The sympathy I expressed for them a few days ago and the belief that they are simply tragic victims driven by grief is something I now find myself calling into question. Many may still be blind with grief, but read the story by Politico “Newtown Families: Victims Turn Lobbyists” and you may find yourself becoming rapidly cynical:
… the Newtown families, political novices just a few months ago, are proving to be savvy, effective advocates as they promote the gun legislation that has finally begun to move through the Senate. The families are well-educated, and many are well-off. They have been polished and sharp on TV. They’re mostly non-political, but quite accomplished in their own fields. With access to money and media, they’re using persistence, visibility — and, most all, their unique moral authority — to help prod Senate action. They also have their own lobbyists — several of them, in fact.
They’re pushing anti-rights legislation. Maybe some among them think it’ll “save children”, but as I illustrated last time, the things they’re asking for wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook. They are pushing for exactly what anti-gun groups have been pushing for for years, though.
They’re pushing for something that is a step towards widespread disarmament, emotionally pushing for things that they feel are so critical that they “must” be done, emotionally pushing for things so hard that “now is the time” before anyone starts to look at the bigger picture calmly and at the long-term implications of what happens when citizens are left disarmed.
Then there are the comments by their Democrat political handlers:
“These are smart, articulate people, who don’t have a scintilla of Washington about them,” said Matt Bennett of the centrist Democratic group Third Way, which has been helping the families navigate D.C. “But they virtually cannot be denied a meeting. There are not many groups of people that can get a meeting with any senator they want, whenever they want.”
He’s a lying about his group. They Democrats came in and the families have been embraced by the Democrat party and anti-rights, anti-gun citizen disarmament groups as the heartwrenching emotional story they need to use to acquire more power. There’s keeping rights, restoring rights, and loss of rights. They’re pushing for loss of citizen rights, and they’ve got leftist Democrats guiding them the whole way. There is nothing “third way” about Bennett’s group, either – they’re a partisan Democrat group used to target low-information moderates. Their notable members include such partisan leftist Democrats as Kathleen “F the Hatch Act” Sebelius and Ken “Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever” Salazar.
He is right about the demands they can make. They can portray anyone who rejects them as devoid of sympathy, of being a cruel monster who wants dead children. They and their handlers are exploiting the respect we offer the grieving to push their agenda.
A group of experienced operators is guiding these families — to a degree that has irritated some pro-gun Republicans. An uber-strategist for the families is Ricki Seidman, a familiar face at the top levels of Democratic politics ever since she ran the Clinton-Gore campaign’s famous 1992 war room. Seidman, a senior principal with TSD Communications, was Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director during the 2008 general election, and helped the White House win confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotmayor.
Bennett’s Third Way connected the families with a lobbying firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, that set up more than 25 Hill meetings this week alone. And Lara Bergthold, a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns now with Griffin, Schein in Los Angeles, is helping to manage the media onslaught.
These are political operatives using the families as props (at best). It would be nice to believe that the families in their grief are simply pawns in this, but then there are comments like this:
“This is now part of my day-to-day life, and it is a full-time job to me and my family,” Jillian Soto said. “To be honest with you, I still don’t know how the mechanics in Washington work. I still find it absurd that senators can even say my sister wasn’t murdered with an assault rifle. She was shot multiple times in front of her kids, and that’s not OK to me. It’s not OK to most Americans.” (As her raw language indicates, Soto is working with Bloomberg’s group.)
An assault rifle is select-fire, so no, she wasn’t murdered with an assault rifle. Those are highly restricted and have been since the GCA of 1934. The killer did not have an assault rifle. So no, she wasn’t. Soto’s indignation is intended to get you mad at pro-rights senators for questioning her – with her dead sister as a moral bulwark, she can scream and it’s considered callous and heartless and horrific to correct her. The constant push against the rights of citizens, ignoring the actual data, is now, to her, “part of my day-to-day life and it is a full time job to me and my family”. She’s going to press to restrict your rights full time based on the acts of a madman – a madman who would never be stopped by the solutions she champions, and if her solutions pass, a lone madman who in time will be replaced by an administration of madmen – as history shows us again and again.
This is a very clever political movement being handled by the Democrats. They’re going to dance in the blood of those children as long as they can to get more power.
What started as a support group is now a lobbying force unlike any other to descend on Capitol Hill. The family members typically begin their pitch to senators softly, telling the story of the child that they lost. They gently say they could not have imagined themselves in this position, but they’re doing it to honor the memory of their children. They say they’re supporters of the Second Amendment, and just want to have a conversation.
They don’t want a conversation. That’s a lie, just the same as their “I’m not racist, I have a black friend” claim of support of the Second Amendment. They have demands.
They aren’t having a conversation and asking about how to deal with madmen, they’re pushing for laws that violate the Constitution and serve as a framework to disarm the populace – their handlers know it, their handlers have been pushing for it, and most likely the families know it, too. They may well be pushing for it because they think it’s a “good thing” and they don’t understand the nature of rights; or driven mad with grief, they only understand that some alien thing that they don’t understand but want to do away with has taken their loved one.
But there’s nothing subtle about the way some of them conclude their visits: by leaving behind a color card with a photo of their slain relative. Nicole Hockley, who introduced President Barack Obama in Hartford this week, hands senators a card with three photos of her son Dylan, who was 6 when he was gunned down. One frame shows him grinning, in a Superman shirt.
“Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06 – 12/14/12,” the card says. “Honor his life. Stand with us for change. NOW IS THE TIME.”
“Now is the time” is the kind of fierce urgent emotional demand that stifles debate. The entire purpose is to generate an emotional response and demand NOW NOW NOW without stopping to question why or what is being done.
The universal background checks they want, the universal registration that background checks require to be complete, the denial to citizens to actually bear, trade, or acquire arms, the denial of citizens to own modern arms – none of that would’ve prevented the murders at Sandy Hook. But they demand action “NOW NOW NOW” because that stifles debate. They demand “NOW NOW NOW” and any question of why, or what these things will change is stopped by bringing up their dead children. The argument for immediacy and the argument for necessity are well-known pleas of tyrants, and are the hallmark of liberal fascism, where something must be done for your own good right NOW… Again, if you take the time to ask about why, or what the long-term effects are (say as in “we need to pass it to see what’s in it” Obamacare), you’re shouted down.
I’m a veteran. When I write things like “for those who’ve fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know”, I mean it. It’s not a cliche, it’s a reality. There are a lot of people, myself included, who fought for our rights and our Constitution. Our nation is unique in that we don’t swear an allegiance to a president or a king or an autocrat. We swear our oath to a piece of paper. We swear it to a contract made by free people to create a government that serves us. We swear our oaths to that Constitution and the protection of those natural rights it guarantees.
The natural right to self defense against oppression, against tyranny large and small, whether it be a dictatorial government or a lone criminal, is something that many men and women have fought and died for. The forces against the natural right to self defense are those who would be our masters, who demand autocracy and think they know best and should tell us how to live – tyrants.
The demand that we surrender rights that our forefathers and sometimes our friends fought and died for is unacceptable.
Those rights were fought for, and men and women died for those rights, so that people back home could be safe with the protections those natural rights provide. They the honored dead and we the veterans did not fight for those rights so that those rights could be hastily abandoned to a political cry of “now is the time”.
No. Never is the time.
The Newtown families, if truly driven by grief, will still have my sympathy, but what they demand in the name of children and family who would not even be protected by the unconstitutional laws they demand is anathema to those who have served and those who remember our honored dead who fought for those rights. The contract that our honored dead and we the veterans signed was to protect those rights. Against more than two hundred years of adversaries within and without we’ve fought to preserve those rights with millions of men and women who’ve served and hundreds of thousands who’ve died in service – all to protect those rights.
The emotional demand that one tragedy, manipulated by fiendish politicians for their own power and demand to control the American people, mean that we the citizens give up the rights bought and paid for in blood by our honored dead and our veterans and often ourselves as veterans is one that can only be answered with a resounding no.
Today those demanding the surrender of our rights and our arms do so with words, because we have arms. With history as our guide, when we have no arms, they won’t use words anymore. This is again why we have fought for those rights.
There may be solutions to limit the horrors in the world, but abrogating the right of self defense that is intrinsic to the contract of our safe and secure society is not an option. We may still have individual madmen and criminals, but we have no tyrants here – our tragedies are counted in ones and tens but never in millions.
Stalin famously said that a single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. To a dictator’s perspective, he’s right.
To a free man’s perspective and to a patriot perspective, that’s not the case. A single death is a tragedy, and a million deaths is a million individual tragedies. The twenty-six individual tragedies at Sandy Hook do not outweigh the incomprehensible human suffering and death endured by millions of individual citizens who fought so that we could live free covered by the protections of the natural rights our Constitution provides. The willing and also unwilling sacrafices of those millions of individual tragedies and sufferings thus prevented millions more individual tragedies. Those who fought and died knew that they fought for that piece of paper and the rights it guaranteed.
The actions of one madman and the desire to correct those twenty-six tragedies can be understood. They are fathomable. The rows upon rows of graves of those who fought to prevent greater tragedies are often beyond comprehension and thus some folks can miss the far bigger picture. They aren’t seen as a million individual tragedies and lives of suffering undertaken for a larger cause to ensure greater rights that protect us all – those lost lives are right in front of us and yet some forget both those lost lives and the payments in blood they made on liberties.
Each one is an individual tragedy.
Each individual tragedy was undertaken as an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
And yet there are those who would still trade away that liberty bought at so dear a price for temporary security… and they would soon find themselves with neither.