[Rushtalk] Progressives and the Phony Gun Debate

Carl Spitzer Winblows at lavabit.com
Sun Mar 10 10:24:28 MDT 2013


                         by William L. Anderson



  Recently by William L. Anderson: Understanding the Progressive Mind







 



 
 


Whenever one sees the word "debate" in the New York Times or any other
Progressive Mainstream Media source, one should substitute the word
"monologue," which is a much more accurate assessment of what actually
is happening. Progressives and the MSM allies do not want a "debate"
over gun control; what they want are laws banning private ownership of
firearms, period, and anything else is only a way-station to the final
destination: total private gun bans.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, the sister of one of the
murdered children wrote a well-publicized letter to President Barack
Obama, imploring him to ban all weapons except those held by the police
and government agencies. Now, one can excuse a grief-stricken
10-year-old child for demanding that the USA adopt what essentially was
the gun standard for the former Soviet Union and other communist
countries, although I doubt seriously that the child herself actually
came up with the idea for the letter at all, or at least its contents.

Nonetheless, the child pretty much has stated what is the ultimate
agenda for American Progressives, and until that ban is complete, we
will not hear the end of terms such as "sensible gun control." To
Progressives, "sensible gun control" is not simple registration or even
a ban on so-called assault weapons and handguns. No, it is total and
absolute prohibition for privatecitizens, while at the same time,
government authorities are going to be armed to the teeth.

(Lest someone doubt my point that Progressives want to ban private
firearm ownership, this article posted on the Progressive Daily Kos
website lays out a plan for banning private weapons. The police, of
course, would remain heavily armed. Not surprisingly, this website,
which is one of the most influential Democratic Party sites, claims that
most gun crime is committed by "NRA members." So, when Progressives
don’t have the data to back up claims, they just make up things as they
go.)

In trying to "dialog" with Progressives on this issue, Libertarians have
cited facts, appealed to the U.S. Constitution, and pretty much have
acted as though Progressives can be convinced with an argument based
upon reason and logic. Unfortunately, they forget that Progressives
create their logical propositions based upon very different assumptions
than do Libertarians. A Libertarian syllogism might go something like
this:


      * Individuals have rights, and one of those rights is the right to
        self-defense; 
      * Firearms provide a very effective way for individuals to defend
        themselves against those who would seek to invade their property
        and harm them and their families; 
      * Therefore, individuals should not be impeded by the State from
        owning firearms.


The Progressive syllogism, however, is much differently-constructed:


      * All individual "rights" really are created and given by the
        State; 
      * No private individual has a "right" to self-defense unless
        granted so by the State: 
      * Therefore, private individuals have no right to firearm
        ownership.


A parallel Progressive syllogism would be constructed as such:


      * An all-powerful and unlimited State is necessary for the
        functioning of a good society; 
      * All individuals employed in occupations that defend the State
        have the right to self-defense; 
      * Therefore, those individuals should be equipped with firearms to
        ensure "officer safety" and the safety of other government
        officials.


This is not a caricature of Progressive thinking (although I wish it
were). To typical Progressives, government is the very essence of life,
and anyone who is not directly employed by government or who has been
given police powers by the State stands in the way of the State
providing life and happiness.

Lest anyone believe that denial of individual self-defense is a top
agenda for Progressives, think again. Both Canada and Great Britain
essentially have outlawed individual self-defense, and should any
individual use any kind of "offensive weapon" in self-defense, then that
person faces extremely harsh punishments. Joyce Lee Malcolm writes:


        A homeowner (in Great Britain) who discovered two robbers in his
        home held them with a toy gun while he telephoned the police.
        When the police arrived they arrested the two men, and also the
        homeowner, who was charged with putting someone in fear with a
        toy gun. An elderly woman who scared off a gang of youths by
        firing a cap pistol was charged with the same offense.
        


She continues:


        The BBC offers this advice for anyone in Britain who is attacked
        on the street: You are permitted to protect yourself with a
        briefcase, a handbag, or keys. You should shout "Call the
        Police" rather than "Help." Bystanders are not to help. They
        have been taught to leave such matters to the professionals. If
        you manage to knock your attacker down, you must not hit him
        again or you risk being charged with assault. (Emphasis mine)
        


This is quite instructive if one wishes to understand the mentality of
Progressives. To the typical Progressives, the elderly lady and the
homeowner mentioned above were a threat to the monopoly power and the
primacy of the State and deserved harsh punishment – even imprisonment –
for exercising "privileges" not granted to them by the State. Keep in
mind that Progressives have permitted the police to use deadly force
against unarmed people, and that police officers regularly beat people
brutally, and even the worst of these actions generally are excused or
legally "justified" altogether, or the offending officer receives a
wrist slap for punishment.

We must understand that this is not a situation in which we see the "Law
of Unintended Consequences" in action; the authorities have fully
intended for these consequences to occur, and each time an innocent
person is beaten to death by thugs, or each time a person intending to
defend himself or herself from an unwarranted assault is charged with a
crime, the State and Progressives have won.

Several years ago, while riding a bus in Vancouver, Canada, I conversed
with a local and asked him about the prohibition on self-defense.
(Canada’s laws on this subject are similar to those in Great Britain.)
When I asked him his thoughts on the law, he replied, "We Canadians are
quite proud of these laws." Incredulous, I asked him why he believed it
was wrong for an individual to defend himself against an unwarranted
assault. He replied, "It reduces violence, since one has to act
violently in self-defense."

I suspect that he echoes a lot (though hardly all) Canadians and
probably most citizens of Great Britain. Once State authorities strip
rights from individuals, they make it very dangerous for people to try
to reclaim them, and ultimately, people just want to be protected from
the predations of the State as much as from attacks and assaults on
their own property. And since they cannot defend themselves effectively
from State agents fully intending to wreak violence upon others, they
realize that the best defense is just to be as invisible as possible.

Thus, when they are burglarized or attacked by criminals, they call the
police, and then bear the costs. If a loved one is assaulted or
murdered, they bear those costs as well. They say nothing that would
anger the authorities and invite State-sponsored revenge upon
themselves.

But what about the Progressive canard, "The only protection you need is
the police"? Nicholas Kristof, in his recent anti-gun ownership screed
from the New York Times, writes:


        Published research makes it clear that having a gun in the home
        simply makes it more likely that you will be shot – by your
        partner or by yourself. Americans are safer if they rely on 911
        for protection rather than on a gun.
        


Other Progressives have written that it is "grotesque" even to
contemplate having armed guards at school, yet they will not explain why
it is not"grotesque" that police officers carry automatic weapons, and
why government officials and other public figures are surrounded by
armed entourages that will gun down anyone on sight.

Unfortunately, Progressives do have an answer, even to this question,
and it is: "We want children to feel safe, and they won’t feel safe if
someone with a gun is nearby. As for government officials, they are
necessary for our very well-being and if someone is permitted to freely
assault an official, then the attackers have assaulted all of us.

There is another lesson for everyone here, and that is the lesson of how
socialism really works. In the U.S.S.R., people who were
politically-connected received the best medical care, were able to be
first in line to receive decent housing, and were permitted to shop in
"Yellow-Curtain" shops that had goods unavailable in typical Soviet
stores. Everyone else was left more of left to fend for himself, receive
substandard medical care, and have to wait in long lines for food and
other essentials, and lived in ramshackle quarters.

Likewise, Progressives believe that only state agents should be on the
receiving end of proper care and protection. As Glenn Reynolds recently
pointed out in a USA Today column, it took 20 minutes for police to
respond to the initial 911 call when Adam Lanza began his shooting
spree. Yet, according to Kristof and the editors of the NYT, 20 minutes
is perfectly acceptable. (No doubt, they would call for "more training"
for police officers to ensure better responses, but in the real world,
police are under no legal obligation to respond to any calls at all, and
since "officer safety" is the mantra of every police department, it
always is easier for officers to draw chalk lines around the bodies than
it is for a cop to be asked to defend little children from a crazed
shooter.)

Furthermore, Progressives don’t even believe that draconian gun laws
actually reduce spree shootings or other such crimes. Instead, they
promote such laws because it forces even more dependence upon State
authorities. Malcolm writes about a spree shooting in Great Britain by a
man carrying a banned semi-automatic rifle:


        In 1987, Michael Ryan went on a shooting spree in his small town
        of Hungerford, England, killing 16 people (including his mother)
        and wounding another 14 before shooting himself. Since the
        public was unarmed – as were the police – Ryan wandered the
        streets for eight hours with two semiautomatic rifles and a
        handgun before anyone with a firearm was able to come to the
        rescue. (Emphasis mine)
        


British law did not protect anyone. Instead, it made law-abiding
citizens even more vulnerable to the whims of others who did not respect
the law. Yet, I should add that Progressives believe wholeheartedly that
this is a perfectly-acceptable set of circumstances. If some eggs are
broken while a Utopian omelet is being created, so be it.

One cannot "debate" people who construct their own sets of logical
premises and who see State-sponsored violence as the answer to "all of
our problems." Progressives do not want individuals disarmed because
they believe the result will be less violence and less danger; no, they
push disarmament because they believe that a "good society" can come
about only when individuals live in constant fear of the State and when
the State is so powerful that it can do anything it wants to anyone.

Unfortunately, Progressives view those of us who believe that individual
rights come from Natural Law and hold that State violence against the
innocent is unacceptable as "whack jobs" and "gun nuts." There is no
in-between, and there certainly is no dialogue, for no Progressive will
be satisfied until whole classes of people are left totally vulnerable
to the whims of State agents. In the end, that is their "good society."





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