Yesterday, I accurately said that there was nothing I could add to the letter A Girl and Her Gun wrote to those who would deprive her of her rights, and I stand by those words; however, coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous, and here I am… shall-we-say "expanding" on her driving point.
I found myself re-(re-?)reading Fallen Angels recently (available free online through Baen, if you feel so inclined), as a break between Dead Zero (an… interesting book, and one that I will have to review soon) and Soft Target, and I was intrigued/amazed by the prescient writing of Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn. No, they were not exactly on the money when the book was written back in 1992, but they were damned closer than I would like.
The modern-day future they paint is chilling, both literally and figuratively – "science" has been painted as the evil demon destroying the world around us, and thus has been cast down and replaced with "environmentalism", "conservation", the belief that "crystals have power" and all the rest of that greenie gos-se. Industry has been stymied. Popular opinion has replaced the scientific method. Talk about hard sciences or even science fiction results in "reeducation". Computers are regarded as "unreliable" and used only for monitoring and controlling the populace. "Belief" is considered to be more accurate than "facts", and "the alleged objectivity of materialist science was an invention of heterosexual, white males, so we shouldn’t use that as a basis for judgment" (a quote from the book). Remind you of anything?
Anywise, one of the fen – the folks who still read science fiction, and still try to keep the torch of civilization lit – made this comment in response to one of the main characters being confused as to the difference between scifi and the pabulum being written by the "mundanes", as they are called:
Thor: "Well, you can see it in our stories. Mainstream literature is about Being. For character studies, it’s probably the best genre around; but nothing happens, nothing changes. Imaginative literature is about Doing. About making the future, not just bemoaning it. We’ll all be living in the future by and by. Some of us like to scout ahead."
Taken literally, I find the parallels between contemporary "mainstream literature" and the fictional ones being described above to be far too strong for my likings – one need only examine the "Twilight" series (otherwise known as "The Importance of Having an (Abusive, Violent) Boyfriend (with a Whacked-Out Family)") in comparison to… well… pretty much any science fiction written over the past 50 years.
However, step away from the paradigm of science fiction versus mainstream, science versus faith, and recast your thoughts around the notion of our ongoing fights for the preservations of our individual rights, including the right to self-defense and the right to peaceably own property.
On the one hand, when it comes to "gun control", nothing happens, and nothing changes; people who were victimized by criminals using firearms and who then buy into the "gun control" cult never recover from being victims. One need only examine the self-inflicted* situation of Joan Peterson, a person who is as much a "gun violence" victim as I am an Alzheimer’s victim – she has chosen to never move past her mentally unbalanced brother-in-law murdering her sister. That is, of course, her choice, and I will never begrudge anyone their own choices when it comes to their own lives; however, it is a damned shame, and it is completely reprehensible that she would use her sister’s blood to drag us all down to her "voluntary, willing victim" status. Not only is trapped in bemoaning the past, present, and future, she wants to destroy other people’s futures by forcibly disarming them in the face of violent criminal threats.
No, one person does not a movement make, but if you spend any time at all reading the weblogs, articles, and Twitter feeds of those who support "gun control", you will find Joan’s methods and mentalities, such as they are, echoed across the spectrum.
Oh, sure, she and her fellow cultists can convince themselves that they are actually Doing Something by supporting "gun control" and occasionally getting one of their pet bills turned into law, but we all know the underlying flaw in "gun control" is that it simply does not work, and I am willing to wager good odds that the cultists know that as well (whether they are willing to admit it is another matter entirely). And so nothing changes – criminals go on preying on the law-abiding because self-defense has been demonized and marginalized by anti-rights cultists, "gun control" supporting victims never recover from being victims, and they keep pushing the same tried-and-failed methodologies as if "do it again, only harder" was a valid tactic.
On the other hand, pro-rights activists and advocates are all about Doing and making our futures – making our futures safer, making our futures better, making our futures at all. We firmly believe in taking demonstrably effective steps for ensuring our own safety and longevity – planning for potentially disastrous events (because if you are ready for the Zombie Apocalypse, some pissant hurricane is nothing), being observant of ourselves and our surroundings (because criminals exploit ‘condition white’), preparing ourselves for emergencies (something tells me the percentage of CPR-certified gunbloggers is higher than CPR-certified "gun control" extremists…), and so forth. And we firmly believe in providing the necessary tools – or at least ensuring they are available – to people to accomplish those goals, whether those tools are a little self-esteem boost, a helping hand, some training, a welcoming attitude, a safe environment, or a firearm.
And not only are we pro-rights activists scouting ahead every day, formulating new techniques, developing new arguments, discovering new ways of spreading the truth, we are more than willing to share that knowledge with anyone who is interested in listening… as A Girl and Her Gun discovered herself and can attest to.
However, one important distinction sets us so far ahead of the "gun control" extremists that it is not even funny – we would never force someone to abide by our desires, our plans, or our intentions. We will certainly encourage people to consider things that actually work, but if they want to do something else entirely, then more power to them, and the best of luck with that. Why do anti-rights cultists have such a hard time letting other people live in peace?
It is too early to definitively state that we will all, one day, be living in a future wherein all of our individual rights – including that of self-defense – are acknowledged and respected by our government and our fellow men (too early indeed, given the current political tendencies of America), but that future will never be realized unless we, ourselves, work towards it.
So while the "gun control" extremists are ringing their bells or lighting their candles or doing whatever else it is they do in order to make themselves feel better about being victims or knowing victims or thinking they are victims, we will be encouraging potential victims and past victims to learn how to defend themselves, giving them the tools to do so, learning from their stories rather than bemoaning them, coming to terms with their experiences rather than endlessly reliving them, and educating them to be survivors… and we are everywhere.
Who do you really think is going to have a bigger impact on the future?
(* – When I say "self-inflicted", I refer exclusively to Joan’s daily decision to be nothing more than a "gun violence" victim-in-her-own-mind, not to her sister’s murder.)
(All images courtesy of Oleg Volk.)