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We're a week into the new year, and already America's Responsible Gun Owners are making clear just how responsible they are. For starters, here's the National Rifle Association and Ted Cruz (a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA) warning that "The Left" is going to take your freedom, because The Left hates your freedom, making them no different from the 9/11 evildoers.

Weirdly, Cruz insists that if you aren't free to buy an AR-15 with a high capacity magazine, you'll become "dependent on government," probably because you'll need food stamps if you can't shoot 30-50 feral hogs a week. Maybe Trump is slashing SNAP eligibility to support gun rights. He also insists the the Holy Second Amendment is

about the God-given right [...] to defend your home, to defend your family, to keep your children safe. That's a right that is foundational. It is right at the beginning of the Bill of Rights, because without the ability to protect your life, to protect your liberty, all of your other rights can be taken away.

Now, if you want to get all technical about it, the sacred, foundational right of an individual to own a firearm dates from 2008, with the DC v. Heller decision, in which the Supreme Court for the first time in history adopted the NRA's interpretation. And for that matter, as this 2014 Politico piece (required reading for all Wonkette readers!) explains, even the NRA's maximalist position dates largely from the 1970s. The notion that the Constitution "always" protected an individual right to own a firearm, for self-protection and overthrowing a tyrannical federal government, is pure historical revisionism. It has a hell of a lot to do with the Goldwater-Wallace-Reagan wing of 20th Century conservatism than with Jefferson and Madison. "Original intent" my ass.

So how are Americans exercising their liberties in the first week of this shiny new decade? About as brilliantly as ever! Saturday in Milwaukee, two children, aged 12 and 13, were shot by some asshole because they had thrown snowballs at his car. Milwaukee police tweeted that


both victims were with a group of juveniles throwing snowballs at cars passing by. One of the snowballs struck a white Toyota, no further description, and the driver of the auto fired shots into the group of kids striking the two victims.

The only thing that stops bad kids with snowballs is a good guy with a gun. Fortunately both the young miscreants who forced the shooter to stand his Toyota were treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening gunshot wounds. All in all, a huge success, since the driver no doubt feared for his life or his paint job, and had no choice but to fire into a crowd of children. As of yet, it doesn't appear the brave citizen has yet been found to receive an award from Ted Cruz or the NRA, but we sure hope he's identified soon so he can be rewarded for exercising the God-given right on which all other freedoms depend. That, or prosecuted for multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and reckless endangerment of a minor. Oh, and attempted murder. Pretty sure that's against the law too.

The Washington Post rounds up a few other recent episodes of armed Americans defending their homes and families and keeping their children safe, because damned if they're going to let The Left make them become dependent on government! The Post didn't even have to look very far afield, since all these great examples of Liberty took place in Virginia:

Just minutes into New Year's Day, it rained glass inside Justin Tate's car, as a celebratory bullet shot into the sky at midnight fell back to the earth through his sunroof as he drove down Interstate 64, not far from the Richmond airport, according to CBS 6 News.

Less than half an hour later in the western part of the state, in the parking lot of Kickback Jack's sports bar in Danville, a 25-year-old woman was shot in the leg by a 24-year-old man during a domestic dispute. The shooter took off and hasn't been arrested, according to the Danville police.

Later that day, in a small town not far from the parking-lot shooting, an earnest, new Martinsville police officer named Michael Panos was airlifted to a hospital after a man who fled a traffic stop turned his gun on officers once they chased him down, hitting Panos. The officer, about to celebrate two years with the department, survived, according to ABC News 13.

And on the third day of 2020, a man upset with his order at a McDonald's drive-through in Lynchburg parked his car, walked up to the counter and began firing his gun at employees, hitting two high school-age girls who worked there. The shooter fled and hasn't been caught, and the girls survived, according to the Lynchburg police.

Since the story focuses only on Virginia, it doesn't mention the 61-year-old Houston mental-health nurse, Philippa Ashford, who was watching New Year's Eve fireworks in front of her home, then clutched her side, said, "I think I've been shot," and fell dead. The responsible gun owner responsible for what police called "celebratory gunfire" has yet to be found, but is no doubt a big fan of liberty.

On the other hand, at the end of 2019, there was that one good guy with a gun, a trained member of an armed volunteer security team, who gunned down a bad guy with a shotgun in that church in Texas. After the bad guy had killed two members of the congregation already, including another member of the security team. So that clearly means that guns keep us safe, no?

Virginia's very limited proposals to limit guns are the focus of a big Gun Slob Picnic scheduled for January 20, and all the usual anti-government militia jerks like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters are calling on their members to make sure Freedom isn't crushed forever in the Commonwealth. The proposed laws include such freedom and testicle-crushing measures as background checks on all gun sales, a ban on assault rifles, bump stocks, and high-capacity magazines, and a red flag law that would let judges temporarily take firearms away from people who are threatening themselves or others.

Bet you had no idea that freedom and liberty rest on the inalienable right to have a gun when you're talking about shooting up your workplace.

But don't worry! The organizers of the great big Gun Slob Picnic aren't a bunch of Rambo wannabes who want to kill liberals. Or at least, they're being asked to please not look like they are. Ammoland ran a blog post (apparently written by someone with Oath Keepers) to spread the word to patriots everywhere, even though the authors sound pretty apologetic about infringing on gun rights even by passing along some suggested guidelines for looking like you aren't a crazy gunhumper:

We urge you to dress like average Americans, not in camo or full battle rattle. Our purpose is to be force multipliers for the people of Virginia. Oath Keepers shirts, hats, etc are fine, or any other patriotic gear, but please no camouflage or military gear. We want to present as quiet professionals. That is according to the wishes of the event organizers and of the Virginia patriot groups we are already working with, who have the most skin in the game in their home state. Please respect their wishes and help them in their chosen strategy. They also prefer that we go concealed carry for those who will be carrying. And they prefer that there be no long guns at the rally. Again, this is their preference and we owe it to them to abide by that preference. We are there to support and assist them in their political fight to try to keep these bills from being passed in the first place.

The whole "we're not unhinged paramilitary cosplayers looking forward to a civil war" is perhaps undercut a little bit by the compulsive need to spew tacticool jargon, like "quiet professionals" -- just like Special Forces! -- and "force multiplier." They just can't help themselves. Even the headline of the Please Act Normal post is "Virginia! We Need Boots on the Ground and Trainers."

And yes, in the very same piece, Ammoland advances the usual sovereign citizen bullshit you'd expect from someone who has a "compound." Never mind the call to show up in nonthreatening mufti; this is very much a pretend-army "operation."

Oath Keepers national leadership and some of our best trainers are on their way to Virginia to work boots on the ground, starting right after New Years Day, to do all we can to assist in organizing, training, and advising local town and county resistance to the unconstitutional and dangers actions of the Governor. We will stay for the duration, until the work is done! Among our trainers are U.S. Army Special Forces veterans and SWAT law enforcement trainers. They will focus on helping Sheriffs raise and train an official armed posse in each county, under command of the Sheriff, and on organizing, training, and equipping official county militia, under the authority of the county government.

Also, how's this for fun? As the Virginia lege faces a national crowd of gunhumpers who look like ordinary Americans, it's worth noting that anyone with a concealed carry permit is allowed inside the state Capitol building, and even in the House gallery during the session (but not in the state Senate). You know, for self-defense, just in case some crazy person shows up. The Ammoland piece makes no recommendations about whether it thinks attendees should actually do that, but obviously, you need to make your own choices about what you need to do to remain safe.

Also, no word on what the Oath Keepers recommend if McDonalds fucks up your order while you're on your way to the jamboree.

[Politico / CNN/ WaPo / Roanoke.com / Ammoland]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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