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By David C.

We all know there ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks.  If you are a thief, you are a thief, plain and simple. If you wish to take from me my life, liberty, or property, you are a crook. Since there is no such thing as a halfway crook, I contend there is no such thing as a halfway patriot. You either believe there is no rightful reason for taking my life, liberty, or property other than in defense of your own, or you don’t. Restricting my liberty or the use of my property to those uses that appease you or your cause is one and the same, and it makes you a crook.

I believe the idea that there is some sort of ‘middle’ in the gun control debate or political debate is a farce. It is only a different degree of criminal activity. If you believe in the ‘reasonable’ restriction of suppressors, short barreled rifles, fully automatic weapons, or of all arms through ‘background checks’ for that matter, you believe in the ability to restrict my natural rights of liberty and property. And that makes you a crook. I can either own what property I see fit or I can’t.

If, through government, conditions of my ownership of certain properties (aka firearms) can be restricted, it is no longer my property. It is property that I am merely being allowed to use at government’s consent. If I need someone else’s consent to own or use my property, it is not mine. Your government has decided this property belongs to them, and they therefore have the right to decide how, and by whom, it is used. This is property rights. What is mine, I control. If I do not control it, but my government does, it is not mine.

The problem isn’t that the gun crowd or the liberty movement is too polarizing as Tim U. put it in his piece ‘Embracing the Other Side,’ the problem is we aren’t polarizing enough. Individuals need to learn the consequences of their actions and those actions they purport through government.

Government does not have the power to do anything that any one individual cannot do on his own. Governments and laws are created to protect life, liberty, and property. They are a collective force, acting on the power granted to them by the individuals they govern. Government cannot rightfully be given, or execute, any power that an individual has not delegated for them to do on his behalf. Since you, as an individual, have no natural right to tell me how to spend my time or money, or where to go in open spaces with a gun on my hip, you therefore have no power to delegate that task to your government. To do so is in direct violation of my natural rights to liberty and property.

Does name calling accomplish anything for the liberty movement? No. But accepting as permissible the position that individuals through government can subvert the rights of others for their own will or gain should not be on the table. Ever.

The power of these ideas as they relate to guns is only tangential to the larger purpose they serve in awakening people to their rights as individuals. As men and women on this Earth who have natural rights to their life, liberty and property, they have the natural right to protect the same. Too many are focused on the gun debate when it is a small piece of the larger education that needs to be done on liberty.

No matter how supportive an individual may be to the second amendment as they see it, when push comes to shove, a progressive is a progressive and progressives are crooks. They believe they can infringe upon the natural rights of others and that makes them crooks. This is true as it relates to gun control, healthcare, economics, taxes, and every other aspect of criminal enslavement created and pushed by big government agendas. You cannot choose to be a crook when it comes to say redistributive welfare programs and ask me to give you a badge of honor as a patriot when it comes to gun issues.

I cannot in good faith believe that someone who feels they can force me to subsidize others at the expense of my own labor and productions will be on the side of liberty when push comes to shove, whether the issue at hand is guns or anything else for that matter. These people are trying to be halfway crooks, and there ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks. I know. I tried the same thing for a while before I came to the realization of my own hypocrisy. They say they are ‘independent’ and ‘middle of the road.’ There is no such thing as halfway crooks, and there is no such thing as halfway patriots. You either believe in individual rights, or you believe in suppressing them at your personal will. Pretending this isn’t the case only makes matters worse.

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  1. Well, said. I find too many people do not realize that the concept of Liberty applies to ALL facets of our lives, not just he ones they care about.

  2. I would like to thank TTAG for the opportunity to share my thoughts with an audience much larger than the one contained in my living room. I look forward to reading and reflecting on the comments shared here, so Thank You as well to those who comment.

    • Unfortunately, it is part of our genes. How else can we explain how Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and their ilk manage to get, for all intent and purposes, good, decent folks to commit the most heinous atrocities on their fellow man. We are a very aggressive hierarchical social species of monkeys. The betas and omegas want to be led by strong alphas. If the strong alpha’s moral compass is off-kilter, there can be very deleterious effects. We’ll have to stay tune to see what kind of strong alpha rises to the top when the dollar reaches the bottom.

  3. Halfway patriots. The sad part is that there’s masses of folks out there that can’t be bothered to even figure out if they’re patriots or not.

  4. David C.

    Virtually everything you own is subject to some form of government regulation as is your conduct. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t free, it just means that you have to follow the rules.

    These kind of black and white, no middle road claims are just stupid. While it might make you feel good to think that everyone that doesn’t agree with you is a crook, their are a lot of interpretations to the ideological foundations of our government other than your own.

    Like it or not, we live in a society where these issues are solved though a popularity contest. If you like guns, you need to elect like minded politicians to push your position by bringing on board as many like minded voters as possible. If your position is ‘Anyone that is not 100% with me, is against me’ you aren’t going to be very successful. We need to bring in as many pro gun voters as possible and we aren’t going to do that by requiring they agree with our positions on abortion, health care, etc.

    • I will stand arm in arm with someone on any issue that furthers liberty, but I will do it on that premise with a full understanding of how I feel about other issues. As you suggest, bringing individuals into the gun world is a great way to further the protection of the same. But I believe that attempting to mold lead a person to a pro-gun stance is just a small step in awakening them to liberty.

      I would also comment that there may be other ideas concerning the meaning, mission, and foundation of government, but many of them trample upon my rights as an individual. Hopefully the attempt at welcomng and awakening new people to the world of firearms will be a first step in awakening them the their civil individual rights. Merely giving them an issue that is close to them that they wish to protect for the own self-centered purposes is not a step to understanding liberty; understanding that their wish to protect firearms freedoms is connected to their own liberty that they have a right to by merely existing (and not one granted by others/gov’t) will ensure that our freedoms (firearms and others) will be truly protected in the long run. If someone is voting merely to protect what is of value to them, without considering it’s impact on others’ freedom’s and liberty, accomplishes little in my opinion. This leads to the mob rule we see to today where individuals attempt to vote themselves benefits at the expense of others. AKA: government sanctioned robbery.

      I appreciate your opinion and comments, and as hard as it is for me to do this, I think I will sit back and reflect on incoming comments and save any rebuttals that may come to mind for my own development of thought.

      Thank You.

  5. …You either believe there is no rightful reason for taking my life, liberty, or property other than in defense of your own, or you don’t….

    What, then, of disagreement over what constitutes a credible threat to one’s life, liberty or property?

    It seems to me that’s a (and perhaps “the”) fundamental issue within the gun rights / gun control debate. A sizable portion of our country believes that the possession of firearms, perhaps some kinds or all kinds, by the general public constitutes an unacceptable threat to their life and perhaps to their liberty and property as well. The People of the Gun believe that firearms, when stored, handled and used in a manner consistent with the protection of life, liberty and property, do not constitute such a threat. Without any ill intent, ulterior motives, agendas, “stupidity” or other influencing factors clouding the matter, this simple disagreement alone allows either side to fairly label themselves a “Patriot” using your definition.

    Polarizing the gun debate only guarantees we’ll push people on both sides further into the defense of their present opinions. It also makes it more difficult to engage anyone without a strongly held opinion. Personally, I’m more interested in listening to anyone who favors gun control tell me why they think guns constitute such a threat as to warrant their removal from society, because I’m perfectly comfortable with my own reasons why I believe they do not.

  6. I think this attitude is more likely to put off moderate moderate gun owners than anything else. Either fall in line with my beliefs or you’re a crook? Explaining how they’re wrong seems like a better strategy.

  7. By your definition, there can’t be such a thing as a “free society”. Please do the rest of us a favor and move somewhere that actually has a society based on your principles. May I suggest Somalia or Northern Pakistan. We all give up a little freedom as a consequence of living among other people in a civil society. The question we must answer as citizens, is how much are we willing to give up. I willingly pay taxes to build roads and bridges and to support Fire and EMS services. I also agree that we are all better off if schooling is available regardless of one’s ability to pay. If that makes me a crook to you then fine. Please get off our grid and move to the woods. Our little experiment here in the USA will never meet your absolute standards.

  8. This is a fundamental difference between most of the Armed Intelligentsia here and the majority of people in the world. We understand the concept of Individual Rights and how important it is to protect them from the will of the masses. They do not.
    We understand that you really can’t be for protecting some rights while allowing other rights to be usurped. We must constantly fight to protect ALL our natural human rights, or all of them will be taken away from you.
    We also understand that the government is the means to take away our rights, and therefore we should constantly strive to reduce government’s control over our lives. Anything that reduces the size and power of government makes us freer, and every new law makes us a little less free.
    Dave C gets it and many other people don’t.

    This is not to say that gun owners and 2A supporters should not welcome the support of people who are libertarian on only this one issue. By welcoming them into the fold, we then can start gently educating them on this whole Individual Rights concept. I wasn’t always like this – I had to learn it too.

  9. If it is immoral for an individual to commit the act in question, then it is also immoral for a group of individuals to commit that same act.

    The problem is convincing people what is immoral and what is not with regards to liberty and individual rights. Way too many subscribe to the false notion that the ends justifies the means.


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