The arrow is plugging the wound.

In other places I’ve made it pretty clear that I lean sharply libertarian and that the role of government should be sharply limited. “To preserve these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  That’s it.  Going beyond what’s necessary to “secure these rights” is to go beyond “just powers.”

As I point out in earlier blog posts, a certain level of government actually helps to secure the basic rights of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Obviously, we are far, far beyond that point.  To get there we need to cut government back, way back.

Here’s where I part company with many Libertarians.  They want to do it in one fell swoop.  Every part of government that is not part of the minimum necessary “to secure these rights” (which some consider to be “all of it”) must go.  Now.

That, however, may not be a good idea.  Oh, the end goal of getting rid of most of what government does may be a laudable one but the question is how.

Consider this analogy.  A man has been shot with a number of arrows and is lying there like a meat pincushion.  The wounds, if properly treated, are such that he can survive and heal.  If left as his he’ll bleed to death.

Some folk have the instinct to jerk out all the arrows since they’re what caused his wounding.

Very foolish that.  Those arrows are also plugging the holes so he doesn’t quickly bleed out.

This is where we are with government.  It’s bleeding free society to death, slow or fast depending on your perspective but it’s also “plugging the holes”.

Consider what President Dwight Eisenhower said about Social Security and other programs: “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Eisenhower was not endorsing Social Security and those other programs.  No, he was pointing out the reality that so many people had grown dependent on them that people would rise in such outrage that the “offending” party would be voted out of every office they hold, from President all the way down to dog catcher, and never be heard from again.

And the plain fact is that many more people are dependent on many more government programs than ever before.  Cut the program and people will suffer, in the short term at least.  Maybe, probably, they would if given time adjust to the new situation and the economic growth that comes from the increased freedom and less tying up of the economy caused by the government passing money back and forth from hand to hand with no new products and services to show for it would improve their lot.  But there’s the problem “given time”.  Most people will only see their immediate hardship.  As the line says from the movie Annie (the 1982 version; I haven’t seen the 2014 version and don’t intend to) “People don’t eat in the long run.”

Thus, while reducing the size of government is a good thing–indeed, it’s something that must happen if we’re to remain anything resembling a free and prosperous country–great care must be taken in how its done.  We must be prepared to deal with the “bleeding” that will come from removing each “arrow” lest instead of a healthy, prosperous nation we end up with a exanguinated corpse.

Recognizing this, of course, makes me a horrible “statist” who doesn’t care about freedom.  Or so I’ve been told.

A day that will live in…love and kindness?

Another ramble because this is a somewhat emotional outburst.

The date, December 8, 1941.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great sadness that I announce the entirely understandable attack yesterday on the Pearl Harbor Imperial Aggression Base, by rightfully outraged Japanese freedom fighters.  As we look at the results of this courageous effort by the Japanese we have to ask ourselves what provoked it?  Was it Japanophobia?  What it the American Presence in the Philippines and other areas Japan claimed as part of the Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere?  Or was it our refusal to sell to Japan the oil needed for their efforts to liberate Manchuria and China from their Manchurian and Chinese overlords?

We will probably never know the true cause for this random act of workplace violence.  All we know is that hate can never end hate.  We must answer this Japanese action with love and kindness.  We must have empathy for them.  Clearly the problem is a lack of jobs and a poor economy driving them to violence.  Only if we share our own wealth and industrial might–but do so in a way that makes no changes to their culture which changes would be Cultural Imperialism and give the more reason to attack us–can we have peace.

Therefore, I am asking Congress to draft an unconditional surrender as of this date.


Sound ridiculous?  To most of you, I’m sure it does.  Of course, there are a few people who actually agree with all of the excoriation of America in the above paragraphs.

However as ridiculous as the above sounds, by just changing a few details it could be a good summary of what many in the media and the “intelligentsia” say whenever there is an Islamist attack on the West.  What did we do to deserve it?  How did we provoke it?  Empathize with the attackers.  Love them.  “Share” our wealth with them (but not in any way that might influence their culture).  And, above all, be very, very careful to avoid “Islamophobia”.

First off, before I go any farther, let me just say that my heart goes out to the victims of the Manchester bombing.  May Frigga guard and keep them.

But please, don’t just offer prayers.  There are charities set up to help:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TogetherWithManchester

The Manchester bombing is not the first time terrorists have targeted children.  But to be blunt, most of the cases happen in war torn areas where violence is so common that even horrible atrocities get “lost in the noise”.  Humans are tribal.  It’s no coincidence that so many cultures’ names for themselves was some variation of “the people” making all others “not people”.  Even the word “barbarian” was originally an onomatopoeia from “bar bar” the sound a sheep makes:  people not speaking Greek (at that time and place) not being fully human.

Thus, the simple truth is that the vast majority of people will feel less affected by people far away with whom they have little connection.  The poison and acid attacks on schoolgirls in Afghanistan?  A statistic to most people. (It takes a particular individual given an individual story to draw people’s attention–thus Malala Yousafzai’s becoming a cause celebre).  Boko Haram’s many attacks and kidnappings.  A hashtag campaign?  Really?  Taliban slaughter in a school in Pakistan?  War is horrid but it’s far away.  Beslan?  The same.

This tribal nature is not an admirable trait, perhaps, but it is there.  The great wonder of Western civilization is not how tribal we remain, but how much we’ve ovecome that tendency.  Imperfectly to be sure, yet still the gold standard for the rest of the world.

But it is still there.  So when it’s some of “ours” that are the victims of attack, particularly those we feel a deep and instinctive need to protect–our children–the reaction is deep and visceral.  You might say we should feel as deeply for the others and I might agree, But what were we supposed to do about it?  I may have decried the hashtag campaign above, but what were we supposed to do?  Mount a military operation and invade Nigeria in an effort to recover the kidnapped girls?  Without local resources, good local intelligence, or any of the things that might actually make such an operation a success?

Some folk say we should never interfere with other countries’ internal matters so long as they don’t directly threaten us.  And a strong case can be made for that.  Others say that we can’t just sit by and let atrocities go without limit and not do something.  And a case can be made for that, too.  As the old expression goes, “Reasonable men may disagree.”  But even in the latter case, we can’t interfere in everything.  We have to pick and choose.  And often pragmatic considerations have to control.  However, I submit that an operation that cannot succeed is not only a failure from practical grounds but from moral ones.  Throwing away lives and resources for nothing is evil in itself.

So, in most of these cases, there’s really nothing we can do about them, so to protect themselves and get on with their lives most people “tune it out” to a certain extent.  If a person felt the full weight of every death anywhere the same as if it were that of a close friend or loved one, they’d be crushed by it, completely unable to function.  So they don’t.  They can’t.

So when something happens closer, we feel it more.  Here in the US we share a lot of common history and culture with Great Britain.  Our differences may sometimes loom large, but we remain brothers, or perhaps as one person put it, “The US and Great Britain are a couple that broke up but still love each other.”

So this Manchester attack hits harder than others because these were, in a sense “our people”.  Admirable?  Perhaps not.  But all too human.

And yet after the attack we get calls that we need to avoid Islamophobia.  Don’t blame Islam.  It’s just a minority of Muslims.  This isn’t real Islam.

On the other hand it wasn’t all Japanese either.  The imperialists in Japan were a very small minority.  Most people just wanted to get along with their daily lives.  It wasn’t all Germans either.  Most people weren’t Nazis, at least not ideological Nazis (as opposed to folk who joined the party for pragmatic believers without being true believers).

Well, you know what?  If these guys really are a tiny minority then the Islamic world should act like it.  These radicals should be on the run and in hiding, or reduced to holding pathetic marches where counter-protesters outnumber them usually by an order of magnitude.  The radicals should be terrified of being found out by other Muslims because they’d be turned in, convicted, and face the full penalty of the law.

In short, Muslims need to treat their radicals the same way Christians in the Western World (and I’m not a Christian–understand that right here) treat theirs.

Sort of Blast from the Past: Combining “Popular Fiction” and “Popular Fiction 2”

In which I combine a couple of my old posts and also add some new thoughts interspersed along the way.

I have been reading Terry Brooks, particularly the Shannara series recently.  Say what you will, the man is able to write best seller after best seller after best seller.  I’d really like to know how he does it.

There is a tendency among certain segments to dismiss popular fiction, a tendency expressed in the view that if it’s popular it can’t be good.

How do you figure?

Some make the claim that the “secret” to writing for a popular audience is to “dumb down” the story, to write to the “least common denominator”.  As one wag put it rather crudely “shit floats.”  However, if it were that simple a lot more people would be doing it.

That, of course, can be trivially dismissed.  If it were that simple, then anyone could to it and sleep on big piles of money from the sale of same.  Excuses abound for why proponents of that theory don’t do it but as we go on and on and so very few do demonstrate that “anyone could do it”, it become eminently clear that the reason they don’t is simply that they can’t.  The “theory” doesn’t hold water.

Another claim is that it’s all from the “push” the publishers give certain works.  And there is some truth to that.  A publisher, and the book distributors, strongly backing a title, selling it aggressively to bookstores (particularly those bookstores that are counted for best-seller lists), getting end-cap displays (those displays at the ends of rows of bookshelves which feature certain works most prominently) and so forth can drive a lot of sales for a particular title . . . for a while.  But sooner or later, and usually sooner, people start noticing that a book is annoying or offensive or, worst of all, boring, and stop buying it.  Of course, by this time the publishers have found their Next Great Thing and are pushing that.

But popular fiction tends to stay in print.  People keep buying it even after the “push” (if it ever had any) is over.

Some people dismiss popular fiction as lacking meaning.  I happen to think otherwise.  You can’t write popular fiction that sells to large numbers of people, that continues to sell long after any “push” it may have gotten has faded, that continues to sell long after any “derivativeness” that let it ride on “coattails” of something else (Brook’s entree, The Sword of Shannara was actually marketed “for people who’ve read The Lord of the Rings and are looking for something else to read”) has been expended, without touching something in the psyche of the vast body of the human race.  Some psychologists might call that something “the collective unconscious.”  Whatever you call it, it’s something that you have to touch in order to be popular as I have described here, not just short term sales driven by lots of hype but to convince people, lots of people, to shell out money that could buy a meal, a six pack of beer, a couple of steaks to grill, or whatever else they might spend that money on and to keep convincing people to do that, to recommend their friends do that, to show it to their kids and have their kids do that in their turn.

I’ve used Terry Brooks and The Sword of Shannara here.  Another example is Heinlein’s juveniles.  I’ve had some people tell me that they “don’t work” anymore as juveniles because society has changed too much.  Well, that hasn’t been my experience.  Perhaps they weren’t so dated when I first read them back in the mid seventies (or perhaps they were–it was known that Heinlein’s Mars and Venus were no longer possible and Have Space Suit, Will Travel was already Alternate History rather than future fiction).  On the other hand, I read them to my daughter in installments as bedtime reading (got a little distracted before getting to Citizen of the Galaxy, which isn’t one of my favorites anyway, and I’m not happy with the new/original ending to Podkany of Mars so I’m reluctant to include it) and she loves them.  She even, without prompting, echoed my sentiment that Have Space Suit, Will Travel begs for a sequel.  Such a pity that there’s probably no writer alive who could do it justice.

Those books worked because they touch something deep inside people.  And even though “society has changed” (It Says Here) and the stories are “dated” yet they still can touch a nine year old girl so that she wants more.

To be popular, and especially to remain popular, fiction must strike something within people’s hearts and minds.  It must resonate with many people.  It must tap into the heart of what makes us human.  Jung might call that the “collective unconsciousness.” (Please, that’s just a label.  Don’t take it as an endorsement of any of Jung’s “theories.”) Whatever you call it, it’s something that, without which, fiction cannot be popular.

That something can be base in nature–appeal to sex drive and titillation, for instance–and some areas are certainly easier to get that emotional connection than others.  But that very ease only speaks to how very powerful the emotional drive in humanity is.  Porn, to use the classic example, is an economic powerhouse precisely because the drive is so powerful.  The danger with that one is that it is so powerful that in stories that evoke it everything else gets lost behind the power of the sex impulse.  And the stories become only about sex, with the rest being mere window dressing.

But another drive, one nearly as powerful, is that toward what we can call agency.  Whether a person has control over their own life, or not.  I note that a lot of “literary” fiction is about the lack of agency.  They are overwhelmed by events, swept along by circumstances over which they have no control.  Popular fiction often takes the other side.  People’s fates are to a greater extent their own.  While they may face enormous challenges, their actions matter, if only to them.  Agency is at the core of both events of the story (plot) and character development.

Let’s take another example, the late Kenneth Bulmer’s “Dray Prescott” series (Bulmer writing as Alan Burt Akers, writing as Dray Prescott–the conceit being that Akers is transcribing tapes recorded by Prescott.) It’s an old style “Sword and Planet” romance, probably the last great sword and planet series.  One of the common themes is that the main character, Dray Prescott would be dropped into a situation where he would often be captured and enslaved.  But in the course of the story arc he would escape, overthrow the slavemasters, gain power and prestige, and then get dumped into another circumstance where he’d start the whole thing all over again.    It’s all about attempts to deny him agency and his fight to not only regain it for himself but to help others win it for themselves.  He has three primary motivators:  to win back to his love, the incomparable Dellia of Valia, Dellia of the Blue Mountains, Delia of Delphond, to prepare the cluster of continents in which most of the action takes place to defend itself against the reiving Shanks from the other side of the world, and to end the practice of slavery.

Now, some people might claim that that “agency” idea is unrealistic.  That people have little control over their own fates that they are swept along by events beyond their control.  Perhaps.  In some places and some circumstances.  But he idea of agency is deeply rooted even in classical literature.  In Shakespeare’s tragedies, for instance, the tragic characters build their horror with every choice they make.  the events are only tragic because of the choices the characters make.  If Hamlet had made choices of the kind Othello would have made, he would have carved Claudius like a suckling pig the very night the ghost told him of his murder.  If Othello had made decisions of the kind Hamlet would have made, he would have delayed and waited, and checked and double checked until Desdemona’s innocence was at last revealed.  In neither case would the story have been a tragedy, not in the classic sense.  They built their prisons, brick by brick.

And so, it would appear, agency is at the heart of much, if not most “popular fiction” (genre or not).  It also appears to be at the heart of that “classical literature” that people actually read and enjoy.  Shakespeare survives not because professors of literature declare his works as “literature” but for the simple reason that through the centuries people watched and read and were swept away in his work.  He was among the popular fiction of his day . . . and to the present time, in fact.

And thus, we see that popular fiction is literature, in the true meaning of the term, in that which touches the heart, the mind, and the soul.  Without that touch, nobody would read it.  Without that touch, nobody would buy it.

That is what I want to do with my fiction.  Now if I can just figure out how Heinlein did it and how Brooks does it today.

Vainglorious

I have twin problems. One is that I suck a promotion. Get advice from someone who’s actually a professional marketer and I’m completely clueless how to turn that advice into specific actions to take on my part.

OTOH, I’d rather have weak promotion and a slower career growth than be “that guy”. So I’m even afraid to do too much promotion on my own pages for fear of driving people away.

madgeniusclub

Vain-glo-ri-ous

Adjective; literary

excessively proud of oneself or one’s achievements; overly vain.

“this vainglorious boast of personal infallibility”

Synonyms: assured, biggety (or biggity) [Southern & Midland], bigheaded, complacent, consequential, egoistic (also egoistical), egotistic (or egotistical), important, overweening, pompous, prideful, proud, self-conceited, self-important, self-opinionated, self-satisfied, smug, stuck-up, swellheaded, vain, conceited

The most difficult part of this business, for most of us, is promoting ourselves and our books. It’s also the most important, if we want to be read and paidfor our work. This applies to both the traditionally published, and the independent. The book is published, but how are readers to know about it?

There are many paths to a reader. The best is the same in any business, because it is also the strongest. I did it myself, yesterday. I tried to use my First Reader’s 30+ year old Kirby vacuum, and to my great frustration, it left as much…

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The Hordes of Chanakra, A Snippet

During their escape from the Schahi, Kreg and Shillond discover that their companion, Kaila, has been bespelled and turned against them.  Shillond’s magic was able to render Kaila unconscious and they were able to flee into the darkness, carrying her with them:

“Is everything ready?” Kreg asked Shillond as he pulled brush to block the entrance to the small cave.  They had been fortunate in finding the cave.  It offered a place to hide from the soldiers searching for them.

The cave mouth sat halfway up a large hill.  It opened onto a small shelf of level ground above a steep slope of loose, broken rock.

“Ready enough,” Shillond said. “I’ll have to awaken Kaila in order to make the tests.” He had renewed the sleeping spell on her several times over the past two days. “Stand ready.  She is likely to be violent and I am unsure whether her bonds will restrain her.”

“Cripes, if we had any more rope to use…”

“But we don’t.” Such as they had, they had stolen from farmyards in the moonless hours of the night. “Be alert.  I will begin.”

Shillond began to chant.  In a few seconds Kaila’s eyes flew open.  They flashed with pure hatred, a look so grim as to make her usual expression seem positively cheerful.  Her muscles bulged.  The ropes creaked under the strain, but held.  Barely.  Kreg shuddered before Kaila’s stare as Shillond finished the spell.

“We are lucky.” Shillond turned to Kreg. “It is a compulsion rather than a possession.  Unfortunately, it is a greater compulsion rather than a lesser.”

“Which means?”

“I should be able to break it.” Shillond shook his head. “It will be difficult.  Perhaps you should wait outside.”

“Not meant for the eyes of us mortal types, huh?” Kreg regretted the jest at the pain in Shillond’s eyes.  He held up a hand. “Sorry.  I’ll go.”

“Do not reenter the cave,” Shillond said. “That would break the wards and release forces you cannot imagine.”

Kreg thought about the weapons of his own world and thought he could imagine more than Shillond thought.  He nodded and backed out of the cave’s small opening.

Outside, Kreg sat and waited.  In the distance he could see the light of the army’s watchfires, pinpricks of light in the darkness.  Shillond had said that such an army as had been encamped before the castle was not raised in a day, but two days had seen the apparent raising of an even larger army.  Kreg did not doubt that the army was on its way to reinforce the forces attacking Aerioch.

Seeing the apparent size of the army, Kreg frowned.  Shillond had explained that Schah was a small country, not in area but in population.  Although the land area was similar to that of either Aerioch or Shendar the land of Schah was much drier.  As a result, population was sparser.

The armies they had been fielding numbered hosts larger than Schah’s entire population and, judging by the army that was massing below, there did not seem to be any end to them.  Those people had to come from somewhere, but where?  Kreg had suggested Chanakra along with the wizards, but Shillond had said that Chanakra was an even smaller country than Schah.

So lost in thought was Kreg that he nearly missed noting that several of the watchfires were moving.  They also flickered a bit much for watchfires seen at a distance.

Kreg jumped to his feet.  Those were not watchfires.  Those were torches, and they were moving closer.

“Shillond!” Kreg drew his sword. “We’ve got company!”

Kreg’s gaze flitted from shadow, to rock, to twisted bush hoping to find something with which to stave off the attack.  He saw nothing.  First, sticking his sword point first in the ground he gripped his bow, nocked an arrow, and estimated a target under one of the torches.  He loosed and the arrow disappeared in the darkness.  A moment later a cry of pain rewarded Kreg and the torch fell to the ground.  He loosed another arrow after the first but this one missed.

Kreg sent arrow after arrow speeding into the approaching band.  Twenty arrows he loosed.  Seven men fell, dead or wounded.  At least ten more were still approaching.  They had reached the base of the slope and would have to scramble up it to reach Kreg.

Kreg plucked his sword from the ground and drew himself to his full height. “Come on, you bastards!  I may die tonight, but I’ll take a few of you with me.”

He stood at the edge of the slope where he would have solid footing while the men approaching him would still be on the scree.

The first of the men arrived.  Kreg thrust, catching the man through the throat as he scrambled for footing on the loose rocks.  After parrying the next man’s attack, Kreg drove back with a riposte as the third began to clamber to the side in an effort to outflank Kreg.  He sliced past the second’s guard and sidestepped to deal with the third.  Numbers four and five split up, working Kreg between them.

Kreg managed to drop the third just as the larger of the two moons chose to peak from behind a cloud and bathe the scene in a ruddy glow.  He turned to face four, unable to avoid leaving his back to five.  While Kreg dealt with four, he heard a shout behind him.  Something warm and wet thumped against his back, causing him to lose his balance.  As he stumbled, he threw out his arms for balance.  By chance rather than design, Kreg’s sword caught four in the ribs.  Four dropped.

Kreg turned to deal with the others and saw only bodies.  Over them stood Kaila, clad in buff tunic and high leather boots.  She returned his gaze with a grim smile.

“Again, I owe you thanks,” she said.

At that moment Kreg thought her the most beautiful woman who ever lived.  He smiled. “So who’s keeping score?” He gestured at the bodies at her feet. “As I see it, you just saved my life–again.”

Shillond crawled out of the cave.  He stood and dusted himself.

“As you can see,” he said, “the spell worked.” He looked around at the carnage. “It also seems success could not have been better timed.”

“No argument on that one.” Kreg sank to the ground.  Near his right leg rolled the object that had struck him in the back–the severed head of number five.  With a sigh, he told himself that he was too tired to be bothered.  He would take the time to be sick later.


Available on Kindle or in Paperback.  As always, the Kindle version is available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited.
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Pulled into an alternate world mired in the middle ages, Kreg finds allies in Kaila, a rough swordmistress, and her wizardly father. He’s also found their foes – an unending horde pouring forth from the small nation next door.

Now, he’s in a race against time to find the true source, before everything he cares about ends in fire and death!

The police will protect you (trust us).

 

We don’t need personal weapons.  We have the police for protection.

Yeah, I couldn’t stop laughing either.

This claim is based on several presumptions that vary from the optimistic to the outright silly.

The first is the idea that the police will actually be present to protect you.  Have you heard the old saw “There’s never a cop around when you need one”?  There’s a reason for that.  If someone is going to break the law, most of the time, they’ll do it where the police aren’t.  Those of criminal intent have the initiative.  They get to choose the time and place.  And if the police happen to be present, why then the one of criminal intent simply chooses another time and place.  There are exceptions.  Sometimes the police are the target.  Sometimes the person is committing “suicide by cop”.  In either of those cases the presence of the police is not going to stop them.  But mostly, they don’t want to have the police after them so they’ll choose a time and a place where the police aren’t present to commit their violent acts.

“But,” some say, “you can call the police and they’ll come.”

Well, maybe (we’ll get to that later), but what do you do until then?  It takes time for the police to arrive.  How long?  Five minutes?  Ten?  Twenty?  An hour?  Even if it’s a rather impressive five minutes what can happen to you in five minutes.

Until the police arrive, what do you do?  What do the police say about that?

Well look at that.  Police say you’re on your own. (And how did you like that one officer, suggesting you show the attacker your phone so they can see you’ve called the police?)

But, let’s say that you called the police, they’re on their way, and you manage to lead the person who means you violent harm a merry chase keeping yourself alive until the police arrive, what about then?  The police will protect you then, right?  They have to, right?

Well, no.  They don’t.  In Castle Rock v. Gonzales the Supreme Court determined that the police do not have a legal responsibility to protect you, not even from someone against whom you have a court ordered permanent restraining order. (Text of the Supreme Court Case)

Ah, one might say, you can’t legally require it because there are too many things that are beyond their control which can prevent it, but police are generally good and decent people and they’ll at least try if they’re there.

Maybe.  But you cannot count on it.

In New York, police stood back and watched as a Joseph Lozito struggled with a man who had stabbed four people to death during a 28 hour rampage.  The police officers, who were sitting in a cab right next to the attack, waited until Lozito had subdued the killer, and had been stabbed seven times in the process.

Lozito sued.  The police officers were right there, positioned to watch it happen.  And did nothing until it was all over.

Case dismissed.

And, more recently, we have seen “protests” by the so-called “Antifa” (They say “Anti Fascist” but their actions more resemble the Fascists themselves and they could more accurately be described as Anti-First-Amendment) protestors assaulting people  for saying the wrong things, for wearing the wrong clothing, or simply for being in the way.

And what were the police doing?  Let’s see what they have to say:

So, will the police act to protect you?  Maybe.  If you’re really, really lucky.  But you cannot count on it.

You’re on your own.

 

Nobody wants to take your guns?

Bringing this forward from my old blog:

Whenever I, or others, object to “registration” or bans on transfers, or other forms of “gun control” and firearms restrictions as steps toward an eventual complete prohibition and the confiscation that such would necessarily entail, we get told we’re paranoid and “nobody wants to take your guns.”

Well, perhaps we should consider these “nobodies”:

“A gun-control movement worthy of the name would insist that President Clinton move beyond his proposals for controls … and immediately call on Congress to pass far-reaching industry regulation like the Firearms Safety and Consumer Protection Act … [which] would give the Treasury Department health and safety authority over the gun industry, and any rational regulator with that authority would ban handguns.” Josh Sugarmann (executive director of the Violence Policy Center)

“My view of guns is simple. I hate guns and I cannot imagine why anyone would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned.” Deborah Prothrow-Stith (Dean of Harvard School of Public Health)

“I don’t care if you want to hunt, I don’t care if you think it’s your right. I say ‘Sorry.’ it’s 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison.” Rosie O’Donnell (At about the time she said this, Rosie engaged the services of a bodyguard who applied for a gun permit.)

Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.” Andrew Cuomo

“I do not believe in people owning guns. Guns should be owned only by [the] police and military. I am going to do everything I can to disarm this state.” Michael Dukakis

“If someone is so fearful that they are going to start using their weapons to protect their rights, it makes me very nervous that these people have weapons at all.” U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman

“In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea … Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic – purely symbolic – move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.” Charles Krauthammer, columnist, 4/5/96 Washington Post

Ban the damn things. Ban them all. You want protection? Get a dog.” Molly Ivins, columnist, 7/19/94

“[To get a] permit to own a firearm, that person should undergo an exhaustive criminal background check. In addition, an applicant should give up his right to privacy and submit his medical records for review to see if the person has ever had a problem with alcohol, drugs or mental illness . . . The Constitution doesn’t count!” John Silber, former chancellor of Boston University and candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. Speech before the Quequechan Club of Fall River, MA. August 16, 1990

“I think you have to do it a step at a time and I think that is what the NRA is most concerned about. Is that it will happen one very small step at a time so that by the time, um, people have woken up, quote, to what’s happened, it’s gone farther than what they feel the consensus of American citizens would be. But it does have to go one step at a time and the banning of semiassault military weapons that are military weapons, not household weapons, is the first step.” Mayor Barbara Fass, Stockton, CA

Handguns should be outlawed. Our organization will probably take this stand in time but we are not anxious to rouse the opposition before we get the other legislation passed.” Elliot Corbett, Secretary, National Council For A Responsible Firearms Policy (interview appeared in the Washington Evening Star on September 19, 1969)

Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.” Senator Diane Feinstein, 1993

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them… ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.” U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes,” 2/5/95

Banning guns is an idea whose time has come.” U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, 11/18/93, Associated Press interview

Yes, I’m for an outright ban (on handguns).” Pete Shields, Chairman emeritus, Handgun Control, Inc., during a 60 Minutes interview.

“I am one who believes that as a first step, the United States should move expeditiously to disarm the civilian population, other than police and security officers, of all handguns, pistols, and revolvers… No one should have the right to anonymous ownership or use of a gun.” Professor Dean Morris, Director of Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, stated to the U.S. Congress

“I feel very strongly about it [the Brady Bill]. I think – I also associate myself with the other remarks of the Attorney General. I think it’s the beginning. It’s not the end of the process by any means.” William J. Clinton, 8/11/93

“The Brady Bill is the minimum step Congress should take…we need much stricter gun control, and eventually should bar the ownership of handguns, except in a few cases.” U.S. Representative William Clay, quoted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on May 6, 1991.

I don’t believe gun owners have rights.” Sarah Brady, Hearst Newspapers Special Report “Handguns in America”, October 1997

We must get rid of all the guns.” Sarah Brady, speaking on behalf of HCI with Sheriff Jay Printz & others on “The Phil Donahue Show” September 1994

“The House passage of our bill is a victory for this country! Common sense wins out. I’m just so thrilled and excited. The sale of guns must stop. Halfway measures are not enough.” Sarah Brady 7/1/88

“I don’t care about crime, I just want to get the guns.” Senator Howard Metzenbaum, 1994

We’re here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true…” U.S. Representative Charles Schumer, quoted on NBC, 11/30/93

“My bill … establishes a 6-month grace period for the turning in of all handguns.” U.S. Representative Major Owens, Congressional Record, 11/10/93

“I’m convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest. Of course, it’s true that politicians will then go home and say, ‘This is a great law. The problem is solved.’ And it’s also true that such statements will tend to defuse the gun-control issue for a time. So then we’ll have to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen that law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years. The problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get them all registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal.”Nelson T. Shields of Hangun Control, Inc. as quoted in `New Yorker’ magazine July 26, 1976. Page 53f

Our goal is to not allow anybody to buy a handgun. In the meantime, we think there ought to be strict licensing and regulation. Ultimately, that may mean it would require court approval to buy a handgun.” President of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Michael K. Beard, Washington Times 12/6/93 p.A1

“Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.” U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, December 1993

The sale, manufacture, and possession of handguns ought to be banned…We do not believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual the right to keep them.” The Washington Post – “Legal Guns Kill Too” – November 5, 1999

“There is no reason for anyone in the country, for anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use, a handgun. The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to Change the Constitution.” USA Today – Michael Gartner – Former president of NBC News – “Glut of Guns: What Can We Do About Them?” – January 16, 1992

“I would personally just say to those who are listening, maybe you want to turn in your guns,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, 2012

” 4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution :
(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;
(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or
(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.” Legislation introduced in Missouri.2013

And you can repeat the exact same thing for Minnesota

“Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence. If coupled with a gun buyback and no exemptions then it could be effective.” NIJ Memo on a new “Assault Weapon” Ban. 2013

“The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection” (Warrantless searches by law enforcement?) Washington State Senate Bill 5737 (2013)

“the state of Iowa should take semi-automatic weapons away from Iowans who have legally purchased them prior to any ban that is enacted if they don’t give their weapons up in a buy-back program.  Even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them,” Iowa state Rep. Dan Muhlbauer (D-Manilla) 2013

California Senate Bill 374 (Steinberg 2013) would expand the definition of “Assault Weapons” to include ALL semi-auto rifles (including rimfire calibers) that accept a detachable magazine.

SB374 would ban on the sale and possession of ALL Semi-Auto rifles and require registration to retain legal possession in the future. California Senate Bill 47 (Yee 2013) would expand the definition of “Assault Weapons” to include rifles that have been designed/sold and or equipped to use the “bullet button” or similar device.

SB47 would ban on the sale and possession of ALL those Semi-Auto rifles and require registration to retain legal possession in the future.

California Assembly Bill 174 (Bonta 2013) would ban the possession of any firearms that were “grandfathered “ for possession if registered in previous “Assault Weapons” gun control schemes. 

Californians that trusted the State of California and registered their firearms will be required to surrender the firearms to the Government or face arrest. Passage of AB174 would make SB374/SB47 (above) into confiscation mandates.

California Senate Bill 396 (Hancock 2013) would ban the possession of any magazine with a capacity to accept more than 10 cartridges. ALL currently grandfathered “high-cap” magazines would become ILLEGAL to possess and the owners subject to arrest and the magazines confiscated. (“High-cap” means a capacity that has been standard, that the firearms were designed for, since the 40’s–AK pattern rifles–or 60’s–AR pattern rifles.)

We want everything on the table. This is a moment of opportunity. There’s no question about it…We’re on a roll now, and I think we’ve got to take the–you know, we’re gonna push as hard as we can and as far as we can.” Illinois Rep Jan Schakowsky says assault rifle ban just the beginning, ‘moment of opportunity’ and seeks to ban handguns (2013).

“People who own guns are essentially a sickness in our souls who must be cleansed.” Colorado Senator (Majority Leader) John Morse. 2013 (Cleansed?  “Final Solution” anyone?)

“We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.”  Discussion among Senator Loretta Weinberg (D37), Senator Sandra Cunningham (D31), Senator Linda Greenstein (D14) of New Jersey’s State Legislature, May 9, 2013

“No one in this country should have guns.” Superior Court Judge, Robert C. Brunetti, Bristol, CT. September, 2013

Proposed Missouri Bill to ban “assault weapons“: 4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:
(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;
(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or
(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.

New York sends out Confiscation letters.

“It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that is just so crystal clear, there is no debate, no discussion,” Leland Yee, California State Senator.

Shannon Watts (head of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense”): “@MikeBloomberg and I want guns gone. Period. It doesn’t matter what it takes.” (Twitter, 2014).

“Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.” U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake. (The “assault weapons” being described are semi-automatic weapons–meaning one shot fired per pull of the trigger–of fairly modest power, near the low end of center fire rifles.)  As for the claim that said weapons are not particularly useful for home defense.  I address that here.

2. No person, corporation or other entity in the state of Missouri may manufacture, import, possess, purchase, sell, or transfer any assault weapon or large capacity magazine.” Bill introduced in Missouri House.

NJ.com editorial boards advocates for “mandatory gun buybacks”.http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/09/nj_gun_buyback_programs.html “So do all the voluntary gun buybacks you want. But until they are mandatory, and our society can see past its hysteria over “gun confiscation,” don’t expect it to make much difference.”

“Gun Surrender” without the anonymous provision:
“We’ll take that weapon into safekeeping as a matter of practice. It’s pretty easy,” he said of the surrender process. “We are working to find ways in which we can make it easier for people to turn in weapons and firearms.”
Callers will provide their name, telephone number and address, and the reason for surrender. Once the firearm has been checked to see if it was involved in a crime police will mark it for destruction.
(So, basically, people with illegal guns, or guns used in crime, will stay away in droves.  The only purpose of such a provision is to take legally owned guns from people.)

Another shooting in another “gun-free zone” (Florida requires guns on college campuses to be locked up and cannot be carried) leads to calls for gun prohibition:
“I’m talking about flat-out banning the possession of handguns and assault rifles by individual citizens. I’m talking about repealing or amending the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Another one who clings to the “The Second only applies to government ‘militias’” creed (never mind that the first time that came up was in the Miller case in 1939 and the Supreme Court’s decision, despite the government arguing their case unchallenged, was only on the basis of whether the weapon had a militia use, not whether the deceased Miller (why his side wasn’t even presented) had been a member of a proper militia and so, given the Supreme Court’s returning to the original, plain meaning of the Second in Heller and McDonald decisions sees only one possibility (recognizing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is apparently not on the table):
Repeal the stupid Second Amendment.” Article in Wisconsin Gazette.
Note:  Normally I reserve this page for explicit calls for gun confiscation and the author of this article doesn’t explicitly call for such.  But I figure a complete repeal of the 2nd could really only be for one purpose.  So I’ll allow this one.  I’m not, however, going to include every such call for repeal.  Let this one stand for the idea.  I’ll unbend occasionally when something is egregious enough, but this page is for calls for actual confiscation.

An advisory panel charged with looking at public safety in the wake of the deadly Newtown school shooting agreed Friday to include in its final report a recommendation to ban the sale and possession of any gun that can fire more than 10 rounds without reloading.(Banning possession means you can’t have it.  I.e. they’ve taken it whether directly or by forcing you to get rid of it yourself.)

“Let’s say that one again: A gun-free society.” From an article in The Washington Post.

“In other words, yes, we really do want to take your guns.” Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.

I urge President Obama to ban firearm possession in America. He is the president of the United States. He can change the country. He can do it today. I believe in him.”  Opinion piece in Democrat & Chronicle, a Gannet Company (Gannet publishes a number of “mainstream” newspapers).  This individual appears to be a bit weak on how lawmaking works in this country but the sentiment is there.

“I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australia example is worth looking at,” Clinton said at a New Hampshire town hall on Friday. (“Australian example” is confiscation–they may pay what the government thinks is a “fair” amount, for it but the end result is that the gun is gone.)

Some older ones recently brought to my attention:
Guns are a virus that must be eradicated.”—Dr. Katherine Christoffel, pediatrician, in American Medical News, January 3, 1994.  In the 1990s Dr. Christoffel was the leader of the now-defunct HELP Network, a Chicago-based association of major medical organizations and grant seekers advancing gun control in the medical media.  The name HELP was an acronym for Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan.

“Data on [assault weapons’] risks are not needed, because they have no redeeming social value.—Jerome Kassirer, M.D., former editor, New England Journal of Medicine, writing in vol. 326, no. 17, page 1161 (April 23, 1992).

“Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.New York Times editorial
(Emphasis added in the above).

Screw The NRA! It’s Time To REPEAL The Second Amendment Once And For All” This one’s a little harder to accept into this list.  In the article they author claims not supporting summarily banning all firearms, but really, banning is the only justification for a repeal of the 2nd.  Look, may think it’s unnecessary but the 2nd is there.  Even if you don’t care for it, it does no harm unless you’re planning on banning.  Therefore any call for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment is a call for prohibition and to “take your guns”.  And saying that it’s not all the guns does not justify it.

“We should, that is, seek to ‘control’ access to them and their use. But even that’s not going far enough. We should get rid of them, that is, ban them. Guns create too many problems, promote too much fear, and lead to too many deaths to not consider banning them. Perhaps they were necessary at some point in our history, but let’s declare that that time has run its course.” Salon

As a person of principle let me be very clear to any “conservatives” who troll the Kos for proof that liberals want to take away thier guns.  Here you go conservatives:  We liberals really do want to take away your guns and never let you have them back. They go into a lot of “ifs” after that, but they ring a little hollow after this bold statement.

“Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh … also provided his opinion of the Second Amendment, stating that ‘we should ban guns altogether, period.’” In a hidden camera interview.

“Needed: Domestic Disarmament, Not ‘Gun Control’ That headline pretty much says it all.

an guns. All guns. Get rid of guns in homes, and on the streets, and, as much as possible, on police. Not just because of San Bernardino, or whichever mass shooting may pop up next, but also not not because of those. Don’t sort the population into those who might do something evil or foolish or self-destructive with a gun and those who surely will not. As if this could be known—as if it could be assessed without massively violating civil liberties and stigmatizing the mentally ill. Ban guns! Not just gun violence. Not just certain guns. Not just already-technically-illegal guns. All of them. ”  Article in The New Republic

“What has to go?
All magazine fed, self-loading firearms.
Yes, that means handguns too.
Yes, that includes your 4 shot Remington hunting rifle.
Yes, that includes rigid controls on police firearms.

Your 5 shot revolver can go home with you officer, your 17 shot handgun stays inside the armory of the police station.  Armory, not your locker.  Signed-in, signed-out, via proximity card reader, with real-time computer controls at the State and Federal levels.” Daily Kos

“We could use a President who was, like, ‘OK. Everybody turn in all your guns tomorrow by 5 p.m. After that, if I catch you with a gun then I’m sending SEAL Team Six to your house with a recent Facebook picture of you and those tanks that shoot fire that we haven’t used since Waco — Ummm — I mean since World War II.’” CNN Commentator

“Bans on the manufacture and sale of all semiautomatic and other military-style guns and government offers to buy back any rifle or pistol in circulation. It won’t solve the problem, but Australia proved that such programs can help reduce gun deaths.” NY Times writer Thomas L. Friedman (Anyone who invokes Australia is calling for confiscation.)

“179 (a) Notwithstanding Code Sections 16-11-115 and Code Section 16-11-116, any person
180 who possesses any assault weapon or large capacity magazine on July 1, 2016, shall have
1801until October 31, 2016, to accomplish any of the following actions without any prosecution
182 under the law:
183 (1) Modify such assault weapon or large capacity magazine to render it permanently
184 inoperable or such that it is no longer an assault weapon or large capacity magazine; or
185 (2) Surrender such assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the Georgia Bureau of
186 Investigation for destruction pursuant to this part.
187 (b) Notwithstanding Code Section 16-11-115 and Code Section 16-11-116, any person
188 who relocates his or her residence to this state and who possesses an assault weapon or
189 large capacity magazine or who comes to possess such assault weapon or large capacity
190 magazine through probate shall, within 90 days of establishing such residency or the
191 closing of such probate, modify such assault weapon or large capacity magazine to render
192 it permanently inoperable or such that it is no longer an assault weapon or large capacity
193 magazine or surrender such assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the Georgia
194 Bureau of Investigation for destruction pursuant to this part”

“Given that even micro gun control measures will be effectively blocked by the NRA and its allies, and that promoting mini measures as potentially effective is misleading, progressives may as well go for the big enchilada: Call for domestic disarmament.”

Amitai EtzioniProfessor of international relations, George Washington University“I really don’t personally think anyone should have a gun,” Bonnie Schaefer, DNC Platform Committee member.

“We need to say loud and clear: The Second Amendment must be repealed.” At least the “Constitutional Law professor” David S. Cohenacknowledges that you actually have to repeal the Amendment to take our guns. (2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate and 3/4 of State legislatures.  Good luck with that.)

“If I could I would take all the guns in America, put them on big barges, and go dump them in the ocean,” says Walker in the above video from the Oregonian. “Nobody would have a gun. Not police, not security, not anybody. We should eliminate all of them.” Multnomah County Circuit (Oregon) Judge Kenneth Walker
“But nobody wants to take our guns?”