When the Nanny State cross-dresses in jackboots.
At the last gun show here in Birmingham, I had an interesting conversation with a machine gun collector about a new "assault weapons Ban," which of course is about semi-automatic rifles, not automatic weapons like his $20,000 Browning Automatic Rifle and his $15,000 Thompson SMG. He agreed that the next AWB would likely include confiscation for some class of weapons, if not evil semi-autos then fifty caliber rifles of all types. He even agreed with me that some of us "insane" (to use a comman Prag description) Three Percenters would resist and that the ATF would come for whomever they thought had a banned weapon.
But, he said, "they won't bother me because I'm legit," meaning that he had paid his transfer taxes, provided the ATF with a schematic of his home, submitted to inspections and all the usual inconveniences that go with complying with the National Firearms Act of 1934. I laughed in his face.
"Do you seriously think that if people are shooting at them in self defense over semi-auto rifle confiscation raids that they will leave your machine guns in your safe? They will come to you and say, 'We need to pick up your weapons for the duration of the emergency. You'll get them back someday, and if you don't I'm sure the government will reimburse you for them.'"
He looked slack-jawed at me, turning the idea over in his head. I interrupted his unpleasant thoughts. "Its all of us, or none us. They won't leave you alone. If you want to preserve your property and your liberty, you'll have to fight for it. Just. Like. Us." I drew out the last part, hitting hard on every word.
"But," he began and then fell silent.
"Think it through," I told him, "you'll see I'm right."
Last year, David Harsanyi wrote a book called "Nanny State" where he made the observation that the Nanny State, as grandmotherly as the name sounds, is really about control -- absolute control of the government over all individuals within its borders. And I would add, that when the Nanny State crossdresses in jackboots, you get the kind of control exhibited at Ruby Ridge and Waco.
Finding the guy with the jackboots.
I got to thinking after my conversation with the machine gun collector that the same principle certainly applied to the hunting rifles of those members of the gun-owning public we Three Percenters refer to as "Elmer Fudds" who are perfectly happy if semi-autos are banned and to the self-defense weapons of the Pragmatists, or "Prags," who think us crazy for believing that the time has come where the old political remedies no longer apply.
To test this theory, I went in search of an anti-gun cop, looking for one of David Codrea's "Only Ones" who believes that only the "authorities" should have firearms. I needed to find the guy with the jackboots.
Living here in Alabama, that took some doing. But after a few weeks and on my twenty-third try, I finally ran into a Birmingham police supervisor (middle management type) who told me frankly what he thought. I started out asking him how Birmingham was doing with the ICE project that is run in cooperation with the ATF, which is supposed to be targeted at getting firearms out of the hands of street criminals. He was frustrated he said about how little impact it had on the number of murders in Birmingham (which are up) but he liked and respected the ATF and its agents. He had wanted to join ATF when he was younger, he said, but he didn't.
Aha, I thought, now we're getting somewhere. "So, if you had the ability, would you pick up all the guns in private hands in the projects?" He eyed me suspiciously for a moment, but then relaxed. "I don't know about all of them, but most of them, yeah?" We talked for a bit about accidental deaths from firearms and how he thought someone who didn't store it properly ought to have his or her firearm confiscated for "their own good." The line at the Wal-Mart service counter was moving forward so I went for the $64,000 question.
"So, if the order came down to pickup all assault weapons, would you do it?" He looked off into the distance for a minute and, then said, as if to no one in particular, "Yeah, I would." And what about his fellow officers? Would they? Now he looked at me in the face. "Yeah, they would. Some of 'em wouldn't want to, but they'd obey orders rather than lose their jobs." I nodded. "But if it came to that, wouldn't you have to pick up all the guns?"
He nodded in agreement and then said, "Look, if we're in somebody's house confiscating illegal guns, if its a firearm we're taking it." And what if the guy didn't have the assault weapon they were looking for, what if he just had a shotgun or something? "At that point, I'm taking it until he can prove that he doesn't have an illegal weapon hidden somewhere."
Bad news for the Emma-Gees, the Fudds and the Prags.
So here we all are, on the verge of more "reasonable regulation" that will strip us all of liberty and the right to property -- legislation that us Three Percenters will disobey at the point of a firearm. The Emma-Gees (machine gun collectors), the Fudds and the Prags should understand at least this. The bell tolls for thee as much as for me. If you want to keep your property and your liberty you'd better be digging your foxhole along the line that we Three Percenters have marked out. Because if we lose, so do you. If we're forcibly disarmed, so will you be. And after that, you're just so much meat to be ordered about by tyrannical butchers.
The Prags are vociferous that politics will defend us. If they truly believe that, they'd better be politicking like a one-armed paperhanger in a windstorm. Because the windstorm is coming to their doors whether they like it or not.