Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The line needs to be before that

I'm still not quite ready to drop discussion of the rather . . . spirited disagreement around the gun blogosphere about Mike Vangerboegh's letter to the editor. The thrust of the main argument, if I understand correctly, of the side that objects to making overt public reference to violent resistance to government infringement of that which shall not be infringed is that we have not yet reached the point of the infringements becoming intolerable, and thus it is too early to refresh the tree of liberty.

What this ignores is that Mr. Vanderboegh did not advocate crying "Havoc!" and letting slip the dogs of war--yet. The letter made clear that the danger would come only with further attacks on the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental, absolute human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. To avert that danger, the government need only do . . . nothing. The shouting down of Mr. Vanderboegh came not in response to his advocacy of civil war--advocacy that never happened--but in response to his merely warning of what would provoke it.

In discussing where to draw the line in the sand, Sebastian quotes Judge Alex Kozinski's Silveria dissent:

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees*. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
I agree with Sebastian that Kozinski's dissent is indeed eloquent, but I don't know that it makes a very useful guideline as to when fighting back becomes necessary.

For me, the "line in the sand" has to be drawn at citizen disarmament. The horrors outlined by Judge Kozinski are unlikely to occur until the people are disarmed. If we wait that long, we've missed the boat.

I am fully familiar, and in full agreement, with Jeff Snyder's superb Walter Mitty's Second Amendment, by the way. I know that the right to keep and bear arms is no guarantee of liberty, and is in fact useless in preserving freedom without the will to use it. Still, if the right to keep and bear arms is not sufficient to safeguard liberty, it is necessary for that purpose.

To word it one more way, having the right to keep and bear arms does not guarantee freedom, but losing it guarantees tyranny.


the pistolero said...

What, you didn't really expect Vanderboegh's position to be discussed honestly, did you? ;-) To an extent it was, but there was undeniably some twisting of what he said -- you knew that, of course; that's merely an observation on my part.

Anonymous said...

My favorite comment from the other side was the one where the writer wished Mike and David Codrea were laying dead in a ditch, and then volunteered to put them there.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Pistolero, I was about to say that I don't think many of the folks from the other side were out and out lying about what Mike V. said--it was just a matter of a different interpretation (an interpretation that I think is wrong).

Yuri reminds us of one of the folks who I do not see as being above lying.

Anonymous said...

I welcome the discussion on where the line is, however, again the comments seem to divert back to "he said/she said" fingerpointing and useless recriminations. Get over it and get on topic. You aren't helping.

I agree that disarmament is one of the key lines in the sand. But that is still overly broad. Do you mean the general disarming of the populace or the piece-meal disarming we are currently suffering? At what point would the piece-meal disarmament spark a general response?

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I agree that finger pointing isn't going to solve much--I only mentioned Sebastian because he, specifically, made a point I wanted to address. As to the guy Yuri and I were talking about, expressing loathing for him is enough fun to outweigh considerations of how productive it is.

You bring up a good point about my reference to "citizen disarmament" being vague to the point of not being especially useful. Part of the reason for that is that it would be a fairly major discussion--worth at least a post of its own. The point of today's post was just to state that effective resistance to tyranny will require being somewhat preemptive. Another part of the reason for the vagueness is that we're never going to get everyone to agree on a single point of no return, and frankly, I prefer that the leviathan government have some uncertainty about how far they can safely push us.

Anonymous said...

I think that the current out-of-control nature of the BATFE is a leading contender for inspiring the next 'shot heard round the world'.

We've had several citizens disarmed and in fact inprisoned in an abuse of power by this agency. This targeting of individuals so far has not sparked anything. I wonder how many or how frequent future abuses will have to be to spark a response.

My money is on this agency as the prime culprit. Imagine how abusive they'll feel they can get with a Democrat in the Oval Office.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I wouldn't bet against the BATFE being the instigators (the plot of Matthew Bracken's first novel, Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, involved the BATFE sparking a "war" deliberately).

As to the lack of anything close to a violent response to the BATFE's abuses, they've so far limited themselves to carefully nibbling at the edges of the "gun culture," sticking to people whom much of the shooting community can find a way to dismiss as having brought it on themselves.

It could well happen that eventually, they'll be emboldened to the point of going after more "mainstream" gun owners. Alternatively, that same mainstream might eventually wake up to the dangers of not standing united with the "edge" elements of the shooting community.

the pistolero said...

I don't think many of the folks from the other side were out and out lying about what Mike V. said--it was just a matter of a different interpretation (an interpretation that I think is wrong).

Well, I don't either, but it was blown waaayyy out of proportion to the point that it was completely dishonorable and quite unfair to boot. I really expected much better than something like this:
"Get on board, or get your f*cking shed in Montana and start living up to your words. If you aren’t ready to start storming the gates, so to speak, then deep down, you believe that something can be changed inside the system. Get to work now, or shut the hell up and get off the internet. You’re clogging the tubes for people who really want to organize."
from people who allegedly want to keep their guns just like we do.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree. I think they were purposely lying so as to be sure they were on record as being non-threatening. The Judenrat was composed of such men.

I truly wish I could see a difference, but experience has taught me better.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Sorry to disagree.

I'll let it slide just this once, SA. Just don't let it happen again ;-).

Anonymous said...

I'll let it slide just this once, SA. Just don't let it happen again ;-)._Kurt

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