After years of languishing under the duck boots of gun owners, gun control advocates are dusting off their iPads and heading into the fray. Their renewed excitement has as much to do with the dead kids of Newtown as it does with the prospect of four years of a lame duck leftist who asserts imperial executive authority and uses the Constitution to clean up coffee spills in the Oval Office.
The campaign is cheesily predictable. The designated victims are cutting commercials and making public appearances, led by Gabby Giffords, whose great achievement in life is being a famous woman who got shot in the head, making her the Chief of the Victims, for the moment. Sure a Republican judge was killed in that same shooting, but victimhood, like race, is an exclusive club. Just ask RGIII or all the mothers of dead soldiers who weren't interested in hugging Hugo Chavez.
The designated victim, like the ancient saint, is a martyr to a cause. And with the left, the cause is invariably really big government. The suffering of the saintly victims is monetized by the cause as unquestionable moral authority. The victims are designated, made famous and milked for their victimhood, and then the victimhood is bottled into white jars and shipped to Washington D.C.
Americans are suckers for a sob story. But a lot of them are also suckers for personal freedom. Whenever a bullseye is put on freedom for the greater good, two narratives battle it out for the soul of the country. "We have to fix this" and "Leave me alone."
Think of We have to fix this" and "Leave me alone" as the devil and angel on the shoulders of every cartoon character for the last hundred years. "We have to fix this," wears an earnest expression and her appearance is calculated to suggest nurse, teacher or PTA member, when in reality she's usually an Ivy League grad with a lot of time spent in government and political advocacy and whose kids are raised by Elena from Guatemala, whose immigration status is that of Undocumented Democrat.
"We have to fix this" has the manner of a customer service rep who knows why you're getting screwed and whose job is to get you to stop being so angry about it. "We have to fix this" may be a committed leftist, but also knows that most people don't want to hear it. Like all liberal activists, she's a community organizer, and the job of a community organizer, like that of every meeting chairperson ever, is to encourage the people who agree with her to speak and shut up those who don't by either shaming them or tricking them into compromising their position.
This impromptu community organizing goes on everywhere. Many college students graduate already knowing how to manufacture a consensus by controlling the debate. In an environment where all is political and there are more jobs for activists who manufacture narratives than for factory workers who manufacture products, community organizing is an important peer group and life skill. It is what turns the ordinary bland grad with a degree in nothing employable from another intern into a leader with a six figure salary and a chain full of awards.
What follows has as much to do with debate as the time Bush Senior was asked at a presidential debate how he feels personally about the recession. The right answer was "I feel your pain", but the World War II vet had skipped enough of the seventies that he didn't understand that a discussion about the recession, about gun control or obesity was now all about demonstrating sensitivity to designated victims and then monetizing that sensitivity. Clinton got it and became president.
The NRA's infamous press conference was another case of the same thing. The NRA brought reason where the media wanted feeling. The NRA wanted to discuss the reality of gun violence while the media wanted a display of sensitivity by talking about how the NRA was going to fix gun violence by giving up on its civil rights stance of "Leave me alone."
"Leave me alone" is a lonely figure in today's America where the cowboys are gone and the jet pilots are attending sensitivity training on same sex relationships. The national dialogue is dominated by a media whose only message is the incessant chant of, "Let's fix it." And they never notice that the more they fix things, the more broken the country becomes.
But there's still a great deal of visceral sympathy for "Leave it alone" from millions of Americans who have their privacy violated and their rights abridged by government officials every day. They like the thought of a little rebellion, even symbolic, and every time a gun ban is put on the table, they begin buying up the stock of sporting goods stores.
The ordinary Americans may have to account to the government for how he heats his home, mows his yard, feeds his hogs, fuels his car, teaches his kids, sells his crops and fixes his roof, but the 2nd allows him to hang on to the illusion that he is his own master and that at any moment an uprising can sweep away the petty bureaucrats who have their Vibrams on his neck. And maybe one day it can.
The Master of Hope and Change is out to kill any hope that there can ever be any form of relief from total government intervention. O understands the trouble with allowing the peasants to cling to their guns and bibles. The bibles preach a creed other than Obamosity and the guns maintain the illusion that there is any breathing room at all for the ordinary American.
"Let fix it" has been sent out once again to fix this illusion the same way that so many others were fixed, by convincing the populace that life will be better without freedom.
Point to a problem. Chant, "We're better than this." Organize a rally. Make cheerful speeches about the future. Mention the children. Ask, "What kind of world do we want them to grow up in?" Talk about how Europe is ahead of us in this area. Mention a personal tragedy. Close with the theme of how we can fix this one problem, and then when we've fixed it, we can fix all the rest too, one by one down the line like a row of painted ducks in a shooting gallery.
The question is will it work. Will "Let's fix it" or "Leave me alone" win the debate? The media have weighed in on the side of the little government devil. The billionaires are busy funding ads that millionaire celebrities will appear in to demand a plan or have a conversation or any of the other euphemisms for "Let's fix it." But the money and media power of the gun control Goliaths doesn't always carry the day.
"Leave me alone" finds security in independence. "Let's fix it" finds security in dependency. Neither of them really speaks the same language. As kids, when something went wrong, "Let's Fix It" ran to find an adult to tattle to, and "Leave me alone" cleaned it up.
Time passed and the big adults are big government and tattling is patriotic. Now the tattlers, who are always expert at crying on cue and being professional victims, are descending on D.C., flapping their wings on the Capitol Dome and then flying off to whine across the land in nightly performances coming to a rigidly controlled town hall meeting near you.
"Leave me alone" works meanwhile, doing all the difficulty dirty work whose proceeds flow into the coffers of the "Let's fix it" crowd and hopes for nothing else than to be left alone.
The left and the children and grand children of the 60s hippies see that there numbers grow smaller every year. They know that this is the last chance at the great communist utopia. The left knows that they have destroyed America,that was the plan. What they DON'T understand is why we are not begging for the "leader" to come and save us. They honestly do not undestand why we "cling to our guns and religion". They are enraged that we refuse to "go forword". They are people so divorced from Mr. Mrs. Miss. or Ms. America that the haven't the sligtest clue why we do or think anything. They are people who refuse to leave childhood, demand to be cared for, and demand that "dady" punish everyone that trys to grow up RayReplyDelete
I dissagree with Anon above...ReplyDelete
I see it more that the Public School progressive agenda has poisoned the minds of conservative's children for far, far too long and now the youth of America cannot see the faulty logic and clamor for their free stuff.
The majority clearly voted for Communism. The GOP is chok full of capitulators and progressives, the Demoncrats have all gone over to the dark side long, long ago.
There is no focus, no party for those of us who can see the naked emperor. We have some awesome blogs, and we chat with each other, preaching to the choir with amazingly lucid clear logic and ideas. But all of our sound and fury signifies nothing because we have no motive force, no united front, no Moses and Aaron to tell Pharaoh to "Let our people GO!"
For all of our brilliance and insight, as Dan exhibits daily, we seem to me to be Pompeiian's about to be swallowed in lava. We are merely jousting with windmills, and they do not even notice...
Sorry for the downer post. ut we need to stop talking and ACT, before it is too late...
Daniel, I don't know how you do it. One brilliant piece after another. It is nice to see someone who can articulate our positions so well.ReplyDelete
Error in last sentence of third paragraph up from the bottom.ReplyDelete
I believe "Let's fix it" is just another name for "I am entitled to eat you alive" (not my original thought, rather deep lasting impression from Edward Cline's "Our Zombie Culture" article, mentioned by Daniel in the last Friday Afternoon Roundup).ReplyDelete
Yes, we'll talk tough about out guns and our resolve while we send in our taxes. I guess we'd rather shoot it than starve it. Until then, it's a waiting game to see who gets hungry first.ReplyDelete
When even Vladimir Bukovsky won't live in the US because of oppressive satraps, we've long overshot the tipping point.
Maybe we should counter it with our own version of "Let's Fix it".. As in let's fix the disease of Liberalism that is plagueing our society. And then we will be "Left Alone"!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks to the wonderful law of unintended consequences there is an almost unknown section of Obamacare entitled Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights.Believe it or not. It was inserted by Harry Reid in order to garner the gun owners votes in Nevada.Rest assured the Democrats won't mention it. Hopefully the Republicans might but don't count on it.ReplyDelete
Sooner or later the individualistic "leave me alone" crowd will have to band together vowing to "fix it" in the way the Founding Fathers had invisioned and provided for all along.ReplyDelete
Those of us in the "leave me alone" crowd have left things alone for far too long and that is why the "let's fix it" crowd has gained so much power and influence.ReplyDelete
Who coined the term the silent majority? The silence has been deafening while the majority has swung the other way.
Joan of Arggh-as long as we keep contributing to the totalitarian machine, we don't stand a chance. Stop funding the let's fix it crowd. End the confiscation of your income and wealth. That is the first step we need to take right now.
The Tea Party movement seems to be America's best hope, especially after the establishment Republicans caved on the fiscal cliff debacle. A RHINO is just a fat unicorn.ReplyDelete
I have to agree with VA_Rancher. I send so much email, and I get told not to send political stuff. So many prefer to glide along and let the growing government take care of it all.ReplyDelete
Ranger Lou is right, "The Tea Party seems to be America's best hope" now.
VA Rancher said: "...we need to stop talking and ACT, before it is too late...",ReplyDelete
words of frustration that don't speak to where "acting" ends. Too many feel threatened and helpless to stop the destruction of freedom, but there is no guarantee where that "action" will end. Perhaps, Daniel will enlighten us on the histories of revolution that ended in tyranny (most of them). Once started, they become monsters that only political organizers are trained to control, usually resulting in total loss of freedom. Until the Courts abandon the Constitution, we must wait.
The Washington National Cathedral announced Jan. 9  it will allow gay and lesbian weddings ... Because the ceremony is a Christian marriage, at least one person in the couple must be baptized ... [Very Rev. Gary] Hall called it "a great honor" to lead the cathedral’s march toward greater equality. source: ncronline.orgReplyDelete
Who needs clowns, when the Very Rev. can easily make them pale of envy. I have yet to hear or read about some synagogue which announced the same ... and certainly not to forget "because the ceremony is a Jewish marriage, at least one person in the couple must be a proper Jew". Sad jokes or sarcasm aside, the avalanche of truly bad things in the country coincides with removal of The Book from public arena. After that, everything suddenly became possible, in the name of "greater equality" or "kids safety" or "progress" etc. Without The Book, there's no universal reference point, no top and no bottom, and nobody to watch the watchmen, so they can keep fixing things, from which the founding documents of the nation command them to keep their itchy hands away. They can introduce same sex "marriage" for "greater equality", abolish 2nd Amendment for "kids safety" and cancel the law of gravity for "progress", but in the end reality always bites back.
I am hoping the blueprint for Conservative "leve me alone" principals was shown last week in the debate between Piers Morgan vs. Ben Shapiro.
Ben used Leftist tactics ("victimology" and the same "don't you care about the children" meme) in order to dismantle the Left's argument for gun control.
I believe if Conservatives study the debate they too will be able to defeat the tactics that have been used to shut down debate for far too long and revive the spirits of those who just want to live their lives and be left alone.
Those who excel at defense bury themselves away below the lowest depths of the Earth. Those who excel at offense move from above the greatest heights of Heaven. ~Sun-Tzu, The Art of WarReplyDelete
"Leave me alone" finds security in independence. "Let's fix it" finds security in dependency. ~DG
Is it just me, or there is something really amazing. Those who find security in independence, also choose "excel in defense" strategy (winning some battles, but apparently losing the war). And those who find security in dependence, also choose "excel in offense" strategy (losing some battles, but apparently winning the war). The world definitely turned upside down.
A LITTLE GUN HISTORYReplyDelete
These are round numbers, but close enough to teach a lesson:
*In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million "dissidents", unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
*China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.
Take away the People's guns and you leave them defenseless, whether you think it's applicable or not. A defenseless citizenry invites tyranny.
Beth, thank you for Piers Morgan vs. Ben Shapiro info. Sadly, even Ben bought into "assault style weapons" narrative of the left. Any weapon can be used for both offense and defense (for example, many kids successfully used low recoil AR-15 to protect themselves and their brothers and sisters from home invaders). It is the same old linguistic game of the left, redefine "offense" as "assault", and suddenly the "defense" counterpart is gone. And now everybody is parroting "assault weapons", as if weapon alone is capable of any assault, and the defense part of its functionality is somehow no longer relevant, and "multiple armed attackers" scenarios exist only in bad movies, and never ever happen in reality.ReplyDelete
I could be wrong, however I don't think it matters. In the big picture Ben smoked out Peirs canard about banning assaut weapons being the solution. What he did was defeatly point out that the real pursuit was handguns because handguns were the ones responsible for the vast majority of deaths and if Piers cared about he kids of Chicago than he would care about handguns too. The Left knows that won't fly, and so, I think, he won. BTW, thank you for responding.
Cujo: That is true. Unfortunately, it is only when the individual has faced gov't oppression that she or her becomes passionate enough to care to the core.ReplyDelete
The tea party would introduce too much austerity on those who need it most.ReplyDelete
A nation has to deal with what is, not some pie in the sky wish of idealism.
We have food stamps to aid those in need. We have social security. Those must be left in place.
I don't believe anyone really understands how close this country is to open revolt. My contacts tell me that AR-15s are selling right now for 2800 and the requests for the Barrett 50 caliber at around 9800 are so numerous they can't be filled. The Barrett is an impractical choice for any self-defense. People are spending a fortune on ammo and guns. I was in WalMart today (the current target of the left), and they are out of ammo. The clerk told me they ordered 16,000 dollars worth just in that store, with little or no price increase to consumers. There aren't just four plus million NRA members, there are ten or twenty times that many who will not spend that kind of money and give up their freedoms. Obama and self-righteous liberals are underestimating the people who will give their all for the 2nd Amerndment. America isn't dead yet. The media would like to make everyone think so, but this crazy person in DC is flirting with national disaster.ReplyDelete
For open revolt you need a populace that isn't apathetic. There will be no revolt, nothing.ReplyDelete
America has no stomach for it and thank God for that too.
I've lived all over the country in rural, beach, city areas. Living in NYC and being around left thinking 24/7 I understand both sides. The left really believes it will be a better society with no guns in the hands of civilians. Period.ReplyDelete
The dilemma is obvious. They believe this and they make up only 30% nationwide, but their numbers are growing as dependency on the system grows. However,even with their small numbers they are firmly in control of White House, Supreme Court(very soon), Senate, media, education and the entire bureaucracy. That's a good base.
I don't know where this ends, but it can't be good. Either we lose massive rights in the years to come and endure a continuous purge of talented people or we lose massive rights in the years to come, all peacefully surrendered.
There is a growing number of people who believe our Bill of Rights is outdated and needs to change. Whoever controls the debate will control the future.
The proposed New York gun law pretty much outlaws all guns for law abiding citizens, which won't mean a thing to criminals. People who already own such weapons must register them with the state so they will know where they are when the Gestapo comes to take the guns away. The mental health section covers a shrink's responsibility to report any client who they think may endanger people. So, if your shrink is a hardcore Liberal, you may be in trouble in New York if you mention anything at all about guns. The days of Hitler are fast approaching, and there could be a Syria type revolt. I don't know why people in this country think it can't happen here. It can happen anywhere at any time.ReplyDelete
The thought occurred to me... Will restrictive gun laws drive hard working people to other states with more freedom? Will this be another nail in the coffin for blue states economically?ReplyDelete
This gun control thing smells a little fishy to me. Do you think they are trying to remove the ights of all gun owners? What is next? Come join the discussion here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Screaming-Reviews/539031849447972ReplyDelete