Dear Editor:A staggering amount of bandwidth has been spent either flaying Vanderboegh as a "lunatic" or, at the very least, a Bad Example for Gunowners, or defending Vanderboegh against the deluge of venom.
Joe Bialek from Cleveland proposes the licensing and registration of all weapons currently in civilian hands. My question is, how exactly do you propose to do that, Joe?
There are some of us "cold dead hands" types, perhaps 3 percent of gun owners, who would kill anyone who tried to further restrict our God-given liberty. Don't extrapolate from your own cowardice and assume that just because you would do anything the government told you to do that we would.
Are you proposing to come yourself, or do you want someone else's son or daughter in federal service to take the risk? Are you truly prepared to stack up the bodies necessary to accomplish your plan? Seems a strange way to make a "safer society."
More to the point, are you willing to risk your sorry hide to do it? No? I thought not.
Then quit proposing the next American civil war. We're done being pushed back from our natural rights without a fight. Be careful what you wish for.
Time for a deep breath here...Vanderboegh did nothing more than ask an age-old question...who will bell the cat? I refer you to no lesser authority than Aesop:
After Columbine, that great actor Sylvester Stallone, speaking from his polo pony in England, said it was now time to go door to door confiscating weapons. My response to that statement was simple, "Who's coming, Rambo? You? Best bring a grenade or two."
Quickly a committee formed
And came up with an answer!
A bell around the kitty's neck
Would neutralize the cancer!
The crowd rejoiced: OUR PROBLEM'S SOLVED!
But Grandma Mouse looked leery,
She sighed a tired sigh and said:
I've just one simple query.
Who'll be the one to volunteer
To go and bell the kitty?
And all kept perfect silence then,
Especially the committee.
As logn as I'm wading in, let me focus on a couple of communitcation issues.
The first is that there is a huge disconnect between us and them, us being the gun culture; them being the more amorphous "majority" of our society. When we were locked in the battle over shooting on public lands, an elected official made an amazing statement to me. "What is the problem?" she practically cried. "All were asking you to do is stop shooting. It's not like we're asking you to close a library and give up reading!" Quick translation...why are you fighting so hard over an inconsequential thing like shooting, like guns?
Thanks to decades of antigun propaganda, the larger majority doesn't see Second Amendment rights as a rights issue, certainly not like the important enumerated rights like free speech, freedom of assembly, right of religion. And to a large extent, the government supports the majority's views. Look at what has happened after Heller...Washington D.C. has decided to defy the Supreme Court...the last time a subordinate governmental entity defied the Supreme Court, it ended up with federal marshals, backed by the entire force and authority of the United States government, escorting a little girl to school.
See any federal marshals around D.C.?
The corollary to the above is that the majority sees no consequences to depriving us of our rights. And for the most part, their view has been reflected in governmental actions. For example, for the last few years Boston, New York City and Chicago have refused to honor federal safe-transit laws for guns passing through those city's airports. Instead, prosecutors in those jurisdictions have persecuted gun owners passing through those airports for failing to meet local laws, even though federal law clearly defines safe transit. Imagine if local prosecutors decided to detain every, oh, I don't know, say every woman wearing a burhka and hold her in jail overnight until they could determine she was not a terrorist? Imagine the federal response...then you'd see some federal marshals for sure!
But we apparently don't count. We count for so little that a man — David Olofson — can be serving time in the federal slam because his firearm malfunctioned and filed multiple rounds before it jammed. We count for so little that a federal agency can raid a legitimate company — Cavalry Arms — confiscate all their guns, computers and equipment, declare those goods contraband and sell them for the agency's profit and to date never file any charges against anyone in the company or even explain the reason behind the raid. We count for so little that a light-weight like Adrian Fenty, the mayor of D.C., can spit on the Supreme Court with impunity and a machine pol thug like Mayor Daley of Chicago can announce his expressed intention of violating federal law until someone forces him to stop.
Maybe it's time to explain that there are real consequences for stripping a segment of society of their rights.
More importantly, we gain nothing by convincing, or atttempting to convince, the majority that we're really, really nice harmless people, because it simply doesn't matter. The majority shifts with the wind, and right now the wind isbloeing in our favor..but not because we're really really nice people. Rather, the world is perceived as a more dangerous place. Heard an amazing stat from a competing television network,,,the number one dream job choice for young men ages 14-35? Not an ACLU lawyer, but "sniper."
Nor can we change the minds of our enemies...they hate us not because we own guns, but what those guns represent. I recently published a comment from Colonel Jeff Cooper...a lot of people read it, but I suspect we need to not only read it, but internalize it as well:
"Individually, we do not bear arms because we are afraid. We bear arms as a declaration of capacity. An armed man can cope. either in the city or in the wilderness, and because he is armed he is not afraid.They hate us because we are not afraid, not victims, not in need of the government's tender mercies. We are other to them. That is not subject to change.
This is the root of hoplophobia [the pathelogical fear of firearms]. The hoplophobe fears and, yes, hates us because we are not afraid. We are overwhelmingly 'other' than he, and in a way that emphasizes his affliction. There is not much room for compromise here..."