“This day is sacred to our heroes dead. Upon their tombs we have lovingly laid the wealth of Spring.
“This is a day for memory and tears. A mighty Nation bends above its honored graves, and pays to noble dust the tribute of its love.
“Gratitude is the fairest flower that sheds its perfume in the heart.
“Today we tell the history of our country’s life — recount the lofty deeds of vanished years — the toil and suffering, the defeats and victories of heroic men — of men who made our Nation great and free.”
(Robert Green Ingersoll, from an oration delivered on Decoration Day, 1882)
As a nation and as a culture, again we’ve reached another one of those moments exposing what defines us, what moves us, where we are. We find out who stands on principle, who’s driven by emotion and, as I said the other day, who the posers are.
We’re also discovering who actually thinks and who doesn’t.
This line of commentary was prompted by a graphic I’ve spotted all over the Internet the last few days. It presumes to equate firearms with the family car, proposing that government regulation of motor vehicles serve as the model for “gun control.”
The meme is a classic example of The Equivalency Trap — simple-mindedness posing as rationality, drawing parallels where intellectual honesty finds no useful connection. The worst of these false equivalencies dive headlong into unintended consequences — like pointing out that knives are used in more murders than are rifles.
That’s an engraved invitation to the State, just begging for meddling. If you don’t believe me, ask a Brit.
There’s so much wrong with the guns-like-cars graphic it’s hard to know where to start. I guess I’ll begin by considering the source — originally it sprang from the commies of the “occupy” movement. When it comes to naming the most putrid America-hating leftists of the 21st Century, I’d have a tough time choosing between “occupy” and “black lives matter.” Let’s call it a tie.
As for the suggestion that public policy treat a Beretta like a Buick, I’ll go right to the obvious — ownership and use of the former is a right protected by the Constitution of the United States from “infringement,” while the latter is (under current law) a privilege subject to government regulation.
Registration and inspection of firearms, along with insurance and medical-evaluation requirements, are constitutionally impermissible infringements. Just so we’re clear about that.
I used to be able to appeal to reasonable Democrats (and other progressives) by reminding them of their opposition to government regulation of houses of worship, newspapers and magazines, TV and radio stations, personal computers and cell phones. But given their current hostility to fundamental human rights, to say nothing of their infidelity to the Constitution, I can’t do that anymore.
The other glaring flaw in this disinfographic is that it accepts regulation of motor vehicles as if that’s consistent with individual Liberty — it’s not. Labeling something a “privilege” to justify infringement is patently dishonest. It’s a nothing more than a veil for theft (taxation) and control.
Moving beyond The Equivalency Trap we find the snare of emotion — which is the Left’s stock-in-trade, of course. Without pathos, progressives can’t advance their policy agenda, and that’s why Democrats celebrate suffering like what we’ve seen in Buffalo and Uvalde.
They know that compassion, like lust, makes the opposition weak and stupid. That’s how they get what they want. It’s the ultimate progressive trick, like Lucy and the football.
We fall for it every time.
Unprincipled emotion is what caused some keynote speakers and musical acts to cancel their appearances at last weekend’s NRA convention in Houston. I mean, how dare the NRA continue with its annual meetings — have they no feelings? And compassion-run-amok is what’ll demolish that elementary school in Uvalde and erect another building to take its place.
(The price of weakness and stupidity in Newtown, Connecticut exceeded $50 million, by the way.)
Here’s a question, and it’s not a rhetorical one: Is preserving the Constitution, and its guarantee of our birthrights, more important than ten dead shoppers in New York and 19 dead children in Texas?
Yes — yes, it is.
One last observation today. It’s fair to say that the Right considers The Republic of Texas to be its bastion — with the exception of major metros, it’s a land of traditional values and a GOP stronghold.
That wouldn’t describe Uvalde.
North of the city and to the east, in 2020 Trump won precincts and whole counties by as much as 85% — that’s the margin, not the percentage of votes cast. But from the west side of Uvalde, which includes Robb Elementary, and stretching southwest to the Rio Grande, the territory is Blue Texas. There the Democrat won by 30% to 45%.
So when the current occupant of the Oval Office came to town yesterday he was in decidedly friendly territory (though Trump actually did better in the region in 2020 than he did in 2016). And as he and his cabal press their assault on citizens’ constitutional rights, he can count on reflexive partisan support in places like Uvalde and Buffalo.
What is it that Deb says? There are no coincidences.
The last few days here at The Ranch have been focused as well as busy. There’s a massive amount of work still to do but we channeled our effort in a single direction, for reasons we’ll keep to ourselves for now. Our second dumpster is scheduled to arrive next Wednesday, and by then we should be able to make productive use of it.
I also spent a little time at my basement workbench, the first I’d done that in well over a year. The tasks were simple and necessary, not recreational or routine, and it felt good to be back.
Deb’s away today, headed southwest to visit our younger boy and his fiancée. She’ll be back this evening.
Tomorrow we’ll make more purge-pitch-pack progress together, and then we’re gonna unplug for several days. I may not return to this blog ’til early next week, depending on how I feel about posting from my phone. (I haven’t done that since late last summer.) Social-media posts are easier, so I’ll probably check in there for my friends.
No, this isn’t The Big Move. And yes, all is well. There’s just something we have to do, and that something will take me offline for a bit.
One year ago today, the day before Memorial Day, we were lovin’ our new American Life.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.
(Today’s header image is from our visit to Custer National Cemetery on August 26, 2021.)