Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New York Staters Challenge Govenor

Read this news article via Vox Day.  Looks like a lot of New Yorkers are planning to ignore the recently passed gun registration law, not a big surprise really, hundreds of thousands of assault rifles disappeared after California passed their restrictive laws, and Canada recently ended their long gun registry due to cost over runs and non-compliance.  While I do not expect gun owners to start shooting at agents, I also don't expect the state agencies to spend any real time trying to enforce the ban. It's too expensive, too unpopular, too time consuming and there are simply bigger fish to fry.

Now, I am not normally a fan of protests, I think they are a waste of time. I live in Seattle and every day I walk by one protest or another, war protests (far smaller now that Bush is out of office), police brutality protests, environmental protests, impeachment protests (both Bush and Obama), any protest you can think of, and none of them have ever accomplished anything, ever. You can look overseas and see the futility of most protests as well.

The media made a big ballyhoo about the Arab spring, specifically the Egyptian protests. Yet now we see that the protests accomplished little, and many private geopolitical intelligence analysts said as much. You might say that the protests resulted in the over through of Murabarak's government, but that isn't exactly the case. The military simply deposed one of their own, Murabarak was a park of the Egyptian military, and put a new guy in charge. The conflict between the government and the protesters was really a conflict between the Egyptian police and the protesters, the military wasn't involved. But the military has been pushing back on protestors now, much harder than the police could.

Then we have the Green revolution in Iran, we saw how that ended. A regime that has no compunction in using near indiscriminate violence against it's citizenry cannot be unseated, or significantly alter their policy, via protest.  Outside of Tripoli, the only 'succesful' revolution has been Libya, and quite possibly Syria.  Non-violent protest doesn't usually work.  Individuals will point to the civil rights movement and their achievements, but that just solidifies my point.

The reason why the civil rights protests of the 1960's worked wasn't because they were protests. It was the governments reaction to them that changed public opinion. The American people saw individuals peaceably protesting fundamental violations of their civil rights. Seeing children, women, and the elderly have dogs set upon them, beaten, and sprayed with fire hoses was deeply unsettling to the American public. And that is why the civil rights protest meant something, there was something to loose. Mr. King wasn't a fool, far from it he was a very shrewd man, he knew that the southern state governments were going to react disproportionately hostile to their peaceful marches.  He knew there was no quicker, and arguably more moral, way to achieve their justly demanded rights than to go up against the segregation machine and get worked over.

Real protests, that have any hope of ever accomplishing something, must require that the protester put themselves on the line, that they stand to suffer for their opinion, though this is only the case in a nation that isn't run by a bunch of thugs like Iran, Bahrain, or Syria. That is the reason why no one cared about what happened to OWS. They weren't protesting for a fundamental human right, and even though the police often did not acquit themselves very poorly, the OWS protesters often tried to use intimidation, via force of numbers, to shut government office down.

But back to the topic at hand. The protest by gun owners in New York is more of a challenge than anything else. Either the New York state government starts knocking on people's doors and taking people in for failing to comply or they expose their laws for the toothless decrees that they are. Either way it is a no win situation for the Governor, assuming that New York staters don't meekly acquiesce to his law. If they do peacefully resist, well after taking in so many uncle Neds and Grandpa Bills, the public's opinion would start to turn. If they don't go try to vigorously enforce their law, well it kind of exposes the myth that more gun laws will prevent the problem. Kind of hard to argue we need more gun laws if the government can't enforce the ones already on the books.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.