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Vile Opportunists

John Richardson has a round-up of the people exploiting tragedy for political gain. I’ve heard rumors that the Brady Campaign were fundraising hours after the tragedy as well, but I have no hard proof yet. If this is true, it’s truly beyond the pale.

9 Responses to “Vile Opportunists”

  1. Andy B. says:

    Before my last email address change, I was on the lists of perhaps a dozen or more gun rights groups around the country. I didn’t re-up with any of them after I changed addresses. They may not have been on top of things as quickly as the Brady Campaign, but I would be very surprised if most of them aren’t sending out fundraising alerts today. If they aren’t, it’s because their internal bureaucracies couldn’t function fast enough.

    They do what works, and I can’t be very outraged when the enemy does the same kinds of things.

  2. Yosemite Sam says:

    “They do what works, and I can’t be very outraged when the enemy does the same kinds of things”

    I’ve been quiet and kept my peace while Andy has written his multitudinous comments about how our side is just as bad…. but not this time.

    We’re not the ones that don’t even wait until the bodies are fucking cooled to shove our agenda down people’s throats.

    Oh look dead bodies and they’re children too…let’s talk about gun control. Let’s deprive 100 million people of their constitutional rights for the depraved acts of what..50 people over the last decade.

    And even better, Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control laws in the entire country. And guess what: They DIDN’T STOP THIS. They never do.

    So if some gun groups try to raise money(not that I’ve noticed and I get NRA fundraising crap constantly) or what not then it is basic self defense against the media juggernaut that cries GUN CONTROL in the first millisecond after they hear about one of these tragedies.

    • Andy B. says:

      I will make no apologies for taking what I have observed and applying a quasi- (or wholly) Machiavellian analysis to them. To do otherwise is to live in delusion, and the deluded often lose.

      That is not to say I advocate an amoral approach to what tactics one uses. Part of the reason I am presently nothing more than a spouter here is that increasingly when I would question the ethics of some tactic (most often for fundraising or address gathering) by “experts” on our side I was told, in various words, that “the ends justify the means,” and “stop worrying about what you think; you aren’t trying to raise money from you; this works, and unless we do this we can’t grow. . .and if we don’t grow we can’t win. . .”

      I haven’t been privy to it this time, but, I could anticipate the conversations if it were discussed whether or not a Newtown-based fundraising blast should be sent out today. The essence would not be “that would be shitty.” It would be “that would look shitty.” Then someone would raise an example of how when something similar was done in the past, they had X percent better/worse return on the cost of the mailing, and, apart from logistics, that would be how the decision would be made.

      If you don’t think the communications you get from your chosen good-guys aren’t as coldly cynical in their composition, planning, and timing, as anything anyone anywhere does — then I don’t know what to say. It is exactly akin to commercial advertizing.

      It is entirely possible the gun controllers have made a blunder by looking and being shitty this time. Tactical mistakes are made by everyone, all the time. But almost nothing done in the political world is based in ethics, at least by “professionals.” I can virtually guarantee that somewhere within the past or next few weeks, a training session will be held for mixed “conservative” activists (i.e., activists for various conservative issues, including the RKBA) where they will be instructed in the kind of thinking I’m describing. And I’m only saying “conservative” because that’s what I was exposed to; I’m certain the left is doing the same thing and teaching the same stuff.

      If you believe otherwise, you’re a member of a very big club, so you can continue in comfort.

  3. Bill Quick says:

    Yeah, yeah, Andy. They punched me, I punched back, we’re both equally guilty.

    That sort of schoolmarm thinking is trivial.

    And yes, the Brady Gang and their ilk initiated the Dance In Blood method of fundraising.

  4. Some dude somebody here knows says:

    Folks, speaking as someone who doesn’t own a gun (I’m klutzy and forgetful), but who isn’t usually a fan of restricting gun ownership, let me say something:

    Snap out of it. Stop taking yourselves so seriously.

    Your what-appears-to-be-a-self-centered lack of introspection and empathy (and maybe even a little remorse) in thinking about your own gun culture (the shooter’s mom was a gun enthusiast, yes?) is disheartening and depressing.

    Instead of worrying about yourself, why don’t you think about what you could actually do to help keep deranged teenagers (and, in this case near-teenagers) from getting a hold of enough legally-purchased parental armament to wipe out two classrooms full of first graders?

    Who knows? Maybe there’s nothing that can be done about some insane person. But certainly nothing will be done if all you can think about is whether your guns will get taken away.

    Certainly doing something helpful and selfless instead of fighting is a more adult choice, especially in the face of people who have lost so much.

    The whole discussion kinda makes all of you look like something out of The Onion.

    • Harold says:

      You’re ignoring that that’s something we can actually do something about.

      Based on current news reports (warning!) nothing reasonable could have stopped this tragedy. We can castigate the late mother for not securely storing her weapons, but the guy was 20, quite old enough to buy long guns, and to our knowledge didn’t have any disabling legal history (crimes or even close to a high enough level of mental problems) that would have stopped him. He’s reported to have tried to, but didn’t want to go through the process and Connecticut’s waiting period, I assume because his mom’s guns were sufficiently accessible.

      Note that because we’re RKBA activists we’ve already up to speed on these issues. Because most of us are conservatives when it comes to this issue, we have what seems to be the all too rare propensity to respond to a tragedy with analysis followed by the courage to do nothing if nothing can be done, we’re not driven by the conceit that for all the world’s ills Something Must Be Done.

      • Some dude somebody here knows says:

        Harold,

        (Note: when I say “you” below, I’m predominantly referring to “you gun activist people”, as I am not one.”)

        I’m not ignoring anything at all. From the outside (outside the gun culture), what appeared to work was that some mentally disturbed person tried to buy something more than a handgun and was deterred by the waiting period. That’ seems pretty good.

        As far as the mom’s “not securely storing her weapons”, that sounds like a great thing to find out about, for starters. That doesn’t seem good at all.

        Now, let me quote you directly, because this is important.

        > Note that because we’re RKBA activists we’ve already up to speed on these issues.

        Maybe, but what are you “active” about besides defending yourself and asserting rights for yourself?

        > Because most of us are conservatives when it comes to this issue, we have what
        > seems to be the all too rare propensity to respond to a tragedy with analysis
        > followed by the courage to do nothing if nothing can be done, we’re not driven
        > by the conceit that for all the world’s ills Something Must Be Done.

        These aren’t the world’s ills. They are yours.

        It took a lot more than a pair of handguns to put multiple slugs into two classrooms worth of first graders. That implies some relatively fearsome weapon which can carry a fair bit of ammunition on it; perhaps something like an AK-47, perhaps with one or more relatively high-capacity magazines, or something like that. (You’re the expert, you tell me what it took to do this.) I’m guessing that whatever was used to do this was probably not a rifle designed primarily to shoot deer, but one designed for extended combat with other humans.

        These are things you want to own, sold under (mostly) laws that are designed to preserve your ownership and confidentiality, and not the safety of others (waiting period notwithstanding).

        Your argument is that it is the responsibility of the gun owner to make everyone else reasonably safe, and the courage that you demand above is really not your courage, but the courage that everyone else must shoulder given that this sort of weaponry is in their midst.

        If you are going to assert that right, in that way, for ownership of these weapons, in the face of the quite predictable and terrible consequences, I ask you as “RKBA activists” what your responsibility might be beyond just asserting your rights?

        Where’s the topic “Here’s where we may or may not have gone wrong as a community [of gun owners], and let’s take a minute to think of what could be done differently” on your blog?”

        Not there. Let me get you started:

        I’m not super up on all of the legal and rhetorical minutia of the definition of an “assault weapon”. Instead let’s perhaps make a distinction between “something I need to defend myself against one person”, “something I want to shoot deer with in the woods”, and “something I need to carry into combat whether in warfare or the proverbial local or global ‘fall of civilization’ which is easily capable of quickly wiping out two classrooms of first graders”.

        In the latter case, (let’s call it group-combat weapons for lack of a better term and since “assault weapon” is so politically charged)

        I can certainly understand in the absence of demonstrated responsibility and compassion that perhaps, like a car, it might not be unreasonable require you to be trained in both safe use and safe storage of same, with some mandatory proficiency testing, and in the case of storage, minimum standards withy some sort of inspection regime to make sure these standards are adhered to.

        In the face of something like that, I would imagine that your first reaction is to fight about it, and I’ve heard the standard tropes of Nazis rounding up the gun owners, etc.

        Forget about that for a minute.

        What could you do, as individuals and as a group, to assure people that you’re actually the responsible party beyond demanding “courage”? You are demanding the courage of others in the face of your need to keep and own group-combat weapons. OK, how are you paying everyone else back for that?

        I’m suggesting that perhaps you show evidence of your responsibility and compassion, not just assertions of your rights.

        Your demonstrated lack of same is quite emotionally tone-deaf, and I stand by my comparison to The Onion.

        • Harold says:

          It’s an enumerated Constitutional right, we don’t have do anything more than assert that, and that’s why any comparison to owning a car is irrelevant (there is a direct comparison to concealed carry licenses and driver’s licenses). If you dislike the Constitutional recognition of that right, the fix is right here.

          One of the reasons we don’t give people like you the respect you seem to think you’re entitled to is your ignorance of facts like that and a general lack of imagination, e.g. your desire to restrict arms suitable for taking on multiple assailants. The need for that is not uncommon, Herschel Smith just compiled this list of 20 incidents that happened over the last few days (note that the first link reports on two in one night), and closes by saying “When a violent crime is intended, the criminals are increasingly teaming up into multiple-man crews to perpetrate their evil. Thanks, but I think I’ll keep my high capacity magazines.

          Your ignorance also shows:

          In not knowing that for modern service handguns, the standard magazine capacities tend to be between 15 and 20 rounds; this goes back to the ’20s and the Browning Hi-Power with a then unheard of 13 round magazine capacity.

          That the shooter, at age 20, was too young to buy a handgun (Federal minimum age is 21); any supposition that a waiting period made a difference is just that, the very fact that he went shopping indicates there was more than a little premeditation and planning involved and prompts me to suppose that if he hadn’t been able to steal his mother’s guns he probably would have done the waiting and committed the same crimes.

          To directly answer some of your questions: skim previous postings by the politically active couple who run this blog for some of the things RKBA activists do. For myself, I advocate on various forums, I vote for and sometimes donate to pro-RKBA politicians, I train people in safety and marksmanship, I help scholars with their research or in funding their amicus curiae research based briefs, that’ll do for now…. I’ve been doing the advocacy and training since high school or before in the ’70s.

          When you say “These aren’t the world’s ills. They are yours.” I totally deny that. If you look up US mass murders by death toll, you’ll see almost all of the top 20 are by arson. The worst school mass murder was done with explosives in Bath Township, Michigan in 1927, with roughly twice the death toll as this event.

          There is evil in the world; insinuating that those who responsibly prepare for it if it happens to impact them are at fault is “vile opportunism”.

          As Clayton Cramer and others have well documented, if you actually want to accomplish something here work on reforming our mental health system; it’s no accident that most? of these events are committed by the seriously mentally ill, and many by people who in times past would be institutionalized. A large fraction of them are now in jail, which is not a good alternative, especially since they have to commit a serious crime first to get there, and many literally on the streets; this is utterly inhumane, one should be able to get widespread support for this.

          As for “paying people back” for our “need to keep and own group-combat weapons”, we do that every day as members of the unorganized militia. That’s no small thing after a century of horrible genocides, individuals have no competition with governments when it comes to mass murder. “It can’t happen here” because we won’t let it.

          We also do other things with our “group-combat weapons”; there’s a government sponsored organization that gives us WWII “group-combat” semi-automatic service rifles and carbines at processing costs? That’s because if we ever have to bulk up the Army, you can train someone fairly quickly how to shoot fairly well, but it takes a lot longer to train people how to teach that.

          As for responsibility, I don’t believe in collective guilt; I just do what’s right and legal, encourage others to do so, and if necessary deal with those who don’t. As for compassion, I don’t know how to display that to your satisfaction over such a low bandwidth media, nor in your case do I give a damn.

  5. Yosemite Sam says:

    and Some Dude comes along and proves my point. That just because I am a gun owner I should rend my garments and bear responsibility for an act I DIDN’T COMMIT. Nor did more than 100 million other gun owners.

    We’re supposed to bear responsibility for the shambles of a mental health care system that both political parties have brought to this country over the last 40 years. A system that drugs up people and releases them to fend for themselves.

    Well, I for one am sick of it. Sick and tired of having to hold my breath and walk on egg shells every time some sick fuck commits some travesty. NO MORE. If you gun banning bastards want your gun free society then fuck off and move somewhere else. Or better yet, let’s split off your crap hole empire in the northeast and you can create your gun control paradise. I’m sure you’ll never have any gun related crimes again. Just like England.

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