Thursday, August 07, 2008

I always knew it was true...

but finally, we see it in print.
Apparently, last week when I was out of pocket I missed one of the biggest shitstorms in recent memory in the gun blogging community. Seems that Mike Vanderboegh, whose writings at The War on Guns and other places I await with bated breath, penned a letter to the editor of the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin:

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.

Which threw the pragmatists into quite a tizzy, leading them to call Mr. Vanderboegh things like "lunatic" and "asshole." Ironically enough, some of these comments were being made by those who practically scream bloody murder every time someone says something that might offend the hunters. Yet it's okay to offend everyone else? Funny how that works out.
But it isn't the pragmatists' double standard I mean to comment on today. This is:

Forget the fact that almost 80% of Americans favor gun registration. Forget the additional fact that 61% of gun owners favor "mandatory registration of handguns."

Vanderboegh's ravings are clearly meant to get a rise out of people. Yet as hyperbole from a possibly unstable individual, they are virtually meaningless (unless ATF knows something we don't).

So, did gun bloggers simply ignore Vanderboegh's letter, or at least denounce it as morally degenerate and unrepresentative of gun owners at-large?

No. Instead, they debated Vanderboegh's rant on the merits - as a legitimate alternative.

I love how those assholes cite those figures as if the fact that so many people allegedly favor such wrongheaded and ineffective measures proves their validity. I guess it goes back to the whole "we live in a democracy" bit, or, as I referred to it earlier, "ye olde 'tyranny of the majority' whose doctrine says that if 51 percent of the people vote to strip the other 49 percent of their God-given rights then that's just too bad for them." And that's exactly what registration and licensing are intended to make it easier to do. I could be way off base here, but as far as I've been able to tell the whole licensing and registration scheme, wherever it has been implemented, has had two underlying goals. The licensing part is to make the gun ownership process so onerous that one doesn't even bother, and the registration prong of that strategy is to make it easier to find the guns that are left when it comes time to confiscate them so it'll be easier to find them. As far as finding Vanderboegh's writing as morally degenerate...well, the only thing I can say to that, is if that is what those evil shitbags find to be morally degenerate -- as opposed to the fact that many men would be forcibly disarmed for having done absolutely nothing wrong except to disobey, as some might call it, "a patently unjust and unconstitutional malum prohibitum law" -- well, that says more about the aforementioned evil shitbags than it does about Vanderboegh and those who agree with him. I always knew it was true that the Bradys and their ilk had no problem with seeing Americans disarmed, that they would more or less do everything in their power to see to it that we were -- but now we see them admit it. So if they think that fighting back is "morally degenerate," then that means they think Americans should roll over and take whatever the government dishes out to them, no matter how bad it gets, that the government should have a monopoly on force. I'd say they're the morally degenerate ones, but I'm just a bloodthirsty warmongering Texan, what the hell do I know. As one intrepid commenter said over at Kevin Baker's place...
Sheesh, if that is getting their panties in a bunch, wait until they hear from this loon:

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! "

What utter rubbish! Tinfoil hat ravings!

(for those of you who didn't know, that was from Patrick Henry's "The War Inevitable" speech, aka the "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" speech, from March 23, 1775.)
Tinfoil hat ravings, indeed. ;-) I've heard it said that the quickest way to get yourself branded as a raving lunatic extremist is to start repeating the phrases uttered by the Founding Fathers. And I take it the Bradys agree, but then they never seemed to have much respect for the Founders' principles anyway. Or, the truth, for that matter, as evidenced by this whopper...

If even most gun owners support reasonable controls - including a common-sense idea like gun registration - and recoil at any suggestion that they should engage in armed "revolution," why would the NRA cater to the "smallest minority" that does not?

Has a "bunker paranoia" gripped the NRA leadership, so clouding their judgment as to justify the moral bankruptcy of spying on gun violence victims and their families?

The NRA should come out of their bunker and explain themselves.

As David Codrea said, "The folks who champion their legislative approach have been Mike's most vehement critics in the gun blogosphere....So what's with lying to the world that this somehow has NRA sanction?"
My guess is, they just take the NRA-as-boogeyman and run with it, no matter, of course, how much truth there is to that, and there's even more evidence of that here:
It was NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre, after all, who coined the phrase "jack-booted thugs" to describe Federal law enforcement officers merely doing their jobs.
WRONG ANSWER, yet again. But how about this -- Just doing their jobs. Just following orders. Boy, does THAT one ever ring a loud bell. I know I shouldn't have expected better from those cretins, but it's still rather disgusting.