Friday, March 28, 2014

Please Stay The Hell Off My Side

     So, some maroooon on NRA's Facebook page opines on the Leland Yee gun-running scandal, "The problem is all these new people with foreign-sounding names!"

     Calm down, paleface; this is the United States of America and we've all got "foreign-sounding" names, even the descendants of the people who were already here when the first Europeans stumbled ashore.  Nope, the problem ain't names, skin tone or where your ancestors hailed from; the problem is crookedness and unAmerican ideas -- politicians on the take (or on the con) and incessant meddling into the peaceable interactions of residents of the U.S. --You can't own a defined "assault weapon" in California; Texas has a fat handful of felonies involving lobsters and in Indiana, if you light up a smoke within eight feet of any entrance to a commercial building, you are A Criminal.  Yeah, even if it's the R. J. Reynolds building, those nice toasted Luckies will get you in more trouble than standing there "only reading Playboy for the articles." We've got a jillion laws (and more on the books every year), most of which are Nanny-type "for your own good" laws, or  laws that limit entry to a trade or profession, or serve to protect (or bail out!) well-connected enterprises. ...Or outright create black markets through prohibitions.

     That's the kind of environment that breeds crooks and sneaks, smugglers and bribery.  You only get rum-running when you have Prohibition; you only get moonshining when there are laws severely restricting distilling; you only get turf wars between drug gangs when drugs are illegal and by golly, "tough, common-sense gun laws" breed gun runners the way filth and darkness attract cockroaches.

     I suppose life -- and the policeman's lot -- would be happy indeed if all the bad guys were swarthy orcs from a Tolkien movie.  Real life is a lot more complicated and includes liquor-smugglers with good all-American names like Burke and Featherstone, Kennedy and McLaughlin (not a one of those names originated within our borders, mind you, but they do flow trippingly off the tongue of English-speakers, for all you probably got one of them wrong) as well as scary furriners named things like Lee and Yee and Moriarty.

     It is not the skin or the name makes the man, nor even the religion.  It's how he treats his fellow man.  Does he interact by persuaion and honest exchange, or by fraud and force?

      For Leland Yee, the public man was well into coercion, applying the crushing weight of the state to control honest, peaceable persons; we should not be terribly surprised that the private man now finds himself facing very credible charges of oath-breaking and smuggling, of using the laws he supported to drive up his profit from violating those selfsame laws.  --I have a lot more trouble with the crookedness than the smuggling.

     What I don't have any trouble with is that he's from China (came here at age 3) and has a name other than Snodgrass or Smith.  Big deal -- him and a few billion other people, otherwise different to one another.  The United States is a polyglot nation, settled by a mad assortment of religious flakes, outlaws, younger sons and malcontents.  And people who just plain wanted to be here.  It's worked well for us.  Get over it.


Scott_S said...

Why do I think liberal troll/plant when I read that?

Roberta X said...

That would be nice to think, but no.

Understand: not everyone on our side (on gun rights) is an angel.

And, weird as it sounds, not everyone on the other side -- or assumed to be -- is a devil.

Tam said...

"Why do I think liberal troll/plant when I read that?"

Never been to a gun show, eh?

Noah D said...

What was it O'Rourke said, something along the lines of "Right, because Buchanan is an Iroquois name."

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I don't care where he's from, he's a crooked lying SOB and he needs to be put away for a long, long time.

Oh, wait. We weren't talking about the President? :)

El Capitan said...

Oysters, not lobsters! Texas lobsters are called 'crawfish'! :-)

Anonymous said...

El Capitan is correct. Real lobsters are not found south of New England. Gulf lobsters are aspiring to an eminence they can obtain. (Think of this way: Gulf lobsters are to New England lobsters as Barack Obama is Thomas Jefferson.) Which fact makes that Texas law even more of an offense against reason.


wheelgun said...

Anyone who's name isn't Smith has a 'foreign-sounding name' as far as I can tell.

My family comes from eastern Europe, and the name ends in "nik." But 99% of the people with "American sounding names" are not smart enough to spell it correctly even when I am spelling if for them. "There is no 'C'" is a pretty common statement at banks the DMV. Whatever.

Actually a group of cousins who came through Ellis Island at a different time had their names changed to "nick" because spelling is hard or something.

(It would bother me less, if the name was actually hard to spell, but as most Slavic words are - it is spelled EXACTLY as it is pronounced. No silent "E" no silent "C" no gh or ie/ei conundrum.)

Scott_S said...

Not any recently. I stopped going when I saw 550 bulk pack 22 going for $60.00.

Anonymous said...

Wheelgun: LOL.
My last name is Smith. The first member of my family to reach the USA came approximately 1895, and the full geographical range of origins runs from northern Belarus to Moldava. Or, at it was back in their days, Byelorussia to Bessarabia. My grandfather's name when he got to Ellis Island was Smid, but coming in the wake of WWI he was told people might thing he was a German, so he changed it to Smith.

So you see, even Smith can be a foreign name.

Kishnevi (and now you can figure out where I picked up that nickname from)

Windy Wilson said...

It isn't the foreignness of his name that bothers me, it's the foreignness of his values.
Such lying corruption one expects to find in the criminal element, like the British underworld satirized in the original "Italian Job", where all the protagonists did not have "funny-sounding foreign names."

Sport Pilot said...

Idiot's do tend to make idiotic comments. Reality means little to liberals or racists and worse many racists are devoted liberals.

Joseph said...

I'll say it's foreign-sounding name. What kind of a name is "Leland"?

Joe in PNG said...

Think of all the damage that people with good, solid Anglo-Saxon names* like "Johnson" or "Carter", or even "Clinton" did to this country.

It ain't the name.

*the names 'Coolidge' and 'Roosevelt' are too bloody Dutch looking to count...