West Side Late Shift takes a look at a new demand from the Mexican central government to register “rurales,” which I think is Spanish for “cousin humping redneck.” According to West Wide Late Shift, these groups “have banded together to resist the abuses of a cartel in their state.” Given the level of corruption in the Mexican government, there’s no way in hell I’d comply with something like this, considering the likelihood the right bribe to the right official could probably get the list, and all the people on it. If their government could help them, they’d have helped them. The whole need to form into citizen militias in the first place is because the government has failed them. They are failing them again if they insist on disarming them. I get the concern in weeding out criminals from the militias, but the solution is not to make everyone equally helpless.
Over the weekend, while I was busy with yard work, the Bureau of Land Management backed down from their confrontation with Cliven Bundy in Nevada. It’s actually been the foreign media that seem to be most fascinated by all this, as the coverage at the UK outlets Daily Mail and The Guardian, and Australian outlet the Sydney Telegraph, aptly demonstrate. A pretty good article about the confrontation appears in Breitbart, which is not entirely sympathetic to Bundy’s position, but provides a good bit of background.
This whole incident is baffling for an east coaster, because grazing rights on federal land seem more like a policy dispute rather than an dispute of fundamental rights, or the government reaching beyond its Constitutional constraints. Few people would argue the federal government doesn’t have the power to control it’s own property. It’s in the Constitution. This has never seemed to me to be in the realm of things we draw lines in the sand and threaten to shoot people over.
I get the fundamental unfairness of it all; that the feds are ruining the livelihood of ranchers over a desert tortoise, when Harry Reid and his former staffer who now heads up BLM is busy defiling that very tortoise habitat with a solar farm to benefit one of his big donors. I get that the federal government is currently flush with overreaching bureaucrats who have little regard for the people their policies impact. But to me this looks like something we’re better off changing at the ballot box. I also don’t really have very much sympathy with the Sovereign Citizen Movement, which Bundy seems to have leanings toward.
I won’t pretend to have a strong understanding of the west’s land use culture. To east coasters, westerners have always seemed rather eager to kill each other over things that people on the east coast take for granted, like water. But that’s not to say I’m on the federal government’s side in this whole affair. While I believe the federal government is probably in the legal right, I think they’ve squandered their moral right when they decided to threaten protesters and corral them into first amendment pens like herds of cattle. When I say what’s happening with Cliven Bundy isn’t worth shooting people over, I’m speaking to both sides. The BLM didn’t have to come in with a cocky attitude and pushing people around. I’d rather live in a country where’s a healthy spirit to resist bureaucratic whim, than live in one where people are expected to be obedient little subjects and step aside. Bundy stood up to the federal government and he won, and there’s part of me that celebrates that no matter how I feel about the actual policy issue. The famous quote from Thomas Jefferson is quite apt here:
God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independent 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
In a political climate where a large portion of Americans didn’t feel like they were constantly under the boot of the federal government in general, and this Administration in particular, these kinds of public policy disputes wouldn’t risk starting a civil war. The federal government backed down because it did not want a bloodbath. I think that was the prudent and moral thing to do. If the federal government is going to deal with grazing on federal lands, it’s going to have to earn back a its legitimacy from the large segment of the public that now questions it. This Administration has taken to politicizing every aspect of American life, and these are the wages of that policy.
While some gun control proponents say that you don’t see mass stabbings, only mass shootings, a Western Pennsylvania high school just proved them very wrong this morning. I’ve waited for a little more to unfold in the story before commenting because it’s not an issue of guns or no guns, knife control, or even metal detectors at every door, as it seems that some people are already pushing while students are still undergoing major surgeries since they are in critical condition.
A local paper featured a comment by a senior that I thought was very telling on how the issue of violence as a whole is very complicated and not easily solved by one policy that focuses on the instrument used:
“Everybody was just freaking out,” he said. “It’s been a tough senior year. We’ve had a lot of fights in school — more than usual — and a suicide this year.”
Mental health issues going unaddressed in the community? Check. Increased violent outbreaks as a whole? Check. Those won’t be fixed with gun control, knife control, or metal detectors. It sounds like there won’t be many easy answers for this community. Certainly, they are in our thoughts as this story continues to be investigated.
Since nearly everything that comes out in the next several hours is likely to range from mildly wrong to grossly wrong, I’m not going to report on facts until facts are in. I’d note that our opponents have not had much success in exploiting mass shooting tragedies at military bases.
The pre-order page is now posted for the Charlton Heston stamp from the Post Office. It says that pre-orders will be available April 9, and the launch is set for April 11. You know I’m so going to get some when they come out. In fact, I think I’ll find excuses to mail some letters this summer just to have an excuse to use them.
If the Post Office is interested in making some money off of these, they should ask if NRA would put up promotional posters at the NRA convention in Indy and note that the post office downtown is only a 15 minute walk from the convention center. They might try to claim that it’s only honoring his Hollywood work, but they really need to look at the fact that they need to make money. This event happens to provide a very targeted audience – regardless of the motivation to buy.
So with the Russia reasserting itself on the world stage, and rumors of Putin wanting to build a new Russian military base in Cuba, does that mean that the original Red Dawn is timely again? The bear is back, folks! Thank God we have sensible people in the White House who really get this Smart Diplomacy thing.
In April, the USPS will release a stamp honoring former NRA president Charlton Heston. I initially found the news at Daily Caller, but they simply said the stamp would be released sometime in the year 2014. A look at the USPS website says that the release event is scheduled for a day to be determined in April.
If USPS is really interested in making some money, they would do it before the NRA meetings start on April 25 so that it’s a nifty little fact that stands a chance of getting mentioned to 70,000+ people who are more likely to have an interest in this particular actor.
Since it will be a standard First Class Forever stamp, it’s entirely possible that any mail sent in the next few years from our house may honor Mr. Heston. Think they’ll do a custom one of Charlton Heston in a Santa hat or holding some mistletoe for my Christmas cards? (h/t NYSRPA)
Most of the time that I spot an obituary in my Google alerts that reference a pro-gun organization, I almost always take a look at the site. I don’t know these people, but they stand out to me as someone I probably would have liked to know because they cared about the Second Amendment and did enough to stand up and defend their rights that their family thought that it deserved recognition in the few sentences granted to sum up an entire life of achievements. I respect that about those men and women.
I also think it’s important when membership in a pro-gun group is mentioned because it drives home a narrative that normal people are gun owners who will defend their rights. This isn’t about a bunch of unknown lobbyists in some far off corner of the country, it’s about real Americans who are your neighbors whether you live in New York or Arizona. People who don’t talk to many moderates who don’t really have strong opinions on the issue don’t realize how much that makes a difference.
I just thought about that final chance to send a positive message about gun ownership one last time with last night’s news that Dick Cabela died and also a google alert hit today for a father named Rick Daily. You’ve probably heard of one and haven’t heard of the other. Regardless, both men were clearly very big supporters of the cause.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
May you all have a happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and may your table be free of propagandists for the regime.