Jazz Shaw over at HotAir has an excellent 4 part series on the new push for gun control. If you want yet another excellent dissection of this topic, as well as what political forces have been moving in the last few days, I highly recommend reading it.
By the time Monday morning had rolled around, forces which have been waiting for the perfect storm of outrage were moving to use the deaths of innocents as an excuse to portray this week as the ideal time to “open a national dialogue” on limiting the second amendment rights of United States citizens.
Monday morning. The discussion was focused on “military styled weapons” (referring to the Bushmaster or other, similar AR-15 style rifles) and “high capacity magazines” such as the ones which hold 30 or more rounds. Fast forward to to later that day and the vocal proponents of the Left were already up with this:
Fifty-four percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws, while a little more than half are in favor of a ban on semi-automatic handguns, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.
That’s a shift from “military style” weapons to a semi-automatic handgun in less than a day. That’s one of the most common and useful choices for home defense, sport target shooting and more, usable by both genders and people of less than Olympian build. And suddenly it’s being put on the same shelf as the real “military style” weapons which purportedly spurred this. If you were still somehow feeling sanguine about this entire, “Oh, we don’t want to take all the guns”, and you’re not getting nervous yet, you should be. I received a very serious response on Twitter from one gun control activist who answered my question of which weapons should be banned. I was told, you can have a muzzle loading rifle. That’s what the constitution gives you a right to.
Military Style Weapons
This is an argument which is already being picked up not only in every media outlet, but by normally reliable conservative voices. It breaks down into a neat, repeatable refrain in three parts which can be parroted as follows:
1.We aren’t trying to stop anybody from hunting! We support your right to hunt!
2. And besides, we’re not talking about coming and taking your guns. We just don’t want them sold any more.
3. All we’re saying is that we don’t want these military style weapons around. They’re only good for killing people!
Taking these in order, it is first important for our conservative thought leaders to loudly enunciate one very important point about the hunting angle. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. So when you hear this, you need to shut it down immediately. First off, the Bill of Rights says nothing about hunting. It talks about the possible need for a militia, which has since been affirmed as an individual right by the Supreme Court, particularly since anyone might – in the darkest of possible times – be once again called upon to stand up for the survival of the nation.
And that means against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
These same, soft spoken voices will, as I noted, also assure you that nobody is coming to take your guns. Perish the thought! They simply want to restrict the methods of obtaining them. limit access in increasing fashions and essentially stop the selling of whichever types of weapons and accessories they deem unacceptable in the future. This, to me, rings as hollow as Republicans who argue for reforms to Social Security and Medicare, but begin the discussion by saying, “Of course, we’re not going to touch YOURS.” That’s a dishonest approach, though it may be politically expedient.
But were I a liberal falling into such a category, I would immediately be wondering… what happens to my children and grandchildren? Second Amendment proponents should demand the same answer. Even if you have your guns today, what about the day when you take your son or daughter out to purchase their first firearms? The long game here is simple: we may not be able to get rid of all the guns today, but if we stop their sale, eventually all of the weapons will drop out of the system. This isn’t a fight for what you have today, but rather a stand against what happens to future generations.
This right here is much of the crux of the pro-gun argument. It’s not that the government will be herding you into camps like they did at Heart Mountain, but it’s that 10, 20, 50, 100 years down the road, they can herd you into camps. Removal of guns from the citizenry also means that such supreme court rulings that say “firearms in common use” can continue to remove firearms from the citizen. If it’s not in common use, it’s not protected… well, ban it in violation of the Second Amendment and then it’s not in common use.
“[I]f you let a bully come into your front yard one day, the next day he’ll be up on your porch, and the day after that he’ll rape your wife in your own bed.”
That wisdom comes from LBJ — but it might as well be the NRA’s motto.
Early on, the NRA understood how rights are incrementally lost. Eventually, the agitators always win, because they realize the natural state of life is constant struggle.
Conversely, conservatives love peace. They will sometimes become politically active for a season (usually, in order to defend a traditional right or value), but are anxious to cut a deal, and return to normalcy. And so, they let the bullies on our porches.
The following cycle should sound familiar to anyone paying attention: 1.) The agitators ask for a lot, 2. they settle for less (a common sense compromise!), and 3.) they come back for more at the most opportune time (they never let a crisis go to waste.)…
This isn’t organic gradualism – it’s a strategy. And it works. For this reason, principled conservatives — the ones who are hip to this strategy, and thus, resist it — are easily cast as mean-spirited weirdos.After all, who could be opposed to “reasonable,” “common sense” gun control? (Or asking the rich to pay a little more, or…?)As James Taranto notes in an excellent Wall Street Journal piece: “A central reason these gun debates tend to be futile is that gun owners and gun-rights supporters think advocates of gun control will not settle for reasonable restrictions but want to deprive them of their constitutional rights altogether. They are right to think so…”
Refusal to compromise — on even the smallest encroachment of freedoms — of course, looks to the outside world like stubborn paranoia.
And sometimes, it is…overwrought. (Yes, almost all totalitarian regimes begin by slowly rolling back freedoms, but not every new law or regulation passed in America will lead to more laws and regulations.)
Still, the safe assumption is that losing some rights will inexorably lead to losing others. That’s why I’m disappointed to see some conservatives throw their hands in the air.
Friends of liberty should not be so quick to surrender their rights to the government.
And Jazz Shaw quotes from an earlier piece of his, explaining the need to own one of those evil military-looking assault death kitten killing weapons of mass destruction:
1. Some people have concerns that, in a very unstable world, things might eventually go completely pear shaped and the social fabric could be in danger of collapse. Nobody wants this and I’m not saying it’s even likely, but if that is one concern of yours, you’re going to have to be ready to defend yourself, your family and your property. And not against deer.
2. There has been a constant undercurrent of worry that the United States might still, some day, be invaded by a foreign power using a land invasion rather than a nuclear attack. And if such invaders overwhelmed the troops and the National Guard, there would still be an armed force of tens of millions of Americans to deal with. More than a few people wiser than me have opined over the years that this is a large reason nobody has tried to invade us.
Except, obviously, for where we have been invaded by armed narcoterrorist cartels.
3. The last, worst, and – I hope – most unlikely scenario is one which persons as “radical” as Thomas Jefferson fretted over. And that is the possibility that a vastly swollen and powerful central government could forget and abandon the promises made to the people and violate the fundamental rights promised to them. The Founders came from a land and a time when that was hardly science fiction. And while I see no indication that such a thing is imminent today, an armed populace remains a constant reminder to those in Washington that, should they ever dare go so far as to employ the military to suppress their citizens and break those promises… You only rule by the consent of the governed. We outnumber you vastly. And we are armed. This isn’t a threat. It’s a reminder.
For a good look at what you are truly up against, you need do little more than listen to the openly offered words of one of the chief architects of the current push for a gun grab… one Michael Bloomberg. He’s been making the rounds of every media outlet from Morning Joe to the full slate of Sunday gab fests, usually parroting the lines we featured before about “not wanted to take anyone’s guns” and respecting the first amendment. But he might have gotten a bit tired by the time he showed up for Nightline, and he let the mask slip fully from his face. Check this out. (Emphasis mine.)
“I think the public has finally come to the conclusion that, what the Supreme Court said you can do is have reasonable restrictions on the right to bear arms, is something that our society finally has woken up and said, ‘We are going to do this whether you like it or not,‘” Bloomberg said…
But if he had his preference, Bloomberg said he would go farther than the 1994 ban and outlaw all automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. The mayor said magazines shouldn’t be allowed to contain more than five or even three rounds.
Jazz’s ultimate advice comes down to join pro-Second Amendment groups like the NRA, GOA, and JPFO. Make your voice heard. Call your congressmen and senators, call your local representatives. Stop it before it’s allowed to start. Then arm yourself – buy a gun and vote with your dollars.
Mind you, that’s coming from a very mainstream conservative site. That’s not some little outlier libertarian conservative group like here. That’s HotAir, one of the big powerhouses of conservative discussion online, that’s constantly quoted across talk radio, that sort of sets the tone for a lot of conservative discussion.
He finishes with this very somber note:
Sadly, there is little beyond that to be done if I’m reading the cards correctly. The sad truth is that, beyond these types of actions and preparations, you potentially find yourself with only one more alternative in a worst case scenario.
Come and get ‘em.
Good luck to us all, and thanks for following along this week for this series. If we’ve managed to accomplish anything here, I hope it is to impart the message that this is not some far off, possible future of problems. The wolves are truly at the door and they will be sitting down in Washington DC in a couple of weeks, aided by nearly every media outlet in the country. But in the end, they are not the United States. This country isn’t a collection of politicians arguing in spacious halls. It’s a collection of papers more than two hundred years old. And with a bit of luck, it’s one thing more than that as well.
I’ll leave you with some words from the President on this issue.
“Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”