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Operation Choke Point: freedom, guns, and civilization

When I first started reading about Operation Choke Point, I wasn’t even sure it was real. Or perhaps it was real but egregiously exaggerated.

The more I read, the more ominous the future looks.

The great Maggie McNeill has an excellent overview. (H/T S.)

David Codrea covered it with an eye to its effect on gun rights. Then came back again for a broader look.

My worries are broader yet. Covert ostracism of groups of people — any group of peaceable people — starts a dangerous (to the point of deadly) trend. Covert ostracism by private corporations at the direction of government is fascism (and I don’t use that term in any figurative or overblown way; that’s one normal function of the corporate-government partnership that’s the definition and essence of fascism).

Covert ostracism as a tool of government for getting its way when it can’t get its way through open law-spewing is … a big, big step on the path to destruction. Of trust. Of human decency. Of the concept of equal protection under law (never mind that equal protection has always been a myth; even a myth can have a civilizing purpose). Of civil society. Of so many valuable things.

Yeah, we’re already on that path. I know. But once you start shutting masses of peaceable people and businesses out of normal commerce, you create pariahs. You don’t drive them out of business; you merely drive them … elsewhere. You also drive them to be something other than what they are.

And like so many other attempts to force some governmental ideal of “morality” on people, you end up driving immorality.

Of course, you also create Freedom Outlaws. So the ostracism promised by Operation Choke Point (and its inevitable successors) wouldn’t be a total loss. But OCP is both a sign of and an “advance” upon the irreplaceable loss of all that makes civilization worthy of the name.


  1. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth May 8, 2014 12:34 pm

    Ominous, fersure. But, sadly, entirely unsurprising.

    It’s one of the things that is necessary to have in place and normalized, before the orders for cattle cars can go in.

    We seem to be noting those things, staccato, as they keep on rolling by…

  2. SJ Griffo
    SJ Griffo May 8, 2014 1:17 pm

    Just another brick in the wall.

  3. Plug Nickel Outfit
    Plug Nickel Outfit May 8, 2014 1:23 pm

    Somewhat related…

    Can’t provide a link (too lazy ATM) – but saw on the local ‘news’ last night that in Colorado – in order to accommodate the growing number of businesses involved in the legal wacky-weed trade that some alternate state clearinghouse might be established for their banking purposes – as long as the feds and their ‘reserve’ approved the proposal.

  4. Matt, another
    Matt, another May 8, 2014 1:24 pm

    That whold process worked out well for the Cambodians in the 70s…

  5. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán May 8, 2014 3:00 pm

    As Kyle Bennett pointed out on F***book, actions like this will drive the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies further and faster than anything their proponents could do.

  6. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal May 8, 2014 6:19 pm

    And, of course, most religious folk will approve because “those people” are sinners and don’t deserve to be defended. “When they came for the porn stars, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a pervert…”
    It’s why I will always speak up- not that anyone is listening.

  7. LarryA
    LarryA May 8, 2014 11:24 pm

    That’s the problem with legislating morality. Once you pick your “book,” be it the Bible, the Quran, Das Kapital, or Silent Spring, and start basing laws on what you interpret it says, they can’t be questioned. Arguing that a law is ineffective, has nasty side effects, or is actually much worse than whatever it tries to fix, get dismissed as blasphemy.

    Moralists will agree about everything that’s wrong with the war on drugs, then call for more prohibitions because, well, because sin.

  8. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 9, 2014 6:31 am

    Just another reason to put the bastards up against the wall some day. Look at the bright side, all these vendors moving into the black market (the only legitimate market).

  9. Jim B.
    Jim B. May 9, 2014 10:19 am

    This only proves that government aren’t the only ones to go tyrannical.

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