No, we don’t.
A rare editorial commentary.
In the wake of the recent ‘mass shootings,’ an amazing amount of rhetoric has arisen on both sides of the political spectrum and from the Venn diagram of those who bridge the continuum. Both sides are wrong. I’ll probably annoy some people with this commentary and lose some subscribers but so be it.
On one side, commonly referred to as the Left, we hear renewed call for various forms of gun control, ranging from Universal Background Checks to outright banning of ‘assault weapons.’ These calls are the continued extension of a propaganda campaign that would have made Nazi propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels proud. In numerical terms, the probability of being involved in a ‘mass shooting’ is so small a possibility that it’s not even worth considering in our daily lives much less for making public policy. There were more one-on-one homicide victims last year than in all the so-called ‘mass shootings’ of the 20th and 21st Centuries combined. I feel sorry for the victims of active killers but no more so than for the Dekalb County murder victims who annually outnumber ‘active killer’ victims but who get about one minute of news coverage every few days.
The whole ‘mass shooting’ thing is an invention of the mass media elites to boost their ratings and push forward the topic of gun control. Anyone who thinks that media personalities making millions of dollars a year care one whit about the plight of the average person is seriously naïve. What they care about is their ratings and how much money and power they can accumulate.
The Bill of Rights
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
There continues to be controversy about the meaning of the Second Amendment. Advocates of Gun Control maintain that it only refers to the National Guard. On occasion, even firearms owners will say that regulated means ‘trained.’
The Federalist Papers (#29 by Alexander Hamilton) gives this interpretation of a ‘well regulated militia.’
“Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; [emphasis mine] and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.”
I.e., everyone should own an assault rifle, a basic load of ammunition and be required to show up for an inspection thereof at least annually.
Hamilton alludes to the difficulty of having the entire citizenry participate in military maneuvers sufficient to develop proficiency at a unit level. Any soldier who has been on a Field Training Exercise (FTX) can understand this. But having military weapons in the hands of the People seems to be a viable solution to him. Maintaining individual proficiency with those weapons isn’t something he speaks about.
James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46:
“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
Yet another reference to the value of citizens owning arms.
Madison also makes reference to “that the traitors [emphasis mine] should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment.” In a time when a member of Congress talks about using nuclear weapons against the American people, it’s even more important that the people at large possess military weapons.
Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA Law School provides some References to the Militia in The Federalist.
The Second Amendment has never been about hunting. That has always been a fiction. The intent of the Founding Fathers was for the people to able to resist a tyrannical central government.
Independence Day is the holiday when we in the United States of America celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. It is probably the most significant date in our great Nation’s history. I never use the colloquial term ‘Fourth of July’ because I think it dilutes the memory of what the holiday’s meaning is.
We should keep in mind that July 4th is not the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed nor is it the date that the Founding Fathers declared our independence from the British Empire. Rather, it was the date that The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the declaration that had been decided two days earlier on July 2nd. https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/
Something else we should keep in mind is that Independence Day does not commemorate the start of the American Revolution. That was 14 months earlier in April of 1775 when ‘the shot heard around the world’ was fired in Lexington, Massachusetts on the 19th of April. The Battle of Lexington and two days later in Concord were the start of the American Revolution. The Battles were the result of the British Army trying to seize and destroy the Colonists’ cache of arms and ammunition. Whenever politicians try to remove weapons from the populace, it means they have something unpleasant in mind.
In political science, there still is no universally accepted definition of ‘government.’ There are indicators, though; one of the principal criteria being the ‘monopoly of force.’ In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln said the object of the Civil War was “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“ Using the criterion of the monopoly of force, when the people do not possess arms, we might have government OF the people and perhaps, in a benevolent autocracy, FOR the people but certainly not BY the people.
I will be shooting with friends today and I hope you will be, too. The firearm I’ll be using to commemorate the date is a Marlin Model 60, a modern day equivalent of the simple firearms many of the colonists began our Revolution with.
A sidenote about today’s post:
Vet (verify) your sources.
As part of this blog post, I wanted to include the reference to “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. I think the phrase has strong implications in the arena of the controversy of about the Right of the people to keep and bear arms.
The question has arisen as to whether Lincoln actually coined the phrase himself or whether he had another inspiration. Many generally reputable sources claim that Lincoln actually was inspired by the 1397 General Prologue to the Wycliffe1382 Bible translation from Latin to Middle English. Even the Washington Post published this theory in 2017.
A question was whether the original phrasing was ‘The Bible is for the government…’ or ‘This Bible is for the government…’ I wanted to be sure of the wording I was going to quote so I did a little research. However, in looking through several different sources of the General Prologue, I was unable to find anything remotely resembling the phrase. More research uncovered the fact that this has puzzled numerous people and no one is able to find the phrase in any reading of the General Prologue.
So the idea that Lincoln lifted the phrase from somewhere else seems to be pure poppycock that has been repeated for decades without actually being verified. In the days before we had a free and near instantaneous repository of most of the knowledge of human history, this might be forgivable. Now, there’s just no excuse for it.
Don’t be a parrot. Czech your sources. It doesn’t take long and it’s really not that difficult.
FTC note: I bought the Marlin 60 with my own money and receive no compensation for mentioning it.
More HUGE lies by those promoting ‘The Narrative.’ Joseph Goebbels would be proud.
I try to stay off political topics on this blog but sometimes ‘The Narrative’ pushes my buttons. Plus, I like doing research and crunching numbers so this was interesting for me.
The following paragraph appeared in an article on the ‘U.S. Uncut’ website. I’ll spare you the clickbait but please check me if you would like to.
America’s largest gun lobby contributed to the campaigns of 50 Republican senators who voted against the latest gun reform legislation this Monday, from amounts ranging between $2,500 (Sen. Rand Paul) and $7,740,221 (Sen. John McCain). Over the course of all 50 senators’ careers, the NRA contributed a total of $36,290,699, according to data compiled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
I particularly thought the McCain number was interesting. Although I’m not his biggest fan, the number is so huge I thought it was worth checking. The article referenced by U.S. Nutcut, Center for American Progress Action Fund, didn’t provide any source for their numbers, which is always a Red Flag to me.
To get some actual data, I went to OpenSecrets. Here’s the data they provided for Senator McCain.
2014 cycle – $0
2012 cycle – $0
2010 cycle – $7450.00
2008 cycle – $1250.00
2006 cycle – $0
2004 cycle – $0
2002 cycle – $0
2000 cycle – $1000.00
1998 cycle – $10400.00
1996 cycle – $0
1994 cycle – $0
1992 cycle – $9900.00
1990 cycle – $9900.00
That’s as far back as the data on the OpenSecrets website goes.
Just to make sure I didn’t make any manual adding mistakes, I put that info into an Excel spreadsheet. Gee, it only added up to $39,900.00. That’s about $7,700,321.00 short of the number cited by the author, Mr. Tom Cahill, about whom the article said:
“Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Is Cahill an utterly inept blogger masquerading as a ‘journalist?’ Or is he an unethical lying shill for the internal enemies of our great Nation? I have my suspicion about which it is but I’ll let you make your own decision. If the latter, he obviously can’t demonstrate his case so he just creates disinformation (Dezinformatsiya, as the KGB called it) to mislead his [gullible] readers.
As Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Reich Minister of Propaganda, said:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
Through an oblique reference, I recently found a link to The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet. Edit: The link and the server appear to be gone. A PDF of the Pamphlet is available at the edit of this post.
It’s a very interesting publication that was written and published by a colloquium of radical feminists in 1975. The intent was to provide information about both guns themselves and about personal protection attitudes to women of that era who knew nothing about guns or personal protection. As such, I consider it an historically significant document. There’s quite a bit of political rhetoric in it but also a goodly amount of information. Even dry practice is touched on. Some morsels of dry wit are quite entertaining.
Especially interesting to me is that it was written from the perspective of self-taught women of the time with some input from men and by doing primary and secondary research. What they considered important, how the information was structured, and how it was presented is insightful. There are a number of items in it that made me realize there are areas of my subject matter knowledge I take for granted.
Given this week’s confrontation between the Federal government and a quasi Posse Comitatus group in Oregon, I also found the political views and fears presented in a 1975 publication to be notable. When I graduated high school in 1972, I doubted I would be able to own a handgun, much less carry one in the majority of States, even slightly into the future at that time. The recent shenanigans regarding Weapons Carry reciprocity in Virginia by its anti-gun Governor and his lackey Attorney General echo items in the Pamphlet. The attitudes and tactics of hoplophobes and political control freaks have changed little in the past 50 years. A common one is ‘take something away, then give it back in exchange for something else.’ The saying ‘One step forward, two steps back’ comes to mind. Gun controllists play the long game, just like Mao Zedong, and never view their playbook as a zero sum game.
The Pamphlet took me a little over an hour to read cover to cover, so it’s not heavy reading. Anyone who teaches, either formally or informally, women or Gun Culture 2.0 will find it worthwhile reading.
A friend posted a comment on his Facebook page about police response policies and times today. His post related to the hypocrisy of politicians who are protected by armed guards around the clock but desire to have the populace disarmed and at the mercy of the criminal element.
In the wake of the Umpqua Community College and Northern Arizona University shootings, there have been renewed calls by Mr. Obama for increased gun control, along with other politicians. The implication of these calls is that law enforcement authorities are always available to protect the citizenry at a moment’s notice. If the government will not allow the citizenry to protect itself, as is now the case in Lesser Britain, then that responsibility must fall to the organized government. A frequently validated saying in the Army is
If no one in particular is responsible for something, then no one is responsible for it at all.
There are several problems with making the government responsible for our safety in the United States, two in particular.
First, the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 and again in 2005 that the government does not have the duty to protect us as individuals. Government in general, and the police in particular, only have the duty to preserve a general sense of order in the US. Only society at large is owed a duty of protection.
Second, there are practical considerations. The following was how I responded to my friend’s post:
I have a recording of an actual 911 call by a woman whose home is broken into while she is on the phone with 911. It is not fiction and was used as an exemplar in 911 dispatcher training.
The dispatcher is shocked into silence by the events, which allows hearing the gruesome sounds and screams as the woman is murdered. It is 2 minutes and 51 seconds long from the time she calls when he is outside until the murderer calmly hangs up the phone after the woman is dead. She is screaming “Who are you?” and has no idea of her attacker’s identity. To my knowledge, the murderer has never been identified, much less caught and brought to justice.
The recording is so horrible and shocking that I am very judicious about whom I play it for. I have listened to it many times and it still turns my stomach every time I hear it.
It’s not the only such macabre recording like that in my collection. They range in length from 1 minute 1 second to 3 minutes 3 seconds.
Every scumbag politician, including police chiefs who serve as mouthpieces for their political masters, should be required to play it at the conclusion of their spiels about how they will protect us and a five to eleven minute response time is plenty. It would be the end of that [you know what].