Civilian, noun (sĭ-vĭl'yən)
1. A person following the pursuits of civil life, especially one who is not an active member of the military, the police, or a belligerent group.
2. A person who does not belong to a particular group or engage in a particular activity.
3. A specialist in Roman or civil law.
Of or relating to civilians or civil life; nonmilitary: civilian clothes; a civilian career. -- American Heritage Dictionary.
Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan who Pete at WRSA rightly calls a Filthy Menopausal Collectivist RINO, has chimed in on the subject of military magazines for semi-auto rifles and pistols in this op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. The offending snippet:
Here are three things (Obama) can do in the speech that would be surprising, shrewd, centrist and good policy. The first may seem small but is not. Normal people are not afraid of a lowering of discourse in political speech. They don't like it, but it's not keeping them up nights. Normal people are afraid of nuts with guns. That keeps them up nights. They know our society has grown more broken, families more sundered, our culture more degraded, and they fear it is producing more lost and disturbed young people. They fear those young people walking into a school or a mall with a semiautomatic pistol with an extended clip.
What civilian needs a pistol with a magazine that loads 33 bullets and allows you to kill that many people without even stopping to reload? No one but people with bad intent. Those clips were banned once; the president should call for reimposing the ban. The Republican Party will not go to the wall to defend extended clips. The problem is the Democratic Party, which overreached after the assassinations of the 1960s, talked about banning all handguns, and suffered a lasting political setback. Now Democrats are so spooked they won't even move forward on small and obvious things like this. The president should seize the moment and come out strong for a ban.
Now I've never met Peggy Noonan and she's never met me, but if she's willing to pronounce me a person of "bad intent" then I'm comfortable with that characterization.
Let's skip over the whole "clip" vs. "magazine" terminology ignorance, though Noonan uses them interchangeably, and get to the point.
Noonan asks: "What civilian needs a pistol with a magazine that loads 33 bullets and allows you to kill that many people without even stopping to reload?"
There is more than one arrogant presumption in that sentence. The first is that she, Noonan, has the right to define what our "need" is. She doesn't.
The second is that the natural, God-given and inalienable rights codified in the Second Amendment are subject to her agreement upon that Mandarin opinion of "need." She might as well ask, "What civilian needs two laptops?" Or, who needs two cellular phones? Two cars? Two websites?
Third is the characterization of the armed citizenry as mere "civilians." We are not. We are the Unorganized Militia of the various states. The presumption is that only a member of the military or police is qualified to have a magazine of more than ten rounds. The 1775 equivalent would have been to advocate that only the King's troops could carry a full ammunition pouch because only they were "competent" and could be trusted to use firepower wisely. What Noonan is buying into here, without explicitly saying it, is that only the federal government should have a "monopoly of force." Let us hope her proposal doesn't get adopted into law, because then we'll have to test that theory and Noonan won't like where THAT goes.
Then Noonan answers her own question:
No one but people with bad intent.
Of course the real answer depends upon the situation. What if you substitute the following for "people"?
"Gang bangers bashing in your front door."
"Hooded Ku Klux Klansmen with guns and a rope in your front yard."
"Nazi Einsatzgruppen murderers wanting to put you on a train."
"A Khmer Rouge 'relocation' team in your village."
Those are all sub-categories of "people." Does Noonan believe that anyone who defends themselves against such "people" are persons of "bad intent"?
There is no house rule that says that tyranny cannot come to America. If and when it does, I want to be able to kill as many of those classes of people as I can without reloading. More to the point, I will not give up the military magazines I have, nor will I be restrained by any unconstitutional law forbidding their possession, manufacture, or sale.
Then Noonan calls for a ban:
Those clips were banned once; the president should call for reimposing the ban.
Now of course the last time they did that, the law only forbade their manufacture and importation. Not even Chucky Schumer was stupid enough to try to confiscate those already in the hands of the armed citizenry. If they had, we would've had a shooting civil war by 1996. I do not know, given Noonan's apparent ignorance of all things firearm, if she is merely advocating the original AWB or something more draconian. Perhaps she doesn't either.
But there is one thing she is dead right about:
The Republican Party will not go to the wall to defend extended clips.
Well, no matter. If they do, the Three Percenters will disobey any further infringements they come up with.
And if that makes me -- and my considerable circle of friends and acquaintances -- persons of "bad intent" then so be it.
Deal with it. We don't think much of your intent either, Peggy.
Alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.