GOC is now official!
On Saturday, September 10, the Gun Owners Caucus of the Democratic Party of Oregon (GOC - DPO) was overwhelmingly APPROVED by a floor voice vote of the State Central Committee (SCC) meeting at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. Two other new caucuses--the Faith Caucus and the College Democrats--were also santioned at that time by the SCC. (Good luck to their members!)
The support given the diverse group of caucuses by the DPO is testimony to the breadth and dedication of the Democratic Party's membership. In an eloquent explanation of the function of caucuses, DNC Committeeman Wayne Kinney noted that they serve to conduct outreach to special interest communities who may not realize how the Democratic Party supports their rights and promotes their interests. This is certainly the purpose of the Gun Owners Caucus. Roughly half the households in the country own a gun(1), and there's not a reason in the world every one of those households shouldn't vote Democrat.
At the SCC meeting, I had an opportunity to speak with Jason Brown, the energetic computer professional and small farmer running as the Democratic candidate for House District 23. Brown typified the attitude of many Democrats at the meeting with his assessment of the need to support for Gun Owners' rights:
"I'm a Quaker and would never personally own a gun," said Brown. "But it's [the right to bear arms] in the Constitution and there's a reason it's in there. It's what supports the right of the people to change their government."
I couldn't agree more--the Second Amendment isn't about hunting, it's not even about crime prevention. It's about being the safety valve that supports the rest of the Constitution by making tyranny in America impossible. Thank you, Jason Brown.
And now the work begins. The Gun Owners Caucus needs a board, a bank account (just wait till you see our buttons), and most of all members to go to gun shows, shooting clubs, sporting events, and other venues that attract gun owners and let them know the Democratic Party is with them. If you're interested and like a good debate with strangers in a public setting, send me an email right away and we'll get you set up to canvas in your area.
Can't spare the time? Then talk to your friends, relatives, and coworkers about the Democratic vision for a just America. If they say the Democratic Party doesn't support gun owners' rights, refer them to the GOC.
We're here! We're armed! We're Democrats! Get used to it!
(1) Kleck, Gary. 1991. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. Paperback edition published 2005 by Aldine Transaction, New Jersey.