Here's an excellent item of feedback from my recent post, "They don't hate our guns, they hate us." I do not have time at the moment to respond to David's excellent points. Perhaps one of my readers would be so kind?
Dear Mr. Vanderboegh...
Your latest article, "They don't hate our guns, they hate us," was, as always, incisive and thoughtful. I wanted to share a theory about why so many politicians hate and fear gun owners.
As you point out in your article, gun owners have the potential to stop the politicians' petty schemes. But I think there are also deeper, darker reasons they hate and fear us.
I believe that the most politicians suffer from a pathological need to have other people be dependent on them. Of course, we all want to be important in the lives of others; this is natural and healthy, and most of us recognize that, although our relationships are important, we can't live through other people. But a typical
politician's sense of self is so shallow that his idea of who he is depends largely on what they fantasize is their indispensable role in the lives of millions of others.
Therefore, to a politician, a self-reliant individual is a threat to his very sense of identity.
This theory explains some things that are hard to make sense of otherwise. For example, many politicians are viciously opposed to over-the-counter availability of vitamin supplements. This seems absurd, but consider: whatever the merits of vitamin supplements, their availability allows people to take control of their own
health care, which implies they don't want or need the politician's "help" in making health care decisions. Or look at the hysterical opposition most politicians show toward placing retirement planning back in the hands of the individual. "Social Security" is widely acknowledged to be unsustainable; one would think any plausible
solution would get serious consideration, but few politicians will entertain any idea that would allow people to take substantial control of their own retirement planning. As another example, observe the bizarre hostility many politicians show toward home-schoolers. Since most government schools ostensibly suffer a lack
of funding and overcrowding, shouldn't politicians applaud home-schoolers for reducing the burden on the system? Instead, they interfere with them at every turn, since the home-schooler is saying, implicity but unmistakably, that they don't want or need government "help" in teaching their children.
And, finally, if the self-reliant individual threatens the politician's sense of self, who could pose more of a threat than a gun owner? The gun owner says to the politician, in effect, "I don't need you for anything, not even protecting my life and property." I think this implicit message is such a profound threat to the politician's identity that he would stop at nothing--even genocide--to eliminate the source.
This theory also explains the opposition individual politicians show toward widely disparate and apparently unconnected activities. Why, for example, would a politician such as Ted Kennedy oppose over-the-counter sales of vitamin C, self-directed retirement planning, home-schooling, and the right to keep and bear arms?
What to all these things have in common, except their ability to reduce the dependence of the individual on the government?
If my theory is correct, it implies that politicians will always hate us, not because of what we own, or even because of what we do, but because of who we are. Our very existence is a constant threat to their world view, and a continual reminder that their imagined indispensibility to the lives and welfare of millions is really nothing more than hubris and delusion.
If you have the time and are so inclined, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
"Manus haec inimica tyrannis"--motto of Algernon Sidney