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From: Joe Huffman
April 24, 2000
With my background I have an extremely difficult time understanding how the mind of our opposition works. It is quite clear they (the leaders at least) know that gun control is not crime control, yet they demand more gun control every time there is another high profile crime committed with a gun. Just yesterday my son told me of a debate he had with a fellow student who ended the debate with, "Well, at least they wouldn't be killed with a gun." 'They' referring to crime victims. I've had similar debates, with some people it seems they would prefer the murders, rapes, and assaults increase without bound than someone (perhaps even the criminal in the act of committing a violent crime) suffer a gunshot wound. I exaggerate some naturally -- they would never actually admit it of course. But you can conclusively demonstrate that would be the result if their policies were implemented and they seem to think that is preferable to the current situation.
My wife had a potential interesting insight yesterday, "Did the basis of the anti-gun movement coincide with the anti-war movement of the sixties?". The Gun Control Act of 1968 was influenced by the assassinations of the Kennedy's and Rev. King, both were heroes of the left. Is it that 'crowd' that has finally come to power and is implementing a "all we need is love" program? War is bad, guns are part of war, therefore guns are bad.
Mike Arst, at one point in his life, was our opposition. He knew two people who were murdered, and family members of his knew several others killed in or outside their homes. His own father was attacked in his home (he survived). All were killed with knives or blunt instruments. Years later, two men he knew defended themselves against armed attackers by displaying firearms (no shots fired; no injuries). These incidents caused a huge change of mind about self-defense and about firearms as defensive tools.
If anyone else has an insight they would like to share with the rest of us please send it to me.
From: Mike Arst
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2000 1:28 PM
The idea of weapons remaining only in the hands of the people who come--armed, of course--to take weapons away from everyone else, leaves me distinctly uncomfortable. How does this come about? Some people--a very tiny percentage of the population--give themselves pedigrees, as it were: believing themselves to know what's best for everyone else, they empower themselves to take away others' power. If indeed they _do_ know best of all what's good for everyone else, then perhaps they are right in doing this. But when in recent history have people who anointed themselves, and gave themselves dictatorial powers, ever demonstrated their truly higher consciousness?
_How_ have they always demonstrated their moral superiority? When the politicians are tired of the happy-talk, it always seems to come down to: "If you don't do what I tell you to do, I'm going to hurt you. And I _can_ hurt you. I do this to you because I _can_, and because I _should_. You must submit because I can, and you must submit because you should. You WILL."
Take Janet Reno and Bill Clinton (please). Let's suppose Reno's and Clinton's desires to control others' behavior originate in higher planes of consciousness than the rest of us occupy.
Their moral superiorities aside, alone, neither possesses the power to change anything. They can bark at the rest of us, and we can just laugh. They can proclaim their moral superiority, and we can ignore them--go to your rooms, kiddies; play with some toy soldiers; write some manifestos.
Give them armies, however, and it's another matter. They can say "go" into the phone, and suddenly doors get bashed down. When you listen to them justify what they do, you hear the same old rhetoric: they must do it, because it's right with a capital "R". But in the end, they know they do it because they can; and they are licensed (by a sometimes-uncomfortable electorate, but certainly also by _themselves_) to injure and kill if they "have" to.
These are the kinds of people who would send their armed men to take away weapons from everyone else. Should I trust that they would remain enlightened? What if they were to decide that a book disputing their claimed enlightenment is harmful to the public order, and must be banned--and those who print, distribute, or own copies of the suddenly-illegal book must be punished for harming their fellow citizens?
Is it the best of all possible worlds?
From: Mike Arst
Sent: Friday, October 29, 1999 3:45 PM
They cannot possibly afford to acknowledge the possibility of a tyrannical government--not here; and not in any "civilized" country, such as England or Canada or Sweden. Or France. Or... and so forth. Weissbach spoke at the West King Co. LP dinner last night, and he talked a bit about the grim speech-code laws now in effect in Canada (Pierre Trudeau evidently did quite a good job of taking Canada down the road to socialist tyranny in the name of "fairness"). Weissbach could not have aired his particular sorts of un-politically-correct views without serious risk of having his licensed yanked; the stations that aired his show would also have been at risk. It's definitely an "at gunpoint" situation masquerading as fairness for the downtrodden, etc. etc. In short: tyranny in the guise of "wellness."
To acknowledge that such things could ever exist in a land of well-meaning people and enlightened liberal social policies would put the anti-gunners squarely into "paranoid right-winger" territory--never mind that they themselves, in the 1950s and 1960s (and part of the 1970s), were absolutely terrified of that very thing. They are, of course, now in power. So "it can't happen here."
Can civilian groups fight off professional armies? This appears to have been demonstrated in a number of places. And yet...in Vietnam the US military--and the politicians who gave the marching-orders--did not truly have the will to win in military terms. Had they gone for broke, they would simply have destroyed North Vietnam.
The Afghanis were supplied with sophisticated weapons by the CIA. They sure did have "team spirit," but they also had some high-tech stuff (which will come back to haunt us, if it hasn't already). It seems unlikely that a "typical" citizen army would ever have access to that stuff; the CIA sure wouldn't funnel it to them, I reckon.
The advances in super-high-tech (and secret) surveillance technology, and the technology of mass death (fuel-air bombs, for instance), must put a citizen army severely at a disadvantage against a determined military that pulls out ALL the stops.
I know I'm doing that pessimistic-sounding "thing" again; I'm trying to be pessimistically realistic about it. Nothing is impossible; but a lot of things are just plain damned difficult.
What really makes me pessimistic (or just depressed, my usual state of mind <g>) is that the folks who are the inheritors of the ideology that surrounded me as I grew up, and which I believed in, and who once would have hotly opposed the modern-day "liberal" brand of all-powerful-state-ism, are now its best pimps and whores. For God's sake, what the hell happened to them?
From: Mike Arst
Sent: Friday, October 29, 1999 4:22 PM
And, I mean: what happened to liberalism that it has so utterly abandoned the fiercely protective feelings it once had toward American citizens' civil liberties? I can only guess that liberalism came to realize: it must make a sort of bargain with the Devil: we'll deliver you civil liberties, and you deliver us the welfare state. Certainly they don't think of themselves as doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons; surely they now are certain they must be doing the right things for the right reasons. But egad, if they seriously considered their far more (actually) liberal forebears--however much we might also have despised their own politics--they would have to begin realizing that they have truly fallen into fascistic ways.
But it would be a damned hard thing to come face-to-face with. Which is why almost nobody can do it.
From: Mike Arst
Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 7:11 PM
Indeed it is inconceivable to them to fight. Fighting is what bad people do. You can't give weapons to Muslims in Bosnia to fight back with, because weapons are what bad people have and only bad people would give bad things to otherwise good people. The Muslims were especially "saintly," in current terms, because they were victims. Libruls could watch Bosnian Muslims being slowly slaughtered and, in a twisted way, feel good about themselves for knowing that their own concepts of saintly victimization were being vindicated and that they were appropriately sorrowful and anti-violent in their attitudes. And of course, the slaughtered people rose to "saintly" status because they were victims. Am I being excessively mean to libruls, here? I don't know.
As I think I've mentioned before, my experience Growing Up Librul, and watching ersats-liberalism "evolve" (devolve, actually) over the years, tells me that libruls quite seriously believe that victimization is a given in human life; that it is our lot and our fate; that we are all ultimately victims who have no choice other than to find a kindly parent to protect us; and that if victimization is our fate, in some weird sense it is improper and even immoral to fight back against whatever might oppress us. It's only right and proper for the parent-persons to do this for us.
Thus did that one cynic--I'd call him a realist--use a tag-line that called HCI an organization that would rather see a woman raped and murdered in an alley, with her panty-hose knotted around her neck, than ever see her pick up a firearm in self-defense. The hard-core leftists are perfectly content for "wars of national liberation" to be carried out with much bloodshed. The soccer-mom, however, cringes at offensive aggression and self-defensive aggression alike...Yeah, I know. Feinstein has her own CPL and her own weapon(s). But that's "different." (And she ain't no soccer-mom, any of her rhetoric aside.)
Let one of these folks have a friend or family member injured or killed in a home invasion--a situation in which there is no way that the cops can simply materialize to save their lives--and they might re-think their positions a little. Let them become victims or near-victims of some urban terror problem in the future, and they might re-think those positions as well.
And then again, they might never abandon the self-immolating "self-defense is immoral because it hurts people" mindset. In which case, they will simply resent the police for not being there to help when they were needed (those same police who, I reckon, most Good Libruls wouldn't ever want in their houses on social occasions except perhaps as hired security...
From: Mike Arst
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 12:24 PM
It's an old story. I like you when you do what benefits me. I hate you when you do what hurts me. Please only do what benefits me. Please only hurt other people. I'm a sheep; shear me if you must from time to time while you're keeping me safe from the bad people--but take only the other guy for your mutton dinner.
It's ok to take away the freedoms of people I loathe; but you must ensure that I have all the freedom I demand for myself. Only other people do bad things. I, however, am inherently good and deserve only good things.
Other always figures prominently in this.
Government is Good Mommy when she's doing unto other people what we think ought to be done unto them. She's Bad Mommy when she's leaning on us. Liberals and conservatives alike go back and forth, back and forth, through the twisty little passages of this same childish Good Mommy/Bad Mommy maze year after year after decade after decade. To the liberal, government is Good Mommy if she's banning guns and Bad Mommy if she's not giving entitlements to Poor Things. To the conservative, she's Good Mommy if she's being tough on drugs and not letting gays into the military, and Bad Mommy if she's banning guns or raising taxes. (It has recently begun occurring to, say, gay-rights activists that, with the passage of the D.O.M.A.-- supported by substantial numbers of liberals in the Congress -- that perhaps the Good Mommy thing doesn't always work quite the way they expected. But I suspect they'll go to sleep again by and by, and forget all about it. Too bad the Right doesn't ever get it--the same people who can be counted upon to "protect" you by waging the drug war ever harder can also be counted on to take you, perhaps, all the way to prison or at least take your money away, for having dared to drain a pond on your own property, without permission. Bad Mommy again..)
Nobody ever seems to figure it out: Bad Mommy can do whatever the hell she wants. If you don't move out of the house, you're going to have to live with Good/Bad Mommy's rules--whichever ones she cares to make up, and however she cares to enforce them.
I think of the "be good to me/hurt only them" view of how government should work as "pediocracy."