I was considering the gun control debate yesterday as I was working on the kids room. I find that working with my hands is wonderful for freeing my mind to wander and consider. What I pondered was this.
The thing that has struck me most is the idea that the current debate and doom shrieking coming from Democrats (primarily) is basically a smokescreen for taxes and social/defense spending (essentially). Oh, I don't for a second think that the institutional left doesn't want to disarm America. They'll do it in a split second the moment they think they can get away with it. When you consider that way too many 'conservative' Republicans voted for the 1994 AWB, the Affordable Care Act and the recent Fiscal Cliff Bill the idea that another AWB in some form might very well pass the House today isn't too far fetched. Whatever your take on his ruling (traitor or mad genius) Chief Justice Roberts' vote on the Constitutionality of obamacare makes me weak in the knees where a new gun control act is concerned. Heller and MacDonald notwithstanding.
Still, the Democrat rope-a-dope strategy idea has some merit. Pay no attention to the man behind the podium as it were. But even if so what do we do?
America is a unique country. Certainly in the modern world but it can even be argued that it is without peer in all of mankind's history. I'm not insulting any other country but the level of our individual liberties compared to anywhere else cannot be denied. The idea that you can have a country ruled by a Constitution that limits government and maximizes individual liberty. It's a powerful concept. Of course the Progressives, Socialists and yes, Communists have been chipping away at us for a century of more. There have been hiccups, problems and not a few dangers. Obama is certainly to be counted among the latter but he's hardly the first is he? A century and a half ago we had a nation divided and warring with itself. Both sides were Constitutionally flawed. One over State's Rights and the other that whole "All men are created equal" thing. We found out that living free is hard. It takes a certain kind of person to not just live in a free nation but to want to live as freely as possible. We may be less so than we were two centuries ago but we remain a free people.
The current problem is we seem to have a surfeit of folks who don't really want to live free at all. They like State control and want everyone else to like it as much as they do. Those who don't cherish liberty will never be convinced to a different point of view. But are they really now the majority? I don't think so and the current gun control atmosphere has convinced me they are in fact the minority.
The gun control argument isn't about children or safety or needs. It's about whether or not one wants to be truly free. The argument that other western countries have lower levels of gun crime is a non issue. I stipulate that this is so but it changes nothing. As I said America is Unique. The rules that apply elsewhere and to others doesn't apply here and to us. In all the world America is solitary in it's recognition of individual liberties above he needs of the State or indeed even the majority of her citizens. But the fly in that ointment is where the lines are drawn. In America those lines are as small as anywhere in the world. Yes, even now.
For instance. I keep getting the Fire In A Theater argument from my gun control supporting acquaintances. The idea that one cannot yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater as proof that if there are limits on the First Amendment so restrictions on the Second must also be legal. My argument? That is a false analogy and breaks down in the face of careful consideration. I can go this very day to the local movie house and have a conversation with my wife where the word fire is used often and with great enthusiasm and all without breaking the law.
"When we get home I am so going to FIRE up the grill and char some dead animal flesh."
"So I told the guy don't FIRE until your sight alignment and sight picture are perfect."
"In case the theater catches on FIRE the exits are there and there. We'll take the nearest one that is furthest from the flames."
You get the idea. It's not the word FIRE that's the problem but the usage, the context of the conversation and the intent of the speaker that makes it's utterance a crime. Likewise standing up and shouting "FLOOD" at the top of your lungs whilst running in circles, flapping your arms and wailing about not wanting to die in a torrent might also end up with you in the hoosegow with a date before the bar of justice. The actual word FIRE has little to do with it.
The whole gun control brouhaha is of a similar stripe. It's not the object it's the context, usage and intent that matter. Those things are reserved to persons and not objects. Here in America we understand that and if what I'm hearing and reading from others around the world is accurate more people than just Americans have a firm grasp on that concept as well. As goes America so goes pretty much everybody else.
We're different here. In spite of generations of public school indoctrination how many times have you heard a child say "You're not the boss of me!"? How many times have you said that or at least thought it yourself? That's because we still get our concepts of personal liberty and freedom with our very mother's milk. It's inculcated into the mind of virtually every child from the age of reason and isn't totally beaten out of our heads no matter which Ivy League school we attend. Here's an interesting bit of data. Check out this post and the graph over at Bob Owens' place. Democrats as the fastest growing gun buying demographic? Gotta love that but it points out a common fallacy. That a tipping point in personal freedom has been reached and those who are ready to surrender their liberties for free stuff now outnumber those of us who won't. It's slander and calumny that grows no truer with the repeating. More on the dole, clamoring for handouts and bailouts and all manner of social spending? Absolutely but go into just about any neighborhood in any city in the country and start shouting orders and see what happens. You'll be lucky if "You're not the boss of me" is all you hear. No matter who utters them, the idea behind those words is timeless. "I am no one's servant." That thought gives me hope. Rugged individualism may be a dying concept (though I don't think so and probably never will) but it's not dead yet. Not by a long shot. Those "You're not the boss of me" folks, even the ones who vote D and are in favor of all things liberal, are the very ones now buying up military pattern semi automatic firearms, their accoutrements and ammunition by the job lots. That hardly bespeaks of a population who hungers for chains.
The Constitution is a set of trip wires planted by the Founding Fathers. Tin cans filled with gravel and tied across liberties trail with string. Ready to warn of the impending arrival of unwanted visitors of hostile intent. Many rattled years, decades, even centuries ago. Some much more recently. But in all cases patriots have responded and the country has recovered. They have done the equivalent of shouting into the darkness "HALT! Who goes there? I'm warning you, I have a gun and I'll shoot you if you come any closer." When it comes to guns we have won victory after victory with Heller, MacDonald and Illinois just the latest. The 94 AWB expired because no one had the temerity to actively and rigorously attempt to enact a new version.
I am so proud of the gun rights community. By and large they have fought tooth and nail against the latest attempts at incursions on the Second Amendment. Remember that Paul Revere wasn't alone. He was acting in concert with his fellow patriots in responding to the threats they faced. We are no different. Paul's spiritual ancestors can be found all over the media, new and old, espousing the same messages and warnings he did. "Peril is incipient. Arise and make haste. This far and no further." The gunnies have risen to the challenge and responded magnificently. I can't even link due to the sheer amount of posts, articles and letters sent. It's astounding and gratifying. It may very well be, as some have suggested (including me), that this attempt at gun control is no more than cover for other nefarious schemes and doomed to ultimate failure. I sincerely hope so but only a fool or a desperate man wagers the liberty of his children on a hope. Now is not the time to lessen either the pressure or the rhetoric. We must treat the current crop of gun banners as if they are making their last ditch, all or nothing, take no prisoners final grab for our liberties because they just might be. All other fights, fiscal, social, whatever pale to insignificance next to this battle for a basic human right. Either we are an armed nation or we are servants, obedient to those who are "The bosses of us all."
No enemy is ever defeated until he surrenders his sword or his crushed remains lay at your feet. The foes of freedom are implacable and legion. They will never surrender. Never admit defeat. Never stop. Vigilance and overwhelming force are the only responses available to We The People and we must never cede the battleground. Ever.