Incrementalism has proved depressingly effective as a tool for getting most people to quietly surrender their rights piecemeal. For gradually habituating them to an ever-diminishing circle of liberty. When the circle finally closes and their rights no longer exist at all, they hardly notice – because by that time, most of their rights have already been taken.
The final surrender is met with a shrug rather than a scream of outrage.
Think how Americans have been habituated to arbitrary search and seizure. Something like the TSA would simply not have been tolerated if it came out of the blue sky circa 1980. And no, the terrr attacks of nineleven did not “change everything.” Getting people to accept “sobriety checkpoints” beginning around 1980 changed everything. Accept that – and something like Gate Rape is inevitable.
The same process works just as well when it comes to dismantling due process – and removing limits on what the government may not do to us. We didn’t get to legal strip searches for jaywalking or littering in one fell swoop. Nor rendition, torture as policy – and presidential kill lists. It is a matter of getting them – getting us – to tolerate “A” so that “B” will be accepted in turn.
This is how the citizens of the United States will be disarmed.
No sudden, mass ban or attempt at confiscation – because that would probably lead to open violence on a large scale and they – people like Dear Leader Obama and his Vyshinsky, AG Eric Holder, know this.
So, instead, they will first pass “reasonable”restrictions.
They will target not guns – just dangerousguns. So easy to demagogue anything with, say, a high-capacity magazine. Or which looks “military.” Think how the ground has already been ceded by mainstream “gun rights” groups like the NRA – which invariably talk about “sportsmen” and “hunting.” Who needs an AR-15 (or Sig 220) to hunt?
Open carry will be next. How many millions of Clovers would support a ban?
Next, they’ll lobby for a new law (or just issue a fatwa) that makes it much harder to get a CC permit. Such as at a judge’s discretion. And only if you have a “legitimate” purpose. Self-defense will not be considered a legitimate purpose.
But the big one – tied to Obamacare – will be the transformation of gun ownership into a public healthissue.
The assault on smoking (and lately, soft drinks) should have alerted people – but as with “sobriety checkpoints,” most people readily supported the imposition of massive taxes on smokers because, after all, it is unhealthy to smoke. And of course, they didn’t smoke. So their rights were not on the table (foolish them). They – most people – never see that an attack on anyone’s rights is an attack on theirrights.They are easily gulled by their moralistic fetishes – their disapproval of some concrete thing other people do which they don’t like. Not seeing that if the government can ban (or control or regulate) thisthan it certainly can ban, control or regulate that. The particulars don’t matter. The principle is everything.
Thus, smoking has been anathematized – and rendered exorbitantly expensive to partake of. Not an outright ban – not yet. But ever closer, every year.
And guns? It will be argued it is unhealthy to have a gun in the house. There will be talk of all the suicides and domestic violence (red herrings, these – but exceptionally effective tools of emotional manipulation).
Inevitably, the children will come into play.
It will be argued that anyone who possesses a gun must also possess insurance. Just as car owners are required to buy insurance; just as we are soon to be forced to buy health insurance. The same arguments will be used – because they’ve already been accepted. Thus, just as it is not illegal to have a car – so long as you buy insurance for it – it will not be illegal (yet) to own a gun. So long as you are “properly insured.”
That will be the first step.
The second step ought to be obvious. Legal gun ownership will rendered increasingly unaffordable.
As with collectivized car and health insurance, the insurance you will be forced to buy in order to keep a gun will be based on the costs imposed by the collective. It will not matter that you handle your gun safely. Because others have not, you will be made to pay.
People can afford to buy a $500 rifle or pistol. How many will be able to afford paying $500 a year to lawfully keep that rifle or pistol? How many will be able to afford keeping more than one rifle or pistol? Can you see where this is headed? Is it not brilliant in its subtlety?
Insurance costs have already proved their effectiveness at limiting the number of vehicles the average person can afford to keep. I’ve written before about the effect mandatory insurance has had on hobbyists. It used to be easy (and legal) to keep a “parts car” or “project car” because other than the costs of buying it and fixing it up, there were no other costs. So long as you didn’t put it on the road, you didn’t have to insure it. In numerous areas around the country, you must now keep valid tags – and insurance – on every single vehicle, even those kept in a garage or in your back yard. If not, the vehicle is subject to confiscation.
Exactly the same tactics will be deployed against firearms. And it will be impossible to fight – because the fight over the principle was lost long ago. How will anyone argue against mandatory gun insurance when they have already accepted mandatory car insurance and now mandatory health insurance?
In a very short time, the government will have effectively disarmed most people without ever having had to push for an outright ban. The small handful of people who still possess arms will only be able to possess a few types and be very limited in what they can (legally) do with them.
Dealing with them will easy. Because there will be so few.
And because they will have already conceded the point anyhow.
Throw it in the Woods?
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Contributed by Eric Peters of Eric Peters Autos.
Eric Peters is an automotive columnist and author who has written for the Detroit News and Free Press, Investors Business Daily, The American Spectator, National Review, The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal. His books include Road Hogs (2011) and Automotive Atrocities (2004). His next book, “The Politics of Driving,” is scheduled for release in 2012. Visit his web site at Eric Peters Autos.