Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Okay, Let's Take This "Get Rid Of The Guns" Thing One Step At A Time

     You tell me that silly old Second Amendment notion that an armed citizenry can stop an aggressive government force is nonsense in this day and age of modern, well-equipped armed forces?  Great, explain to me the substantial and lasting victories the U. S. military has achieved in Iraq and Afghanistan, against a rag-tag and ill-assorted bunch of locals with small arms and improvised explosives.

     But no, forget that.  Try this one: It's [unspecified future date] and a profoundly ignorant demagogue with bad hair has just won the Presidency of the United States, squeaking by with a tiny margin of the popular vote and doing okay in the Electoral College.  This nitwit proposes to Fix Things by roundin' up illegal immigrants, assault weapons, Muslims and profiteers, deporting the humans and meltin' down the machines.  A spineless Congress passes legislation enabling the President to order such action if he so chooses (thereby letting Senators and Representatives dodge the blame but grab some of the credit, depending on how things work out) and the Prez sends out the FBI, Immigration, the Marines and whoever else, maybe the Air Force band, to start the round up, adding married gay couples at the last moment.  They commence kicking in doors and checking for brown-ness, lack of citizenship, incorrect religion, evil black rifles, cigars getting lit from $100 bills and rainbows.

     Decision time!  Is it a moral obligation to oppose this oppression even if you can't win and will likely die trying, or will you just sit back, thinking, "Well, I dislike some of what's on that list and as for the rest, you can't fight Washington; besides, the President did get 51% of the popular vote!"  And are you not pretty damned loathsome if you take the latter course?  --And wouldn't it be, I don't know, maybe just a little handy if you could take a few of the door-kickers out before they got you, perhaps with something like a gun?

     Don't bloody tell me it couldn't happen here; it couldn't have happened in post-WW I Germany, a modern, civilized, tolerant country where Jews were valued, productive members of society and, unlike Britain or the United States at the time, it wasn't even specifically illegal to be homosexual.  It did happen there.  And it (or something like it) could happen here.  Political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle is increasingly intolerant and inflammatory and Congress has all-too-often been unwilling to successfully stand up to the White House over anything but spite. Scapegoats are easy; you pick someone who is Not Like Us (for a given value of Us) and you blame 'em for whatever is wrong and convince folks it's time to get together, put their shoulders to the wheel and Do Something.  It's large-scale lynching, with the same lovely sense of community and same poor slob(s) getting strung up with no legal determination of guilt. Bet it won't ever happen to you?  The odds aren't great -- and the stakes are extraordinarily high.

     People tell me the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a meaningless blip and I suppose it was, measured against six million dead Jews and another few million Gypsies, gays and assorted "undesirables;" but it got a little notice.  Had it been larger, it would have gotten more notice.  We whitewash history; we'd like to pretend that nobody outside Germany knew anything at all about the camps and the killing and the gradual, hateful build-up to them, that the U. S. never turned away an entire shipload of Jewish refugees or that before open war broke out, most nations were refusing visas to the large number of Jews trying to flee Germany -- but it happened.  Governments, people, news organizations were largely pretending it wasn't happening, that it wasn't that bad, that it would blow over--  Maybe if more people had fought back, it would have been harder to ignore.  It would have made some kind of difference, and that sure would have been better than what did happen.

     Maybe we are just little, and governments are huge.  That doesn't mean we should make it any easier for them to do bad things than it already is.

18 comments:

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Raised as a Jew with a very large, very conservative Christian family on my Dad's side, I have never understood the mindset of Jews who call for gun control. Humans being what humans are, there is simply no chance that the demise of the armed citizen can be a good thing. Ask any Jew who lived under Hitler.

Oh, that's right. You can't ask 6 million of them anymore.

Wolfman said...

Of course, I never want it to come to that, but even if it does, it is morally reprehensible for me to fail to resist. If I have to resist with only my bare hands, I cannot accept that someone could come for my family without me expending every last effort to stop them.

As for the demagogue? It has continually escaped me how people can refuse to see that the powers they grant to the government can fall into the hands of their political enemies. The sword that we sharpen and hand to the president stays in the office, it doesn't leave with denizen thereof. Every time I see someone supporting unilateral action by the office of the president, I ask them if they would allow (insert political pariah of other party) to wield that power, as well. I get that people are supportive of the things that their candidate promised them at election time, but the Constitution was specifically designed to limit our government and protect we, the citizens, from an overarching political juggernaut. We may legislate back from the brink on gun law, but I suspect we will never recover the damage that was done to the substructure in the process.

Raz Raxxaffian said...

Why do I feel like we are in a time warp and I'm living in 1935 Germany?

RandyGC said...

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."

-- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Joe in PNG said...

One factor is that the Jews of much of Europe thought themselves to be good, assimilated citizens of whichever country they lived in. Best to be a good German, don't make waves, and all this nonsense will pass once Chancellor Hitler feels more secure in his position.
Likewise, the non-Jewish occupied countries, remembering the nastiness of German occupation during WWI, figured it was better to just go along to get along and wait for the war to end once England came to it's senses and made peace.
When it was realized just how nasty the Nazi occupation would be, (and perhaps more importantly that the Soviet Union was invaded) you start seeing a more active resistance movement. Some more successful than others- Tito's Partisans defeating not only the Nazis, but also keeping Stalin out after.

Anonymous said...

"...the Prez sends out the FBI, Immigration, the Marines and whoever else, maybe the Air Force band, to start the round up, adding married gay couples at the last moment."

I *really* hope that was bombast.

The married gay couples (and the single LGBT) members of the 'Pink Pistols' that I personally know will likely have a direct ballistic response to that policy...

Roberta X said...

It was, you anonmyous twit, a rant. It employed hyperbole, raillery, uncouth slang and deliberate overstatement in an attempt to make a point.

Clearly, I failed to do so with you. Look, I'm not doin' this crap in Crayola for the cheap seats. Keep up or don't, makes no difference to me.

NAVIGATOR said...

THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING THE PASSENGERS OF HAPAG LINER M/S ST LOUIS AND OF THEIR VOYAGE IN THE SPRING/SUMMER OF 1939

SOME YEARS AGO I MET SOME OF THE PASSENGERS WHO SURVIVED AND ALSO MET SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO TRIED TO SAVE THEM

THE HISTORY OF THAT EPOCH SADLY IS NOT WELL KNOWN BY MOST AMERICANS TODAY AND WHEN TOLD OF THE FACTS MANY TAKE OFFENCE AT ANYTHING THAT RUNS CONTRARY TO THE SUGAR COATED NOTIONS THAT ARE POLITICALLY COMFORTABLE WITH

YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ RUTH GRUBER'S BOOKS "HAVEN" AND "EXODUS 1947 THE SHIP THAT LAUNCHED A NATION"

Wade said...

Excellent, concise, post. I sometimes meet young people and listen to them discuss historical events. It's scary how many of them think that the people who carried out the massacres of the last century were somehow different from their neighborhood policemen and code-enforcement officers.

Windy Wilson said...

Wade, from the time they are old enough to understand words, they are told they are better and smarter than those who went before, especially Dad, and sometimes even Mom. They must be smarter and therefore better, do they not wear nicer clothes and use really hip electronics?

Wolfman, one of the few things President Lyndon Johnson said that is sensible and correct is something to the effect that, "Don't imagine your people using this law you want passed, imagine your enemies using the law."

pigpen51 said...

Navigator,

Calm down. Many of us over the age of 50 remember more than the age of color t.v. and only fm radio stations. Some of us were even interested in history and our place in it.

Now it looms even more important as we look back and remember, and then look at our present day circumstances. How does John Kerry resemble Nevelle Chamberlin? Does the panic of the gun control act of 1968 rear it's ugly head every time a mass murder makes the news cycle? On and on ad nauseum.

I have to say I particularly liked the paragraph from Solzhenitsyn. It is one of my favorites. When I look at how people like him suffered, and how they came out of it, it gives me some hope. I hope there a few men and women like him here in this country. I think we will need them.

As for me if they come for my weapons, which of course, I don't have, as I think they have all been stolen, I have determined that I will make my wife and adult daughter leave and then negotiate with the people sent after them, alone. Perhaps that is a bad decision on my part and some might criticize me for it. I don't really care. I am willing to die for my country. I have a son in the U.S. Navy who is willing to die for his country. My other son will die for his country. I will not allow my wife or my 3 daughters to die for their country without me fighting first. That is my choice, not yours.

You will notice that I wrote die for my country. I could have just as easily have said freedom, perhaps it might have been a little more clear to some, but to my way of thinking they are one and the same.

I am not a romantic. I don't think it would be glorious to have to hold off a band of military or police while fighting to the "last breath" or some such crap.
I have seen what even handgun bullets can do. It is grisly, gross, and hurts like hell. I don't believe it would ever come to that in this country, based not on politics, but on personally speaking to many military members and police officers who have told me that, unofficially, they would not dare, nor would they ever want, to attempt to take peoples arms from them. Many of them are individually opposed to it. I know many are not, as in New Orleans after Katrina, but that I think was an anomaly.

Of course, I could be very, very wrong, and things could go to hell-in-a hand basket. I have written to the Jewish government ( yeah, crazy, I know ), and expressed my support of them and their cause. I will stand with their right to be recognized as a state. It has probably made me an enemy of my own government. Sometimes, doing the right thing has consequenses. So I take my chances.

Great, thought provoking post, Roberta. The time to think about it is now, before you might have to make a decision, instead of later, when it might be too late.

Josh B said...

Thank you, Ma'am, for that. The amount of fight displayed in that rant cheered me up a bit.

gorditoax said...

I'm also a Jew with my dad's family being Catholic. I have a hard time reconciling the hard left politics in my mom's family. When has

gorditoax said...

I'm also a Jew with my dad's family being Catholic. I have a hard time reconciling the hard left politics in my mom's family. When has boot licking ever worked out well for us?

As they say, and I strongly believe, "Never Again".

Archer said...

It did happen there. And it (or something like it) could happen here.

It happened here, too. Read up on the federal-government-mandated involuntary internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. Federal agents literally (in some areas) went door-to-door, rounded up anyone with too-tan skin and/or too-tilty eyes, and put them on buses headed out to the desert, while unscrupulous individuals offered to buy up their possessions for pennies on the dollar (if the owners opted not to sell, their belongings were certain to be stolen/looted anyway).

Anyone who says, "It can't happen here," doesn't know their history. It did happen here, and recently enough that a few might still remember it.

Archer said...

It did happen there. And it (or something like it) could happen here.

It happened here, too. Read up on the federal-government-mandated involuntary internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. Federal agents literally (in some areas) went door-to-door, rounded up anyone with too-tan skin and/or too-tilty eyes, and put them on buses headed out to the desert, while unscrupulous individuals offered to buy up their possessions for pennies on the dollar (if the owners opted not to sell, their belongings were certain to be stolen/looted anyway).

Anyone who says, "It can't happen here," doesn't know their history. It did happen here, and recently enough that a few might still remember it.

Braden Lynch said...

Don't forget about our own xenophobia and our forced relocation and locking up a bunch of Americans who simply happened to be Japanese. Their only crime was not being Caucasian.

I wonder what would have happened if they had instead shot the policemen or other authority figures who demanded their departure for the internment camps. They are damn lucky that the war went well for us and that they were not exterminated or left to rot there.

So when some moron says it cannot happen here and that I'm paranoid I have all the proof I need from recent history.

Anonymous said...

Ma'am, years ago, one of my sons' friends was over, and, in the manner of the adolescent, was for some reason declaiming "Jew!" every several sentences. The Mother Of My Children had a maiden name associated with that particular ethnic group: in fact, her family history has the patriarch escaping from Romania barely in time to avoid a mandatory vacation in Poland. I pointed this out to the lad, and added. "You know, some folks who speak in this way, would consider my children, and their mother, jewish. They would see me dead in the street, before I'd let them be loaded on cattle cars. I pray that I'd be found in a pile of spent brass, and cooling Stasi cadavers." He never, ever, repeated that turn of phrase. I have never had any subsequent reason to doubt his integrity. That young man was educable. There are others, in the commentariat, who are not. They might wind up in that pile, around my own cadaver.