Monday, September 13, 2004
The weapons ban is a no win issue for democrats. The sheer amount of money and lobbying done in the name of weaponry can not be matched by any grassroots organization, even StoptheNRA. No matter how many studies prove a society is safer without guns in the hands of it its populace, and no matter how many times academic/scientific studies prove that there was a positive correlation between the ban and the reduction of serious injury in violent crime, we will have our populace who wants their guns. Ask Kistoff who says,
Assault weapons aren't necessary for any kind of hunting or target shooting, but they're popular because they can transform a suburban Walter Mitty into Rambo, for a lot less money than a Hummer.
Yeehaw! Those who tout the 2nd amendment as some panacea for all weaponry see an armed populace as a safe populace -- when terrorist walk into a mall with their AK's and start shooting people, Bubba wants to be able to get to his truck, grab his own AK and return fire -- because, well, that will show them. Or they believe that a criminal bent on murder may change his or her mind if they think their victim is armed. Uh huh, those crazy people are always rational like that.
We know that in states where everyone ones at least one weapon, like Texas, there isn't any crime. You may be surprised, though, that most rational thinking people including card-carrying members of the NRA believe the assault ban is a good thing. Maybe they realize they can take out a would be thief with their Glock, but if that thief comes in with an AK, the situation changes.
And we all know where the cops stand on this -- keep the damn things off the street.
Instead, democrats, indeed, all liberals should probably go out and buy their own assault weapons with bayonet and muzzle flash screening. It's simple: libs may need something to protect themselves from the nutcase administration and right wing radicals that are way ahead in the weapons game.
Consider the AEI set of political principles which can be seeping into all the right wing propaganda:
1. Politics is war conducted by other means. In political warfare you do not fight just to prevail in an argument, but to destroy the enemys fighting ability.
2. Politics is a war of position. In war there are two sides: friends and enemies. Your task is to define yourself as the friend of as large a constituency compatible with your principles as possible, while defining your opponent as their enemy wherever and whenever you can. The act of defining combatants is analogous to the military concept of choosing the terrain of battle. Choose the ground that makes the fight as rigged in your favor as possible.
3. In political wars, the aggressor usually prevails.
4. Position is defined by fear and hope. The twin emotions of politics are fear and hope. Those who provide people with hope become their friends; those who inspire fear become enemies. Of the two, hope is the better choice.
But fear is a powerful and indispensable weapon. If your opponent defines you negatively enough, he will diminish your ability to offer hope. That is why liberals are so determined to portray conservatives as hostile to minorities, working people, and the poor.
5. The weapons of politics are symbols that evoke hope and fear. Style, especially for high public office, is as important as any issue position or propaganda strategy.
6. Victory lies on the side of the people. This is the bottom line. You must define yourself in ways that the people understand. You must give people hope in your victory, and make them fear the victory of your opponent. You can accomplish both by identifying yourself and your issues with the underdog and the victim, with minorities and the disadvantaged, with the ordinary Janes and Joes.
Now consider their political monikers for a minute and think about the last four years. Everything from the failed energy policy to the tax cuts to the constant references to the war on terra highlights their two campaign mantras: fear and aggression. It's not enough to debate -- rationality be damned -- one has to destroy the opposition and the only sure fire way to do that is through emotion. Dick clarke: traitor. Paul O'Neil: traitor. Wilson: traitor. Kerry: traitor. Michael Moore: commie pig.
How has that effected their following? Well, we have a young republican kicking a womanwhile she is on the ground -- this little guy is taking fear and aggression to heart, dontcha think? "oh, that's just a boy being young and stupid." Yeah, and how about this old fart? Nice job old man; pull her hair, make her shut-up -- you shouldn't be subjected to any view not your own (why does Bush ask for loyalty oaths before people can hear him -- same reason). Or consider stories like this or this where local DNC headquaters were vandalized. Ask the Jews, gypsies, or homosexuals if there were any cases of vandalism in 1938-39 Germany. Not that I am equating the two in any sense except in the attitudes of the apathetic populace who willfully refused to connect the dots.
Another parallel to 1939 is the SS. Digby notes a story here, that the SS are acting a little out of bounds to reporters. Another story is highlighted here:
It's becoming increasingly clear that a major, ugly battle in Bush and Co.'s ongoing war against the U.S. Constitution was waged right here in the Philly area yesterday. As the usually on-target Dana Milbank of the Washington Post recounts, Secret Service agents at the president's rally in suburban Colmar were used for the purpose of blocking reporters' access to anti-Bush protestors -- a clear and blatant violation of the First Amendment.
One only need to consider their wonderful running of free speech zones as well to wonder what the hell they're up to, as Ward Reilly notes,
Free Speech Zones" in the U.S.A.? I thought our entire nation was a "Free Speech Zone." I thought that is what "freedom of speech" meant in our Constitution. That we could say anything we wanted, anywhere on public property where we wanted to say it. What was I thinking? Welcome to "Free Speech, 2004, "Dubya" Bush Style." On Friday morning, May 21st, 2004, during a visit to my city by President George W. Bush, I learned what it means to live in a country when "free speech" means something entirely different if you don`t happen to agree with what your President, and/or his cabinet, have done in your name.
Ok, fine some weird things may be happening but these are weird times. As long as I got my job and my kids got soccer practice, you know, things ain't so bad -- this is still America and people won't bother me.... One might want to ask this Moulton woman who lost her job for sporting a Kerry sticker before making that assumption. Fear and aggression in practice -- the slow slide into something else -- a kind of fascism.
The stories coming out of the arrests of protestors and bystanders is also chilling. The pier itself is being hailed as Guantanamo on the Hudson , the prisoners even being referred to as detainees which should be horrifying to everyone seeing as how our other detainees may never get a lawyer nor be released, and the land was leased by the RNC.
This rounding up of protestors dealt with fear. Round em up, and forget about em; confuse them, make them afraid of ever protesting again. Simple enough; who wants that kind of hastle? Meanwhile there is no mainstream outrage. The only people truly disturbed by the state's actions are the people who were arrested and their families.
Just as the media speaks with one voice -- everyone trying to outfox Fox -- libs find themselves 20 years behind even influencing the media in any meaningful way. One not need look far to see that even right wing blogs nuttery gets into mainstream press quickly and efficiencly (others have covered this pretty extensively) while left leaning blogs may never see any action from their investigative work or questioning.
Libs will never get true representation in the media as they don't own any; however, it's not too late to catch up with the gun nuts and extreme right wingers and start their own caches of weapons to protect themselves. And defense is key here because as we see, some of these cons have the emotional stability, psychological willingness, and pure hatred to finally move from this to actually killing people who don't agree with them. -- hehe, now what was I saying about fear?
And before any of you hippies start questioning my lib creds, I don't own a weapon nor do I plan on purchasing one. As far as I can figure the Big Man upstairs will do any life takin' that needs to be takin' including mine. The premise still stands, however. This ban was bad to begin with and we can't fight it. But we can fight the crazy ideologues who seem hell-bent on their way or the highway with no discussion or compromise. How we fight is then the question -- I'm personally in the non-violence camp, but those who espouse "By any means necessary" idea of self defense are not being unreasonable. Should be an interesting new world order we'll be experienceing shortly.
Do not go into that good night, buy your AK today. Maybe next week we'll be able to purchase real cool stuff like RPG's. Those damn tree rats won't have a chance.