April 01, 2013

Them vs. Us: Guns and the Culture War

I always thought that economic development is a major concern for the governors of states. But not in Colorado, evidently.

Despite warnings of the potential loss of hundreds of good manufacturing jobs, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed some misguided firearms legislation legislation recently, laws conceived in emotional hullabaloo and possibly unenforceable.

So why did he do it? Why is he forcing companies like Magpul, Lawrence Tool,  and HiViz out of the state by creating a hostile legal environment?

Because this is culture war, and the "enemy" must be destroyed.

And apparently I am among the enemy. Some politicians are quite clear about that. If I lived in Alabama in the district held by Democratic Rep. Joe Mitchell, he would be happy to tell me that I am a "murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed (sic)" because I support the Second Amendment.

Cinematic propagandist Michael Moore would be happy to inform me that I am a racist, naturally. If you can't think of any other insult, call somebody a racist.

I know that I did not fit the "snaggle-toothed" profile. For a period of years I was a Volkswagen-camper driving university professor, with a bulging Lands' End briefcase full of textbooks and student papers. I sent money to my local NPR radio station.

As a registered Democrat, I was an Obama delegate in 2008 to the county Democratic assembly. Granted, that was more because I did not want to see a Clinton dynasty (or any other dynasty) than out of deep support for BHO.

On the other hand, I grew up in a hunting family, owned firearms, and joined the National Rifle Association in my mid-twenties. Even in my anarcho-hippie days, I reasoned that if widespread ownership of firearms by citizens made the politicians nervous, then that was a good enough reason right there to own them. Politicians should  be nervous, or they become complacent and corrupt.

The "wish to ban" is an odd psychological phenomenon. Some people do think that if we removed a certain class of inanimate objects from the world, all would be fine, the lion would lie down with the lamb, and no one would hurt each other. (See also Prohibition, War on [Some] Drugs.)

Or we might have again the high murder rates of the Middle Ages and such gun-free zones as the Hundred Years War, the genocidal conquests of Genghiz Khan and Tamerlane, and the Crusades. Want to try the experiment?

Evidently, Gov. Hickenlooper is one of those banners-of-things, given his vague and weaselly language at the bill-signing. He is happy to turn law-abiding people into criminals with poorly written laws, and he is apparently happy to hand his 2014 electoral opponent a campaign message such as "Hickenlooper's Colorado: Hundreds of Jobs Destroyed."

I can only assume, therefore, that he did it for the culture war. He did it to show people like me (who voted for him, I admit) that we are ignorant, violent enemies of civilization, or some such thing. The job losses are just collateral damage, for the culture war must be won. Citizens must be defenseless and passive, waiting for the people-who-know-better to take care of them.

Well then, I am on the other side of that argument. So be it.


Unknown said...

I think he also did it for the attention. It made the national news. It's a sign that he's doing something (which politicians of most stripes enjoy). His Lt. Gov is certainly an attention seeker. I will be voting against them in 2014.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia? I was teaching at CSU-Pueblo when he was president there. He talked a good game, but it was his successor, Lesley Di Mare, who has waded in and cleaned up the financial problems.

Evidently "Just Call Me Joe" could not see them or did not know how to deal with them.

Unknown said...

It ain't your grandfather's Democratic party anymore.
Glad to see you made it through the wire...

Unknown said...

Yeah, that's who I meant. Joe didn't do much to stop the mismanagement at CSU-P. He got in the paper bringing football back and building dorms and then wondering why people weren't doing there jobs.

(Jason--it was me in the first comment)

Unknown said...

*their aaaargh.

Steve Bodio said...

That says it all, Chas. Keep on saying it.

(Incidentally, your "captchas" are awful-- tonight only two tries but have given up on some!)

Chas S. Clifton said...

Steve, I often have the same trouble with Google capcha images.