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April 27, 2007

Imagine There's No Nations, and No Religion Too
Update: Not A Punking!

It's possible to imagine either of those in theory, but in practice, it turns out to be virtually impossible.

Those most insistent that there are no external enemies (imgaine there are no nations) -- "Al Qaeda is a fictitious threat invented by Bush to justify perpetual war" -- are also the strongest partisans in favor of warring against internal enmeies (Bush, Republicans, anyone who owns a gun).

To me it's yet another example of a basic human drive -- here, the need for enemies one needs to make war upon -- simply being redirected from the traditional pathway (destroy external enemies) to a nontraditional pathway (destroy internal enemies).

Like evangelical atheism -- the imagine there's no religion part. It's pretty clear, based upon evangelical atheists' need to proselytize for their pseudoreligion, as well as their exaltation of a God-substitute to satisfy their need for a God of some kind ("science," "reason" step in to play the role of God), that, like the passionately, conventionally religious, evangelical atheists share the same fascination with the metaphysical and the same impulse for an overarching answer to the question of "Why?"

They don't believe in God, or at least "God" as the traditionally religious believe in God. But they still have that same powerful need to believe in something greater than themselves, something to provide meaning, sense, order, and succor. "God" as most understand Him is, by definition, not a permissible entity to believe in for an atheist; but the need remains, and that need is sublimated into, and satisfied by, a quasireligious belief in entitities and abstractions which are ultimately invested with most of the attributes and abilities of the traditional God. Redemption, explanation, purpose, higher power, a pathway for the betterment of oneself and mankind generally -- evangelical atheists don't call what they believe in "God," but their zealous belief in Not-God tracks fairly closely with the beliefs of the conventionally religious.

All of this is preamble to this breathtaking article by a former diplomat -- presumably a very liberal man who believes in "peace" above all else -- to essentially turn the country into a quasi police state in which enemies of the state will be hunted down and defeated. I'm pretty sure this man spends little time thinking about external enemies such as Al Qaeda -- I'd bet dollars to donuts he scoffs at such a "threat" -- but obviously spends a lot of time fretting about the "internal terrorists" in America. Namely, those who own guns.

We see this an awful lot on the left. The impulse to war and domination and subjugation of one's enemies is as strong in many of them as in the most belligerent "neocon warmonger" -- but they simply swap out internal enemies for those fictitious external enemies. The basic human impulse is there. But it's simply redirected towards an "enemy" they find more palatable to acknowlege, and more deserving of the full force and fury of the American government's power.

This "former diplomat" (who has, shock, contributed to the NYT; and, while he has no Wikipedia entry, I would imagine he wasn't promoted by the elder Bush, nor the younger, but sometime... in between) is very interested in achieving domestic "peace." But his preferred prescription for acheiving that wond'rous tranquility is a breathtaking use of coercive, and possibly violent, force against the internal enemies of America opposing him.

The disarming of America

Dan Simpson, a retired diplomat, is a member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

LAST week's tragedy at Virginia Tech in which a mentally disturbed person gunned down 32 of America's finest - intelligent young people with futures ahead of them - once again puts the phenomenon of an armed society into focus for Americans.....

When people talk about doing something about guns in America, it often comes down to this: "How could America disarm even if it wanted to? There are so many guns out there."

Because I have little or no power to influence the "if" part of the issue, I will stick with the "how." And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I'm a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns.

What follows is the obligatory "I used to shoot a Red Ryder BB gun" (seriously!) and a statement that, as diplomat assigned to the hotspot of Beirut, he learned to shoot actual weapons. He claims he doesn't have "any problem with hunting" but quickly caveats that "blowing away animals with high-powered weapons seems a pointless, no-contest affair to me." He allows that "I suppose I would enjoy the fellowship of the experience with other friends who are hunters."

So, you know, he's no crazy liberal gun grabber. He shot a B-B gun, and has no problem with hunting, except for the actual hunting part.

The walking around in the woods, sipping brandy-dosed coffee from a thermos, talking and laughing with friends? That part of hunting he's got no beef with. Just that noxious part about shooting animals.

Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.

The full coercive power of the state will be brought to bear against these internal enemies, these renegades. The cops coming to arrest these people would, presumably, be armed, and be authorized to use deadly force to execute an arrest against a noncompliant "criminal."

Can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, of course, as Lenin said.

Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.

How kind of him to allow hunters access to their weapons three or four months of the year.

It would have to be the case that the term "hunting weapon" did not include anti-tank ordnance, assault weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, or other weapons of war.

Childish propaganda, because of course "hunting weapon" alrleady does not include bazookas and anti-tank weapons, which are, of course, tightly regulated. But he drops this in as if it's a novel proposal, something not already on the books, but just a common-sense idea whose time has come.

Well, it is a common-sense idea. But it's time came like 60 years ago.

It's amusing that this guy -- previously bragging on his expertise and comfort with firearms (remember: he owned a Red Ryder B-B gun, just like Ralphie) -- seems to believe that LAW rockets are common hunting weapons.

All antique or interesting non-hunting weapons would be required to be delivered to a local or regional museum, also to be under strict 24-hour-a-day guard. There they would be on display, if the owner desired, as part of an interesting exhibit of antique American weapons, as family heirlooms from proud wars past or as part of collections.

Interesting indeed. Who wouldn't want to enter a museum containing thousands of very similar old-but-by-no-means rare weapons?

And see-- all you gun owners? You're not really losing your guns so much as gaining an appreciative audience, who can share your passion for your grandfather's old service Webley.

Gun dealers could continue their work, selling hunting and antique firearms. They would be required to maintain very tight inventories. Any gun sold would be delivered immediately by the dealer to the nearest arsenal or the museum, not to the buyer.

So you can still "own" a gun in the sense you pay for it. You just don't have that lesser aspect of the notion of "ownership," i.e., actually having access to and use of the gun you "own."

But pretty much people just want to "own" stuff on paper. Like the HD TV I bought last year. I never bothered to pick it up from Circuit City -- I believe they've now made it a floor model -- but just knowing I'm technically the owner of record makes watching movies on my old beat-up 15" a "high definition" experience of sorts in its own right.

Plus, the idea that my TV is part of a "television museum" down at Circuit City -- where hundreds, nay thousands of people per week can appreciate my HD TV as they stroll by and watch two seconds of Growing Pains, fills me with a sense of pride and satsifaction.

Now here's we we get to the war on internal enemies part. Pretty creepy. And, note, we're talking about federal troopers, or at least police empowered by/deputized to the federal government, as he mentioned above. He's talking about completely repealing the Second Amendment by unilateral government action.

Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.

Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for "carrying."

Did I say he wanted to repeal the 2nd Amendment? Apparently he's more ambitious than that; he also wants to do away with the 4th Amendment. Which requires suspicion -- or a warrant -- to search someone.

But the 4th Amendment, like the 2nd Amendment, is now so outdated, I guess.

He now enthralls us with a tour-de-force legal/constitutional analysis:

The "gun lobby" would no doubt try to head off in the courts the new laws and the actions to implement them.

Way to go out on a limb there, buddy.

They might succeed in doing so, although the new approach would undoubtedly prompt new, vigorous debate on the subject. In any case, some jurisdictions would undoubtedly take the opportunity of the chronic slowness of the courts to begin implementing the new approach.

...

Ah. Some jurisdictions would be encouraged to begin acting on a law which is facially, blatantly unconstitutional before a court could state the obvious.

This guy doesn't really like the Constitution, does he?

Now comes a curious bit of leftist projection:

There could conceivably also be a rash of score-settling during hunting season as people drew out their weapons, ostensibly to shoot squirrels and deer, and began eliminating various of their perceived two-footed enemies. Given the general nature of hunting weapons and the fact that such killings are frequently time-sensitive, that seems a lesser sort of issue.

Am I to understand he believes hunters, when they've been deprived of their phallic-symbol weapons long enough, suddenly congregate in the woods to begin popping bullets at each other in a sort of anarchic mosh-pit version of The Most Dangerous Game?

That is my idea of how it could be done. The desire to do so on the part of the American people is another question altogether, but one clearly raised again by the Blacksburg tragedy.

Brilliant. Bra. Vo.

Remember: This guy used to represent America in dealings with hostile/adversarial world powers.

Feel all comfy and safe?


Thanks to Bucky. Bryan at Hot Air has similar thoughts.


A Modest Proposal? This article is so jaw-dropping that it occurred to me, as it it occurred to JeffK, this is some sort of Swiftian irony, a "modest proposal" on gun control designed precisely to illustrate what outrages true gun-grabbing would entail.

I admit -- that is a possibility. This article is so far out there -- deep into cloud-cuckoo land, beyond even where the short buses run -- that it is a genuine possibility I've been punked.

If so, it's a terrific punking. It's so hard to believe any person would suggest all this... and yet, knowing the left, it's not quite impossible to believe.

His background, though -- NYT, diplomat -- suggests to me he's serious.

But only suggests. I quite admit, this could be a serious punking, and if so, I'll be a little embarrassed to have believed it (mostly).

But only a little embarrassed. Because even if we're being punked by this guy -- even if this guy doesn't believe this moonbat twaddle -- there are, in fact, millions of Americans who believe precisely this.

There's a very conservative-leaning Pittsburgh paper (at least in terms of its editorial page), but the Post-Gazette ain't it. Here's their official editorial on the need of Congress to "Hang Tough" against Bush's warmongering, and here's their offical opinion on missile defense sites in Poland ("Miguided Missiles").

The probability that this is a punking just dropped to virtually zero.

The Terry Frisk: I mistated the conditions under which a citizen can be patted down. The general rule is "reasonable suspicion" of a crime or a warrant. There is a big exception -- the Terry frisk.

A Terry frisk is justified by the courts for police safety. If a cop is talking to someone, even someone who's neither under arrest nor suspected of a crime, he is entitled, if he has a reasonable belief his interlocutor may be armed, to pat him down for weapons. To make sure that the cop doesn't get shot in the face when he asks a difficult question.

This is a controversial ruling by the Supreme Court among liberals, as well as among strong civil-rights conservatives. Not sure how Scalia would have ruled on it when it came up in the 50's (or 60's, I forget), but I don't know he'd have voted with the majority if the case had come up in the eighties.

I do know liberals went positively apeshit in New York when Giuliani instructed police to utilize the Terry frisk exception as much as possible when interviewing suspected bad characters. Especially, of course, because many of those bad characters turned out to be black or Hispanic.

So this guy's proposal is not quite as radical on that score as it first seems (although Terry frisks still require a reasonable suspicion of someone being armed, even lawfully, during a questioning for a legitimate purpose, and this guy apparently would do away with that limitation entirely).

I'm curious if he supported Giuliani's use of the Terry frisk -- a much less constitutionally problematic use -- or if he railed against Giuliani as a fascist.

I'm also curious what he would do should these random gun-searches produce evidence of a crime -- like drug possession. Many Terry frisks wind up not revealing weapons, but drugs; because the frisk was lawful, so to is evidence seized as a result of that lawful frisk.

Given this guy's politics, I'm not sure he'd want to continue that rule in his new "cops can pat you down at any time for no reason at all" regime. I suspect if pressed on it, he'd say only guns may be seized and used as evidence of a crime, whereas drugs would merely be seized with no charges possible from the seizure, or perhaps even simply given back to the perp.


No Punking: Slublog has produced a welter of cites in the comments (just skim for the red text, morons) proving conclusively this guy is a dyed-in-the-organic-wool moonbat of the highest order. There is no Swiftian Modest Proposal thing going on here.

This lunatic means this stuff.

He would do everything possible to avoid an armed confrontation with a foreign enemy sworn to war against us.

But he's just itching to kill whole swaths of his more... problematic fellow American citizens.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:58 PM





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