Cooperation and Compromise: A Blast from the Past

It’s been a year and this one is worth sharing again.  I don’t plan on making it an annual tradition but it’s not like there isn’t always something the anti-gun folk (even when masquerading as “common sense gun control” folk) are bleating about.


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 beafter 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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