Dear Congressman and Senator, etc.:
There is a hoary old saying that Americans think everyone in Congress is corrupt, stupid, and bent on the destruction of America, except their congressman or senator; they’re OK. I wouldn’t bet on that one anymore. Rather, I’d take the counsel of Mark Twain who said:
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
It is difficult to express how little respect I have for Congress as an institution, and for you, my congressman and my senators as representatives. And if you’re wise, you’ll take my counsel, for my concerns are shared by an incredibly diverse and growing number of my fellow Americans.
In the past, I might have appealed to your sense of honor, but members of Congress have proved, over and over, Congress has none. I too might have appealed to your sense of shame, but I have, sadly, come to believe that members of Congress are incapable of feeling that useful emotion. I might even have appealed to patriotism and reminded you of your oath of office, but again, what’s the point? I am indeed tarring everyone there with the same brush, but you’ve left me no choice.
Once upon a time, I’m sure the only thing that worried you even a little was the possibility of not being reelected. Over the last century, we know incumbents are almost always reelected; incumbency is such an overwhelming advantage you have degenerated to the point that you no longer consider yourselves the elected representatives of “we the people,” but an exalted, elite class of rulers of the faceless masses too dull to know how to take care of themselves.
Times have changed. I suggest that the only thing you can take for granted is you will be thrown out of the office at the next opportunity. Your incompetence, arrogance, disdain for “average” Americans and your utter disregard of your oath of office, of the Constitution, and of any sense of honor have reduced you—and our country—to a pitiful—and a very dangerous—state. Expect that all of my fellows and I will do everything we can to vote you out as soon as possible. Frankly, I’d vote for a ham sandwich rather than any of you, but failing that, I’ll vote for real Conservatives, people who not only say they stand for small government, fiscal responsibility and the Constitution, but will vote that way as well.
That I am compelled to say all I’ve thus far said saddens and disgusts me beyond measure because it means America stands on the precipice of disaster, and you have pushed her there. Americans want to believe in those they have elected to represent their interests. They want to believe them to be honest, honorable, trustworthy people. I have not completely given up hope, and I am willing to be convinced that you are more moral and capable than a ham sandwich, but you, Sirs, have a very, very long way to go to restore the smallest morsel of trust in the American people.
I write primarily to give you the opportunity to start rebuilding that trust. I don’t refer to our financial disaster, our perilous position in the Middle East, our utter lack of competence in not preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, your presiding over an ever-growing and arrogent imperial bureaucratic state, the financial and moral debacle that is Obamacare and a wide variety of other particularly ugly and destructive messes your decades of neglect and incompetence have produced. I know that President Obama is responsible for some of this, but if you had been doing your jobs, he would never have been elected and you would be far more capable in resisting his–or any–Marxist designs on America.
I write about Senator Feinstein’s latest attempt to destroy the Second Amendment and to turn tens—even hundreds—of millions of Americans into instant felons. I won’t go into the utter absence of logic or effectiveness that is intertwined with every word of her proposal—that has been well covered elsewhere–but I proffer a warning, a chance for you to demonstrate that you take your oath of office seriously and that you still recognize the Constitution as the supreme law of the land rather than seeing it as Progressives and all too many so-called Republicans do: an anachronistic impediment to preferred social policies.
I am particularly concerned about this legislation because we already have a decade of experience that proves it useless. What’s more, the Heller and McDonald decisions have clearly rendered it blatantly unconstitutional. This, my representative and senators, is something that particularly angers your countrymen: you repeatedly propose laws you know are unconstitutional. Particularly galling is Senator Feinstein’s proposal to require registration of tens of millions of firearms and hundred of millions of magazines under the National Firearms Act.
You may also be aware of the huge and unprecendented number of Americans purchasing firearms, magazines, ammunition and other accessories since the Newtown shootings. They are not doing this because they have suddenly acquired a trivial desire for additional material goods, but because they understand the very real and pressing possibility they may be forced to defend liberty, and they want the most effective weapons available to them for that purpose.
Please allow me to explain why this single proposal is so outrageous and dangerous to the future of our nation. The BATFE is arguably the least competent, most corrupt and most intensely distrusted and hated arm of the federal government—though the Department of Justice, the EPA, HHS, DHS and several others are in the running—as a result of Fast And Furious as well as decades of mistreatment of law-abiding gun owners and dealers. This law would dramatically increase the size and power of the bureaucracy. The time, paperwork and aggravation involved would drive the righteous rage of the public to new heights and would surely result in near total non-compliance.
We need not spend much time on the fact this law would severely harm our vital national defense industries at a time of great national and world peril. The greatest danger is registration, because history teaches without exception that it always leads to confiscation. In a nation where the possession of a single magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition becomes a federal felony, the federal government holds a terrible power to practice tyranny. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Make no mistake, if you will not do it, Americans will act to enforce the Second Amendment, thus preserving the rest of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution itself. But if you force them to that extreme, you would be foolish indeed to think you will still be in power when the dust settles.
This law, if enacted, will lead directly to forcing federal, state and local law enforcement officers to make terrible decisions. Should they go to the homes of their friends and neighbors to seize their firearms, magazines and other accessories, to imprison them and destroy their families and lives, to kill them–or be killed–when they resist, or should they fight tyranny? Should they passively, even actively, resist the federal government? Many in Congress would delight in this horror–they’re already talking confiscation of legally possessed firearms–taking obscene pleasure in seeing all of those God and gun clingers in flyover country imprisoned, even killed, soulless fools that they are.
If this law is passed and this occurs—and it will—you will be pitting the states, the people, and the Constitution against the federal government. Some federal agents will side with tyranny. Some elements of our military will side with despotism. It will not take many federal raids on gun shops and the homes of citizens to produce dead Americans, and once that process begins, America as we have known it, ends. Make no mistake, Americans, in the tens, even hundreds of millions, will resist, using the philosophy and tools given them by the Founders. They will not be defeated.
We are unique in history, a revolutionary people who resist revolution, but a free people that will, ultimately, do what is necessary to remain free.
This federal over-reach will end with a very different America, an America none of us wishes to see. Those who so stupidly desire to impose these conditions on the law abiding will not emerge victorious, or likely, alive. Sadly, scores of patriots will join them in death. Remember: you’re dealing with Americans.
Am I advocating armed resistance? Do I wish to see this happen? Of course not. No sane, rational, patriotic American wants to see any of this. But Americans know that the death of the Second Amendment heralds the death of liberty, and they will not abide it.
I was going to write that I did not serve in our military–or as a police officer—for this, but that would be incorrect. I served exactly for this: to preserve our liberties, most particularly the Second Amendment, which affirms the ultimate means for Americans to remain free. I, and countless others, will honor their oaths.
In this matter, there can be no compromise, for this law not only does nothing—nothing at all—to prevent school attacks or diminish crime, it strikes at the very foundation of liberty. The choice is yours. Will you support—in any way—a blatantly unconstitutional law, a law that would ban the most common and popular firearms in America, firearms virtually never used in crime, a law that would ban standard magazines and innocuous accessories, a law that would turn untold millions into instant felons, grotesquely expand the imperial bureaucratic state, further damage our economy and pit Americans against each other in a life-and-death struggle for liberty, or will you stand with the Constitution, will you truly represent those that elected you and take those first, tentative steps toward regaining the trust and respect of honorable Americans?
I pray, for us all, you make the right choice.
NOTE: This has been sent to all of my representatives. Please feel free to use this letter, or to write one of your own, and do the same.
Well said Michael.
I sent you an email and you have answered it perfectly thank you
Mike McDaniel said:
I’m glad I was able to be helpful. Thanks.
It’s nice Mike replies the way he does, with a thoughtful approach to the person he is responding to. Other bloggers, of which canadacan is intimately familiar with, should take note. We can look at the Sun and dance around all we want, but what does it matter if we don’t treat each other civilly, or think a conspiracy exists beneath every bush.
Mike McDaniel said:
You’re most kind. I do try.
No. For instance, the British allowed Zionist settlements in Palestine to have registered guns for self defence, and even issued some. Those were never withdrawn. I know that they ultimately would have been if things had gone to plan and the danger had passed (like the similar arrangement for defence against irredentists and river pirates that the French made when they colonised Indochina), i.e. that the pathway to confiscation was very real, but the assertion was made that the pathway was always followed; it wasn’t.
That’s why it’s standard operating procedure to post such people away from their own areas, so they won’t have concerns about friends and neighbours. Of course, that also means they don’t have the advantage of local knowledge, but you can’t have everything.
This sort of U.S. exceptionalism, feeding on confirmation bias, will lead to completely unrealistic strategies and tactics (it’s neither unique – have you never heard of William Tell or how the Swedes got rid of the Danes? – nor does it describe typical U.S. behaviour accurately). If nothing else, the Reconstruction Era should give the lie to it, but also consider the uneventful British occupation of part of Maine during the British-American War.
(1) Yes, I know of a person who was born but did not eventually die. We all know how people habitually exclaim that one is born but to die, but, hey! this guy hasn’t died yet! We can use this little spurious tidbit for a meaningful caveat.
(2) I did not know that local policemen, whom Mike referred to in part, are relocated away from their communities as practice. We’ll just ignore that.
(3) Gosh, poor Alexis de Tocquville, benighted fool that he was, just imagined that he visited a nation that was the first the history to have achieved a balance between liberty and equality. You could have spared him the effort to write that very interesting travelogue. Well, at least it wasn’t us telling ourselves that the United States was a new and peculiar experiment.
Sigh. Talk about getting hold of the wrong end of the stick…
No. 1 is a false analogy. It would only apply if the British Mandate of Palestine were still going strong and still hadn’t disarmed the settlements. But that natural experiment actually ran to its end, and that disarmament simply never happened.
No. 2 is a straw man. It’s making out that I was talking about standard operating procedure for local police. Let me make it even clearer: I was describing standard operating procedure for repressing people. As, when and if that starts in a systematic way, you can be sure that that is how it will be done. Here’s a historical example: the Australian Federal Police was founded after a Queensland policeman refused to carry out a Federal politician’s orders on the grounds that he worked for Queensland. Or look at how the Royal Irish Constabulary was run.
No. 3 is another straw man. I never asserted anything about whether the U.S.A. was “a nation that was the first the history to have achieved a balance between liberty and equality” (though, as it happens, it never did achieve it, and certainly not then in that time of slavery; if you confine your evidence on the matter to de Tocqueville, that’s precisely the sort of confirmation bias I was talking about, and you should read the likes of Fanny Trollope and contemporary issues of Punch, too). No, I pointed out that “We are unique in history, a revolutionary people who resist revolution, but a free people that will, ultimately, do what is necessary to remain free” was false. I never addressed any issues of balancing those two features at all, but instead pointed out that neither one was true, using examples from elsewhere to help show that. William Tell is quite good enough a counter example to the U.S.A. being the first, let alone only, case of the latter. Reconstruction and the occupation of Maine disprove the former. Since the parts don’t stand, it wasn’t necessary to address their combination – and I didn’t.
And so on.
Well, a cheesy ‘sigh’ to you, too! Let’s be fatuous together.
(1) you declared the British Mandate policy would have ended in confiscation of guns if it had run its course. That the Mandate ended before it could is a fatuous argument. The analogy holds.
(2) You are not expert in repressing people, and that is good. You speak in theory and not experience. You are not an evil person. Good for you. Show us a standard operation manual for repressing people. A short perusal of historical records will show local police quite often conscripted by necessity into efforts. Prove your (overstated) case.
(3) Funny you should cite a mythological figure as a “quite good enough counter.” Mike’s “revolutionary people” created something that was quite revolutionary under the sun. That was why so many people of the time noticed it. The British were long in healing their bruises and animosity about the US. There was a great deal of sentiment to see the southern states secede successfully. Reconstruction was a sign that the American experiment would continue, not a sign that the American people had been defeated and had retreated back into a feudal, anachronistic system that was doomed to failure. You seem to have crept from “part of Maine” to all of Maine, if you notice. Your Maine argument is, in plain English, a clutching after straws, much like, A-ha! I found one woman who likes to be beaten by her husband, if in fact she willingly liked it.
Und so weiter.
Henry, you are distorting either deliberately or inadvertently. To be charitable, I will suppose you have acted out of ignorance. However, if you continue in this vein I will conclude something worse, and I will not hesitate to announce it. For now, I will demonstrate your errors, for the edification of other readers if not necessarily of yourself.
I actually stated that “they ultimately would have been if things had gone to plan and the danger had passed”. Do you see the difference? The policy did run its course; it remained for so long as the British had need of it – a need which ended with the Mandate, as it happened. But things did not go to plan and the danger never passed.
But the very fact that the Mandate ended with the creation of Israel is just precisely the way that the guns got kept. There is nothing fatuous about it. Yes, it is statistically certain that if you play roulette long enough you will go broke doing it, but that does not make it fatuous to point out that, if you walk away earlier, you won’t. Likewise, it’s not fatuous to point out that gun registration has not always led to confiscation, citing times when something else interrupted it. Of course it would – eventually – have happened if it hadn’t been interrupted, but it was interrupted! That doesn’t mean that things like that are fatuous and don’t count, they are serious and do count because they were real world things that really happened – and similar things could again.
Oh? actually, I have had some very close observation of this, and I have been reliably informed by some who were experts. I do not speak in theory; at a minimum, I speak of other people’s experience.
Here’s a simple test you can apply. Find a policeman who has been involved in the cliche good cop/bad cop routine and has accrued some experience. Ask him how it usually works. Contrary to what most people suppose, it is not usually the good cop who makes an overture to the subject after all, but the other way around – the subject reaches out. You should be able to check this out – at the risk of looking suspicious.
But even history shows how it works, and I know a fair bit of that. I gave examples.
I cannot prove my overstated case, because it does not exist; I never had an overstated case.
But as for my actual case… I cannot show you a manual (other than Machiavelli, of course), for the simple reason that the information was obtained from the other end than the practitioners, e.g. I cited how the Royal Irish Constabulary did things, in their day. But it was careful observation that gave those I learned from their information. If you wish further and better particulars, the next time you’re in London go up to the bar in the Duke of Wellington in Notting Hill and, as you get your drink, casually say “tell the lads there’s work to be done”, then sit down. Someone knowledgeable will soon engage you in conversation, and you will be able to ask. Of course, things will also come out about you, and under the circumstances you may wish to give a good impression. As for “local police … conscripted by necessity”, if you mean that big men from outside come and stand over the local plods, then yes – but then it’s the big men from outside that are the ones I meant. But if you meant that locals find themselves in desperate straits, say from lack of work, and so volunteer to repress their friends and neighbours – I have no doubt they do, and I equally have no doubt that the wise oppressor sends them to repress others, while having others to repress the friends and neighbours of the first lot.
Eh? Be precise. William Tell is a mythical figure, not a mythological one. Remember, what counts with a myth isn’t whether it is true or false but the effects it has as inputs, drivers, of people’s behaviours. Some myths are actually true. William Tell is an intermediate case, in that he actually existed but the myth isn’t a good description of the real man (Robin Hood even more so, and the “real” man may have been a composite). But that is quite good enough a counter example, for the simple reason that we are talking myths – the myth of U.S. exceptionalism. If you bring out your myth, an earlier myth is quite good enough to trump it. And, of course, that wasn’t the only evidence I provided.
Argument by assertion? Actually, there was nothing original there, since it was only warmed over Locke that had been watered down by Helvetius and other philosophes. The only identifiably new thing was, apparently, implementation – yet even there there were precedents. For instance, consider the Dutch and the Corsicans. Developments in Corsica had a great deal of influence on the American rebels.
Rather, the many and more recent injuries and affronts have kept fresh or re-opened what would otherwise have faded. As for those of that early date, even then it was well recognised that the worst was done by the French and Spanish. No, don’t try and argue that the Americans did most of the work – the losses of the last two years of the war were entirely at the hands of the French and Spanish, and quite a few of the earlier ones too. But then, U.S. centrism tends to lead to not knowing what happened in the other theatres of that war.
Eh? The very fact that it happened demonstrated that it could be done to Americans. I’m not talking about what it led to or what it was a sign of, I’m talking about what happened during it, the years of occupation that doing it involved.
Readers, here he is either deliberately lying or does not understand through invincible ignorance. Having once specified what I was talking about – part of Maine – I had no need to repeat it. Maine was occupied; in the context that I had already provided, there was no need to specify again that not all of it was.
Eh? No, it was merely a minor confirming instance that I added to another one, to prevent any suggestion that a perfectly sound counter example could be dismissed as an isolated incident. In fact, there are very many things that support my position, that Americans are at least as susceptible to repression as a great many others, but since I’m not being paid for this it’s only worth providing a few by way of illustration. If you really want to see some more, a good place to start is Trollope’s North America (hint: look for Baltimore). Oh, and guess which nationality was the least susceptible to indoctrination as P.O.W.s of the communists during the Korean War (hint: they don’t speak English there).
I could have written “etcetera” earlier, but I did not know that you would find “and so on” less comprehensible than its German translation.
P.M. To be brief with you, and to illustrate your speciousness, let us stick to Maine. It was you who said “part of Maine” and then crept to Maine. There was no lie on my part, just an observation of your attempted dishonesty, or personal incompetence. It is mendacious of you to call me a liar. Since you purport to be an expert in logic, your Maine argument is the fallacy of composition, which you hoped to slip by us astute Yanks.
I don’t mean to show disrespect to you, but it would be tedious to wade through the rest of your muddle.
Mike McDaniel said:
In America, local police officers serve in their local communities, as you obviously know. There is no central government that can order them elsewhere. However, in the defunct Soviet Union and in China, the government did and does send police officers and soldiers to far flung parts of their empires/country. The reason, of course, is they’ll be more likely to kill their countrymen if they don’t have a personal relationship with them. I suspect–I pray–that no such dynamic exists with Americans, though I have little doubt some toadies would support tyranny given the chance.
Dear Mike, yes, you are correct that in many situations police are not local in order to minimize problematic loyalties, but that has not always the necessary rule for the installation of tyranny or alteration of rule. Germany had minimal need to transfer police from one location to another; just the pressure of duty and traditional order was needed where needed. I don’t think American’s have that ethos. Currently, in Afghanistan local elders supply candidates for police training, who then return to serve in their area. It may be a foolish strategy, but the example does serve to its purpose in the discussion above you allude to.
There are many that take issue with the idea of American exceptionalism, whether due to its romanticism or just because the offended are merely expressing envy. It is the latter that I wish to address, because it is the most easily provable.
America is exceptional, even if President Obama has a hard time expressing that sense about his own country, as many liberals seem to be guilty of this, as well. I’ll borrow/steal from Bill Whittle to make my point. If one looks at certain indicators to show excellence or exceptionalism, leading among these indicators would be military might, cultural influence, scientific influence, and economic influence.
When it comes to military might, it can hardly be argued that America possesses the most powerful military on the planet. Together with the power of our arsenal and the sophistication of our technology, we have been the world’s leading superpower, militarily.
How does one measure the culture? Well, in this day and age, entertainment would be the best way to see what culture influences others the most. If one looks at the top 100 highest grossing movies of all time, every single one of them is an American film.
When it comes to scientific influence, a good way to measure that is to look at scientific citations. As many should know, a scientific citation is basically a unit of knowledge. When it comes to scientific citations, America has 3x as many as the next country on that list, which is the U.K., I believe.
Lastly, economic influence is another inarguable indicator of American exceptionalism. America, which is 1/4th to 1/5th the size of China, has a GDP that is 5x times the size of China’s. As it stands, the reason for this is our economic system of capitalism. It is the underpinning that has allowed the rest of the indicators of exceptionalism to come. It is this system that has been under attack and why the rest are now in trouble.
Without representatives that recognize this, America is doomed to suffer a humiliating end. This is one reason why gun ownership is so important and written into the Constitution the way it is. The right to bear arms is a protection from government, and not just our government, either. If the government sees fit to go down the road of disarmament, it will be our duty as Americans to revolt.
I hope it doesn’t have to come to that.
Mike McDaniel said:
I wonder if the people who are pushing this thing about registering our guns have thought this thing through. I think they assume the American People will meekly register and then turn around and meekly turn in their guns. With the way gun sales are going, I think they have bitten off more than they can chew.
Mike McDaniel said:
Excellent questions. I suspect that the hard Marxists–including our president–don’t care and actually believe we’ll fall into line and/or they’ll be able to find enough useful idiots to control the unsophisticated God and gun clingers they know they were born to rule and exploit. Many of the other Progressives can’t imagine others that don’t think exactly as they do. But I suspect most in Congress might be awakened by reality before things go too far, thus this small contribution to trying to avoid crossing lines no sane politician who understands American history and Americans would ever dream of crossing. I hope we can wake up those capable of being awakened. The rest are lost causes and will, one way or another, seal their own fates. I’m sure all people of good will would prefer that be done through the justice system as such people inevitably commit serial crimes.
The reality of trying to confiscate over 300,000,000 guns from people who don’t want to give them up should make the average politician shudder. Seriously, are they really that stupid?
Mike McDaniel said:
Well, in New York and Illinois they certainly are as Democrats in both legislatures are proposing just that, along with the essentially banning most, if not all, modern firearms. And in the US Congress Democrat Gerald Nadler has also come out in favor of confiscation. I’m sure many other Democrats feel the same way but are a bit less gaffe-prone.
This is what happens when legislators come to see themselves as our rulers rather than our hired hands. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
I would be willing to wager the reality is that 300 Million guns up and “vanish”.
Jane K. said:
Mike, first of all, thank you for your service. I knew you had been a police officer, but somehow missed that you were in the military – my speed reading is catching up with me!
Wonderful article, that I intend to send to my reps here in NY – wasting stamps – but send it I will, and I will broadcast to my like minded friends, urging them to do the same.
Happy New Year.
Mike McDaniel said:
Dear Jane K.:
Thank you! You’re most kind, and a happy new year to you!
Alan Reasin said:
My letter to Senator Feinstein; I hope it was civil enough to get her attention.
Your proposed firearm bill is a direct violation of the 2nd Amendment. You should know that after the experience with England, the Founders recognized the need for citizens in our new county to have the ability to defend themselves from our government’s abuses of constitutional rights or attacks by foreign enemies. The 2nd Amendment is not to protect hunters privileges or even for self defense against criminals, but to permit citizens to protect the 1st Amendment and the rest of our Constitution.
If our government leaders believe that the 2nd Amendment does not apply in a day of modern weapons, then I would say that since the Founders only knew about print journalism, the 1st Amendment’s freedom of the press does not apply to television journalism. The courts have ruled it does, therefor the basis of the 2nd Amendment to have citizens armed, meaning weapons comparable to those of troops, is just as valid. That specifically includes those weapons that you plan to ban and high-capacity magazines.
While you deny that this bill, with its registration requirement for the vast majority of firearms, is a step towards confiscation, I doubt that you forget the passage of the California Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 in your home state and what happened afterwards. That Act required the registration of so-called “assault weapons”. Attorney General Dan Lungren reversed the official position and in 1997 to declared one of the rifles considered legal and subject to registration just a few years earlier, the SKS Sporter with detachable magazine, to be illegal. Owners who had complied with the law were forced to surrender their weapons or transfer them out of state.
Worse yet, despite assurances by the NYC government that registration records would not ever be used for anything more than tracking lost and stolen weapons, the registration system for long guns such as rifles and shotguns established in 1967 was used in the 1990’s to confiscate previously lawful semi-automatic rifles. Also, registration easily allowed the confiscation of firearms in GB and Australia.
I doubt that the modern American resort to arms to protect basic constitutional rights would have been possible in McMinn County, TN with your law. Only the corrupt and powerful would have had weapons and the Battle of Athens or sometimes called the McMinn County War on August 1, 1946 would not have occurred. Even Eleanor Roosevelt supported the necessity of that effort.
The Revolutionary War began when British subjects, soon to be called Americans, repelled the British Army’s attempt to confiscate arms. This is a streak of defiance that has permeated American culture throughout its history. So why should any American citizen believe that if you and other elected officials are willing to violate a basic American right to bear arms, that existed even before we were a nation, that we should trust said officials to safeguard any of our constitutional rights.
Mike McDaniel said:
Dear Alan Reasin:
Nicely put, Sir. Thanks for sharing it with us.