In a few hours my world will change. I’ve been actively involved in gun rights since Bill Clinton (spit, spit) was elected. He was the reason I bought my first gun. My second gun was because of Diana Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, and of course Clinton again. A significant part of Boomershoot and the website for Boomershoot was because of a law pushed through by Diane Feinstein.
Ruby Ridge was a motivator for my first gun too. I lived just a few miles from where that went down and know things that were never in the news reports. By the time the Butcher of Waco did her thing I was fully immersed and, as Barb will tell you, very difficult to live with.
Those were very dark days. Many leaders in the gun rights movement believed we had lost and were only fighting a holding action that merely slowed down the inevitable. I remember one prediction in the news group talk.politics.guns that captured the sentiments of many at the time. I didn’t save a copy because I didn’t want that sort of thing on my computer. I just went looking for it in the news groups archive–it took me 45 minutes to find it:
Robert Lewis Glendenning
Sep 4 1994, 10:39 am
Newsgroups: alt.politics.org.batf, alt.fan.rush-limbaugh, talk.politics.guns, alt.conspiracy
From: rlgle…@netcom.com (Robert Lewis Glendenning)
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 1994 16:21:41 GMT
Local: Sun, Sep 4 1994 9:21 am
Subject: Re: The Revolution
During the next 3 to 5 years, the Supreme Court will rule on a gun
case. This case will have national media attention, and every gun owner,
libertarian and proto-revolutionary will be watching closely.
If they rule by the plain meaning of the Constitution, it will be a
signal that we are moving back to Constitutional rule.
If they rule for the federal government, it will be a signal that
the gov has permanently escaped the Constitution. In this case,
1) That every major federal building in the US outside of WDC and
army bases will be burned in the next 48 hours.
2) That the Federal gov’s ability to enforce laws will be restricted
by the lack of anybody willing to identify themselves as a federal
3) That many states will pass resolutions demanding return to
Constitutional gov, and opting out of federal control via the 10th.
4) That the US Congress capitulates by passing a revolution
pledging return to the Constitution, and listing a preliminary set
of laws which they intend to repeal. This list will include all
Federal gun laws.
Note that this is as close to a bloodless revolution as one can
In preparation for these events, may I suggest that you learn all
about your local federal buildings?
Lew Glendenning rlgle…@netcom.com
The CONSTITUTION, the WHOLE CONSTITUTION, and NOTHING BUT the CONSTITUTION.
We are now hours from that moment Glendenning predicted. What will be the result? The only thing I am certain of is that neither of predicted potential outcomes will come to pass. Even if the Heller decision goes against us all the Federal buildings will be standing 48 hours and even 48 weeks later–barring an severe earthquake someplace. Overturning the D.C. gun ban and declaring the 2nd Amendment is an individual right won’t put the government “back on the path to righteousness” or any such thing.
Some people have been predicting (here and here for example) a favorable ruling on Heller will mean the anti-gun forces will find it difficult to raise money and get people excited if they know they can’t actually ban guns. Sort of like if they can’t win the fight with a knock-out they won’t even bother to stay in the ring and knock all the teeth out of their opponent. I’m not convinced of this.
When the south lost the war of northern aggression and all their slaves were freed did they suddenly start treating blacks as equals? No. They paid little regard to the Federal laws protecting blacks as they discriminated against, scorned, beat, and lynched blacks for 100 years after that decision was made. I believe we could still have a 100 years of political fighting ahead of us still. It could, for all practical purposes, be an eternal fight.
I don’t really think freedom is a natural state of mankind. Some semblance of freedom has only really existed for about 200 hundred years in a relatively small portion of the human population out of the roughly two thousand years that we have any sort of written history. I think the concept of “the tribe” is more important than the individual was a powerful meme that enabled our distant ancestors to be more successful than their individualist neighbors. That concept selected for anti-freedom mindset at a fundamental level in the personality of the human race. It was only in a small subset of the world population that the individual, the smallest minority, was regarded as important as “the tribe”. That resulted in a remarkable burst of economic and personal freedom that, in the big picture, was extremely shocking.
Western culture developed the concept of individual freedom and, in essence, conquered the world. It went against the inherent personality of all the civilizations and tribes before it. We did not breed that out of the human mind as that concept took root and flourished. At best it was suppressed in a sufficient number for a short (on the civilization scale) time. The group that values the individual is less inclined to kill or put the anti-individual person at a serious disadvantage of passing on their genes than the other way around. Hence you can think of the meme of individual freedom as sort of a recessive gene. The “tribe is more important” meme is more like a dominate gene. Hence freedom is likely to always be unfinished business.
So how will a positive Heller ruling affect us? As I said in my first line my world will change. I will be in a better position to claim the anti-gun people are bigots just like those that promoted the Jim Crow laws against blacks. If we are to come close to anything resembling a complete victory I believe that meme will be the key. We have to drive those bigots into political extinction. We can, and probably must, leverage concepts that already resonate with the majority of people. The comparison to minority (non-whites, Jews, gays, women, etc.) rights of all types is the most winning strategy I can think of. Sure the courts and legislatures will need to overthrow the existing repressive laws against us but that only comes after the public opinion has changed. They aren’t leaders. They are servants of the people and only enforce the will of the people. To win we must make the will of the people match our mindset. That is the job ahead of us.
If Heller goes against us my world will change in a different way. I don’t want to contemplate that scenario. That is the stuff of nightmares and dark ages.
I expect we will have some semblance of a win but still I’m sad. It could just be the late hour as I write this but a significant component is the freedom fighters that carried the fight for decades before I ever said a word or donated a single penny to the cause who didn’t make it to see this day. Neal Knox (and here) especially comes to mind. I met and talked to him at two different Gun Rights Policy Conferences. I was very, very impressed by him and I wish he could have seen this day. The best tribute we can pay to him is to win the fight.
Let’s celebrate and analyze the ruling for a few days then–Let’s roll.