Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wading Into a S&*%storm

Gosh, there's been a for-real poo-flinging contest going on in the gun-blogging community recently, and strangely enough it centers on this letter to the editor from Mike Vanderboegh in the Madison, WI paper:
Dear Editor:

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.

Mike Vanderboegh
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.

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:
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.
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."

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.

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..."
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.


Anonymous said...

Very well, there are gun folks and non gun folks. The non gun folks do at this time wield more power. But the reaction of some on our side who actually believe, beside just spouting, the John Ross "Unintended Consequences" crap doesn't get us anywhere.

We have a real life experiment that can be referred to in Gov't confiscation. New Orleans. NO ONE shot back at the police officers. That is because the vast majority of gun owners are decent and law abiding all their lives. They are not going to change into Red Dawn rebels overnite. And if they do they will be crushed in an instant. Cops take guns away from CRIMINALS (who have little inhibition to fight back) every day.

I understand the rage. I understand the rage born out of the long standing frustration. The way though to success, to victory, is going to be through the difficult process of litigation. That little black girl didn't just pop up with Federal troops around her. Hundreds of lawyers were doing the day in and day out lawyerly thing in her behalf. That then resulted in the troops playing nurse maid until the greater society down younder woke up and recognizied the problem in their midst.

As much as some would like to think that the US today is somehow the old west or rugged frontier, it ain't. To paraphrase the old philospher Al Capone, you get more with a kind word and a lawsuit than a kind word alone.

Anonymous said...

A very wise man and mentor to me once observed that in some cases, a mis-directed effort to resolve an issue, develops a life of it's own and goes on to replace the original effort. Everyone falls into step with the new process and happily continues on. They fail to notice that they have lost the focus on the original objective and blindly follow the new process.
In this case, "gun control" unfortunately emerged as a means of fighting crime, but it is in no way associated with solving the root-cause of crime. It doesn't even resolve a "symtom" of crime; that being the illegal use of guns. Now, "gun control" is the
all-or-nothing "cause" that many anti-gunners are blindly following. Unfortunately, even if the "antis" get their way and abolish legal gun ownership, they won't solve the original issue. They will only make it worse, far worse.
As an example, in D. C., the Chief of Police appears to be in defiance ot the Supreme Court's ruling, because she feels that she's right. She should be sued for malpractice in her profession, as what she is doing, has nothing to do with solving D. C.'s crime problem. Solving the crime problem is her job! She has, become obsessed with taking guns from law-abiding citizens, who have nothing to do with the crime problem. Further, many people support her! How sad.
Life Member

Anonymous said...

Best of your blogs yet, MB, well freakin' done! Drawing another line in the stand, and challenging all of us to stand up and be counted. How cool.

History is being made as we watch it folks, not just on June 26, 2008, but now, every day, every article like this one.

There have been a few threads on DRTV along this same line, and a lot of people have spouted off about how tough they are and will be when the gummint folks do the conga line of death into their front doors.

In reality, we are scattered and isolated and therefore innefectual. As Fred of Appleseed fame says so often, it is better to win the soft war than to have to fight the hard war. Amen to that.

Keep 'em coming, Michael, and keep making us think and see.

NotClauswitz said...

Nail. Head. When a third-rate puppet like Fenty and thug-weasel like Daley feel comfortably secure enough to flaunt gross non-compliance and the Government does nothing - that speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

Mike Vanderboegh is a complete fool. If he attacks anyone, I expect the bulk of gun owners to quickly turn on him and aid in his capture. I know I would.

I oppose the excesses of the ATF and local gun control schemes, but Vanderboegh makes a bad name for everyone opposing such schemes. His Step One is to always bluster and puff out his chest. It's best to cast him to the side.

(Insulting Stallone is okay in my book because he is clearly a hypocrite. Threatening random strangers and government officials is not cool.)

(Vanderboegh associates with Bob Wright, self-proclaimed Commander of the "New Mexico Militia".)

Ken said...

We have a real life experiment that can be referred to in Gov't confiscation. New Orleans. NO ONE shot back at the police officers.

With all due respect, nj_larry, there is an alternative example, one that (for obvious reasons) got little play in the media during the Katrina aftermath.

I refer to the folks in Algiers Point, who were fairly well organized and politely but pointedly declined to be disarmed. The officers on the spot allegedly did some quick math, decided that whatever the order of the day was, it wasn't "Hoka Hey," and went off to talk to someone else.

Another excellent post, Mr. Bane.

Anonymous said...

Hell, just give Major Pitcarn the muskets. It's not worth getting killed over.


John R said...

It was not that long ago that Dan Simpson of the Toledo Blade called for the forcible disarmament of all Americans. The Chicago Trib wants to repeal the Second Amendment, and this call is repeated on our college campuses.

It does not hurt to have someone on occasion wag his finger in the face of those who would disarm us and remind them that cost of implementing confiscation might be a bit more than what they are willing to pay.

Anonymous said...

Oldsmoblogger, point well taken. As I said in my post the gov't resources for squashing armed resistance is off the scale. If it wants, when apc's show up at your door the game is over. I believe it to be a waste of time discussing how "the people" will resist and win the day.

I just wish there was more time and MONEY generated by us all to support aggressive legal action. I still question why so few are willing to put the bucks where their mouths are. Heller was paid for by a rich lawyer. How come we don't have 500 more like him? Better to spend time pondering that.

Sebastian said...

I don't think you can draw a completely clean analogy to the civil rights struggle for blacks, and our civil rights struggle, because passions about the topic of race were far more broad, and far more entrenched than either the anti-gun or pro-gun sides of the argument is today.

You don't see Marshals in DC because Heller didn't need federal Marshals to protect him while he registered his pistol. Fenty didn't stand outside the door with his police force and refuse Heller entry. The Supreme Court ordered DC to grant Mr. Heller a license, and they complied.

The rest of the nonsense they are pulling will be resolved in due time. Everyone knows that Fenty has no leg to stand on when it comes to enforcing a ban on semi-automatic pistols or on their ridiculous hardly-a-revision to their trigger lock system. Either Congress is going to act here, or the federal courts are going to act. But DC's law will change, and DC will be forced to comply. There's no need for the Cavalry (yet).

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of the "cold dead hands" big mouths.

Did these loud mouths resist when Ca, Ma, Md, Chicago or DC etc, etc, etc banned various arms or ammo?

No, they didn't.

If we don't win the gun rights issue politically we lose. Period. There will be no civil war over the issue of firearms despite the fantisies of the wannabe Rambo's.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Th question is how to make Fenty and Daley personally pay for violating the civil rights of people. Jail time, huge fines, something?

Otherwise, as with Nagin in NO, there is no repercussion for the BG and they will continue to evade and spoil the law enforcement activities. They need to be taught a lesson.

Anonymous said...

We need to put the sheep into a state of abject terror, as has been done by minorities and Homosexuals.

Agreed! As in, whenever you see/hear/read about ANYONE or ANY ORGANIZATION talking anti-gun talk, you need to protest not as though you are the "kitty" who will claw back, but as the VICTIM who will SUE over the VIOLATION of your CIVIL RIGHTS and the HARASSMENT from the BIGOTS who don't "accept your culture" or your "freedom to choose."

When you try saying "from my cold dead hands," you rally the 3%, but you alientate the many non-violent moderate people who might otherwise agree with you.

When you say "I am filing a suit in federal court over violation of my civil rights because of your bigotry," then policy makers roll over and kiss your backside, because they know they can't afford to litigate, even if they will win.

Every person who is denied the right to carry to work (not even IN work, but to the parking lot for example) needs to file a civil rights violation suit in federal court and act as though the employer has told you that you can't be gay, black, a woman, a Jew, or disabled. Act like your boss has prohibited you from reading The Bible on your free time. Better yet, equate your situation to being denied the New York Times.

Owning a gun is your RIGHT. Keeping and BEARING arms is your RIGHT. Treat it the way other interest groups treat THEIR rights, and we WILL win this.