Guns, Conspiracy, Revolution
By Tim Hartnett
A Town Hall meeting at George Mason University over executive action on gun control included this yelp from the chief executive himself.
“Our position is consistently mischaracterized … If you listen to the rhetoric, it is so over-the-top, it is so overheated.”
But on this or any other subject in 21st century America whose position hasn’t been? Media, government, think tanks and academia devote enormous resources toward hyping the opinions of their ideological opponents into the extreme-osphere. Racism, sexism, isolationism, xenophobia and nationalistic jingoism are routinely found lurking in the most precisely fact based observations afforded by the English language. What’s called “debate” over American airwaves couldn’t pass muster as serious discussion in the grimiest gin-mills.
The top dog keeps bitching about Obama-phobes cooking up “conspiracy theories.” He’s not exaggerating. Of course they are. But if he thinks trusting the president is the American way maybe he really is a Kenyan. Gun control maneuvers aren’t taking place in their own private universe. Lots of weird things have been going on in the 20 years since Eric Holder said we need to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
It took most of those two decades for anyone to notice local constabularies stockpiling battle grade ordnance and prepping for apocalypse. That process began soon after Holder’s speech. Richard Hofstadter himself would be fitting fine foil headgear at the Reynolds haberdashery had he lived to see this. Joe Six-Pack is frequently warned not to get caught enjoying paranoia at home. That aberration is the exclusive property of the ruling class and its faithful hounds. Government has thousands of wonks working on strategies to hoard the delusion.
We live in a time police have wantonly abandoned any pretense of discretion. They smash American citizens’ doors in without warning over trifles hundreds of times every day. Innocent and non-threatening people are shot down, pummeled or both in bizarre circumstances with incredible frequency. Courts have given the nod to highway robbery and enforcement of non-existent law. From behind fortress walls DHS snoops keep an eye on us all like prisoners in a panopticon. 14 states have granted special exemptions to protect their agents accused of criminal activity. More are expected to follow soon. Feds are insulated by a mesh of statutory arcana the finest litigious microbe can’t penetrate. In this environment, where government perpetually amasses violent “rights,” an erstwhile AG’s use of the word “brainwash” is worthy of our attention. Americans ought to be up in arms instead of willingly letting go of any.
Apparently our C-in-C is blissfully unaware of the gendarmerie’s encroachments since the 1st term of Hillary’s better half. How else could he deliver this W-ism to Anderson Cooper: “It is fair to call the conspiracy [theory], what are you saying? Are you suggesting that the notion that we are creating a plot to take everybody’s guns away so that we can impose martial law.”
Yeah, in a country where they give a tank to a local sheriff who’s never faced a threat bigger than a drunken college student, where would anybody get that idea? Real world renditions of “martial law,” from other times and places, might easily be found less imposing than what we’ve got now. A sub-literate TSA agent expects deference a KGB agent would envy.
“The United States,” says the prez, “was born suspicious of some distant authority.” He fails to comprehend the anxiety of people who are even less keen as that power closes in on Main Street. No legal scholar can accurately lay out the number of potential federal offenses. When combined with the “executive regulation” now in contention estimates go as high as 300,000. Smart people would cross the street to avoid a 98-pound weakling who’s found that many ways to be offended. The US government is in your home looking at you through your laptop and on both sides of all streets.
Since more guns than ever are in private hands progressive mental hygiene campaigns are proving both crude and ineffective. Complementing this fact is a violent crime rate far below 1995 levels. But the fine lines of this particular measure are not the bounds of the controversy. Any rationale for expanding state reach inevitably provides a springboard for new intrusions. It tends to absorb anything it touches like The Blob of the 1958 film.
It’s easy for G-Men to scoff at the idea of “conspiracy” while unconsciously providing muscle for scads of grandiose plots. Our government moved on Cosa Nostra turf then took over its revenue streams. What betting man didn’t get better odds from Vinny on the corner than from scratch offs and lotteries? The beat goes on as federal hit squads prowl for gaming online. The Department of Homeland Security has easily put more capos in mansions in 14 years than mob protection rackets did in 140. This shakedowns true cost can’t be measured in the dollars and cents laid out. Its clandestine quasi-governmental corporatic structure is at once an instrument of political and economic manipulation out of any honest American’s reach. Officers at Booz, Allen, Hamilton are peers of the realm equal in America today to the Buckinghams and Marlboroughs of England 5 centuries ago. None of them ran for office and few of us even know their names. Fill out any new government form and it’s that much more they’ll have on you.
A majority never consented to Obamacare, Libyan intervention, Syrian intervention, the 1033 program, asset forfeiture, the TSA, the DHS and rafts of other crackpot schemes that will never die. Most of them get going in spite of popular opinion. Somehow such things are rarely contested successfully, if at all, in the next election or the next congress. Government projects have a life of their own, like a character the novelist himself can’t keep in check, regardless of mass appeal.
Insatiability defines the regime in Washington D.C. What it can’t squeeze us for it borrows on the world market using American souls as collateral. Yet it never stops asking for more. When we say no the thing pauses predatorily, chooses its moment, and takes it anyway.