Sunday, February 8, 2009

"The seeds of resistance": Gun Week Interview with Mike Vanderboegh, Part Two

Here is Part Two of my Gun Week interview:

Heller Opinions

While many in the firearms community hailed the June 2008 Heller ruling by the Supreme Court that affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms, Vanderboegh sees the ruling as a win for anti-gunners.

"We were so quick to celebrate," he stated. "It was the gun grabbers who understood the quiet victory they got and they've been harping on that ever since."

The ruling left a door open for "reasonable regulations" and allowed existing laws against gun ownership by convicted felons and mentally unstable people. "Reasonable regulations" remains undefined, but he suggested that the gun control lobby has been able to frame the debate by using terms such as "common sense" in describing even the most restrictive gun laws, and demonizing firearms as "sniper rifles" or "assault weapons."

"There are some of us who have decided we aren't backing up any more," Vanderboegh said. "If they draw the line behind us . . . we will not obey."

Acknowledging that Americans have been "voting with their wallets," Vanderboegh observed that at the same time, they have been stocking up on firearms and ammunition as they did prior to imposition of the Clinton gun ban in 1994. At a gun shop recently, he encountered a young couple buying their first firearm, a Rock River semi-auto with a scope and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, plus six spare magazines.

"They were worried about what they called 'social disruption,'" Vanderboegh said. "Who am I to say that's illogical?"

"We find ourselves having this argument (about gun rights) not on a slippery slope but on one that's undergoing an economic earthquake," he added. "We don't know what the socio-economic future of the country might be."

And that brings him back to the letter to the Madison newspaper.

"I was laying out specifically to someone who had embraced gun confiscation what the unintended consequences of that would be," he explained.

Warning to Stop

He equates the letter to attempting to warn a motorist that a bridge around the next curve has collapsed, and he is trying to get the motorist to stop.

Vanderboegh's philosophy is that gunowners need to be prepared to take "the next step" in the event the warnings to stop attacking gun rights go unheeded. It was that approach that got the attention of Knox late last fall and the verbal fireworks unfolded on both and on Codrea's "War on Guns" Internet forum.

Knox had suggested in the Hard Corps Report that many of those who espouse fighting back may be all talk and no real action.

"The same guys are often fond of bumper sticker slogans like, ' . . .from my cold dead fingers,' and the more erudite, 'MOLON LAVE,' (sic) and while I can appreciate the sentiment, I also know that on 99.995% of cases it's simply not true," Knox wrote. "The fact is that only those who have nothing to lose (and nothing to live for) are willing to give up everything -- including their lives -- in a symbolic gesture of defiance. The rest of us, those with families -- kids, grandkids, vulnerable parents -- and homes, jobs, and lives, are not interested in ditching the house, refrigerator, and HD-TV in exchange for a prison cell or a mountain cave . . ."

"The threat of armed revolt must be maintained," Knox argued, "but like the mutual assured destruction of nuclear war, its implementation must be avoided at all costs. If we have the numbers and the commitment to win a revolution then we should easily be able to win an election. The solution lies in the ballot box rather than the ammo box because the reality of a new revolution is that it is an all or worse than nothing proposition."

War of Words

A war of words erupted, with Vanderboegh reacting that "Knox . . . must understand that such words are more eagerly read in the homes and offices of our enemies who seek to strip us of our rights. What effect does he think that defeatism will have on our enemies? It is sweet music to their ears. What he is saying is that the Founders screwed up by entrusting the Second Amendment, which is explicitly a 'right to revolt' clause, to our generation because we have become too soft and comfortable to use it. What is that but an invitation to our enemies to push us farther down the road toward disarmament and the enslavement which then follows?"

Codrea summed up the argument, and the philosophy that has garnered so much attention for Vanderboegh from gunowners who are drawn to firebrand leadership that says what they quietly believe.

"I can give numerous examples of Mike working within the system to effect legal and political change -- more so than many of his critics," Codrea said. "What they won't answer is what they are prepared to do if such efforts don't work. Those who don't even want to talk about that now ought to tell us why they think preparation is best deferred until it's too late. Since when is unprepared reaction a winning plan?"

Vanderboegh downplays the notion that he is such a leader.

"If I am a leader," he says casually, "I've got a responsibility to act responsibly, and that's why you see no calls in my writing for attacks on anybody. I do say that we will defend ourselves if we are attacked. That is a human right going back a lot farther than the Constitution or even western civilization."

He is prepared to defend that right, alone or with his "merry band of three-percenters" supporting him.

"We have this critical mass of leftists in the Congress who may insist on (pushing gun control legislation)," Vanderboegh said. "Does (Obama) have the stones to veto such a bill? The Brady people are betting that he doesn't."

"I don't know what they're going to do," he says matter-of-factly. "I just know what I'm going to do. I'm not going to obey any more gun control. If they have a problem with that, they can come to my house."

(MBV note: Don't make too much of the initial exchanges between Jeff Knox and myself. We have since arrived at what can only be described as a rapprochement, with both of us fighting together early on to try and stop the Holder nomination. Nobody fought Holder harder than Jeff, and he is to be commended for it.)


Greyhawk said...

Well put, Mike. Very well put indeed.

dan said...

Nice -- as usual in the press, it always helps when the interviewer is "on your side" (or at least, not actively hostile!). Thanks for posting this, and for all you do.

AvgJoe said...

I have heard people openly talk that they will honor no new gun laws. I have seen them and heard them and these people are folks I never would have thought would publicly say such.
Many folks know about the Homeland Security camps that are build and being built. Many people know that Hitler's 1938 gun laws are out 1968 gun laws word for word. Things are happening very fast and many people are waking up fast. They know that the cozy home isn't going to be there if this country keeps headed the way it is.
Now here's my feelings on this. As a Christian man who has deep understanding of the Lord's words. And yet I learn more all the time and willingly so. I believe the date 2012 plays into this hugely. The world economy is being trashed with full intent by the international bankers to bring mankind to its knees. My hunch is the economy is going to really have the plug pulled on it this fall. There may be some flare up during the late summer as unemployment insurance starts drying up. But winter is when we can be controlled so this coming fall is going to be the time hard knocks are delivered.
As far as gun owners being by themselves to defend the Second Amendment will be just part of the big picture. Gun owners have known for a long time the government will attack their Constitutional right. Now other parts of the Constitution are being attacked and people outside of gun owners are taking notice. We are the first to notice, we are now being joined by many different folks form many different walks of life. Americans are a totally different breed of demeanor. We can endure extreme hardships if need be.
Make has never said it this way so I will. Put the American people's backs against the wall and you will have the most violent and determined group of people the world has ever seen.
Frankly, I believe they are going to bug us. I believe our hope is the patriots in the system who are playing along up until a point.

Melancton Smith said...

I think the notion that Heller was a loss is unsustainable by a reasoning mind.

Prior to Heller, we had the 2nd recognized as an individual right in only 1 Federal Circuit (comprising 3 states, iirc). We had outright handgun bans in 2 major cities and a handful of suburbs.

Post-Heller we have the 2nd recognized as an individual right in all Federal Circuits and shortly (via Nordyke or McDonald) will have it incorporated against all states and municipalities). The outright handgun bans are gone in all but 1 major city and 1 suburb (which will fall in a year or two).

We have text in Heller that acknowledges that we have a right to carry guns in case of confrontation. I see this as signalling the end of may-issue LTC. Also, I forsee that IL and WI will have to choose between allowing open carry or LTC. Firearm transportation restrictions will ease up as well.

As for AWB, there are no new AWB's passed since Heller. I believe, if passed, they will be overturned. Frankly, a lot has changed since 1994. The AR-15 has become so popular, as have AK clones, that I see much more popular resistence to AWBs than ever before.

Bradyites have mouth and money, but they have squat else. They can posture like they won something all they want, but I challenge anyone to point out where they have accomplished anything they have proposed just yet. Show me a state that has tightened their laws post-Heller. Heck, IL Sheriffs just endorsed LTC for civilians---I thought Chicago had frozen over.

Net-net, we have fewer infringements post-Heller than pre-Heller. Calling Heller a win for anti's is downright disingenuous.

Vanderboegh said...


You should explain that to Obama White House, especially Rahm Emanuel. Yeah, that's the ticket, you call up Rahm Emanuel and explain to that hard-as-nails collectivist sonofabitch how Heller stops him from doing jackshit. He'll laugh you off the line.

To say that there has been no AWB since Heller is equally laughable. There's one comin' down the pike, brother, just you wait. And after that new and improved AWB bans certain classes of weapons, not by silly lists of features that can be got around, but entire classes of weapons, do you really think the Supremes will hear a case that has to wend its way through the appeals process while the regime drags its feet until it becomes a ruling after a fait accompli?

"Disengenuous?" Explain that to poor Olofson. The federal misconduct in his case is unchecked. It doesn't frigging matter what the Supremes say if the feds get away with framing a guy and denying him exculpatory evidence. If the ATF doesn't care about case law, why should we count on it to save us from them?

"Disengenuous?" Take your pragmatism back to where it feels comfortable. You just keep praying to the Lairds of Fairfax to save your ass. We'll keep making our own arrangements.

"Disengenuous" my ass.

Vanderboegh said...

One last post-peroration comment, Mr. Smith.

What you fail to grasp is that this is going beyond the law, beyond conventional politics as you and I have experienced them. They are about the seizing of power. Court decisions will not get in their way. Don't they trace their roots back to Lincoln and FDR? Neither one of them gave two spits for what the judges thought. In the final analysis, Heller won't mean spit in the wind.

tom said...

It's not the "Lairds of Fairfax", it's the Nancyboy Rumpranger's Assosciation.

Just saying...

Anonymous said...

I had a personal experience I think is worth sharing. A couple who's thinking appeared to be correctly aligned solicited me for advice for the purchase of their first, second and third firearms. I explained, in conversation after conversation that a reliable sidearm and rifle for each of them was in order. Despite the tin-foil hat comments and distracting babble, they committed and purchsed a very nice RR Ar15 and two XD pistols. When they discovered the possibility that they were now on the ATF watch list for a mulitple firearm purchase, radioactive meltdown was nearly instant. All that talk, all that hooah, came crashing down on the mere suggestion that they are now "one of the 2 million people on the ATF list" for a multiple gun purchase. The resulting hysterics are not worth listing as you can imagine what they are.
I thought of several phrases to porperly sum their reaction, "Lead a horse to water", "All hat and no cattle", but I think "Pacified reactionary wanna-be" fits best. Lesson learned, do not try to save people, most of them do not want to be saved.

Mike H said...

I'm on several lists already. Let em watch. Maybe they'll 'learn' something -s-.