As someone who has been furiously active in Second Amendment rights for the last 5 years in the Mid-Atlantic region (specifically NC and MD) I can say that in the few weeks I've been watching the E-cig community on this forum, it seems there are many parallels between these two movements.
The MAIN parallels seem to be in the tactics of our opponents--people who oppose e-cigs and people who oppose gun rights. They seem to be using the same tactics--spewing lies, propaganda and more lies, making emotional appeals to "protect the children", and attempting to restrict and punish the law-abiding majority for the infractions of a TINY group of people who are going to break the law no matter WHAT the law says anyway.
We need to remember that the people in our society (and in the government) who act like this--throwing their entire being into restricting the actions of law-abiding citizens, and are willing to lie, spew propaganda, and commit serial logical fallacies in their arguments and expect that the general public will fall for their lies--are NOT acting out of any sort of misguided goody-two-shoes pseudo-philanthropy. They are NOT acting out of some sort of altruistic attempt to "protect" people from something they see as "dangerous". They DO NOT care about the health, safety, or general welfare of the General Public any more than they care about the health and welfare of cockroaches or fire ants.
These people do these things--seeking to ban e-cigs AND seeking to establish "gun free zones"--because they are interested in CONTROLLING YOU.
They are sociopaths, plain and simple, and the idea that somewhere, someone is actually exercising their free will to run their own life the way they want, and is taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their own welfare and safety is anathema to these people. They simply cannot abide the idea that somewhere, someone has the audacity to NOT want to be a serf, dependent on the government, and "experts" and "authorities" to tell them how to act, think and live. They see you and me as "useless eaters" who need to be controlled, reigned in, corralled and herded into obedient serfdom, where THEY--the self-anointed Elite Ruling Class--have the ultimate say over EVERY aspect of our lives, from the kinds of lightbulbs we use to the amount of water our toilets flush, to the kind of food and medicine we ingest, to the way we defend and protect our families and property.
These people are NOT capable of rational thought. They are driven by a psychotic desire to CONTROL others, and are willing to lie, cheat, perjure, conspire, falsify and slander in order to achieve their goals.
We need to be aware of that. We are NOT fighting against normal humans here, folks--we are fighting against a kind of people who are quite literally one step away from being the next Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacey. These are people who see the majority of Mankind as mindless sheeple to be herded, prodded, exploited and controlled. They see themselves as being somehow more evolved, more intelligent, and more important than the rest of us. And they strongly believe in their dark little hearts that ANY tactic--no matter how duplicitious, despicable or dirty--is justified toward the achievement of their goals.
If we enter into the "discussion" with that in mind, it changes the way the game is played--because the simple fact is, that in the fight for E-cig rights AND the fight for Second Amendment rights--the side that wishes to restrict and control these activities DOES NOT play by the rules, and in fact sees the rules as something to be circumvented, skirted, broken and disregarded for their own actions. But do not be deceived--they ALSO will hold OUR side to those same rules as if they were Holy Writ--and if we ever stumble, falter, or resort to the very tactics that THEY use on us, they will call us out for it.
Wake up, people. This game is rigged. The other side is not merely power-hungry, or greedy, or just hates the idea of smoking. They HATE you, they HATE freedom, and they HATE the very idea that somewhere, someone is actually capable of, and willing to, make their own decisions for running their own life.
They are, in a word, insane.
And we need to acknowledge that in the very beginning.
Once we understand that, we can THEN begin to formulate legitimate and effective tactics to fight against their propaganda, defend against their lies and slander, and maintain our right to live the way we want to--because once a right is gone, it is nearly impossible to get back.
Just ask someone who lives in Washington DC how easy it is to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms if you don't believe me.
If the e-cig community wants to be sucessful, you might want to take some cues from the "gun rights" community. Despite the constant, gradual, incremental chipping away at our RKBA for the last century in the US, gun rights today are at their highest point ever. And that is, in large part, due to the MASSIVE grass-roots efforts being made by common people--men and women in the field--who have simply refused to back down, and who put tremendous political and public pressure on their legislators and local governments to back the "f" off, and let them live life the way they want to, within the law.
We in the e-cigs community only want the same thing. And maybe we need to start using some of the same tactics, and adopting some of the same fervor and dedication on the "grass roots" level.
We can't even get a meet-up put together here in the DC area--how can we expect to effectively keep the States and Cities to listen to us if we can't get a few dozen Vapers (of the THOUSANDS of people using e-cigs in the area) to gather for dinner on a weekend?
...to be continued...