NOTE: If you agree with this post, please forward the link as far and wide as you can. (LATER: My thanks to Larry Pratt for the mirror on his Facebook here.)
They can jail us. They can shoot us. They can even conscript us. They can use us as cannon-fodder in the Somme. But… but, we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of their British Empire. And that weapon is our refusal. Our refusal to bow to any order but our own, any institutions but our own. -- Liam Neeson portraying Michael Collins, 1996.
Mike Bloomberg thought he was on a roll. In the wake of Sandy Hook, his money managed to buy unconstitutional legislation in Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland and New York. In the election just past, his money staved off defeat for two governors who did his bidding, although as Wellington said about Waterloo, it was "the nearest run thing you ever saw." Most importantly -- and the latest jewel in his anti-firearm crown -- his money and that of Bill Gates, Paul Allen and other like-minded elitists "bought the mob" (in the parlance of the Founders) with the success of I-594 in Washington state.
Yes, Bloomberg was on a roll. The so-called "mainstream" gun rights organizations, from the NRA to Alan Gottlieb's Second Amendment Foundation and all the smaller spin-offs in the affected states, had no answer to Bloomberg's millions and refused to put their own rivalries and jealousies aside to find one. This is hardly a surprise, since almost all of these groups have always been more about raising money to "fight gun control" than actually FIGHTING gun control. Each has been more obsessed with their own reputation in the collectivist-dominated press and their obsession to "win friends and influence people" in the middle. So, following their long-established patterns and refusals to think and act outside the boxes they placed themselves in, they lost. They lost in Connecticut, they lost in Maryland, they lost in New York, they lost in Colorado and now they have lost in Washington state.
In each case, Bloomberg understood his enemies, their foibles and their failures far better than they understood him. So he won and they lost.
But then something happened that Bloomberg in his arrogance never expected, something that the "mainstream gun rights organizations" for their part never expected either -- in every single state where Bloomberg had "won," it turned out that the victims of his unconstitutional laws had other ideas. And they didn't need "leaders" like Wayne LaPierre and Alan Gottlieb to lead them.
The "I Will Not Comply" movement in the various affected states began the instant Bloomberg's Intolerable Acts were passed. Individual firearm owners, led here and there by some courageous activists of the smaller rights groups who were not so worried about raising money and preserving their press image than their "betters," simply announced that they would not obey such unconstitutional laws. They refused to cooperate in their own disarmament. They refused to obey. If the government wanted to make them criminals, well, then, they would be criminals and they dared the authorities to do anything about it.
And the authorities did . . . nothing. When it became apparent that Connecticut was experiencing a stunning non-compliance rate approaching 85 percent, Mike Lawlor, the governor's appointed "gun commissar" in that state made threatening noises. But the raids did not begin. And now, almost two years later, they still haven't begun. In New York, the non-compliance rate is even higher, with county sheriffs even threatening to arrest state policemen who seek to enforce the SAFE Act in their jurisdictions. And Governor Cuomo has done . . . nothing.
In Colorado, on the day the magazine ban went into effect in July 2013, resisters gathered on the statehouse steps and broke the law. And the authorities did. . . nothing. After I announced on 20 April 2013 on the steps of the Connecticut state capitol that I had smuggled in forbidden magazines in violation of their diktat, Lawlor had the state police open a criminal investigation of me, but did . . . nothing. Since then my friends and I have smuggled in more such magazines to that state and the authorities have done . . . nothing. I even recently attended a gun show in CT simply to give the authorities a chance to arrest me if they felt froggy enough. And they did . . . nothing. The raids have not begun. The state and its newly felonized citizens have been looking at each other with firearms in their hands for almost two years now. Yet the other jackboot has not dropped. And the authorities, as with those in other states with Bloomberg Rules, don't know whether to defecate or go blind. Consequently they have done . . . nothing.
This refusal, this armed civil disobedience, reached its highest expression to date with the "I Will Not Comply" rally at the state capitol in Olympia on the 13th of this month. Two thousand armed people met, without a permit, defied I-594, held a successful rally without incident, and the authorities did . . . nothing. I was privileged to speak at this historic event as well. I will go back to Yakima in June for a planned gun show that will refuse to conduct the 594-required background checks and we will give the authorities a chance to enforce their new Bloomberg Rules.
And where are the "mainstream gun rights groups" in this national campaign of armed civil disobedience which has negated the results of Bloomberg's money, his so-called "victories"? Why, they're nowhere to be found. They have either condemned them or ignored them. In a recent interview, Alan Gottlieb, -- who was apparently vacationing in Hong Kong on the proceeds of his members' dues while the brave men and women of his state were risking arrest defying I-594 -- denied that the rally was in fact "armed civil disobedience" because, he ludicrously claimed, "most people there weren't armed."
And if you didn't get the underlying message, he went on to say "I don't think it helped us with the general public. It doesn't help us with the public or the legislators." And, he added, "I'm not a fan of armed civil disobedience."
Coming from a guy who has never risked more than a paper cut opening fundraising envelopes . . . coming from a guy who was willing to trade away national background checks in the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook . . . this was hardly surprising. He will do what he has always done when confronted with Bloomberg Rules. If he cannot sue it, if he cannot lobby a "compromise" that gives up a little more of other people's essential liberties and property, he will do . . . nothing.
Yet such "leaders" risk exposure and irrelevance in the new shifting paradigm. Legal challenges on all these Intolerable Acts are working their way through the courts. All have, up to now, failed. Elections have been fought and lost. Lobbying has been redoubled. Indeed, in the same interview Gottlieb asserted that the emergency was so grave that they had hired another lobbyist!
But the practitioners of armed civil disobedience, the resistance behind enemy lines in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Colorado and Washington state, have ALREADY NULLIFIED BLOOMBERG RULES. And Michael Bloomberg himself doesn't seem to know whether to defecate or go blind.
The failures of the "mainstream gun rights groups" to protect liberty and property from Bloomberg's assaults have forced the American people -- an eminently practical people -- to make their own arrangements. If this risks exposing the increasing irrelevance of such groups there is nothing we can do about it. (Although there is certainly something THEY can do about it -- thinking and acting outside the boxes of their own comfort zones would be a good start.) But the fact of the matter is that, as demonstrated now by almost two years of experiences THERE IS NO UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW THAT MIKE BLOOMBERG CAN BUY THAT WE CANNOT NULLIFY WITH ARMED CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.
Refusal is a weapon. It is a weapon that has been used to good effect in this country since the time of the Founders. Michael Bloomberg's Rules are negated by the Law of Unintended Consequences. And looking back on the past two years of expensive laws and craven legislators bought and sold that all of his "victories" required, Bloomberg must be wondering this Christmas why it is that someone crapped in his stocking. He should be celebrating. Instead he has been frustrated, as the Founders intended, by the refusal of the armed citizenry of the United States to bow down to him and his tyrannical kind.