Friday, January 25, 2013

A repost

"We cannot negotiate with those who say, 'What's mine is mine, and what's yours is negotiable.'"

-- John F. Kennedy, Address to the American People, 25 JUL 1961

Most people tend to substitute the word 'compromise' for the first 'negotiate' in that quote, and it does tend to fit the current circumstances.

Once again the anti-gun people are starting to trot out the tired and hackneyed meme of "compromise" in the "national gun conversation".

One of the more highly linked of my posts is the one about the "Gun Rights Cake" analogy, which I will now re-post and expand a bit:

I hear a lot about "compromise" from the gun-control camp ... except, it's not compromise.

Allow me to illustrate:

Let's say I have this cake. It is a very nice cake, with "GUN RIGHTS" written across the top in lovely floral icing. Along you come and say, "Give me that cake."

I say, "No, it's my cake."

You say, "Let's compromise. Give me half." I respond by asking what I get out of this compromise, and you reply that I get to keep half of my cake.

Okay, we compromise. Let us call this compromise The National Firearms Act of 1934.

This leaves me with half of my cake and there I am, enjoying my cake when you walk back up and say, "Give me that cake."

I say -- again: "No, it's my cake."

You say, "Let's compromise." What do I get out of this compromise? Why, I get to keep half of what's left of the cake I already own.

So, we compromise -- let us call this one the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- and this time I'm left holding what is now just a quarter of my cake.

And I'm sitting in the corner with my quarter piece of cake, and here you come again. You want my cake. Again.

This time you take several bites -- we'll call this compromise the Clinton Executive Orders -- and I'm left with about a tenth of what has always been MY DAMN CAKE and you've got nine-tenths of it. 


 Let me restate that: I started out with MY CAKE and you have already 'compromised' me out of ninety percent of MY CAKE ...

... and here you come again. Compromise! ... Lautenberg Act (nibble, nibble). Compromise! ... The HUD/Smith and Wesson agreement (nibble, nibble). Compromise! ... The Brady Law (NOM NOM NOM). Compromise! ... The School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act (sweet tap-dancing Freyja, my finger!)

After every one of these "compromises" -- in which I lose rights and you lose NOTHING -- I'm left holding crumbs of what was once a large and satisfying cake, and you're standing there with most of MY CAKE, making anime eyes and whining about being "reasonable", and wondering "why we won't compromise" as you try for the rest of my cake.

In 1933 I -- or any other American -- could buy a fully-automatic Thompson sub-machine gun, a 20mm anti-tank gun, or shorten the barrel of any gun I owned to any length I thought fit, silence any gun I owned, and a host of other things.

Come your "compromise" in 1934, and suddenly I can't buy a sub-machine gun, a silencer, or a Short-Barreled Firearm without .Gov permission and paying a hefty tax. What the hell did y'all lose in this "compromise"?

In 1967 I, or any other American, could buy or sell firearms anywhere we felt like it, in any State we felt like, with no restrictions. We "compromised" in 1968, and suddenly I've got to have a Federal Firearms License to have a business involving firearms, and there's whole bunch of rules limiting what, where and how I buy or sell guns.

In 1968, "sporting purpose" -- a term found NOT ANY DAMNED WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION, TO SAY NOTHING OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT -- suddenly became a legal reason to prevent the importation of guns that had been freely imported in 1967.

Tell me, do -- exactly what the hell did you lose in this 1968 "compromise"?

The Lautenberg Act was a "compromise" which suddenly deprived Americans of a Constitutional Right for being accused or convicted of a misdemeanor -- a bloody MISDEMEANOR! What did your side lose in this "compromise"?

I could go on and on, but the plain and simple truth of the matter is that a genuine "compromise" means that both sides give up something. My side of the discussion has been giving, giving, and giving yet more -- and your side has been taking, taking, and now wants to take more.

For you, "compromise" means you'll take half of my cake now, and the other half of my cake next time. Always has been, always will be.

I've got news for you: That is not "compromise".

I'm done with being reasonable, and I'm done with "compromise". Nothing about gun control in this country has ever been "reasonable" nor a genuine "compromise", and I have flat had enough.

LawDog

47 comments:

BobG said...

100% agreement there.

geeknotes said...

Every word is perfect. Great article, thanks for the repost.

JohninMd.(HELP!) said...

Thanks, Dawg. The truth speaks to power...time to take back our cake!

Scott McCray said...

I've been linking to the original - thanks for the repost!

Fatherof10 said...

That is the basis reason I am not a conservative. A conservative wants to keep part of his cake as long as possible. I do not want to give up any of may cake every, and if I have given it up I want to get it back.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for reposting and expanding on this.
First off, I want my cake back. All of it. And that's not even compromise, that's just getting us back where we ought to be.

Scott_S said...

MY CAKE and give me back the other pieces!

The grabbers never give up trying to get just a little bit more. It's time we started taking back our cake.

Gaffer said...

Problem is: Once they take your cake they consume it and all you can ever get back is processed, excreted and usable only as "compost"

Paladin said...

I truly love this.

Dave H said...

Excellent point. Next time somebody suggests a compromise, I'm going to say, "What are you offering?" If they answer with "You get to keep..." then the discussion ends.

Orion said...

LawDog,

Only one way out of further compromise - and to regain the cake you lost.

And it 'aint pretty.

You ready to take that step?

Orion

Evyl Robot Michael said...

this was great the first time around. Good on you for the reboot!

tvs said...

Preach on, brother Dawg.

Gaffer - not really... they will consume it, spend $25 million, and what you get back is absolutely unusable and likely will cost additional money to dispose of.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lawdog,
What the gun grabbers are doing is an argument to moderation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation
and what is interesting is that by "picking the middle (compromise)" and then coming back when the goal posts have moved, the gun grabbers can always go for more. Of course, this applies to a great more things than just gun grabbing.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Good! Reasonable but in the end it won't matter..

armedandsafe said...

Permission to repost with credit and link, please?

Old NFO said...

Concur with all... enough is enough!

jimbob86 said...

"Nothing about gun control in this country has ever been "reasonable" nor a genuine "compromise", and I have flat had enough."

Nothing about "gun control" in this country has ever really been about guns, either- it has always been about control. If they were truly serious about banning guns, then every police officer would not have them...... yet they all do, and many PD's have access to arms denied to us 'Proles......

While I am most certainly not suggesting that the Police do not need guns (they most certainly do), I do insist that what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander!

-jimbob86

Wombat said...

Well put, LawDog, as usual.I hadn't run across the original post yet, so I am glad and grateful for your repost (though I am working my way through your older posts). Keep it coming.

Peter Orlowicz said...

So, this whole argument assumes that you were Constitutionally entitled to the whole cake in the first place. Personally, I haven't heard many good arguments as to why the Second Amendment is absolute when the First, Fourth, Fifth, etc. are not, and in fact are subject to so many exceptions that it swallows the rule. If you want to post an equally eloquent and persuasive argument as to why police agencies should need warrants to do inventory searches on towed cars, for example, then I retract the above statement.

On the other hand, freedom of speech at the time of the founding generally meant only freedom from prior restraint (being prevented from publishing something), not that you couldn't be punished for it after the fact (see: Sedition Act of 1918, or the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798). One would think the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, "nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb" would be clear and obvious in its meaning, but one would be wrong if you thought that would prohibit a state and the feds from prosecuting the same act. The right to counsel used to mean, "If you have money, you are permitted to hire a lawyer", now it means "if you don't have money, the State must provide you a lawyer". Sometimes the rights are expanded, as in the right to counsel, sometimes there are exceptions carved out, like 80% or so of the Fourth Amendment jurisprudence out there.

I believe there are good, rational arguments against gun control, particularly in the form of many of the recent proposals. Respectfully, however, I just don't believe that Second Amendment absolutism is one of them.

LawDog said...

Armedandsafe,

Of course.

LawDog

Matt G said...

Hey friends! See what Armbedandsafe just did?

That's courtesy.

And if you're going to repost Mr. LawDog's stuff, at LEAST credit him with it, preferably with a link back to his post.

Wraith said...

As always, Mr. Dog, your timing is impeccable.

I'll put it on the table: My God-given HUMAN RIGHTS are not up for debate, discussion or 'compromise.' Period. Full stop.

Because that's what it's about, y'all. It's not about a piece of paper or a technicality. It's about OUR HUMAN RIGHTS. To negotiate my right to defense of self, property or country is on the same level of negotiating with a rapist concerning how deep he'll insert it and how long it will last.

From this point forward, 'Constitutional Rights' should be referred to as what they really are: Human Rights. Let's conquer the narrative.

Anonymous said...

I'm not "compromising" where my natural law rights - which predate the Constitution, and need none of its permission to continue - are concerned.

Last time around, I "complied" with the AWB, and divested myself of a legally purchased firearm.

This time, should this current legislative abortion pass, or any part of it, I'm getting rid of nothing, complying with nothing, and burying nothing. Any divesture of my possessions will be done bullets first, and it'll be open season on anyone trying to enforce said statutes, 24/7/365, anywhere, and at any time of my choosing.

There are approximately 100x as many gun owners as law enforcement apparatchiks or available soldiery, and most of them won't be having any of this tyrannical gun-grabbing BS either.

Anyone that thinks kamikazes and jihadis are hard-asses where surrender is concerned ain't seen nothing yet.

Bring it.

Chrystoph said...

UNfortunately, our society loves double speak.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise

If you look at 2. you will see that they do in fact want compromise, just not the compromise of mutual concession.

Anonymous said...

Just because you disagree with someone doesn't warrent a compromise

Bergman said...

I wonder...given how the first and second amendments have similar language, both protect unalienable human rights and all that...

I wonder if the anti-gun nuts would be willing to trade some of their first amendment rights for some of my second amendment rights?

They can have half of my cake for every half of their pie they offer me. Eventually I won't be able to hear them bleating about compromises...win/win!

jimbob86 said...

"I wonder if the anti-gun nuts would be willing to trade some of their first amendment rights for some of my second amendment rights?

They can have half of my cake for every half of their pie they offer me. Eventually I won't be able to hear them bleating about compromises...win/win!"

No, as the .gov gets both the pie and the cake, it'd be a lose/lose: niether of you get any pie, nor any cake, unless the nanny state sees fit to dole it out as she sees fit..... and you don't even get to say, "I'm hungry!" without asking first.

biggdawg49 said...

I want my cake back!

Debbi said...

Excellent. You have been always eloquent, where I come off tersely blunt. And cranky. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Peter Orlowicz said...
So, this whole argument assumes that you were Constitutionally entitled to the whole cake in the first place. Personally, I haven't heard many good arguments as to why the Second Amendment is absolute when the First, Fourth, Fifth, etc. are not, and in fact are subject to so many exceptions that it swallows the rule."

Interesting that you should ask. Is there another right enumerated in the Constitution that specifically "shall not be infringed"? Why would the extraordiarily articulate Founders be redundant in this way? After all, if it is a fundamental, individual right, granted to us not by government but by our Creator, what would make anyone think they could trifle with it? I would suggest that since all our other rights are dependent on our ability to defend them against those who get a hankerin' to infringe, this one is indeed special.
While I agree that many other rights have been infringed as well, that is no excuse for us to continue to tolerate infringement.

Retired Mustang said...

Enough is, indeed, enough. Well said.

Peter Orlowicz said...

Anon,

So your position is that "shall not be infringed" is somehow more definitive and absolute than "shall not be violated" in the Fourth Amendment? I believe the basis of the Bill of Rights was to essentially codify the innate, inherent rights that (some of) the Founders believed belonged to all men. (Others simply believed there was no need for a Bill of Rights, precisely because it would be redundant to codify what should have been natural, innate rights to begin with.) I would argue the Founders generally believed "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures," was equally considered a fundamental, individual right granted not by the government but by the Creator, and "shall not be violated" sounds awfully absolute and definitive to me.

I also think you can make a similar argument for a lot of the First Amendment rights that they are integral to defending all the others; after all, isn't a huge part of the effort to oppose gun control based on freedom of speech and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances? If you wrote your Congressperson or showed up at a town hall meeting, I'd say you're defending your Second Amendment right by utilizing your First. Even better, deliberative democracy was how the system was designed to work in the first place, rather than armed insurrection. Even the famous letter by Thomas Jefferson that states "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing", the very next sentence is "Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them," and says the rebellion "has produced acts absolutely unjustifiable; but I hope they will provoke no severities from their governments." That is, the acts of the *rebels* are unjustifiable, not the acts of the government. It is the *unsuccessful* rebellions that produce benefits, according to Jefferson.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Orlowicz,
Very well said sir. "We the People" have done a poor job of immediately reacting to incursions by government into our rights. This feeds a certain disrespect of the people and a certainty of further incursions. It is possibly symptomatic of this phenomenom that we have reached the point where our last and least desireable alternative is most vociferously advocated; since we have failed to exercise all the others.
You have my deepest respect for your comments.

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that there are two ways to win a war:
1) Remove your enemy's will to fight.
2) Remove your enemy's ability to fight.

Of the two (though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive), the first is the more desireable. It leaves less destruction and potentially less lingering animosity.

By showing the enemies of the Constitution we seem to have lost our will that it be respected, they have every reason to press the attack and assume they are or will be the victors. This harkens back to Lawdog's point, that negotiating with those who refuse to compromise is not a negotiation. It is simply a way to lose the war.

treefroggy said...

I prefer the Muggers Compromise analogy.

Mugger: Give me your wallet
Me: No: Mugger: OK, give me the money and you can keep the rest.

Anonymous said...

I am done playing the compromise game. I will go no further, I will not debate, I will not discuss, I will not have a National conversation. I will simply furrow my brow, punch them in their vagina and carry on.


Grenadier1

Paul X said...

Look at the bright side. When the war starts, all those restrictions and prohibitions evaporate. Saw off barrels or mount suppressors to your heart's content.

"When everything becomes illegal, then nothing is illegal."

LordChamp said...

To gun control folks:

I'll compromise.

Do away with the all previous gun laws and I'll give you a magazine ban next, year. I promise.

Deal?

Just like you get a debt ceiling raised promising spending cuts next year.

You do want to be fair to all don't you? You said you believe in fairness for all.

Anonymous said...

We need Cake that can go The Distance.

Daniel in Brookline said...

An excellent analogy!

I'm a big believer in give-and-take... and there's a lot we can ask for, in return for "reasonable restrictions". You want a Federal one-gun-per-month restriction? I'll consider it, if first you pass Federal reciprocity for all gun licenses. You want to limit the size of magazines? I'll consider it, if first you pass a Federal law that does away with "gun-free zones" in schools. (Extra brownie points for doing the same in post offices. They call it "going postal" for a reason.)

And on, and on. We have legitimate things to ask for, and we can prove that they would actually help, unlike worthless proposals to ban the shoulder thing that goes up.

We should ask for them, and we should not be quiet about it.

CharlieDelta said...

Excellent analogy indeed. So simple even a gun grabbing libturd might understand it, although I won't hold my breath.

Yrro said...

@Peter - Your argument would make excellent sense if this post were about what rights are constitutionally protected. However, that isn't the argument here. The argument is entirely about two policy arguments. Regardless of whether the rights Lawdog mentions are natural or constitutionally protected or not, they are rights that gun owners enjoyed prior to these laws. It is not *compromise* to constantly revoke these rights without giving something up in return.

It doesn't require any sort of absolutism in terms of constitutional analysis for this argument to be true, and yes, it does apply to all other freedoms that have been slowly eroded by the state.

Peter Orlowicz said...

Yrro,

You're right, I was responding more to the constitutional argument. However, if the discussion is about competing policy arguments, then I think it's easier to respond to. Policy consensus changes over time, as people's opinions change, older folks die and younger generations enter the political scene. When those policies evolve, the people who 'lose' something don't necessarily get anything in return. When President Reagan set spending priorities that included a 600-ship navy, but cut social programs, there wasn't much 'compromise' there, any more than the passage of the Civil Rights Act gave Southern states something in trade for desegregation or breweries benefited (in any legal way) from Prohibition. That's what makes constitutional rights so powerful, because you can't trade them away because of a new societal consensus, short of amending the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

I told about 100 people in Morgantown this weekend, "I am DONE playing defense."

Done. It's time to take gun rights on the offense. If you're not a member of the WVCDL, join. If you ARE a member of the NRA, call the NRA-ILA and ask them why we're not seeing pro-gun ads tearing these gun-grabbing liars and hypocrites apart on maximum rotation.

They cannot take our rights. We have them by virtue of birth. But we must not allow a government that fails to recognize them. West Virginian apathy, like the rest of the country, is our biggest enemy.

Dial your phone. Don't send emails, emails will be deleted. Don't send letters, they go in the circular file. Take up staff and resources by dialing Manchin, Rockefeller, and our three representatives. YOU pay the salaries of those staff members. Put them to work.

Apathy = death.

Anonymous said...

Send to the NRA and tell them to start there compromise in 1934 and then work forward,

murphaticlaw said...

Love the cake metaphor, I'd like to link to this on my blog.
I've developed some talking points that I think would be useful in a 'rational, adult, reasonable conversation' with the gun grabbers.
http://wp.me/p301lC-gd