After spending the day writing, shooting and eating, I dragged Sam to see Unknown. It’s a fair-to-middling movie about a conspiracy to stop a scientist from releasing a new type of super corn to feed the world—for free! The corn bit was, well, you know. But the paranoia was picture perfect. All of a sudden I started thinking about TTAG’s coverage of the Gunwalker scandal. That would be the ATF conspiracy to sell guns to Mexican drug cartels so that the ATF could convince Uncle Sugar to give them more power to restrict gun sales to law-abiding Americans under the guise of preventing weapons from reaching Mexican drug cartels. Come to think of it, if Unknown had tried to pawn that off as a plot I would have walked, gun and all, out of the theater. Anyway, that’s one theory . . .
Another theory, mooted here and nowhere else (probably for good reason): the guns weren’t supposed to walk, really. Drug money made it so. What if I’m right? Certain people wouldn’t want that idea out there. People with enough money to buy a Latin American country (or ten), hire an assassin (or a thousand) and convince powerful government agencies to mess me up in ways too horrible to contemplate (e.g. an IRS audit). What if “they” wanted to cap my ass?
Sorry to say, but I immediately thought about laying off the whole dirty ATF Agents meme for, say, ever. And then I thought, well, if the cartels’ minions were in the American ballistic disinformation business, they would have taken out David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh by now. Not a nice thought I know, but I was in fear of the Unknown. (Dude, it was a BIG SCREEN.) Hang on; David and Miguel never said nada about drug money influencing ATF policy or practice. So . . . I’m out there on my own on this one.
At that point, my fingers reached out and touched the XD-M’s chamber-loaded indicator. Now how sad is that? On the other hand, there are bad people in this world. There are good people who like to tell the truth. Bad people don’t like good people to tell the truth. You see where I’m going with this? Sometimes a man’s gotta make a stand for what’s right against thugs who only speak the language of violence and intimidation. It stands to reason that any man that stupid ought to be armed. Well-armed. Trained too.
I’m not kidding. Mexican drug lords have cowed local media in northern Mexico. Cowed as in kidnapped, tortured and assassinated its members. These days, if a Mexican journalist doesn’t have a gun to protect him or herself, they shut the hell up. As they don’t—as ALL Mexicans are denied the right to armed self-defense–they shut the hell up. Except the ones who didn’t. Who are now dead. Or the ones who don’t. Who are in real danger of becoming dead. Along with their families and friends.
Click here for an LA Times about “average” Mexicans who simply disappear. Gone. Like thousands of Chileans during the Allende years, only it’s happening in a so-called democracy bordering the United States. And that means that while the ATF was busy sending guns to Mexican drug cartels in some misguided effort to feather their own nest (one way or the other), the cash-rich cartels were busy slaughtering Mexicans. Still are. Nothing the ATF has done has decreased the carnage. Much of what they’ve done has increased it.
More to the point, if you lived in Mexico, would you want to carry a gun? If you were an average Mexican seeking to protect yourself and your family from deadly force with the one thing capable of defeating deadly force (hint: deadly force), you couldn’t. Not legally. If you got caught by the federales packing heat, well, let’s just say the Mexican military’s human rights record remains carefully concealed from the few journalists and campaigners who dare ask the question.
Meanwhile, here in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, I can carry a gun. As Liam took Mufasa’s advice (i.e. remember who you are), I realized that my First Amendment freedoms depend entirely on my Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
I’m not suggesting that a firearm gives me the personal courage to speak out—although I gotta put my hands up on that one. I’m saying that the R2BA created and protected by the Americans who came before me ensured the journalistic liberty I enjoy today. They couldn’t be intimidated with the threat of violence (much) because they could defend themselves. Eventually, these giants upon whose shoulders I perch created a gun-toting proxy—known as a police force—to do it for them. but the underlying principle has not changed.
If you think I’m stark raving mad, trying to connect guns with freedom, ask yourself if the opposite is true. Were America’s African-Americans intimidated by the threat of violence because they were denied the means of defending themselves? The Supreme Court’s McDonald decision said so. And I believe them. Let me say that again: we live in a country civilized by private gun ownership.
Anyone remember mutually assured destruction? THAT’S what makes us free from tyranny and rampant criminality. And that’s what kept the Soviets at bay long enough to let the cancer of communism rot the evil empire from within. We didn’t sanction the commies to death. We didn’t lure these murderous tyrants and their killer KGB to freedom with capitalism. We held a gun to their head and told them to stay in the corner and don’t fuck with us until you get your shit together. If you ever do.
OK, that freedom deal’s a long process that depends on certain critical cultural components. And sure, the cops are the ones fighting the criminals these days so we don’t have to. Or do we? Millions of violent crimes have been prevented by brandishing, or the simple idea that if I break into this house I might die from a shotgun blast. In fact, more civilians kill criminals than cops. How about that then?
And how about arming Mexicans to sort their shit out? As crazy as this sounds, my biggest beef with Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Spurious is that the ATF armed the wrong people. They enabled guns to the cartels? Where the hell’s Ollie North when you need him? (Don’t answer that Ollie.) The world’s bastion of freedom and democracy should smuggle guns to the people of Mexico, not their oppressors who, incidentally, are shipping their poison northwards. I don’t know how else to say this. That is some seriously fucked up shit.
Screw it. I’m going to the range again tomorrow. Or not. But if I do, I’m not saying when. And I’m not wearing that stupid sweater. And if that table gets in my way again, I’ll either push it over and jump the hell over it. Just in case.
[BTW: That’s a snap cap, not a failure to fire.]