Not a terribly persuasive article

Your Editor is in some disagreement with this article from The Victory Girls:

The Cowardice of Conservatives
Kit+Lange+kitlangeby KIT LANGE on DECEMBER 14, 2013

I know a lot of passionate conservatives, and this article is going to anger most of you. I’m okay with that. George Orwell wrote that “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

We all have what I call “pet issues.”  Some of you are anti-abortion to the point that it’s all you talk about politically. Every political issue in the nation is abortion related.  Every blog post you write is about abortion.  All your resources, all your energy, all your passion goes into fighting abortion.   I have other friends who want to abolish the Federal Reserve.  You can (and do) rail all day about taxes and representation and economics.  You talk fair tax, flat tax, no tax.  To you, the greatest evil in this country is the government taking your hard earned money.  Others hate Obamacare.  You guys can spout any statistic you want about what it is and how it will change the country forever.  I know someone who claims that the War on Drugs(tm) is the source of all problems in America, and that if all states just legalized everything it would help so much stuff.   I even have a few friends who would technically fall into the “truther” category, where every single thing is a government conspiracy, perpetrated by the New World Order.  All of you are absolutely hardcore about what you believe, and almost all of you have one major thing in common.

You don’t really give a flying rip about the Second Amendment.

Some of you like guns.  Some of you own a few, and even shoot them.  A few of you even have your concealed carry permit.  But I know very few of you who are as passionate about the Second Amendment as you are about abortion or taxes or pot or “statism” or anything else.  It’s just not that important to you.  If someone asked you, you’d say you were pro-Second Amendment, but you’d never loudly tout the constitutionality of open, legal carry for all. You believe that people “have the right to have a gun but don’t really need an ‘assault rifle.’” You waffle on the whole “mentally ill” thing.  “Well, maybe the government SHOULD limit guns for mentally ill people.  Maybe unstable people shouldn’t have guns.  Maybe the government needs common sense regulations to limit gun violence and keep them out of the hands of criminals.”  Sadly, a lot of you, who I’ve heard go on and on about the things I just mentioned, don’t even own a gun—or you haven’t fired it in so long that you’re probably a worthless shot. Every single time I hear someone who calls themselves a limited government, America-loving conservative talking about their pet issue when I know for a fact they don’t give a rat’s rear end about gun rights, I want to kick them in the shins with my size 9½ boot.

Here’s a basic, unalienable truth for you:  If you do not have a gun, you cannot fight for anything.

A lot more at the link. Miss Lange continues to tell us that we are, in effect, helpless without owning firearms personally, and that we are depending upon other, apparently braver, people to defend our rights.

Long time readers know that your Editor is an absolutist when it comes to the Second Amendment. When the Second Amendment says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, he believes that it means exactly that, shall not be infringed.1 But, just as the freedom of speech in the First Amendment does not compel people to speak, the right to keep and bear arms in the Second does not obligate individuals to own firearms; such is a matter of liberty and choice.

M1911 Colt .45

Your Editor has noted, more than once, that while he is in complete support of the right of the individual2 to own guns if he chooses, he has chosen himself not to own firearms. I have owned a rifle and a shotgun in the past, and when I was a teenager I did a (very little bit) of hunting, but I found it a sport that simply did not interest me very much. I sold those weapons long ago. And although Miss Lange thinks that some people might be a “worthless shot,” I did OK with my best friend Ken’s 1911 model Colt .45 in target shooting. But, Miss Lange’s scorn aside, I still choose not to own a firearm.

Why? Because I simply have no real use for one. I do not hunt,3 and I live in a very safe community; we’ve had only three murders in my county so far this century! To me, the probabilities of needing a firearm for self-defense are lower than the chances of an accident occurring with the weapon. Miss Lange might disagree with such a calculation, but she is at liberty to make such calculations about herself and her family, and I about myself and my family.

However, for Miss Lange, the affirmative exercise of our Second Amendment rights is not about hunting and it is not about being able to defend yourself from an armed burglar4:

Until you are willing to fight and die—today, if it came to that—for the things that you say you believe, then it is nothing but lipservice. Unless you are willing to take up the Second Amendment for the purpose it was designed for, do not go around talking about how “We” are going to take back Congress. We are going to abolish abortion. We are going to end the Fed. We are going to impeach Obama. We are going to end Obamacare. You know what you sound like, with all your big words and lofty aspirations? A bunch of loud old Code Pink activists, standing around in a group banging on drums and talking about how they’re going to bring peace to the world. No one takes them seriously, and no American patriot who actually owns a firearm and is willing to die with it in their hand takes you seriously either.

Now, how am I supposed to take this? “Impeach(ing) Obama,” even if it is ever done — something about as probable as an asteroid strike within the next 3 years — is an act of law, specified under the Constitution, and not a matter of armed rebellion. The same is true about making abolishing the Federal Reserve System or ending legal abortion; I believe that all abortions except to save the life of the mother from imminent danger5 should be made illegal, but in Miss Lange’s connection of such to the Second Amendment, one could infer that she is referring to an armed rebellion to change those laws, or, at the very least, commando missions to eliminate known abortionists. Whether that was what she meant to imply is a question I shall leave to her to answer.

Freemen use their liberty. They exercise it, they train in it, they live it. They teach their children its importance. And above all they protect the means by which it is defended.  Liberty is not a big, comfy pillow that you can pick up at Walmart. It is a calling; it is a lifestyle, a belief system. It is bigger than abortion, bigger than taxes. It is the absolute foundation of everything that you should be if you reside in this nation as a citizen and partake of its freedoms.  It is what sets apart a free man from a slave.  I know a great number of free men, and I rest assured knowing that if and when the day comes, my foxhole will be far from empty.  I also know a lot of cowards who are all talk, who ‘defend liberty’ but think the Second Amendment can be someone else’s pet issue. Which group are you in?

This isn’t a call for you to start shooting people over your pet issue.  But it IS a call for you to examine your own heart and soul.  If you do not own a gun, or if you are not willing to use it if necessary for its intended purpose under the Second Amendment, then you are every bit as much a freeloader as those who live off the welfare state, for you are partaking of the benefits of freedom without any contribution.  You are allowing those who carry, those who fight for gun rights, to protect your right to do what you do.  All of your posturing, all of your picketing and marching and letterwriting means nothing.  Without a gun, you’re just walking around waiting for the noose to tighten around your neck.   Without a gun, nothing else you believe matters.

And with that, Miss Lange has completed the insult. Given that I have chosen — and, after reading her attempt at persuasive writing, still continue to choose — not to own a firearm, I am, according to Miss Lange, a slave, a freeloader and a coward. So be it; I doubt that there is anything I could write which would change her opinion on that matter, and so I shall not waste the bandwidth.6

Miss Lange has, of course, an absolute First Amendment right to say and publish whatever she wishes, whether I happen to agree with it or not. But I would suggest that if her intention was to persuade people who support the things in which she believes but do not currently own weapons to go out and purchase one, she might not have done a particularly good job of it.
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  1. The Fourteenth Amendment allows the states to restrict the rights of individuals who have committed crimes as long as due process of law has been observed. This provision allows the states and federal government to abridge the right to keep and bear arms of convicted felons.
  2. In McDonald v Chicago and District of Columbia v Heller, the Supreme Court held that the “Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” (Quote from syllabus of Heller.)
  3. And, considering a couple of the ready, fire, aim! types I have known, would never, ever, go into the woods this time of year, during deer season!
  4. Though she in no way derides or minimizes such uses.
  5. This is a matter of practicality; if the pregnancy kills the mother, her unborn child will die with her.
  6. And long time readers know that I have never been afraid to waste bandwidth. :)

2 Comments

  1. I cannot control, nor am I responsible, for what others infer. I also did not imply anything of the sort that you hint at. In fact, I specifically said that I am NOT calling for anyone to start shooting people. I added that specifically because I knew that somewhere, someone would make a remark about my potential implications.

    You absolutely have the right to disagree with my premise, and reading that you choose not to own a gun, I can see why you would. I would posit, however, that your absolutist belief in the second amendment will not mean anything on the day it all falls apart and you don’t have one.

    I appreciate the link and the feedback. Have a great day.

  2. First off, I LIKE her passion! We need more of that. I’m tired of the same pasty faced Karl Rove types who play at politics the way nerds used to play strategy games, where clever tactics are often more important than actual results. These are the kind of people who think a 1 percent cut in the Capital Gains tax counts as a major victory.

    Two, I agree on the importance of the Second Amendment. Without that, the others are just words on a piece of paper.

    Three. I disagree that not enough people take this right seriously. For decades, the NRA has been one of the most formidable powers in politics, and it is arguably the most effective conservative rights group EVER! They have done what no other conservative group has done, which is stare down the left wingers while utterly refusing to back down. Gawd, if only we could show such fortitude on other issues, like abortion, taxes, and limited government, areas in which we have made no progress at all.

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