Via Drudge, from Real Clear Politics:
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) mocked Second Amendment rights activists while announcing his support for a ban on assault weapons and limits to high-capacity magazine clips on the Senate floor today.
REID: In the 1920s, organized crime was committing murders with machine guns. So Congress dramatically limited the sale and transfer of machine guns. As a result, machine guns all but disappeared from the streets. We can and should take the same common-sense approach to safeguard Americans from modern weapons of war.
Starting from the end of this statement and working back, modern weapons of war aren’t legal (without a lot of licensing) precisely because of the National Firearms Act of 1934 that Reid is alluding to. But wait, you say – the National Firearms Act came out in 1934? Yes, yes it did.
Organized crime became an issue in the 1920s because of a great early Progressive idea to make people better: Prohibition. Prohibition was so important to those who “know what’s best” that the government went out and poisoned US citizens intentionally:
Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.
Although mostly forgotten today, the “chemist’s war of Prohibition” remains one of the strangest and most deadly decisions in American law-enforcement history. As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was “our national experiment in extermination.”
Early progressives had decided that intemperance needed to be squashed, even if it meant murdering some 10,000 citizens who drink by having government poison them.
The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933, and just like that, the revenue stream for bootleggers and organized crime evaporated overnight. Coupled with the beginning of the Great Depression exacerbated by FDR’s policies impacting the entire economy, organized crime wasn’t making the same kind of money and thus it wasn’t the same threat it was in the 1920s.
Reid continued saying he’d vote for Feinstein’s “Assault” Weapons Ban:
That is why I will vote for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban – because we must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence. I will vote for the ban because maintaining law and order is more important than satisfying conspiracy theorists who believe in black helicopters and false flags. I will vote for the ban because saving the lives of young police officers and innocent civilians is more important than preventing imagined tyranny.
There is no “balance” as you move towards tyranny, even if you mock those who warn of tyranny. There can be no right to grow up safe. These are wonderful abstract concepts that are high-minded, but impossible. You cannot “grow up safe”. The world cannot be made into a safe place.
“Maintaining law and order” would mean enforcing laws first. Obama doesn’t even enforce gun laws. Mocking people who oppose the bill as conspiracy theorists just means you don’t have an argument.
Lastly, Reid claiming to want to save the lives of young police officers by destroying the Second Amendment they swear an oath to – as part of the Constitution, just means that he cares about protecting organs of the state but not about the rights of the people – the same rights that cop swears to uphold.
As to “saving the lives of innocent civilians” being more important that “preventing imagined tyranny”, scroll back up and read about the Chemist’s War. The US government actively poisoned people in order to push its Progressive “good idea” of Prohibition, whether people wanted it or not. The same time that the Senate was looking at banning machineguns, the same government was poisoning people. Also in the early 1930s, not only was the government banning the right to own machineguns “for the greater good”, they were also infecting black people with syphilis as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee experiment. There were also forced sterilizations and such going on in the name of eugenic racial improvement, another Progressive idea, all “for the greater good”.
Reid, just like politicians at that time would’ve, is arguing that people should surrender their rights for their own good because government really wants to help them… It wants to help them so much it murders them for their own good – from poisoning people to support Prohibition to sending guns to narcoterrorist cartels to kill people to support gun control.
There is no “imagined tyranny”, there are just increasing levels of tyranny. With history as our guide, we know we need to stay well-armed to stay safe, and we know that a government that mocks us ultimately means us harm. They aren’t by, for, and of the people.
Harry Reid is also indulging in the Broken Window Fallacy. The complaints he makes today about protecting children and cops are ones that are visible. The tyranny that others warn against isn’t here yet, and takes time to materialize. But this isn’t some Manbearpig fantasy, we have all of human history to see the repetition of tyranny as Innocents Betrayed illustrates above. We know what happens when governments get powerful. We have seen the US government in the last four years send guns to narcoterrorist cartels and hush it up afterwards. We have seen the US government poison over 10,000 people just to push Prohibition.
There is no imagined tyranny. It exists, creeping, always encroaching, and always there.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.