I received this (along with Pete at WRSA) via email. It is an interesting analysis of the Three Percenters vs. Pragmatist debate. My thanks to "Atlas Shrug" for sending it.
Mike and Peter,
In the interest of protecting my valuable and scarce time, I have largely stayed away from the recent "Prags vs. IIIpers" flame wars (aside from some initial posts and such with the initial MV vs. Knox squabble). Nonetheless, I've done some thinking on it at random moments. One such mental side road made me reflect on the contrasts, and this stereotypically distorted historical analogy came to mind. I thought I would share it with you two. Use it as you see fit, or just chuckle and set it aside.
Keep your powder dry,
Prags vs. IIIpers, or,
French Army vs. French Foreign Legion?
Pull yourselves out of your comfortable paradigm as a Devout Gun Rights Activist and ponder this:
"If you were an opposing force, would you behave differently if you faced the French Army than you would facing the French Foreign Legion?"
Remember, the French Army suffers the dishonor of being reputed to surrender at nearly every opportunity. A subset of it, the French Foreign Legion, has quite a different reputation.
The men of The Legion are often there because they fit in nowhere else, have nothing left to lose, hold unbending beliefs, and seek those of like steeled minds as compatriots - and they fight correspondingly viciously.
They come from many places, yet share a common dedication. They are often "holders of extreme political beliefs" when compared to the standard French soldier.
They are different, and they are unbending.
If I were a gun grabber, why would I not think of the general RKBA movement as the French Army? Sure, they have lots of nice fancy arms. Some of them have even shot them (once or twice, at a target or a deer). Many of them talk a good game. Yet they are arguable more skilled at retreat than at offensive martial skills. A hollow army, or so it could seem to the casual observer based upon historical behavior.
Contrast that with the French Foreign Legion. Castaways in their own midst, loners from afar, philosophical brothers born of dissimilar mothers. Men who "know what they are about" one and all. What are their numbers? I have not done the research and truly don't know.
However, I will state that it is unlikely that at any one time they ever composed more than about.....three percent of the French Army. Yet they were and are known to exist. Forcefully.
In the current gun rights struggle, what is essential is to recognize that the existence of such a dedicated minority is factual. They are here and they will not go away. They are already marginalized, so there is little concern for good PR amongst them. They speak primarily with their actions, thus their presence is often overlooked. While the rest of the greater army may not like them, they must recognize their presence and utilize their reputation. As for the opposing forces, the wise recognize them, the foolish ignore them.
Thus, in the context of the current struggles surrounding the Second Amendment, were I the enemy, I'd push until I saw the white flag. That is, unless I recognized The Legion, then I'd push elsewhere in order to avoid a repeat of The Battle of Camaron (Mexico, 1863, see here.).
Similarly, were I in the pragmatist section of the RKBA movement, I would highlight the presence of the Legions, then go about my work and leave them alone. They aren't going to change, so don't waste valuable resources trying to force a metamorphosis. Like unyielding rocks in your garden, just work around them.
For these types, the IIIpers, The Legions, live by a different creed. Perhaps it is best summarized by the leader of the small band that won such fame in Mexico so long ago. When the commander of the vastly superior Mexican force demanded the surrender of the Legion's small band, their commander Captain Danjou simply replied:
"We have munitions. We will not surrender."
Capt. Danjou, we "III" salute you, sir!