Sometimes, anti-rights organizations and individuals say things so very idiotic that you almost have to wonder if they intentionally said it, or if it was just a reflexive response born out of their immersion in constant, low-level stupidity… Other times, you give them all the chances in the world to avoid saying something completely moronic, and then they go and do it anywise.
Today is one of the latter.
Below is a Twitter conversation (Twiversation?) I was unfortunate enough to have with the “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” account, supposedly manned by Ladd Everitt, the “Director of Communications” for that misnamed, bigoted organization. I kept it as coherent and legible as I could, but given how amorphous that particular form of communication is, one can only reach certain levels of clarity – the important take-away is the second-to-last line.
CSGV: @TrailerDays @45Superman Traitors who preach armed political violence against our government certainly will not support CSGV. #p2 #politics
wotc_linoge: @CSGV You keep using that word, but it is painfully obvious you have no idea what it means. Also, poison the well much? #logicalfallacy
CSGV: @wotc_linoge Perhaps you’d prefer the term G. Washington used for the Whiskey rebels: “insurgents.” #p2 #politics #americanhistory
TrailerDays: @CSGV @45Superman @wotc_linoge: So the CSGV still can’t produce any evidence so continues w/ their fantasies. Can they? No.
CSGV: @TrailerDays @45Superman @wotc_linoge You say here your militia will “defend against tyranny” and praise Athens. http://tinyurl.com/6xtlwb9
wotc_linoge: @CSGV The Battle of Athens has NOTHING to do with the Whiskey Rebellion, you ignorant dolt. #americanhistory indeed.
45superman: @CSGV @TrailerDays @wotc_linoge The militia’s actions in Athens, Tennessee WERE “defend[ing] against tyranny.” What’s not to praise?
CSGV: @45superman @TrailerDays @wotc_linoge Thanks for making our case. You endorse the use of political violence when YOU perceive “tyranny.” #p2
wotc_linoge: @CSGV Thanks for indicating that you do NOT consider it tyrannical to arbitrarily deny veterans the right to vote. #americanhistory #tyranny
CSGV: @wotc_linoge We consider it corruption that was handled peacefully and by rule of law – w/o violence – in other TN towns at the time. #p2
wotc_linoge: @CSGV Again, thank you for confirming that you do NOT consider it to be tyranny to deny people their votes. Do you think before you tweet?
CSGV: @wotc_linoge Hopefully, you’ll think before you shoot our elected officials based on your “tyranny” radar. #p2 #politics #congress
wotc_linoge: @CSGV And now come the specious accusations. Is a government denying a law-abiding citizen the right to vote tyranny or not? #usgovernment
CSGV: @wotc_linoge It was a glaring example of political corruption, and as noted, was reformed peacefully w/o violence in other TN towns. #p2
wotc_linoge: @CSGV That was not the question. Is a government denying someone the right to vote tyranny, yes or no? #obfuscation #beataroundthebush
CSGV: @wotc_linoge On a national scale, yes. Due to political corruption in a few TN towns while the federal gov’t is still functioning? No.
wotc_linoge: So the @CSGV ‘s official position is that it is not tyranny if local governments forcibly deny votes to veterans (or anyone else). Thanks!
Emphasis added where appropriate.
Unfortunately, shortly after this exchange, the conversation rapidly devolved to the point of Ladd Everitt casting specious, and remarkably insulting, allegations at myself, Thirdpower, and 45Superman, up to and including full-blown libellous charges of “treason” and other such nonsense. Obviously, at this point, the folks at CSGV realized they had lost the conversation, and were casting about for anything that they could remotely consider to be a “win” in their twisted little minds.
And speaking of “specious allegations”, you just have to love that offhand, flippant insinuation that I am “chomping at the bit”, so to speak, to shoot elected officials. This is, obviously, quite false, and was just the beginning of Ladd’s desperate attempts to derail the conversation into personal attacks.
However, all of that is irrelevant to the real point of this post, which is this: the “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” considers “tyranny” to be a matter of scale, not of the rights being infringed, but of the number of people involved.
To begin with, tyranny is defined as: “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority; the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler; a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler; oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler”.
Likewise, for those unfamiliar with the history of the Battle of Athens, go ahead and freshen on up, but the short story is this: McMinn County, TN, was plagued with just about every level of political corruption, intrigue, and crime that you could imagine, up to and including vote rigging, gerrymandering, nepotism, blatant abuses of power, and so forth. A group of World War II veterans returned to the county, and vowed to challenge the Cantrell family’s grip on the area by fielding their own candidates and working for a fraud-free election. Obviously the Cantrells objected to this notion, and on the primary election day, they fielded over 200 armed “deputies” to keep the people in line, keep control on the ballot boxes, keep black men from voting, and so forth; the situation, of course, spiraled out of control, and Sheriff Mansfield (a lackey of the Cantrell family) took the ballot box to the local jail for “counting”. Laying siege against the jail all night, the veterans eventually convinced the guards to surrender (dynamite has an interesting affect on people), the ballot box was recovered, and the resulting votes were executed fraud-free, with veterans winning in five out of 12 precincts. The veterans reorganized a temporary police force (the old one was in the Cantrells’ pocket, and understandably left town), cleaned up the county government, fixed the jail, and instituted a $5000 yearly pay limit on elected representatives.
And that was it. No one was killed, a few folks on both sides were wounded, the government stabilized and moved on, and when Federal Representative John Jennings Jr. heard of the battle, his comment was, “…at long last, decency and honesty, liberty and law have returned to the fine county of McMinn…”
But, according to the CSGV, armed government agents kidnapping, abusing, assaulting, and shooting folks in order to ensure a rigged election stayed rigged is not “tyranny” so long as it takes place “in a few TN towns”.
And these bigots want to tell us which Constitutionally-protected rights we can exercise, and how? I think not. Tyranny is tyranny no matter if it takes place at the national level or the municipal, and as free, law-abiding, adult American citizens, we not only have the right, we have the duty to ensure that our republic continues to operate, at all levels, in the individual- and rights-respecting fashion in which it was originally intended.
* – This title was chosen based on Ladd Everitt’s role as “Director for Communications” for the improperly-named “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence”, and based on the assumption that he has the keys to that organization’s Twitter account. If that is in error, and I am informed of the error, I will certainly change it.
(Courtesy of Thirdpower, without whom I never would have experienced this mindnumbing idiocy.)