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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

I try to stay out of politics. Ain’t my job.  Here at Backwoods Home, I’m the resident gun guy, and because I’m the only staffer who also works in the criminal justice system, I sometimes go there too.

A hugely important Presidential election looms upon us.  The next four years will see new appointments to the United States Supreme Court, with obviously great implications for those of us who believe in the Constitution and have sworn an oath to uphold it.  As has been discussed here before, the one-issue voter isn’t necessarily wearing blinders.  Rather, he or she recognizes that no citizen can be on top of every critical issue in our society, but our leaders must be.  Therefore, we pick one issue we DO know inside and out, and use that as the litmus test to determine the candidate’s reasonableness, fairness, and logic in the other matters we will vote to entrust to him or her.

This is not to say that we don’t have other issues which are important to us.  I am sadly watching the Republican Party, whose platform is much closer to my One Combined Issue of the civil rights of gun owners and the right to self-defense, walk perilously close to the cliff of unelectability on other issues. 47% of people voting for Obama so they can suck on the public teat? I know a lot of taxpayers who are very productive to our society who are going to vote to re-elect the current President for other reasons.

It’s not my place to talk about those things here. It is my place to talk about my corner of the Backwoods Home blogs.  In those areas, the choice is starkly clear.

The Democratic Party has chosen to support a reinstatement, presumably permanent this time, of the totally failed and Draconian “assault weapons ban” dumped on us for a decade by Bill Clinton when he was President.  Don’t believe me?  Look here:

The Republican Party, on the other hand, isn’t buying that crap and instead, is for the first time endorsing national reciprocity for concealed carry, that is, the right to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in every state to protect yourself and your family when you’re traveling.  Don’t believe me? Look here:

Yeah, I know: “the lesser of two evils.”  There are two ways to look at that.  One, of course, is that “the lesser of two evils is still evil.”  Cynical pragmatist that the decades have made me, I go with the other view: “the lesser of two evils is still…LESS EVIL.”

For the one issue voter, if the issue is gun owners’ civil rights and the right to protect self and family, Romney is the indisputable choice.


  1. MD Matt Says:

    At Mitchell:
    “Ron Paul may be too bitter to admit defeat and endorse Romney-Ryan, but the failings of one man should not drag down an entire country.”

    I agree “the failings of one man should not drag down an entire country.” But the assumption that I should then vote for 2 people to bring down the entire country isn’t any more palatable. I can appreciate the desire that you and others have to oppose our current president and his continued political machinations. There are however other issues at stake here.
    As a democratic country, we have a duty to vote for the candidate who most closely represents our views. Picking the one guy who might kick the other guy out of office makes sense in the short term, but has been and continues to reinforce the 2 party system. Most of the choices here aren’t really choices at all. Ryan may have the conservative nod in some circles, but he’s far from a fiscal crusader. He voted for TARP/bale out as well as patriot 1 and 2. His budget cut spending, it’s true. But even by the most optimistic estimate, his budget doesn’t balance the deficit till 2030 which is several presidential double terms away. His convention speech was sprinkled with half truths and outright lies.
    Do you have to hold a torch for a candidate who didn’t even make it past the primaries? No. But it always bothers me to hear how people should be united in opposition for someone they dislike by voting for someone they dislike a little less.
    I’d rather send the message that I demand honesty and a stronger commitment to fiscal conservatism than give people the idea that not being our current president is enough to get you elected. While Paul isn’t an option for me to vote for, at least he is what he says he is. He doesn’t espier to be something, for better or worse, he has become the gold standard for conservatism…as well as some other issues which unfortunately make him unelectable.
    That’s the issue I keep running into. We continue to tell our politicians that as long as you’re a little bit not as bad as the other guy, we’ll vote you in. That’s why many people continue to cling to Paul, because he represents more of what people want, and not less of what people don’t want.
    Finally, I think it’s worth pointing out here that Romney and company aren’t “pro” 2a. It isn’t like they spearheaded a movement for carry rights or have sought to downsize the ATF’s influence. I’m by no means saying the alternative is better, but I think it’s time someone said that the GOP’s only real favor to gun owners has been to stop those against gun rights. I know that’s not a popular view, but it’s no less valid from my perspective.
    There’s a lot to consider in this election and nobody can make that final decision for anyone else. I would simply like to hear a more open and honest discussion of the failings of our system and work to hold everyone accountable for both their action and inaction.

  2. Hanza Says:

    @Mas – OT. COMCAST cable now has personal defense TV listed on the line up for the Sportmans channel. I have set up a season pass on my TiVo to get it.

    Previously when I was checking they didn’t have it listed on the program line up.

    I’m really looking forward to watching it.

  3. Mitchell Says:

    To Drake and other.

    It comes down to simple math at this point.

    Ron Paul is not on the ballot this time either and writing in his name changes nothing.

    TARP was a bad call and Ryan regrets what it became just as honest people believed there were WMD in Iraq. Ron Paul being one of them.

    No politician is perfect, certainly not Ron Paul or Ronald Reagan.

    Obama wants all of us to sit home and vote for either him or Ron Paul. I’ve made my decision to gain some ground back versus give up more to the enemy.

    I heard Alex Jones admit that Ron Paul has as much chance this year as Roseann Barr. Both are purists and represent different sides. Neither won can win.

  4. Hanza Says:

    @Mitchelll: There *were* WMDs in Iraq. Saddam used some to kill around 10,000 Kurds.

    There are to many people, including possibly you, who think that only NUCs are WMD.

    WMDs include both chemical and biological agents.

  5. Mitchell Ota Says:

    Well Romney isn’t perfect, but he has spoken in favor of the 2A, so he has my vote. At least he was born in the USA.

  6. guntotin-mama Says:

    Ya know what’s interesting Mas?

    This election, everyone has strong – and way more educated – opinions than I’ve seen in a while. Not nearly as much apathy. No matter which side one’s on – or which issue stands out… it seems we’re lining up in support of specific collections of ideas about who we are, as the United States.

    That could be GOOD… not just bad; it’s hard to tell from this point in time.

  7. P* Says:

    I wish the right, and the Republican Party, would quit focusing on abortion.

    I have to confess, that was my single issue for years – and I voted for the Democrats, who promised me my right to CHOOSE whether to have a child would be protected. And now I bear my share of guilt for being one of the millions who helped dig this terrible financial and constitutional hole we’re in.

    How about those of us on the right agree, for now, that the Democrats have to go, and then worry about polling the nation on whether abortion should be legal? One battle at a time.

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