My final, utter disillusionment with mainstream politics arrived shortly after the '94 elections. Finished with puffing out their chests and promising the world, the fresh Republican House majority instead hockered-up a big load and spat it down the throat of every gun owner in the country. Did they repeal the large-capacity magazine ban, the "Assault Weapon" legislation, the Brady law, or anything else? Nope. Did they even give it the old college try? Nope. Did they pass new bad stuff? Aye-yep, even resurrecting the "Gun-Free School Zone Act" that had been struck down by the Supreme Court's Lopez decision because of its ludicrously tortuous linkage of "child safety" to the Constitution's Interstate Commerce clause.
After years of being one of the loudest local gun-nut pests, I suddenly couldn't have cared less. I stopped taking Raleigh's monopoly socialist rag, and still refuse to watch the Approved Nightly News. Aside from feeding this site and cutting the occasional check for a good cause, I'm basically in hunker-down mode.
In order to keep my ear to the ground, I joined TAGNet (Triangle Area Gunowner Network). It's a good RKBA activist resource with a respectable signal-to-noise ratio, a Distant Early Warning system that usually manages to provide at least a few weeks worth of notice before the next Stupid Thing comes pouring out of the percolating swamps of Washington or Raleigh.
Luckily, most of the TAGNetters are relatively politically astute, and realize that the bulk of politicians are lying sacks of poop. While they still believe in the democratic process, they're mature enough to know that if left unattended for a few minutes even their bestest buddy in the state legislature might stab them in the heart in exchange for another road in his district or a big whompin' campaign contribution. All they can look forward to is that maybe the current line will be held, and if anything new HAS to be passed (political expediency, y'unnerstand), well, hopefully it will be aimed at some other bunch of poor sonsabitches.
So they vote for Republicans, lobby the hell out of 'em, and pray for a few more good years.
While I can certainly comprehend that strategy, it smells plenty bad. As far as our gun rights go, we're not on a slippery slope -- we're already over the cliff. So if the bad shit MUST go down, then the sooner it comes, the better off we'll probably all be. To me, it'd make more sense to vote for mad hatter Democrats in order to speed the confrontation. Carol Moseley-Braun for Magnaximum Obstreperous Potentate!
"EEEK! EEEK!" the Republican apologists shriek, "just wait 'til we control the White House, both Houses of Congress, and get a few more seats on the Supreme Court!" Geez, anything else?
Let's go through those goals in order:
Coke fiend rich-boy asswipe George W. Bush is already talking openly about "reasonable" gun-control measures. And he could very well pick treacly witch Liddy Dole as his running mate, who is all aflutter about going way further. If anything, he may get to sign legislation even more damaging than Clinton could ever hope for.
I get regular voting tally box scores from Neal Knox and GOA, and know for a fact
that most Republicans are not pro-gun in any meaningful sense.
Whenever the media starts chumming the waters with bloody pictures, they're busy
compromising up a storm. But the RNC is understandably reluctant to dump the Second Amendment
outright, as the issue provides a reliable "Well, compared to the Democrats..." talking
point for bamboozling the boobs out in TV land.
THE most important thing to these buzzards is their ability to spend taxes. They are sick and tired of getting beaten up over the gun thing, and would gladly sail it over the wall (as their counterparts in England recently did) in exchange for a better shot at more loot.
The current buzz is that Rehnquist will retire after Clinton leaves office. If George W. gets the post, he'll nominate "moderate" clones of O'Connor and Souter. And that'll blow our chances for another decade.
Sad to say it, but the next few years could be the best time for a dustup. We've always had the superior philosophical, historical, and legal arguments (hey, leftish prune Larry Tribe just weighed-in on our side), and economist John Lott has provided sufficient statistical ammunition to effectively muzzle the wonk cadres of our opposition. Waco is heating up again, and folks who slept through the last go-around might wake up and get a clue. Y2K hysteria has convinced plenty of otherwise complacent types to stock up on guns, food, and other supplies. And a lot of people are just plain cheesed about the thick ropes of piss the feds rain down on us daily.
If Gore or Bradley win the election and coattail-in even a slim Democratic majority, they will immediately slam through outright confiscation of handguns and nasty rifles and military-look shotguns, and require full registration on whatever remains. And then things might get real lively as ornery Americans react in wonderfully diverse ways.
Or we can continue on with Elephant incrementalism, and hope that when the puck finally hits the ice twelve or thirty years from now that our kids will even remember what a real gun looks like.
(For a more in-depth explanation of this approach, check out the new Blackflagliberty.com site.)