Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Down the wookie hole, Part Deux...

I've been re-reading El Neil's Lever Action: Essays on Liberty, and wondering if maybe I shouldn't loan my copy to Shootin' Buddy just to help him get his wookie suit on, when I noticed that my viewpoint had diverged somewhat from the author's over the years since I first read it.

I used to be hard in his "Vermont Carry or Nothing!" camp, but here, ten years later and seeing that my side has been successfully copying the relentless chip-away-around-the-edges, come-from-all-angles-at-all-levels strategy used by the foes of freedom for the last forty-plus years, I think I'm softening my stance. In rebuttal to El Neil, I'll offer him his own political aphorism:
Let the other guy offer compromises. Think of them as rungs on a ladder. Keep your own goals fixed firmly in your mind and make sure you never move any direction but upward. That's how the other side got where they are. It works. -L. Neil Smith, "Tactical Reflections"
This is how we get from "no carry" to "may issue" to "shall issue but with onerous restrictions" to "shall issue with fewer restrictions" to Vermont-style carry.

Or should I say "Vermont-Alaska-Arizona-?????"-style carry?


Keads said...

Your commentary on the facts are profound. It appears that the compromises (or tactical strategy) by the other camp: "chip-away-around-the-edges, come-from-all-angles strategy" is working on both levels.

I concur with your assessment in that perhaps we do not all present to the media as "unwashed masses" with a "in your face" all or nothing attitude. I fear that if that continues it may be the undoing of like minded persons. But if I could I would be in Indy this weekend. How's that for a dichotomy (its a long drive)?

I consider myself intelligent and yet carry a firearm concealed. Although I do not command the level of snarkyness as you, (or command of the written language as you) I am in one of the open carry states but would never do so.

Why give up the tactical advantage?

atlharp said...

Arizona!! Holla bitches!!

Ok, enough of that. Political agendas are something that are gained incrementally. Now the thing is how was all of this gained? It was gained by people who didn't mind getting called names and pushing back against the bullshit the Left was spouting about them. It's gotten so bad that now Paul Helmke just sits in his office reading your blog! Tam you have arrived!

Mikee said...

Alaska carry varies from Arizona carry in that while it is easy to strap on a hogleg whilst wearing heavy winter clothing, a good holster rig chafes mightily when one is dressed in a speedo or a bikini, out by the University of Arizona pool.

I carry concealed in Texas, and can report that Glock Tenifer coatings are indeed completely impervious to vast amounts of sweat.

TW: zaturr, as in, "Zaturr Glock printing thru yer sweaty shirt?"

TJP said...

The problem with excessive chipping is that when most folks are staring at the big old pile of chips, it isn't exactly clear which chips came from whose block.

Compromise is a symptom of something else. So long as the people say they support a right to arms, but support every instrument of tyranny employed to nullify it, in every other context, we'll all be counting chips until the Department of Cognitive Security executes a no-knock, no-cause warrant to arrest our weapons.

We're not going to be saved by some PAC, the Supreme Court, or Machinegun Zombie Jefferson. We're on the cusp and people's attitudes have changed, and I don't want to go back to yesterday.

Cybrludite said...

I've been saying that for a while. All this crap the gun-grabbers have been passing didn't come about overnight, and even with a big win in McD vs. Chitown it won't all vanish overnight. Journey of a thousand miles, and all that.

Anonymous said...

Licenses are merely stepping stones to a full restoration of the right.

Given the case law on parade permits, it may be hard to argue that a license to carry is unconstitutional.

This one we have to win on culture. Change the culture, change the world.

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

"Given the case law on parade permits, it may be hard to argue that a license to carry is unconstitutional."

So, you're saying they're wrong about parade permits, too, then?

TJP said...

"This one we have to win on culture."

That's exactly the point I'm arguing, SB. However, please provide an example where we went from licensure to no license.

Tam said...

"However, please provide an example where we went from licensure to no license."

Arizona. Alaska.

Next will be Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming.

Son of Sam Adams said...

The gradualist approach doesn't work unless you've got somebody on your flank to make you look moderate. Libertarians create the space for limited-government Republicans (there are such things!) to act; anarcho-capitalists keep Party Libertarians honest, etc., in the same way that the radical Left covered for LBJ. The GOP should be thanking Ron Paul instead of villifying him.

We're going to have to walk back every step of the Gramscian Long March, and then keep marching.

Anonymous said...

"However, please provide an example where we went from licensure to no license."

How about several?

1. Vermont (via State Supreme Court in the Rutland decision).

2. Alaska (via legislation).

3. Arizona (via legislation).

Similar proposals have been introduced in several other states. In fact abolishing carry licenses were even part of a Gov. campaigns that I worked on (Rex Early 1996 campaign).

Shootin' Buddy

DirtCrashr said...

Meanwhile teh Stoopid Party vilifies Paul because he's alone in the wilderness and they're too timid to vilify slimy Socialists in Democrat clothing who are with them in the Big Clubhouse.

randy said...

Machinegun Zombie Jefferson

Wish I had any artistic ability as that would sooo make a neat t-shirt!

Especially combined with

Holla bitches!!

TJP said...


Near as I can tell, Arizona still requires a permit to carry concealed. Am I wrong here?

TJP said...

Also: I can't find evidence that Vermont or Alaska ever required licensure to carry weapons in-state.

I'm not trying to lessen the achievements here, but I think the most important aspect is that people are pressuring their reps to bring bills to committee without agitation from disarmament groups outside the state; it's entirely different from the defensive posture of previous decades.

Tam said...




Tam said...

To the best of my knowledge, AK and AZ were open-carry states. In fact, AZ had no provision for legal CCW at all until 1994, so they've gone from "No CCW" to "Shall Issue" to "Vermont Carry" in sixteen years.

Anonymous said...


Here's the cite for the Vermont case:

State of Vermont v. Rosenthal, 55 A. 610 (Vt. 1903).

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile teh Stoopid Party vilifies Paul because he's alone in the wilderness and they're too timid to vilify slimy Socialists in Democrat clothing who are with them in the Big Clubhouse."

Rex Early was a Republican. The Gov. of AZ who signed the latest AZ bill is a Liber . . . oh, wait, sorry, she's a Republican too.

However, I have no doubt Paul the Elder or Paul the Younger will do whatever they can to advance RKBA.

Shootin' Buddy

TJP said...

Okay, thanks. That's answers my questions.

Xrlq said...

The flip side of the question for the purists is, how many states can you name that went to permit-free carry without becoming shall-issue first? Er....

TJP said...

Dunno, but most states and municipalities that have licensure went from Vermont-carry to may-issue in one pop.

So the reverse is possible, too. No? Maybe we should try some dead kid democracy. It worked for the other side.

Matthew said...

Alaska didn't have "open carry" per se.

There was no preemption in municipalities. Prior to our orginal shall-issue law, Anchorage, for example, did not allow for concealed carry or loaded open carry within the city limits. The only state preemption was on state land while engaged in lawful sporting purpose (where have we heard that before?).

Enforcement was very "hello test" and how the cop felt about you and how you looked.

Even the orginal carry law had some silly restrictions that took incremental improvement, for instance it only allowed carry by caliber (or less) and action type. We also had to get restaurant carry added after the fact.

Vermont is a non-example, unless you can build a combination wayback machine and transmogrifier to make your state today into exactly vermont with its identical connie and exact simulacrums of its SC at the time.

AK and AZ carry is the way to go.

Matthew said...

Most states that went to licensing did so as a result of fear of minorities and/or anarchists/Reds and most did so quite some time ago.

So, even those examples aren't quite on point as the restrictions were always understood, in a wink and a nod way, that they wouldn't apply to "decent people".

The first "real" incremental step in restricting was when the laws actually began to be enforced as written.

Geodkyt said...

Shootin' Buddy:

There is a key difference between permits for parades and permits to carry.

If 1000 of my closest friends and I are peacefully carrying on one particular day, we are not (at least not by carrying alone) interfering with any other person's abilityto be in public.

If we are parading down Main Street, well, that public road is closed down for the duration.