I mentioned in the previous post that I understand that “sometimes you have to cut deals so that you get slapped around instead of beaten up.” Of all the bills being thrown at us, I can’t tell you that I think they are all equally bad. There’s some I’d suggest charging the machine gun over, and others I’d take as a loss, but life would go on. You likely feel the same way. But there’s a real risk in letting them walk away with any victory, and I want to expand on that principle a bit to make people understand why you don’t want to concede anything out of the gate, and that sometimes being “unreasonable” is a better strategy than being “reasonable” (a.k.a. a sucker).
I’ve touched on some of these reasons previously, during years when I was in a more reasonable mood:
We donâ€™t agree to put this issue to the political process, because thereâ€™s no guarantee once the political process starts, the bill that comes out the other end looks like anything remotely acceptable.Â There are people out there, powerful people, both in and out of Congress, who hate the idea of private citizens having guns and will do everything they can to prevent or frustrate it. Thereâ€™s no denying that without willfully inserting your head into the sand.Â There is no reasonable way to work out a sensible compromise through the political system. We didnâ€™t get here by having reasonable discussions or by trying to or together to come up with a solution. We got here through struggle, with both sides advancing and retreating at different times, and in different areas. Thatâ€™s how the political process works, and it can work no other way.
But I want to touch on a different phenomena in this post, which can be best summed up as “since I have already sinned,” or if you don’t like that, perhaps, “in for a penny, in for a pound.” Once legislators have already staked out their position as being pro-gun control, there’s not much that’s going to bring them back if the vote was severe enough. At that point, your recourse is voting them out of office. If you fail to do that, they will likely remain against you forever, unless you can change the political calculus. You could use the analogy of sleeping around onÂ one’s spouse. Sure, there are spouses who will have a single one night stand, and then feel guilty and never do it again. But there are probably more spouses where a one time encounter turns into a protracted affair, or multiple affairs. Once the fidelity has been violated, it’s been violated. The 102nd Congress passed the Brady Act, and then quickly followed up with an Assault Weapons Ban. It was only the 1994 elections that prevented even worse from being brought up. Once positions have been staked out, and votes cast, that creates a basis for further action. You might think allowing, say, a ban on private sales through wouldn’t be the end of the world, but if that goes through there’s little reason to think that will be the end of it, and our opponents will already have a base from which to work. I don’t see any reason to make it easier for them to get something through that would truly be devastating for us.