Vanderboegh: When It Comes to Gun Confiscation, All is Nothing
From a entry last year in The Lookout Post:
May 16, 2007
"Covenants without swords are but words." -- Thomas Hobbes
"Son, let me explain something to you. You don't poke a wolverine with a sharp stick unless you want your balls ripped off." -- Grandpa Vanderboegh's Rule of Life #32.
My grandfather was a Michigan farmer, mechanic and bus driver who worked hard and knew much of life. He met my grandmother one day when he was helping build a road past her house in Baroda Township. They married, raised a bunch of kids, most of whom went on to successful lives away from farming. He outlived her and died, as I think he would have wanted, in a tractor accident in his eighties. When I visited the farm during the summers of my youth Grandpa would always have pearls of wisdom such as the one above. Like Thomas Hobbes, he was a blunt man who spoke of the world as he understood it in unvarnished words. If I remember right, when Grandpa told me Rule of Life #32, he was trying to explain why you didn't cross Grandma when she was on a tear about something. It was good advice then, and in a much larger sense, it is good advice now. Let me explain.
Chris Seck, writing in the Stanford Review, advances the theory that in order to prevent future Virginia Tech massacres it is "All or Nothing." Eschewing the "reasonable restrictions" argument that gun banners have been feeding us since the National Firearms Act of 1934, Seck posits that either all guns must be banned or any law-abiding person must be allowed to carry firearms for their own (and society's) protection. Obviously, we gunnies believe that the latter is what the Founders intended with the clear language of the Second Amendment. Mr. Seck, however, proceeds to lay out the liberal position in great detail as an intellectual exercise, which it isn't, not to us liberty-loving gunnies at any rate:
"Liberals are correct in making the almost tautological statement that having fewer guns will lead to fewer gun-related crimes. Indeed, many countries have benefited from tight gun control laws. In Singapore, for instance, it is illegal for civilians to own firearms, and even soldiers do not take their guns home—they leave them in the army camps. This rigorous enforcement of anti-gun laws has brought excellent results: Singapore enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the First World, and it is safe to walk on her streets at night. Liberal arguments for disarmament have worked in other nations, and will work for us if we copy what they do. . ."
Seck then proceeds to tell us what will be required to achieve Singapore harmony in the United States:
"If we decide that more anti-gun legislation is the answer—a solution popular in this corner of America—we must recognize that gun control must be absolute in order to work. Half-measures like restrictions on 'non-sporting' firearms, extended registration periods, or increased background checks are insufficient. We will require a total ban on civilian ownership of guns because if our gun-control laws are rigorous, but not absolute, the vast majority of innocent people will be completely defenseless against the few criminals who manage to procure guns. Half-hearted gun control laws will be broken too easily; they are insufficient against determined criminals. However, in order to enforce such absolute gun control, severe penalties, including lengthy jail terms and huge fines, will need to be imposed on illegal gun owners. Moreover, active measures will need to be taken to disarm existing fugitives, outlaws, and gang members who already own guns. This may prove to be a very difficult task politically. The process of enforcing a total disarmament of our population will be costly and may require draconian measures. It may be necessary to modify parts of the Second Amendment. And given the political influence of the National Rifle Association and pro-gun Republicans in Congress, it will almost certainly be difficult to pass such stringent gun control legislation. But if our leaders could pull off such a legislative feat, our streets would be as safe as Singapore’s. Gun control is one of those rare issues where extreme solutions, not compromises, are needed. Disarmament would work. Deterrence would work. But anything in between will not."
Mr. Seck's intellectual exercise reflects a recent "all right, let's cut the crap" attitude of sincere gun grab advocates which I find remarkably refreshing. Seck is hardly alone in his absolutist framing of the question. For example, Benjamin Wittes, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote recently in The New Republic that we should "Ditch the Second Amendment". Former Ambassador Dan Simpson, writing in the Toledo Blado, also advanced a modest proposal entitled "The Disarming of America" which gives us a vision of the future identical to Seck's:
"The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.
Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for 'carrying.'" -- The Toledo Blade, Wednesday, April 25, 2007
We gunnies have long accused liberals of wishing total gun confiscation, and they have always denied it, calling us "paranoid." It is heartening to find that they have finally gotten in touch with their true inner tyrant. At least they can stop referring to us as paranoid now, having declared themselves to be our real enemies. All of this new honesty has understandably rubbed the nerves of gunnies quite raw. As an acquaintance of mine reacted to the Simpson column: "Hell, let's just start shooting the bastards. Let's get this crap over with while I'm still young enough to march in the victory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue."
David Codrea, whose War on Guns blog I greatly admire, dubbed Ambassador Dan as "Homer Simpson's dumber brother." I agree, because opinion pieces such as his and Seck's make the stakes clearer for us armed citizens than they have ever been. We understand that liberty without the means to secure it is, as Hobbes wrote, merely a word. Thus, waving the bloody shirt of gun confiscation in our faces is more likely to get the waver a felony conviction under the Law of Unintended Consequences. Is it impolite here to remind them that WE are the ones with the GUNS? And there are a heck of a lot more of us than there are policemen and soldiers in this country, even if they could get all of them to go along with their scheme, which they couldn't.
Look, in the spirit of "let's cut the crap", may I explain how any gun confiscation scheme will go?
Oh, I could give Simpson, et al, all sorts of high-falutin' arguments about the Founders and their vision of the Republic, with examples from our history and footnoted discussions of the God-given inalienable rights that the Founders delineated and that we gunnies still cherish. But let me make this as simple as possible.
1. If someone is sent to take our firearms, we will kill them in righteous self defense.
2. After we have killed them, we will track down and kill those who sent them.
They will find, if I may paraphrase Mr. Seck, that when it comes to gun confiscation, all is nothing. Misguided efforts to produce a "peaceful" nation will simply ignite a civil war which will send those who started it packing (those who survive, anyway) to some liberal safe haven. Singapore, perhaps?
If anyone wishes to confiscate our means of self defense and resistance to tyranny, they should get those airline tickets ready before they start. It will be a bargain if they get in before the rush, and they need only purchase one-way trips to their exile.
A successful exit strategy and a good pair of running shoes are necessary when tempting fate by poking a wolverine with a sharp stick, especially a whole bunch of ARMED wolverines. Better yet, the gun confiscationists should simply drop that stick right now and back away slowly.
If, that is, they value their testicles.
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