Mike Vanderboegh Dies

Kansas City Star and a number of other media outlets report on his passing. It’s not secret that he and I did not get along, but having watched my mother slowly succumb to cancer over the entirety of my teen years, it’s not a fate I would wish on anyone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. When I lost my mother, there was a palpable sense of relief that the struggle was over. She was free, and so in some sense were the rest of the family. The real grief doesn’t hit until later, and in odd ways. I hope his family can find comfort in some of the same things I have.

I had come to appreciate that regardless of whatever disagreements I may have had with Mike Vanderboegh strategically, he was quite a powerful public speaker and organizer (organizing gun owners is herding cats on a good day), in the way I could never hope to match. His work with David Codrea to break open Fast and Furious turned out to be top notch citizen journalism, despite a lot of initial skepticism. It was fine enough work that others in the media lined up to take credit and cash in.

I will always think of him any time I put on my big Russian hat to go shovel the driveway.

4 thoughts on “Mike Vanderboegh Dies”

  1. I have lost both Mom and Dad to long term illness. They seemed ready to go and although sad for their passing,I was relieved it was over for them.

    Neither of them liked feeling useless and a bother to those around them. In my Dads case the children were spread half way around the world but everyone got back in time to say goodby At that point I don’t know if he uderstood but I hope so.

  2. “he was quite a powerful public speaker and organizer (organizing gun owners is herding cats on a good day)…”

    I am of a mind that he may have unfortunately organized the wrong people to do the wrong things at the wrong time, and was too successful at it.

    I can’t badmouth promoting the quasi-revolutionary mindset, without being a hypocrite, because I’ve done that myself, in my time. But I think that Vanderboegh contributed to creating the milieu that resulted in this year’s political scenario, with Donald Trump — lots of energy with no focus nor any liklihood of meaningful success. A lot of people running around shouting “We’ll show’em!” without a rational tactic in a carload.

    I personally can’t visualize a collapse of our present, uneasy political status quo that will leave gun rights advocates in a stronger political position. And if that collapse occurs, people like Vanderboegh will have contributed to bringing it about, without any realistic vision for the future. It is easy to cobble up “III Percenter” analogies to the American Revolution, but anyone who is counting on divine intervention or raw luck (which arguably, our founders had an extraordinary share of) as the foundation for their revolution has almost certainly been courting failure, by providing only a fraction of the equation – the encouragement of blind and unrealistic enthusiasm.

    1. Listen, the collapse was baked in the cake when we humans decided to charge each other compound interest inside of a closed finite system. It always has, and always will, blow up. There is a reason that it’s called the oldest game in the book. Because of our biological drivers, it is pretty much impossible to pass up the “something for free” hook. Just prepare accordingly.

      1. Compound interest isn’t a problem in and of itself: it’s merely a way to say “I value my money, but if you want to use a portion of it, I will let you use it, for an added fee that increases the longer I don’t have my money.”

        When left alone, this pricing mechanism has a way of balancing it out, in such a way that it tends to prevent bubbles from being created in the first place. Namely: the higher the risk, the higher the interest rate should be, thereby discouraging people from taking loans out when there’s too much risk.

        But this leads us to the *real* problem: it seems that everyone believes that prosperity happens when the interest rates are low, so we *insist* that rates need to be *forced* low. Then everyone thinks that there’s more money available for loans than there really is (interest rates indicate how much risk there is to take a loan — a low rate means that it’s a low risk), which creates a bubble. When everyone gets to a point where they can no longer sustain their projects, this bubble bursts.

        But, yeah, the issue you stated — trying to get “something for free” — is the cause of this vanity. Apparently it’s too much trouble to stay out of everyone’s business.

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