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No One Should Have to Own Crazies

I for one am glad that Ladd Everitt, formerly of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and now working for George Takei’s new gun control effort, has decided to start a column at Medium.com. His latest piece contains some glorious schadenfreude, into which I shall delve.

First, credit where credit is due: Ladd Everitt is at least trying to own up to the political violence on the left just like he’s demanded Second Amendment advocates own practically every act of political violence that’s come along since… well… as long as I can remember. I’ll give him points for being consistent. But maybe the issue is that he’s just wrong, and that it’s fundamentally unfair to blame the actions of kooks and whack jobs on people who are in no way, shape or form responsible for their actions.

Hodgkinson didn’t come to his violent anti-government extremism by way of right-wing politics (as is common with mass shooters). Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders volunteer. He loved Rachel Maddow. He couldn’t stand Karen Handel. He said things like, “I have never said ‘life sucks,’ only the policies of the Republicans.”

You can’t get away from it, can you Ladd? You have to tie the nuts to your opponents, don’t you? Jared Loughner thought that the US government was using grammar to control our minds. Loughner wasn’t on the left or right spectrum: he was a paranoid schizophrenic, who, like many mentally ill people, slipped through the cracks of the system and was never put “into the system” until after he committed an act of violence.

The Pulse shooter? In his mind, at least, on a revenge mission for ISIS. The San Bernardino shooters? Same deal. The Charleston Church Shooting? I’m pretty sure everyone was uniformly disgusted by his actions, and I’m pretty sure no one in the mainstream conservative movement advocates or condones that kind of racial violence.

Ladd, you don’t own Hodgkinson any more than I own Roof or Loughner. Neither does Bernie Sanders own Hodgkinson. And you know what? Sarah Palin has never owned Loughner either. Maybe your insufferable insistence on spouting this kind of nonsense is why no one is listening to you.

If there are some on the left who have bought into the NRA’s perverse “Insurrectionist Idea” regarding the citizen / state relationship, make your voices heard now. Suggestions that the solution to our political problems can be found at the end of a gun barrel must no longer be might with silence by progressives. It’s time for a robust debate about the civic health of our democracy.

No Ladd, they’ve bought into the caricature that exists in your head. This “Insurrectionist Idea” has always been a straw man bandied about by your former boss. The “Insurrectionist Idea” you imagine is not part of nor has it ever been part of any mainstream conservative or libertarian thought.

This might be a shock to you Ladd, but I too an concerned about this country’s apparent descent into the type of madness we’ve been seeing. I’m also concerned about the nastiness, the factionalism, the anger, divisiveness and thoughtlessness we’re seeing today. I don’t want to see this descend into pitched street battles or even worse any more than you do. But the solution is not, and has never been, to disarm people who scare us. A disarmed populace is going to be more easily bullied by extremists factions than a confident and armed population. Think Weimar Germany.

Revolution or “insurrection” is not a mechanism for settling differences over health care, welfare policy, immigration, or any number issues that bedevil us today. We’ve never believed that. To quote Judge Kozinki’s dissent in the Silveira case:

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

That’s what most of us believe, Ladd. We don’t think it’s OK to start shooting elected officials because an election didn’t go our way. Neither did another group of people who actually used this “Doomsday Provision”:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

This is what we believe. Maybe it’s true that some disturbed people don’t get the details right, but we don’t own those people. Neither of us do.

41 Responses to “No One Should Have to Own Crazies”

  1. Whetherman says:

    I know this is not a popular view/question on the gun owner side, but I have to ask: I’m not sure how many, if any, have passed, but I know a number of state-level “nullification” bills involving various issues have at least been introduced around the country, that specified that federal officials/agents attempting to enforce certain kinds of laws, in contradiction to state laws, should be arrested and imprisoned.

    Arrest and imprisonment of federal officials sure sounds like a close approach to what we used to call “the violent overthrow” 50 years ago and more.

    Since I’m not prepared to itemize all such bills and what became of them, myself, perhaps I shouldn’t ask this question, but did they usually involve issues that would be characterized as “left,” or “right?”

    (I seem to recall one such was introduced in PA.)

    I want to emphasize: These were actual legislation, introduced by elected officials, few of whom suffered negative consequences at subsequent elections; so their constituents must have considered such things to be reasonable.

    • Whetherman says:

      Wikipedia has an article, State legislation in protest of federal law in the United States that is the closest thing I’ve found to an itemization of the kinds of legislation I’m referring to.

      In some cases it is hard to characterize the issues as “left” or “right” so I won’t attempt to, but the following is a list of the sub-articles:

      1 State sovereignty resolutions (10th Amendment resolutions)

      2 State sovereignty bills (10th Amendment Bills)

      3 Firearms freedom legislation and federal gun laws nullification

      4 Cannabis laws

      5 REAL ID Act

      6 National health care nullification

      7 Bring the Guard home

      8 Legal tender

      9 Cap-and-trade nullification

      10 State sovereignty and federal tax funds acts

      11 Sheriffs first legislation

      12 Federal land legislation

      13 Nullification of federal intrastate commerce regulation

      14 Sanctuary city

      15 Intrastate Coal and Use Act

      It should be noted that in many cases, legislation legalized things that violate federal law, but doesn’t suggest or demand confrontation with federal officials; marijuana legalization being the best example, in general.

      My entire point is, that all philosophies seem prepared to implement or at least encourage or risk physical confrontation if that’s what it takes to advance their ideology.

      • Alpheus says:

        I also have the impression that while States are willing to pass such laws, they don’t necessarily have the gumption to actually enforce them.

        I recall a Federal machine gun case from Kansas, where Kansas passed just such a law for machine guns, and now someone is being prosecuted because he decided to trust the Kansas law. Kansas has yet to arrest the Federal agents who have arrested this person.

        On the one hand, I appreciate States flexing their muscles passing such laws (even if I might disagree with some of them), but I can’t help but have the sense that States are just posing and virtue-signalling, and aren’t willing to put their money/prosecutions where their mouths are. Thus, we rely on said laws to our own peril.

        And this ignores that, even if States were serious about enforcing these laws, if we act on them, we do so at our peril anyway — we will be relying on the mercy of the Supreme Court deciding whether such laws are Constitutional. Who knows? Perhaps the Supreme Court will find them so, but perhaps not — and the actual Constitutionality of said laws is even somewhat irrelevant to what the Courts will find.

        Sure, it would be fun to watch the fireworks of all this being taken seriously. But I, for one, do not want to be at the epicenter of taking all this seriously…or rather, I might be willing to volunteer, if I can trust the States (which I can’t), and thought I had a good chance to win the case (which I’m not really all that confident on either)…which, sadly, means that ultimately the fate of these laws are going to be based on some yahoo who panics because of something stupid thing, and thinks that this will be the “Get out of jail free card”, and with a second-rate lawyer (or worse, self-representation) end up setting up a precedent that will set the entire movement back…

        And this is probably the optimistic scenario!

        • Whetherman says:

          “I can’t help but have the sense that States are just posing and virtue-signalling”

          I agree with everything you wrote. But the original theme of this thread could be characterized as “people encouraging and playing off crazies,” so sort of what I was alluding to was, even people with some presumed substance, like state legislators, are willing to play off quite a bit of potential craziness for their own motives; and that is largely independent of ideology.

          I’m sure we wouldn’t have to think very long to name wars that were started by virtue-signalling — “on principle.” E.g., it could be argued that the seeds of the Vietnam War were planted by the Red Scare hysterias of the 1950s, when not enough could be done to “stand up to International Communism,” even when our national interests in situations were somewhere between non-existent and very hazy. The conflict itself would be the source of our virtue.

  2. Thirdpower says:

    He’s put up pictures of ‘super-heroes’ punching out the current president while attacking pictures that have a gun and Obama in them as ‘fomenting violence’.

    Nothing more than a hypocrite and mouth-foaming anti-gun fanatic.

  3. Whetherman says:

    Thinking about this post brought to mind the following quote:

    “The [ideologue] not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” — George Orwell, 1945

    I’ve substituted [ideologue] for what Orwell originally wrote, so as not to imply a left/right bias, which the original quote might; and the above is more generally true.

    I’ll paraphrase it even more, to “Crazies are in the eye of the beholder.” Or maybe, “One man’s crazy is another man’s movement hero.”

    The possibilities are endless. ;-)

  4. Richard says:

    There are legitimately crazy people out there (e.g. Loughner, Hinckley). I agree that no one should be forced to own them. However, they baseball shooter was a mainstream Democrat Party activist. They own him.

    • Whetherman says:

      I get a feeling your second sentenced contradicted your first.

      Hinckley was crazy “legitimately” because he was perversely motivated by Jodie Foster; but the baseball shooter needs to be “owned” by the opposition political party, because they were the fixation that perversely motivated him?

      Couldn’t we make the argument that the baseball shooter should be owned by everyone who ever Open Carried at a political demonstration, implying (intentionally or not) that armed conflict would be an acceptable way to settle an ideological difference? Owned, say, by the Oath Keepers or III%s?

  5. Brad says:

    I don’t think enough people get that Hodgkinson was an example of something more dangerous than a crazy like Loughner or an underground extremist like McVeigh. Hodgkinson is a warning to the Nation, an opportunity to turn back before it’s too late. But It seems like that warning is not really being heard.

    So I’m predicting we will see another such attack within the next two years. It might be a complete flop, and also be underestimated. But what if that terrorist succeeds? What if a half-dozen politicians are killed? What if Trump is killed?

    Not looking forward to that.

    • Alpheus says:

      Agreed. I’m particularly concerned about all the pundits and the Democrat Congress critters who are basically saying “Yeah, this is horrible, and it shouldn’t happen, but the Republicans had it coming!” I fail to see how saying things like this is going to discourage other people from attacking Republicans.

      What’s worse, these Democrats seem to be blind to the notion that if Republicans can be shot over policy issues, then so can Republicans — and that, for all the “horror” that Democrats aren’t getting their way, there’s *decades* of the same “horror” that conservatives and libertarians have been suffering from. If Republicans become “fair game”, it’s only a matter of time before Democrats become “fair game” too.

      And when that happens, it’s *very* difficult to see how we don’t devolve into some sort of Civil War.

      (It’s ironic that Democrats are always expecting the Right to initiate this violence — if they were prone to do so, they would have done it decades ago! All of us are fortunate that conservatives and libertarians are, for the most part, very long-suffering…)

      • Brad says:

        Exactly right.

        And as for the Democrats always expecting a right-wing coup or terrorist plot, I think they are projecting their own feelings onto right-wingers.

    • Whetherman says:

      “What if a half-dozen politicians are killed? What if Trump is killed?”

      You will see the Republicans become the overt Gun Control Party.

      • Brad says:

        If a Democrat slaughters a bunch of Republican politicians, because he is a Democrat and they are Republicans, the Republican Party reaction will be lawfare against gun-owning Republicans?

        Maybe. But very doubtful.

        • Whetherman says:

          “the Republican Party reaction will be lawfare against gun-owning Republicans?”

          Not necessarily Republicans, but they will invent some kind of “good citizen” qualification or criteria that excuses themselves — exactly what a certain party did in a certain country in a certain decade that Mr. Godwin demands we not mention.

          I think we have already seen a small indication of that with Ted Nugent turning all Koombaya Reasonable last week. He operated on the assumption that “the left” was unarmed and pacifistic, while he was spouting his loudmouth shit; but then the ballfield shooting made him realize that some leftist crazy could walk up beside him in the street and shoot him.

          Suddenly it became a good idea to maybe talk things over. The next step will be, talking over who to qualify as insane based on beliefs, so that they can be disarmed.

          But a few people have already broached that idea, haven’t they?

          • Brad says:

            You keep trying to accuse the Republican Party of being on the edge of flipping into the Democrat Party. That isn’t credible.

            It would be more credible to accuse that some Republican politicians would switch to the Democratic Party under the right provocation. That at least passes the laugh test.

            • Whetherman says:

              “You keep trying to accuse the Republican Party of being on the edge of flipping into the Democrat Party.”

              And you keep trying to maintain that there is some distinct, immutable difference between them. That is not credible. Both use identical tactics as they believe they can gain advantage.

              I suppose one needs to be a True Believer to really believe otherwise, but even though I consider myself a recovering TB, I can’t quite grasp it these days.

  6. TS says:

    I am in general agreement that sides don’t need to own their crazies, but was he really crazy? Or did he just buy into the rhetoric? The Tucson shooter was diagnosed as clinically insane, but was Hodgkinson acting with a sound mind? Maybe. If you really believe you are fighting against fascism, nazis, and white supremacist, then maybe it is time to take up arms? If we look at the more clear example of Islamic extremism, we have to put some of the blame for terrorism on the culture that raises suicidal jihadists. BLM convinces enough people of a false rhetoric, that we can’t be suprised by violent responses. Even if we don’t lay some partial blame on the general left, minimally this should be used as an opportunity to cool the rhetoric.

  7. dwb says:

    No, the 2nd Amendment is not a doomsday provision! It is a recognition that a) government employees are equal to everyone else (including equal in arms); b) the govt has no duty to protect you and each person has the right and responsibility to defend themselves. Sure, it would be nice if the police showed up. But they only show up after the crime is committed.

    In fact, individual liberty virtually requires that people be responsible for their own safety, otherwise the .gov would have to vastly curtail liberties to “prevent” crime – like locking people up with little or no cause.

    The 2nd amendment is better thought of as a deterrent, or vaccine. This concept seems to escape a lot of people: The success of a deterrent or vaccine is the *absence* of the disease. People think, hey we don’t have measles so lets all not get our kids vaccinated. Vaccines confer a sort of herd immunity so a small number of anti-vaxxers will not have an impact. But then, whoops https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html!

    The second amendment works much the same way. When enough people carry, it is a deterrent to both crime and police mis-behavior. There is a reason why criminals try to break into your home when you are out of the house, rather than stage home invasions like in the UK. Consider the fact that in states where open carry is legal, the presence of a gun itself is not sufficient cause to stop someone. The 2nd amendment protects the rights, but often in very subtle everyday ways.

    Sure, self defense encompasses a whole spectrum of possibilities including in the extremes preventing an invasion or defending against tyranny. But, a person living in Baltimore or Chicago has a far more daily need to exercise their rights.

  8. Whetherman says:

    I stumbled over this and this today, and found them disquieting.

    • Richard says:

      One of the Vegas incidents listed as right-wing had perps that were associated with Occupy Wall Street. Doesn’t sound right wing to me. YVMV.

      • Richard says:

        And if anti-Muslim incidents are right wing the Islamist incidents have to be left wing.

        • Richard says:

          And in the Corvallis incident,if the attack was in retaliation for an previous attack on a Christian symbol why was no Islamist attack listed. You want me to keep fisking your source or will you admit you have used a biased data base.

        • Whetherman says:

          “And if anti-Muslim incidents are right wing the Islamist incidents have to be left wing.”

          Is any attack broadly attributed to a “wing,” based only on who the targets were? Even so-called “hate legislation” requires that there be additional evidence of some kind of bias other than, say, race or sect or sexual orientation. A white/black guy/girl attacking a black/white victim is not automatically assumed to be racially or ideologically motivated, though of course some people will always say that. (Neither “wing” appears to have secured the copyright on perpetual victimhood.)

          A fair question is, is there anything about Islam or Islamists or militant Islamists that qualifies them as “leftists” under any standard ideological definition? The militants would seem to share more in common with our own religionists who are usually self-described as “rightists.” (E.g., authoritarianism justified by some form of holy writings.)

          It seems a bit sloppy philosophically to just label anyone or anything that doesn’t like us, or that we don’t like, as “leftist.” Or, “rightist” or “fascist,” for that matter.

          • Richard says:

            The left, both here and internationally has supported the Islamists, probably due to general anti-Western sentiment and/or Antisemitism. I agree that the Islamists don’t reciprocate.

            However, the data base you use has a number of cases with unknown perps where the wing assignment is based solely on the identity of the target.

      • Whetherman says:

        “One of the Vegas incidents listed as right-wing had perps that were associated with Occupy Wall Street.”

        Sounds like either the right-wing or OWS associations were likely false flag efforts. Which was which do you suppose, and why?

        • Whetherman says:

          Heh. Since posting that I have learned that no lesser a personage than Alex Jones agreed with me that it was a false flag operation. And the perps had posted on his InfoWars site nearly two years beforehand; I would imagine on the left wing chat section of InfoWars.

          But I kid, and I’m worried about thinking like an Alex Jones. My point was, that if some crazies were “associated” with two ideologically opposed factions, which faction “owns” them? The last one, chronologically? The one they hung out with the longest? The one they made the greatest time and effort commitments to?

          Or do we all credit them to whichever faction we like the least? That is easiest and most comforting approach, right?

          GateWayPundit seemed to like that approach.

          • Richard says:

            I can’t seem to find the attack on the Mohammed drawing expo in Garland Tx in your data base.

            The Colorado Springs abortion clinic shooter was adjudicated as mentally ill, thus fitting the criteria of crazy people who no one owns. As an example he wore body armor consisting of silver coins and duct tape.

            In the Spokane incidents, there are actually two incidents-One is Islamist and one is right wing. They map symbol shows right wing only thus leaving a false impression for people who just look at the map.

            In the Navarre FL incident, the charge was counterfeiting not terrorism. Sovereign citizen types refuse to recognize government money. That is illegal not terrorism and the only victim was the accused.

            • Whetherman says:

              “I can’t seem to find the attack on the Mohammed drawing expo in Garland Tx in your data base.”

              Actually it is; see this, and then click on Texas on the map.

              “The Colorado Springs abortion clinic shooter was adjudicated as mentally ill…”

              What were the Garland shooters adjudicated, other than dead?

              Not to suggest that wasn’t the best outcome, except that it left us with no idea of their mental soundness. ISIS claimed credit, but the degree of validity of that is clouded by, how do you know, when “membership” in an organization is largely by attestation? Anyone can be ISIS who thinks they are, or who ISIS sees advantage in claiming.

              • Richard says:

                I did find the Motoons attack buried under the list of bubbles in the Dallas area. Can you help me find the attack in NC that used a car to run down a number of pedestrians on a college campus. I found the similar Ohio attack but couldn’t find the NC one.

                It is true that you can’t adjudicate a dead person but when such a finding is made and especially when the person is batshit crazy like Colorado Springs or Santa Barbara, it seems unreasonable to attribute the attack to a wing. The practice in the data base is to attribute such to the right wing. In the case of Garland, there were a number of other such attacks worldwide by Islamists so it seems reasonable to make the attribution there.

  9. “The Charleston Church Shooting? I’m pretty sure everyone was uniformly disgusted by his actions, and I’m pretty sure no one in the mainstream conservative movement advocates or condones that kind of racial violence.” Mainstream? I doubt any group outside Aryan Nations or the KKK would condone it — unlike Hodginson, who seems to enjoy support among many leftist Twits.

  10. Whetherman says:

    “See my post above about the Democrat Party official.”

    Thanks!

    The article said he was a “technology chairman.” What is that, the guy who plugs in the party servers? ;-)

    And he was, appropriately, fired.

    Now, what else?

  11. Brad says:

    Breaking News!

    SCOTUS denies Peruta!

    http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/peruta-v-california/

    DC v Heller is effectively dead until the makeup of SCOTUS changes. SCOTUS won’t hear 2nd Amendment related cases.

    Government, and in particular anti-gun Cities and States can get away with anything they want with no practical roadblock from the Federal Courts (with a very few minor exceptions like the 2nd Circuit).

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