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Could we please …

not make gun owners look like lunatics in the media for all to see?   You know what ends up happening when the majority of the people in this country who don’t own gun, and don’t care much about gun rights, start believing that gun owners are out to foment a civil war?   They start agreeing to take our guns away.

Some may want an armed revolution, but I don’t want to see it come to that.  It is not inevitable or necessary at this point in time.  I’d prefer to solve this problem politically, and guys like this aren’t helping.  We’re winning right now, both politically, and the hearts and minds.  Could we please not do stupid shit like this to fuck it up?  Thank you.

193 Responses to “Could we please …”

  1. anon says:

    The press seeks these people out. I was once at a VCDL meeting (for the Bloomberg Gun Giveaway) and several members of the ‘press’ tried to interview (on camera) the (very obviously) mentally challenged (grown) child of one of the other attendees. The press have ZERO integrity. For every letter like this (there was probably only the one) the editors of this paper no doubt put a hundred reasonable appeals in the circular file…

  2. Sebastian says:

    They most definitely do, anon… and I have no doubt the Madison press was eager to print this, precisely because most people will think “Man, gun owners are fucking nuts!”

  3. In what way is the writer trying to foment a civil war?

    Words mean things, and PSH from our side is still PSH.

  4. SayUncle says:

    I think it was David Hardy who said they used to go to events in camouflage or wearing some obnoxious fatigues. then, when the press came up and started rolling cameras, they’d pull it off to reveal a nice suit and introduce themselves as ‘dr. so and so from such and such law school’.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I didn’t say he was, but I said if people get that impression, we’re toast. A lot of these guys believe that you have to draw the line in the sand now, and dare the voting public to cross it. That’s essentially what Mr. Vanderboegh is doing here.

    Threats of violence in response to political action don’t go over well with the public in a stable Republic. I think it actually makes the likelihood of failing to get a political solution far less likely, because it will turn the public off to the message, and scare them into electing representative who will get these dangerous gun owners “under control.”

    There does need to be a line in the sand, but now is not the time to draw it. You do that when your back is against the wall, not when you’re winning the fight politically.

  6. Bitter says:

    There’s a difference between the press actively seeking the funny looking ones out at events and our side purposely trying to raise hell by throwing around threats about an upcoming civil war.

  7. gattsuru says:

    I’d rather they find people like this, occasionally, as long as they can’t accurately tie them to anyone who’s important.

    No, seriously. The American public follows the fallacy of the golden mean. If the craziest gun nut around is talking about blocking the assault weapon ban, he or she will be seen as crazy as it gets. If the craziest gun nut is frothing at the mouth about machine guns, there’s something in the middle that is great for compromise.

  8. Sebastian says:

    I’m not sure that most Americans really follow that fallacy, so much as electoral politics just tends to end up there. I don’t fault anyone for a strongly held conviction about registering their guns. I don’t even really fault anyone for a belief that arms confiscation be resisted violently. But it’s one thing to believe it. It’s another thing to go to the media and say it. Especially when registration isn’t really on the table politically.

    American politics gravitates toward the middle because most Americans aren’t extreme about issues. You can move issues your way, or against you, by bringing people into your tent. Extremists tend to push people out of the tent, which is why they aren’t helpful when it comes to political battles.

  9. Kevin Baker says:

    Mike Vanderbough as adopted the position as the Malcolm X of the gun-rights fight. He’s as extreme and in-your-face as he can be, and he revels in “frightening the white people.” He is the author of a book being published in parts on the web, Absolved. Give it a read. It’s further out there than John Ross’s Unintended Consequences.

    There’s a group of people, and as far as I can tell it’s growing, that not only believes that we’re headed for violent revolution, they want it.

    And what scares me is, sometimes I think they’re right.

    Don’t be surprised that the media gloms onto the extremes. Sensationalism sells.

  10. bob r says:

    When someone has entered a house uninvited and is told leave or get shot, do you say “The house owner is making ‘gun owners’ look like lunatics”?

    Mike is just giving some people fair warning that they are about to do something that will bring about unpleasant results for _everyone_. The “3 percent” figure may or may not be correct; what is _certain_ is that the number is large enough that the result of pushing us to far will be catastrophic. Some issues truly are NOT up for a vote: force will be required and some people _will_ die if the issue is pushed.

    3%

  11. ravenshrike says:

    Gonna have to agree with bob on this. For that matter, are you saying that if the cops came around to every residence and forced registering of all guns and owners you would just let them? A big problem with this blurb is that they don’t show the preceding letter. And searching by Bialek just shows me that the guy makes a habit of sending in letters to the editor, I can’t find his comments on guns.

  12. Rob K says:

    I think we need extremists out there pushing the gun rights envelope, but I don’t think “try taking my gun and I’ll kill you” is the extremism we need. We need people proposing things like requiring everyone to be armed with a full auto, so that the rest of us don’t seem so extreme when we propose the compromise of allowing those who choose to carry concealed without a licensse. It’s sort of an incrementalist approach.

  13. Check out westernrifleshooters (blogspot).

    III

  14. Sebastian says:

    Bob R:

    When someone has entered a house uninvited and is told leave or get shot, do you say “The house owner is making ‘gun owners’ look like lunatics”?

    There’s a difference between defending yourself and your home from an intruder and suggesting that you’ll start a civil war if the political process doesn’t go your way. And also, in that instance, there’s a big difference between believing it and saying it. Would I be crazy to say such a thing to a burglar? No. And few other citizens would think I was.

    If I write a letter to the editor suggesting that someone better never break into my home, because if they do, I’ll shoot them dead. That would be seen as extreme.

    Additionally, it doesn’t really matter whether the paradox makes logical sense. The public view is what it is.

  15. Sebastian says:

    Gonna have to agree with bob on this. For that matter, are you saying that if the cops came around to every residence and forced registering of all guns and owners you would just let them?

    I don’t think we should take that lying down, but I also think shooting the cops coming to do it won’t accomplish anything. In fact, the most likely reaction is going to be “See, we told you these people were dangerous.” I think there are ways to escalate the situation, without bringing it to outright shooting, but that’s another conversation.

    But the point is, we’re not at that point yet. In fact, we’re not anywhere close.

  16. Sebastian says:

    I think we need extremists out there pushing the gun rights envelope

    Yes, you do. But you have to be smart about how you push it. Writing to a newspaper and telling them you’ll start a civil war if things don’t go your way is not a productive method of pushing the envelope.

  17. HTownTejas says:

    I’m with Mike. Our backs aren’t quite all the way up against the wall yet. we do have a few inches. But it’s close enough.

  18. Sebastian, with all due respect, you’re playing into the hands of the enemies. If national registration and licensing passed, being a patently unjust and unconstitutional malum prohibitum law, it could not bind in conscience. Because it cannot bind in conscience, no one with his moral sense screwed on straight could condemn another who chose not to comply. But what would happen to those who choose not to comply? And who will have “started it?”

    I’m sure the Sons of Liberty scared plenty of white people, too.

  19. Rob K says:

    If national registration and licensing passed…

    I think you’re missing the point. We’re not near that now! And with Heller, we took another albeit small step away from it. So scaring whitey doesn’t help, it pushes us back closer to it. Instead of scaring whitey, EDUCATE HIM. We can make the undecided our friends through education, or our enemies through fear. Which do you want?

  20. Sebastian says:

    I’m with Mike. Our backs aren’t quite all the way up against the wall yet. we do have a few inches. But it’s close enough.

    In what universe does having the Supreme Court actually rule that the second amendment protects an individual right, while we’re rolling back gun bans in the Chicago area, something I never though I’d see. While we’re almost done with the National Park ban, where all but a few states have shall-issue concealed carry, and we’ve even gotten one to repeal the license requirement entirely, where we’re improving carry laws in more than a few states.

    How the hell is that “a few inches” from the wall? Seriously, gun owners need to get over themselves, stop playing victim, and start working this issue politically so we can continue keeping gun control in retreat. If we lose the public support we’ve built up in the past decade, that’s going to be the end of it. You can resist, but without most of the public behind you, you’ll be destroyed.

  21. Sebastian says:

    Sebastian, with all due respect, you’re playing into the hands of the enemies. If national registration and licensing passed, being a patently unjust and unconstitutional malum prohibitum law, it could not bind in conscience. Because it cannot bind in conscience, no one with his moral sense screwed on straight could condemn another who chose not to comply. But what would happen to those who choose not to comply? And who will have “started it?”

    I’m not blaming anyone for not complying Oldsmoblogger. We aren’t yet faced with a national registration scheme. It’s not even on the table. What I am decrying is writing to a newspaper, and telling the public you’ll start shooting the bastards. I would also point out that the founding fathers did everything possible to reconcile themselves to the crown even after the shooting had started. Look up “Olive Branch Petition”

    I don’t deny there is a role for agitators, but the fact is, we’re not losing the political battle right now, because we’ve gotten a lot more people on board with gun rights in this decade. I don’t want to jeopardize that. There are plenty of gun owners who aren’t going to want to be associated with a movement that’s associated with civil unrest, let alone the majority non-gun owning public.

  22. HTownTejas says:

    We should not be content that are backs are not flush against the wall yet. As free people, it is our house. The servants are making the rules, have pushed us nearly to the wall, and because they gave a little, we’re to be grateful? There is an entire Federal agency focused on jailing or killing us for not following their arbitrary limits on our freedoms. I get what you’re trying to say, that if we obey we might get a few more inches. but hell, I see nothing wrong with Mike telling our servants that there are only a few inches left before we throw them out.

    They kill us over lengths of wood. Why should we beg when they actively attack our fundamental human rights? If 3/8 of an inch of wood is worth killing us for, what does attacking our liberties justify?

  23. Sebastian says:

    How HTown, so why aren’t you shooting yet? If this government is that unlawful and out of control, the time for revolution is now.

    They’ll destroy people for making moonshine too, or importing lobsters in the wrong types of bags. We’re not the only ones who have grievances against the government because they’ve made a difficult and nonsensical regulatory framework, and told people to work in it.

    The problem is, the vast majority of this country is willing to live with the regulatory framework. That’s what you have to change. Make people aware of it. Make them see how stupid it is, and maybe they’ll stop voting for the fools who pass these kinds of laws. In a Republican government, that’s pretty much what you’re dealing with up until you decide it’s time for revolution. There is no “awkward period”: there’s politics and there’s war. I think we have an obligation to work within the political sphere until we’ve exhausted every possibility.

    Because the fact is, because we’re a Republic, if war starts, you won’t have a lot of people behind you. Without that, the outcome is pretty much determined. It’s a man’s right to choose to fight and die, rather than submit, but fight and die is probably what’s going to happen if you don’t have at least a third of the population behind you.

  24. I would also point out that the founding fathers did everything possible to reconcile themselves to the crown even after the shooting had started. Look up “Olive Branch Petition.”

    I think seventy years of generally peaceable compliance with their schemes adequately fills that bill. ;-)

    I also am not shy about saying those days are over. We have made substantial gains in recent years, but I am here to say that I will not back up a millimeter (Not. One. Millimeter, whether for tactical or any other purpose) from where we stand right now, nor is where we stand right now good enough for me. My long-term objective is the end of NFA and GCA, along with national Vermont-Alaska, concealed or open as the law-abiding citizen prefers. I might not get there, but that’s the direction I’m going. I won’t trade one of those goals to get microstamping on 9mm only. ;-)

    There are plenty of gun owners who aren’t going to want to be associated with a movement that’s associated with civil unrest, let alone the majority non-gun owning public.

    Well, I have limited use for splitters and Pharisees, so I guess that makes me even with these gun owners, whomever they are. Okay, I recognize that’s painting with a broad brush, and doesn’t apply to everyone who holds the attitude you’ve described above. Fair enough.

    Snark aside, though, there’s quite a difference between Mike Vanderboegh and the Aryan Thrust, or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves these days, and failing to draw the distinction doesn’t help, either. A couple of analogous examples come to mind:

    Solzhenitsyn raised the question (I can’t find the exact quote though I’ve read it more than once), “What if the officers who went around carting people off to the gulag had to wonder when they left home in the morning whether they’d make it home that night?”

    One also hears that during the legal wrangle over the 2000 election in Florida, several Democratic headquarters had rocks thrown through their windows. Rocks bearing the inscription, “We will not tolerate an illegal government.”

    Are either of these out of line? I submit to you that Solzhenitsyn and the anonymous rock-throwers, if any, were doing — as Mike Vanderboegh is doing — no more than heeding the words of Patrick Henry: “Guard jealously the public liberty.”

    Would you be happier if the response had been worded, “Nuh-uh. We won’t comply, and you can draw your own conclusions as to what will happen next?” In the end, it amounts to the same thing.

  25. Sebastian says:

    y long-term objective is the end of NFA and GCA, along with national Vermont-Alaska, concealed or open as the law-abiding citizen prefers. I might not get there, but that’s the direction I’m going. I won’t trade one of those goals to get microstamping on 9mm only.

    I don’t disagree with your objective in the least. We’re not going to get everything we want because the vast majority of the population disagrees with us. It’s not just a bare majority, it was something like 77% of friggin Alabamans did not agree with legal machine gun ownership.

    Now, I’m not giving up on that 77%. We had pretty strong majorities for handgun prohibition at one point too, and managed to turn that around. But it’ll be a long way bringing enough people around to get there. The political process can’t guarantee we will never have to retreat again, or that we’ll ever turn those 77% around to our cause. We might not. But I do think we have to try, because the alternative is bloodshed. And I don’t think that will end well for our side if it comes to that.

  26. Sebastian says:

    BTW, these have been great comments. It’s good that we can have a discussion about such a passionate topic without it devolving back to third grade.

  27. HTownTejas says:

    I dissagree that winning over the voting public is the strategy. You can’t. All democracies vote themselves into oblivion, which is why the Founding Fathers added Constitutional limitations. Those Constitutional limitations are the only thing ensuring our basic liberties and they are actively being subverted. Hell, Thomas Jefferson even recognized that the “Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants..”.

    We are in that awkward phase, because the constitutional brakes have fallen off and there is usually only one way to put them back on.

    III

  28. Sebastian says:

    How long does this awkward phase last? When does the shooting start? I think those are serious questions, because if the wheels are truly coming off the bus, then further political engagement is pointless, and it’s time for to hit the reset button.

  29. HTownTejas says:

    I think those are the questions. Further political engagement only slows the decline, but the inevitable is so horrific I still participate. The colonists didn’t wait very long though, and they put up with less than we are.

    Do we have 3% yet?

    III

  30. Matt says:

    I don’t disagree with Mike’s message but with its phrasing. As much as I and many of us want to scare the sheep and say, “Hey, we’re here. Don’t piss us off!”, it’s counterproductive. That’s a hard thing for me say given I tend to be a bit of a bull in the china shop when it comes to resolving issues. Finesse is a hard thing to learn.

    Rather than say, “If you do this, we will shoot you or whatever proxy you send in your place.”, we should rather emphasize resistance by lesser means. Emphasize civil disobedience (such as the rock throwers above), the idea of whole groups of law-abiding citizen not complying with a law they feel is illegal and was passed even in the face of their displeasure expressed to their representatives. 10,000 angry citizens making their case to the public as to why they aren’t complying with the “Firearm Safety and Public Happiness Act of 2011” and holding up their thousands of letters sent to their rep who ignored them builds a much better case for sympathy and understanding in the broader public spectrum than, “We will kill you if you go one inch further.”.

    Even when we mean the latter rather than the former. We don’t like it but that is reality.

  31. I wouldn’t go as far as to say pointless. After all, a letter to the editor is a political action. It’s the Soap Box.

    It’s the Ballot Box that has me a mite concerned. McCain, Obama, Barr? That has to be some kind of cosmic joke, right?

    Some days I am more optimistic than others, but I don’t deny that right now it feels a little like 1860 must have. If we get back to the point where sticking with the political process would require retreat from where we are now, I would call that a strong hint.

    III

  32. Sebastian says:

    Matt,

    I agree with civil disobedience. It’s worked well for the Canadians many of whom have defied their long arm registry. Enough that the government can’t really enforce it.

  33. Peter says:

    So, what is your definition of ‘backs against the wall’? The shoulder blades? The vertebrae? How much pressure?

    And I keep seeing folks bitterly (heh) clinging (double heh) to the militia argument, despite that being specifically rejected by the Supremes.

    Would you rather everyone hold their tongues and just start shooting? What do you think the headlines would be then? “Gun Nut Snaps”? “Officers Killed in Ambush During Confiscation Sweep”?

    Flatly stating ‘if you do x, I will respond with y’ is Fair Warning. Keeping quiet is part of the reason that we needed the Heller decision. Had our fathers been organized the way we are, there would have been no GCA ’68. Had our grandfathers been this organized, there would have been no NFA, or at the very least, Frank Miller’s attorney would have shown up to the SCOTUS hearing.

    You and Bitter are forging a new life together, one that will hopefully include little Snowflakes, and that is fine. Actually, more than fine, it’s wonderful. But that also means that you have your own agenda here, which is also fine. It’s perfectly acceptable, at least to me, to be an Armed White Person (to mangle Uncle’s metaphor), but please consider the possibility that if the Mike Vanderboeghs of the world have any sort of impact, your back will never touch the wall.

    Lastly, consider that all this has nothing to do with ‘armed revolution’ but more to do with ‘if I cannot have your respect, I will settle for your fear’. Putting on nice clothes and going to court hasn’t worked with private property (Kelo), privacy (FISA), habeas corpus (Patriot Act), ad nauseum.

  34. Sebastian says:

    McCain, Obama, Barr? That has to be some kind of cosmic joke, right?

    I wish it were. There was a comedian who suggested pretty soon we’ll be voting for plants. Sadly, I think I’d prefer a plant. A rhododendron would have some difficulty violating our rights.

  35. Allow me to point out that Mike Vanderboegh wrote an excellent series of essays (six or seven, if memory serves) under the umbrella title, “Rock ‘Em.” They’re available at a number of sites, but searching on the last name and title would probably be best for finding them.

    I have said before that I consider Mike Vanderboegh to be our Thomas Paine. I’m not kidding (and he’s a better writer than John Ross, with all due respect to Mr. Ross).

    Three…it rhymes with free.

  36. HTownTejas says:

    What Peter said (well) is important to note for casual readers who stuble onto this thread. We are losing all of our freedoms, big ones like privacy and due process. The reset button is about a lot more than guns, a lot more.

  37. Sebastian says:

    Back against the wall means that the second amendment is being relegated into meaningless, not through constitutional amendment, but through extralegal means, and we’re powerless to stop it politically. That does not describe our present situation.

    But yes, I am suggesting that people either need to get involved in the political fight, or start shooting. There is no awkward period where you get to do nothing in the political sphere, because it’s all pointless, but you’re waiting for the shooting to start. What is Mike V. doing to defeat anti-gun politicians and help elect pro-gun politicians? What pro-gun politicians has he been donating money to? When was the last time he wrote a letter to the editor that was trying to change hearts and minds rather than saying “don’t do X, or I’ll shoot you?”

    If we don’t end up with our backs against a wall it will be because a lot of people worked very hard to avoid that possibility politically. I won’t deny there’s a line that the government can’t cross, and what to do if the line gets crossed. That’s something to be discussed among ourselves. But not something to be discussing in front of the people we need on our side in order to avoid it coming to that.

  38. Matt says:

    Peter,

    The question isn’t the warning; it’s the punishment. To the letter author’s point: Would an average citizen who knows nothing about gun culture and believes rights emanate from the Government and what they vote themselves, consider the notion of someone shooting people over a gun license and a registration certificate be worthy of a death sentence?

    Kill someone over a couple of pieces of paper? Would it be perceived as reasonable? I suspect the answer is “No”. Understand that I deplore registration and licensing and find any such scheme to violate 18 USC 926(a). It’s my personal pet peeve in the gun rights world because it serves no public safety purpose and ultimately is intended as a means of future control. But a normal, average 9-5 American just living day-to-day is not going to see that view of killing over the Government registering your guns to be a reasonable act.

    You’d actually gain more support from them, in my view, if it had been phrased “If you come to take my legally owned guns because the Government banned them and I’ve done nothing wrong with them.” to gain more support. People tend to see when the Government is overreaching in its power such an egregious act in the absence of demonstrated, tangible threat by said citizens and would be willing to support such extreme reactions.

    That’s why the line is hard to draw. It’s different for everyone. Revolution occurs when enough people agree on where the line is, agree it has been crossed and agree to pledge their lives to push the powers-that-be back across it because they also agree no other recourse will work.

    The fear I have is the threshold for the people to act and realize the wheels have come off lies beyond when the Government has already effectively disarmed us physically and mentally by preventing people from even realizing they’ve ceased to be citizens and have instead become willing slaves. Not enough people, not enough weapons and too much apathy.

  39. mostlygenius says:

    Vanderboegh is a crank. Pure and simple. He is always agitating for somebody to “push the reset button.” The more you read of his stuff the more it becomes clear that he is the lunatic fringe. Apparently a democracy that votes against his principles is a government that needs to be overthrown. Some bloggers that I respect give him favorable exposure, but I do not think it benefits our side at all.

  40. Sebastian says:

    I have said before that I consider Mike Vanderboegh to be our Thomas Paine.

    Of course, after America settled down after the revolution, Paine became an enthusiastic supporter of the French revolution. We all know how that ended.

    As I said, I don’t deny there’s a role for agitators, but I think only a fraction of them manage to find their place in history.

  41. CorbinKale says:

    If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves. -W. Churchill

    Since the keystone to the Constitution currently hangs by a single vote, I have to conclude that our freedom is in peril. Prior to any revolution, perhaps we might arrange a final political warning? A million armed citizens peacably assembled in the streets of D.C., petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, might convince them that we are as serious about liberty as were the Founders.

    The People are the sovreign in this Republic, and free men do not ask permission to exercise their Rights. Now is the time when we can win without bloodshed. I pray it goes no further, but I will be on the front lines if the enemies of our Constitution attempt to outlaw our Right to keep and bear arms. If the 2nd Amendment falls, there is no Constitution. If the Heller decision had gone the other way, we would be building towards a civil war right now.

  42. tjbbpgob says:

    They are knocking us off, one at a time. That’s the slope slowly getting steeper. It will take awhile but the government right now has the time and the wherewithall to get it done. They should know what is coming and Mike has told them in no uncertain terms. Cudos for PETER @ 3:39, THAT WAS A GOOD POST. all of these seem well thought out.

  43. Sebastian says:

    Since the keystone to the Constitution currently hangs by a single vote, I have to conclude that our freedom is in peril. Prior to any revolution, perhaps we might arrange a final political warning? A million armed citizens peacably assembled in the streets of D.C., petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, might convince them that we are as serious about liberty as were the Founders.

    Or it’ll be taken by Congress as a threat of violence against the government and they will have the political cover they need to disarm us all, because Mr. and Mrs. Middle America will think “Damn, that shit is scary.”

    The people that are sovereign, the vast majority of them don’t think they live under a repressive government and aren’t even close to thinking about overthrowing it. Those are the people we need to win this. Scaring them, by having them link gun rights to civil unrest, isn’t going to work. It’s one thing to suggest that an armed society helps keep the government under control. I think most people can grok that. It’s another thing to suggest the time is fast approaching for revolution.

  44. ASM826 says:

    At the range last week, among other shooters and friends, the subject of the Heller decision came up. One man stated that he was relieved by the decision because he would have hated to lose his firearms. What I had to say was right along the lines of Mr. Vanderboegh. My reply seemed to surprise him, but I am very clear on it. There is a clear bright line, the same line the Massachusetts colonists stood on when they met the British at Concord. I am sure that lots of other colonists felt they were acting rashly, “behaving like lunatics” as it were.

    So, if saying that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to serve as a final check on government power is “fucking up”, just put me with Mike and the rest of the fuckups. Each of us has different limits.

  45. RAH says:

    Based on what Sebastian and Bitter had posted, I thought the letter that Mike Vanderboegh wrote was a lot more incendiary than it was. Thanks, Sebastian for posting the actual link. Actually I think the letter is a salutary wake up to those idiots that think that registrataion and licensing is responsible sensible gun regulation.

    There is no Federal call for nationwide registration and licensing. To be truthful why do the BATF need it? They can always call the FFL holders to get information and the FFL holders will give it.

    I do not know how many of you are really familiar with FFL regulations. The 4473 is held in perpetuity to the FFL and when he dies, retires etc., the records are given to the BATF. The FFL also has a bound book which is a record of transactions. To give an example, the year we had a sniper hunting people in the metropalitan Washington area. his deadly accuracy and randomness scared a lot of people. There was no way my carrying a gun could have save me in that circumsatnce and people wanted the sniper caught fast.

    BATF simply called all the FFL holders and asked, politely,if we had sold any rifles with those characteristics. Guess what, the FFL holders agreed that it was their civic duty to provide this information. Now in hindsight that effort was in naught. They had the wrong car and the guns was bought in another part of the country.

    That is why many people prefer to have guns without any paper. In other words guns bought, traded between private individuals. Guns that are transferred between generations.

    The best way to stop registration schemes is to fight in the legislature when they are proposed and if they are imposed to passively resist. Refuse to register, much like the residents of DC are doing now, due to the onerous burdern of registration.

    We will know if the police will start going door to door to insure registration . The 4th amendment will be used to deny access. People will bury and hide their weapons. NO need to start a revolt now when we are turning back decades of laws that are against guns

  46. Sebastian says:

    tjbbpgob:

    The government is not a living and breathing entity. It’s often a useful metaphorically to look upon it that way, but the reality is the people elect the government, and the government is made up of people who are, either directly or indirectly, elected by voters. There is no master plan for disarmament. When the population supports gun rights, the politicians will tend to. When the population supports or at least acquiesces to gun control, the politicians do.

    There is no entity called “government” which can be frightened into submission. You have to persuade people, and work to get politicians who agree with you elected. That’s the only way you can affect change in a representative government.

  47. Of course, after America settled down after the revolution, Paine became an enthusiastic supporter of the French revolution. We all know how that ended.

    So did Jefferson, I think. Nobody’s perfect.

  48. Peter says:

    Matt,

    I don’t disagree with you. But I do disagree with the ‘couple of pieces of paper’ part: they’re the result, not the cause, and it is far better to prevent the ‘papers’ than to try to repeal them.

    And no, I have no earthly idea where the line is. That’s why I noted that Sebastian might have a different position, and that it’s perfectly fine for him to do so. I’m older and childless, so my options are different than his. As well, I live deep within the hurricane zone, and having the Gummint showing up to put my firearms in some sort of protective custody is, after Katrina, a real and troubling possibility.

    It may well be just boastful posturing, but if the average LEO thinks that he might not go home to his family because of this sort of thing, then it might be worth it. If the notion/idea of personal extinction is established, there may be no need to actually pull the trigger, which would be just fine with me. Again, I just don’t know. Remember that there were a number of acts of defiance before Lexington and Concord, and establishing some sort of line before any general ‘revolution’ would be far better, and seeing as how us gunnies cannot agree on what that might be only underscores the problem. One thing that I believe is vitally important is to let everyone know that it’s not just isolated ‘gun nuts’ here or there, but that the so-called fringes of the 2A population (Mike’s 3%) vastly outnumber the police/FBI/BATFE/National Guard, etc., which is one reason I’m willing to give the Mike Vanderboeghs of the world more space to run their mouths. Yes, there will be people who are turned off by that, but if the mere threat stops them, then I’d say that was a good day’s work.

    This is all propaganda, in the final analysis, just the same way as the other side uses the ‘it’s for the children’ and all the other straw men they cite. A little push back on that front isn’t the PR disaster that some might think.

  49. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    Licensing and registration don’t matter, as long as you can trust the government. Unfortunately, most governments that do this (D.C., Chicago, etc.) can’t be trusted.

    So, our only choice is to fight for precedence that will prevent any arbitrary restrictions, seizures, or bans. If that happens, licensing and registration would never matter.

    P.S. The Civil War was not justified by any metric. It was a preemptive move by the Confederacy to protect slavery in their lands. They were basically traitors to the Republic.

  50. Sebastian says:

    I can’t say I agree with that, Alcibiades. You can never trust any government to that degree. Remember, we only have five of nine justices who think the Second Amendment means anything. After eight years of Obama, we’ll be lucky if the worst that happens is that number is unchanged. It could, very well, be worse, and we could see the precedent overturned.

  51. CorbinKale says:

    Sebastian said: “There is no entity called “government” which can be frightened into submission. You have to persuade people, and work to get politicians who agree with you elected. That’s the only way you can affect change in a representative government.”

    Of course, you are right about that. In a pure Democracy, that would be the only way, but we are a Republic, a nation of law that protects the minority, or the one, from tyranny of the majority. If everyone in the nation besides me believed that guns should be outlawed, my Rights would still be protected by the 2nd Amendment.

    As Peter pointed out, the average LEO will probably not be enthusiastic about going door to door to confiscate arms if gunfights break out every 10th house. They want to raise their families and grow old, like we do. Politicians are just ordinary people, too. If they realize that their physical existence is in peril because of the violations of their constituent’s Constitutionally protected Rights, they are probably going to change their behavior to better ensure their personal, if not political, survival.

    Look, I know this is all speculation and hypothetical. I hope the situation never arises when U.S. citizens have to wrest their freedoms back from a tyrannical government, but if it is not widely known that there are those of us who stand ready, that makes it more likely that we will have to fight to preserve our liberty.

  52. HTownTejas says:

    Peter, that’s a good point about Mike’s clear warning serving as an offset to the “for the children” propaganda, and as a preventative measure.

    I’m not sure where my line is. I think I’ll start listing the grievances online, Declaration of Independence-style, and wait until it’s an intolerable list. If my list and I dissapear, maybe that’ll serve as the canary-in-the-coalmine….

  53. Sanchez aka "Jack of All Trades" says:

    “How the hell is that “a few inches” from the wall? Seriously, gun owners need to get over themselves, stop playing victim, and start working this issue politically so we can continue keeping gun control in retreat.”

    I’ll agree on working on the issue politically, but I won’t feel we’re more than a few inches from the wall unless there is no chance of an AW ban passing in the future.

  54. anon says:

    It’s not that the 97% are actively against the 3%. In fact, the vast majority of them don’t even think about you at all. They’re too busy watching reality tv, or playing xbox360, or taking in the latest Batman movie, or watching Oprah, or blah blah blah to think about the erosion of our consitutional republic.

    Threats to start shooting won’t inspire them to start thinking. It’ll inspire them to freak the hell out. You’re talking about disturbing the comforts of their day-to-day existence. They won’t join you. They’ll cheer as you’re put down. You start shooting, you become a threat to them. And the idea of liberty will die at the hands of a mob.

    Sebastian’s right. Education and knowledge are the key, not force or submission. After all, John Adams said, “Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.”

    Our government doesn’t use fear as it’s main motivating factor. It uses the promise of ease, the giving up of responsibility in exchange for the giving up of rights. It’s a Faustian bargain that most people are willing to make to one extent or another. It’s not tyranny, it’s sloth.

  55. Vanderboegh has become one my biggest philosophical influences. I think it’s much wiser, more honorable, and just plain better that folks like Vanderboegh provide the other side with a bit of warning before the shootings and bombings start.

    “Don’t Tread on Me” isn’t original, but it’s still a message that needs to be gotten out.

  56. Peter says:

    anon,

    You misinterpret the 3%: it’s the percentage of the Colonial population that actually took up arms against the British. About a third of the total population were Loyalist, or tended in that direction, the majority just wanted to be left alone. I’m sure they would have been playing with their Xboxes if they had them.

    And apathy is the greatest problem, followed by politicians and wannabe politicians promising stuff.

    And after they ‘freak out’ about gunfire, they’ll settle down because the Oprah rerun is on at 10. A more apparent danger is that if the political class is sent packing, who will replace them? I’ll bet it’ll be largely from the folks over at HuffPo, DailyKos, and Crooks & Liars, since we revere all of the BoR, none of us will be willing to shut them up, lest the same thing happen to us. That, I believe is the greater danger, that the cure will end up being worse than the disease.

  57. Sebastian says:

    The problem is, I don’t think you would even have 3% of the population willing to take up arms against the current government unless things take a serious turn for the worse. 3% of the population is nine million people. If you can’t even get 5 million people to join the NRA in defense of their gun rights, which is a far less serious commitment than making war against your own government, you’re not getting 9 million. You’re probably not even getting a million.

  58. oldblinddog says:

    Pardon me, Sebastion, but when is the last time you read the title to your own blog? It carries the same message as Vanderboegh’s letter. Not that I disagree with where you are coming from either but very little of the change in public perception is due to the efforts of pro gun organizations or gun owners. It is primarily due to several high profile events either involving abuses by our government against citizens or outright attack from without (as I’m sure everyone here is aware).

  59. Sebastian says:

    My title says nothing about starting a civil war. But that said, I do agree that 9/11 and Katrina are the main drivers of the change in public opinion, but I think we’ve capitalized on it pretty effectively. I hope public opinion stays with us, and I don’t want to do anything to capitalize on that.

    Everyone in this thread should do one exercise. Go find someone who is not a gun owner. Someone who is your average run of the mill, middle of the road suburban Democrat or Republican, and start talking to them about how if they make you register your guns, you’ll shoot the bastards who come to do it dead. See how they react to that, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  60. Go find someone who is not a gun owner. Someone who is your average run of the mill, middle of the road suburban Democrat or Republican, and start talking to them about how if they make you register your guns, you’ll shoot the bastards who come to do it dead.

    What if I say I’ll just try to wing ’em ;-)?

  61. My title says nothing about starting a civil war.

    Sebastian, if you give Vanderboegh a fair and thorough reading, he’s not talking about starting one either. He’s talking about finishing it. To lump him in with the people (and yeah, they’re probably out there) who actually want one is a calumny, though I don’t reckon he really needs me to defend him.

    I don’t want one either. I have young children. I don’t currently own a rifle of military utility, and I am no rifleman…but life is not so dear, nor peace so sweet, etc.

    Everyone in this thread should do one exercise. Go find someone who is not a gun owner. Someone who is your average run of the mill, middle of the road suburban Democrat or Republican, and start talking to them about how if they make you register your guns, you’ll shoot the bastards who come to do it dead.

    With respect, Sebastian, this is codswallop. Mike didn’t go grab some random guy offen the street and offer to start a civil war. Someone else expressed a wish for universal licensing and registration, and Mike told him what would happen if he got his wish.

  62. PS: three is free. :-)

  63. Sebastian says:

    What if I say I’ll just try to wing ‘em ;-)?

    Hahaha… I haven’t tried that one before. But seriously. I told one of my coworkers one time, who has no issues with guns for the most part, that I thought machine guns should be legal and I got a look like I was from another planet. I have no idea why people, even a lot of gun owners, get so upset by that idea, but they do. I think unfamiliarity is the key. Hell, if I’m in a mall shooting, I’d prefer to go up against a shooter with a submachine gun or an assault rifle. That guy is going to empty his mag out in a few seconds, likely not hitting much, and give me an opportunity to return fire. I’d be much more scared of a nutball taking carefully aimed shots.

  64. Dave says:

    Well I can still run my trap as much as I like without being thrown in to a gulag, and I have an arsenal hanging on my wall. Maybe I’m wrong and the country has reached some critical mass I don’t recognize, but we have actually had some small amount of politcal success recently, working in the system. The sunset of the AWB, expanded concealed carry laws through most of the country, the protection of lawful commerce in arms act, and the Heller case.
    Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be the first to tell anyone that our country was founded by radical revolutionaries. Transplant many of their statements to the present time and apply them to our current government, and anyone issuing those statements would be labeled an extremist nut job.

    This quote sums up that fact nicely.

    “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.” -Charles Austin Beard

    The wise dead white guys that wrote the Bill of Rights fully intended for us to have the means to resist some future tyranny from our own government with deadly force if necessary.

    Interesting discussion. I don’t have a magic eight ball to say where the line is, and how we should properly convey the fact to anti gun people that the revolutionary nature of the second amendment is still intact, no matter how far out that scenario might be.

  65. Sebastian says:

    Oldsmoblogger:

    Fair enough. I’ve actually read a lot of Mike’s writings, and while I don’t agree with everything he says, I understand his appeal. I should have perhaps suggested that even if he does not want revolution, introducing a threat of violence into the political process erodes political support to get closer to the result we want, so it makes violence more likely over the long run. I won’t say there will never be a time to make those threats, but that time isn’t now.

    But I was suggesting the exercise so folks could see what the reaction is. Granted, I’ve had a few people who were willing to have a serious discussion about it. But surprisingly, I find people on the hard left far more willing to discuss an armed society keeping government in check than people who are not at one extreme of a political pole. Most Americans fit the bill of not being at that extreme. It’s true that you don’t need to convince all of them, or even most of them. But you need more than you have now.

  66. cabinboy says:

    Vanderboegh on his purposes in writing ‘Absolved’:

    http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2008/07/vanderboegh-internet-introduction-to.html

    A discussion from Kevin, expanded into a post:

    http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-is-to-be-done-question-and-answer.html

    Excerpt:

    …we have reached the point in this country, I believe, where the electoral power of the following societal segments:

    – government workers at the local, state, and Federal level;

    – “private industry” workers whose jobs are dependent on continually-expanding government spending;

    – government dependents totally reliant upon the State for housing, sustenance, and other basics;

    – millions of illegal aliens transmuted into “undocumented voters” to further the statists’ schemes; and

    – individuals whose so-called “thinking” is so befogged by the combination of government school indoctrination and mainstream media propaganda that the concepts of freedom and private property are almost literally unthinkable

    is so great as to render the existing political processes moot for anyone who believes in individual freedom and limited government.

    We simply do not have the votes.

    The indispensable James Bovard has more on that theme at http://jimbovard.com/blog/2008/06/30/the-capsizing-of-american-democracy/.

    Kevin has noted here and elsewhere that “the courts will not save us.”

    In its listing of the exceptions to the Second Amendment’s “…shall not be infringed” language, Scalia and the Heller majority have once again proven him right.

    I submit that if one is dispassionate in one’s analysis of today’s political scene, the inescapable conclusion is that a voting booth is also not going to save traditional American freedom and its servants.

    And the big question remains – what do the “holy electoral process” advocates plan to do when the slavering Majority of government minions has voted to:

    – seize your guns and ammunition;

    – confiscate the majority of your income;

    – limit your access to your retirement savings;

    – tax your real estate into foreclosure;

    – further transform your children’s education into multi-culti State worship;

    – restrict your ability to criticize and denounce the Government upon pain of imprisonment;

    – abolish your ability to praise the God of your understanding as “hate speech”;

    – monitor your communications with like-minded folks as “a matter of homeland security”; or

    – any combination thereof?

    What’s the plan then, amigos?

    Folks, there has been a war being waged in this country since at least 1933 with its objective the complete subjugation of the formerly-free American people.

    Believing it ain’t so due to ignorance or denial doesn’t change that fact.

    The Heller majority told Congress and state legislatures exactly how to draft legislation such as
    – the expanded AWB II,
    – anti-ammo storage laws, and
    – NFA 34’s replacement banning all civilian-possessed automatic weapons

    so as to pass “Constitutional muster”.

    I wonder what the excuses will be after the next Congress gets revved up under President Obamessiah.

    Or will reasonable gun owners simply be placing anonymous calls to the Feds under the guise of “policing our own”?

    Good luck all.

    We’re gonna need it.

    PS: Read this essay and give it a good think:

    http://www.federalobserver.com/print.php?aid=1874

  67. oldblinddog says:

    My title says nothing about starting a civil war.

    I respectfully disagree. While it is not overt it is implied. And how is it different than his point? Re:

    We’re done being pushed back from our natural rights without a fight.

    Are they not the same?

    In any case, it does not matter what law they make, the rights embodied in the BOR cannot be rescinded even by Constitutional amendment.

    On another note, it might be best to point out that “machine guns” are not illegal to own when discussing the subject with the uninformed and use the opportunity to educate them even more. I would also tend to think that were the question in the poll worded honestly you would not get 77% against ownership of machine guns. Pollsters (and statisticians) can make the data say anything they want.

  68. Sebastian says:

    And I would posit that if it’s really that bad, the time to start shooting is now.

  69. Sebastian says:

    Depends on what kind of fight you’re talking about. I wouldn’t say I would never agree that it’s time to start resisting the government with force, but now is not the time. Now is also not the time to even suggest it.

  70. Dave says:

    The public resistance to selective fire and full auto weaponry is in my estimation a perfect illustrtion of the slippery slope in action. In ’34 the powers that be passed a heavy tax on them, placing such a financial barrier on their ownership that they passed out of anything resembling common use among law abiding citizens, without actually banning anything. A calculated end run around constitutional questions.
    Five decades later, another law banning the new manufacture of those weapons is easily passed, because no public memory of their use in law abiding citizens hands exist, outside of a tiny minority that know the people that own the now finite number of these weapons.

  71. oldblinddog says:

    Well, what will it take? For you.

  72. BillH says:

    However, it might be time to watch the first disc in the “John Adams” series. There might still be time to engage in discussions about liberty (much less threatening for the neighbors you know), and another trip to the range wouldn’t be wasted. IMHO 5-4 told us how close we are to that wall. November will too.

    And may I just say, what a joy it is to read 72 comments of well written and respectful opinion and debate. Hear, hear, gentlemen! You’ve done well.

  73. Sebastian says:

    Depends on the situation. If Pennsylvania starts banning guns, I move. If the feds do it, if someone organizes a reasonable plan to resist it, I’ll join. But that plan would have to make actually shooting people a last and final resort. There are a lot of things that can happen up until shooting starts. Like I said before, the Canadians have done pretty well with civil disobedience in defiance of the long gun registry.

  74. Dave says:

    Stepping outside the topic for a moment, I’ll have to second the John Adams recommendation. That show was done extremely well in my opinion. Giamatti did an outstanding job.

    As for what would be the breaking point for a sufficiently critical number of people? Perhaps something in the same ballpark as this Orwellian gun grabbing fantasy.

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070425/OPINION04/704250310/-1/OPINION

  75. oldblinddog says:

    “…if someone organizes a reasonable plan to resist it, I’ll join.”

    Okay, so here is the next question. Who constitutes someone? Is it a Governor or Senator or someone else?

    I don’t know.

  76. Sebastian says:

    Yeah… I remember that guy. That would cross my line, indeed. I suspect it would cross the line of most Americans who are not outright fascists.

  77. Peter says:

    “Now is also not the time to even suggest it.”

    I don’t know about that. As I mentioned earlier, there are any number of people still bleating about the Militia, and letting them know there’s a Line That Shall Not Be Crossed is instructive.

    Even if we don’t know or cannot agree where that line is.

    And some of your arguments are a bit weak, or at least off point.
    1) There won’t be people at the door demanding registration. There will be news items and perhaps letters. The knocking at the door will be done by armed men seeking violent confrontation with people (like me) who won’t comply with registration. They won’t accept a last minute conversion, they will be looking to make an example of folks. I don’t need to, nor do I expect to survive the encounter, I just need to kill one or two of them and wound a few others. That’s all any of us need to do: make sure they lose a couple of goons for every one of us they take out.
    2) NRA membership has nothing to do with Mike’s 3%. The Continental Army wasn’t restricted to the Sons of Liberty or the ‘Indians’ who conducted the Boston Tea Party. When Isoroku Yamamoto informed the Japanese High Command that invading the US was impossible because there was a rifle behind every blade of grass, he wasn’t waving around the 1940/41 NRA membership roster. All it will take is a couple of perfectly normal people getting the short end of the stick, and there will be more sudden gun rights supporters than we can imagine. No matter what else has changed over the years, the basic notion of fairness is still strong.

    And as I said before, keeping a low profile is what made Heller necessary, even though that is what I’d prefer. Having some Columbine-like event go down before everyone sees through President Obamarama makes a rash statement or two advisable.

  78. RAH says:

    Mike was warning of the reaction if national registration and licensing was imposed. In all fairness he is not that far off. How many gun bloggers were talking about what was the line was crossed for them before the decision. It has been in a lot a mind of gun rights activists that we are reaching a certain point of reaction.

    The Heller decision was made with the realization that if the Supreme Court had decided against the individual right interpretation that there was a possibility of an armed civil unrest among the normally law abiding. If they had said the state can ban guns I have no doubt that people would shoot back against the agents sent to confiscate once laws were imposed. That has always been in the back of the judge’s minds and ours too. Mike is just articulating that reality, to the foolish writer that came out for registration and licensing.

    The Heller decision had been a kick in the pants to the anti gun liberals and they are arguing against what has been decided. Enough of this stupidity, those that espouse these ideas should be quickly kick to the curb.

    Sebastian is right the solution is education not a call to arms, but the idiots out there do need to know that registration is deal breaker and will not be tolerated. We have seen Katrina and the lawlessness that lurks beneath the surface. The war against us Americans on September 11, 2001. Many of us have decided what we will do in situations. Virginia Tech slaughter has solidified that I will not go quietly to death.

  79. Sebastian says:

    I’m not suggesting that it’s directly related, but it’s a good gauge of how many people care enough about some semblance of gun rights enough to fork over 35 dollars a year. If 35 dollars is too much to ask of 76 million other gun owners, what’s going to make them join a revolution?

  80. Billy Beck says:

    Oldsmoblogger: “Solzhenitsyn raised the question (I can’t find the exact quote…)”

    A reading

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammer, pokers, or whatever was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you would be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

    If… if… We didn’t love freedom enough.”

    (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:“The Gulag Archipelago”, Vol. I, Part I; “The Prison Industry”, chapter 1; “Arrest”, footnote 5 at p. 13)

    ~~~~~

    Notes:

    *** Every time I ever see this discussion, I can count on a goodly number of people saying that “we’re not there yet”. The only only that they can really say with authority is that they are not “there yet”. Nobody can determine someone else’s threshold of outrage: the point where what could be lost in violence is not worth would could be gained. In the very same way that the socialists are wrong when they presume someone else’s values, it’s no good for some to say to others, “we’re not there yet”. This is an arbitrary presumption of what someone else should live with in the man-made arena of politics. (That last point is important: “life is not fair” platitudes don’t cut it, here.)

    For well-reasoned illumination of some of the principles, see Martin Luther King: “Why We Can’t Wait” (1964).

    *** (Let me only point out that I live in The Vampire State: New York. I hear some of you people from around the rest of the country talk about gun laws, and I laugh to keep from weeping. Handguns are practically impossible here. That’s just wrong. Period. And there is nothing to be done for it at the polls.)

    *** It might be important to understand that my preferred route is and always has been massed passive civil disobedience. Flood the courts, and embrace the prisons. I believe that there is just enough of a moral conscience in the culture to which to appeal with demonstrations of conviction. I think it’s the last ditch before violence, which is eventually inevitable otherwise.

    I might have more to say when I think of it.

  81. Sebastian says:

    Okay, so here is the next question. Who constitutes someone? Is it a Governor or Senator or someone else?

    Doesn’t matter too much. Depends more on their ideas and level of support. I think the most likely course is a state or part of a state secedes from the United States because it’s turned into something they don’t feel like they signed up for.

  82. Sebastian says:

    I don’t presume to tell someone else what their line is. But if that line is crossed, why aren’t you shooting? And if that line is not crossed, why aren’t you helping win the political struggle?

  83. RAH says:

    The warning on civil disobedience is supposed to be a deterrent that the gun control people better not go down that path. Gun control sympathizers do not think of the consequences of their actions and Mike’s point is just an illustration a possibility and asking do the gun control people want to risk a civil war?

  84. Dave says:

    A lot of folks don’t join the NRA based on reasons entirely different than a lack of concern in this area. As for the rest, many unfortunately don’t give sufficient attention to the issues at hand for any number of reasons. My brother for exampe. Former marine, former firearms instructor, one of the handiest men with a handgun or rifle I know. He just isn’t active in the political side of things. I know for a fact he doesn’t have an anti gun thought in his head though, and not to sound truculent, but I’d pity the fool that broke into his house with bad intentions.

  85. Sebastian says:

    Even if you’re going to concede that a warning that severe enough gun control could bring about civil war, and even conceding that it’s a wise thing to send to a newspaper, how this was approached was just bad. I’ve sparred with Mike V. on here before, and found him to be abrasive and insulting, just as he was in that letter. The only message sent there is that gun owners are a bunch of jackasses who will go off half cocked if you piss them off.

  86. Sebastian says:

    I would agree with that Dave. It’s not a perfect indicator. But even GOA, if you look at their form 990s, probably doesn’t have more than 30,000 or so dues paying members, and GOA probably attracts people who would be far more willing to start shooting than most.

  87. cabinboy says:

    Sebastian:

    What Vanderboegh, Beck, and others are saying is absolutely and indispensably “helping to win the political struggle”.

    Can’t you see that?

    Politicians of America and your supporters:

    Don’t do X, because if you do, I will do Y.

    Ergo, X is bad policy.

    Just leave us the eff alone.

    Don’t you think the Nine Anointed Geniuses of SCOTUS and their staffs discussed what a 5-4 decision the other way in Heller would have ignited?

    PS: Advocacy of the musket and cartridge bag as an ultimate remedy does not preclude other political activity, either.

    Have a good evening.

  88. RAH says:

    Mike V is the one taking the risk by making himself so public. But a mild warning to those who think Heller gives them leave for registration that this could become a “public safety hazard” is not amiss. Just ask if they really want to go down that road. Maybe they will wake up to the dangers of pushing people into corners.

  89. tjbbpgob says:

    Wow, somebody let loose a shitstorm here, way to go Mike.

  90. Sebastian says:

    Don’t you think the Nine Anointed Geniuses of SCOTUS and their staffs discussed what a 5-4 decision the other way in Heller would have ignited?

    No, I don’t think they did. If that was the case, apparently four justices were willing to risk it. And no, I don’t see how it’s helping, because if offers those with some sympathies to our cause to stay away from activism because they don’t want to associate with “those types of people”

    Yes, even most gun owners who want to help the cause a bit are often turned off by extremist nonsense. I’ve seen it happen more than a few times.

  91. Billy Beck says:

    Sebastian: “I don’t presume to tell someone else what their line is.”

    July 23rd, 2008 at 1:24 pm (above), you wrote: “But the point is, we’re not at that point yet. In fact, we’re not anywhere close.”

    Look; I see the context of the thing. The political concrete immediately at hand was registration enforced at every household. When you say “we’re not there yet”, I’m not sure whether you’re talking about the bureaubots’ trying a move like that, or someone shooting back at them. It actually makes little or no difference to me. That’s because what you might be willing to live with is not necessarily the same thing as what someone else might. The larger, more general and principled, point is that there might be lots of people with very good reasons of their very own whose political patience does not run to the lengths of yours.

    It would be a lot more true for you to say, “I’m not there yet. I’m not anywhere close.”

    “But if that line is crossed, why aren’t you shooting?

    Because I’m not there yet. I’m not anywhere close, and I’ve been putting up with rotten bullshit politics all my adult life. That’s why.

    “And if that line is not crossed, why aren’t you helping win the political struggle?”

    What makes you think I’m not?

    ~~~~~

    I think Vanderboegh’s warning is fair.

  92. There is a big switch that regulates how we fight for our constitutionally enumerated rights. On one side of the switch we fight with our money, our pens, and our keyboards. We fight for our rights politically, and do all we can to prevent the switch from being flipped. I think we all know what’s on the other side of the switch.

    In his letter, Mike is definitely fighting on the political side of the switch. Because all he’s doing is informing all who may read of what’s on the other side of the switch.

    If there’s anything our side has over the other; it’s passion. Our grassroots beat their privately-funded astroturf any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. But we can’t let our opponents mistake our civility for weakness. We can equivocate for decades on our other rights, but we believers know that when the conversation flips to our right to keep and bear arms against a tyrannical government, there is a very dangerous territory on the conversational battlefield. We would do our opponents a grievous disservice to fail to post a big skull and crossbones (way?) back at our line in the sand before we return to the current line of battle.

    Certainly an argument can be made that even hinting of the other side of the switch is detrimental to our progress on this side of it. However, it should be the duty of every countryman willing to pick up his or her rifle, to (infrequently!) remind our detractors that while our arguments are spirited, our facts straight, and our tongues sharp; we have not yet begun to fight.

    Peter said, “If I cannot have your respect, I will settle for your fear.”
    I think that sums it up quite nicely.

    As for the 3%, Sebastian, you seem to think the government can win a war with the 3% without alienating the 97%. Certainly, this would be the case if the 3% were all to gather in one large area surrounded by nothing. But I think we, and they, know better than that. If it is your contention that there IS no 3%, I would remind you that the political fight is a very public one, and those who have abandoned the political fight most certainly don’t blog about it.

    Assuming Mike’s 3%; on the other side of the switch they don’t have to worry about public opinion. History is not changed by the majority, it’s changed by determined minorities. Lead and the sheep will follow. Philosophies, wills, and votes are one thing; but bullets are things entirely different.

    Anon said “You start shooting, you become a threat to them. And the idea of liberty will die at the hands of a mob.”
    You’re still talking about sheep. If you lie down before them, they may stomp on you; but if you stand, they will do nothing.

    Sebastian, as you talk about politics, civil wars, and lines in the sand, I wonder where your end-of-the-line for political recourse is? What if we lost Heller, and many other smaller battles? Would you truly abandon the political process, or would you still blog; “Don’t worry, this is just a rough patch. We just need to wait this out, and we’ll be fine!” Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I suspect the latter. I certainly wouldn’t cast you the useful idiot, but I’m personally curious. If your line is yours alone to know, please feel free to ignore this question.

    Again, great discussion all around.

  93. Sebastian says:

    Billy — I’ll concede that point. I am indeed trying to persuade people where the line should be. But I won’t tell you I’m definitely 100% right, and there’s no room to disagree.

  94. RAH says:

    I just showed my son the letter that Mike V wrote and he said that was stupid and very hostile and unwise. That is from an 18-year hot-blooded male who is steeped in the gun rights from his parents.

    I agree with Mike V sentiment and the probability that armed resistance to national registration would occur but it was overkill. First we argue the reason before we say that we will fight.

    I doubt that the nine judges discussed the risks of unrest, but they realized the risk for sure. After all the election of 2000 was a constitutional crisis and if it went to the House to choose the President, I know that riots and property damage would have occurred. It was happening during the campaign between Gore and Bush, mostly by the Democrats.

  95. Billy Beck says:

    Sebastian — “Billy — I’ll concede that point. I am indeed trying to persuade people where the line should be. But I won’t tell you I’m definitely 100% right, and there’s no room to disagree.”

    Let me take that this way: if things keep going at their current historical rate in the same directions, I think you’ll start changing your mind soon enough.

  96. oldblinddog says:

    …a state or part of a state secedes from the United States…

    That ain’t gonna happen. So, again I ask: What will it take?

  97. RAH says:

    This passion is not just happening in the isolation of gun rights. People are getting fed up with police corruption, no knock raids, and criminals who feel they own the streets. People are fighting back and with the criminals getting killed as shown on Clayton Cramer site. There is less and less sympathy for the criminal. Horn may have been indicted a few years ago even in Texas. Not now.

    Catching cops in abuse of power with recordings and video have energized and enraged a lot of people. Katrina and the confiscation of guns and the criminality of the police have engendered a lot of anger toward police.

    After Katrina a lot of people have decided in similar circumstances if police try to take guns they will be considered the enemy and shot.

    There is a lot of anger and foolish liberals who think they can blithely say registration are wrong. But lets do it in the public arena do with reason and logic, than threats.

  98. Sebastian says:

    This passion is not just happening in the isolation of gun rights. People are getting fed up with police corruption, no knock raids, and criminals who feel they own the streets.

    Are they, or is it just people who read blogs? Because it’s not even an issue in the 2008 election. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s right, but I think you overestimate the outrage.

  99. Sebastian says:

    What will it take?

    It’s hard to say oldblinddog. I can’t tell you if X, Y, or Z happens, I’ll definitely start shooting. I will be honest with you, I’m probably not the guy who’s going to start it. Whether I’d join would depend on what the transgressions are, what kind of new order the group in question wanted, and whether they have enough people behind them to make a difference.

  100. oldblinddog says:

    Well that is an honest answer and probably the same that I would give if pressed. What I fear is that we have become the proverbial frog in the pot of water that is slowly rising in temperature. By the time it reaches boiling it is too late. The reason is aptly illustrated by Brovard’s essay~there are too many on the government dole to overcome their voting block~ which makes the end inevitable…one way or the other.

  101. RAh says:

    It is not just blogs it is youtube and the videos being seen and immediately officers are fired. Brett Darrow in St Charles. The State Utah officer, the driver won in court plus costs. Just two examples.

    It is similar to the anger against illegal immigration. Everyone saw the change in the communities and the lack of action by our public servants. Prince William County VA, the county council decided to solve the day labor problem by erecting a building. The community was tired of have their yards walked on, the public urination, the lack of respect by the illegals. The community said hell no not a building for day laborers, just get rid of the illegals. The council said that was impossible and that the building was the correct solution. County elections came up in a couple of months. Guess what all the council members that were for the day laborer building were defeated. Those who wanted to crack down were elected. Change of law and 50% of the illegal left before the law was enacted. That summer Congress wanted to settle immigration and the country rose in anger. That was sudden. The politicians were clueless that people were fed up.

    So yes, I see the signs. Many are not yet upset, but everyone saw the police corruption in Katrina. The corruption of the prosecutor’s office of the Duke lacrosse team that tried to crucify white males for a false charge.

    The Memphis Tennessee illegal to take a photo of a cop that just happened. The public realization that a lot of cops abuse power. Your Dickerson group resisting cops abuse of the law.

    People are getting upset, given the right trigger and the public will get loud. National registration would upset the public. Not to armed resistance but enough to defeat such foolishness.

    Lets cool our rhetoric and realize that we are winning this war on guns. Keep it civil but refuse to allow them an inch. No compromise.

  102. Peter says:

    “I will be honest with you, I’m probably not the guy who’s going to start it.”

    Nor necessarily should you. As I already said, you’re not a single guy anymore, and if you have kids running around, the best you can probably do is bury what you have and try to ride it out. And help with communication or food or whatever.

    And don’t keep sliding into the whole armed revolution thing, it’s not inevitable. All that needs to be done is to make them afraid to come after any of us. I sincerely doubt that there is another Madison or Jefferson currently learning how to finger paint, and any wholesale replacement of what we have is likely to be a disaster. I have recently tripped over several online novels written by some Aryan Nation thugs about overthrowing the government, and that will, sure as God made little fishes, end up like Russia in the 1920’s with the Stalinists versus the Trotskyites. Suspending or replacing the Constitution is the very last thing we want.

  103. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    re: Snowflakes in Hell, no, er, ah, Snowflakes in Spirited Debate, but don’t scare the straights, er, ah, liberals.

    But first, for something really different, two appopriate quotes:

    “Yankee Doodle came to terms, reading Martin Buber,
    Stuck a feather in his cap and called it Schicklegruber.”
    — Firesign Theatre, “Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.”

    AND:

    “Hey, look here Snowflake. I ain’t got nothin to learn from no house n—r, you hear?”

    “I am a free man, as was my father before me.”

    “Oh, you free.”

    “Yes.”

    “Oh, good. Well, why don’t you move your free black ass on outta my space fore I have to bust it up?”

    — Glory.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Well, as I seem to be giving Sebastian some more philosophical flatus, may I address at random some of the bill of particulars against this “crank” whose face I look at in the mirror every morning?

    Sebastian says: July 23rd, 2008 at 9:27 pm The problem is, I don’t think you would even have 3% of the population willing to take up arms against the current government unless things take a serious turn for the worse. 3% of the population is nine million people. If you can’t even get 5 million people to join the NRA in defense of their gun rights, which is a far less serious commitment than making war against your own government, you’re not getting 9 million. You’re probably not even getting a million.

    MBV: Actually, MY 3% is just 3% of American GUNOWNERS. And even if it was only 1% of them it would still be enough. In any case, you need not ally yourself with us. The “authorities” will know the difference. The Nazis did not pick up everyone’s weapons (which had been previously registered under a Weimar Republic-era law) they only picked up the ones of their enemies who that thought would give them trouble. I’d say by your solemn defense of the outrageous conduct of the ATF in re the railroaded David Olofson, you’ve probably licked their boots enough to justify “special status.” Besides, you’re a LEO aren’t you? Your one of the “only ones” David Codrea is often so derisive of. You’ll keep your guns no matter what. And all you “sportsmen” out there who are so afraid that “nuts” and “cranks” are going to hamper your right to blow away fuzzy animals, fear not. Even in the most oppressive regimes of the 20th Century, hunting was allowed. Hell, Goering was a great hunter, he just didn’t firearms in the hands of anybody who opposed him. Likewise, even Stalin didn’t confiscate hunting rifles, but he made damn sure that nobody had more ammo than they needed to harvest game for the winter. Even made them turn in the spent brass of what little they were allowed. But they still got to hunt, so what are YOU worried about?

    Sebastian says: July 23rd, 2008 at 10:13 pm My title says nothing about starting a civil war. . .

    MBV: My point, if you read the letter at all, is not that I want a civil war, it is that these idiots will unintentionally start one out of ignorance of their opponents, i.e., us. Or, since you don’t want to be grouped with such a bad apple as me, at least in ignorance of me and my friends, the despised 3%.

    Then you say: “Everyone in this thread should do one exercise. Go find someone who is not a gun owner. Someone who is your average run of the mill, middle of the road suburban Democrat or Republican, and start talking to them about how if they make you register your guns, you’ll shoot the bastards who come to do it dead. See how they react to that, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.”

    MBV: I have, that is why I have given up on persuasion, facts, argument, history, logic and common sense. My way works, on an individual basis. Witness this anecdote from the late 90s. You may read the entire essay by going to
    http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2007/04/guest-editorial-you-cant-repeal-law-of.html. I was responding to a call by Benjamin Wittes to repeal the 2nd Amendment. The essay is entitled, You Can’t Repeal the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    Dear Ben,

    I want to say how refreshing your New Republic article of 19 March was for its intellectual honesty. After three decades of my arguing the originalist position of the 2nd Amendment with every sort of hoplophobe known to mankind, your collectivist “by any means necessary” proposal strips the self-deception and cant away from the anti-gun position. Still, even if you are successful in advancing it, your proposal will come apart in the real world when it smacks into the one law that cannot be repealed: the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    Some years back, I was the designated “gun-nut goat” on a public forum panel discussing “gun violence.” It was held in Birmingham, Alabama at Children’s Hospital. As I was placing pro-2nd Amendment literature on the seats before the event, a child psychiatrist (so identified by the name badge on his white coat) came up to me, looked at the leaflets and said, with a smile and with what he mistook to be bravery, “You know, I think ALL guns should be banned.”

    I smiled back and replied, “Really? Do you own a gun?”

    He was taken aback. “Well, NO,” he said, with all the fear and loathing of Dracula confronted by a Crucifix with wolf’s bane garlands.

    “Well, how do you propose to get mine then?”

    He paused, then said, “Well, we’ll pass a law and you’ll have to turn them in to the government.”

    I laughed. “Wrong, sport. Let me tell you how that would work. If you want my gun, you’re going to have to kill me to get it. Not only that, but you’re going to have to kill my son, my brother and all our friends. And if even ten percent of American gunowners feel the way we do, you’re going to have to kill upwards of eight and a half million people, and that doesn’t count all the anti-freedom pukes like you that we’ll kill in righteous self-defense before we meet our Maker, and we intend to make that MORE than a one to one ratio. So you’ve got to ask yourself, sport: Is it worth it?”

    I was still smiling, he wasn’t. “Wuh, wuh, well,” he stammered, “you’re PARANOID.”

    I laughed again. “OK,” I said agreeably, “let’s admit that you’re the expert in that field and say that you’re right. Let’s say I am paranoid.” And here, I opened my eyes wide, began to edge forward and dropped my voice an octave so the next words came out most sinisterly. “Let’s say I’m crazy.”

    He involuntarily backed up. I winked at him and finished, “That just complicates your problem, doesn’t it?” He was so plainly frightened that I busted out laughing and ruined the effect. He was in full reverse gear when I called after him.

    “Just do me one favor, sport. If you want my gun, you come get it. Don’t send someone else’s son or daughter in federal service. YOU come get it.” I winked at him again. “And, hey, I might even give it to you after I unload it.”

    It turned out that he also was on the panel. He waited until I took a seat and then found a chair as far away from me as he could get.

    I have found over the years that modern day so-called liberals (who bear little resemblance intellectually to their claimed classical liberal ancestors) lack the courage of their convictions. There is no principle so dear that they are willing to personally suffer for, let alone die for. Government, blessed government, is their idol. If they are aggrieved, oppressed, or merely imagine that they are oppressed, it is to government that they turn. There hasn’t been a liberal willing to die for his principles since the Civil Rights movement. They are more than willing to dispatch the men and women of government to die in their place, however. But, and I think this is more dangerous to the country, they also extrapolate from their own cowardice and believe that all people (even those who disagree with them) will, in the end, do what they’re told by Government.

    MBV again: Which is why I was trying to explain to the twit who wrote the Madison letter. We don’t think like you do, we don’t believe like you do, we don’t scare like you do. . . and were armed. Deal with it. Our problem throughout recent history is that we’ve been too polite, too accomodating and too bloody “law-abiding.” Being law-abiding in a society whose laws do not respect God-given inalienable rights is no virtue. It is, in fact, suicidal for free people. So if, over the past decade, I have scared the crap out of every gun prohibitionist I can find, in person or in print, then I figure I have done my duty. Let the think I’m crazy, as I said, it just complicates their problem, doesn’t it?

    Sebastian says: July 24th, 2008 at 12:40 am Even if you’re going to concede that a warning that severe enough gun control could bring about civil war, and even conceding that it’s a wise thing to send to a newspaper, how this was approached was just bad. I’ve sparred with Mike V. on here before, and found him to be abrasive and insulting, just as he was in that letter. The only message sent there is that gun owners are a bunch of jackasses who will go off half cocked if you piss them off.

    MBV: And that’s EXACTLY the point I’m trying to make. We HAVE to convince these mokes that we are NOT like them, and convince them that there are sufficient numbers of us that it will be a very bad trade if they try. You know, where is it written that, when you are standing beside the road and you see a car careening down it toward a bridge that is out, that you have to say, quietly and politely, “Uh, excuse me, er, ah, please sir, you are about to get everybody in that car well, if not killed then certainly seriously harmed. Not to, uh, scare you or anything.” They’re already dead by the time you get to “ah.” NO. You jump out into the road, waving your arms and yell at the top of your lungs, “STOP THE CAR JACKASS OR YOU’RE ALL GONNA DIE!” Which is the more moral and humane thing to do? These folks are in their own little cowardly liberal world. It is the right thing to do to puncture their reverie. Would you rather we have to shoot them without warning? So, I’m abrasive and insulting? So what? Speaking softly is only of some usefulness when the other guy recognizes the big stick in your hand. If you hold it behind your back (and keep it there for 70 years) he isn’t likely to respect your opinion, or to believe that you will whop him upside the head if he tries to rob you, ergo making robbery attempts more likely. Isn’t that the way it works in the street? Well, that’s the same for predatory governments too.

    As far as “abrasive and insulting,” you mean instead of the sweet reasoning of calling me a “lunatic,” a “crank,” and other ad hominem appelations? Yes, I can see how much we differ in that.

    Sebastian says: July 23rd, 2008 at 5:23 pm There is no entity called “government” which can be frightened into submission. You have to persuade people, and work to get politicians who agree with you elected. That’s the only way you can affect change in a representative government.

    MBV: If you think governments can’t be frightened you weren’t paying attention in the 90s. That’s not a sin, a lot of people weren’t. But I suggest you go dig up my essay, Resistance is Futile: Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules, for a little revelatory history. The fact of the matter is we DID scare the Clintonistas into changing their behavior. Also see “FBI’s Uneasy Alliance”, USA Today, 29 November 1999.

    Then “Mostly Genius” sez: July 23rd, 2008 at 4:55 pm Vanderboegh is a crank. Pure and simple. He is always agitating for somebody to “push the reset button.” The more you read of his stuff the more it becomes clear that he is the lunatic fringe. Apparently a democracy that votes against his principles is a government that needs to be overthrown. Some bloggers that I respect give him favorable exposure, but I do not think it benefits our side at all

    MBV: A “democracy,” my self-described proto-genius, is a type of government the Founders despised and feared. That is why they crafted an inefficient constitutional republic of counterpoised branches and limited powers. Three wolves and a sheep may sit down at the table to vote on what, or who, to have for dinner. THAT is democracy. And as my “principles” are those of my own God-given and inalienable rights, yer bloody well right that a government which stands against them and the Founders’ republic needs to be overthrown. And as for my work benefiting “our side not at all,” you are undoubtedly right, as we do not fight on the same side apparently. Is it a bad time to ask that, if you do not intend to fight for your rights, that you donate your guns and ammunition to somebody who will? We also accept donations of food, night vision devices, body armor, helmets, etc., just anything of military utility you have laying around. I mean, if you’re not going to fight you won’t be needing them, right? If you’re truly a genius you can see the logic of that, certainly. Tell me your address by private email and I can have a poor but deserving militiaman pick up your unwanted freedom tools at your doorstep. You don’t even have to drop them in the “Constitutional Goodwill Box” down by the WalMart.

    Sebastian says: July 23rd, 2008 at 3:38 pm Matt,I agree with civil disobedience. It’s worked well for the Canadians many of whom have defied their long arm registry. Enough that the government can’t really enforce it.

    MBV: I have been preaching civil disobedience on this issue and others since the 90s. See my short story, “The Window War” or my “Rock ‘Em” series. I have also advocated 4473 parties and “unofficial gunshows” if the Feds pass a “gun show loophole” law.

    Sebastian says: July 23rd, 2008 at 3:50 pm Back against the wall means that the second amendment is being relegated into meaningless, not through constitutional amendment, but through extralegal means, and we’re powerless to stop it politically. That does not describe our present situation. But yes, I am suggesting that people either need to get involved in the political fight, or start shooting. There is no awkward period where you get to do nothing in the political sphere, because it’s all pointless, but you’re waiting for the shooting to start. What is Mike V. doing to defeat anti-gun politicians and help elect pro-gun politicians? What pro-gun politicians has he been donating money to? When was the last time he wrote a letter to the editor that was trying to change hearts and minds rather than saying “don’t do X, or I’ll shoot you?”

    MBV: All of these things I have done for years to no avail. Do you think my stance has been crafted without experience, without thought? On the other hand, I have watched as you have used this blog to excuse ATF misconduct in the Olofson case, blaming the victim for his own framing. What then have you done to validate your brave words at the top of this blog? Diddly squat, I’d say.

    Then you say: If we don’t end up with our backs against a wall it will be because a lot of people worked very hard to avoid that possibility politically. I won’t deny there’s a line that the government can’t cross, and what to do if the line gets crossed. That’s something to be discussed among ourselves. But not something to be discussing in front of the people we need on our side in order to avoid it coming to that.

    MBV: Ah, that royal “we” again. If someone tries to rob you on the street, or breaks into your home, do you not yell, “Halt! Or I’ll SHOOT!”? Do you retreat to some inner sanctum and call up your friends to discuss what measures should be taken against the thief, the rapist, the murderer? Of course not. My writing occupies the same logic as a sign posted on the doorway, “This property insured by Smith and Wesson.” The fact that I’m addressing a predatory government and those who advocate for it and not an individual criminal is a matter of scale and nothing else.

    Finally, someone above tried to get you to go look at my Introduction to ‘Absolved’, recently posted. I will save you the trouble, here it is in its entirety.

    Internet Introduction to ‘Absolved’
    by Mike Vanderboegh

    “Cherish your enemies – they teach you the best lessons”

    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.” ~ John Locke

    So reads the plaque on Phil Gordon’s wall in his Sipsey Street home the moment before all hell breaks loose. In ‘Absolved’, I try to explore the depths of Locke’s belief to discover where it might lead us in the near future.

    Since I began posting chapters of ‘Absolved’ on the ‘net, I have been the recipient of many emails – some laudatory, some critical. I have been taken to task by some for killing off all my characters, for example. I can tell you that while my novel, like war, has its casualties, I “kill off” no one in my tale who either doesn’t deserve it or who isn’t willing to make the trade for what they perceive to be the greater good. Like all wars, there are “collateral” casualties. It would not be believable if there weren’t. I can only tell you that I am not bloodthirsty. Writing about this subject actually depresses me. I have a son and two teenage daughters, all of whom I am immensely proud. My son in turn has two sons of his own. I want to live long enough to sing all my grandchildren to sleep to the tunes of Hobo’s Lullabye, Bold Fenian Men, Rising of the Moon and the Minstrel Boy, just as I did with my own children.

    Another civil war in this country is the last thing I want.

    “The Useful Dire Warning”

    So why write about one? Perhaps, as David Brin, author of the magnificent book The Postman (which bears no resemblance to the Costner cinematic flop), wrote in a forward to a reprint of Pat Frank’s classic Alas, Babylon:

    Two books that emerged at roughly the same time as Alas, Babylon were Eugene Burdick’s Fail Safe and Peter George’s Red Alert, which later inspired Stanley Kubrick to make the magnificently humorous and thoughtful Dr. Strangelove. As archetypes of the useful dire warning, each dissected a specific possible failure mode, bringing it to the awareness of so many that, ironically, their particular type of debacle became much less likely. Indeed, the “self-preventing prophecy” may be the highest and most useful species in all of the vast, imaginative genus of speculative fiction. In much the same way that Orwell’s 1984 girded millions against “Big Brother,” these tales may have helped to keep their own nightmares from coming true. In other words, our most vivid nightmares may have been utterly practical, helping to save our lives. — David Brin, Foreward to the First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition of Pat Frank’s ‘Alas, Babylon’, 2005, p. X.

    One of the things about ‘Absolved’ that has come in for both praise and criticism is the deadly details. When Phil Gordon or Kraut Mueller craft improvised rifle grenades, you can tell from the sometimes mind-numbing detail that it is certainly possible to do so. When thousands of Brightfire mercenaries-in-training are crushed under a fuel-air-explosive delivered by crop duster, you believe it is possible because, frankly, it IS. They say to write about what you know, and although in most cases I have not personally done the things that my characters in the book do, I have done enough research to know that it can be done.

    There are characters in the book (most of them in fact) who resemble real people, or composites of two or three real people, who I have actually known. For example, “The Flying Dutchman,” introduced in a future chapter is a sure-’nuff real smuggler pilot, a larger-than-life character I met a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, as they say. He represents the archetype of the smuggler as freedom fighter just as much as John Hancock, Dr. Syn, Han Solo, Malcolm Reynolds or the grocery stock-boy Dale in the canceled CBS television series, Jericho. Like Hancock, however, the Flying Dutchman has the advantage of being a real American. If I place him in fictional circumstances, he reacts the way he would in life, I think. If he dislikes my representation of him, I’m sure he’ll let me know. After I’m done, you may play the game of pin-the-caricature-on-the-real-jackass to your heart’s content and those who know me best will no doubt be able to pick out characters who I have patterned on them.

    Take Kraut Mueller, for example. Like the fictional Kraut, I have played a cat-and-mouse game with the ATF since the 90s. There is, I confess, more than a slight resemblance between us. Even so, Kraut is a better man than me, smarter, more aggressive in his actions, and more competent. The real me is not half as interesting as Kraut. If I were to try to cook up shaped charges in a basement, I’d be dead already. Frankly, I’m a klutz.

    But the vignettes that will hopefully coalesce into a narrative that flows from the terrible opening to a logical conclusion (and a good read in between) are also presented with such detail for a purpose. If this book is to operate as a “useful dire warning,” then both real sides in my imaginary civil war (and they are VERY real, just ask David Olofson and his victimized family — for them this war has already started and is NOT imaginary) must be able to recognize the real threat to avoid it.

    In this, I am frankly writing as much a cautionary tale for the out-of-control gun cops of the ATF as anyone. For that warning to be credible, I must also present what amounts to a combination field manual, technical manual and call to arms for my beloved gunnies of the armed citizenry. They need to know how powerful they could truly be if they were pushed into a corner.

    Both sides must get the point in order to avoid conflict.

    I hope that when I’m done, ‘Absolved’ can perhaps take its place alongside these other “useful dire warnings.” Being a practical man, however, I recognize that this is but a glimmering hope. Events rush by, pushing us like rudder-less boats in a strong current to where we know not.

    A peaceful pool?

    Perhaps.

    The thunderous cataclysm of a deadly falls?

    Perhaps, in the wicked light of the Olofson case, the latter is more likely.

    The Unintended Inspiration

    When completed my book will be dedicated, as most books are, to the one person, or persons, who made it all possible. Oh, I will have a Forward thanking all the folks who have assisted me in my project, of course. Chief among these will be my long-suffering wife Rosey, my kids, other gunnies and fellow workers in the thankless task of trying to restore our tottering constitutional republic.

    But I think I will be dedicating ‘Absolved’ to “Waco Jim” Cavanaugh and Special Agent Jody Keeku of the ATF, the blundering, deadly yet unintended inspiration for all my work. For most of you, neither needs an introduction. For the rest of you, the very moniker of “Waco Jim” should tell you the larger portion of his sins. Keeku was the principal agent of David Olofson’s frame-up and imprisonment.

    Whether my novel is a prescient glimpse into a bloody future or a “useful dire warning” that is heeded, is entirely up to the likes of them and the corrupt politicians who hold their leashes.

    It is they who by their conduct will absolve us of any further obedience to an oppressive regime. And as I point out in ‘Absolved’, if the law no longer protects us, then they will find to their sorrow it does not protect them either.

    The choice is theirs.

    So I dedicate ‘Absolved’ to them and their thuggish fellow gang members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    As Ho Chi Minh once observed, “Cherish your enemies – they teach you the best lessons.”

    I hope they understand that before it is too late.

    Mike Vanderboegh
    Pinson, Alabama
    21 July 2008

    Thus endeth the (long) lesson.

  104. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Oh, yeah, I forgot one thing: III

  105. anonymous says:

    Arrrggh!! Vanderboegh’s letter to the paper was not helpful to our cause. I am shocked at the pessimism some gunnies still cling to in the aftermath of the Heller decision; since at long last the tide is clearly on the side of virtue.

    Look, I’ve commented at this blog before under my actual name but for this particular comment I prefer to remain anonymous because of the background I am going to reveal. I don’t know how old some of you folks are or where you live, but I live in California and I’ve been fighting gun-control ever since 1989 and the first AW ban in California. I even joined the short-lived San Diego Militia back in the dark days of 1994, and in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing when the first news reports claimed McVeigh was a Militia Member I volunteered to speak to the TV news to plead our innocence. I don’t take a back seat to anyone when it comes to zealous defense of our rights.

    It would be helpful for people to remember just how destructive McVeigh was to our cause. According to the biography “American Monster”, McVeigh’s line was crossed when the Fed AW ban was passed into law in 1994. And that fool didn’t change his mind even though many of the idiots who passed that law lost reelection in one of the biggest election blowouts ever. The new majority had promised hearings on Waco and Ruby Ridge and repeal of the AW ban, but before any of that could happen McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal bullding and ruined everything.

    Now, just like 1995, is a time for careful pushing of the legal envelop and not a time for reckless threats of violence. Now is a time for politics, not revolution. Our side is winning and using thoughtful strategy our momentum can become unstoppable. If I have enough patience for politics to glacially grind us to total victory while living under the legal restrictions of California than so can the rest of you. Please don’t screw things up. Eventually I want a machinegun too!

  106. Justthisguy says:

    The references to Winston County in the novel really got to me.

    I knew a guy from Winston County, Alabama, when I was a freshman at Ga. Tech. He was very proud of his people, that when Alabama seceded from the U.S., Winston County seceded from Alabama. They had been shit upon by the state government ever since, but still stood by their principles.

  107. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    “Arrrggh!! Vanderboegh’s letter to the paper was not helpful to our cause. I am shocked at the pessimism some gunnies still cling to in the aftermath of the Heller decision; since at long last the tide is clearly on the side of virtue.”

    MBV: Heller is trumped by Olofson. As long as the ATF violates the law with impunity then no SC decision protects you, and if you think Heller was net gain, you haven’t looked at the barndoors for collectivist mischief that were created by it. Until ATF abuse is reined in, Heller means exactly . . . dick.

    “There are more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — Shakespeare.

    Insofar as the OKC bombing, there is very little you can tell me that and much that I could tell you. OK, so you ran for the exits of the militia movement afterward, no shame, many did. But if you think you KNOW what happened before, during and after OKC, you don’t. Read:

    The Secret Life of Bill Clinton by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

    In Bad Company by Prof. Mark Hamm

    or just google my name and OKC bombing.

    The real story is what the militia movement did to both the neoNazi terrorists and their FBI handlers AFTER the bombing. For that you’ll have to wait on Dr. Robert Churchill’s upcoming book.

    But as my grandpa said, “Don’t try to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, son. She’s a pro.”

  108. Billy Beck says:

    “I am shocked at the pessimism some gunnies still cling to in the aftermath of the Heller decision; since at long last the tide is clearly on the side of virtue.”

    I will never apologize for this: that is simply delusional.

  109. Ahab says:

    but if the average LEO thinks that he might not go home to his family because of this sort of thing, then it might be worth it.

    Shockingly, that’s the dumbest thing that’s been written in this entire thread. If the average LEO thinks he’s not going home to his family, then he’s going to bring lots of friends and his friends will have lots of guns. He won’t “stay home”, he’ll do his job and your stupid ass will end up dead.

    Of course, it has been my personal experience that people like Mikey V. are “all talk, no walk”, meaning that they’re more than content to agitate about revolution and shooting the bastards, but if the hammer were actually to fall, would fold like a 3-7 offsuite.

  110. Billy Beck says:

    Seem to me that it takes a lot more cowardice to call another man a coward online. Any fool can do that.

  111. Ahab says:

    OH NO I MADE AN AD HOMINEM, ALL MY POINTS ARE IMMEDIATELY INVALID.

    Well it certainly doesn’t take courage and guts to blog about shooting cops – that’s not a “principled stand”, it’s being a moron.

    You know what’s crazy? Guys like Sebastian have probably done more to defend your right to keep and bear arms than Mikey V. will accomplish in his entire life, and yet you punkasses are more than willing to pillory him for “compromising” or being unprincipled – yet what exactly have you done?

    Even more crazy, I’m actually a 2nd Amendment extremist – I want machine guns legalized, unlimited nationwide carry laws, you name it I want it. What kills me is all the “Only Ones” bullshit and talk about shooting cops only helps to further the divide between law enforcement and everyone else; which ultimate is a pretty stupid idea. There are a lot more pro-gun, conservative cops out there that don’t want to kick in your door than there are antis, but the minute you start talking about shooting cops, about shooting my friends, you lose my support.

  112. Billy Beck says:

    “Well it certainly doesn’t take courage and guts to blog about shooting cops – that’s not a ‘principled stand’, it’s being a moron.”

    And what does that word mean in your usage, exactly? It almost looks like you’re trying to make an epistemic point, but I’ll tell you this: I’ve been reading Mike for over fifteen years. I know what a moron is. He’s not one.

    “…what exactly have you done?”

    Oh, please. Don’t you think I know a Pearls Before Swine Moment when I see one? Don’t ply me with your cynicism. I know good and well that there is no answer to that question — no matter any facts whatever — that will meet with your approval.

    “…you lose my support.”

    {shrug} I’m sure the tragedy is heartbreaking. I’ll get through it.

  113. SayUncle says:

    I know good and well that there is no answer to that question — no matter any facts whatever — that will meet with your approval.

    I think sebastian can safely say the same thing.

  114. Billy Beck says:

    I’m not the one who demanded credentials, Unc. Get it?

    I’m satisfied that everyone here has their heart in the right place.

  115. SayUncle says:

    Others did demand credentials. I took his statement to be more general.

  116. RAH says:

    It is not smart to wave a red flag in front of a bull. Saying to all and sundry that you will shoot cops is reckless and does give justification for the gun controller that you are too dangerous to them to have a gun. And that is exactly the message you want since you want to be percieved as crazy and dangerous.

    That is your choice, but If crap does happen you will be one of the ones that die first. Because you have made yourself the target.

    Mike V was only trying to warn people not to start something that can have severe consequences, but when we start talking about shooting cops I can just imagine these comments being used in a Congressional Hearing.

    Gun rights were on the decline and they are on the upswing. Heller had nothing to do with machine guns and ATF Olafson case.

    Olafson may not had a good defense or maybe the evidence was cooked. I do not know. But that has nothing to do with registration which was the original point.

  117. Billy Beck says:

    “It is not smart to wave a red flag in front of a bull.”

    That shit goes both ways.

    “I can just imagine these comments being used in a Congressional Hearing.”

    Me, too. I think that’s a good thing.

  118. RAH says:

    Also cops do risk calculations all the time. When riots and public disorder they do not choose to risk themselves and will sit it out many times. Cops will band together when they figure the odds are on their side. LA riots for example, Miami riots ,New Orleans flood.

    If they have to take down one household then the cops do it , but a large neighborhood, they wait for the National Guard. Then that gets political is it worth it?

    The CPS raid on FLDS could have been a shooting match. The cops were worried abou that. Instead the FLDS chose to try the legal path even when they took their children. The issue became political and they got the courts on their side. Now CPS practices are being questioned So their strategy of civil resistance by using the media and courts worked instead of dead men and women al la WACO.

  119. Peter says:

    “Shockingly, that’s the dumbest thing that’s been written in this entire thread. If the average LEO thinks he’s not going home to his family, then he’s going to bring lots of friends and his friends will have lots of guns. He won’t “stay home”, he’ll do his job and your stupid ass will end up dead.”

    Oh jeez, Caleb.

    Talk about dumb, if anything close to this goes down, he’ll already have his friends with him. Or do the LEOs in your area ascribe to the ‘one riot, one Ranger, one gun’ thing?

  120. Ahab says:

    “…what exactly have you done?”

    Oh, please. Don’t you think I know a Pearls Before Swine Moment when I see one? Don’t ply me with your cynicism. I know good and well that there is no answer to that question — no matter any facts whatever — that will meet with your approval.

    You know, that’s just not true. If you had said “I have been lobbying my elected representatives”, or “I volunteered for a gun safety program”, or “I work with my local police department to ensure that their officers are well educated on local firearms laws”, or pretty much one of about 100 responses – I would have been satisfied, and would have backed off considerably.

    Instead, you dodged the question, which leads me to believe that the sum total of your contributions = diddly.

  121. Ahab says:

    Dammit, I hate doubleposting to have to answer other points.

    Actually, you’re agreeing with what I said – my point was that if it gets to where people are shooting cops, it’s not going to be Barney Fife coming to your door. I actually agree that if we’re ever that close to shooting cops, for good or bad reasons, their will probably be a lot more cops that Mikey V’s.

  122. Anon says:

    I’m sure Mike and his merry band of men believe they’re the spiritual descendents of Patrick Henry, George Mason, Jefferson, Washington, and the rest. But they’re sadly mistaken. Mike and his supporters speak to us with such exasperation. “They just don’t get it”, they say with the zeal of the man who knows Truth. And they’re ready to complain about those of us who may share the same basic philosophy, because we differ from them as well. Common ground is not to be sought, common sense is not to be considered, and common cause is not to be found.

    Now look at the beginning of Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech.

    “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”

    Notice something Mike? It’s called civility. It’s called persuasion. It’s called trying to win the debate, not just expecting others to blindly follow your lead.

    Henry then went on to articulate the reasons why he believed the colonists were subjected to increasing human bondage. You seem to want a revolution based in soundbites, rather than the entire ruminations of the Founders.

    The point of revolt should be to win. And you won’t win… you CAN’T win, unless you have won the hearts and minds of a significant amount of We the People. This is, after all, your goal… right? The restoration of the Republic? Do you propose to “impose liberty” on a majority who don’t agree with your definition? Sounds more Che Guevara than George Washington to me.

    “Leave me alone or I’m going to shoot” isn’t an argument. It’s a threat. It doesn’t win converts to your side, because it ultimately doesn’t offer any answers. If we’re to take you seriously, that you believe a Revolution can and will happen, then you should be able to answer this question: what would your post-Revolution society be like? If you can’t articulate a vision for this country other than “leave me alone”, then you’re not a believer in Locke (who saw a need for government), you’re just a garden variety anarchist.

    So tell me Mike, and all the rest… what would this country look like post-Revolution? Go through the day of the average middle class resident of this country and tell me how their life would be changed or different. I’m willing to listen to your argument if you’re willing to listen to mine.

  123. Billy Beck says:

    You know what, Ahab? You’re right. I can see it now, and I’m not bullshitting you: I can see that what I wrote was not true.

    What is true — and you demonstrated it — is that what I’m doing has to meet your specifications in order to satisfy you. Which is a different way of making the very point that I asserted. Here’s a fact: nothing about the suggestions that you offered is worth a damn to me.

    “I have been lobbying my elected representatives…”

    No way in this world: I do not submit my rights — or yours — to the opinions of majorities. They didn’t consult me when they wrote this stuff up in law, and I have no obligation to petition them on something that is only right. (BTW: this point has a long and honorable tradition in American politics. You can find it in Thoreau, for instance.)

    “I volunteered for a gun safety program…”

    Why should I? To appease someone else’s nervous sensibilities? I don’t care about that. That sort of thing is what parents, for instance, are for. I am not interested to attempt buying my rights with formal demonstrations of goodwill for neurotics. They’re mine to begin with and I am not responsible for when anyone else doesn’t appreciate that fact.

    “I work with my local police department to ensure that their officers are well educated on local firearms laws…”

    So, you’re telling me that I not only have to pay attention to the work that I chose a long time ago in order to conduct my life, but now I have to do the bureaubots’ and commissars’ jobs, too. I mean; while I’m thinking about that, and considering exactly what might constitute a rational gun law amid the sinkholes of nonsense in the laws these days — which is not even part of the question here: I’m just supposed to “work with them” — I’m supposed to cozy-up to these people to make sure they know their jobs? Let me tell you something, mate: where I come from, people who don’t know their jobs get fired. Right-ass now. There ain’t no elections about it — putting up with incompetence or worse for months or years until enough of a gang can be assembled to do away with them on the bet of a poll — no bullshit: they just go into another line of work or starve. And I think that both you and I know that the institutions that we’re talking about don’t do things that way. I certainly know it.

    “…or pretty much one of about 100 responses…”

    By now, I think I can imagine. Try to understand something: I don’t value what you do in what we might call “the system”. I’m not a moron, either: I have good reasons for all this. And: understanding values as I do, I realize that you’re the only one in charge of yours. Those two elements are why I know that there is nothing that I can do to satisfy you. I can see the parameters of your “about 100 responses” from the basic outline of your ethics, and I’m not interested. I have other values in mind. “Elected representatives” are worthless (at best) to me: I am my own man and can stand for myself on any moral or political question, 24/7 (I don’t need to wait around for elections because I can do it all day long, every single day). I don’t have time for someone else’s “gun safety program”. Not interested, and most certainly not when it’s essentially just a political demonstration. And one of the very last things that I want to do in life is to “work with my local police department” on anything at all. I remember a time in America when cops were respectable: I have good reasons why I can’t respect them anymore and I don’t want anything do with them.

    “Instead, you dodged the question, which leads me to believe that the sum total of your contributions = diddly.”

    …to you.

    There isn’t much that I can do about that. Believe me: I’ll get over it.

  124. Billy Beck says:

    “Leave me alone or I’m going to shoot” isn’t an argument. It’s a threat.”

    {shrug}

    “Make the most of it.”

  125. Peter says:

    “Leave me alone or I’m going to shoot” isn’t an argument.

    How is it not? How is ‘if you try to act violently and illegally against me, I will, to the best of my admittedly meager ability, make it as dangerous and expensive as I can before you kill me’ not an argument?

    And who, exactly, is advocating a revolution? As I said in an earlier posting, any significant dismemberment of our Constitution would be a disaster. Was there any revolutionary activity after Waco or Ruby Ridge? No there wasn’t, it was resolved in a courtroom after the shooting/burning stopped. The Republic survived just fine, even if some individuals didn’t. Even the one incident, that of Oklahoma City, was an isolated act of perhaps six people total, none of whom, indicted or not, were trying to incite armed revolution, but rather an attack on the federal government in retribution for Waco, despite McVeigh’s possession of the Turner Diaries.

  126. Sebastian says:

    No there wasn’t, it was resolved in a courtroom after the shooting/burning stopped.

    Even I wouldn’t say that. There are still people walking the streets today that ought to be in prison who are not because government agents get a pass. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the people they murdered.

  127. Peter says:

    No, Sebastian, that’s a different discussion. My point was to say that after all the violence stopped, the laws of this country were still in place, however imperfectly applied.
    As well, the general outcry afterwards made sure that nothing like that happened again for the duration of the Clinton Administration. No revolution was needed then, and I don’t believe that one would be required after a (hopefully hypothetical) mandatory registration/confiscation scheme was rebuffed.

  128. Ahab says:

    You know what, Billy? You do it your way, I’ll do it my way. Since my way has been, well, working I’m more than happy to stick to it.

  129. RAH says:

    Mike V wrote the letter and it was overkill. The original idiot that called for registration is not the President, his congressman, his senator, his mayor, or city council so why does one person’s opinion bring down the response that my back is against the wall and shooting is next.

    I could understand that when gun bans were happening in the 1980’s, but now that over 40 states have CCW and more open carry and roll back of Morton Grove and Willamette gun bans, why is he shouting fire?

    What is driving him to think that now is the time for civil war when gun rights are on the upswing? Does he advocate for Olofson to fight it out against the ATF by shooting rather than the legal system?

    The FLDS folk had a better reason to shoot it out when Texas CPS took 400 children; instead they fought it in the public arena of media and the courts. I think that was a better solution. If any people were a target for the differences and beliefs the FLDS were and the solution was by taking their children by CPS. The Texas CPS director has resigned. Questions about their rules and lack of legal protections have been shown to the public.

    If Mike V is serious about revolt then he not going the correct way about it. It appears he is just acting out his frustrations and fantasies. Is he angry that gun rights progress has been done without him? Or that other tactics worked to get the Supreme CT to rule it is an individual right?

    Do we want to be perceived as a dangerous lunatic fringe? Do we want wiretaps on our phones; our emails monitored search warrants at our homes? Do you really want the attention of the FBI? Why do we need to do that, have we lost the war?

    I think the answer to my questions is a simple NO. His tactics are inflammatory not a way to change the public minds. He can try his way but I do not agree it us the correct tactic.

    Billy you can live your life your way. Your arguement is against our Republic. You feel no need to use the tools the Constitution to change your government. Anarchism seems to be what you are advocating for yourself. That is OK but I still believe in the Republic.

  130. Billy Beck says:

    “Since my way has been, well, working …”

    Call it what you want.

  131. GunRights4US says:

    Yes, there is some validity to the point that Mike’s type of extreme viewpoint will frighten the sheeple and nudge them even further into the other camp. That school of thought says that we should convince the fence sitters to step down onto our side, and violent rhetoric is counterproductive toward that end.

    The problem with that view is it presumes the “sheeple” en masse are paying attention and can thus be persuaded. It further presumes that that the people are still in charge and can sway the government’s direction. In my opinion, that’s wrong on both counts. The great mass of Americans are wearing blinders, and grow annoyed when they’re asked to pay attention to something beside’s sports and the doings of celebrities. Most find all political topics absolutely abhorrent, and would sooner that you bring up the topic of embalming at a dinner party!

    Surely I’m not the only one who’s noticed the government’s near complete disregard for the will of the people. Even on highly visible issues like immigration, closing the borders, or drilling for oil, it seems patently obvious that the majority of citizens have one view, and the US Gubmint has the opposite. On these divergent views, which direction is it that we seem to be heading in; always the direction as mandated by Washington. Those people up on Capitol Hill are dancing to their own piper, and this business of working within the system is getting us absolutely nowhere! Convince 100% of the fence-sitters to to see things our way and what have we achieved: Just one more issue that Washington will turn a blind eye towards.

    I’ve spent years watching the pro-gun side of the debate make concession after concession. I completely understand and support Mike’s approach. We’ve damn near given the farm away. It’s high time that the Other Side of this debate take some clear unequivocal warnings to heart about what they risk in pressing us any farther.

    Do we risk frightening a few of the sheeple? Certainly, but maybe putting a scare into Mike Sullivan, Carolyn McCarthy, Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer would be worth it!

    Appeasement sure hasn’t worked!

    There’s maybe 80 millon gun owners in America. If that was 80 million Mike Vanderboeghs (as opposed to 80 million bleating sheep!), would we even be having this debate?

  132. Sebastian says:

    The problem with that view is it presumes the “sheeple” en masse are paying attention and can thus be persuaded. It further presumes that that the people are still in charge and can sway the government’s direction. In my opinion, that’s wrong on both counts. The great mass of Americans are wearing blinders, and grow annoyed when they’re asked to pay attention to something beside’s sports and the doings of celebrities. Most find all political topics absolutely abhorrent, and would sooner that you bring up the topic of embalming at a dinner party!

    I can’t bring myself to have such utter contempt for my fellow citizens, and yet I’m frustrated by some of the same things you are. There are people who just aren’t going to get involved, and who will still go to the voting booth and ignorantly pull a level for the candidate that makes them feel good. But people are rationally ignorant of politics, because it takes a serious commitment in terms of time and effort to be able to even affect a little bit of change.

    But there are plenty of people out there who believe in our issues, and yet, are not very involved in it. Those people number in the tens of millions if polls are to be believed. They can be persuaded to be more involved, but if the face of gun activism is “Cross me and I’ll kill you” they won’t.

  133. Ahab says:

    Well Billy, my way has produced expanded CCW, a victory in the supreme court, and gun bans being rolled back across the nation. I’d call that working.

    But I forgot, I’m just a cog in the corrupt system, and until I cast off the yoke of my oppressors I’ll never understand the meaning of true liberty.

  134. Billy Beck says:

    I’ve been taking you seriously, Ahab. If you wanna cut heads, I’ll [pet fluffy bunnies with you] without trying to put my words in your editor. Do you understand?

    Now then: “Well Billy, my way has produced expanded CCW, a victory in the supreme court, and gun bans being rolled back across the nation.”

    Tell it to Mr. Heller, for example. I’m not impressed. This is a moment when a wise man would take a cue from Chou En Lai when asked about the implications of the French Revolution: “It’s too soon to tell.”

    [Please, no threats against other readers. My patience has limits -Ed]

  135. Brian N. says:

    The decision in Heller isn’t a victory. It’s a terrible defeat. The gun bans that are held up in the process, and the de facto ban by administrative deadlock that’s now perfectly legitimate – not to mention the near-complete gutting of the essential principle of the second amendment – could never be interpreted as a victory by anyone with protection of one’s rights in mind, unless that person were gravely mistaken.

  136. mostlygenius says:

    MBV: I think you are overly enamored with a paramilitary solution. The will of the people (a critical mass of the majority) is the only solution. This can be influenced at the ballot box, the pulpit, the classroom, through the media, and through violence and direct action. Wars are won in the will.

    I do not doubt your sincerity or passion, but your methods are ineffective and what is worse: counter productive. I am somehow less of a patriot and more of coward because I do not support your methods? So rather than make an ally – you choose to make an enemy because my ideology doesn’t seem to be as ‘pure’ as yours. Fair enough.

    I do not believe that your scare tactics and ‘speak truth to power’ is accomplishing anything other than dividing, alienating, frightening the very people we should be uniting, welcoming, and comforting – the fence sitters.

  137. Sebastian says:

    The decision in Heller isn’t a victory. It’s a terrible defeat. The gun bans that are held up in the process, and the de facto ban by administrative deadlock that’s now perfectly legitimate – not to mention the near-complete gutting of the essential principle of the second amendment – could never be interpreted as a victory by anyone with protection of one’s rights in mind, unless that person were gravely mistaken.

    That is quite simply nonsense. How many second amendment legal experts have you consulted with on your interpretation of the results? They see things quite differently.

  138. Billy Beck says:

    Self-appointed suits me just fine, Sebastian.

  139. Wow, Sebastian, what a thread!

    I haven’t joined in the discussion simply because the subject is a sensitive issue with broad repercussions. Yet the subject does demand some examination.

    While we should not minimize the enormous successes we’ve had over the last few years, culminating with the Heller decision, I think we all can agree that dark storm clouds linger just over the horizon.

    If Barack Obama is elected President with an even greater Democrat majority in the Congress, I can envision ALL of the successes we’ve had being wiped out within four or five years, perhaps less.

    Thus, I view Mike Vanderboegh’s work as a warning shot concerning those dark clouds. We cannot lull ourselves into a false sense of security, basking in our successes, while the very survival of our Republic may be at stake within a few short years.

    Vanderboegh’s words, therefore, a words to the wise.

    Further, we must remember that ‘revolution’ has already started…in the minds of those who have made it clear from the start they no longer want a Republic governed by a Constitution with a clear Bill of Rights. Their goal is not only to rob citizens of their means of armed protection and resistance but to change the very nature of the United States.

    Their goals are no secret. And they are gathering behind Barack Obama and the Democrats. They intend to make this election THE watershed event that will signal a total change of government. Just read what people like Spike Lee have said about this election.

    Vanderboegh is not advocating the start of a revolution. That revolution has already been declared by the Left.

    The question is, what will we do if they win in November? What will be our strategy? How will we respond to the revolution THEY have already started?

    This is why I think it is important to pay attention to voices such as Vanderboegh’s, frightening though they may be.

    Martyn
    The Liberty Sphere

  140. RAH says:

    I have seen ridiculous arguments from the net roots that say black is white etc. This is a first I have seen that type of thinking among the gun rights people.
    How the hell can you say a decision that allows guns in DC, even in neutered form of revolver, rather than the absolute ban of 32 years is a defeat?

    DC is still fighting a rearguard action; they know there trigger lock provision was overturned. But the way that rights get promoted is to use the decision to overturn laws and regulations. DC knows the emergency regulation will be challenged and probably defeated.
    Morton Grove and Willamette reversed their gun bans that is progress. Chicago is worried and trying to rewrite their laws to fit and incorporation has not been decided by the courts yet.

    Yet this is defeat. Over forty states have shall issue CCW rather than 1 or 2 ten years ago and that is defeat? Castle Doctrine and Stand my Ground laws that is growing in the states are progress not defeat.

    I know that the gun controllers are saying since SCOTUS said reasonable regulations are OK that they think that means their “reasonable” regulations. But why do we, who know they meant and said gun rights are restricted to the insane and felons agree that the gun controllers define reasonable?

    I do not accept their definition and I doubt any one of us does. Yet you are arguing that you are bound by their definitions.

  141. Billy Beck says:

    “I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. No No! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — and I will be heard. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

    It is pretended that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my influence — humble as it is — is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years – not perniciously, but beneficially – not as a curse, but as a blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right.”

    (William Lloyd Garrison – editorial in The Liberator – January 1, 1831, all emphases original)

  142. Billy Beck says:

    “Vanderboegh is not advocating the start of a revolution. That revolution has already been declared by the Left.”

    Yes. All this cheerleading about “We’re winning!” reminds me of nothing so much as Francis Fukuyama’s jazz about “The End of History”. The very day that Heller was handed down, I said that the Court was acting like a focus-group for administrators and legislators to tweak the program. Look at the action in D.C. and tell me I was wrong.

  143. Sebastian says:

    The government is not a living and breathing entity. It’s often a useful metaphorically to look upon it that way, but the reality is the people elect the government, and the government is made up of people who are, either directly or indirectly, elected by voters. . . .

    I can’t fully agree with that statement (shocking, isn’t it ;-)?) The career bureaucrats who work below the level of the elected or appointed officials are the people who to some degree–a rather large degree, I would submit–form the institutional identities of their respective government agencies.

    I won’t presume to speak for Mr. Vanderboegh, but personally, I see a considerable upside in convincing such people that some citizens are ready, willing, and able to introduce them to the law of mortal unintended consequences.

  144. RAH says:

    Where do you live Billy? Near DC, well I do I saw the law started in 1976 and have waited and cheered that it has been overturned. SCOTUS and DC council are not hand in glove. Congress has been overly sensitive to home rule, I hope but do not expect #1137 to be discharged by Congress.

    When the ability to buy guns gets corrected then registration protocals may be more important. At this time it doesn’t matter nobody registers their guns in DC. They didnt over 30 years and they wont now becasue the law will change.

    So I do say you are wrong.

  145. anon says:

    “So, you’re telling me that I not only have to pay attention to the work that I chose a long time ago in order to conduct my life, but now I have to do the bureaubots’ and commissars’ jobs, too. I mean; while I’m thinking about that, and considering exactly what might constitute a rational gun law amid the sinkholes of nonsense in the laws these days — which is not even part of the question here: I’m just supposed to “work with them” — I’m supposed to cozy-up to these people to make sure they know their jobs? Let me tell you something, mate: where I come from, people who don’t know their jobs get fired. Right-ass now. There ain’t no elections about it — putting up with incompetence or worse for months or years until enough of a gang can be assembled to do away with them on the bet of a poll — no bullshit: they just go into another line of work or starve. And I think that both you and I know that the institutions that we’re talking about don’t do things that way. I certainly know it.”

    So work to change the institution. Perhaps instead of spending hours on your scribblings, you take part in a government “of, for, and by the people”. Yes, that requires doing things you don’t really want to do. Sacrifice isn’t always self-serving, and the founding fathers made it abundantly clear that we do have a civic obligation. We cannot remove ourselves from society while we try to remake it.

    More and more as I read this it seems like you want government of, for, and by Mike. And none of the armchair revolutionaries here have yet to answer my questions about what a post-Revolution (or post-civil war, or post-“the shooting begins now”) United States would be like.

    You are articulating nothing but destruction of the current system. What do you propose creating on its ruins?

  146. Billy Beck says:

    “Where do you live Billy? Near DC, well I do I saw the law started in 1976 and have waited and cheered that it has been overturned.”

    Good for you. I live right in the middle of New York State. Heller is a practical joke to me.

  147. Billy Beck says:

    “What do you propose creating on its ruins?”

    To begin with: that’s your word. Not mine.

    And I don’t make plans for other peoples’ lives. I leave that to socialists.

  148. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Look boys, it boils down to what my Grandpa Vanderboegh had posted on his back forty for neighbors who sometimes drifted over the property line by mistake:

    ‘DON’T PISS ON THE ELECTRIC FENCE.”

    Now, here’s the rest of it. It doesn’t matter what you trimmers and excusers and apologizers and pollyannas want. One day, because the ATF selected him or her as a likely victim, somebody like me is going to FORCE you to make a choice because we are going to be attacked by lawless thugs operating under color of law and we are going to shoot back.

    Now this choice is going to be particularly acute for you LEOs who, because the ATF are incredibly outnumbered on the ground, always get called to do their dirty work. I have NEVER advocated or suggested killing local or state law enforcement officers. I defy you to read my entire body of work and find one allusion to that. There is, in Absolved, a fictional local cop who gets accidentally killed by an incompetent ATF thug with an M203 while he is directing traffic. And hey, if he did in real life, I’m sorry, but he had it coming for being the thugs’ handmaiden. This is a choice YOU are going to have to make. Because that is where this is going whether you like it or not, whether you complain or not, whether you call us names or not. You WILL have to make this awful choice, not because I want it, but because YOU and your kind have never stood firm enough and shoved back when our rights were gradually stripped from us. Sebastian here, oh holier-than-thou Sebastian, is a friggin’ apologist for Olofson’s tormentors.

    This, in words of my father, will lead to Vanderboegh’s Second Law of Causation, to wit: “One thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another, ad infinitum.”

    The time for meeching petitions and gentle protestations is over. It is time for everybody to see the sign: “DON’T PISS ON THE ELECTRIC FENCE.” It is your duty, and mine, to explain that to the societal incontinents who have been pissing down our backs for 70 years. They have finally pushed us up against the electric fence and their dicks are about to get terminally grounded. Deal with it.

    Mike Vanderboegh
    Constitutional Electrician, Apprentice

  149. Isher says:

    Mike, I did not know were omniscient or prescient. However your crystal ball is not showing you the future, just one you fear or want. It may be a possiblibilty but very remote by my crystal ball. One I do not have to make a choice because you are a crank.

    If an idiot decides to shoot the ATF agent investigating him then they take the risk. I do not have to allow myself to take responsibility for his idiocy. I sure and hell won’t go to war for your reasons. They are not reasonable or that important. You hate the ATF fine, then make your war against them. File suits or get hired and change it from the inside, or go up to the building and scream I will start a civil war.

    You have not only pissed off the ignorant but those of us who share the passion for our rights. But no yahoo forces me to make a choice. I think that I would shoot the yahoo first.

  150. BC says:

    One day, because the ATF selected him or her as a likely victim, somebody like me is going to FORCE you to make a choice because we are going to be attacked by lawless thugs operating under color of law and we are going to shoot back.

    Translation: One day, because the ATF tries to enforce then-existing federal firearms laws, someone like Mike is going to attempt to portray himself as a martyr for — assuming he doesn’t piss himself in mortal terror when the first flashbang goes off near his head — shooting it out with federal agents despite the availability of legal and political remedies for alleged violations of his civil rights.

  151. Kyle Bennett says:

    “It is not smart to wave a red flag in front of a bull. ”

    It is if you want to stick a fork in him.

  152. anon says:

    Well, at least we know Billy’s not a big fan of the Founders.

  153. Peter says:

    “Translation: One day, because the ATF tries to enforce then-existing federal firearms laws…”

    If the ATF would stick to black letter law, that would be an improvement.

    Unfortunately they have a documented record of making stuff up as they go along, testilying to cover their tracks, and declaring something legal and later changing their minds and then showing up with automatic weapons and explosives to enforce that change of position.
    Moreover, they do this via directive, without it being approved by Congress, you know, the folks we send to Washington to oversee them. They go out of their way to avoid judicial oversight, oftimes claiming that, as in the Olofson case, that they cannot disclose information due to tax laws, despite the taxpayer in question being the one in the docket. And let’s not forget about the ATF being slapped down in a particular jurisdiction, and ignoring that everywhere else, because they assert that the ruling only applies in that circuit.

  154. HTownTejas says:

    “While we should not minimize the enormous successes we’ve had over the last few years, culminating with the Heller decision, I think we all can agree that dark storm clouds linger just over the horizon.

    If Barack Obama is elected President with an even greater Democrat majority in the Congress, I can envision ALL of the successes we’ve had being wiped out within four or five years, perhaps less.

    That’s a good point Martyn. Unfortunately I think it holds true for McCain as well. And Barr.

  155. HTownTejas says:

    Mike, I did not know were omniscient or prescient. However your crystal ball is not showing you the future, just one you fear or want. It may be a possiblibilty but very remote by my crystal ball.

    How is Mike’s analogy to “DON’T PISS ON THE ELECTRIC FENCE” equate to fear or want? Posting a warning like the fence’s or the newspaper letter is not asking for someone to violate you, nor is it fear they will, it’s simply courteous. Piss on me and you’ll get a shock. Pretty simple. Easy to avoid.

  156. CorbinKale says:

    This is a fascinating thread. I go from the premise that ALL gun control laws are unconstitutional, as they infringe on the Right to keep and bear arms. Being a peaceful man, I think it prudent to eradicate those infringements by working within the system that created them. However, human nature is such that there will always those who desire control over others, and will not gladly give up that power, once gained. The discussion over the Heller decision is a classic example.

    Now, you either believe you have the uninfringed Right to keep and bear arms, or you don’t. You might be willing to settle for ‘reasonable infringements’, but that would be a personal preference that in no way negates MY Right to remain uninfringed in the exercise of keeping and bearing arms.

    So, now you have determined if you believe in your Rights, or you are willing to compromise them. If the system you have to work within thwarts your every move, and continues to uphold various infringements on your Rights, then you have to make a decision. Am I willing to kill and die to exercise my Rights? If you aren’t, then you will continue to live within the unconstitutional law, adjusting your chains to rest comfortably. If you are willing to kill and die in defense of your Rights, then you will probably be afforded the opportunity at some point.

    Each person will have to work out for themselves where they stand. To preclude any questions about ‘what have I done’ for the cause and what ‘credentials’ I might have in this struggle, I submit the following. I am here, taking part in the discussion. I am open to all posistions and am willing to amend my opinion in the light of new information and circumstances. I have taken an Oath to support and defend the Constitution. I am retired from the Army with 23 years in the Infantry. I own many unregistered personal weapons. I have decided to ignore laws regarding gun control, as a result of my Oath. I will not carry in places where the owners ask me not to. I would expect the same on MY property. I will never ask permission to carry a concealed weapon. Free men do not ask permission to exercise their Rights. I have faced death before, so don’t try and tell me I will piss my pants when the shooting starts. I will assume I am about to die and take approprite measures. It really is that simple, same as it has been throughout history.

    I am willing to wait on the system and support the organizations fighting on the front lines for our 2nd Amendment, but the day a national registration is passed, or the 2nd Amendment is repealed, is the day I go to war. I won’t wait to be disarmed before I fight back. Those not willing to risk death, will surrender and shuffle into the herd.

    If enough possess the spirit of resistance, we will carry the day. If not, then we will degenerate into tyranny, another failed nation. In either case, don’t be too sentimental about it. None of us is getting out of here alive. I will live my life free, and die knowing I did my best to defend liberty. A life well-lived.

    I appreciate the reasoned debate on this issue. I hope I didn’t frighten any sheep.

  157. Posting a warning like the fence’s or the newspaper letter is not asking for someone to violate you, nor is it fear they will, it’s simply courteous. Piss on me and you’ll get a shock. Pretty simple. Easy to avoid.

    I made a similar point elsewhere:

    As Benjamin Franklin said of the rattlesnake:

    . . . Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.

    Mr. Vanderboegh has generously given notice.

  158. Another point I’d like to make is that the premise, as I understand it, of the post that started this discussion is that Mr. Vanderboegh’s letter is harmful to the gun rights advocacy movement, because it will frighten readers uncommitted to either side in the debate into supporting the other side, or at least ruin any chance of winning them over to our side.

    To that, I have to point out that I find it exceedingly unlikely that the letter in question will ever garner more than a tiny fraction of the attention among the general public as it has among a few gun blogs, with this one probably being chief among them.

    In short, if “frightening” discussions are to be avoided, why are we having this discussion?

  159. Sebastian says:

    That’s a good point Kurt. It’s something I didn’t really consider until we were on comment 30 or so. Now it’s 170 something I think. To some degree, the damage is done. But I will say that the gun blogosphere is a more targeted audience than even a small city newspaper.

  160. But I will say that the gun blogosphere is a more targeted audience than even a small city newspaper.

    Acknowledged–the vast majority of people you’re concerned about won’t read this, or any other gun blogger’s post. My main point is that even if Mr. Vanderboegh’s message is counterproductive (and I’m not at all conceding that point), I can’t imagine it getting enough attention to be significantly counterproductive.

  161. HTownTejas says:

    Acknowledged–the vast majority of people you’re concerned about won’t read this, or any other gun blogger’s post.

    True, not the vast majority of people. But those clowns at the ATF will likely read it and it will serve as a warning. And those of us who share the sentiment know we have company. Those are two valuable results.

  162. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Isher sez: Mike, I did not know were omniscient or prescient. However your crystal ball is not showing you the future, just one you fear or want. It may be a possiblibilty but very remote by my crystal ball. One I do not have to make a choice because you are a crank.

    If an idiot decides to shoot the ATF agent investigating him then they take the risk. I do not have to allow myself to take responsibility for his idiocy. I sure and hell won’t go to war for your reasons. They are not reasonable or that important. You hate the ATF fine, then make your war against them. File suits or get hired and change it from the inside, or go up to the building and scream I will start a civil war.

    MBV: Not very learned in the history of your own country, or the world for that matter, are you? History ALWAYS deals unwanted choices to people and nations. No one in his right mind wanted a civil war in 1861 except a few nuts on either side. Yet John Brown attacks Harpers Ferry and is properly hung according to law for it and his “soul went marching on” right through the deadliest conflict the nation had seen up until then. Only a tiny minority in America wanted war with Japan in 1941, yet Pearl Harbor happens and, off we go. His Majesty’s General Gage’s lament was that he didn’t want a war with the colonials. His operation to snatch Sam Adams and John Hancock at Lexington and seize the arms at Concord was intended to be a lightening strike accomplished before the the local militias could react. No muss, no fuss. Ooops.

    Perfectly predictable in all cases, yet a surprise every time. Still there were folks who did predict conflict, and they were, like me, largely ignored or thought to be, what was the word, “cranks?” Just as paranoids can have real enemies, and conspiracy “theorists” are not theorizing about a conspiracy if it’s real, “cranks” can have 20-20 vision when it comes to the future and still be ignored. Just ask Cassandra.

    The ATF will do what they do because no one has restrained them. No one has restrained them because those who hold the leash have never, except for a time in the 90s, been scared that there might be a personal price to be paid for their misconduct. And who’s fault is that? The polite, the people who mouth words about defending liberty and HAVE NEVER RISKED A DAMN THING IN ITS DEFENSE.

    Sez you: You have not only pissed off the ignorant but those of us who share the passion for our rights. But no yahoo forces me to make a choice. I think that I would shoot the yahoo first.

    MBV: Again, we are forced to make choices all the time. Blaming me for pointing out that you will HAVE to make a choice if the ATF screws up AGAIN (and that is an important point, I’m not predicting that they will be doing something out of the ordinary that they haven’t already done before) is actually rather pointless. Resent it if you will, but you’ll still have to choose sides. If you want to “shoot the yahoo” who forces you to make the choice, you will have to shoot an out-of-control government man. I’m no John Brown and neither are any of my friends. We won’t attack anybody. But we will not be attacked with no hope of a fair trial (vice Olofson) and be imprisoned without a fight.

    Even the saintly Sebastian proposed “civil disobedience” as a remedy (and I have fairly begged for it in the past), yet what do you think the ATF will do if we defy a “gun show loophole bill” (which both candidates have promised us) by holding a gun show that refuses to do background checks for private, in-state sales? They’ll attack it and try to take it down. And I can promise you that if such legislation is passed and signed we WILL disobey it. Can’t you for the love of pete see that it is just because no one has raised the ante for them before, we are in this situation now?

    But as far you shooting anybody, I can’t see it. You don’t even want to write mean things in the newspaper to people who want to deprive you and everybody else in this country of our God-given inalienable rights. Shoot somebody? Right. Oh, yeah. Sure. (“Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce.”)

    — Vanderboegh

  163. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    BC sez: Translation: One day, because the ATF tries to enforce then-existing federal firearms laws, someone like Mike is going to attempt to portray himself as a martyr for — assuming he doesn’t piss himself in mortal terror when the first flashbang goes off near his head — shooting it out with federal agents despite the availability of legal and political remedies for alleged violations of his civil rights.

    MBV: Yeah, I noticed how much good the “availability of legal and political remedies for alleged violations” of civil rights did David Olofson, or Vicki Weaver or the Davidians. Don’t you morons get it?!? The Olofson case PROVES there is no such thing as the rule of law in the country anymore when it comes to the ATF. I don’t want to be a martyr — I think I’ve made that plain if you have taken the time to actually read my stuff — BUT I WILL NOT BE A SLAVE. And I will not victimized without fighting back. John Kennedy once said that those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable. I suppose he was a “crank” too?

    As far as anybody “pissing themselves in mortal terror,” it seems to me that limp-wristed pansies who can be spooked by somebody else writing a mean letter to the editor are far more likely candidates for wet drawers than me. “Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.” — Vanderboegh

    PS In my case, they won’t get close enough to me to get a flash bang in on me without warning. Trust me. Kindly read the first chapter of ‘Absolved’ for details.

  164. Acknowledged–the vast majority of people you’re concerned about won’t read this, or any other gun blogger’s post.

    True, not the vast majority of people. But those clowns at the ATF will likely read it and it will serve as a warning. And those of us who share the sentiment know we have company. Those are two valuable results.

    Agreed on both counts.

    Again, I don’t presume to speak for Mr. Vanderboegh (who has repeatedly proven more than capable of speaking for himself), but I would hazard a guess that it’s the JBT’s, and the politicians who fancy themselves their masters, who are the real intended audience of the letter, with a secondary audience perhaps being other gun rights advocates who might take heart in knowing that they are not alone in being prepared to risk all for liberty.

    I would guess that everyone else could be safely dismissed as irrelevant.

  165. CCW4ME says:

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on CBS “60 Minutes”: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in — I would have done it.”

    No Dianne, if you could get 51 votes in the Senate to “pick them all up” and then were foolish enough to actually try to do it you’d start a revolution.

  166. Tim says:

    Mikes Correct. The Oloofsen case proves that the rule of law has eroded away.
    And as a supposed free american.
    The cost of having the ability to pay for rights is getting to exhaustive and cumbersome.
    Especially when . This country was never founded on having to pay for rights. Which have become priviledges. Paid for Priviledges.
    I highly doubt Our founding fathers would of allowed themselves, to tax themselves, for owning transportaion or the ability to use their own transportation or Have firearms of their choice.
    But the in America, the blinders are on,.
    Because Most Americans wouldn’t know what True freedom was if they had it.
    There’s just to much responsibility involved in it.
    And the reason many Americans cannot grasp this responsibility!
    Is because they have been taught over the years, not too!
    Scandal and abuse pass day in and day out in our Government.
    And people just act like nothing is going on.
    Because it’s the norm………But it is NOT normal!
    And people tend to let tragedies like Waco(The branch davidians), Weavers, etc.
    Pass them by un-noticed. Because they donot realise that that could of been them!

  167. Tim says:

    When I was in West Germany, during My active duty. I had a chance to talk to many of the Older German citizens, at the gueat houses.
    Many of thes wise Old man spoke of the early 30’s etc. And how horrified they were to see what was being done to some people by the Gestapo.
    But their Loyalty to their government stopped them, from speaking out against the abuses.
    Even though it put utter shivers down their spine and many said it Infuriated them. To see people( Their own neighbors in some instances/Very good friends)
    being arrested and taken away without due process of law.
    But it happens everyday in America Now!
    Not in such a gross context as germany was then. But it is getting there.
    And it will continue too!
    Because abuse by Government does not get the proper scrutiny by the People, it deserves.
    Or held to account for such abuses, by Law.

  168. Santee says:

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” – Patrick Henry, speech against the federal Constitution, June 5, 1788.

    Since the 1930s the government, federal, state and local, has unconstitutionally infringed upon the 2nd Amendment rights of every citizen in this country. The vast majority of the citizenry have remained quiet because these infringements have not affected them to any great degree. But, each seemingly small infringement has been the prelude to another infringement. And in some places, these steps have led to an outright ban on 2nd Amendment rights.

    There is a time to draw that line in the sand and in connection to the rights of citizens, that time should actually be when the first small infringement takes place. And so, any time after that is the time. So, this is the time.

    What the 3% say is, “No More.” If it upsets the rest, then so be it. The 2nd Amendment was not written about hunting, target shooting, or even about self-defense in the home. It was written about the inalienable right of every citizen to be free, yes free from abuse by others who would harm them, free from a government which would abuse them by restricting that liberty which sets citizens free.

    The 2nd Amendment is about the right of every citizen to live in a nation whose government supports and even fights for the rights of liberty for all citizens. And thus, it is about the right of every citizen to demand that their government conduct itself so as to expand liberty and not restrict it. And yes, now is the time! No More, No Farther: By the suggestion box, the ballot box, and God forbid, lastly, by the ammo box.

  169. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Kurt sez: “Agreed on both counts.

    Again, I don’t presume to speak for Mr. Vanderboegh (who has repeatedly proven more than capable of speaking for himself), but I would hazard a guess that it’s the JBT’s, and the politicians who fancy themselves their masters, who are the real intended audience of the letter, with a secondary audience perhaps being other gun rights advocates who might take heart in knowing that they are not alone in being prepared to risk all for liberty. I would guess that everyone else could be safely dismissed as irrelevant.”

    “Give that man a kewpie doll!” — Sgt. Sefton, played by William Holden, in Stalag 17.

    Kurt is correct. Oh, I’ll admit there are collateral effects to be hoped, but those are the main targets of that particular missive. Still, there is a positive social benefit which accrues from Mr. & Ms. Starbucks Liberal in that collectivist hothouse of Madison WI opening their paper to a letter from such an obviously insane and brutish human specimen who speaks in the language of Realpolitik that even Uncle Joe Stalin would understand. (“The Pope? The Pope? How many divisions does HE have?”) “Bruce, look at what this scary man wrote. And they let him have GUNS!” “I know, Sissy, let’s not EVER go to Alabama.” Two less liberals down South — as I said, a POSITIVE social benefit.

    The Founders chose the rattlesnake as a symbol for a reason. And most people have the sense not to step on one. Still if we have our 3%, they have their moronic percentile as well. That’s why we put up signs: “DON’T PISS ON THE ELECTRIC FENCE.” — Vanderboegh III

  170. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Missed responding to this one.

    Anon sez: “I’m sure Mike and his merry band of men believe they’re the spiritual descendents of Patrick Henry, George Mason, Jefferson, Washington, and the rest. But they’re sadly mistaken. Mike and his supporters speak to us with such exasperation. “They just don’t get it”, they say with the zeal of the man who knows Truth. And they’re ready to complain about those of us who may share the same basic philosophy, because we differ from them as well. Common ground is not to be sought, common sense is not to be considered, and common cause is not to be found.”

    MBV: “Mike and his merry band of men. . . ” I like the sound of that, echoes of Sherwood Forest, wot? You’re right. I believe Patrick Henry would recognize us as more worthy of his intellectual mantle than someone like Sebastian who makes apologies for government misconduct. So would Sam Adams, my second favorite Founder. Or that marvelous silversmith and propagandist in engraving, Paul Revere. Or Patrick Henry . . .

    Sez you: Now look at the beginning of Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech.

    “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”

    Notice something Mike? It’s called civility. It’s called persuasion. It’s called trying to win the debate, not just expecting others to blindly follow your lead.

    MBV: He said this as people were hissing “treason” and “madness” behind his back. Did you really READ this through? Re-read the last sentence. Ole Pat was slapping the trimmers’ and royal apologists’ faces with such words. “Civility?” The tories who sat in that assembly that day sure didn’t think so. And insofar as “expecting others to blindly follow your lead,” I ain’t exactly LEADING anything. I don’t sell my opinions, I don’t have a collection plate, or a membership list, and I ain’t running for office. I am a poor scribbler with what I like to think are principles and sometimes folks agree with me. I’m trying to OPEN people’s eyes to unpleasant realities not blind them, or manipulate them.

    Then sez you: “Henry then went on to articulate the reasons why he believed the colonists were subjected to increasing human bondage. You seem to want a revolution based in soundbites, rather than the entire ruminations of the Founders.”

    MBV: You need to read more of the period. I mean, we are talking about the same Patrick Henry, aren’t we? The same guy who refused to go to the Constitutional Convention because he “smelt a rat” in the Hamiltonian Federal impulse and then denounced the result with such fervor and resolve that Madison was FORCED to give us the Bill of Rights as a counterweight? THAT Patrick Henry, right?

    How is “Give me Liberty or give me death!” that much different than “If you try to take our firearms we will kill you.” ??? Seems to me “give me liberty or give me death” is Patrick Henry’s ultimate soundbite. It is in any case the one line from that speech most of us remember. I have articulated my reasons at great length — too great a length for David Codrea who believes, not unwisely, that I could benefit from a good editor ;-) — and if you think we’re not facing bondage greater than that which provoked the Founders to resort to arms then you’re either smoking something or selling something.

    Then sez you: “The point of revolt should be to win.”

    MBV: Of course. But I don’t WANT a revolt, you dolt, I want to AVOID one. Have you not been listening or is it just cognitive dissonance? It is only by pointing out the liklihood of conflict to all that we can possibly avoid it.

    And then, sez you: “And you won’t win… you CAN’T win, unless you have won the hearts and minds of a significant amount of We the People.”

    MBV: Based on that argument, the Founders would have lost. As near as historians can determine, one third of the people were for the revolutionary cause, one third for the King, and one third blew with the wind and took what came. The actual number of rebel combatants in the field at any given time were a mere 3 percent of the population, supported actively by another 10 percent. Would you say thirteen percent was “a significant amount?” Hitsory, my anonymous friend, for good or evil is ALWAYS made by determined minorities. That goes for restorations as well as revolutions, and it is something rather more rare than a mere revolution that I am seeking. I want a RESTORATION of the constitutional republic. Frankly, I don’t think I’ll get it. But what I insist upon as a free man in the mean time is for me and my family and friends to be left alone. “Don’t piss on the electric fence.”

    Then sez you: “This is, after all, your goal… right? The restoration of the Republic? Do you propose to ‘impose liberty’ on a majority who don’t agree with your definition? Sounds more Che Guevara than George Washington to me.”

    MBV: Observation — The tories had liberty “imposed” on them by the success of the revolution and many of them left rather than accept it. In a struggle, one side wins the other loses. That said, I’m not trying to impose liberty on anyone. I’m trying to preserve MY liberty from people who want to impose their godless collectivist designs on me and mine. You really need to read more of George Washington. He was no milksop. Frankly I suspect that in practical political terms the best we can hope for is a return to a Tenth Amendment paradigm where, if Massachusetts wishes to legalize sodomy and bestiality, kill their babies and take thier citizens’ guns and Alabama wants to do the opposite, each may do so. The reality is that the collectivist impulse will never allow that to happen. They have a “today Europe, tomorrow the world, sieg heil!” mentality. They are as with the borg: “Assimilate or die.”

    Based upon the reaction of people such as yourself and “Snowflake” to a simple letter to the editor, I doubt that there are enough free men and women left in this country to hold it all. So, if I must adjust my wishes to reality, I must lower my sights regarding the territorial boundaries of that “country.” As long as the west, portions of the midwest and the south can maintain contiguous borders and ports for free trade and free markets, the Californicators and godless Yankees may do what they please. Even so, it would be a tragedy for the country and mankind were we forced to accept such a terrible compromise to avoid civil war.

    In sum, I’m not trying to make anybody do anything except THINK about the consequences of their opinions and the actions that those opinions generate AND to respect my liberty.

    Then sez you: “Leave me alone or I’m going to shoot” isn’t an argument. It’s a threat. It doesn’t win converts to your side, because it ultimately doesn’t offer any answers. If we’re to take you seriously, that you believe a Revolution can and will happen, then you should be able to answer this question: what would your post-Revolution society be like? If you can’t articulate a vision for this country other than “leave me alone”, then you’re not a believer in Locke (who saw a need for government), you’re just a garden variety anarchist. So tell me Mike, and all the rest… what would this country look like post-Revolution? Go through the day of the average middle class resident of this country and tell me how their life would be changed or different. I’m willing to listen to your argument if you’re willing to listen to mine.

    MBV: You know, I was alternately irritated and bemused by the SPLC mantra in the 90s of the “antigovernment” stereotype. As you observe, only anarchists and madman individualists are “antigovernment.” I am, as we were then, FOR government, but like the Founders we insisted that the government be small, safe and unobtrusive in areas not within its constitutionally limited purview. What my vision for a “post Revolution” society would look like (there you go again, confusing restoration with revolution) is the same country that I grew up in in the 50s and early 60s, except with full civil rights for all, lower taxes, no Roosevekt era socialist claptrap laws like the 1934 NFA, a sound money policy, free trade, no Federal Reserve and neat stuff like microwaves and the Internet and cell phones (well, maybe not cell phones, that’s a two edged sword). Oh, yeah, and I’d like my ex-wife to join a nunnery to get some humility. But other than that I want what the Founders strove for and Martin Luther King so eloquently longed for — a country where men are judged not by the color of their skin (or their family, or wealth or position) but by the content of their character. I want the federal government — indeed all government — to be damned respectful of the people who put them there and NOT preying upon the people like some ATF biker gang. Get the picture? — Vanderboegh III

  171. Translation: One day, because the ATF tries to enforce then-existing federal firearms laws…

    I don’t want to get into motivations for a statement of this kind, because I am not now and do not care to try to be a mind-reader. Also I am not a lawyer nor a full-time Constitutional scholar, but premit me to attempt to apply a formula laid out by Randy Barnett in Restoring the Lost Constitution to the best of my limited ability.

    As regards existing federal firearms laws: Quite apart from BATFE making it up as suits their mood of the day, consider how many of these laws are mere malum prohibitum, and unconstitutional into the bargain. For that reason, these laws cannot bind in conscience; the citizen has no moral obligation to comply. One could argue that there is no legal obligation to comply either, but that’s kind of beside the point. That said, one may choose to comply in the face of the overwhelming power the State can bring to bear on any one individual, but that is not a matter of the obligations of a citizen. It is a tactical decision, and nothing more.

    III

  172. Premit? You can’t do this to me, Krabs…I WENT TO COLLEGE!!!1!!leven!

    Honest I did….

    III

  173. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Irritating I know, but I’m always finding items I missed. The product of a disorganized mind, no doubt. In any case, Anon sez: “Leave me alone or I’m going to shoot” isn’t an argument. It’s a threat.

    MBV: Of course its an argument. “Ultima ratio regem,” goes the phrase. “The last argument of Kings.” And, I might add, of free people.

    Of course, it is also a threat. And your point is? How about these arguments/threats:

    “Pay your taxes or we will use the violence of the state to force you to comply.”

    Or this, “We are the ATF and we can do what we damn well please. Don’t get in our way.”

    The government, you may have noticed, has grown into a leviathan that little cares for its citizens’ wishes. They have their arguments and threats, we — that dwindling despised minority of free Americans who dare speak our minds — have ours. Pick a side or hide and watch. Macht nichts to me. — Vanderboegh III

  174. Bambi says:

    Civil War, when it comes (and I believe it will – or something quite like it) is not likely to be triggered by gun issues alone. A fat, dumb, oblivious populace will never take up arms to throw off an oppressive government, no matter how blatant the infringement of rights. Look at the U.K. There are now over 1000 legal reasons to search a home, including, I am told, not taking proper care of house plants. (OK, maybe that one was facetious. Or maybe not.)

    Point is, it’s only when things get nasty for the average Joe that he’ll think of fighting back.

    For those who WANT a civil war, there’s some good news. The dollar is crashing and those who might do something about it are either oblivious or indifferent. When bread’s at $10/loaf, and milk is $20/gallon, you’ll see civil war…

  175. Wendy Weinbaum says:

    As a Jewess in the US, I just want to remind everyone that America wasn’r won with a registered gun. And that criminals are stopped by FIREARMS, not by talk. That is why all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!

  176. BC says:

    Yeah, I noticed how much good the “availability of legal and political remedies for alleged violations” of civil rights did David Olofson, or Vicki Weaver or the Davidians. Don’t you morons get it?!? The Olofson case PROVES there is no such thing as the rule of law in the country anymore when it comes to the ATF.

    Lumping a first-rate clown who actually did violate the letter of federal firearms law, and who was given due process, in with Randy Weaver and the Davidians is nothing short of disgusting, and discredits everything else you have to say on the subject. We’re done here.

  177. BC says:

    And I will not victimized without fighting back. John Kennedy once said that those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable. I suppose he was a “crank” too?

    No, but he would have slapped the ever-loving shit out of you for enlisting his bon mot to agitate for revolution in a political climate where peaceful change self-evidently is still possible, notwithstanding weapons-grade stupid arguments to the contrary.

  178. Pardon me if my points have already been made, I just don’t have time to read all these.

    1. The Founders fought a bloody 8-year civil war, yes, civil war, for the control of colonial govt. against king-loving sheeple who thought they were fighting the ‘extremists.’

    They had to kill them, by the score, and were killed, by the score.

    In our next national spasm, which the bad guys won through superior numbers and logistics, scores were killed by many who thought they were ‘doing what is right’ when they were really fighting for a tyrant who turned our republic into an empire.

    Yes, we are a tiny minority, and will likely stay that way. But I will not exist under what our global cancer, “Liberal”ism, has done to England and other countries.

    When you play their word game, as we were once deemed ‘extremists, nazis, right-wingers,’ etc. just for saying we have any gun rights at all, or for mentioning the word “Liberty” publicly, you dance in their direction.

    When you dance with the devil you don’t change him, he changes you.

    It’s time to stop dancing, and get in their faces and tell them “NO” in no uncertain terms and have the force available to back it up and to at least be able to make them pay a high price, in their own homes, and with their own families, as they are quite willing to make us do.

  179. Uzziel says:

    I see why dialogue is an appealing venue to express our concerns and our inalienable rights, but one can only flip the issue for so many people; others, such as corporatist, extrapolating psychotic, Cynthia McCarthy, are too far gone to even fire a synapse in serious thought (not even she knows what a “bullet shroud” is, and SHE had that bill created). Just check the “New York Post” to read about her latest terrorist action.

    In my opinion, whether you want to consider it valid or not, there is a concept called PSYOP, which whinny, wannabe de-escalators need to learn. Because some influential, powerful individuals are too far gone to consider our positions as valid, they need to understand that if they try to physically impose their malice upon us, they can either expect to suffer heavy casualties or expect a victory to be strictly Pyrrhic. They need to understand that we, the People, out-number them, out-gun them, and that when shove comes to a garden trowel in the face, we will not stand down as did the British after Dunblane. The once-proud, fearsome British people now stand as a joke, as Soviet Britannia’s uncouth underclass tramples all over them in worn sneakers and broken bottles of Stella Artois.

    That, a combined declaration of intent, may do more to repel in our rogue, “Soviofacist” government than words and a flashing a locked-open slide action. Therefore, we need to stop this infighting between ourselves, and combine our forces to take back what is rightfully ours, either by diplomacy or by a maelstrom of JHPs. Usually, infighting such as this is fermented by those in collusion with the opposition as a control valve. Acknowledging that, should we not stop this useless squabble, should we keep bickering amongst ourselves, concerning whether or not we should make known our nuclear option, our rogue government shall continue to advance against our rights and will keep winning.

    For those who will mindlessly follow the government’s terms, laying down their arms just to show that they are “reasonable”, go right ahead. People such as Mr. Vanderboegh and I will do the fighting; every other hand-wringing whiner out there can just go to the abattoirs, courtesy of FEMA. Just stay out of the way.

    -Uzziel-

  180. Ron Good says:

    If you take Laws as your guide to what is right and what is wrong, you are already not thinking well enough.

    When deciding on an action, Laws are somewhat useful as a factor in risk assessment, but a quick perusal of laws around the world should make you quickly realize how useless they are as a moral guide.

    So don’t prattle to me of “regulation this” and “constitution that” or “majority this” when you are looking to affect my view of what is right and what is wrong.

    Make moral points with your best moral arguments, not legal arguments. If you are unable to support your case in that manner, well…that should tell you something important about your position.

  181. Billy Beck says:

    Excellent, Ron. +1.

    At root, this whole thing is an ethical argument. “What do you value and how do you act for it?”

    That’s the discussion.

  182. BC says:

    People such as Mr. Vanderboegh and I will do the fighting; every other hand-wringing whiner out there can just go to the abattoirs, courtesy of FEMA. Just stay out of the way.

    If assholes like you and Vanderboegh try to touch off a civil war by shrieking “MOLON LABE!” every time Congress or ATF does something you don’t like, notwithstanding the existence of effective peaceful avenues for reform, I’ll gladly volunteer to shoot you myself.

  183. If assholes like you and Vanderboegh try to touch off a civil war by shrieking “MOLON LABE!” every time Congress or ATF does something you don’t like, notwithstanding the existence of effective peaceful avenues for reform, I’ll gladly volunteer to shoot you myself.

    If shouting “MOLON LABE!” is enough to touch off a civil war, then we have the kind of problems that mean you’d better shoot me, too.

  184. BC says:

    Let me rephrase, Ken: If assholes like Uzziel and Vanderbough try to touch off a civil war by shrieking “MOLON LABE!” and doing more than merely fantasizing about assassinating federal LEOs every time Congress or the ATF does something they don’t like, et cetera.

  185. Sebastian says:

    This thread is starting to get tiring.

  186. Ron Good says:

    notwithstanding the existence of effective peaceful avenues for reform

    Feel free to describe those “effective” peaceful avenues you write of, and include examples of how well they work when people with guns come no-knockin’ to my or your door.

    Self defense is not “assassination” by any lucid definition.

  187. Sebastian says:

    We have a Congress, courts, 50 state legislatures, town councils, etc. Affecting change through those means is slow, but it does often work. You may not get everything you want, but that’s the breaks when you have to live in a society with other people who might not agree with you. If people felt free to shoot any police officer coming to enforce any law they don’t agree with, that’s not justice, it’s anarchy.

  188. I wonder how many posters are really “Liberal” freaks, govt. Nazis, or other assorted lowlifes who are just trying to sidetrack the argument?

    How did we get from talking about appropriate action to take in case of a wtshtf scenario to ‘any law they don’t agree with?’

    No sebastian, I’m not calling you a “Liberal” freak. There’s not enough proof yet. But then I haven’t read all these posts either.

    There are also ‘conservative’ idiots who think we will be OK to just ‘comply’ when we’re told to ‘register’ or ‘turn them in.’

    No! HELL NO!

    But then GCA 68 which sends those pink forms to the BATF Nazi lowlife scum(it’s not name-calling when it’s the truth) when a gun shop closes is de-facto registration. The scum who wrote and voted for and supported that legislation should be hunted down, tried for treason and executed. The dead ones should be dug up from their graves and hung.

    Why do so many allegedly Liberty minded people freak out over this topic? The Founders used the ‘system’ such as it was until they had no other choice but to start killing government employees. We face the same situation, just different times and different names for the issues. Why is that so difficult for so many to grasp?

    Though there are days when I wish I’d never uttered a ‘public’ word and was on no lists of any kind. Then maybe I could occasionally take a ‘hunting’ trip. “Activists” of a certain sort who didn’t let their pride or their anger get in their way could be very effective.

  189. Billy Beck says:

    ”…when you have to live in a society with other people who might not agree with you.”

    Bloody Christ, I have days when I think that if I see that “disagree” horseshit one more time, I’m going to start shooting all you bastards, myself. None of this is about mere ‘disagreement’. That would imply that there is something morally tolerable in the actions of the state which incite these discussions, and there simply isn’t. If you want to call the difference between right and wrong a “disagreement”, then you can go right ahead, but you should know that you’re wearing a bib at the adults’ table.

  190. Ron Good says:

    Sebastian: you didn’t address the “and include examples of how well they work when people with guns come no-knockin’ to my or your door” part…

    Not that I’m surprised; that’d be a tough job.

  191. Ron Good says:

    Unless, of course, “slowly” was all you had to offer.

  192. Sebastian says:

    That’s it Billy. My patience is at an end. You’re done. In fact, this thread is done. I’m tired of it.

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