“WGO works for gun owners, not politicians.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’m already a member of the NRA. Why should I join WGO?
A: WGO is a state-based lobbying organization, meaning your support stays in Wisconsin, where gun legislation is decided. So instead of paying some Washington, D.C. executive’s six-figure salary, your donation is used to fund a grassroots fight in your own backyard — here in Wisconsin — where it makes a real difference.
Q: I’ve read that WGO is a “no-compromise” gun rights organization. I’ve always believed we shouldn’t compromise our inalienable rights, but doesn’t the ‘political reality’ dictate we must compromise?
A: The political reality is what you make it. Just ask the homosexual movement, whose numbers nationally are estimated by the Family Research Council to be around 2-3% of the population, who have successfully rammed their agenda into virtually every facet of public policy making. They understand that Politics is the art of confrontation, not compromise. What is often described as a “compromise” in the context of politics is rarely ever a true compromise by definition. Instead of both sides bringing something to the table to give up, anti-gunners initiate a confrontation by making outrageous demands. They then back off and demand less than they originally wanted, claiming they are being “reasonable.” Labeled a “compromise,” this strategic back-step is gladly accepted by establishment republicans and the institutional gun lobbies. But anti-gunners gave up nothing in the equation, it was only a net loss for gun owners — it was a trap. The ‘political reality’ is that “compromising” is the worst possible strategy and a proven recipe for political failure. For a graphic illustration of these concepts, visit our Political Cartoons page. Also visit NRAWOL to see more examples.
Q: I belong to several other state gun organizations, and they say our republican legislators are doing a great job defending our gun rights. Why are you so critical?
A: State politicians are doing a lousy job defending the Second Amendment. In the 2005-06 session, for example, republicans held a majority in both state houses. Instead of introducing a clean concealed carry bill, they introduced one loaded with gun control. This, they claimed, was the ‘political reality’ required to appease anti-gunners into voting for an override of Governor Jim Doyle’s veto. But anti-gunners know their own game and can’t be appeased. Thus, the move back-fired and divided gun owners (some gun owners don’t support gun control). Preemptive surrender fell flat on its face, just as WGO predicted. The reason you never heard this story, is because most state gun groups are led by untrained volunteers who understand only access politics. If they told you the truth, they’d lose access to their politicians. Some don’t know the truth and have been kept in the dark. Similarly, in the 2011-2012 session: This time we had republicans in control of both houses and a republican governor. Yet nary a peep was heard from anti-gunners because republicans surrendered the fight on Constitutional Carry before it began and rammed through a “compromise” bill instead.
Q: But lobbyists have to have access to politicians, don’t they?
A: Lobbyists need access to good legislators. However, it’s not the job of lobbyists to represent the views of bad legislators to their members, it’s the job of lobbyists to represent the views of members to bad politicians. The leaders of most organizations wind up working for politicians. Habitual cronyism feeds off itself and pretty soon the gun group defends the legislator at all costs … even when that politician is ramming gun control into law! In sharp contrast, WGO works for gun owners, not politicians.
Q: Okay, so other gun groups are sucking up to lousy legislators. But without the few ‘pro-gun’ legislators we have, we’d lose everything!
A: No, you’re already losing everything — incrementally. When bad legislators cut gun control deals with the left, many gun groups reward these politicians for their bad behavior. This results in more gun control. If your dog piddles on the rug, and you give him a treat and say ‘Good boy!’ he’ll keep piddling on your rug. WGO does not reward bad behavior. The reason establishment organizations tow the party line and resist getting crossways with legislators is simple: Money. It’s easier for them to raise more funds by telling everyone what they think they want to hear.
Q: Is WGO a professional lobbying organization?
A: Volunteers are an important part of any battle, but wars are not won by armies led by volunteers. That’s the job of Generals. Those who are working against gun rights in Wisconsin are professional organizations, dedicated full-time to trashing your firearm freedoms. Founded in 2003, Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. is a 501(c)4, Tax-Exempt non-profit organization. WGO is registered with the State of Wisconsin as a non-stock corporation (non-profit), and registered lobbying organization with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. In addition, WGO has a highly-trained staff and network of consultants specializing in political strategy. WGO is independent of — but often works in concert with — groups like Gun Owners of America (GOA), National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) and Campaign for Liberty (C4L). While WGO is not legally affiliated with these groups, you’ll often find our organizations fighting a unified battle to defend your right to keep and bear arms in Wisconsin.
Q: How does WGO use my membership donation?
A: The primary focus of WGO is grassroots lobbying. This entails a sophisticated communications program — direct mail, online and print petitions, post card campaigns, phone bank operations, on-the-ground literature dissemination, member mobilization and communications with legislators and the press. Your contribution will be used to fund all of these important initiatives. At any time you can see where WGO stands on the issues, and how much money has been expended towards these efforts, via the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board by visiting our lobbying page.