February 10, 2013 by Anders Ingemarson
The common perception after Newtown/Sandy Hook is that gun control advocates are seizing the opportunity to further their agenda; that they’re putting pressure on the defenders of the 2nd Amendment to give up some of the rights to bear arms.
I’m sure this is partly true. But without becoming conspiratorial, and without ascribing more cunning and intelligence than is due to the statists in power, I think there is an element of diversion involved.
“Don’t waste a crisis” is a well-known collectivist maxim. When we’re in a crisis, the statist, regardless of political affiliation, always finds a way of blaming it on too much individual liberty and freedom. Crises are excellent opportunities to further his or her agenda of more controls, more regulations, and higher taxes in the name of the common good.
The burst of the late 90’s stock market bubble and the “scandals” in its wake (Enron, MCI, Tyco, etc.) led to Sarbanes-Oxley. 9/11 gave birth to the Department of Homeland Security, to the TSA, and to a plethora of other agencies, each with its own regulatory agenda. The ’08 “Financial Crisis” produced TARPs, Dodd-Frank, and other suspicious acronyms and hyphenations. Only to mention a few of the more flagrant individual rights violations over the past decade or so.
I suspect the statists treat the tragic events in Connecticut as a “micro” crisis not to be wasted; they’re not above using an elementary school shooting to their advantage. They will probably win some gun control concessions at the state level. But I doubt their efforts will bear much fruit in Washington D.C.
So aren’t they wasting their efforts after all? Maybe, if you look at the gun control issue in isolation, but not if you consider their larger ambitions.
By getting their opposition up in arms over the defense of the 2nd Amendment, the statists are diverting energy away from what really matters politically right now: the state of the economy. Do you think the postponement of the debt limit discussions would have been met with the same apathy amongst the freedom and liberty loving population if the gun control issue hadn’t been on the table? Would the “fiscal cliff” frenzy have faded as fast? I doubt it. Ask yourself where your focus would have been absent the gun control debate (regardless of which side of the issue you come down on).
We are a gazillion dollars in debt, the deficit is spiraling, and the Fed is printing money like crazy under the fancy label of “Quantitative Easing”. The question is not if the next bubble will burst, if the next real crisis will come, but when.
I think in a twisted way the hardcore, power-hungry statists look forward to the next crisis. It will give them another opportunity to further their demands of massive new regulations, controls, taxes and other assaults on our individual rights as they’ve done after every crisis in the past. You can be assured they won’t waste the next one. Diverting our attention increases the probability of it hitting sooner rather than later.
I don’t deny that our 2nd Amendment rights are important. But I am saying that we have bigger problems. I am arguing that our energy would be better spent on advocating for real spending, regulatory and tax cuts in the name of restoring our individual rights. Our time would be better spent on mounting a principled defense of limited government, on championing the moral case for total separation of state and the economy.
Let’s avoid the trap of statist gun control diversion tactics. Let’s focus on the real problems and we won’t have to be concerned with resorting to guns to defend our rights in the first place.