Reader AI writes:
I have the opposite opinion as the reader who wrote in accusing TTAG of “saber rattling” regarding a potential gun confiscation in Connecticut. It is a confiscation drive, after all, even though the “collection” phase hasn’t yet begun. As we all try to understand where the fine line is, and put off the potential for conflict, it is easy to forget the intentions of the Connecticut law. That some would resist was known and embraced by the anti-gun forces who sponsored the law. That innocent citizens would be turned into felons at the stroke of midnight on December 31 was fantasized about by those who see gun owners as inherently evil, untrustworthy people. And as we all know, those aren’t just fringe groups, but include the very people who take a supposedly legally binding oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America . . .
We’re not winning this war. Sure, we’ve won some battles in both the courts and legislatures around the country, but the war is far from won, and for every trend in our favor, two are going the other way. Today, the front lines are in the land formerly known as The Constitution State.
The reader who complained (for lack of a name, we’ll call him John for now on) compares our struggle to the civil rights movement. Truth be told, gun rights are a civil right, equal to all others — all ten of the Bill of Rights are civil rights. But when measured in popular opinion in certain regions, we know that not to be true. Even among “pro-gun” people, there are many willing to compromise on their gun rights in ways they would not be willing to compromise with free speech, minority rights, women’s rights, etc. (for instance, can you imagine it being legal for a woman to vote for local representatives, but not federal?).
“John” believes that the non-violent methods used by the civil rights movement of the 20th century would work in Connecticut. What he fails to recognize is the civil rights movement was attempting to gain rights previously restricted. Our goals are to maintain rights and prevent their restriction, a fundamental difference.
This distinction is important, because the knowledge of what benefits are conveyed unto a society from greater civil rights is already known where the right exists, whereas in the civil rights movement society largely feared changes, and resisted them. Using violent resistance in such a cause would only have served to increase and justify fears, counteracting the goals of the movement.
So what does that have to do with Connecticut and “not winning the war”? We have on our side everything we should ever need to win this argument once and for all – the Constitution, massive amounts of crime and gun statistics, over 200 years of American history – all things the civil rights movement didn’t have. Yet it doesn’t matter to the typical gun grabber. Why? Because this isn’t a war against people afraid of guns, it’s a war against statism.
That’s what exists in Connecticut today. Not Democrats, but statists. Statists know what they want, and they know what it will take to get it. That’s why they voted for the law they did. That’s why the “free” press is pushing for confiscations using SWAT teams, that’s why police chiefs, by and large, go along with it. Given all that history and evidence that support gun ownership, they don’t ignore it, they fear it as it is a bulwark against their goals. So we can’t use those same facts, those same non-violent methods that John suggests when the statists show up at our door, because they’ve already heard it all.
So is TTAG saber rattling? It’s the same answer as to the question, did the free citizens of Connecticut ask for this fight? Statists around the country have dreamed of the day when they could disarm the public and impose their will, and Connecticut is the first state that appears ready to try it. Unless repealed, this will be the first skirmish in what will be a long series of battles against tyranny. We must use violence when the statists show up at our door, when tyranny knocks, else they will be empowered to go to our neighbor’s door next.
Lives will be lost, but then America always knew there would be the need for good men to die: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.