Quote of the Day – Flight 93 Election Edition

From a pretty important essay over at Claremont, The Flight 93 Election. It’s a fairly long piece (not überpost-length, but not 800 words, either) so this excerpt will be too:

One of the Journal of American Greatness’s deeper arguments was that only in a corrupt republic, in corrupt times, could a Trump rise. It is therefore puzzling that those most horrified by Trump are the least willing to consider the possibility that the republic is dying. That possibility, apparently, seems to them so preposterous that no refutation is necessary.

As does, presumably, the argument that the stakes in 2016 are—everything. I should here note that I am a good deal gloomier than my (former) JAG colleagues, and that while we frequently used the royal “we” when discussing things on which we all agreed, I here speak only for myself.

How have the last two decades worked out for you, personally? If you’re a member or fellow-traveler of the Davos class, chances are: pretty well. If you’re among the subspecies conservative intellectual or politician, you’ve accepted—perhaps not consciously, but unmistakably—your status on the roster of the Washington Generals of American politics. Your job is to show up and lose, but you are a necessary part of the show and you do get paid. To the extent that you are ever on the winning side of anything, it’s as sophists who help the Davoisie oligarchy rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless war.

All of Trump’s 16 Republican competitors would have ensured more of the same—as will the election of Hillary Clinton. That would be bad enough. But at least Republicans are merely reactive when it comes to wholesale cultural and political change. Their “opposition” may be in all cases ineffectual and often indistinguishable from support. But they don’t dream up inanities like 32 “genders,” elective bathrooms, single-payer, Iran sycophancy, “Islamophobia,” and Black Lives Matter. They merely help ratify them.

A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.

It’s absurd to assume that any of this would stop or slow—would do anything other than massively intensify—in a Hillary administration. It’s even more ridiculous to expect that hitherto useless conservative opposition would suddenly become effective. For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit—and even relish—the label. There is nothing the modern conservative fears more than being called “racist,” so alt-right pocket Nazis are manna from heaven for the Left. But also wholly unnecessary: sauce for the goose. The Left was calling us Nazis long before any pro-Trumpers tweeted Holocaust denial memes. And how does one deal with a Nazi—that is, with an enemy one is convinced intends your destruction? You don’t compromise with him or leave him alone. You crush him.

So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseys—and paychecks. But those are going away anyway. Among the many things the “Right” still doesn’t understand is that the Left has concluded that this particular show need no longer go on. They don’t think they need a foil anymore and would rather dispense with the whole bother of staging these phony contests in which each side ostensibly has a shot.

RTWT. Twice.

From the Front Lines

My favorite Merchant O’Death emails from his position on the front lines:

The statement has been made and the Kool-Aid has been drunk. In the wake of the ATF statement about the impending ban on any 5.56mm/.223 ammunition that is loaded with the 62-grain, SS109 LAP bullet (the one cartridge specifically named by the ATF&E being the M-855) known colloquially as “green tip”, the masses have laid siege to my shop, buying large quantities of any and all 5.56/.223 ammo, the most common statement from the aforementioned group being: “I can’t believe you guys still have any two-two-three ammo on the shelves! The government is going to ban it!” or words to that effect. The fact that Rush Limbaugh stated that the government was going to ban .223 ammo on his radio show last week has had the expected result. I shudder to think what the lines in front of ammo vendors at gun shows will look like in the foreseeable future, though thankful that I will not be one of those folks standing in those lines.

We don’t have any limits on .223 ammo nor have we increased our prices. Despite the predictable reaction from the “masses”, we aren’t worried about running out of 5.56/.223 ammo anytime soon though our stock of 62-grain, “green tip” ammo is quite low. Not everyone has fallen for the misinformation. The vast majority of those individuals scampering out of the shop with an arm-load of .223 are of the “tacti-cool” variety. There are a goodly number of folks that actually ask: “What is the deal with the ban on two-two-three ammo?” And I happily explain it to them. Strangely enough, while the sales of ammo have spiked, the sales of “black rifles” have not. I find that a bit amusing actually.

It does indicate that pretty much everyone who wants an AR has an AR, doesn’t it?

Just by coincidence I recently purchased 500 SS109 projectiles when they went on sale at one of the major mail-order vendors.  I don’t shoot M855 (I handload) but these were such a good deal I thought I’d give them a try and see how they compare accuracy-wise against my normal Hornady 75 grain BTHPs.

What I told Merchant O’D was, I’m waiting for the DoD to take a second shot (so to speak) at making once-fired military brass unavailable to reloaders.  After all, the mantra of The Other Side™ is, “The philosophy cannot be wrong!  Do it again, ONLY HARDER!!

A Crutch? It Should be Used as an Impaling Stake.

How many inconsistencies (and how much bullshit) can you find in this story:

Affidavit: Man using rifle as crutch when it fired

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man told police he was using his assault rifle as a crutch to help him get up from a couch at a friend’s apartment when it fired a burst through the ceiling and killed a little girl upstairs, court records show.

He was using the gun as a crutch, but it “fired a burst” through the CEILING?!?! Why didn’t it take his arm off at the shoulder?

A police affidavit said Jon Andrew Meyer Jr. told investigators the gun went off accidentally June 27 at the Grants Pass apartment, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.

Defense lawyer Gary Berlant adds Meyer had been assured the gun was not fully automatic.

But it “fired a BURST”?  How long had he owned it?  Did it have a happy switch?

Meyer is being held on $250,000 bail on charges of manslaughter, assault and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Authorities say he was responsible for the reckless burst of rifle fire that killed 5-year-old Alysa Bobbitt of Shady Cove and wounded apartment resident Karen Hancock. The girl and Hancock were upstairs in the same apartment as Meyer.

The little girl and her mother were visiting friends there, but just what Meyer was doing in the apartment with the rifle was unclear. Court records say his fiancee had kicked him out of her place, getting a restraining order, and he listed his current residence as his sister’s home.

So he was under a restraining order, but he still had firearms? That’s unpossible!!

Meyer listed his occupation as lead bouncer at a Mexican restaurant, where he has worked for two years.

Though his fiancee, Victoria Kohout, told authorities that Meyer was a “big teddy bear,” her June 20 petition for the restraining order described him as an “unpredictable drug addict” who had threatened her with a gun, and threatened to burn down her house, slash her tires and break the windows on her car. The judge noted in the file that Meyer had four guns.

So he was a drug abuser, and the court was informed that he had firearms? And they didn’t take them?  Or did he acquire this one after the fact?

Lori Nelson, who lives down the block, said she was startled by the noise of gunfire, and saw Meyer running down the driveway. Then she heard screaming and saw Danielle R. Wilson, Alyssa’s mother, come outside holding the child in her arms.

“She looked up at me and said, ‘Please, help my baby,'” Nelson said.

The perp was using the rifle as a crutch in his apartment, but after it “fired a burst” through the ceiling he is then seen “running down the driveway”. It’s a MIRACLE! He was HEALED THROUGH THE POWER OF JESUS!

Everything about this story stinks. I can’t wait for the junk-on-the-bunk pictures and the handwringing over this guy’s “arsenal.”

And I hope he dies screaming in a fire.

Now watch the AP come after me.  I claim “Fair Use.”  Read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

“Deputies believe alcohol was involved.”

“Deputies believe alcohol was involved.”

No, really? And Darwin. Definitely Darwin:

An Imperial man is dead after accidentally shooting himself in the head while teaching his girlfriend firearms safety.

Sheriff Glenn Boyer said that on Friday, deputies responded to 4307 Rock Valley Court in Imperial for a shooting. Investigators found 40-year-old James Looney with a gunshot wound to the head.

According to witnesses, Looney was demonstrating how to use the different safety mechanisms on several guns to his girlfriend. The witnesses said Looney would put the guns to his head, and before pulling the trigger, would ask her if she thought the gun would go off. With the first two guns, the safety mechanisms worked. The third gun fired.

Looney was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead the next morning.

According to witnesses, Looney was going to take his girlfriend to the shooting range the next day, but insisted on the lesson on firearm safety the day before.

Deputies believe alcohol was involved.

KSDK, St. Louis, MO

I keep hearing “Hold my beer and watch THIS!”

At least the idiot died in this incident.



David Codrea reports that the 2A Blog Bash has become . . . exclusive, and not in a good way. By all appearances, anyone who does not meet Bitter’s unpublished criteria won’t get blogger credentials at the NRA convention. Please do read the whole thing.

I left this comment at David’s:

Of course it’s an NRA public relations stunt. What do you think, they want news crews to tape a shouting match between the Prags and the Threepers?

Honestly, how many of you here think that mixing those two groups would result in Reasoned Discourse™? We already know what it does on the intarwebs.

And I think we’ve had this discussion before – in the Civil Right to Arms movement, the Prags play MLK and the Threepers play Malcom X. The opposition talks to the Prags, because otherwise they have to talk to you.

Don’t act all surprised and butthurt. This is the role you’ve embraced.

And this addendum:


I’m speaking for myself here. I don’t know that Bitter has done what you’ve accused her of, but I wouldn’t find it surprising, for the reason I gave above.

I’m not happy about it, but it’s her party. And no, I really don’t want to get into a shouting match with Mike Vanderboegh in the hall in front of cameras. That’s a public front I’d rather not put forth.


Well, I’m Disappointed

I’m a pessimist by temperament. That way I go through life often pleasantly surprised and seldom disappointed, but seldom isn’t never.

Readers of TSM are probably familiar with this guy:

That’s Jim Scoutten, producer and host of Shooting USA, and a member (with his own forum) at AR15.com. Well, I thought I’d ask him about the possibility of Shooting USA covering Boomershoot:

Jim, have you ever covered or considered covering the annual Boomershoot in Orofino Idaho? I realize it’s probably far too late for this year’s (end of April) event, but I think this is something a lot of people would really enjoy seeing. There’s video at the link done by a local (well, regional) TV station to give you the flavor of the event, but it’s not enough for us gun-nuts.

I’m going for the first time this year, and I know that other ARFCOMers have gone in the past.

Hope to see you again at this year’s NRA convention in Phoenix!

The answer was not quite what I expected:

I’ve always thought there are some events that shouldn’t get National TV coverage.

When we’d like the public to think of competitive shooting to be like other mainstream sports.

Uh, right.

My reply:

Thus Knob Creek shouldn’t get national coverage?

Did you watch the King5 piece? (Windows Media file) I thought it was excellent, though short. Personally, I was amazed that a mainstream media outlet would be so positive about an event of this type. Joe Huffman, the organizer of the event, showed it to the NRA media relations rep at the last NRA convention, and she kept saying happily “Play it again! Play it again!”

One of the things that I think needs to happen is the renormalization of firearms and the shooting sports. Read sometime Hell in a Handbasket’s Confessions of a Deathbeast. This is what sixty years of slow-motion hate crime has done to what used to be a respected culture. It’s time and past time to start trying to restore that respect, or if not respect, at least neutrality instead of fear and loathing.

We can’t all be Bianchi Cup competitors or shoot at Camp Perry. Not all shooters want to go slay an elk or a bear. Events like this are for us common shooters who want a real challenge. I think they should get more coverage so perhaps there might be more of them.

But what do I know?

Ry Jones was equally disappointed less verbose in the thread, but made up for it in the comments at his blog.

Joe Huffman’s response, however, was piquant. By all means, read the thread.

UPDATE: Linoge has a pretty comprehensive post hitting all the high points, with links to everyone commenting on this tempest in a teacup.

Only Two (2) in Over Five Years

Only Two (2) in Over Five Years

Well, I just banned Billy Beck from comments here at TSM. While I generally respect the life he leads and the message he puts out, I cannot respect the messenger any longer. Billy is only the second person I’ve ever banned, and the other was JadeGold.

No, Billy, It’s Off. You got the martyrdom you wanted. Consider your company.

I was right. I got a sh!#storm in my comments, but this isn’t what I was expecting.

Again, I’m still out of town on business, and it looks like I will be at least five days a week through the end of January. In January, it may go to seven days a week, with even longer hours. I wish I could say that I’ll have an überpost up tomorrow or the next day dissecting this whole thing, but I can’t.

I will say that the rift exhibited here isn’t good. (I’d like to accept the “Blindingly Fucking Obvious Award” in the name of H-S Precision . . .)

I will, however say something about this comment (not by Beck):

Not being satisfied with taking more than 50% of my earnings each year, the American government in a few short weeks will likely propose legislation to criminalize and then remove my firearms of military utility, along with their accoutrements.

There’s a very low probability of defeating such legislation, which may include neither a sunset clause a la AWB I nor any grandfathering of existing weapons or accessories.

I and a whole lot of other folks will not comply.

At that point, the government will face a choice — lose credibility by doing nothing, or begin the raids that will open a terribly bloody new chapter of our history.

A whole lot of folks are preparing for just that eventuality — and are simply waiting for the government to make the first move.

When they kill Vanderboegh or other prominent folks…when the rolling roadblocks commence…when there’s an obligatory “refinancing” of people’s retirement funds into “government-backed retirement accounts”….when the alternative media are being squashed….when the homeschoolers are being raided “for the children”…a whole lot of folks will roll off their fail-safe points and go hot.

And it will be a bloody, tragic mess.

The operative word in these paragraphs being “When”.

Not “If.”

If what is predicted here comes to pass, then yes, there will be an armed uprising.

I’ll make you a bet, CA: One year from now only ONE of your predictions might become fact. That would be reinstitution of an “Assault Weapons Ban.”

There will be no general confiscation. None of the other things you predict will occur – UNLESS you and the “3%” start assassinating media figures, elected officials and agents of the Federal government (presumably by long range rifle shot) AS YOU HAVE STATED YOU WOULD DO IF AN ASSAULT WEAPON BAN WAS PASSED.

Is this how you intend to “force” the rest of us into revolution?

Fantasy Ideology

In August of 2002 Lee Harris published Al Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology, an essay exploring the “root cause” of the 9/11 attacks. It made a fairly big splash in the blogosphere. Here, for the purposes of this essay, are the key graphs from Harris’s piece:

My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late 1960s. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of antiwar protest. To me the point of such protest was simple–to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason–because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.

And what it did for him was to provide him with a fantasy–a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. By participating in a violent antiwar demonstration, he was in no sense aiming at coercing conformity with his view–for that would still have been a political objective. Instead, he took his part in order to confirm his ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling himself among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability. Thus, when he lay down in front of hapless commuters on the bridges over the Potomac, he had no interest in changing the minds of these commuters, no concern over whether they became angry at the protesters or not. They were there merely as props, as so many supernumeraries in his private psychodrama. The protest for him was not politics but theater; and the significance of his role lay not in the political ends his actions might achieve, but rather in their symbolic value as ritual. In short, he was acting out a fantasy.

It was not your garden-variety fantasy of life as a sexual athlete or a racecar driver, but in it, he nonetheless made himself out as a hero–a hero of the revolutionary struggle. The components of his fantasy–and that of many young intellectuals at that time–were compounded purely of ideological ingredients, smatterings of Marx and Mao, a little Fanon and perhaps a dash of Herbert Marcuse.

For want of a better term, call the phenomenon in question a fantasy ideology–by which I mean political and ideological symbols and tropes used not for political purposes, but entirely for the benefit of furthering a specific personal or collective fantasy. It is, to be frank, something like the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons carried out not with the trappings of medieval romances–old castles and maidens in distress–but entirely in terms of ideological symbols and emblems. The difference between them is that one is an innocent pastime while the other has proved to be one of the most terrible scourges to afflict the human race.

There seems to be a lot of something much like that going around these days.

The topic of the “Three Percenters” has floated to the surface again. See here, here, here, and here. My previous posts on the subject are The Threshold of Outrage, Freedom, Hope, Outrage, Bright Lines, Revolutions and End Times, and Philosophy, Revolution, and the Restoration of the Constitution. And yes, the pieces are as long as the titles would suggest. You really need to read these links if (somehow) you’re unfamiliar with the background of this topic.

SayUncle states:

I would try to engage them and point out that maybe scaring the white people isn’t the best policy decision. That their efforts are better spent being politically active instead of engaging in mental masturbation all over their keyboards. Or, as Sebastian said: If 3% of gun owners were as involved in political activism as they supposedly are at preparing for civil war, we’d be an unstoppable political force. But, like reasoning with the birds, it’s a fruitless endeavor. It will waste my time and probably annoy the birds. After all, these are guys who accuse other bloggers of cowardice for not drawing a clear line in the sand, while pointing out their own lines have been crossed while they do nothing but engage in a New World Order induced circle jerk.

Linoge says:

After wasting considerable amounts of time reading their writings, the only conclusion I can come to is that they do not give to farts about America’s liberties and freedom – they only care about their own liberties and freedoms, and whatever perceived slights or affronts to them they see the government doing. They do not care that their writings (such as the letter to the editor) have almost undoubtedly done more harm than good by alienating readers. They do not care that there are political and social means and methods for airing their grievances, making changes in the governmental system, and making headway in terms of liberties and rights… and doing it all peaceably and without fomenting armed rebellion. They do not care that their proposed, poorly-thought-out actions have no clear-cut termination or resolution. They do not care that those actions would result in the deaths of many, many innocent people – people who had no interest in the situation, people whose choices were made for them by a merry band of “three percenter” misfits, people who might have supported them politically. They do not care that they do not have public support now, and they sure as hell would not have public support were they to follow through on their threats. They do not care that public support is the only way to make permanent, lasting changes in the American governmental system. They do not care that they appear to have absolultely no plans concerning what to do with the smoldering and shattered remains of the country after their glorious revolution (which indicates an admission of having no hope of success). They obviously do not care about standing up and fulfilling their useless promises in the past, when Americans’ Second-Amendment-protected rights were being “further restricted” (much less other rights going out the window). They do not care about all this, and more.

They don’t care, because they’re taken with a fantasy–a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. They want to take part in order to confirm their ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling themselves among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability.

The fact that it won’t accomplish their stated goals – is antithetical to them, in fact – is irrelevant.

Fits pretty good, doesn’t it?

Several people have quoted Sebastian on the topic, Uncle did so in the excerpt above. Let me repeat it:

If 3% of gun owners were as involved in political activism as they supposedly are at preparing for civil war, we’d be an unstoppable political force. There would be no need to argue about where the line is, because it would be political suicide for any politician to get anywhere near it.

I want to bring up Billy Beck again:

You know you’re talking about Carl Drega, right?

Every now and then, I see someone going on about “totalitarianism”. The misgrapplings surrounding this subject are rife. All the classic literature has gone far to foster them. (Arendt did damned fine work on it, but…) It just about never occurs to anyone that the root of that word can descend on any given individual, to the effect that “political scientists” always project over the whole culture, but without destroying the whole culture.

The destruction of Carl Drega was, nonetheless, “total”, and it was only the logical end of the very first claim that the state ever laid on his life. After that, it was all only degrees of application until the end.

And what difference did it make?

I’ve been so near the end of my goddamned rope that, for years now, I’ve harbored a half-baked plan to set myself on fire on the steps of the Capitol. Go ahead and make fun of it. Am I any more far-gone than the rest of you? What difference would it make if I was? Here is the central problem surrounding what you people are talking about:

There is no coherent and cohesive philosophy underpinning it. Everybody’s pissed off, but you all have your varying degrees of what you’ll settle for. Someone like me comes along to suggest something like starving the Beast out of existence by not paying for it, or withdrawing the overt political sanction by not bloody voting — like I’ve been doing for years to general laughter — and, suddenly, nobody is so pissed off anymore. There is something everyone can agree on: “Beck’s a kook.”

Beck concludes (read the whole piece, it’s worth your time):

But you people are talking about blowing the place up, whether you know it or not. That’s the only way it can go, as things are now, because there is no philosophy at the bottom of what you’re talking about. Once the shooting starts, all bets are off.

I’m pretty damned sure I’d rather not live to see that.

Realistically, neither would I. I’m not wrapped up in a fantasy ideology. Oh, I have my own personal line in the sand – my doorstep – but I don’t believe that 3% of the gun owning population will rise up against the eeeevil Feds when the next Assault Weapons Ban is passed. Or the next Wayne Fincher gets arrested.

Are you familiar with the “Free Wayne Webring”? Members of this webring want to bring attention to the case of Hollis Wayne Fincher, a man who put his ass on the line for what he believed. Mr. Fincher now, I believe, 61 years of age decided that being a citizen of the U.S., and the Second Amendment to the Constitution meant that he should be able to possess fully-automatic weapons and a short-barrelled shotgun without having to jump through the hoops of the 1934 National Firearms Act. Mr. Fincher was a founder of the Militia of Washington County, Arkansas. He quite openly built up some Sten submachine guns and some Browning 1919 light machine guns and, as Syd at Front Sight, Press put it, “formally notified the governor of Arkansas what he was doing.”

The BATF was not amused. Hollis Wayne Fincher was arrested for possession of post-’86 unregistered machine guns and an unregistered short-barrelled shotgun and was convicted in January of 2007, Second Amendment be damned. As I noted at the time, the verdict was completely unsurprising. Mr. Fincher made his argument in the 8th Circuit where there was already precedent on a similar case, U.S. v. Nelsen. Remember, this was long before D.C. v. Heller. So Mr. Fincher was convicted and sentenced to 6½ years. And, of course, the revocation of his right to arms forever.

This, of course, pissed off the gun nuts, and most especially the “Three-Percenters.”

But nobody shot a Fed. After all, their doorway wasn’t crossed.

Sebastian says that if he could get 3% of gun owners to become politically active – do the dull, grinding, irritating, necessary work involved in living in a Representative Democracy, then the possibility of this kind of thing ever occurring again would be nil.

OK, say you’re just not into envelope-stuffing, knocking on doors, writing letters to your Congresscritters, writing letters to the Editor of the local birdcage liners, calling your local TV and radio stations, showing up at the local office of your Representative or Senator and asking questions (or volunteering to help their campaign – if they’re on our side – or volunteering to help their opponent, if they’re not) or even running for office yourself as Clayton Cramer recently did.

Change the paradigm.

We don’t need a Free Wayne Webring, we need a JOIN Wayne Webring. Civil disobedience worked for Gandhi. It worked for Black civil rights.

I’ll be right up front with you: I’m not volunteering, I’m just proposing the idea.

Hey, if 3% of the gun-owning population is willing to saddle-up and go kill (as Mike Vanderboegh puts it) “the bureaucrats and politicians who decided to start the war? And, like Clinton, should we target the media talking heads and newspaper editors who clamored for it in the first place?” wouldn’t those same people be willing to clog the courts and even further overstuff our prison systems in the name of peaceful change?

I suspect not. After all, the point isn’t to actually alter the minds of other people or persuade them to act differently. The whole point is what the fantasy ideology does for the three-percenters.

I now expect a comment sh!#storm of my very own.

UPDATE 12/7: Will Brown comments cogently. I’ll have more to say about that post, if I have any energy left after work tomorrow.

Give ‘Em Hell!

Give ‘Em Hell!

Ride Fast and Shoot Straight does a damned fine job fisking the clueless Bill Schneider’s latest column in New West, What I’ve Learned from Gun Nuts. He’s obviously learned the wrong damned lesson, and Ride Fast schools him.

An excerpt:

I’ve learned that most gun owners aren’t hunters and some have nothing but scorn for hunters because we’re soft and care about other amendments. So, they mock us, calling us Elmer Fudds. But the hunter’s revenge is the Pitman-Robinson Act, which mandates excise taxes historically paid mostly by hunters, but now mostly paid by gun owners who never hunt or even loathe hunters as turncoats. Back at you, buddy.

Some, a small minority, may have jokingly called you Fudds, or maybe mocked you. Your guy, Zumbo, called me a terrorist. Who’s the nasty bastard now? Bill, the point is we should be on the same side. Hunters fully supporting mere gun owners, shooters supporting hunters, sheep dogs supporting collectors. It’s really is all about the guns.

As someone once said to me: You beat that man like a rented mule! Bravo!

Frightening the White People

There is an interesting discussion going on in the comments to a post at Snowflakes in Hell on a letter to the editor written by Mike Vanderboegh. Mr. Vanderboegh is a strident voice for the right to arms, an extremist’s extremist. He is, as I described him in my own comment at Snowflakes, the Malcolm X of the gun-rights movement.

He’s the guy who wants to, as SayUncle puts it so wincingly, “frighten the white people.”

Mr. Vanderboegh is currently writing a book, one that makes John Ross’s Unintended Consequences look like a trip to Disneyland. It’s entitled Absolved, and it’s being published, chapter by chapter, on various gun blogs. David Codrea, a member of the Black Rifle Panthers himself, has a link to all the chapters posted so far. You might find it an interesting read. Mr. Vanderboegh is a pretty good writer.

The general consensus of the 66 (so far) comments at Sebastian’s is that actually telling people that gun owners are willing to kill over the right to arms is counterproductive in the struggle to convince a majority that having a right to arms is a good thing. Of course there are those who think Mr. Vanderboegh is off his rocker, or that anyone who doesn’t agree wholeheartedly with him is a traitor, but generally the middle-of-the-road position is “he’s right, but we shouldn’t say things like that out loud.” Most believe that we’re turning back the tide of gun control, and that the Heller decision illustrates this emphatically, so tossing verbal hand-grenades is more than a little counterproductive. Others argue that incidents like the David Olofson prosecution and conviction prove that the government is still coming after us, and they’ll keep doing it retail until they figure out how to do it wholesale.

I’d like to point out that Mr. Vanderboegh is not the only person out there who has stated, seriously, that lethal force against government officials isn’t off the list of possible responses. In fact, in January of 2007 SayUncle (in all seriousness) and Tamara (you never can really tell) made it plain that that was a position they both took.

Mr. Vanderboegh wrote in his letter to the editor:

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.

SayUncle wrote:

What makes me a gun nut?

Not the number of guns I own. For someone who yammers on so much about guns, I probably own considerably less than the average reader here. I own the following: Ruger 10/22, a Walther P22, Kel-Tec 380, an AR in 9mm, Glock 30, an AR in 5.56. I think that’s it. Six firearms. I have a lot on my to buy list but they always get pushed back due to other priorities or whatever. And here lately, I’ve actually sold a couple of firearms. One, because I didn’t care for it and one because I was offered too much to turn it down.

It’s not that I like how they work mechanically or tinkering. I do that with other stuff and I’m not nuts about that. I like to do woodworking but I am not a woodworking nut. And I don’t blog about woodworking.

It’s not hunting. I don’t hunt.

It’s not the zen of target shooting. I zen playing cards, golf, and other activities as well.

So, what is it? I thought about it long and hard. And it’s this simple truth:

If you fuck with me bad enough, I’ll kill your ass.

Simple. Not elegant. But that truth is what scares the shit out of others and it’s that truth that makes people look at you like you’re crazy. It won’t be a NRA slogan any time soon. But it’s what you’re asserting when you claim to be a gun nut, whether you like it or not.

SayUncle is one of Mr. Vanderboegh’s “3 percent.” So am I. But SayUncle made his statement on a blog, a site read mostly by others who share, largely, the same beliefs. Mr. Vanderboegh made his statement in a newspaper, where people who don’t think the way we do are in the majority.

I’m ambivalent on the topic, myself. I think those who really need to understand that some of us are willing to kill already do. That’s why they go after people like David Olofson – to frighten the rest of us. I think that the 97% of the gun owning population that isn’t on the same wavelength as Mr. Vanderboegh and SayUncle and myself needs to be reminded from time to time that the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting and target shooting and gun collecting. There’s a reason they enumerated an individual right to arms, and it had to do with watering the Tree of Liberty, if necessary.

Where Mr. Vanderboegh and I differ is on when (or whether) that watering needs to be done. I suspect that SayUncle and I are in more agreement that Mr. Vanderboegh and I would be. As I said in my own comment at Snowflakes in Hell:

There’s a group of people, and as far as I can tell it’s growing, that not only believes that we’re headed for violent revolution, they want it.

And what scares me is, sometimes I think they’re right.

Your thoughts?