the slippery slope of gun control

I would like to take a moment today to extend my sincere thanks to the legislatures of both New York State and Connecticut for proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "gun control" is, in truth and fact, a slippery slope.

Anti-rights cultists come absolutely unhinged every time you mention the possibility of "gun control" itself being a slippery slope, and tend to immediately decry such mutterings as prima facie logical fallacies; it is true that the slippery slope can be a logical fallacy, but when you are seeing those trees whipping by your head, reality has to step in. Unfortunately, that reality is the slippery slope has been greased since at least 1934 and we pro-rights activists have been steadily losing ground in the name of "compromise" since at least then, if not beforehand.

The "gun control" extremists have always wanted more, more, more… First it was the National Firearms Act, then it was the Gun Control Act of 1968, then it was the Lautenberg Amendment, then the Brady Law, then the Assault Weapon Ban, then… then… then… Oh, we pro-rights activists have certainly made headway in the past few years, but even with all of the thousands of firearm-related laws on the books, there are still useful idiots clamoring for more! More! More!

Slippery slopes stop being fallacies when you can point to the obvious pattern.

Which brings us up to the modern examples. The state of New York already had an assault weapon ban – any rifle that could accept removable magazines and had two "military" features was prohibited. New York already had a "high-capacity" magazine ban, where "high-capacity" was arbitrarily and capriciously defined as "more than 10 rounds". New York already required all firearm dealers and gun shows to perform background checks on all firearm transactions. New York already had licensing requirements to own firearms.

In other words, New York already had a large number of the "common sense", "reasonable" "gun control" measures most anti-rights cultists out there want. They should be happy with that, right?

Wrong. Consider S2230-2013: Licensure, suspension and revocation of firearm licenses, which just passed the New York Senate [update] and was just signed by Governor Cuomo into law [/update]. It is a long read, but the low points are:

  • The two-feature aspect of the NY assault weapon ban is tossed and replaced with a one-feature test.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic rifles that can accept a removable magazine and have at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor / muzzle brake (they spelled it "break" in the legislation, amusingly enough) / muzzle compensator / threaded barrel, grenade launcher.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic shotguns that has at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a thumbhole stock, a second hand grip, a fixed magazine in excess of seven rounds, an ability to accept detachable magazines.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" must be registered with the state within one year of the effective date, and registration is subject to "a review of disqualifiers by the State Police."
  • If they are not registered, possession of such "assault weapons" is a crime.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" may only be sold to dealers or out-of-state.
  • All magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds are banned.
  • This ban includes previously-"grandfathered" magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Magazines that can hold more than 7 but not more than 10 rounds are "grandfathered", but may only hold 7 rounds.
  • All ammunition sales must be processed through firearm dealers.
  • All ammunition sales must include an NCIS check on the purchaser.
  • All ammunition sales must be recorded and logged.
  • All firearm ownership permits must be renewed every five years (some counties had permits that never expired).
  • All private sales of firearms must be executed through a firearm dealer.

And, like I said, those are just the low points.

So, let us see here… it is still possible to own an AR-15 in the Empire State, but it would have to have an unthreaded bull barrel, some kind of non-pistol-grip grip, and a fixed stock, and you can only feed it 7 rounds or less. Amusingly, though, an M1A without any kind of muzzle attachment would be 100% legal, despite throwing a larger bullet farther and with more energy; but that is about the only funny thing to be found.

At least 75% of modern semi-automatic handguns are functionally banned. What is that? They only banned handguns with certain features? Well, that is great… except they also banned all new magazines over 7 rounds of capacity, which means your Glock or XD or S&W is only useful for as long as its magazines last – the only <10 round magazines I am aware of are for single-stack firearms that already do not have capacities in excess of 10 rounds. Oh, I am (fairly) sure that enterprising companies will step in and start producing 7-round double-stack magazines for common firearm platforms, but let us consider something for a moment.

At some point in the past (hell if I know when), New York had no limitation on the size of a firearm’s magazine. Then, on 13SEP94, New York banned the sale of any new magazines that could hold in excess of ten rounds; however, old ones were grandfathered in.

Now New York is arbitrarily banning all of those pre-’94 magazines, even the ones previously grandfathered, but graciously telling you those greater-than-seven-but-less-than-11 round magazines of yours are grandfathered under the new law? Yeah, and how long will that "grandfathering" last until it, too, is arbitrarily legislated out of existence?

And this is all without even touching on the fact that registration has invariably preceded confiscation, even here in the United States.

Oh, you think I am sliding back into the realm of a logical fallacy again? I guess two data points are insufficient for you to be happy, huh? Well, recall that I mentioned Connecticut in the opening line of this post. The ironically-named Constitution State has an assault weapon ban (No, really. I have to wonder how the mother of the Sandy Hook murderer owned hers.), but does not have a "high capacity" magazine ban; they attempted to pass one in 2011, but it got nowhere.

Apparently State Senator Edward Meyer is unhappy with this situation, given 2013 SB 00122 he proposed:

That the general statutes be amended to establish a class C felony offense, except for certain military and law enforcement personnel and certain gun clubs, for (1) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate, transport, possess or use any gun except one made to fire a single round, (2) any person to fire a gun containing more than a single round, (3) any person or organization to receive from another state, territory or country a gun made to fire multiple rounds, or (4) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate or possess a magazine or clip capable of holding more than one round.

Read through that again. It makes it a crime for you, as an average citizen, to own a firearm, of any type, if it can fire more than one round or a magazine if it can hold more than one round. Every semi-automatic firearm of any type, every revolver, and almost every rifle, pistol, and shotgun would be banned by this legislation; no grandfathering, no registration, just outright banned. Granted, this is just a bill at the moment and has a long way to go before becoming a law, but still.

Hell. With. That.

Hell with State Senator Meyer, hell with New York, and hell with any other politician who would propose any other similar legislation.

That little pleasantry dispensed with, however, this is why the "slippery slope" has been, and continues to be, a valid concern when applied to "gun control"; those who would unjustly deprive us of our rights and property are never happy until they are entirely successful, and they will keep chipping away, using different tactics – all in the name of "compromise", mind you – until we are left with nothing at all. First it is 10-round magazines… then seven… then five… then why do you need magazines at all? Then one shot rifles. Then why do you need guns at all?

"Gun control" is and always has been a slippery slope, precisely because those who advocate it want control… not over guns, mind you, but over you.

tim hutchison tries… and still fails

Politicians are so easy.

Almost a month ago, I wrote a friendly letter to Tim Hutchison, an apparent state representative candidate for the newly-moved 89th District (*.pdf warning) here in Tennessee (it used to be over in Memphis, and is now in Knoxville… that will not be confusing at all!). Unsurprisingly, he never responded to that email, which happened to ask some rather poignant, penetrating questions, and I decided to send that email to him again yesterday, along with put up a post entitled “tim hutchison fails”.

Lo and behold, what should appear in my email inbox yesterday at 2323 than a response from Tim himself! Funny how that works… Anywise, here is his email; I am not going to bother replying to it directly, for reasons that will rapidly become apparent, but I could not resist a good, old-fashioned (if brief) fisking:

Thank you for your contact on my website. I too am sorry I missed you.

So you left me a note card saying you were sorry you missed me, I responded by saying, “I, too, am somewhat sorry you missed me as well,” and you reply with, “I too am sorry I missed you”?

I am really trying to come up with something snarky to say right here, but I honestly cannot devise anything worse than simply pointing out that “conversational” chain…

I am glad we agree on the most important issues.

So far as I can tell, the only things we agree upon are “citizens should be allowed to carry firearms if they so desire”, “the government should be smaller”, and “Tennessee should not have an income tax”.

However, those are just the broad strokes of the issues at play. Something tells me you – a former Sheriff and a Handgun Carry Permit instructor – would not at all be keen on the “Constitutional Carry” notion that is slowly sweeping its way across the country (but that is just a guess based on the actions of other Sheriffs and HCP instructors in the state; you could yet prove me wrong); you use the word “smaller” in relation to the government but I do not think it means what you think it means; and you dodge the question about the Hall Income Tax. So, yes, I arguably do agree with some of your bumper-sticker slogans and plebum-ready pablum, but those catch-phrases are hardly the actual hearts of the “issues”.

Likewise, I can guarantee you that we disagree on the actually important issues. For instance, your “pro-life” stance puts you in squarely in “the government should have control over you life” camp, which is about as polarly opposite from where I am as you can get. Likewise, a government’s role is not to “assist senior citizens” (but I do have to wonder what the average voter’s age is in District 89, now that you mention it…), nor is it to “promote jobs” (in fact, the government should just get the hell out of the way and let actual job-creators do what they would really like to do).

I do not think I will ever understand this fixation on “agreeing” that some people have. It does not matter how many people “agree” that 2+2=5, it still does not. Likewise, it does not matter how many points of congruence our positions might have; the fact that they exist does not mean I actually agree with you or support you.

It is great to live in a country where we can express ourselves and disagree at times,

But you were just telling me that we were agreeing on so much! Make up your mind…

and one where we can own and carry firearms for our protection. I have been a firearms instructor since 1979 and am a Tennessee Handgun Permit Instructor.

Well, thank you for that much, at least.

The neighborhood watch sign is one given to your subdivision while I was Sheriff. The No Solicitation sign was not provided by the Sheriff’s Office.

Then either you or my Neighborhood Association president are lying to me, since she told me a year ago, “We are an officially registered Neighborhood Association and have gone through the Neighborhood Watch program (this is where our No Soliciting sign on the first signpost came from). You are therefore allowed to inform solicitors that there is a No Soliciting Policy in our neighborhood. If they do not leave, we are to call the Sheriffs Dept at 215-2444 to report it.”

Honestly, I trust her over you, especially since she was the one who procured the signs to begin with.

The notice is one of request for solicitors.

Pretty sure I was aware of that (the giveaway might have been the “Solicitation” part of the “No Solicitation” sign), but thanks.

All the streets there are public. A private development has the right to keep solicitors out.

That is nice, but it does not change the fact that my private property is just that – private property. That sign may not be able to do a darned thing to keep anyone from traversing public roads (and, trust me, come winter, I am thankful they are public roads), but it stands in the place of a “NoTrespassing” sign placed in the yard of every home in the neighborhood. So, sure, solicitors and anyone else who wants to can waddle their way up and down the streets of our neighborhood, shove stuff in our mailboxes, and even try to talk to us from those streets, but the second they step foot on our private property, they are in violation of that sign, and we are apparently empowered to call the Sheriff’s Department to have nice men in uniforms with guns come and remove those folks from our property.

Way to split hairs.

A solicitor by definition in Knox County Charter Article II, section 12-26 is: A solicitor is any person, firm or corporation who goes dwelling to dwelling, business to business, place to place or from street to street, taking or attempting to take orders for any goods, wares or merchandise, or personal property of any nature whatever for future delivery.In other words selling merchandise.

Ah, finally, after all that hemming and hawing, we actually get to the nuts and bolts of the law. Was that so very hard? I will certainly grant that you do not meet the Knox County legal definition of a “solicitor” if you are going door-to-door to foster votes from folks, but I still maintain the action constitutes “solicitation” in the original definition of the word.

Going door to door is simply to introduce myself.

Yes, you – a political candidate running for office – have absolutely no other ulterior motives that would come into play when going door-to-door in neighborhoods. And it is totally normal for a complete stranger to go door-to-door in multiple neighborhoods “introducing himself”.

I think I should be offended at how gullible/naive you think I am.

I have to date completed 67 neighborhoods and it is important to me to see what the citizens have to say and what their concerns are.

So just because you have done 67 neighborhoods, that makes it ok? And there is absolutely no other ways that you could interact with your potential constituents and see what their positions on the issues are, is there?

So the upshot of all of this is that you believe you are above the rules and you do not care about your would-be constituents’ wishes if those wishes were to impinge on your ability to campaign and pander? Yeah, you are exactly the kind of person I want representing me on any level of government. [/snark]

Again, thank you for your contact.

Wait, that is it? What about my question regarding whether or not you will let your “pro-life” stance affect your belief in a “smaller government”? How about your diametrically opposed positions that the government should be smaller but also should support the elderly? What about my inquiry regarding your position on the Hall Income Tax, the existence of which belies the notion that “Tennessee has no income tax”?

Or were those questions just too hard to answer?

On the one hand, I suppose I should be thankful Tim responded at all. On the other hand, if these are the best answers I could get out of my local (potential) representative regarding some very serious issues in his campaign planks, is it any wonder why our country is in the condition we find it in today?

However, I can only reiterate what I said yesterday – Tim is not the problem; Tim is only a symptom of the problem. The real problem is American citizens who would vote for a supposed “representative” who does not give a damn about the wishes and desires of his constituents aside from the all-consuming goal of “get elected”; when you keep putting people like that in positions of power, you should not be surprised that you end up with petty authoritarians gobbling up all the power they can get their grubby little mitts on.

keeping score on their irrelevance

Speaking of graphics, it would appear as though the hoplophobic "gun control" extremists at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership has released another one of their yearly "scorecards"*. What does that have to do with pretty pictures? Not a darned thing, but Barron’s analysis of that scorecard generated some nice graphs that I am going to steal, along with their explanations, below:

Here is the straight comparison of the score versus the violent crimes per 100k.

bradycorrelation1

R2 dropped again to a value of 0.0016 and the correlation was calculated out to be 0.040117, while it did increase by 0.01, it is still completely insignificant and indicates there is no correlation between the Brady Score and violent crime. Moving forward though lets just limit this to the top 10 Brady Scores.

bradycorrelation2

Again the correlation is non-existent with it coming in at –0.047. Anything that could be indicated by the trend line is irrelevant due to the very low correlation.

bradycorrelation3

All scores above 50 had a correlation of 0.78 while the sample size renders it truthfully statistically irrelevant, it is trending in the direction opposite to which the Brady Campaign would claim. Next up though is all those with low murder rates.

bradycorrelation4

There are 20 states who’s violent crime rate is below 300 per 100k. The average Brady Score is 11.85. Only three states have a score above 20, and those with crime rates below 200, the lowest in the country, all have scores below 10.

The short story, for the statistically-challenged, is that the Brady Campaign’s "scorecard" is completely meaningless. There is absolutely no correlation between the wholly arbitrary and fabricated "Brady Score" and a state’s violent crime rate, indicating that there cannot be any causality either (remember: correlation does not mean causation, but causation cannot exist without correlation). Amusingly, you only find meaningful correlation when you limit the sample size to the six states with scores above 50, and then those states with higher scores actually end up having higher violent crime rates (though a sample size of six is far too small to have any statistical significance).

Given that the specious "Brady Score" is entirely based on whether or not a state has passed the current authoritarians’-wet-dream laws that the Brady Bunch are currently salivating after, it likewise follows that those laws have absolutely no guarantee of having any salutary impact on violent crime.

So why pass them? As the saying goes, "gun control" was never about the guns; it was always about the control.

Speaking of geopolitical bodies with high scores, one omission from this "scorecard" has likewise been omitted from every single "scorecard" before it, and this glaring empty spot has always amused me, given the situation – where is Washington D.C.? After all, their laws are almost the very embodiment of what the Brady Bunch wants to force on the rest of the country, and yet they are invariably, mysteriously absent. Granted, D.C. is not, strictly speaking, a "state", but when have anti-rights cultists ever troubled themselves with anything as trifling as "definitions"? Something tells me, in this particular case, they are far more motivated by the fact that the small boost in scores would be over-counter-balanced by the absurd increase in violent crime, and the potential that a correlation they would not like at all might develop…

And even better than all of this, Barron discovered something of an Easter Egg when he was comparing the 2010 Brady "scorecard" against the 2011 edition, but you will have to head over to his place for the full story on that one.

As with all the previous "scorecards", this one embodies nothing more than the Brady Campaign desperately clawing and scratching for anything even approximating "relevance", while, all the while, they destroy any credibility they might have had. If they were not so rabidly trying to destroy my individual rights, I might almost feel sorry for them…

(* – On a purely subjective point, speaking personally, I would be ashamed to publicly release an Excel spreadsheet that ugly. Their formatting is inconsistent, the border lines randomly vary as to whether or not they exist and their thicknesses, sometimes they put "0" and sometimes they leave a cell blank, and the whole thing rather looks like a high school jock threw it together in the last five minutes before class just so he could avoid getting a 0 for the assignment. Considering that this is an official product of the only remaining "gun control" extremist organization with any actual membership or money, this, indeed, shows the dire straits their movement is in.)

no matter how hard i muddle

… Guns and alcohol simply will not mix.

But moving on to more serious matters, it would appear as though the usual, useful idiots are trotting out the usual, useless arguments about ZOMG guns in bars. Color me surprised. However, just like here in Tennessee all those years ago, most of the arguments against allowing law-abiding, trained, and permitted individuals to carry firearms into establishments that serve alcohol are based on misdirection (the bill does not exclusively cover "bars", but also restaurants), hysteria, and misinformation, but all those similarities bring up an interesting question: what has happened here in the Patron State of Shooting Stuff ever since it became legal to lawfully carry a firearm into restaurants over two years ago*?

Well, in stark contrast with the doom-and-gloom prognostications of hoplophobic liars, the answer has pretty much been "nothing":

In 2010, the year after the law first passed, the state’s tourism numbers were up 6.3 percent, according to state officials. Every county saw a boost in tourism, according to a report by the Department of Tourism Development and the U.S. Travel Association.

“It doesn’t surprise me that tourism didn’t drop,” said Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville. “There wasn’t one documented case still to this day of someone going into a bar, a gun permit holder, and using their firearm. There’s still not.”

[…]

In fact, abiding by the law appears to be just what the vast majority of Tennessee’s licensed gun-carriers are doing when they’re packing heat in establishments that serve alcohol. According to the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security, not one person with a handgun permit has been convicted of brandishing their weapon while drinking in a bar.

“We have not been notified by any courts across the state for any violations of that law,” said department spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals. “To our knowledge, there have been no convictions of that law.”

Huh. Would you look at that. In a year when the economy is tanking, people are being laid off, homes are being foreclosed, and the depression recession we find ourselves in was getting into full swing, the tourism in Tennessee (one of our state’s prime sources of income, given our no-income-tax-but-state-wide-sales-tax arrangement) increased over 6%, despite allowing law-abiding citizens to peaceably carry firearms into establishments that serve alcohol. Why, it is almost like people do not mind the notion of respecting and preserving everyone’s individual rights! What a thought…

On the other hand, given the complete and utter lack of criminal convictions, fatalities, or even incidents from handgun carry permit holders bringing their sidearms along into restaurants, would you care to take a guess as to how many alcohol-related fatalities there were on the roads here in Tennessee in 2010? Unfortunately, the numbers have not been updated for that year quite yet, but if past history is any indication of future performance, we are looking at well over 300 deaths, and that does not include the thousands of people who failed breathalyzer tests. So rather than turn their attention to an activity that has a proven record of resulting in convictions and deaths, the "gun control" extremists single-mindedly focus on arbitrarily abridging people’s rights for no good reason whatsoever. How is that "common sense" again?

Once again, anti-rights cultists do not really care about the blood (or lack thereof) they are dancing in, they do not care about public safety, and they sure as hell do not care about the American people; they only care about control and how to increase it. Thankfully, Ohio is following the trend sweeping the nation of expanding and preserving freedoms and rights despite the fearmongering of hoplophobes, and if Tennessee is any indication, I think they will do just fine.

* – At least the first time. The bill had to be passed again with modified language later.

(Courtesy of Michael Silence and Senator Stacey Campfield.)

quote of the day – happyexhaustion

One of the more-popular "gun control" extremists’ come-backs to pro-rights advocates expressing concerns over unconstitutional bans on certain types of firearms is, "No one is trying to take your guns away," or, "No one wants to take your guns away," or something similar. That would be great if it were true. Which it is not:

happyexhaustionguncontrolHappyExhaustion: Sometimes I think #GlennBeck is outright crazy. Sometimes, I think: Well, he’s right. I really DO want to take their guns away. #GunControl.

linoge_wotc: @HappyExhaustion Thanks for the admission. Would that more #guncontrol extremists were as honest as you. #2a #secondamendment #constitution

HappyExhaustion: @linoge_wotc My pleasure, my fellow American! Go in peace.

(Bolded part constitutes the quote of the day; bolding was added for emphasis.)

It might be argued that HappyExhaustion here is in the minority (which does not really matter, since one counter-example disproves a blanket statement like those cited above), but not only is that argument false, there are anti-rights cultists who would actually enjoy killing us just because we exercise our Constitutionally-protected individual rights.

Dunno about you, but killing me would tend to deprive me access to my property; i.e. "take my guns away".

So what kind of person is it that would arbitrarily, whimsically, and capriciously violate the rights protected by the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments? Take a look for yourself:

I’m that scary Progressive Glenn Beck’s been warning you about 😉 Stay at home mommy, Army wife, Philly girl, passionate liberal, human rights advocate.

I guess amongst those "human rights" she supposedly advocates for, HappyExhaustion does not include "self-defense", "self-preservation", "engaging in contracts", "private ownership of property" and various other things… And I know she does not believe in "self-determination":

What if hardcore NRA types couldn’t have any guns and instead spent their time and money on non-lethal pursuits? #WhatAWonderfulWorld #p2

That is right, "my fellow Americans" – if you unruly masses would just stop your whining about your "rights" and whatnot, and just do what this nice "liberal" told you to do, the world would be such a wonderful place! How… "progressive"… of her.

Once again, this is a prime example of how you can take the "gun" out of "gun control" and still be accurate and correct – people like HappyExhaustion do not really care about firearms, but they definitely do care about controlling you, controlling your life, and controlling your actions, and they can hardly do that when you are able to say "no" with authority, can they?

Likewise, bear in mind what she is proposing a – general-purpose confiscation of all privately-held firearms. Who would do this confiscation? Not her, of course, but rather "the government". And what happens if those American citizens being raided were to resist this unconstitutional confiscation of private property? Simple, if they resisted far enough, they and their families would be gunned down where they stand. Murdered. All over the fact that they happened to be peaceably owning a piece of technology that could be reasonably easily fabricated in any well-equipped machine shop.

And those killings would, apparently, lead to a "wonderful world". *shudder*

So, yes, fellow fighters for liberty, there are people who do want to take your firearms away from you, and their proposed policies would result in unnecessary, gratuitous deaths whether they are willing to admit it or not. And Glenn Beck is the "crazy" one*?

(* – Well, ok, maybe a little. … Ok, a lot, but you get the point.)

quote of the day – robb allen

Military members/veterans, employees in any business in the world, and countless other people are probably familiar with the Peter Principle, though they may have never actually heard it called that. The idea is fairly simple: "in a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their ‘level of incompetence’".

In other words: you do well, you get promoted; you do well at you new job, you get promoted again; you do well at that job, you get promoted again; you finally reach the point where you cannot (or will not) actually do that job all too well… and you do not get promoted, but you do not get fired either. But you just keep on doing that job not-too-well until you get bored and leave, finally do something to get fired, or die. It can kind of be regarded as the bastard step-child of the "survival of the fittest" theory, only with greater implications for your actual life.

Personally, I would argue that the same Principle holds true for the federal government as whole, not just the individual employees and positions within it, or, as Robb expressed in a slightly different fashion:

The US Government isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed.

Our illustrious government has been slowly finagling its way into every single facet of our breathing lives over the past century, at least – what toilets we use, what light bulbs we can buy, what are children are supposed to eat, what our currencies are worth, what companies are allowed to do with their money, etc. etc. etc. Do you honestly believe that a hydra-like monster such as that is tenable over the long term? Do you really think that is the path towards the "success" desired by our Founding Fathers – a future where liberty and freedom were protected and preserved? Do you really think a bureaucratic disaster like that is going to do anything more than suck more and more power and control into itself until it finally collapses under the weight of its own authoritarianism?

If you do, might I ask where you got your lobotomy done?

know them by their words

Why do I so adamantly fight “gun control” supporters almost whenever and wherever possible, even when they harass me and implicitly threaten my family and me?

Why have I taken to calling those individuals “anti-rights cultists”?

Conveniently enough, those two questions have the same answer, provided in a as he quotes from Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea*:

Recognize Insurrectionism as a threat to the entire progressive movement. Too many political progressives assume that the gun rights movement can be co-opted or simply ignored. Progressives fail to understand that the Insurrectionist idea is part and parcel of a broader reactionary worldview. Unless progressives recognize that the Insurrectionist premise of the modern gun rights movement is fundamentally hostile to the progressive project and its values, the “conservative” movement will use gun rights as a building block for organizing and propagandizing.

So the obvious question is who, exactly, is an “Insurrectionist”? From conversations with the official leadership and representatives of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence – Joshua Horwitz, the author of this book, is the president of that anti-rights organization – from reading various other documents they have published, and from examining their stances on the various issues, one is forced to conclude that an “Insurrectionist” is, in their minds, anyone who believes the following words:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

You see, the “problem” (at least in their minds) with private ownership of firearms is that the American citizens with those guns can say, “No,” and not only mean it, they can follow through on it to boot:

Gun ownership is one of the major signs of independence, especially self-defense guns. By carrying a weapon upon your person or in your home, you signify that you are willing to stand up for yourself, that you do not intend to rely on the state to provide for your protection. Hunters show they do not need to rely on the USDA certifying their meats or the heavy taxation and regulations placed on the food supply. And self reliance is the death knell for ‘progressivism’, which demands that you bow before the all powerful state so that everyone can share in the misery.

And that ain’t going to happen.

As always, this debate boils down to one central concept: control. Oh, sure, we talk about firearms and concealed carry and open carry and restaurant carry and college carry and “assault weapons” and “high-capacity clips” (*snicker*) and “gun deaths” and all the rest of that gos-se, but, really, those are just proxies for the real fight that is going on – a fight between those who want to control people, and those who want to live free:

According to Sean’s reading CSGV strikes him as more of a left-wing progressive/socialist group that’s using gun control as a means to an end. (A little like how I discovered that GOA is simply a Republican front group using Gun control for political leverage.)

But in no way are ANY gun control advocates interested in stopping at banning guns. Just look at the UK. They have no gun rights, knife bans, no search and seizure rights, and they are under constant government surveillance. They live in a Police State.

Make no mistake, that level of control over your daily life is exactly what anti-rights organizations like the CSGV want, and their manifesto quoted above proves it – you will either voluntarily accept their concept of “progressivism”, or you will be forced to accept it… with the implicit threat still lingering beneath the surface, of course.

I do not abide by that.

This country was not founded on the premise of everyone having to believe a certain way just because a borderline-violent, all-too-small minority believes they should. This country was not founded on the premise of forcibly suppressing opposing opinions simply because you disagree with them. And this country sure as hell was not founded on the premise of harassing, abusing, stalking, “outing”, or otherwise attempting to intimidate those who would dare to question your inherently flawed, specious, and absurdly weak position.

Or, in other words:

…they don’t care one whit about stopping violence or crime or whatever buzzword they use to make the unwitting follow them. It’s merely an excuse to push their progressive agenda of power-grabbing and control. And if you own any guns, well, you are a threat to them even if you haven’t a violent bone in your body.

And that is why I continue to stand up for our rights on a daily basis, even in the face of senseless harassment and persecution. If you think that our country is headed in the wrong direction, you have the hard, concrete facts and evidence to support your position, and you are willing to debate in a rational and logical fashion, then sit on down, and let us see what we can work out. But if all you have to bring to the table is irrational fear, blatant lies, a complete and utter lack of respect for individual rights, and a willingness to threaten, harass, and attack those who disagree with you… well, yes, we are going to fight you.

And we are going to win.

(* – Amusing aside: take a look at the 14 five-star reviews for that particular book. Four reviewers have only written one review (this one), one reviewer has written two (his only other review is for “Lethal Logic” and he self-identifies as a State Chapter President for the “Million” Mom March), four reviewers have written three, one reviewer has written ten, and four reviewers are known anti-rights cultists (specifically Dennis A. Henigan, Ladd Everitt, David Hemenway, and Andrew L. Goddard, who do not identify their affiliation with the book’s author or supporting organization). Why, if I did not know better (and I do not), I would assume that almost 2/3s of the reviews for that book were straight-up astroturf trying to raise its star count. Given the anti-rights cultists’ continued castigation of John Lott for his “Mary Rosh” debacle, one would think they would know better…)