Any elected Republican discussing compromise over high-capacity magazines needs to quit pussyfooting around and just get a frontal lobotomy. You can’t compromise by giving something away. If I own 10 acres of land, and you want five, we can’t compromise at two. They’re my damn acres of land.
In the gun violence debate, high-capacity magazines are a red herring. Firing 30 rounds with a single magazine or six five-round clips is a difference of about three seconds for anyone proficient with firearms. This debate isn’t about safety. The gun-control fanatics don’t care about safety. They don’t like guns. Does anyone believe that the anti-gun lobby will be satisfied if we surrender high-capacity magazines? After the next atrocity, they’ll have a new list of demands.
These are Alinskyite tactics. For those who still haven’t read “Rules for Radicals,” this is how leftists achieve their goals. They blame an enemy (the rich, big tobacco, the fossil fuels industry, corporations, Wall Street, gun owners, etc. — anyone with something to lose) and they harass that enemy until it offers a concession. Then they ask for more.
What they want is a concession. A concession, however small and inconsequential, says to the world that, yes, guns (or whatever) are evil. Concessions are an admission of guilt without a trial. Once an unsuspecting industry admits guilt, they’ve told their harassers that harassment works. The game is up. And the harassment never stops. Neither do the concessions. Over time, the small concessions become so routine that liberals start demanding larger ones. The end result is the same: less freedom and more government.
And as long as I’m predicting the future, let me look into my crystal ball. President Obama appointed Joe Biden to mastermind his gun grab, replete with buzzwords like compromise and balance and middle ground. This week Joe Biden is going to ask for something ridiculous. He’s going to point to murdered children. Then he’ll ask gun owners to be reasonable. Then he’s going to propose an infringement on the Second Amendment that gun owners can’t possibly accept. If history is any guide, the GOP will throw a high-pitched hissy fit. MSNBC will find a semi-famous gun owner saying something outrageous. The rest of the media will pick up the sound bite and go with the story. When Republican congressmen protest, Biden is going to whine in front of cameras about the intransigence of the far right. After days of vice-presidential histrionics, Biden is going to find his inner Buddha and propose a middle way. He’ll pretend that he’s acquiescing when he merely asks for a federal ban on high-capacity magazines.
That’s how conservatives lose. That’s how we always lose: We rely on reason. The facts about gun violence, common sense, our nation’s history and FBI statistics indicate that an armed America is a safer America. But cool-headed arguments don’t always prevail. Today, emotions trump facts every time.
So how can gun owners win?
Frame the debate. And get emotional.
Conservatives should be outraged about Sandy Hook. This wasn’t a hurricane or a volcano. Those innocent kids were murdered. What happened in Connecticut wasn’t an unforeseeable act of nature. It was preventable. When Biden points at dead kids and mourns, Republicans should point and speak. Ask a question: Why were those kids defenseless? How can this happen? Then answer it: It happened because naïve, utopian lawmakers wrote manifestly stupid laws which restricted guns, making children in public schools an easy target for madmen. Those murders were facilitated by a politically correct, anti-gun culture that pervades the public sector. Republicans must get outraged because what happened is outrageous.
Whoever frames the debate wins. Republicans generally let Democrats do the framing. In the coming debate, the frame could be Guns are bad. Something must be done. But it could also be Bad laws endanger kids.
In the interest of being civil, conservatives typically shy away from getting emotional and pointing fingers. Democrats are shrill and hysterical whenever they are awake, so conservatives see themselves as a natural yin to the liberal yang. But this relationship isn’t natural. It’s just a habit — one that conservatives need to kick.
President Obama was suspiciously silent on guns in his first term, but, as he told Dmitry Medvedev, November 2012 was his “last election.” Now he has “more flexibility.” Obama’s scope has been fixed on “the rich” for the last 18 months, but his aim is now squarely fixed on a new target. Obama’s political arsenal is readying for battle. Gun owners don’t have to lose, but they will if they fight conventionally.
(Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at [email protected])
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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