Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How About A Real Compromise on Guns?


Yes, we can have a conversation about gun violence.

But not one based on lies.

And definitely not one where the only outcome you will accept is the gun confiscation you really want but which you refuse to admit.

There is NO "compromise" on banning guns. Modern gun control hysteria seeks ONE thing and one thing only: complete confiscation. Registration is not confiscation, true enough. It is, however, the beginning of a database of gun owners, so the next administration has a list of homes to break into when confiscation does come.

You know this.

You know it from history, both in the US and abroad.

Please don't pretend you don't know it, because when you start a conversation with that kind of basic dishonesty, everyone can see right through it.

You're just going to have to be up-front and admit it: Your goal is to use gun registration as a preliminary step to CONFISCATION.

You are also aware that a "compromise" is where the sides all give up something.

But that's not what you're after, is it?

You want gun owners to give up their property and leave their homes vulnerable to every thug that comes along -- all while you give them NOTHING in return.

That's not a compromise.

How about this for a compromise:

Gun owner registration. Add a code to state driver's licenses indicating that person is qualified to be a gun owner. You can even keep your silly training requirements. The state already knows who 95% of gun owners are, anyway, through the forms people fill out during gun purchases.

If that person then commits a crime, then the code-enabled driver's license must be turned in and a new one issued without it, until that person has earned all of his rights back.

In exchange: 1) The code serves as a concealed permit (no additional permit required). 2) full and absolute recognition of carry permits in all 50 states plus any territories with a zip code ("full faith and credit"); and 3) the abolition of all federal agencies and laws regulating guns, including full-auto and sawed-off firearms.

Now there is a compromise. You get something, and we get something.
 
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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  May, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License
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For more information about the Radical Caucus, see www.LPRadicalCaucus.org or see the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/  .
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Proven strategies for LP Membership Building #1: The 1989-1992 Example

There was a rise in National LP membership in 1988-1992 (from ~8500k to about 13k).

Most of the increase was mostly after the Ron Paul campaign, and peaked as of the Andre Marrou campaign. It was unfortunate that the Paul campaign did not share its donor or prospect lists with the LP (the Paul campaign kept it to use for fundraising for Paul's subsequent House campaign(s)), but the LP managed to work around it anyway.

The donor increase during this period was driven by five main tools, beginning in ~1989:

1) Better advertising of the 800 number ("acquisition");

The LP had a toll-free number for as long as I can remember. The LP 800 number was given out several times during the Clark campaign's 1980 Election Eve five-minute infomercial, and I was one of the callers that evening.

What the LP lost from 1980 to 1988, though, was a comprehensive system of responding to inquiries coming in from the 800 number. That was addressed finally in 1988 and the 800 number started getting pushed on literature, commercials, and by candidates (but not by the Paul campaign). Despite the handicap of being left out of presidential inquiries, the LP's own number still generated a lot of traffic during the campaign. Then, we worked on capitalizing on the thousands of new inquiries that came in from 1988 and the four years following.

2) Better marketing to new LP prospects from the 800 number and other sources ("development").

LP office staff developed a four or five-letter series to new prospects including a big first packet that went out the day the inquiry came in and then several follow-ups spaced a few weeks apart (to maximize recruitment).

The fast turn-around on the first response was key.

The most flagrant reason the LP is right now pretty horrid at "conversion" rates is the lag between the time a new prospect comes to our attention, and the time a human being then reaches out to them and welcomes them (and puts an membership application /donor form under their nose).

In any case, we made a big effort to get those first-response packets out within hours rather than weeks.

Predictably, enough joined (~2% IIRC) as a result of the first packets, that the LP broke even on the packet costs -- and any of those new members who renewed or donated in subsequent years of membership represented revenue that could be sent downline to projects and candidate support.

3) Better renewal marketing ("customer retention").

LP office staff developed a series of seven renewal direct mail letters. We sent these out in succession every month beginning three (maybe four??) months before their expiration date. The earlier a customer got a renewal notice, themore likely they would renew. The series reduced attrition to the absolute minimum.

4) Better general and project fundraising activities.

We used many excuses to invite buy-in from our donors. If a project came along we thought the members would like and support, we sent out a call to do exactly that: Invite them to support the project.

Initially we were of the mindset that frequent fundraising burned out donors. However, we were persuaded -- by a professional fundraising consultant -- that this idea was a myth.

Successful nonprofits are active, and active nonprofits need money. The good ones generally use a 5-week fundraising schedule with direct mail, slightly more often with email and other online pitches.

The main thing to remember is that the people on your mailing list have different reasons for supporting the LP, and not every appeal is going to resonate with every member. A good fundraising message will generate about a 5% response rate. The rate will be similar on the next good fundraising message, but the respondents will often be different names.

5) A regular newsletter filled with content that would interest our audience.

Prior to '87, the LP national newsletter had suspended issues and was otherwise an unreliable "touch" for our members.

An effort was made to get it out monthly, and fill it with content that Libertarians would enjoy reading, and make sure it was on-time every month.

Many of our members are *never* contacted by their state or local parties, and there were no local affiliates or candidates within reach. Therefore, for weeks at a time, LP News was the only reassuring "touch" they received, to let them know there were others standing aside them; that they were not alone.

Lessons for Today

In the age of email and web, the idea that direct mail is dead and that state and local parties only need a Facebook page and an email list is a myth.

Your state & local parties can *still* use the above methods -- *plus* email and web equivalents -- to gain and retain members.

LP leaders at the state and local level are far too reliant on social media and such. The know-how to do basic membership building and donor development has been almost completely lost.

Try it.

Write a fundraising letter, and send it to your state LP mailing list.

Write a renewal letter series, and send them to your expiring national and state members, and invite them to renew.  You can do this via email also -- but don't neglect the opportunity to do it first via regular mail -- and scribble a handwritten personal note on the renewal, with your name and phone number, to increase their engagement.

The results might surprise you.

Personal agency: It's actually a thing.  And all individuals have it.

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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  May, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License
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For more information about the Radical Caucus, see www.LPRadicalCaucus.org or see the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/  .
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