As depressing as these last few months have been for gun rights and freedom, there’s a hopeful “something” in the air. It doesn’t always feel like it, but there’s a subtle freedomista breeze wafting.
Those of us who’ve been around a while might be tempted to feel we’re reliving the terrible years of 1993-4. Those were the dark years when the Brady law and the ugly-gun ban clobbered us with a one-two punch and left us thinking we might never get to our feet again.
But Joe Biden is right. Oh, don’t worry, he’s right about only one thing, and actually only half of that. But the political climate around gun rights has changed.
He’s just wrong about the nature of that change — which, given that he’s a politician, I believe and hope he utterly misreads.
He and his ilk think this is the moment when they’ll finally “win” on gun control and destroy the culture of independence that firearms represent.
My prediction is that, whether they “win” in laws and regulation, this time they lose. And they don’t just loose seats in legislatures as they did last time.
They lose their country.
One sign of that shines from Ronnie Barrett’s open letter joining the boycott of those who assault liberty. Barrett is hardly a typical gun maker. Years before the present boycott, he his company refused to sell to or service the weapons of gun-banning governments. In a way, he inspired LaRue, York, Olympic, and all the others to take the tall stand they’re taking now. He just says it well.
And what he says — and what he and others are doing — wouldn’t have been said or done ca. 1993. Back then, gun makers were only too happy to sell out. Heck, Bill Ruger is infamously the father of the standard-capacity magazine ban. And most other gun makers spent time angling for ways to make the various anti-gun (anti-freedom) laws hurt the competition more than themselves.
But yes, Joe Biden, things have changed.
In 1993, do you think the biggest sports show in the U.S. would have been shut down by vendors — not producers of ugly black guns, but makers of boats, duck blinds, spices, and clothing — standing up, saying “the Second Amendment is for ALL or it’s for none,” and walking out? In 1993, do you think the NRA and the big gun makers would have followed the lead of those little guys?
How many gun or firearms equipment makers back then would have even thought about refusing to sell to police? It would have been unthinkable.
Sure, there are still plenty of compromisers. Like Armalite, that wants to have its boycott cake and eat it, too. Or the never-met-a-compromise-he-didn’t-like Alan Gottleib of the Second Amendment Foundation/CCRKBA who seriously expects Washington state gun owners to believe that having one vast gunowner database foisted upon them will be better than having one minor database that a lot of them didn’t even know about.
But condemnation of their tactics is swift, fierce, and increasingly unanimous.
I don’t know how any of this is going to come out. I’m not seeing rainbows and unicorns in our future. Whether the gun-banners “win” or get beaten back on a new ugly-gun ban or a private-sale ban, I expect chaos. But this time around, there seems to be a lot more understanding that the battle is about freedom. For all of us. And that it’s not just the possessions and privileges of one group or another that are at stake.
I also think that those powerful grassroots gun-rights groups that organized and triumphed in state after state in the last 20 years will have a lot to say about the long-term outcome.
Back in ’93-4, powerless nobodies took to the woods and played militia while leaders in the gun industry and the NRA sold them out. I’m not knocking the militia movement; it seemed like a good idea at the time and may have been the best thing for people who had damn few alternatives.
But … things are so much bigger now. It’s no longer just us “lone nuts with guns,” grumbling angrily in meeting rooms or cabins. It’s a whole culture whose members understand that everything they value, everything they are, is under attack.
And for all our fear, good citizenship, and hesitancy to act … this time I don’t think we’re going to take that politely.
How ironic. “Our” leaders obviously fear us. But they fear us for all the wrong reasons. Our guns? Ha. The guns aren’t what it’s about at all. Then, misunderstanding everything so badly, they take exactly the steps to provoke us. People, you have no freakin’ idea what you really have to fear when you aim to take away freedom.