New Yorker Cartoon: 911 is Busy, so Stand Your Ground

130722_daily-cartoon-thursday_p465 stand ground

Progress! Even New Yorker cartoonists now understand the imperative of people not relying on police to save their necks….

(Okay, maybe that is not the interpretation the magazine hoped for, but…)

A dozen years ago, I wrote a forward for a book entitled Dial 911 and Die, by Richard Stevens and Aaron Zelman. Here’s my two cents:

Not every firearms regulation leads inexorably to genocide. But, as this sweeping historical study shows, supposedly “reasonable measures” such as licensing and registration of gun owners have been followed too many times in recent history by government atrocities. The issue is not the supposed good intention of reformers who seek to reduce private gun ownership: The issue is the nature of political power.

Aaron Zelman and Richard Stevens’s book vividly reviews and analyzes the slaughter of disarmed populaces from the Turkish slaughter or the Armenians to Stalin’s slaughter of the peasantry to the Guatemalan slaughter of Indians. The book goes in-depth into the bloodbath that was the Third Reich, as well as the Khmer Rouge urban renewal experiments, Mao’s depredations, and other atrocities. The book also recounts the abuse that Blacks suffered in the United States after laws were passed them to disarm them – for the convenience of the Klan and other marauders.

Governments around the world have stripped hundreds of millions of people of their right to own weapons and then left them to be robbed, raped, and slaughtered.

Some people may try to dismiss Zelman and Stevens’s distrust of politicians as unAmerican. But the distrust of politicians grabbing guns has a long and honorable history in this country. The American revolutionaries were concerned about the potential for unlimited power inherent in British laws and policies. The initial conflicts at Lexington and Concord occurred because British regiments were marching out to confiscate the colonists’ arms caches. The British assumed that seizing the weapons would quell resistance to the expansion of their power. George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights, later declared that the British decided that “to disarm the people . . . was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” If the colonists reasoned like some contemporary Americans, they would have interpreted the British troops’ attempt to seize their guns as proof of how much they cared about the colonists.

Many proponents of restrictions on firearms ownership insist that the specific measure they champion can have little or no adverse impact on people’s freedom. Americans of the Revolutionary Era recognized that the passage of a law does not signal the end of a political onslaught. Instead, it is merely the starting point for a push to further extend government in the same direction—to pursue the “logic” of a new act to its conclusion. As James Madison wrote in 1787, “The sober people of America . . . have seen that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding.” Unfortunately, most contemporary Americans are complacent or naive about politicians planting their flag on new turf.

Politicians continually complain about “loopholes” in existing gun laws as a pretext to enact new gun laws. But the ultimate loophole is freedom: the principle that citizens should not be forced to be dependent on often lackadaisical government employees for their own safety and survival. Every restriction on citizens’ rights to acquire and carry firearms means increasing citizens’ subordination to government employees who are authorized to carry such weapons.

The primary effect of a prohibitions on private gun ownership is to vastly increase the power of politicians. But political tyranny has destroyed far more lives in the last century than have abusive private gun owners. Unfortunately, gun control advocates offer no solution to the problem of political tyranny – almost as if the problem will disappear if we all pretend government is our friend.

On gun control, we have to judge politicians as a class by their records, not by empty promises which can never be enforced after citizens have been disarmed. Gun control laws ultimately rest on the trustworthiness of the political ruling class. The only way that firearms could be less vital to defending freedom now than in the past is if politicians were no longer dangerous. But there is no trigger guard on political ambition.


, , , ,

13 Responses to New Yorker Cartoon: 911 is Busy, so Stand Your Ground

  1. Tom Blanton July 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Now I’m wondering what message the cartoonist is trying to convey. Is the message that the government should spend a lot more on police? Is this cartoonist an operative for Imperial Mayor Bloomberg? Is the idea that one can provide for their own security in their own home so absurd that the enlightened readers of New Yorker laugh at the notion?

    Maybe the joke is that this indoctrinated and frightened lady is looking out the window and calling the authorities because she is seeing something and saying something. Maybe some kid wearing a hoodie is eating Skittles outside or maybe some Hindu guy wearing a turban is walking by and she thinks it is an al Qaida attack. If this cartoon was a TV show, there would be canned laughter so you’d know you are supposed to laugh.

    • Jim July 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Ya, I suspect that the cartoonist’s sense of humor (and his editor’s) has scant overlap with your sense of humor and mine on this issue….

  2. Tom Blanton July 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I just clicked on the picture of a cop that came up on Jim’s Flickr Photostream:

    “Honor Guard near White House Antiwar March Sept 2005”

    This guy looks like he is a “special needs” doughnut eater. He is another reason
    to never call 911.

  3. Jim July 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    “Special needs” donut eater? I should have bought Dunkin Donut stock.

    • Tom Blanton July 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      Jim, I didn’t want to offend any fat retarded cops because I understand they don’t like being called retarded anymore. So, I used the culturally correct euphemism “special needs” instead.

      I took a look at the large version of that photo and it looks like the retarded cop has shoved a hot dog into his shirt – maybe saving it for later. Or is it some sort of drool-catching device?

      Anyway, stay away from Dunkin Donut stock – they give away too much product to retarded cops and that’s bad for shareholders. That’s my market analysis and investment advice for the day.

      • Jim July 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

        Tom, you were right about Krispy Kreme, so I won’t quibble with your “sell” recommendation on DD’nut stock.

  4. Scott Lazarowitz July 23, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I wish the “pro-2nd Amendment” crowd could possibly think beyond their indoctrinated State-worship dependencies, and apply such a “pro-2nd Amendment” view to the immigration issue and border security.

    If Americans want to protect their borders, they themselves should adhere to the right to self-defense and property protection and the right to bear arms. No need to depend on government goons with “authority.”

    With such self-reliance which naturally protects one’s security more than government goons could possibly do, the right-wingers could then shut up and just let the immigrants have their freedom and to make a living just as freely and prosperously as do the “pro-2nd Amendment” crowd.

    • Jim July 23, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      Scott, I hope you’re not holding your breath on the “pro-2nd Amendment” crowd having this particular epiphany….

      • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit July 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

        Depends. Am I classed as “pro-2nd Amendment crowd?” And does it require an actual epiphany, “A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization,” in which case I’m still screwed because I’m not likely to have a “sudden intuitive realization” of something I already understand. That can cause severe brain cramps.

        • Jim July 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

          It was simpler dealing with the “special needs” donut eater issue.

          • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit July 24, 2013 at 10:42 am #

            “Special needs” types do tend to be simpler, yes. But sometimes ya gotta work outta yer comfort zone and make the tough calls.

            Hmmm….given my size, maybe I can be a “pro-2A crowd” all by myself – and that would solve the cognitive dissonance?

  5. Jim July 24, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Lawhobbit, you and I have at least one thing in common – no one has ever accused either of us of being anorexic.

    • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit July 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      I’ve been told that anorexia is a horrible thing, a scourge, plaguing our nation!

      And am proud to be doing my best to fight it, even if it is just on a personal level….if I can keep just ONE lawyer (me) from being anorexic, it will be worth it!