Gun Nuts Give Free Ammunition To The Enemy

by Luna Flesher

William Kostric bearing arms with this sign sets gun rights back a notch

William Kostric bearing arms with this sign sets gun rights back a notch

I like to think the Founders put the Bill of Rights in the order they did for a reason.  The First Amendment comes first because freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and so on are the most basic of human rights.  Then we need the Second Amendment to help us protect those rights, through use of force if necessary.

I’m just as big a fan of the Bill of Rights as the next gal.  But when the segment of our population most interested in protecting those rights is the segment most Out Of Their Minds at the moment, it seems to set the cause back just a bit.

We’ve already discussed here on this blog how those people seem to be using their free speech right to generate some of the best modern expressions of the absurd.  In a “nut” shell, they are wasting their platform to protest against fantasies and illusions, instead of bringing up a good points about something they can actually change.  Reality for instance.  Abuse of Amendment 1, already covered.

Let’s move on to Amendment 2.

Look, William Kostric.  First of all, congrats for being brave enough to go up against Chris Matthews on Hardball.  I absolutely hate that guy, because he tears down his opponent with verbal bludgeons and psychological trickery before he lets them say their piece. I would never accept an interview him. Kudos for not letting him get to you and for explaining your case as best you could.

And I totally understand your points.  The Bill of Rights doesn’t just say the right to keep arms, but keep and bear arms. I get that.  Guns are kind of useless if they’re locked up at home.

And I get the concept of doing something simply because you have the right to, and making sure to exercise rights in order not to lose them. That’s why I bought a handgun 8 years ago and still have it.

And I understand your point about how the law and culture in New Hampshire fully permits open display of weaponry without anyone batting an eye.  Free State Project, and all that.  I’ve even considered joining you guys there. Cool, fine.

And I totally get your point that public perception of guns is probably way skewed, and that maybe if more nice people open-carried guns more often, maybe everyone else would mellow out a bit.

But I’m sorry, William. You totally lost the public perception game this time. -1000 points for our side. Michale Moore couldn’t have done a better job at getting people to hate guns.  Hell, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold themselves couldn’t have made firearms seem more scary.

It’s not that you openly wore a gun on your leg on private property in New Hampshire.  It’s not that you were within sight of building where the President spoke when you wore it. It’s not that you protest the President’s views on recent issues.  No, no it’s none of those things.

It’s the sign, William.  The sign.  The sign would have been just fine all by itself. Free speech and all, and I love Thomas Jefferson so dearly.  But you had the sign, and the gun, and the current President nearby.

The sign read, “It is time to water the tree of liberty”.  Not the actual quote, which reads, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”  No, specifically “It is time” to water the tree.

Not some theoretical distant time in the future. Not some reference to blood spilt in the past. No, you said it is time. Right now. To water the tree. With blood. While you are carrying a ranged weapon. In proximity to the President. That your peers have been calling a Socialist, a Nazi, a Terrorist… a tyrant.  You might as well have held up a sign that says, “Guns don’t kill people… I DO.”

This, sir, was no patriotic act. It was not a defense of your right to bear arms. No, Mr. Kostric, you set us back. Further sullied the image of bearing arms. Further relegated it to the pastime of crazies, extremists, fundamentalists, and people who would put passion for principle far above common sense.

If you were a patriot, you would respect the President, even if you do not agree with him. You would expect him to do his best to fulfill his oath of office, to defend the Constitution, until such time as he actually proves otherwise. You would follow due process, as outlined in the rest of the constitution, to have your voice be heard. And you would do so with reason and common sense, in honor of those rational Founders who wrote that quote you reference, who ensured that right you enjoy.

Thomas Jefferson was right about needing revolutions now and then. And we’ve had them. We’ve had many revolutions since 1776. And while they haven’t been bloodless, there has been less blood than you might expect, because that Constitution worked perhaps a little better than the Founders had hoped.  For the most part, our revolutions have followed due process.  The killings came during riots, protests, and yes, even assassinations.  But the majority of the blood spilt was unfortunately of the innocent, the patriots if you will — those brave enough to stand up for important new ideas, or for the rights of those who had been ignored.

Those revolutions were about change, not about keeping things the same.

To the guy who dropped his gun at a political meeting in Arizona, you have given evidence to the American public that those who bear arms are clumsy and know nothing about gun safety, reinforcing everything they’ve heard about accidental gun deaths. Or was it intentional? Like Mr. Kostric’s sign, does it imply a veiled threat? An Appeal to Force? Do what we say or we will kill you?

It makes me wonder here, which of you are the patriots, and which the tyrants?

I am not a pacifist, just a libertarian who remembers one basic principle: Never initiate force or fraud or threat of either.  When force or fraud is committed against me, I am willing to retaliate in kind, but I make awfully damned sure of who did the initiating, and make awfully damned sure I have exhausted every other course of action.

If any of you gun nuts decides you’ve finally had enough, that it’s time to fire the first shot, please stop and consider how much damage you will do to the cause of gun rights. Please do not generate more evidence for the other side. Stop trying to prove that Guns Are Only Good For Killing People.

8/18 UPDATE: This is becoming a fad.  Yesterday, 12 armed men showed up to an Arizona protest, again within proximity of the President. One carried an AR-15 assault rifle. What are you trying to prove again? No one is actually talking about gun control right now. It’s not on the agenda. Obama hasn’t said word one about guns.

But since you brought it up, you’re not making any liberals think, “hm, maybe guns are a good idea after all”. You’re making them ask, “and why do these states have the right to allow loaded assault rifles anywhere near the President?”

Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm  Comments (7)  
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  1. I agree entirely. It’s not helping at all, just freaking people out. You don’t falsely yell “Fire” in a town hall meeting with the President either – there are limits.

  2. In the 1960’s there were people running around doing far more “damaging” acts than this… acts with real violence, acts that burned cities, and shot firemen from roof tops while they tried to put out fires. Not some far away place, some foreign city, but MY city! Those people (or their ilk) are now running the White House and most of congress.

    While we are watching eulogies to Theodore Kennedy, and listening to a congresswoman praise Fidel Castro, House Bill 773, supported by a Democrat AND a Republican is working its way through congress. That bill would give the President powers to shut this blog and all other blogs down on the basis of an “emergency” of his own definition.

    Someone or some group walking the street with legal, licensed, exposed firearms could certainly provide enough panic among those who fear the Constitution to present such an “emergency”.

    Then where will you be with “I like to think the Founders put the Bill of Rights in the order they did for a reason”?

    The first two amendments and all others would disappear in one fell swoop. What do you think these people are protesting with their exposed guns? Something trivial? These seem to be mature family men. These aren’t kids out for a ‘groupie’ event.

    What other word can you think of that better describes the shift in government attitudes toward the ‘people’ over the past five or six years than the “N” acronym for Socialism-run-amok?

    The people need to wake up, but there are the false alarms of such idiocies as global warming and such inanities as our praising a drunk relative of the former “royal family” (aka JFK and Camelot) for days on end. Those noises are intentionally drowning out the alarms for real dangers.

    WE, including most internet bloggers, are asleep at the switch… and so are the Liberals that are in control. The Libs do not understand the anger that is building on the streets that they once occupied with glee.

    They don’t understand that the average “worker” (omitting the welfare recipients) is fuming. Most of these people have gone quietly on their way for the last 50 years, working, raising families and paying exorbitant taxes. At one point they were called the ‘silent majority’. Now I would call them the ‘growling majority’.

    The so called ‘leaders’ of today have forgotten the old truism that describes the quiet ones. It goes: “The rabbit is a treacherous animal, when cornered it WILL defend itself.”

    We are cornered.

    Today’s government is taking over transportation industries, attempting to seize arms, shutting down protest (tea)parties with ‘hired’ thugs, and placing the death knell switch to free speech — including this blog — in the hands of one man.

    I have seen and read about this sort of control in other countries. Yet whenever the more recent regimes are named for comparison, the opposition, including the loyal opposition, cries “Foul” when they should be shouting “Amein and Amein!”

    A quote from Rev Martin Niemöller from the Congressional Record, 14, October 1968, page 31636, reads:
    “When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.”

    Don’t look now… but they have become bold, and they are coming for YOU! They are prepping to seize the internet while you fret over details of another man’s protest.

    As a second thought, you may want to contact Kostric and see if he will move to your neighborhood, WITH his side arm.

    • 1. There are conservatives who bomb abortion clinics. I do not lump you, or even most other conservatives, into the same pool. I would hope you not lump all liberals, or EVEN all 1960’s activists, into the same pool as the very small number who were acting violently in the 1906’s. To do so is an act of intellectual dishonesty and logical fallacy.

      2. 773 is actually a Senate bill. And it is still in draft stage. There are many, many bills that go through draft stage and never see a vote. Or once they do see a vote, they are unrecognizable from their original. That’s why we have the process we do, so that major problems can hopefully be spotted and corrected. They often are.

      I’ve read the “troubling” text that has everyone so worried. You can read it here (scroll to the quote):

      It merely gives a provision that, should a network attack be taking place, the President has the power to put some people onto fixing it.

      I don’t see how you get from that to your conclusion that the President wants to take away our blogs.

      Keep in mind that I am a computer professional who attends a high-profile computer security conference every year. I am a borderline-expert on this matter. There is very real potential to cause severe damage to this country via hacks, cracks, viruses, and so forth. Our society now depends on our computer infrastructure. Protecting that is a matter of national security at this point, just the same as if Korea aimed nukes at us. Giving the President powers to protect that infrastructure in case of attack makes absolute sense. This is coming from me, an avid defender of online rights and freedoms online, a frequent donor to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). I’ve seen all kinds of attempted government and corporate attempts to censor the internet, since the mid 1990’s. Many failed (COPA), many succeeded (DCMA), but my point is, if I conclude it is a non-issue, it probably is not an issue.

      A further point. Let’s say the President really is an evil tyrant, and he gets his evil way, and bans all blogs and websites that oppose his regime. where have see seen this happen recently? In Iran. Iran, where tyranny has reigned in its present form for three decades. Where freedom of speech is not a guaranteed right. Where the government can put you in prison and torture you until you die. Where the internet is 100% government run, from the hardware up.

      EVEN IN IRAN, under those conditions, they were completely unsuccessful in censoring information flow between protesters and from the protesters out to the rest of the world. I know this because I watched it happen this summer.

      Such a ploy would be even less successful in the United States, where every generation alive today EXPECTS freedom of speech. Where very large subcultures foam at the mouth when ever anyone even hints at taking away their internets.

      The technology behind the internet would not let it happen. Our culture would not let it happen.

      3. These are NOT mature family men. Specifically related to the AR-15 incident I added in my update, there are further updates:

      Pastor Stevens in Arizona has called for Obama’s death. He describes in detail a number of horrors he wishes our President to suffer. I don’t care what your politics, this man should scare you. He scares the living crap out of me.

      What does Pastor Stevens have to do with the AR-15 gun guy? The man holding the AR-15 had been to THIS VERY SERMON the day before. Where he heard a man say that Obama’s death is demanded by the bible.

      I honestly hope that gives you pause. Because even if I hated Obama’s politics, he is still an American president. I would think it a terrible tragedy should Pastor Stevens get his way, and persuades one of his followers to do the deed.

    • I wanted to make another, more overarching point.

      You might be getting frustrated with me by now, because I seem to have a link to combat your every point, a demand for logic at every turn.

      You may suppose that I cannot be convinced of anything. But in this, you are wrong.

      I am often convinced of various things, and change my mind on positions I once held. The thing is, I have a very high standard for what I am willing to believe. If you hope you convince me, you must:

      1. NOT use logical fallacies. I will spot them. And I will call you on them. And I will not let you get away with them. Your only hope to beat me at this game is to study what they are and how to recognize them. The information is freely available on the internet.

      Use of logical fallacies is mental trickery, and does not lead the mind to truth. At their best, they are the result of laziness. At their worst, they are intentionally used to mislead, and I hold that level of evil in contempt.

      2. DO use real data. In the proper context. Make sure your data is sound. Because if it is not, there is a good chance I will notice the flaws in your data and combat it with better data. It doesn’t do to state some statistic or say, “This person wants to do this bad thing”. I want links, to solid, verifiable information.

      If you don’t have links to real data, I have every right to completely ignore your claims.

      Roland, John, and I disagree on a great many things. We each hold each other to a high standard. I know I don’t stand a chance of convincing Roland of anything if my data is wishy-washy, or I try to use fake logic.

      Do your due diligence. You don’t get a free pass just because you’re my dad. :)

  3. Rats!

    Obama has preempted me on having Kostric protect you from Tyranny.

    Obama is going to establish “a civilian national security force that is just as strong.. just as well funded ” as our military forces. (HIS words not mine.)

    I guess Kostric can go home now.

    All is well in the land. We can all go to sleep feeling SAFER tonight. As Ian McDiarmid sneers, speaking George Lucas’s script, “and we shall have peace!”

    Any questions?

    • Have you researched that claim at all? I know who is making that claim, one specific person on TV has made that claim. NO ONE ELSE is making this claim other than Glenn Beck.

      Are you believing him 100% without checking on his facts? That is an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      So I researched this one for you. NEXT TIME, if you make any claim here, I expect you do to what I do when I make an extraordinary claim — back it up with evidence and sound logic. The rules of logic state that it is the responsibility of the person making the claim to bring the proof. Sorry for being cranky, but I often am the only one willing to research my facts, and I waste a lot of time researching other people’s claims which often turn out to be completely false.

      Here is the one and only time Obama has used the words, or anything like the words, “civilian national security force”. It is in a speech from his campaign in July 2008. Here is the whole speech:

      If Glenn Beck were honest, he would have quoted Obama in context. But the context makes Obama’s meaning clear, but it’s difficult to get too excited or achieve higher viewership with honesty.

      I won’t make you listen to the whole speech. Scroll to 13:50 minutes. The quote itself is at 16:45, and ends at 17:00. So listen to the entire three minutes, 13:50-17:00. I think Obama’s words speak for themselves, so I will not interpret for you and tell you what to think (like Beck does).

      If you can find any evidence to prove Obama means to create a civilian army, in a military sense, who will quell free speech and kick in doors and oppress and enforce the alleged coming tyranny, you might be able to convince me. But until then, I am not nearly as willing as you to just buy any story because it is being claimed by someone “on my side”.

  4. […] ready for a revolution. They are mad as hell, and aren’t going to take it anymore. They carry guns to town hall meetings. They wave Gadsden flags.  They wistfully evoke memories of historical 1776. They quote Jefferson […]

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