As far as the “prags” go, I don’t consider them cowards, or collaborators, or many of the other insults that “3 percenters” have tossed their way. I do consider them vastly overly optimistic about the prospects of gun rights prevailing through solely “within the system” activism. They remind me a bit of Neville Chamberlain, with the Heller decision being their Munich Agreement (and by the way–don’t give me Godwin’s Law–that ain’t what this is about).And this brings me to the source of my confusion. The “pragmatic” strategy, apparently, requires gun rights activists to count on the Constitution for protection against people who have made it absolutely clear that they consider the Constitution to be so much Charmin substitute. At least one “prag,” for example, has railed against some other gun rights advocates, for their refusal to vote for one of the chief architects of one of the most brazen attacks on the First Amendment in recent history.I have frequently criticized proponents of restrictive gun laws for their bizarre “strategy” of attempting to use laws to rein in the behavior of the lawless. I can’t really see much of a difference between that, and counting on the Constitution to protect freedom from those bent on subverting it. -- What I don’t understand about ‘pragmatism’
"Questions? Questions? We don' need no steenking questions!"
So, today I had an MRI brain scan. Tomorrow I'm scheduled for a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram scan. It seems that my vertigo was generated by a small stroke in the center of the brain that controls balance -- a stroke that took place, according to the doctor with the first onset of symptoms, the afternoon of 29 September 2012 while I was at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando.
My wife didn't want me to go, but since my way was being paid by a good friend who thought it important to be there, I went to support his efforts. I was already struggling with nausea caused by the anti-cancer medicine I was taking. I was weak and certainly should have stayed home, but I didn't. Some you may have seen me stagger out of the reception Saturday evening. I wasn't drunk, despite the rumors. I haven't had a drink in ten years. But sometime between the morning and the evening I had the stroke. And what happened that day? I tried to ask a question and was cut off by the prags in charge of the conference.
My question was occasioned by statements made by Mark Barnes in this panel early in the morning:
8:45 a.m. Federal Affairs BriefingMark Barnes, president, Mark Barnes and AssociatesJeff Knox, managing director, Firearms Coalition, gun issues columnistLarry Pratt, executive director, Gun Owners of AmericaJoe Waldron, legislative director, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
There was a 11:45 a.m. Q & A scheduled on all morning panels but they announced that because of time constraints it would be postponed into the afternoon at 5:30 p.m. Among Mark Barnes statements I wished to question were these:
** We should not wish to sweep out the "old hands" of ATF because they exercised a "moderating" influence on the young cowboys and,** That we too should understand that a permanent director was a good thing for the agency.
There was also a general feeling expressed by many speakers that the GOP would save us from the big bad boogie men of gun control, especially through the courts.
When the afternoon Q&A finally arrived, I was the first at the microphone, yet I never got a chance to ask my questions -- I was cut off. Here is the question I was never allowed to ask, for the record, from my original crumpled single sided note pad paper:
"I have a couple quick comments on the first panel and a question, which speak to the reality we face as far as the rule of law and the legitimacy of the two party regime:"(Here was about where I was cut off.)"Over a year ago the ATF whistleblowers were promised oversight hearings into ATF policies and procedures, Thanks to the intervention of John "Ol Yellowstain" Boehner, that has not happened.""As far as the moderating effect of 'old hands,' I'll believe that when ATF ceases its 10 year persecution of an 'economic Waco' on Georgia firearms designer Len Savage, whose only sin was to successfully testify as an expert witness on behalf of ATF victims.""As far as a 'permanent director for ATF, if Obama had his way we would have Chicago anti-firearm zealot Traver instead of the bumbling Melson."
I was going to conclude this preamble with this:
"My question is, does anyone on the panel believe that if Obama is reelected that we can avoid a civil war?"
That's the question I never got to ask, presented here for the record. After being repeatedly cut off, I wadded up the notepaper and threw it to the floor, and walking away from the microphone said, "Okay, here's my question, 'What does anybody on first panel believe we are going to do WHEN Obama is reelected?'" I then walked to the back of the room.
Shortly thereafter, or perhaps before, I had my little stroke, although it took until today to diagnose it. What was so inherently dangerous for Gottlieb and Company in that question, I do not know. I was warmly greeted by participants, both personally and with applause when my name was mentioned. Who knows what motivates Prags? All in all, it was a waste of blood pressure.
Anyway, keep me in your prayers tomorrow.