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“We have to ask, too, whether it is really too much to ask that our provocateurs here at home be permitted to give themselves a fighting chance without having to get down on one knee and beg their employees in City Hall for access to a right that they never agreed to relinquish in the first instance. Should I tomorrow elect to trade my stapler for a Sig Sauer, in violation of the city’s laws, I would end up in Rikers Island. If I do not, I will be left at the mercy of barbarians who believe that it is appropriate to execute people who are rude on the Internet. Like so many people in America, I ask little of the government. But I do ask this: For goodness sake, get out of the way, and give us all a fighting chance.” – Charles C.W. Cooke in America’s Provocateurs are At the Mercy of the Barbarians [at]

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  1. ” America’s Provocateurs Are AT the Mercy of the Barbarians”
    (You left a word out up there.)

    • I have to say that they (he) are at the mercy of their own obsession with having a New York City address. Even the NY government is not so oppressive that you can’t just pack your things and GTFO. Worked for Glen Beck and Rush, among many others. If you want to be a provocateur and you think maybe someone will take ballistic offense, do it from someplace where you can protect yourself and bitch about New York and places like it from afar.

  2. Being explicitly denied the means to protect your very life should be a giant flaming red flag for everyone as to the true nature of government. How it isn’t boggles the mind.

      • Just be happy you don’t have to use a CA-compliant stapler. It can’t hold more than ten staples, unless you have a special button installed that requires the use of a single staple to open it up to load more.

        • I thought that they would’ve outlawed those staplers by now. They’re sole purpose is stapling as many papers in the shortest amount of time possible.

    • There are pneumatic staplers that can run as much as a polymer Taurus. Probably not a Sig though.

  3. But I have it on good authority that the British (ex-pats like Mr Cooke included) think guns are icky.

  4. He is certainly asking the right questions, gives me hope there are more like him. The problem is, the answer he will get if he pushes hard enough will be that the Government does not care for the Provocateurs any more than it likes armed civilians… welcome to our side Mr. Cooke.

  5. Possessing a gun only guarantees the opportuty to survive an armed attack but doesn’t assure success. However, it is almost a certainty that against a lone wolf or spree shooter the concealed carrier has the tactical advantage.if he is not in the line of fire when the attack begins. The attacker is going to choose a target where he expects no armed resistance. He will not be expecting someone to appear out of nowhere and return fire. That is a huge advantage for the defender. When you face a set of trained and well motivated attackers like the pair that went after Charlie Hebdo you are probably going to lose but still little chance is better than no chance. Beside, I would rather go out like a man than cowering like a sheep.

    • “I would rather go out like a man than cowering like a sheep.”

      …and there, my friend, you state the crux of the matter. Many of us have no idea what the outcome would be for us if we got into such a situation in the real world, but to at least have the chance to defend ourselves (and possibly others) successfully completely offsets any fear of failing to do so.

      • Trained and equipped and dedicated Neanderthals notwithstanding, come in the building and find yourself and your high powered rifle good out to 500 yards, facing walls 10 feet away and 10 less trained and equipped individuals with 7+1 9mm compacts, all firing as fast as they can settle the sights, and you and your expertise are going to die. Maybe some of the defenders are going to die as well, but most likely not all of them, which was your intent. Better idea; find a gun free zone and try again.

        • @LarryinTX, I am sorry I am not following your point. I am merely saying having the means to effectively defend yourself is the focal point of what we believe, rather than just having to hope an Armed aggressor doesn’t shoot you to death and you have no choice but to submit. A rational person would use their judgement about the specifics of any engagement. The scenario you suggest is certainly plausible, but would require the wit to make a judgement about whether you should engage or not. You might not get a choice, for sure. Nonetheless, my comment was to the principle, not the tactical side of the matter.

        • I’d actually prefer to live and send the attackers to perdition. I don’t equate self defense with being a “patriot” either. I don’t belong to the state.

        • I see your point. We don’t balk at quoting the Declaration of Independence where it says “all Men are created equal” because it is a statement of principle.I think tdiinva was doing the same thing and not being ‘sexclusive’. “Patriot”, however, is more gender neutral, as you say.

    • ‘He will not be expecting someone to appear out of nowhere and return fire.’

      Of course the victims won’t be expecting that either, so if the armed victim is in the immediate vicinity the element of surprise will go first to the attackers before it goes to the victims.

      The real question isn’t the odds of a single armed victim preserving his/her life, but what the odds are if (in this case) 12 armed citizens were attacked. Even in the very worst outcome there wouldn’t have been a hostage situation at a kosher grocery store two days later where 4 more innocent civilians were killed.

      • I think I covered that already. The attackers aren’t omniscent. They will have tunnel vision too. It will give you time to find concealment or cover and surprise them. You obviously have a better chance in 1 v 1 one situation than you will against a team of two or more.

        • My point was that your odds are much worse if you’re both outgunned and outnumbered. If more law abiding citizens carried you odds would be much better.

          The other issue is that in order to thwart an attack you will first have to overcome fear and disbelief. It may take a second or two to believe what you are seeing with your own eyes. You might believe for a second that those pops you’re hearing are firecrackers. If you have time to find cover first you will have time think about what’s going on and fear is a paralyzing emotion. Not everyone will react and fire in a split second, and that’s not to say not everyone is fit to carry a weapon. Delayed action is better than no action.

          While the attacker will have tunnel vision he will also be fully mentally prepared to take life, if not to receive fire. Every situation is different. If a lone attacker walks into your office because he’s bent on killing his ex-girlfriend you have a distinct advantage (assuming you’re not the ex-girlfriend), but if three jihadis come in yelling Allahu Akbar your odds are not so good. Still, it’s better to take one or two out than to die cowering under your desk.

        • “The attackers aren’t omniscent.”

          This! And they are not omniscent and omnipotent even if they come from “the government” and wear shiny badges.

        • The one advantage you would have in the 3 jihadi scenario is that if you are shooting from cover the other 2 jihadis won’t be alerted to your presence by the sound of you shooting the third. It is conceivable that one armed civilian could take out all three with a 5 shot revolver (I’d recommend head shots). Of course if that did ever happen no one would ever know about it because it would be scrubbed by the liberal media, so who knows, maybe it’s already happened.

  6. Lawful Self Defense by the most cost effective tool created to survive an attack. Time to remove, by your vote, the embolden legislator who restricts or denies it.

      • See: Colorado, 2013.
        Voters got rid of a few tyrants, scared a third into resigning, and the new bosses are certainly not the same as the old bosses. Even some of the old bosses still in place are less likely to trample on the 2A now.

        Any citizen of voting age can become a candidate. If you don’t like your choices, put on your big girl panties and run for office.

        • Not even close, Curtis. I spent nearly 20 years working for and with the Libertarian Party in So. Calif. I saw up close and personally the total futility of “voting” and politics for promoting liberty.

          Voting and politics are actually completely opposed to liberty and self ownership. The only reason to “vote” is for the majority to impose their will on the minority… in whatever convoluted fashion.

          No thanks. I’m almost 70 years old, and I’ve done my share of fighting the bastards. Now I teach handguns and self defense, conduct shooting clinics and encourage everyone to be ready and willing to defend themselves, own their lives and take personal responsibility for all of their choices and actions. No amount of voting or political gamesmanship will ever equal that.

        • MamaLiberty,

          Your response is one of the best responses that I have read in a very, very, very long time.

          Voting is fine for public policy matters such as whether to build a public bridge across a river or how much money to spend on a public highway.

          Voting should never come into play on matters of rights and liberties.

          • Thanks, friend. I do have to ask just how that building or bridge should be up for a vote. In the current system, they are all built with stolen money. So, even if it is put to a vote, those who vote “Yes” are actually agreeing to be robbed, but much worse, if the “yes” vote wins, everyone else will be robbed as well. Makes no sense to me.

            If people want a building or a bridge, they should really get together and see how it can be done voluntarily, without theft or coercion. Win/win…

            The only time a vote is logical or even legitimate is if those who vote NO can opt out, move away, go on with their lives without force, fraud or theft from those who vote YES.

        • MamaLiberty,

          You have a very poignant and valid question about funding for bona fide projects such as bridges and roads for the public good. And I happily admit that I do not have a good answer.

          Ultimately, the reality of our world is that stronger, better funded, and/or better organized people inevitably try to take away from others by force. And to address that reality, we institute government among ourselves to secure everyone’s right to life, liberty, and property as our Declaration of Independence declares. Said government, even when operating honorably and doing the absolute minimum, needs funding to carry out their tasks. The only moral and ethical source of that funding has to be the benefactors of government, We the People.

          If government would constrain themselves to the most simple and universal efforts for public benefit, they could easily operate with tax revenue that would be inconsequential to businesses, the individual, and our economy. That is the real problem — government constraining themselves to the most simple and universal efforts for public benefit.

          Note: government efforts for public benefit should NOT involve providing food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, phones, transportation, and the myriad other “benefits” of entitlement programs. If we could eliminate entitlement programs, radically scale back our military, eliminate most regulatory agencies, and narrow the focus of remaining regulatory agencies, our government could operate on 10% of what they collect now. A 90% reduction in our taxes would be a huge boost to every individual, business, and our national economy.

          • Nice ideas, my friend. Unfortunately, theft remains theft, regardless of the amount. And it seems highly improbable to authorize someone to steal from you, at gunpoint, and then trust them not to steal “too much.” 🙂

        • Mama Liberty,

          We all reap huge benefits from the extensive public roadway and highway systems in our nation. Even people who never travel themselves on the roads reap huge benefits. It seems fair to me that we all pay for those universal benefits. On the other hand, only the beneficiaries of “entitlements” and government waste/corruption benefit from those taxes which makes those taxes theft.

          Looking at it another way, it would be theft to expect bona fide government operations which benefit all of us without paying for them. Thus, a tiny amount of taxes for the bare minimum of government operations that benefit everyone are righteous. Any additional taxes for waste, corruption, fraud, and forced charity are not righteous.

        • @uncommon_sense:

          If we lived in that glorious state anarchy then we have such need for public roads and bridges because we wouldn’t have cars or even horse drawn wagons to drive on them. We wouldn’t be living in an industrial society. We might not even be living in an agricultural one either.

      • @ M-L

        After reading your simple, clear succinct analysis of what is wrong with self serving uninformed voting by sheeple masses, I find I’m a much, much closer fit to the Libertarian point view than I thought I was. It’s unfortunate Libertarianism isn’t more clearly defined for popular consumption, though in places like CA, it probably wouldn’t matter much.

        Eye opening.

        Thank you for your comments.

        • Thank you Roscoe. We so often get so busy discussing the weight, length and density of our chains that we easily forget the idea that, just maybe, there should be no chains at all. 🙂

          The core – and only truly relevant part of libertarian thinking is the law of non-aggression.

          No human being has the right (authority) to initiate force against any other human being, under any circumstance, nor to delegate such initiation of force. Every human being (indeed, all life) has the inalienable right (authority) to defend their lives and property.

          If I measure each and every action, thought, choice and philosophy against that universal law, I will never harm anyone who is not trying to harm me, and I will never indulge in lies, theft or even manipulation. I have no desire to control anyone but myself. That is self ownership/ self responsibility and the only path to peace and freedom that I can imagine.

      • Voting is just tacit agreement to your own destruction so someone can later say… “but you participated in the process. You agreed with it.” Elected politicians have no interest in carrying out the will of the people. They have their own agendas (usually lining their pockets at the expense of all your freedoms). And they will do whatever they want after they get in office. There may be some lesser evils, but when no election is changed by one vote EVER, I’m staying home. The govt. has a lot of unnecessary say and control in my life. They sure as shit are not going to make me waste a day standing in line to vote for an asshole with no integrity who doesn’t care about me anyway.

  7. I am so stealing his point about “a right we never agreed to relinquish in the first instance”. He may be a “British ex-patriot”, but he thinks like an American, Not too enthused about his choice of the word “provocateur” as it is a little too mild and slightly off-base.

  8. “… get down on one knee and beg their employees in City Hall for access to a right that they never agreed to relinquish in the first instance.”

    Bravo! Now that was a home run of epic proportions!!!

    This is how we should be fighting.

    Consider men who want to force themselves on any woman of their choosing. How many votes are necessary to “legitimize” men forcing themselves on women? How many votes are necessary to “criminalize” women who resist unwanted advances? How many votes are necessary to “criminalize” certain forms of resistance?

    • Bravo!! Exactly. The “will of the majority” has nothing to do with what is right.

      The “majority” of Muslims seem to approve of killing women who are raped.

    • The answer to your questions is 50% + 1, which in a dark alley way with a single woman, is just two men. At least so goes the logic of democracy.

  9. Mr. Cooke is a rising star, and I look forward to more.
    Here is his New Year’s takedown of the inexecrable Adam Gopnik anti-gun agitprop in the New Yorker.

    Where Cooke nails thee common common themes in the latest round of talking points in the one-last round of obviously coordinated collusion between the Journolistas, VoxSplainers, and progtard echo chambers bouncing the same talking points amongst the shrinking pool of clueless progtard readers:

    “one part science is settled” desperation, (on the Frontline, are we, CPB?)
    one part “smug social positioning” (evolving above dumbassery, Mr Bond?),
    one part literary catharsis…all ” washed down with a healthy dose of basic ignorance…”

    IMHO Mr Cooke is too kind, or NRO too polite to point out this is the rotten stink of the same decaying ‘food for the dogs’

    peddled by the professional PR people, that is all thats left of “news” reporting, in most of our StateRunMedia,

    And it follows the same ritualistic formula that gives it away, again, as one last, and obviously coordinated campaign of anti-gun activists to secure some kind of a win, anything, (Panera Bread?)

    For the WH talking points in collusion between the lefts Reliable Party Organs in NY and DC, and various sockpuppet.orgs, funded by rich guys, VCs looking for Executive Action Grants, another Solyndra fraud for taxpayer bailout at 30x investment, just before bk in smart guns,

    and eager Journolistas, doubling down in their ignorance, and desperate to establish false facts and memse, to somehow rehabilitate themselves, and their brand, for job-security, post Empty Suit of Lies In Chief…

    Or the sad self promoting stay at home Mommies Demanding A Resume Item for Action, to ‘evolve’ a new message, a third way, so to speak….

    of social positioning, as morally superior, ie as New Yorker readers are fond of self-preening, as knowing whats best for the dumba$ses among the little people.

  10. Vaguely recall reading something posted on TTAG to the effect that:
    it’s a Moral Obligation and Duty of all adult-age males as American Freemen and Citizens to provide themselves with, and to Keep and Bear Arms for defense of self, family, other persons, property, possessions, and State and Nation as required.
    It is likewise the Moral Obligation and Duty of those within and acting on behalf of government under the American Constitutional Republic form to avoid any interference with American Freemen and Citizens fulfilling their own Moral Obligations and Duties to Keep and Bear Arms.

    For persons in government to make it unlawful or illegal for American Freemen and Citizens to Keep and Bear Arms at least equal to those same types of Arms that criminals would freely use against them to violate their ‘Rights’ is Immoral. Period.

    “Armed Self-defense is only for those individuals who actually know their Life to be worth defending”.

    “Rights? You have all the ‘Rights’ that people ready, willing and able to murder you allow you to have.”

    • “For persons in government to make it unlawful or illegal for American Freemen and Citizens to Keep and Bear Arms … is Immoral. Period.”

      Haven’t you received the memo FWIW? By definition everything that Government does is righteous and unquestionable because:
      (1) Politicians won their election.
      (2) Politicians wear formal suits/dresses.
      (3) Politicians conduct meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
      (4) Government law enforcement agents wear uniforms with shiny metal badges.


  11. This narrative in the media that it takes “highly trained” terrorists to do what they did to Hebdo is ridiculous. All anyone needs is to know how to operate the gun of choice. The rifles don’t need to be fully auto to kill unarmed sitting ducks, and you don’t need any real training to aim and shoot someone who is lying on the floor completely helpless.

  12. Of course one shouldn’t forget the hypocrisy of most journalists, they not only agreed to relinquish their rights, they actively and loudly demanded for it to be so.

  13. And still; in the “land if the free?, and home of the brave?” How many of the subjects in states that have open or concealed carry, with or without a license actually carry a weapon of any type?

    Maybe a few more now that we are seeing more of the Muslims emulating the actions of Muhammad in the spreading of Islam in countries we think of as “western”.

  14. National Review ought to move from NYC to Flyover Country. Then they’d be able to arm themselves, and they would bolster their credibility with heartland conservatives. Being in NYC for so long, they “went native” a long time ago.

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