I long for an end to this latest spasm of gun-control debate.
Oh, it’s not going to come any time soon, since the President has hitched his and his party’s wagon to the cause – which makes me deliriously happy, since it’s going to be a brick around the Democrats’ neck in 2014 (and I’ll be doing my best to tie it onto them).
And I don’t long for it because I’m in any way tired. The fight for liberty, like the fight against the baser sides of human nature that bring us everything from petty theft to the Holocaust, never ends, and never will as long as humans are human. Fatigue is human, but quitting is the luxury of the dilettante.
But since my first broadcast on the subject of gun control, way back in August of 1986 at KSTP, to this very day, I have to say that the fact gun-grabbers’ arguments never, ever change. I respond to the same crap today that I did in 1987. How many times can a guy answer, refute, debunk and stomp flat the same tropes, over and over and over again? No, violent crime does not drop when you ban guns. No, concealed carry doesn’t lead to shootings over fender-benders. No, the UK’s violent crime rate didn’t drop after they banned guns. No, the only thing I’m compensating for is the fact that our society is so full of the depraved and the stupid.
But every so often, something comes along that banishes the rhetorical lactic acid from my mental muscles. Something that focuses me on the real goal here – keeps my eyes on the lies, if not the prize. Something that is the rhetorical and intellectual equivalent of watching a group of brownshirts shuffling down the street smashing windows and painting “Judenrein” on burned-out storefronts, something that focuses the mind not only on the stakes of the battle, but on the depravity of one’s opponents. And suddenly, all the fatigue melts away, and all I want is to dig into the battle and not come up for air until I’ve got a mouthful of my opponent’s neck veins raw and dripping from my teeth.
Here is one such, by a Des Moines Register columnist named Donald Kaul, about whom I can say I’m sorry, Nick Coleman. I never knew how good we had it, in comparison, when you were writing – because in Des Moines and reading Mr. Kaul, but for the grace of the Father Almighty, might we all have gone.
Mr. Kaul is apparently a superannuated scold, sort of the Sid Hartmann of Des Moines punditry. And he’s got some curious takes on events:
The thing missing from the debate so far is anger — anger that we live in a society where something like the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre can happen and our main concern is not offending the NRA’s sensibilities.
Right, because our society’s self-proclaimed “elites” tread so carefully around the NRA.
That’s obscene. Here, then, is my “madder-than-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” program for ending gun violence in America:
Let me just take a brief moment for a tangent. Can we please, please have mainstream media figures refrain from ever, ever invoking “Network” again? Or at least until such time as they have given up on their affectation as self-referential, self-reverential putative “high priests of knowledge?” Until they stop comforting the comfortable and afflicting those who attack the narrative? Because the mainstream media does not, ever, ever upset the establishment. They are the establishment. And that anyone who works in the MSM still believes Paddy Chayefsky’s fantasy has applied to a single reporter at a single traditional institutional media outlet since before the Kennedy Administration is evidence not of purpose, but of delusion.
• Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.
Mr. Kaul has reportedly suffered a heart attack in recent years. Regrettably, brain damage seems to have been involved. There are no “absolute rights”; everyone agrees on keeping guns out of the hands of the insane, the criminal, and the addled (no offense, Mr. Kaul). And it’s signally important that behind most of the legislation that’s actually accomplished that goal has been…
And when Jefferson and Madison wrote the First Amendment, surely they can’t have imagined that the modern printing press (which they could also not imagine) would be used to inject Mr. Kaul’s twaddle into the public discussion.
Sorry, Mr. Kaul. We are all the militia. Even – heaven forefend – you.
Well, until you get convicted of a crime. And we may have to work on that, after reading what’s coming up:
• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.
Mr. Kaul; you are welcome to try. Start with me. Bring friends. You’ll need ’em. Maybe 14 or 15 of ’em.
• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.
Has anyone contacted the Des Moines police? Seriously – since Columbine, Red Lake and Sandy Hook, we’ve been told to watch out for people who…:
- froth with anger over their perceived enemies
- sputter about the violent remedies they fantasize about
- believe their ends justify their means
- are white males stuck in dead-end lives.
Because I’m sure the founding fathers never envisioned hate speech that may or may not stop short of being a terroristic threat when they were writing the First Amendment.
Let everyone who has ever called gun owners “angry white men compensating for their own shortcomings” read Mr. Kaul’s entire piece, and then forever hold your peace. You are forever trumped.
And if that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures. None of that is going to happen, of course. But I’ll bet gun sales will rise.
Knowing that people like Donald Kaul are among our opposition, I’m going to buy a few extra boxes (for the gun/s I will neither confirm nor deny that I own) in his honor.