“Compromise, hell! … If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?”
The answer to Senator Helms question is, of course, "No!", just in case anyone had any doubts. So it was with a growing sense of anger that I read in the Huffington Post an editorial by Paul Clolery entitled Intelligent People with Opposing Ideas Can Compromise. He is, naturally, writing about the need to new gun control laws. My answer to him is the same as Jesse Helms answer was: Compromise hell.
I must admit that Clolery brings up some of the memes more subtlety than do many of the articles I read. For example, after a little history lesson about the duel between Hamilton and Burr, he points out that the founders could not imagine multi-shot weapons. Really? I give our Founders more credit for imagining the possibility of modern technology than does Clolery, but just to pop his bubble a bit, pepperbox pistols were already extant at that time, though not many were in use. I am sure some of the founders were aware of them. If they were aware, I am sure they thought about how these could be used in the future by militia members to great advantage.
Then there's the "Second Amendment was an after thought" meme. Of course, that would mean the First Amendment was an after thought too, and there goes the freedom of the press. Where this meme falls down is that in order to get the ratification of some States, promises were made to immediately amend the document to include a bill of rights. Unlike politicians today who make promises they never intend to keep, Madison intended to keep the promise, and it was his first priority in the new Congress. So, no, the first ten Amendments were not an after thought, but an integral part of the ratification of the Constitution.
The definition of "compromise" includes the idea of a quid pro quo. In other words, we each get something. But I don't see were you are offering one of your basic rights up for grabs. My answer is always "compromise, hell," but since you insist on a "compromise" then you should be willing to give up a fundamental right as precious to you as the right to keep and bear arms is to me.
Since Mr. Clolery likes history so much, he can see the time line of Gun Control here. I would note that for all of these infringements on our Second Amendment rights, the only thing offered up is the vague promise that somehow we'll be a little safer. Of course, we didn't ask the Government to make us safer. Like the TSA grope-athons, they did that all on their own without asking us after a few newspaper editors ginned up a hew and cry. And, as it turns out, like the TSA grope-athons, not one of these laws made us any safer. You can read all about it in John Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime.
So, I ask again, what fundamental right are you willing to offer up? How about this. If we pass this further infringement on our rights, you agree not to vote in any future election. Indeed, the Government would collect the names of everyone who advocated for the infringement, or who voted for it in Congress. If an anti-gun member of Congress voted for it, all who voted for him can be presumed to have voted for it as well. This list of people would then be stricken from the voting lists, and would be barred from ever voting again. Their children would also be barred, and their children, and so forth. You, and your children and grand children would forever be barred. You, and all your family will never have a say in any future undertakings of this Nation. That's compromise. You want the illusion of safety? That's my price, and no less. Your children will curse you forever, but then mine would curse me forever if I allowed any further infringement of our rights as well.