. Ms. Sensiba writes that, “Instead of having someone represent us who plays things smart, focuses on what’s important, and makes sure things get done, we have a modern-day female Don Quixote tilting at the LGBT windmill.” (emphasis added)
According to Ms. Sensiba, Congresswoman Taylor Greene’s behavior has made her a lightning rod. The resulting negative press attention has made her toxic.
Ms. Sensiba seems to implying that the proper Second Amendment advocate focuses exclusively on gun issues in Congress and non-gun issues in a manner that is acceptable to the corporate press.
This Congressman does not – and cannot – exist.
Members of Congress must make important decisions on dozens of pieces of legislation every week, hundreds every year. Congresswoman Taylor Greene would commit political malpractice if she was a single-issue Representative. Her constituents sent her to Washington to be a full-spectrum Representative. In other words, she can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Using this logic, Congresswoman Taylor-Greene would be unable to participate in other national discussions. Is the Congresswoman allowed to participate in conversions about war and peace, healthcare, or government spending if her opinions and approach offend opinion makers in the media?
She would not. This is why no one should change their approach to appease people that want you to fail anyway.
Ms. Sensiba mistakes a difference of opinion on tactics for bad strategy. In fact, Congresswoman Taylor Green recently employed her knowledge of parliamentary procedure as a tactic to force the hand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Congresswoman Taylor Green and her colleagues forced Democrats to either publicly support a radical piece of Democrat-sponsored legislation, or reschedule the vote; essentially, kick the can down the road. Pelosi pulled the bill from the floor and she chose to reschedule.
Congresswoman Taylor Greene wasn’t “tilting at windmills.” She was deliberate in her planning, thoughtful in her approach, and overall strategic in her mission to call attention to bad legislation.
Finally, Ms. Sensiba asks the gun community to think more broadly and support a loose coalition of single-issue gun rights organizations from different political ideologies. This would only tear apart the movement. Maj Toure’s Black Guns Matter is for liberty, free minds, and markets. The Socialist Rifle Association (SRA), if they are true to their name, is diametrically opposed to these tenets.
This proposed coalition also exposes a blind spot in Sensiba’s thinking. She dislikes Congresswoman Taylor Greene’s tactics and doesn’t want her to represent the gun rights movement. Yet she wants the gun community to empower socialists. Among their priorities is protecting ANTIFA as they burn and loot American cities.
The near universal opposition to her views has confirmed what the gun community wants. We want bold, clear speaking from people who have the courage to fight back against the entrenched powers that want control over our lives. Including, but certainly NOT limited to: our gun rights!
This is our path forward.
Phil Reboli is the senior policy advisor for Gun Owners of America and host of the Minute Man Moment.