Black Man with a Gun: Beautiful Loser

David Cole at Black Man with a Gun talks about something which, hopefully, most of us have all realized about politicians in general, not just pseudo-republicans — namely that they only care about maintaining their place at the trough — in Beautiful Loser.

“He’s your oldest and your best friend
If you need him, he’ll be there again
He’s always willing to be second-best
A perfect lodger, a perfect guest”

The recent events in Washington have highlighted a recurring thought of mine. As we watch Republican after Republican run away from President Trump and his agenda, I keep hearing political commentators saying that “Republicans don’t know how to win.” I don’t think that’s true at all. After all, you don’t maintain a seat in the U.S. Senate for 35 years if you don’t know how to win. You’ve actually been winning for some time.

The problem is that when you and I think of winning, we’re thinking of advancing conservative principles as they pertain to government. And in that sense, we can all agree that they are huge losers. But to the modern Vichy Republican, winning means maintaining their position as DC elite, not preserving the Constitution or the Republic it created. Consider these words by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem:

“There are a lot of Americans whose frustration has been building for many years. Republicans have had opportunities to fix our healthcare system, reform immigration, and get our fiscal house in order, among many other things. Republicans have had chances to deliver for the American people. But we haven’t followed through…Republicans have not been disciplined enough to do the hard work. The American people need us to fight for them on a daily basis, not just 30 to 60 days before an election.”

She’s not wrong. But unfortunately, to these Vichy Republicans it is not only acceptable to come in second place, it is actually preferable. As the minority party, they aren’t expected to produce any results. All they need to do is shake their fists at the sky, and mouth some conservative words until they inevitably lose to the Democrat majority. Then they take the video of their “fiery takedown” of the Democrats and weave it into their next campaign ad, so they can tell you how they “fought the good fight” and how they’ll keep fighting for you (against insurmountable odds) if you’ll just vote for them one more time.

Republican chair of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, Thomas Massie. Voted NO on reciprocity then, doesn’t support it now.

Take the current iteration of H.R. 38, the national concealed carry reciprocity bill. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it keeps getting recycled every Congress, where it fails to pass every single time…yet is used as cover for Vichy Republicans to bolster their pro-2A bona fides without having to produce any real change. Even in 2017, when Republicans held both houses of Congress and the Oval Office, our own Republican “leadership” couldn’t find the cojones to pass it; after repeated badmouthing* from Congressman Thomas Massie (Republican founder and chair of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus) Republican Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell folded right up and let it die in committee.

If the GOP had any intention of advancing the conservative agenda, they’d have passed that bill. But that would have landed them on the bad side of people they want to stay in good with…and that’s not you. It’s the other politicians’ good graces they need to keep winning, and that means they need to lose. They know you’ll be there for them come election day, because where else are you going to go? Sure, there will be some voter pushback, and some Republicans will lose some elections. But not all of them. There will still be Vichy Republicans enjoying the good life in DC, so who are you calling loser?

Black Man With a Gun: Who Are You?

David Cole, writing at Black Man With a Gun, writes this article about letting minor irritations affect your vote – Who Are You? Unlike many others, I don’t believe that voting for a third party candidate is a waste. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. That said, a person needs to try to get to the core of what they get with any given candidate. A well-spoken, charismatic person who promises the world and looks oh-so-Presidential, but reneges on all the promises and kicks you in the face is probably not someone for whom you should vote. On the other hand, someone who comes across as an uneducated hillbilly but fights for your rights and liberty may be a good candidate.

While catching up on a podcast of Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk,” I heard Tom say this in the last minute of Hour 3: “You don’t like his tweets?…You’re going to give up your gun rights over tweets? That says a lot about YOU.” It’s a great point, and worth discussing.

So what exactly does that say about you? What I heard was Tom suggesting that it says you’re the kind of person who would sacrifice the Second Amendment over something as unimportant as some rude comments and tweets. It says you’re the kind of person who is so sensitive to the President’s commentary that you are willing to either vote for Joe Biden, vote third party, or sit out the election (kind of the same as voting third party). It says that that you are the kind of person who values a president who “acts presidential” even more than you value protecting the Second Amendment. I think he’s absolutely right. I also think it might say something much worse.

Because to steal a phrase from the opposition, “here’s the deal”: Either Joe Biden or Donald Trump will be the next president. (Sorry, Jo Jorgensen supporters. In case no one told you yet, she is not going to win.)

So let’s do Donald Trump first. Gun people who are reluctant to vote for Trump will point to two reasons (other than rude tweets). Their first objection is that he outlawed bump stocks. We can argue the merits and demerits of that another day, but in my opinion that was never a hill worth dying on. If you think it is…well, let’s just say I understand why the President’s tweets upset you so much. Next, they’ll point out that he made comments which indicated that he supported red flag laws. He also didn’t act on it. That’s it. Those are the two anti-gun arguments commonly leveled at the President.

Now, gun folks who latch onto that last one also like to insist that statements in support of gun control are no different from actual gun control. (You know, sort of like how a certain segment of the population equates words to actual violence. But I digress.) Still, if we’re going to hold the President’s words against him, then it’s only fair that we hold Candidate Biden to the same standard, and hold his words against him. If you are unaware of his stance on guns, I suggest you click on over to https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/ and review his plan to “end gun violence.” And how is he going to end it? By enacting the most comprehensive and draconian agenda of gun control ever. Again, if you want the particulars, head on over to his gun control page and read for yourself. I’m not going to list it all out here, but it is safe to say that any gun control measure you can think of is in there. In fact, if Biden’s gun control ambitions are realized, you’ll be referring to the time when Trump took away bump stocks as “the good old days.” No one serious about gun rights can be serious about Joe Biden.

“But Dave,” some of you might say, “it isn’t really just an either/or choice. We can not vote for Trump because we don’t like him, and then if Biden comes for our guns we’ll fight!”

If you could avoid this by voting, would you?

OK, I get it. Molon labe, cold dead hands, Wolverines!…blah, blah, blah. But what that tells me is that you’re the kind of person who would rather go to war to defend gun rights than to vote to save them. That you’re the kind of person who finds the prospect of spilling the blood of your countrymen preferable to voting for Donald Trump…because of tweets, bump stocks, and and some poorly considered comments which have never been acted upon. (Also…I can’t help but notice that none of you have actually gone to war over any of those things yet. Just saying.)

If you could avoid this by voting, would you?

But if you truly favor the prospect of allowing things to slide to the point of possible bloodshed; if you can’t bring yourself to vote for rude, tweeting Trump even if it could save the nation from violent clashes over gun rights…what does that say about you? I think what it says about you…at best…is that you’ll throw the Second Amendment overboard because of some tweets and rude comments. And what it says about you…at worst…is that even though you understand a Biden gun control presidency could cost lives in defense of the Second Amendment, you still won’t vote Trump to stop it.

Is that who you are? Are you a person who would embrace and exhaust every peaceful option to defend the Second Amendment before resorting to violence? Or are you a person who would sit back and willingly let things slide until there is no non-violent option left? Who are you?

If you could avoid this by voting, would you?

Black Man with a Gun: That’s Crazy Talk

David Cole at Black Man with a Gun has a short article up on mental health and red flag laws titled That’s Crazy Talk.

I was recently listening to a talk given by my friend Cheryl Todd of Gun Freedom Radio on the topic of “red flag laws,” and she said something that caught my ear. She was explaining the difficulty that trained psychology and psychiatry professionals have in predicting violent behavior, and said “we suck at it.”

Minority Report is fiction, you know.

She’s absolutely right. It does not take much research to discover that it is in fact extremely difficult to predict violent behavior in even those clinically diagnosed…by professionals…as mentally ill. It is also a widely recognized fact that mental illness does not automatically mean someone is dangerous.

So why would we get in such a big hurry to take guns from people suspected of being dangerous, as assessed by the untrained non-professional…when the professionals admit that they “suck at it,” and that the vast majority of legitimately mentally ill people are not dangerous?

And why, if the mental health of the person is in question, do “red flag laws” confiscate the gun(s) but not the person? If the person is suspected of being dangerous, why should they not be immediately confined for assessment by mental health professionals? If their mental health were really that important to us, wouldn’t we want to see that they receive immediate care? And if the safety of those around them were truly the priority, how effective is it to just confiscate the guns we know about, while leaving the supposed dangerous person free to a gun we missed, obtain a replacement gun, or substitute another weapon to commit violence? After all, you could even leave the guns right where they are if you simply take the dangerous person away from them and into treatment.

Seems like there’s an awful lot of holes in that red flag.

You just know what she’s going to do if she gets out…

It is because it actually has nothing to do with mental health or violence prevention, and everything to do with removing as many guns as possible from the hands of free, law-abiding citizens. There are already plenty of laws on the books to prohibit criminals, addicts, and those who have been legally designated as mentally ill from possessing guns. But “red flag laws” are nothing more than an attempt to throw the largest possible net over as many gun owners as possible, without the due process guaranteed by the Constitution.

And that’s crazy talk.