Calling out the Pragmatists

David Codrea has authored a response to the happenings in the gun blogosphere lately.  I do not agree with everything he says, but it’s well done, serious criticism of our branch of the gun rights movement, and something I think folks should read no matter what side of the issue they are on.

24 Responses to “Calling out the Pragmatists”

  1. David Codrea says:

    Not just here, Sebastian. I specifically did not mention names or specific sites doing this so people would focus on the arguments rather than the personalities.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I’ve clarified that in the link.

  3. Billy Beck says:

    I think it’s important for people to consider that the essential issue in all this is not limited to guns, even though that specific matter was the precipitant spark in Mike Vanderboegh’s letter.

    This is about freedom.

    Make no mistake that the largest general principles are not what’s inciting all the intensity.

  4. BC says:

    I savor the irony of being called a liar by a guy slinging whoppers:

    Instead, Mike’s letter has been presented in a fundamentally dishonest way–that he is advocating initiating violent revolution, shooting government agents and cops, fomenting civil war. People claiming this are either intentional liars, or just plain ignorant as to the facts and irresponsibly willing to spread malicious information without verifying it.

    Vanderboegh is advocating the assassination of federal LEOs who attempt to enforce gun laws he doesn’t like, notwithstanding the existence of effective peaceful avenues for reform of those laws. The courts are open to him and he’s able to petition his government for redress of his grievances, but fuck all that — he’s gonna shoot him some ATF agents if they cross some arbitrary line he’s drawn in the sand. That is the definition of initiating violent revolution and formenting civil war.

    The Framers, who Mike’s not too proud to compare himself to, at least had enough sack to admit that resolving their differences with their government extra-politically did, in fact, amount to initiating violent revolution. Mike? Not so much.

    Don’t ever call be a liar again, you fucking asshole.

    The corollary to this is Mike’s a coward–a loudmouth from the sidelines, a fool who has no clue as to the implications of mass insurrection, urging others to do his dirty work and shed blood while he stays safe. Since the first claim is untrue, this is a mere fabrication based on false assumptions.

    No, the inference of cowardice is drawn from the fact that despite Mike’s constant complaining that the United States, 2008 edition is so functionally indistinguishable from a totalitarian police state that violent revolution is justified, he is functionally indistinguishable from any other Internet blowhard, when someone with the courage of his oft-stated convictions would be off revolutionizing.

  5. Don’t ever call be a liar again, you fucking asshole.

    I guess you can be excused for being . . . fussy–it’s gotta be uncomfortable when one’s pants are on fire.

  6. BC says:

    I guess we can add you to the “disingenuous asshole” list too, Kurt.

  7. I guess we can add you to the “disingenuous asshole” list too, Kurt.

    If you wish–as one of my (many) betters says about you:

    . . . I’m delighted to have your contempt. Anything else and I’d be worried I was doing something wrong.

  8. BC says:

    And as I said to that particular oxygen thief, Kurt: right back atcha.

  9. Sebastian says:

    BC – you tread harshly. That’s going to get some harshness back in return. I’ve always found Kurt to be a reasonable fellow.

  10. Peter says:


    BC has been over at WoG doing much the same thing as here. This is more trollery than debate, IMHO.

  11. Peter says:

    “Don’t ever call be a liar again,..”

    Then stop doing it, brainiac!

  12. BC says:

    I’ve always found Kurt to be a reasonable fellow, too, Sebastian — which is why it surprises me that he’s echoing Codrea, when Codrea is flat-out lying that anybody’s misrepresenting Vanderboegh.

    Codrea, of course, is scum, who I wouldn’t cross the street to piss on if he were on fire.

  13. BC says:

    Then stop doing it, brainiac!

    I never started, brainiac. What you MENSA members evidently can’t wrap your tiny little minds around is that Vanderboegh’s original letter to the editor — you know, the one that started this whole donnybrook? — expressly warned of civil war. You don’t get to argue that the guy’s been misrepresented or misunderstood, that he wasn’t really talking about inciting violent revolution or formenting civil war, when the guy was warning about exactly that — and when virtually every single post he’s made since then has been a variation on the same Walter Mitty Warrior theme.

  14. Peter says:

    He warned of civil war, that much is true, brainiac.

    He didn’t say anything about inciting anything, simply warned of a consequence that the gun-banners obviously haven’t considered. There was no call to arms, no formenting anything, except in your fermented little mind.

    Time to go now, BC; your Mommy is calling.

  15. BC says:

    That’s not my mommy; it’s yours, and the noise she’s making is because I took the ball gag off her. Even she says this, “He was just warning people of the natural consequences of continuing to fuck with us! We won’t be starting the revolution, just defending our rights,” argument of yours is ridiculous.

    It would hold water if it was no longer possible to defend your rights with anything except violence. As that is not remotely the case, the substance of Vandy’s remark is, “We’re gonna shoot people who pass laws we don’t like!”

    Which, coincidentally enough, is what “advocating initiating violent revolution” looks like, in the wild.

  16. Peter says:

    He might have inferred that, but that’s not what he said, and none of your idiotic posturing is going to change that.

    And keeping quiet until there is no other choice than violence is irresponsible, especially if there is something that can be done to make sure it never happens.

  17. Jim W says:

    Before the shooting there is the voting. If we can’t win at the voting, how would we have enough staying power for the shooting? The shooting comes when we win at the voting and in the courts but the losers say “fuck you.”

    Also, we are winning without violence. So long as we don’t frighten off a significant portion of the population, we should continue to win from here until forever. Which brings me back to why violence is a bad idea. Violence is inherently risky. At the most we stand to gain the victory we already have within our grasp. At the worst, we stand to lose that and so much more.

    The Brady’s would love to resort to violence if they thought it would end well for them. I’m sure we would to. But the truth is that most of our power comes from being able to convince the 50% of the public that doesn’t give half a shit about the gun issue until:
    -someone bans something they like
    -someone uses a gun to scare the shit out of them
    At which point they find themselves strangely motivated.

    The reason violence is bad for us is because when these unmotivated masses ignore the issue, we win anyway. The number of people that care deeply about the gun issue and come down on our side greatly outnumber the antis. There’s no desperate need for us to scare people in order to win. But there is such a need on the side of the Bradys. And when we talk about overthrowing the government, WE PLAY INTO THEIR HANDS.

    So don’t fucking do it, pretty please.

  18. I’d still like to know who’s advocating violence. Yeah, I realize that Mr. Vanderboegh has predicted violence in response to government abuses, but if prediction=advocacy, then Gulf Coast area meteorologists should be excoriated for advocating hurricanes.

  19. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    A reply first posted on WoG:

    The Trimmer Indictment against Vanderboegh may be boiled down as follows, I think,

    Charge the First, that with malice aforethought I did write a letter to a liberal newspaper warning that a proposal for national firearms registration would be met with violence, thereby scaring the straights and causing trimmers to vibrate with anxiety, lest they be mistaken for me and thus government people might deprive the trimmers of their life, liberty and property because I skeered ’em.

    Charge the Second, that I have advocated the assassination and murder of local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

    Charge the Third, that I lead a “Merry Band” of Three Percenters who may also be guilty of writing scary letters if properly motivated.

    Charge the Fourth, that I have committed these heinous crimes ARROGANTLY.

    The accused hereby pleads as follows:

    To the First Count, Guilty.

    To the Second Count, absolutely Not Guilty.

    To the Third Count, happily Guilty.

    To the Fourth Count, No Contest.

    As far as threats to leave us dead in ditches, David, you must not worry about such fly buzzing. What is it they are angry about in the first place? That I wrote a letter and said things that they believe are imprudent? People scared by THAT are hardly likely to use deadly force on anybody.

    They remind me of the calls I used to get in 90s, usually around midnight: “I’m going to kill you. . .” they would always begin. And I would laugh and say, “Obviously you don’t understand the difference between masturbation and sex, moron. If you were going to kill me, you would just do it. Since you haven’t, you’re just sitting there in the dark beating your meat. When you grow a pair big enough, come see me. And, oh, by the way, only a moron or a Fed calls up and threatens people on a phone line under federal court ordered wire tap. Which are you? Maybe both, I’m guessing.”

    “CLICK” ;-) True story.

    Somebody observed above (or maybe it was on the now closed thread over at Snowflake’s place) that the real reason my letter has caused such excitement is not that it scared the straights but that it scared these fakirs who have been claiming for years to be big bad defenders of the Second Amendment. They are afraid they might have to actually DO SOMETHING someday to back up their empty words.

    A final thought to allay everybody’s suspicions about whether or not my letter may be construed as (whisper it softly) a t-h-r-e-a-t. There I said it, “threat.” Hell yes its a threat. And an argument. And a promise. In defense of presumed attacks on my life and liberty to be sure, but a threat.

    “Ultima ratio regem,” as I wrote over at Snowflake’s, the last argument of kings, and of free people as well.

    But if people don’t want to be so hypothetically “threatened” they shouldn’t first go around mouthing intellectually sloppy threats themselves about wanting the government to steal other folks’ liberty and property.

    “Pay attention to the rattle, pilgrim, watch your step, and don’t, whatever else you do, piss on the electric fence.

    Vanderboegh, newly appointed leader of a Merry Band. III

    You know, I gotta thank you Snowflake. If you hadn’t had a public poultry defectation moment, my letter wouldn’t be all over the Internet. I need to hire you as a distribution expert for my upcoming novella. ;-) Yessirree, bob. Best little letter I ever wrote. BIG ;-)

    — Mike Vanderboegh

    Constitutional Electrician (Apprentice)
    Leader of a Merry Band of Three Percenters
    and unofficial guru to the Spisey Street Irregulars.


  20. Jym says:

    Does anyone else think Mike Vanderboegh is even funnier than Jadegold was? The fact that guys like this exist is just real life pure comedic gold.

  21. Dave says:

    “They are afraid they might have to actually DO SOMETHING someday to back up their empty words.”

    Well, aside from the interpersonal BS and snark that started to happen, most of what I saw was a disagreement on tactics. Rattling cages of the would be gun grabbers, great I am on board with that. Possibly confirming the stereotypes of us to some people who otherwise might be open to a softer approach, well that could be bad.
    If having more faith than some that a non violent solution may yet be found makes me delusional, or someone who in your eyes doesn’t have the capacity to stand up for a principle, Ok. Yet I remind you and the merry band that all of you are still peacably working within the system too, unless I just missed a news report about some armed confrontation between the ATF and one of you fellows.

  22. Elliot says:

    BC: … who attempt to enforce gun laws he doesn’t like …

    Why do you dishonestly characterize this as a matter of arbitrary taste, rather than of fundamental rights?

    If I fought the authorities to prevent them from capturing a runaway slave, would you wave away my justification as an arbitrary dislike of the law, since there were allegedly “peaceful avenues for reform of those laws”?

    Even more dishonest is your claim that these “peaceful avenues” are “effective”, in direct denial of reality. Real people have died or lost major portions of their lives, and not one example of the so called progress you observe has resulted in anyone being released from prison. Their lives are forfeit, which is, in and of itself, a full refutation of your argument.

  23. Mike Vanderboegh says:

    Jym says: “Does anyone else think Mike Vanderboegh is even funnier than Jadegold was? The fact that guys like this exist is just real life pure comedic gold.”

    Glad to be of service. It’s the least I can do after Ole Snowflake did me the favor of pimping my stuff. Way to go, Sebastian! ;-)

  24. Elliot says:

    I never would have read so much of Mike were it not for that article, linked through Billy Beck’s note.

    Mike, I appreciate your writing style. I couldn’t wait to find the next chapter of Absolved. I don’t know if you’ll publish the whole thing on-line, but I’d put my money down to buy it on paper, if you go that route.