Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Is To Be Done: Confusing Motion With Progress

In a previous post, I described the situation of contemporary American no-compromise gunowners as follows:

- We're screwed

- There's gonna be a fight

- Let's win

Assuming for a moment that the reader accepts the first two premises and rejects the option of submission, attention then shifts to a viable definition of "win".

And there the real fun begins - at least for anyone with their eyes open.

Compared to many, I am a relative newcomer to the Second Amendment struggle. As such, I can now look back at the first few years of my exertions as being sincere but largely misguided attempts to "awaken the sleeping masses."

The most important lesson that I learned during those times is that most people - especially including so-called "activists" - are largely incapable of following an upsetting thought through to its logical conclusion.

An example:

- Person X decides, based on his read of the socio-political situation here in the Oughts of the 21st century, that he needs to learn how to shoot a rifle with some degree of competence.

- The actual task of achieving moderate competence having been achieved, Person X purchases a couple thousand rounds of ammunition and several mags, cleans his rifle, and resumes his "normal life",

- while at the very same time
acknowledging that the socio-political forces that originally motivated him to learn basic longarm skills have deteriorated significantly since his training began.

That observation about others and myself led to the second phase of my activism - the "Chicken Little" clippings and musings that have formed the backbone of this blog.

I truly thought, for a good long time, that if only people could be made to see what is happening around them:

- the growing depredations of a metastasizing American surveillance/police state,
- the slow but perceptible movement towards a global socialist "paradise", and
- the deliberate beggaring of future generations to sate the slavering "where's mine?" benefits-craving mob,

they would awaken from their stupor and stop the madness.

Even when I acknowledged that "we simply do not have the votes" as freedom-lovers to prevail against willing slaves and aspiring slavemasters in a voting contest, I thought that there still was a way to rally fellow Americans towards the ideals of individual freedom and political liberty, even if that meant conflict against superior forces.

I know now that I was wrong.

This documentary, the premiere of which I attended this evening, rests on the same shaky hypothesis as have my Second Amendment efforts - to wit, if people really knew what was going on, they would (of course!) work, and if necessary fight, to change things.

The wholly-unpalatable truth is that the majority of people in this country
- DO know what is going on,
- they like it (or at least don't dislike it enough to work to change things for the better), and
- they want more of it now.

That's how we got in the mess we're in.

Politicians acted to expand the power of the State by bribing taxpayers with their own money.

More recently, non-taxpayers have been cut into the gravy train.

Voters liked how those bribes felt and demanded more, even for folks who don't pay taxes, a la the recent stimulus check.

Politicians were only too happy to oblige, thereby further increasing the levels of debt, taxation, and State power.

Lather, rinse, repeat - since 1936, at least.

Consequences be damned.

More government?

More please, Sir - especially those yummy transfer payments/stimulus packages/subsidies. Please also to include, thank you very much, an extra helping of those earned income credits.

More surveillance, on a path towards that in the place where Great Britain used to be?

Fine, as long as Holy Mother Government keeps us feeling like we are safe from all of those, in the words of Bush '43, "terrists".

More regulations?

Of course, for without more regulatory intrusions on behalf of local, state, and Federal government, we might ripped off by those greedy capitalists, bankers, and other private-sector miscreants as we pursue our quest for ever-greater somethings for nothing.

Reasonable gun control?

So long as you pay proper homage to the Heller shibboleth of "individual rights", you can do pretty much anything - just as Scalia suggested. We're only being pragmatic, after all.

More gubmint-created jobs?

Oh yeah - especially with those above-market benefit and retirement packages. Give Daddy lots of that sugar.

More political power aggrandizement by the lifetime-tenured, unelected, and unaccountable Federal judiciary at the trial, appellate, and SCOTUS levels?

You betcha. Who better that a cadre of Robed Masters from the nation's elites to prove that the Founders' genius in creating a series of checks and balances can indeed be thwarted?

More taxpayer money thrown down the rathole of your local government school system?

Damned straight. You don't think an electorate is born this ignorant and addled, do you? No, my friend - to reach this level of thoughtful civic engagement requires at least 13 years of government school lobotomizing:

And we in the RKBA/Second Amendment community think that by adding our daily personal scrawl to the RKBA blogosphere of maybe 25,000 people, we are actually accomplishing something meaningful to offset the overwhelming political power of literally scores of millions of fellow citizens like those in the video?

Or is what we call "activism" simply motion, rather than progress?

I'd humbly propose that for true freedom lovers, the most rational definition of "win" in the upcoming struggle is to be free from all interference from most of our fellow Americans, both within and without the various levels of government.

That objective, combined with a vigorous and frequently-employed enforcement mechanism, is something that can be accomplished, as opposed to the Sisyphean task of trying to educate greedy, amoral ignoramuses out of their greed, amorality, and ignorance.

I've thought a great deal about who most of my countrymen are and what they believe, and I have to tell you - I'll take my chances on my own, thank you very much.

That's not a bad idea at all for a new path, as Mary Chapin Carpenter sang:

I took a walk in the rain one day on the wrong side of the tracks
I stood on the rails till I saw that train
Just to see how my heart would react
Now some people say that you shouldn't tempt fate
And for them I would not disagree
But I never learned nothing from playing it safe
I say fate should not tempt me

I take my chances, I don't mind working without a net
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get

I sat alone in the dark one night, tuning in by remote
I found a preacher who spoke of the light but there was brimstone in his throat
He'd show me the way according to him in return for my personal check
I flipped my channel back to CNN and I lit another cigarette

I take my chances, forgiveness doesn't come with a debt
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get

I've crossed lines of words and wire and both have cut me deep
I've been frozen out and I've been on fire and the tears are mine to weep
But I can cry until I laugh or laugh until I cry
So cut the deck right in half,
I'll play from either side.

I take my chances, I pay my dollar and I place my bet
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get
I take my chances, I don't cling to remorse or regret
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get

I take my chances....

Bottom line: The FDR/Wilsonian/Lincolnian/Hamiltonians have the ball, their rabid hometown fans are howling, there's 3 minutes left in the 4th period, and the Jeffersonian/Henry/Jackson/Lee team is down by 23 points, with their best shooter fouled out.

A rational Jeffersonian in the audience would be asking where the best post-game party is, and who's bringing the girls and party favors.

That game buzzer's about to sound.....


Blogger Andrew's M1 said...

I always shake my head at people who act as though Heller is a huge loss because it didn't overturn all gun laws at a single stroke.

Within the actual scope of the case, it was a complete victory.
Individual right affirmation, and overturn of DC's ban. That's all that was in question, no more.

The good news is that Scalia wrote in a couple key places about "in this decision, we do not address x or y because it wasn't brought before us in this case [yet, *wink wink*]."

True, Heller wasn't a 100% victory. But it lays some groundwork for returning some of America's liberty.

Nothing will return it all at a stroke, PERIOD. It will be a laborious process, it will be hard work, it will take time.

Frankly, I'm of the opinion that any "Second American Revolution" or "Second Civil War" will completely SUCK. Because as many other revolutions and upheavals show, people tend to support whoever can end the strife, and those people tend to be strongmen and authoritarians--see Pol Pot and Idi Amin.

Yes, I try to prepare for an upheaval, just in case. But I also don't give up on the current system, because frankly, the line about "liberty is so incredibly rare in human history that it should be regarded as an aberration" is 100% correct. People choosing liberty, rather than the illusion of safety through a powerful ruler or other figure, is practically unheard-of in history. Witness the French Revolution: overthrowing Louis but ending up with the Terror and then Napoleon, Or the Russian Revolution: overthrowing the Czars only to install the Communists.

Prepare for the possible storm, yes. But don't stop bailing out the boat. (and pinning all your hopes on one long-shot Presidential candidate who could be expected to get nothing of substance done, does not qualify. I like many of the man's positions, don't get me wrong. But Boston T Party is right about Libertarians not having the right mindset to actually win. Even he advocates a degree of incrementalism.)

So grab yourself a pail, sir, and help us bail. We're grabbing life jackets and rafts just in case, but we're still bailing, because we're not giving up the ship until the ship sinks from beneath us.

August 22, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

Andrew's M1:

Who says that I am not bailing?

With time, money, and effort on issues like Georgia's much-improved handgun carry law, I have done more than my share.

There's also a little program traveling around the country proudly proclaiming its contribution that bears my stamp.

Who do you think has been providing most of the capital for WRSA's practical marksmanship and medical training programs as well?

With all due respect, it hasn't been you, amigo.

When AWB II comes up for passage in the new Congress or legislation is proposed in my home state, I'll continue to do my political part.

However, unlike many (most?) others in the community, I am no longer going to bullsh*t myself and others over the probability of electoral success, and the need for a (however-doomed) plan B.

And Heller? Just watch, and honestly note how that case is actually used by the Federal trial and appellate courts.

Ask Wayne Fincher. He knows.

Think too about the long-term impact of Scalia's evisceration of Miller, and what that means for people with military-caliber/military-style firearms, as well as the chances for any repeal of NFA'34.

And come back, sir, if you would, with a refutation of my central point in this essay - that all of the issues decried by freedom lovers in today's America are in fact the direct product of the very same electoral process asserted by most 2A/RKBA folks as the rational way forward.

Appreciate your comments. Thanks!

August 22, 2008 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger George said...

Sorry, lads, it will take a Malthusian end to settle the question.

Concerned, you are correct: there is just too much momentum of the "gimme's" to overcome.

The revolution should have happened 45 years ago as a violent reaction to the Sexual Revolution, but it didn't happen, and we are stuck with the result of a dumbed-down population with two generations of Americans joining the Village Idiot corps instead of the Jeffersonian Corps.

So, it will take a vast crash of the technology those folks depend on, and a crash of their plastic economy, then we will see how many of them can toil in the soil to stay alive. Not many will.

Famine is the solution. It will thin out the aged and infirm, to be sure, but it will also end the plurality and domination of the Gimme Generations.

The best thing we will be able to do is to NOT resist the onrushing Depression, but rather, encourage it and welcome it.

Oh, and buy a case of work gloves and a case of #2 dirt shovels. They will be as important as your rifle.

August 22, 2008 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

the electoral institution has been corrupted over time, but our founders' quotes about its greatness cannot be rewritten.

thanks to government education, the government's interpretation of history has been taught for nearly 100 years, with opposing viewpoints silenced.

senators were once appointed by state legislatures. they were not voted in by the general public.

the vice president was the runner up in the general election, in which only the electoral college participates. he was not appointed by the president.

the glory of democracy. who could have derived another conclusion? even your grandparents hardly ever had any opportunity to know the truth.

get off the grid and out of the way. voting amongst authoritarians for libertarian principles is like imagining there's a "halt" button on the grill of a semi bearing down on you at 80mph... if you can just press it in time...

August 22, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Billy Beck said...

"So grab yourself a pail, sir, and help us bail. We're grabbing life jackets and rafts just in case, but we're still bailing, because we're not giving up the ship until the ship sinks from beneath us."

You can keep your metaphors to yourself. I'm dealing in reality.

August 22, 2008 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger ReverendFranz said...

As always, Impressive.


August 22, 2008 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger chris horton said...

Sorry A M1, your plan was tried,and it failed,horribly. Heller means nothing. Scope things and Magnify them all you want.Excellent post CA! One of the best.                 CIII

August 22, 2008 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Zachary said...

The general public never ceases to amaze. I was most horrified at the ease with which some of used curse words to complete strangers. One girl even had profanity on her shirt at a public beach. Oh well, the only thing to do is become a master of long range rifle shooting and realize that this life is not all there is.

August 23, 2008 at 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our guns can only pick off the survivors.

There are things that can take down a massive military force, and the weak minded masses. Granted, they are so tiny, and they do their own thing, so I am unsure about efficiency.

August 24, 2008 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger M1 Bobcat said...

Well, after Obama's speech at the DNC, I certainly see your perspective a lot more clearly.

Good luck, all.

I was a doubter of CA's opinion until tonight.
All that is over now.

Ita vero, tempus fugit.

August 29, 2008 at 8:25 AM  

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