Strakon Lights Up, No. 42

Guns and totalitarianism,
nicely illustrated


The first thing I heard when I switched on the telescreen today was that an FBI "computer glitch" had halted gun sales nationwide, just in time for the Million Mom March aimed at further disarming the honest citizenry.

Whether or not we can believe in that sort of coincidence, the "glitch" blocking Brady Act background checks illustrates nicely what I was trying to get at in my column of May 6 about the Love Bug virus and the wages of centralization. Before Brady, when gunowner-control depended somewhat more heavily on a variety of unjust impositions by the several states, a computer problem might have blocked gun sales in Iowa or Virginia but not nationwide. However, now that background checks have been centralized, a little software bug can shut down everything across the entire country, or so the media tell us. And what happens by accident now (assuming this is an accident) can be done by deliberation in the future.


The FBI's incompetence or corruption over the past couple of days must have affected a majority of would-be gun buyers, but there is a wild card in the story that serves as the basis for a second nice illustration. A ten-second phone call to my favorite gun store confirmed what I was already 99 percent sure of. Gun sales have not  been completely blocked nationwide. At least they haven't been blocked for carry-permit holders in Indiana. If you have a carry permit in Indiana, your background was checked (perfunctorily, I'm delighted to say) before your permit was issued, and the Brady Act doesn't apply. I assume the same is true in at least some of the other states that issue such permits.

What that  nicely illustrates, of course, is established-media sloppiness. Taking anything the established media say at face value is risky enough; swallowing the details of stories having to do with guns and gunowner-control without getting a second opinion is just foolhardy. And that goes double for what the electronic media say. When it comes to guns — well, as we used to say down home in Indiana, they don't know sic 'em.

A number of states have liberalized their concealed-carry laws in recent years — liberalized them in the good old sense of that word. Now, I do realize that being able to walk into a gun store, plunk down your money, and walk out with your new gun is a fragile, unreliable grant of privilege by local rulers; but as long as it lasts it is a pretty good privilege as privileges go. I mean, we have no rights  any more; we'd better appreciate our privileges.

The exemption from the Brady waiting period has to be one big reason the concealed-carry movement absolutely horrifies the gun-grabbers, under the safe assumption that they want to make life as miserable as possible for all gunowners. For public consumption they seem to spend most of their time warbling about road rage, but that's no doubt because the prospect of maniac motorists shooting it out produces punchier headlines. Punchy headlines aside, though, carry permits are a big, big loophole in the Brady Act.

But for God's sake don't tell the media. Let them slumber in their ignorance.


Tomorrow's Million Mom March will furnish a nice illustration of something all by itself.

Of the anti-gun "moms" who will gather in Washington and the other approved sites, I'll bet a considerable proportion have in time past lit up candles and marched in those Take Back the Night demonstrations against rape. It seems reasonable to suppose that anti-rape and anti-gun demos both draw, by and large, from the same cohorts — recruiting their enlisted personnel from soccer moms (plus the soggier variety of coed) and their officers from professional Red Guard harridans.

The mise en scène of Take Back the Night marches always struck me as infantile. Did the participants really think that rapists were listening or would care if they did listen? The real purpose, surely, was to secure passage of federal hate-crime laws. Apparently it occurred to none of the women involved that arming themselves, training with their firearms, and carrying them religiously might actually stand a chance of suppressing rape — and suppressing some rapists most decisively — unlike hate-crime laws, which are good only for empowering leviathan.

Taking back the night yourself with the aid of a righteously carried .45 isn't legal everywhere, of course. But that being the case, if demo-prone women were going to agitate for anything in the course of protesting rape, a more reasonable demand would have been repeal of the anti-gun laws. And let me be even more politically incorrect. The demonstrators might also have demanded abolition of the laws, regulations, and policies that helped destroy the American family, so that women who were disinclined or unable to protect themselves might have had a better chance of building a lasting relationship with a strong, honorable man who would protect them once they left the protective household of a strong, honorable father.

Tomorrow some of the same determinedly helpless women who marched for hate-crime laws will be petitioning their stepfather, the state, for more anti-gun laws.

Some readers are taken aback, even puzzled, when I and other writers associated with The Last Ditch describe the modern United State as totalitarian. I suppose when they think of totalitarianism they think in terms of jackbooted goose-steppers and state-owned newspapers and concentration camps that are actually called concentration camps. But that sort of thing is passé.

A fundamental strategy for modern Polite Totalitarians — maybe their Prime Directive, in fact — is to create a totalitarian mentality in as many of their subjects as they can: a mentality that reflexively — without, that is, any recognizable thought actually taking place — looks to the centralized state to solve any and all social problems, regardless of whether the state's solutions can work, regardless of whether previous state intervention caused or worsened the problem at hand, and regardless of whether the petitioners will lose what remains of their liberty. Imagine petitioning leviathan to end "gun violence" in society! What a triumph of totalitarian education is revealed in the evident fact that the marchers are clueless about how many women and children their unholy stepfather, the state, has itself slaughtered.

Under modern American totalitarianism, it's the people, not the police or soldiers, who do the goose-stepping and do it willingly. And that's what tomorrow's march will illustrate, all too nicely.

May 13, 2000


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