Cooperation and Compromise?

On Facebook, someone was claiming they represented a large “middle ground” that wanted “cooperation” on gun laws.

“We want cooperation” he said. The problem is, every time people say “we just want this reasonable restriction, this ‘common sense gun control’. That’s it. No more.” They lied. Every. Damn. Time. The ink wasn’t even dry on their “compromise” before they were calling it a “good first step.” Doesn’t matter how many steps went before, it was always a “good first step” and a springboard to yet more.

We have learned that “cooperation” is to give them a little bit more than they have now for any given now. And once they get it? That becomes the new “now” from which they demand “a little bit more.”

You can’t cooperate with people like that. You can’t compromise with them. At some point you either have to say “no more” or accept the eventual total loss of your rights.

And if we have to say “no more” at some point, why should it be after the current round of demands? The same people who are saying “but you won’t compromise” now would be saying it next time around as well. After all, this isn’t the first, or even the tenth time we’ve been down this road–always with the same result.

I watched this happen with the passing of the Brady Act.  The proponents were all about how they wanted the waiting period on handguns “to give the police time to perform a background check.” The law passed ink wasn’t even dry on Clinton’s signature before the same people who were saying they just wanted that reasonable compromise were calling it a “good first step.” And then, when the NICS system went into effect in 1998, creating a central repository for criminal records and other things disqualifying a person from being able to purchase firearms so that for most cases a simple phone call from the dealer to NICS could get a “yes/no” answer in a matter of minutes. (Mostly–sometimes it can take considerably longer and the prospective purchaser has to wait.) The waiting period portion of the Brady Act sunsetted, replaced by NICS.  But there’s more.  While the waiting period and its background check applied only to handguns, NICS applied to rifles and shotguns as well.  That didn’t stop the same people who were saying that the reason for the waiting period would be that it would allow the police time to perform a background check, from saying that now they wanted both the background check and the waiting period.

They are never  satisfied and they will say anything, anything at all, that they think will get them the concession they’re working on at the moment.

And yet, the same people wanting us to “cooperate”, to “compromise”, are unwilling to cooperate and compromise with us. You want us to give up something? Okay, let’s talk. What are you willing to give us in exchange that we don’t already have? Because if we’re not getting something in exchange for what we’re giving up, its no more than “cooperating” with a thief by only giving him half your money. This time.

It has been said that you cannot negotiate with someone who says “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”  It’s the same principle here.

Unless you’re willing to offer something at least as valuable as what you’re demanding, you don’t want “cooperation”, you want surrender. The only question is the terms of that surrender.

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20 thoughts on “Cooperation and Compromise?”

  1. Let us have our own common sense reform:

    “Repair” (repeal) the “Brady Bill”
    Ah, but that’s just a first step.
    Clearly, we must fix the Gun Control Act of 1968 (and be rid of most if not all of it).
    Oh, that not nearly good enough.
    Obviously the NFA of 1934 needs a serious going over and rectification…

    1. Have to disagree. Most of them know good and well what they’re doing…with malice aforethought. Here’s the test: ask a “reasonable gun control” person at what point it stops being “reasonable” and becomes “unreasonable”. At what point do they switch from supporting to opposing further restrictions. If they answer at all (quite rare, actually–which itself is telling), it’s usually something that “sounds good”. At that point you point to a state/municipality that has restrictions beyond that limit and ask them for their support in rolling back that restriction. Invariably (never had a counter-example yet) either crickets or a promptly moved goalpost.

      They know they’re not going to be satisfied with their “reasonable compromise” (only stealing half your money rather than all of it type compromise). They only claim otherwise to get you and me to accede to their demands in the hope that we’ll believe their “just this one thing” again.

      1. Well, yes and no. I agree with everything you just said. They’ll whine about a topic and then go into their patented silent mode when someone actually tries to have “a serious discussion about X.” But that silent mode is simply a reaction to their cognitive dissonance. Maybe they’re waiting for orders from headquarters, and for Norman to coordinate.

        I agree that they’ll continue to promote the lie, but that’s because they don’t really care whatever the truth is. The truth isn’t important to them. It’s willful blindness. But it’s blindness.

        I will concede that they’re also lying to the undecideds. But they’re mostly lying to themselves. If they were lying to us, they’d get their act together.

      2. Chipping away at our rights, little bits at a time, works like a charm. It always seems like such a little thing, and by the Tim e they come back for a little more, everyone has adjusted to the many previous lost rights, that few even remember how it used to be and how much has really been given up or taken away.

  2. It’s not rocket science. The “tell” is in their opening sentence: Common Sense.

    It’s the “no true Scotsman” fallacy – by asserting their ideas are simple common sense they imply anyone who objects has no common sense. But the truth is, if their ideas had common sense there wouldn’t be a need to assert it with the adjective, because it would be obvious and demonstrable.

    So, right off the bat they are using dishonest tactics. You don’t even need to get to the part where they confuse magazines with clips to recognize you are dealing with ignorant dishonest scum who don’t care enough about Teh Children to approach you in good faith.

    1. Likewise with “reasonable”. They simply define “reasonable” as whatever they want. If they want it, it’s reasonable. If we want it, it’s “extremism.”

      “Well, I will remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you again, moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater, his 1964 Republican Presidential nomination speech, paraphrased from memory (should be pretty close if not exact).

  3. I like the idea that a modest proposal for gun control would start from the position that the laws mentioned above would be either repealed in full or amended. Don’t let the opposition keep all of them as givens.

  4. Worked at a bar/restaurant when the city wanted to ban cigarette smoking. The city compromised and settled for the bar installing better air handlers. Restaurant installed the air handlers for tens of thousands of dollars . 5 years later the city banned smoking any how.

  5. Well put. But of course this always the issue with the statists. You will never get an answer to the question “How much of GDP should government arrogate?” Not even the tautological “100% plus however much more we can borrow.”
    Glenn Reynolds offered the clearest statement “How much coke will a crackhead do? All of it.”

  6. Well put. But of course this always the issue with the statists. You will never get an answer to the question “How much of GDP should government arrogate?” Not even the tautological “100% plus however much more we can borrow.”
    Glenn Reynolds offered the clearest statement “How much coke will a crackhead do? All of it.”

  7. I’m bookmarking this. Every time I hear someone ask for “common sense gun control” I’m going to give them this article and ask them what they are giving up in exchange. Since it’s always nothing, I expect them t0 “Um, um um” and wander off.

    1. Sadly, they’ll go BUT WHAT OF THE CHILDREN and double down, has been more of my experience in these sorts of conversations. Also “That’s what the cops are for.” Further illustrative insanity can be found in Britain, where they are confiscating garden tools, and kitchenware from groceries. “That’ll never happen here, that’s not common sense!”

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