We’re fighting a war and some things are eternal. I don’t speak of death and taxes, though those are certainly good examples, but of the fact that some people will always do everything they can to disarm the law-abiding, and those people will almost always be “progressives” . . .
At TTAG, we labor to hold certain principles, and among them is the principle that everyone who believes in and works to uphold the Second Amendment is welcome. Certainly, some people who own guns and defend the right to keep and bear arms hold otherwise progressive beliefs, and while most progressives imagine themselves to be enormously tolerant, it tends to be the conservative, gun owning public that is truly tolerant, for admission to and acceptance in the ranks of those that own guns and enjoy the shooting sports does not require absolute political orthodoxy.
That disclaimer aside, progressives are predictable. As I’ve previously written in these pages:
“The third factor — useful, indeed absolutely necessary, when all else fails — is the unshakeable belief in the brilliance and infallibility of progressivism/statism. Progressivism/statism is infallible—it cannot possibly be wrong—and it is also non-falsifiable, which allows the statist to shrug off any scientific, logical assault.”
Since progressive policies are infallible and non-falsifiable—nothing, even their abject failure, can ever prove them wrong—progressives tend to take the long view, and will work for decades, even centuries, to achieve their goals. For this reason alone, the war over the Second Amendment will never end. Law-abiding gun owners sometimes think Supreme Court decisions like Heller and McDonald are the end of the issue, or that the current popularity and growing acceptance of gun ownership have decided it. Not so. These are mere battles temporarily won. No war is over until one’s enemy knows and acknowledges they have lost, and have neither the will nor the capacity to fight on. This, progressives—or statists, if you wish, cannot do.
Fortunately, progressivism often reminds us, in graphic fashion, why the Second Amendment exists, and why this is a war we dare not lose, no matter how long it rages. There are reasons many Americans, including people who would never before have considered gun ownership, are becoming gun owners in enormous numbers. Those same reasons have also sparked a new appreciation for the wisdom and necessity of the Second Amendment. The most recent, obvious examples are the governmental fecklessness, lawlessness, and rioting in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD.
Ferguson and Baltimore teach that the veneer of civilization is very thin indeed. Smart police officers understand that the only reason they—very few in number—can do their jobs and survive is because most Americans are willing to obey most laws most of the time. They voluntarily agree to submit to police authority and to avoid committing crimes because such universal behavior provides very direct benefits, not only to them, but to society generally.
However, when any significant segment of a society decides, for whatever reason, not to obey the law, when they decide to loot, burn and riot, the police have only two choices: retreat and allow it, or use whatever force is necessary—including deadly force, which considering they will almost always be completely outnumbered, is almost certain to be necessary—to end the lawlessness.
There are two other factors that make even this impossible situation worse: racial politics and progressive rule. Add in these factors and the police, and society, lose. In Ferguson and Baltimore, politicians, in deference to race, forced the police to stand down and allow multiple violent felonies. That innumerable citizens were not killed was a matter of dumb luck. In Baltimore, the mayor actually announced her considered decision to allow criminals to destroy.
Baltimore is a good example of the utter failure of progressive policy. The city has been ruled by progressives for decades. Every policy of governance is progressive. Baltimore’s social pathologies are the direct result of those policies, including gun control policies that essentially disarm the law-abiding and make it all but impossible for them to carry concealed weapons. Predictably, progressives cannot admit that any of their policies are a failure, even when they have led to unprecedented racial strife and riot, looting and arson.
On the May 3, 2015 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pointed out to Maryland progressive U.S. Representative Donna Edwards that Baltimore has been absolutely progressive-controlled for decades and asked if those policies had failed. She maintained that they absolutely had not, and observed that a Republic governor had not given Baltimore schools as much money as they needed. Wallace pointed out that Baltimore school spending was extraordinarily high, a correction that Edwards dodged in explaining that progressive policies required wealth distribution, and the wealth just hadn’t been adequately and correctly redistributed.
John Nolte of Brietbart said it well as he observed that about 85% of the citizens of Baltimore reliably vote for the same people and policies that have so badly failed.
“Nor is Baltimore America’s problem. Baltimore is a Democrat problem. These riots are nothing more than Democrat infighting, and the videos of these riots are nothing more than infomercials for U-Haul and the NRA.
The good people trapped in Baltimore, the 15% or so with the moral courage to vote against-all-odds for a new direction and new leadership, need to buy firearms to protect themselves in a city run by moral illiterates who excuse the savagery of mobs and call for police to stand idle as chaos reigns. In the meantime, the 15% also need to start saving the money for the U-Haul that will get them the hell out of Dodge.
I know what it is to be dirt poor and trapped in an American inner-city. For nearly two years I lived in the worst part of Milwaukee’s inner-city during the mid-eighties. I’ve been mugged. I’ve been burglarized. And I know what it means to worry about having enough money for rent and food. Most of all, I am nothing special. No silver spoon, no above-average IQ. If I got out, anyone can get out. You can get out.
Buy a gun. Save for a U-Haul. As is their right, the free people of Baltimore have made the choice to double and triple and quadruple down on the left-wing policies that have decimated their city and ensured misery for their children.
You can’t help those who don’t want help.
Baltimore is lost.”
Baltimore isn’t the only American city in such pathetic shape, but virtually all such communities share the progressive governance that exalts the power of the government over the individual liberty of the citizen, while simultaneously making it difficult or impossible for citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. No government that wants to disarm the law-abiding is trustworthy. Any such government and the politicians that run it are reasonably viewed with suspicion.
Frightening too are the comments of people like President Obama and his primary race advisor, Al Sharpton, who not only want to federalize America’s police, but want to limit the police to statistical policing. Their theory demands that if the black population of a city is 13%, no more than 13% of arrests of all kinds may be black people. Larger numbers of arrests for black people, to their progressive way of thinking, are indicative of institutional, racist disparities and must be struck down. That black people—particularly young, black males—commit crimes at rates entirely out of proportion to their population numbers matters not at all to such demagogues.
Federalizing the police is a concept that is not only unconstitutional, but terribly dangerous to liberty. Many forget that Mr. Obama, even before his first presidential term, wanted to construct an internal, domestic paramilitary police force as well funded and equipped as the US military. It takes little imagination to see that such a force would inevitably be used to oppress and tyrannize the political enemies of the government, just as the IRS was, and disarming the law-abiding population would be one of its first and most pressing goals.
This is, after all, the real reason for the Second Amendment: to allow citizens to rise up and overthrow a tyrannical government. As much as progressives/statists wail in feigned indignation whenever anyone correctly states the purpose of the Second Amendment, they recognize its truth as well. All tyrants know that disarmament of citizens is an absolutely necessary first step to pacifying any population.
Riots and racial unrest are not the only reasons why Americans are arming themselves in unprecedented numbers. Sunday’s terrorist attack on a Mohammed art contest in a Dallas suburb reminds us of the necessity of being armed and prepared. In that case, the two terrorists were immediately cut down because the police, expecting trouble, were out in force at that venue. Had the police not been present, there would have surely been more injuries and many deaths as the terrorists were well armed and obviously intended to inflict mass casualties. That incident was actually a case of the Second Amendment protecting the First, which is also a significant reason it was written.
Some wags have observed that in Texas, terrorists can expect to be outgunned even at an art show. While it’s true that many Texans carry concealed and generally live in a culture that thinks well about self-defense and firearm issues, we were lucky this time. The police were present in numbers because they expected trouble from Islamists due to the content of the art exhibit and perhaps some intelligence information, and they got it. If the terrorists chose, for example, a school, where virtually everyone remains unarmed, the outcome would have been very different, because not only do the police have no legal obligation to protect anyone at any time, the truism that when seconds count the police are minutes away, is true for a very good reason.
Islamist and ordinary domestic terrorists are here, now, and while statistically, few Americans will ever be subject to a terrorist attack, there is nothing stopping an attack from occurring anywhere at any time. The Obama Administration’s idea of fighting terrorism is to give the most bloodthirsty jihadists jobs.
And the war goes on.