by David Beilstein
Politico.com is reporting the National Rifle Association has gained 100,000 new members in 18 days. The nations largest gun rights lobby has seen its rank and file swell reports Politico from 4.1 million to 4.2 million since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
I’ll be sincere. It’s nice to see Americans being pro-active about the nature of life and its brokenness rather than with reactive sentimentality.
No armed criminal with intent to cause bloodshed ever respected an unarmed man or woman. That’s why these spree shootings happen where they do. Inside gun free zones. The law-abiding citizen, er, obeys the law. The criminal (self-described) does not. The idea free people shoot back in self-defense of life and property and kill violent criminals intent on murder and mayhem sounds radical – violent even – but in the words of Malcolm X (in an area he got right) self-defense of life and property is a right.
It’s simply intelligent.
What becomes ironic – I’m belabouring the point here – is if all these Americans stocking up on weapons had got together and kicked Barack Obama’s soft tyrannical ass out of the presidency on Nov. 6., much of our current excursion into tyrannical statist acreage would have been avoided – well, maybe.
Sounds harsh, I know. But look what we’re dealing with here?
“Our goal is to get to 5 million before this debate is over,” an NRA spokesmen told Mike Allen of Politico.com.
The success of the NRA in getting out its message of individual freedom to protect life and property is inspiring. And it highlights quite readily how those concerned with liberal principals in the classical sense can better argue freedom’s consequences and protection in areas of the marketplace, foreign policy, et cetera, et cetera.
Classical liberalism is a sundry philosophy. It’s nuanced and complicated – and tolerant. It’s radically tailored to the nature of men and women – of this glorious but broken world people live in. And it’s an attractive political philosophy. Liberalism in the classical sense has given rise to the greatest nation on earth thus far – immensely prosperous for the most amount of people.
At least that’s how it used to work.
What frustrates the classical liberal to no end, however, is how rank amateurs have used certain classical liberal principals (tax cuts, strong defense, limited government) enraptured them with statist excess (adding onto our unfunded liabilities) – and taken on fundamentalist whining and sold that as a “conservation of liberalism” in the classical context. Moreover, when the statist aspects of those policies announce themselves in stark detail, said amateurs concede the weakness of a limited government paradigm.
They punk out in other words. It has become commonplace in American politics (even among so-called conservatives) that the free market failed in 2008 – inciting the financial collapse.
But this could not be further from the truth.
Still, President George W Bush at the time conceded as much. And President Bush was a conservative’s conservative, lamented the media. This, despite President Bush being out-of-step in large areas with classical conservatives like Barry Goldwater and William F Buckley, Jr.
This is not beat-up on George W Bush space. But it does boggle the privacies of the classical liberal mind why those things which President Bush got wrong – were almost universally not a function of conservative (classical liberal) philosophy, but it’s antipode.
All of these issues are mostly foreign to the gun right’s lobby. And I can’t help but expect this is why they are so successful. Why despite some of the worst spree shootings in American history of recent horizon, the NRA continues to soar in members.
The political defeats for those concerned about a healthy expression of classical liberalism in America have been more than painful. Agonising is a better description. But what is happening within the NRA is a muse of sorts.
It is a muse to keep fighting – sharpening the classical liberal paradigm.
It is a numbers game, all. Numbers are individual peoples, sovereign and free. Numbers win elections. Numbers beget the consequence of ideological expression. They are crucial in how debates are formed and how voters are persuaded one person at a time.