Author Claims Democrat "Gun Control"
Timidity Undermines Constitution



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By Kurt Hofmann, June 25th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

Picture, Oleg Volk

Rick Perlstein

Writing for Salon, Rick Perlstein throws away any pretense of journalistic objectivity with his headline: "Gun nuts are terrorizing America: The watershed moment everyone missed." He begins with the government's ignominious retreat from the armed standoff that they had initiated with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Oath Keepers, militia members, and "Three Percenters" who stood with him:

Here is a truth so fundamental that it should be self-evident: When legitimately constituted state authority stands down in the face of armed threats, the very foundation of the republic is in danger. And yet that is exactly what happened at Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch this spring: An alleged criminal defeated the cops, because the forces of lawlessness came at them with guns — then Bureau of Land Management officials further surrendered by removing the government markings from their vehicles to prevent violence against them.

What Perlstein doesn't mention, but undoubtedly knows, is that if the armed federal muscle had not backed off, the only other option would have been a bloody battle. Killing in wholesale numbers, over a dispute about where cows eat. This guy wants the government to go into combat against American citizens, very possibly igniting civil war, and has the audacity to claim that it's the "gun nuts" who "are terrorizing America."

This opposition to the notion of "federal government über alles," Perlstein argues, is also illustrated by the popularity "on the right" of the slogan "molon labe," harking back to King Leonidas I's defiant challenge to the mighty Persian army's demand that he lay down his arms: "Come and take them."

That attitude, in turn, he claims, motivated the Las Vegas cop-killing couple, who, he tells us, were "inspired by their stint at the Bundy ranch," not bothering to acknowledge that this "stint" was cut rather short, when they were turned away without ever having been admitted entrance onto Bundy land.

Perlstein argues that this attitude is nothing new. What has changed, he tells us, is that Democrats ("we," in Perlstein's parlance) now allow it. In that, this notion that the government must regulate viewpoints, he sounds much like Hillary Clinton. According to Perlstein, evidently, if Democrats more aggressively pursued "gun control," people would be less inclined to resist government overreach:

So what's different now? Why is this language so prevalent, and why do so many on the far right seem so eager to act upon it? They haven't changed. We have.

By "us," I mean Democrats — though the kind of Democrats, to be fair, who decide party policy from Washington. Once upon a time, Democratic presidential candidates robustly argued for gun control — that, as the party platform put it in 1980 (the year the NRA made its first ever presidential endorsement, of Ronald Reagan), "handguns simplify and intensify violent crime"; Democrats support "enactment of federal legislation to strengthen the presently inadequate regulations over the manufacture, assembly, distribution, and possession of handguns."

He then goes on to lament the supposed lowering of ambitions of anti-gun Democrats since then (as if banning so-called "assault weapons," and prohibiting private sales, as the Democrat platform still calls for, are excessively modest goals, rather than intolerable infringements on that which shall not be infringed).

So now, armed private citizens are asserting their own power as citizens, because Democrats are not telling us not to with adequate volume

In other words, there is virtually no countervailing power to the now-hegemonic acceptance that there's nothing much to do about the proliferation of guns in America. Democrats, as usual, gave an inch. The right, as usual, took a mile. And now we face the consequences.

Perlstein exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. "Gun nuts" (that's you, me, and everyone else who will fight to keep the palladium of liberty) will not be pacified by more aggressive forcible citizen disarmament efforts.

Susie Madrak

Such efforts will indeed be the most efficient way of forcing today's cultural cold war to go hot. Presumably, that's not what he wants.

Interestingly, Susie Madrak, writing for "Crooks and Liars" (which sounds like a good place for her), does seem to see the civil war implications of Perlstein's position--and seems to think he's onto something anyway:

Do we have the ATF and BLM agents roll up in armored tanks? Do we use drone strikes? I can see the administration's reluctance to have that confrontation -- after all, it's not as if gun control advocates were flooding the White House switchboard, screaming to 'take them out!' And then we do have the militia types all over the country, just waiting for an excuse to start their own local uprising. These ******** want a civil war so bad, they can taste it.

Some days, I wonder: Should we let them, and just get it over with? You know, settle the burning question about whose is bigger.

Do what you think you gotta do, Susie, but you're going to need a bigger drone.

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A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.

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