Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Irreversible Ratchet

The barber shop I frequent looks like something out of the old West, or at least a Hollywood version of it. Cowboy movie posters, ammunition boxes -- It has more old guns and shooting paraphernalia on display than most small gun shops and indeed Bob the barber is a licensed gun dealer.

So anyway, there I am waiting my turn along with one deputy and the rest of my disreputable contemporaries and reading American Rifleman -- and the first thing I see is an article by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA telling us that the "irreversible ratchet" of gun control has been turned back in Canada after their gun registration policy has cost a fortune and produced no measurable results. Why am I laughing? It's because that "camel's nose" and "irreversible ratchet" argument has been used to death since I can remember to counter any gun control laws at all, reasonable and unreasonable. It's because all I hear from NRA sources is that Obama is a gun grabber and he's so close to grabbing your guns that you'd better stock up on ammo and bury it in the back yard because here we go down the slippery slope to disarmed totalitarianism. Catalogs are selling books on just how to do that and ammunition prices are sky high, along with the prices of military surplus waterproof containers. Shops can't keep AK-47s on the racks.

Then if one looks at the news and realizes that under the current administration gun rights have been expanded to allow concealed carry in the national parks, as they are in most state parks and nearly everywhere else, that the last bastion of handgun banning, Chicago, Illinois may be about to fall and that 309 members of Congress and a majority of Americans approve, -- one has a hard time believing that there is a nationwide confiscation program being planned or that any gun control measures are by nature irreversible. Nearly all the states now issue concealed carry permits while crime continues to decline, so if that policy of citing the slippery slope fallacy has been debunked, where is the apology for all the fear mongering? were they wrong? Did the will of the majority actually prevail over the evil gun grabbing Liberals just like it's supposed to?

No, the ratchet works both ways, the camel isn't interested in your tent and the slope wasn't so slippery after all. Do I suspect that the worst thing that could happen to the NRA would be a definitive affirmation of the second amendment of the individual's right to keep and bear arms and a legislative branch inclined to go along with them? Does a red-neck shoot in the woods?

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