I tried to post this as a comment to Kevin’s post but it was automatically rejected with the explanation of having too many links. No matter, I was going to make a post out of it anyway. I’ll provide a link to here from Kevin’s comment section. I won’t object to comments here but please consider whether the comment really should go on Kevin’s blog.
I ask you…what would you say of the manufacturers of crematoria, the producers of Zyklon-B, and the merchants of barbed wire who actively sought, and jealously protected, their government contracts with the 3rd Reich?
To a lesser degree businesses that sell to many government entities in the U.S. today are no different. But Barrett rifles and others have refused to do business with certain government organizations because of the laws that infringe on the civil rights of the people.
What I would say to those businesses is that I understand their reluctance to refuse to participate (in part, I was fired from my job because of this). I also read Hitler’s Willing Executioners and understand how an entire culture can go “sour” and make it difficult for people/business to stand up to the thugs in power. How many individuals/businesses refuse to sell products that aid in the war on some drugs? Or bite their tongue even though they know the war on people that smoke cigarettes is morally wrong but personally convenient? It’s very difficult to draw a line and say, “This is the limit, I will tolerate this, and beyond that I will cease to be a part of it or even actively fight it.” And it is very, very difficult to find and adhere to the line drawn beyond which you will disobey the law and endure the threat of government violence against you and/or your family. It is because of this that I wrote my essay on Civil Disobedience (see also this effort of mine).
I wrote my essay before I became a NRA certified firearms instructor in personal protection and was only a little surprised we were told to teach the importance of setting a limit and knowing what action you will take if that limit is crossed. This “drawing of the line in the sand” is very, very important. One instructor put it to me this way, “It’s far more important to know when to draw than how fast you can draw.” This lesson is applicable to far more things that most people know. Understanding this could eliminate all the “frog in the boiling water” scenarios. Governments grow out of control because people haven’t set a limit and said, “If these conditions are violated then the system has crashed and it’s time to press the reset button.” In a somewhat obscure way our Bill of Rights is such a line in the sand but the critical second portion of the rule wasn’t put in place. That second portion is what action you will take if that limit is crossed. If I could go back in time to the time of the writing of our constitution and influence it’s development I would insist provisions for this second portion was just as critical as enumerated powers and guarantees of rights.
This lesson is something I believe should be taught in our schools. And it’s not just because of the personal protection and “out of control government” issues. “Knowing when to hold them and when to fold them” is another way to say the same thing and perhaps enables people to see far more applications of this vital tool. The more widespread the application of this lesson the more likely it will be applied in the more difficult situations.
Draw your lines in the sand early when you have the time and a cool head. Your life or even the lives of millions may depend on it.