On my way to the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau [above] I clocked the following message on the digital gantry above Route 93: “Obey speed limit or you will be arrested.” Nothing like a threat from Big Brother to welcome visitors to the Bay State. While I’m on the subject, this whole “Tea Party” thing really sticks in my craw. Not the Tea Party itself. Their name . . .
In 1773, a bunch of colonists dressed-up as Mohawk indians boarded the Dartmouth and dumped its cargo of tea into Boston harbor. I repeat: the taxation-without-representation-inspired Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as Native Americans.
In the year previous, Rhode Island members of the Sons of Liberty boarded the British schooner Gaspée, a ship sent by His Majesty King George III (or minions thereof) to stop smuggling. The boarding party shot the ship’s captain, looted the vessel’s cargo and burned the ship to the waterline.
In the aftermath of the attack, the Brits attempted to send the merchants responsible to\ England for trial. Wikipedia picks up the story . . .
In Boston, a little-known visiting minister, John Allen, preached a sermon at the Second Baptist Church that utilized the Gaspée affair to warn listeners about greedy monarchs, corrupt judges and conspiracies at high levels in the London government. This sermon was printed seven different times in four colonial cities, becoming one of the most popular pamphlets of Colonial British America.
This pamphlet, along with the incendiary rhetoric of numerous colonial newspaper editors, awoke colonial Whigs from a lull of inactivity in 1772, thus inaugurating a series of conflicts that would culminate in the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
In other words, the shot that started the American revolution was fired off the coast of Warwick Rhode Island by a colonist who forgot to disguise himself to avoid prosecution. And the state in which the American Revolution supposedly began, the state that gave rise to former Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations, has become one of this country’s most virulent anti-gun regimes.
No joke. Massachusetts residents who want to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms have to jump through more hoops than a circus tiger. At the end of it they have to choose a firearm (with a 10-pound trigger) from a list determined by bureaucrats who know about as much about armed self-defense as Lorraine Van Wyk knows about nuclear particle physics.
Bay Staters who want to own a modern home defense sporting rifle with a full mag (as God and Eugene Stoner intended) can pound sand.
Residents of neighboring states seeking to exercise their right to keep and bear arms within Massachusetts—American citizens who’ve already satisfied their home state’s onerous firearms ownership laws—have to kowtow to these same know-nothings whose “safety” efforts do nothing to increase anyone’s safety and much to diminish it.
Every year, I have to fill out MA LTC (License to Carry) paperwork, write out a check for $100 and travel to the armpit-by-the-Charles known as Adams Massachusetts for an interview.
A chin-wag wherein I answer the same questions the Record’s bureaucrats asked me the year previous regarding my lack of criminality. Facts which could be easily established by a computerized BCI check.
I also have to give my fingerprints. Again. Why? “Everyone who comes for a renewal asks me that,” the kind lady told me not-so-kindly. When I didn’t press the point she got all philosophical. “You’ve got to pick your battles,” she said.
So I did the STFU thing and said nothing when she advised me to apply for my annual renewal after six months, and told me to expect my new LTC in six to eight weeks. “We’re down to two employees now.”
At least I have a firearms blog where I can rant at the fascist bastards who force me to acquiesce to their authority over my God-given gun rights. Otherwise I’d be tempted to shoot my mouth off—and lose my ability to shoot someone trying to kill or seriously injure me and my loved ones.
These inherently anti-gun mandarins aren’t directly abridging my First Amendment right to free speech. But the whole handgun permitting process makes me feel . . . diminished. Dirty. Enslaved.
Are most Americans comfortable with Big Government’s intrusions into their everyday life and the desecration of their constitutional liberties? Do they submit to its tyranny without even the slightest rise in blood pressure?
Tea Party or not, I’m unconvinced that the upcoming presidential election has anything to do with these fundamental issues. I find the fact that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney hasn’t stood up for capitalism or called out and condemned Barack Obama’s imperial presidency deeply depressing.
My main reason to be cheerful: gun rights are ascendant.
As I’ve discussed before, I’m fully aware that the vast majority of permit holders do the paperwork for personal protection. Politics rarely comes into it. But sometimes, thankfully, it does.
Every time I hear a non-gunnie say “I’ve got a gun permit just because I don’t want to lose my right” my faith in my fellow countrymen soars. There are Americans who “get it.” Who understand that they must cherish and use their constitutional rights to protect them.
No doubt: TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia—and those who share its spirit—are in the minority. How many Americans even know what the Constitution is? How many make the connection between the Tea Party and the Tea Party? Precious few. But some. Maybe even enough.
We shall see if the bold American experiment will return to its roots after decades of ignorance, complacency and compliance. Meanwhile . . .
As a rule, I don’t drink tea. Every now and then I do. On Gaspée Day? For sure. I drink tea as a symbolic gesture: a middle finger to the people who think they can lord it over others without blowback. It makes me feel proud.
It’s the same feeling I get when I slip my Caracal into its Kydex holster. Not because I want to use it. Because I can if I have to.
And I have a message for pols who have somehow come to believe that they are the law: obey the Constitution or you will be unelected. Anyway, here’s hoping.