"American sickness with guns"


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jsalcedo
August 11, 2004, 02:25 PM
SLUMMING FOR PRESIDENT

During their triumphant 1939 tour of Canada, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took a brief detour south of the border to visit the Roosevelts at Hyde Park. It was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot on American soil, and to mark the occasion president and Mrs. Roosevelt introduced the royal couple to a local delicacy called "hot dogs."

THREE LITTLE WORDS

At dinner in Paris a couple of years ago, I was asked about “this American sickness with guns”.

“Americans have guns,” I said, “because a lot of Americans like having guns.”

My host scoffed. “A lot of people here would like to have guns, too. But they don’t.”

“Exactly,” I said.

The difference between America and most of the rest of the world can be summed up in three words: “We, the people.” The Warsaw Pact had “People’s Republics”, of course, but, when you call yourself a “People’s Republic”, you aren’t. Lots of political systems invoke “the people”, but very few trust them enough to live by it. For four decades in the Middle East, the likes of the House of Saud and President Mubarak explicitly sold themselves to Washington as anti-democratic brakes on the uglier inclinations of their subjects. Their argument was: okay, we’re undemocratic, but believe me with a crowd like ours you wouldn’t want democracy. If it was ever a persuasive argument, it isn’t now.

But that line isn’t confined to Araby. It’s standard in the new Europe, too – and not just at my elegant French dinner party. On June 13th, the Europe Union held elections, and, though between the Baltic and the Irish Sea there were significant regional variations, the key trends were this: low turn-out in some places, high turn-out for “Euroskeptic” parties in others, and big anti-government votes partout. The division in Europe is between the twin forces of Apathy and Hostility. Nonetheless, five days later, the leaders of 25 nations huddled in a Gauloise-filled room and emerged with a “European Constitution” – a blueprint for a Federal European state for which the election results of less than a week earlier had made plain they had no popular mandate.

To which my hosts in Paris would have shrugged: “So what?”

The principle underpinning the new Europe is exactly the same as that advanced by King Fahd and his thousands of princes – not “We, the people”, but “We know better than the people”. We know better than them on guns and the death penalty and the Euro and constitutional arrangements, and pretty much everything else, including election results. When 29% of Austrian voters were impertinent enough to plump for Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party, thereby earning the unlovely nationalists a place in the governing coalition, the EU punished them by imposing sanctions on the country. As the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson put it, “The program that is developing in Austria is not in line with EU values.” In the new Europe, the will of the people is subordinate to the will of the Perssons.

One sympathizes with the Continental elites. Last time, they let the will of the people loose, it gave them Nazism and Fascism, and militarism and genocide, all of which were hugely popular. So after the war the priority of Europe’s governing class was to constrain the masses. In the current Wilson Quarterly (as in Woodrow), Professor Jed Rubenfeld of Yale makes the case that it was America which essentially invented the means to contain European nationalism – by concocting “a new system of international law and multilateral governance”. As Rubenfeld argues, “The internationalism and multilateralism we promoted were for the rest of the world, not for us.”

There’s a measure of truth in this. The paternalistic arrangements Washington promoted for post-war Europe would have been unacceptable at home in a republic founded on popular sovereignty. But therein lies the irony. Ever since Karl Marx sat in the Reading Room of the British Library in London writing Das Kapital, all the most destructive anti-western ideologies have been invented in the west. In the dining rooms of agreeable Ivy League colleges, they fret about imposing western values on the developing world but not a whit about imposing anti-western values, all of which were developed in the west – from Communism and Fascism to subtler grievances like “neo-colonialism”. Even Islamofascism is at core a traditional European-style political totalitarianism that’s cannily exploited a structural weakness in Islam and taken it for a ride. I’m not saying Islam itself isn’t hugely problematic. I tend to agree with Churchill on the curses of Mohammedanism – “fatalistic apathy… improvident habits… degraded sensualism…”, etc – but it took a Fascist politicization to make it a global threat.

What’s happening in Europe today is a refinement of western anti-westernism. A system of remote, unaccountable, post-nationalist, pan-continental institutions urged upon the Continent by America has become the principal vehicle for anti-Americanism. “A politically united Europe will be a stronger partner to advance our goals,” insists Strobe Talbott. Tell it to Mr Persson, the aforementioned Swede, who says the purpose of the European Union is that “it’s one of the few institutions we can develop as a balance to US world domination”. Sweden was famously relaxed about Nazi world domination and Soviet world domination, but even in the chancelleries of Stockholm there comes a time when the threat is so unspeakable you have to get off the fence.

The EU is not a “balance to US world domination”. Indeed, it will have difficulty dominating its own backyard. The multilateral panaceas and US security blanket imposed on Europe have led it to its present paradoxical state of militantly pacifistic anti-American moral equivalism. There are lessons here - alas, too late for Europe to learn, but not for America.
National Review, July 12th 2004


http://www.steynonline.com/index2.cfm?edit_id=25

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Sam Adams
August 11, 2004, 08:06 PM
Uh, what does horse-faced royalty eating hot dogs in Hyde Park in 1939 have to do with the rest of the article?

Regarding the article itself, the "American sickness with guns" is only a sickness when viewed through the oxygen mask of a dying Europe. The real sickness is with those who cannot even fathom the importance of having the people of a nation dominate the government (as opposed to the other, traditionally European, way of doing things), let alone fairly attempting to comprehend that there must be some effective means of guaranteeing the long term domination of governments by their respective peoples.

There's actually only one European country that has "gotten it" over the long term - Switzerland. The Swiss understood 700 years ago that only an armed populace can ensure such domination, and their long-term perserverence and dedication to this idea saved their hides in WW2, when their nation was literally surrounded by the Nazis. That they could mobilize 850,000 soldiers within 24 hours (not bad for a nation of 4.3 million, eh?), and that almost all of those 850,000 were damned good shots, had EVERYTHING to do with Switzerland not being invaded. If anyone doesn't believe this, they should read "Target: Switzerland" by Stephen Halbrook. I just finished the book last week, and I'll be forever impressed. One of his biggest points was that all of the nations that surrendered with little or no fight did so on the orders of the elite - and the people had no means of disobeying because they weren't armed. Switzerland did have a heavily armed populace (and still does), and the government issued specific orders - several times - that no order to surrender should ever be obeyed. This, too, had a lot to do with making the Germans hesitate about invading.

Oh, and our militia system, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers (and never really implemented), was based on the Swiss (i.e. a European) system. Thus, our "sickness" had European origins.

Anyhow, if any of the Euroweenies would like to cure us of our "sickness," they are invited over to try. I'm quite sure that we'll give them a warm welcome, at least equal to the one that the Brits got at Lexington and Concord. :what: :evil: :neener:

Standing Wolf
August 11, 2004, 09:46 PM
European vacation? What European vacation? Who said anything about a European vacation?

whm1974
August 11, 2004, 11:34 PM
Anyhow, if any of the Euroweenies would like to cure us of our "sickness," they are invited over to try. I'm quite sure that we'll give them a warm welcome, at least equal to the one that the Brits got at Lexington and Concord.

Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

-Bill

RevDisk
August 12, 2004, 02:23 AM
Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

Heh, right. I live in PA. Pennsylvania has a long history of gun ownership and not caring for Europeans with hostile intentions. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, PA, WV, VA, and the rest of the south. Yes, the east coast had very few states willing to fight off invading Europeans. Not like we've ever done it in the past either. :rolleyes:


If the European people want or are willing to be enslaved by their ruling class, politicians, "elite" or whatever else... it's their business. Will of the people and all. If no sizable group of Europeans stands up against the EU or power hungry politicians, why would they deserve more freedom?

Europe is going to have a bunch of problems on their hands soon enough. There is a very large population of Muslim youth immigrants from the south that are not integrating well, crime stats being a reflection of the problem. The EU system will have its good and bad sides. Hopefully more good than bad, but I doubt it.

A lot of economies in Europe aren't doing so well. Coupled with high taxes... Eh. Well, we'll see the results in a couple years. Should be interesting all and all, entertaining at the least.

firearms_instructor
August 12, 2004, 03:10 AM
Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

Well, Florida's on the east coast, but I wouldn't include it in that assessment. Florida's chock-fulla guns and enthusiastic Americans, hoo-rah!

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
August 12, 2004, 03:19 AM
Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

You need to get back East more often.

Virginia is on the East coast, and is one of the most gun owner friendly places on Earth.

I can gurantee that huge numbers of heavily armed Virginians would be eargerly waiting for a shot at any invader.

Missouri Mule
August 12, 2004, 02:10 PM
jsalcedo


Sounds like you've been giggin for Frogs recently! Good shot!:D

Those kinds of Frogs are always in season around here!!!

TooTaxed
August 12, 2004, 04:41 PM
whm1974, I think you need to define "East Coast" as what you consider gun-weak. Certainly here in Georgia...and, I believe, everywhere south of New Jersey... guns are plentiful and treasured! Here in Georgia one does not even have to take a gun course to get a carry permit...

JohnBT
August 13, 2004, 08:31 AM
"Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

-Bill"

I want some of what you're smoking. :)

John

Baba Louie
August 13, 2004, 09:08 AM
I was asked about “this American sickness with guns”. It is a terminal disease called "Liberty and Freedom" (L&F), a major symptom being a "Well Regulated Militia". I believe that only the Swiss and less than 50% of United States Citizens suffer from it tho'. Millions have died FOR it.
The remainder of the world seem to suffer from the malady known as "Maximus Governmentia" (MG) and prefer to do what they're told by their betters. Not that that's a bad thing... for them. Hundreds of Millions have died FROM it.
Dead is dead. It's how you Live that counts.
Obviously "Liberty and Freedom" isn't for everyone. No known cure.
It seems to be a "Don't Tread On Me" thing, not well understood in intellectual or fashionable circles.
At any rate, MG is working hard to overcome L&F, but there is still some resistance... here and there.

juggler
August 13, 2004, 09:17 AM
Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

Sure you didn't mean WEST coast? Mass. and NYC might have problems, but my kin in Maine would give anyone pause.......especially in winter. :neener:

Here in CT I personally know people, in my little sphere of involvement, who are well armed and prepared. They/we have the equipment, training and attitude to do what is right and neccesary.

And take it from a former Marine stationed up and down the East Coast, it gets more interesting the further south you go :evil:

Sam Adams
August 13, 2004, 05:56 PM
Depends where they land. I hate say this but on the east coast very few citizens will fight because they either lack the willpower or the means to do so.

Even in the PRNJ there are plenty of guns (or at least there were until I and a few close friends escaped from the Peoples Republic to various parts of Free America). Nah, the Euroweenies will still receive a good reception.

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