Friday, July 25, 2008

A Gun Blog Dust Up

Earlier this week Mike Vanderboegh had a letter published by The Capital Times of Madison WI. This letter has caused quite the stir in the gun blogging community, and a bit of heated discussion has followed. For anyone who may not have seen Mike's letter to the editor, here it is:

Dear Editor:

Joe Bialek from Cleveland proposes the licensing and registration of all weapons currently in civilian hands. My question is, how exactly do you propose to do that, Joe?

There are some of us "cold dead hands" types, perhaps 3 percent of gun owners, who would kill anyone who tried to further restrict our God-given liberty. Don't extrapolate from your own cowardice and assume that just because you would do anything the government told you to do that we would.

Are you proposing to come yourself, or do you want someone else's son or daughter in federal service to take the risk? Are you truly prepared to stack up the bodies necessary to accomplish your plan? Seems a strange way to make a "safer society." More to the point, are you willing to risk your sorry hide to do it? No? I thought not.

Then quit proposing the next American civil war. We're done being pushed back from our natural rights without a fight. Be careful what you wish for.

Mike Vanderboegh

Pinson, Ala.
I have been following Mike Vanderboegh's writings via The War on Guns for quite some time now and have linked to a couple of them on this blog. Mike has a way of making you look in the mirror and take an accounting of yourself. Most of Mike's writings are "in house" so to speak, posted on blogs and gun forums. The controversy over this particular letter arose due to the fact that it was published outside the community, some found fault in that.

I think it started when Sebastian posted "Could we please …" and stated "Could we please not do stupid shit like this to fuck it up? Thank you." That one post has over 200 comments, many of them full of vitriol and venom from both sides. Sebastian followed up with "A Poll About Revolution", a "Quote of the Day", "The Myth of the Clean Revolution" and "It’s the 1930s All Over Again?". Sebastian was joined by Bitter with "How to Effectively Write a Letter to the Editor", Chest beating, and "Wanted - More Like Him or Her".

I am sure that most of you who read this blog also read others who have already commented on this controversy, on the name calling and on the personal attacks. I think some of the best commentary posted so far is by Kevin with "Frightening the White People" and "The Four Boxes". Both of those are well worth your time, as is David's commentary in "Principle Freaks Need Not Apply" where David states:

But what happened the other day was uncalled for, hysterical and ugly. And it points to a greater issue that must be addressed and faced--the widening gulf between majority "pragmatists" and we happy few "principles freaks."
So where, you may ask, am I going with this?

I am not going to jump on the bandwagon for either side of this issue, I'm just going to highlight a different type of firearm supporter who happened to make the news today.

From KVUE News:

A report on the open carry movement in Texas by Jessica Vess.

Imagine walking down the street and next to someone with a gun strapped to their hip. It's an image a group of Texans are hoping to turn into reality and they're gaining support by the thousands every day.

“This is a basic right,” said former state Legislator, Suzanna Hupp.

In Texas you can fire a gun, you can buy a gun, and you can walk around with a gun, but only if you have a concealed carry permit and the gun is out of sight.
Suzanna Hupp is a very effective proponent of gun rights in Texas. She was the driving force behind our shall issue CHL law and she has been strong supporter of pretty much any pro gun legislation that gets introduced. She goes on to say:

“We should allow people to carry. That means in their pocket, in their purse, on their forehead, on their hip. I don't care how they carry. If they can legally own a gun I think they should be able to carry it in public,” said Hupp.

She's not alone. An open carry petition online is gaining popularity by the thousands every day. More than 21,000 people have already signed the petition online.
Suzanna Hupp is a hero of the gun rights movement in Texas.

Then there are these guys:

Texas is just one of six states on record that completely bans open carry. However, to some the idea of seeing people with guns, doesn't sit well. Even some gun owners are worried an open carry policy could lead to more crime.

“It might just turn into the wild, wild west,” said Minter.

Those Wild West images where it seemed like everyone had a gun.

Guns in Texas though are pretty much kept to the range.

“I come here to shoot. I don't carry around on the street,” said gun owner, Steven Cui.

Cui is one of many gun owners that think owning a firearm is a privilege, not a right.

“If it's open then everybody's going to be walking around with a gun now. I think it's only for the cops and people that are licensed,” said gun owner, Kyle Ramirez.

Others worry open carry will get out of hand.

“You don't want to use a gun just because somebody called you or your mother a bad name. You only want to use a gun when you're in fear for your life,” said gun owner, and owner of the Astro Shooting Range in Florence, TX, L.E. Williams.

“People don't know what they're doing,” added firearms trainer Mike Nellis.

Nellis is a former state officer and now is a firearms trainer for the Texas Department of Public Safety. He supports gun rights; he even had a gun strapped to his belt the entire time we talked, but you couldn't tell by looking at him that he was armed. Nellis says that's the advantage of concealed carry.
This Austin news outlet didn't even have to look up the Brady Bunch or other antis for anti gun drivel, they just went to the range.

Head on over and watch the video of this news report and then come back and tell me who hurts our efforts more, Mike Vanderboegh with his in your face editorializing, or these Quislings who fear liberty in the hands of others as much as any Brady Bunch staffer?

The Suzanna Hupp's and the Bitter Bitch's are an effective and valuable force behind the pro rights movement. They have access to the legislators and they speak the lingo. They put a pretty face on the movement and use logic and reason to overcome doubts and ignorance. We need them, they get things done.

We also need the Mike Vanderboegh's of our time. When major news papers (Chicago Trib) and college professors are calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment and other papers call for the forcible disarmament of America, we need folks who are willing to state the truth and hopefully give the enemies of liberty pause.

We can, and should, air our disagreements. None of us are Koolaid drinkers and healthy debate within the community will make us stronger. But we need to remember that healthy debate requires a bit of decorum.

Every body and their mother has chimed in on this, and I just do not have time to chase down all the links (A couple King Salmon steaks are waiting for the grill). If you want me to list your post, just mention it in the comments.


Kevin said...

Thanks for the compliment! And I concur with your assessment if that helps any.

Welshman said...

Excellent commentary, JR!

BobG said...

One of my biggest concerns is that this will cause a rift in gun owners; the last thing we need to do is become divided. That will only make us vulnerable to the gun grabbers.

Anonymous said...

Gun owners are devided. DUH!!! Nothing seems more common than gun owners who support a little "common sense" or "reasonable" regulation.

These elitist idiot gun owners are every bit the enemy of the constitution and freedom that the Brady bunch is and they are the "friends" that would probably turn you in for not surrendering your weapons, your obedient thoughts, etc. in a heartbeat when the time comes.

Unfortunately, critical thinking and strong morals have fallen out of favor.

Take a stand. There is everything to loose. "Surley, if we don't hang together, we'll all hang separately"

Thank you Mike for prompting the discussion

Fight islam Now