Gun Owners and the McCarthy Era.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Rachen, Apr 15, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ozarkhillbilly

    ozarkhillbilly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    mo
    El Tejon

    Thanks, for posting in more detail then I did last night.
     
  2. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    3,128
    Location:
    Northwest IL--the other 'Downstate'
    "Atomic Cafe" is a fantastic film. At one point a Priest is describing how it might be morally correct for a man to have 'protective devices' in his shelter to defend his family.
     
  3. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    9,265
    Location:
    Down East in NC
    "McCarthyism" went far beyond McCarthy, and it actually predated him. He and his methods are certainly a symbol of it, and his fall helped end it, but there is far more to McCarthyism than what McCarthy did, and there were bigger players in the movement than he.

    As former President Harry S Truman observed in 1953,

    Post-9/11, a lot of us rightly complain about warrantless searches and wiretapping, convictions in the media without regard to the truth, lack of due process, secret paid informants making anonymous allegations, secret evidence at trials, and secret watchlists created at bureaucratic whim. Those practices were no less wrong then than they are now.

    To the question in the OP, I doubt gun owners were targeted; academics, union organizers, port workers, artists and entertainers, and government employees were the main targets.

    BUT, I dare say that McCarthy and Hoover would have given the hairy eyebrow (and a spot on the watchlist) to anyone who hung out at a meetingplace owned by a Russian immigrant, staffed by a Muslim, welcoming of GLBT's, and attended by people who believe they have the right to resist hypothetical government oppression with force. I am, of course, describing THR itself. In short, what every single one of us is doing right at this moment, on this forum, would have been widely considered "subversive" in 1950. Personally, that's not the kind of America I would want to live in, and I'm not particularly thrilled about Homeland Security types trying to resurrect that mentality today.
     
  4. lathedog

    lathedog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    270
    A search on Amazon will result is several good books detailing the issue. Try a search using keyword "Venona".

    There doesn't seem to be much RKBA relevance in general. I think that should close the issue as far as THR is concerned.
     
  5. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,983
    The standard question asked of people testifying at loyalty inquiries was "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?" There are just a few reasonable answers to that question.

    One possible answer would have been "Yes," in which case you would have been judged subversive and your career would have been at an end. The trouble is that a great many Americans had joined the Communist Party in the Great Depression during the 1930s because it promised hope for hungry people. A great many other Americans had joined other organizations then that turned out to have been funded or controlled by the party. It would take a hard man indeed to claim that all the many thousands of these people were traitors or subversives. But that's exactly what many hard men--including Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover--did during the years following the end of World War II. Looking backwards from the 1950s to the 1930s they saw history in ways that distorted people and events through the filter of the Cold War. So writers and actors whose World War II movies acknowledged the Soviet Union as allies and its military as courageous, hard fighting men and women, were transformed into subversives retroactively. That the U.S. government encouraged such propaganda was no defense. In fact it contributed to the indictment because the government itself was indicted as riddled with subversives and disloyal. If you weren't a "Commie" you might be a "fellow traveler" or a "ComSymp."

    Of course another possible answer to the question was "No." But if you had once belonged to a group that you didn't know was funded by the Communist Party or had officers that were members, you could be--and often people were--indicted for perjury. And your career was ended that way too.

    Yet a third possible answer--the one any American lawyer would have advised for his client--would have invoked the Fifth Amendment. In which case you subjected yourself to contempt proceedings and your career was ended that way too.

    Now back up, right to the beginning of this message. That question should never have been asked. Never. This is not that kind of country. But it was.

    It troubles me that someone in an earlier message in this thread said something like "At least Julius Rosenberg turned out to be a Soviet spy." He does indeed seem to have been one. But there's no evidence that his wife was, and she also was executed after having been convicted of espionage. That's a big part of the trouble with McCarthyism and its defenders. Cast a wide enough net for whatever you want to punish and you're bound to catch at least some people who probably have earned punishment. But if you catch offenders that way you're also bound to get at least some who haven't done anything wrong. And if that doesn't bother you, it should.

    Sen. McCarthy's apologists never seem to mention that in 1954 he was censured for his conduct by his colleagues in the Senate on a 67 to 22 vote: 75% of the Senate condemning him. Or that McCarthy made wild claims that were demonstrably inconsistent or obviously false: his initial list of 205 subversives in government varied in number from time to time, and he never produced such a list anyway. MCarthy lived and died a reckless drunk after harming a great many people and his country.

    Gun owners need not glorify such a man.
     
  6. campbell

    campbell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    275
    And somehow, I find myself refuting this for the second time today. Sheesh. Listen to Robert Hairless, he's dead on.

    John Haynes compared McCarthy's lists to Venona.

    McCarthy was a dangerous nut.
     
  7. Draven32

    Draven32 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    199
    I just graduated from film school.

    A certain instructor, in a certain class, while discussing the history of Hollywood, and the "Red Scare" in particular, talked with obvious distaste for Ronald Reagan because he named names for people whom he knew were attending CPUSA meetings. Just the way he was talking about it, like communism never hurt a fly, wanted me to ask him that question.
     
  8. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,983
    There's no special reason why you should have read anything I posted above, Draven32, but if you did read it you came away with a poor synopsis. Neither I nor anyone else defended Communism, and I never even addressed it. I was talking about people.

    I've especially been talking about people who have no concern for other people and don't care what havoc they wreak on other lives while they singlemindedly pursue their own self-interest and self-aggrandisement. I was talking about Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, Martin Dies, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, and the kind of people who will chew you up and spit you out later in your life for what you do in these experimental, younger stages of life.

    The winds are never constant. They always shift. When they shift against you, expect no more of mercy than you've shown other people when the winds blew in your favor. That's not a defense of treason. It's humanity.
     
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,090
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    Quite correct. I find it amusing that McCarthyism is blamed for HUAC investigations. I've even heard "McCarthyism" blamed during HUAC's investigation of the Ku Klux Klan.

    But McCarthy did not do any of that. He had a list of 57 people that he wanted investigated. He did not know whether they were Soviet agents or not, but since they worked for the federal government he wanted them checked out.

    This was HUAC, not McCarthy! He was Senator McCarthy, not Congressman McCarthy. McCarthy was never in the House of Representatives. McCarthy's committee was to investigate the government, not Hollywood.

    This question should have been asked repeatedly before any of those Soviet agents were allowed by Democrats to serve in the federal government. This country cannot allow people who wish our defeat to serve in its government.

    What happened during the FDR and Truman administration would be analogous to allowing Al-Qaida operatives to serve the federal govenment today and then not investigating once allegations of their Al-Qaida service came to light.

    The Soviets had agents surrounding the White House and could have gained control of our government if things had gone their way.

    This aplogist believes that McCarthy's condemnation (or, if you prefer, censure) is a mark of pride. The Senate is nothing more than a cesspool of depravity. This is the same body that would not remove a President that committed Perjury and Obstruction of Justice.

    McCarthy was condemned for actions that took years before the censure vote. All the while the Senate mocked him as a homosexual and a Nazi. When McCarthy said they were crazy for saying this, the Democrats cried like girls and threatened to censure him for lowering the standards of the Senate.

    McCarthy's problem was that he did not understand just how bitterly the Democrats would fight to stop him. He should have hit back harder.

    McCarthy said, over and over, that the people on his "list" were merely under investigation. He admitted right off the bat that he did not know if they were Soviet agents or not. However, he wanted them check out in private as that was the purpose of the committee on which he served.

    It was the Democrats who compelled McCarthy to "name names". McCarthy was a patriot who was right and the East Coast elites and media hated him for it.

    That's why McCarthy wanted to do his work in private (because his concern that these were mere allegations), but the Democrats would not let him.

    As all of this was transpiring, Stalin was slaughtering people left and right. Rivers of blood ran in China as Communists brought about the brave, new socialist utopia. Meanwhile in America, the Elites were upset that a hick Senator had the temerity to question one of them and potentially send them back to private practice.

    In the end, as Jack Anderson later wrote, the media used every trick in the book to kill McCarthy. They turned his named into a boogie man and insult. However, McCarthy gave the USA breathing space and time to elect Ronald Reagan who defeated Communism. The Elite knows McCarthy's role in destroying the bloody totalitarian ideal of Communism and they hate him for it; and that is why I shall always love him.
     
  10. Draven32

    Draven32 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    199
    I guess you had to have been there. The entire class had a political flavor.
     
  11. TEDDY

    TEDDY Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    883
    Location:
    MANNING SC
    who and what

    I lived at that time and was never scared of him.does that mean I was dumb.
    I bought a dewat and never worried.there were alot of people in Mass that had problems.especialy in the mill towns as the socialists recruted workers by means of women and parties.and the people that joined really did not know what they got into.but they should have.most dropped out.also the communist party was supported by the government.at that time.NO well there were more FBI agents that belonged than actual communists.without the dues from the agents the party would have folded.and many gov leaders
    were found guilty later as cooperating with the soviets.I used to get "the soviet news"(?)printed in Vermont and when the soviet collapsed a professor wrote that he didnot understand why as it was the best system and it must have been corrupted.there are still a few of us who remember exactly what happened.he was wrong in the way he was portrayed,but he had good intentions,probley did not know how many more communists were acually in gov.mrs.roosevelt was a friend of the communists during WW2 but was later disavowed them.:uhoh::rolleyes::D
     
  12. Markbo

    Markbo member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    Texas
    Whut reely urchs mi ubout thes hole thred is th fack thet sume fuolks caint uss spel chek. :neener:
     
  13. Rugerlvr

    Rugerlvr Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    Utah
    Gun ownership became demonized after JFK, MLK, and RFK were killed. It culminated with the 1968 GCA. Things have never quite been the same. :(
     
  14. Draven32

    Draven32 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    199
    Some browsers don't have spell check, markbo.
     
  15. serrano

    serrano Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    158
    Isn't that what the CIA and FBI are for?
     
  16. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,090
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    Yes, for counterintelligence and for criminal prosecutions. McCarthy's role on the Tydings Committee was administrative--to investigate the government and ask to remove the Communists from employment (not prosecute, not cap) that had infilitrated the federal government during FDR and Truman administrations.

    In fact, McCarthy's information came from the "Lee List" compiled by the FBI. The problem was that the FBI investigations were not taken seriously by the FDR and Truman administrations and identified Communists were given promotions in the government such as being made head of the IMF.

    Yet again, it was the Democrats blocking for the Communists that took it public, not McCarthy. McCarthy preferred to keep it anonymous as he admitted that the potential loyalty risk could be innocent. It was the Democrats, not McCarthy, that demanded to "name names".

    McCarthy did not forment the Red Scare. Communists were doing that by committing treason against the USA and slaughtering tens of millions around the world.
     
  17. haybaler

    haybaler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Central Washington State
    I can't believe so many gun owners would support McCarthy. 50 years ago there was a witch hunt against anyone associated to or sympathetic with Communism. Today there is a witch hunt against gun ownership. The Constitution gives us the right to free speech and thought. If there are traitors in our government they should be weeded out and investigated but people should not be harrassed for controversial beliefs. The "promises" of Communism appealed to a lot of people at that time. We outgrew it. We can't be cafeteria constitutionists. As one poster stated, we can't choose one part of the Constitution and try to denie another.
     
  18. Markbo

    Markbo member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    Texas
    Well by all means let's take the personal responsibility of learning how to spell out of the equation. We are, after all doing what? Presenting the written word to the whole danged WWW. No need to learn how to spell.


    uuuhhhh... just in case... I am trying to be humorous before anyone lights me afire. ;)
     
  19. RDak

    RDak Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Michigan
    I don't remember anyone having problems getting firearms. Far less restrictive, but I was pretty young then.

    I do remember Eisenhower talking to a TV newsman in the early 1960's after he was President and he said, in no uncertain terms, that Communism was a real threat to America after WWII in his opinion.
     
  20. Rachen

    Rachen member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    New York
    That is so true. Well said, Haybaler.

    McCarthism was just one form of hatred. What if it mutated?, what if suddenly McCarthy came down with the Obama disease and said that gun owners are more dangerous than communists. Then, we would be in deep sh*t.
    I saw that part too. My class was laughing when they heard what the priest said. However, I support what he said too. If I had a atomic shelter, I would defintely keep a handgun or two inside to keep out those I would not want around my family, of course not against everybody. I would try helping out those who need help, but you just got to be careful about opportunists, those who seek the opportunity during social crisis to victimize innocents.

    Thank you all for clarifying about gun owners during that era. "Atomic Cafe" was so mesmerizing and crazy that I was thinking that almost everyone was affected by that era. Many famous works of literature during that time was influenced by the goings on. Such as "the Crucible" by Athur Miller and "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury.
    I am aware that gun laws were very relaxed during that time and there were very few of those who misused guns. However, many in our society has come down with the liberal disease today, including the "media".
     
  21. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,513
    Location:
    Winter Haven, FL
    Believe it. As previously stated, McCarthy didn't cause any "witch hunt against anyone associated" with communism. McCarthy sought the invistigation of exactly 57 federal employees suspected of being communists. No average civilians. No movie stars. No military officers. Today we think nothing of tearing into someones background before giving them a federal job (or even a local teaching job).

    The current political/media propaganda against firearms relates more to the political/media hype against McCarthy than against anything he ever did.
     
  22. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,090
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    McCarthy's job was to hunt for disloyal persons inside the government. There were Communists and people sympathetic to Communism inside the federal government. Those people should have been fired.

    As I stated, there should be a hunt against anyone associate to or sympathetic to Communism just as today there should be a hunt for anyone associated or sympathetic to Al-Qiada. Al-Qiada members should not be allowed to serve in the federal government as Soviet agents were doing during the FDR and Truman administrations.

    The Constitution does not allow us to work for the enemies of our country which is what Soviet agents were doing inside the federal government. That the problem with the whole insidous "Free Speech" movement, it is merely a one way lever for treason. Treason/working against your country is not "free speech".

    That's what McCarthy was trying to do, but the Democrats and the Media ran interference for the Communists. People were not harrassed for controversial beliefs. They were being investigated for traitorous act which is why they fled to Communist countries, committed suicide, or had the Media and Democrats cover them.

    Communism appealed to totalitarians outside and inside the USA. Some of these totalitarians worked for the federal government. Senator McCarty wanted them investigated and then fired.

    We did not "outgrow" Communism, we smashed it. Communism was defeated on the anvil of Ronald Reagon and Joe McCarthy gave him time to do so.

    The only hatred on display during McCarthy was the hatred of the East Coast Elite, Media and Democrats toward Senator McCarthy. They used every trick in the book to destroy him for having the temerity of questioning the Elite and their fondness for harboring traitors.

    McCarthy was a sitting judge who volunteered for the Marine Corps. While too old to be a fighter pilot, he did become an intelligence officer. After WWII he was elected the as the youngest member of the Senate and its first WWII veteran.

    To play the "what if" game with McCarthy is inane. Your concerns are being played out in New York City, Chicago, California, etc. No one is trying to fire people inside the federal government for owning guns; those people are attempting to imprison us. Your concerns are more than concerns of the Communist totalitarians rather than a concern about a Joseph McCarthy.
     
  23. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,090
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    The problem was that the loyalty boards and people in charge at the FDR and Truman Administrations were having cocktails at the Harvard Club with the Communists rather than screening for them. The East Coast Elite, chock full of 3 and 4 namers, were shuffling their pro-Communists grads directly into the FDR and Truman Administrations and no one was checking for red cards at the door.

    After November '46, the "Had Enough?" Congress had finally had enough and began to expand on earlier investigations. McCarthy did not start anything, but he did make the Democrats give an accounting of themselvs and force them in front of the American people to declare which side they were on--the USA or the USSR.

    In response the Democrats kicked and screamed and made McCarthy the issue. While they won the battle, they lost the war and Communism went into the dustbin of history. However, it seems we are always in the Middle of Our Journey and new vehicles for the termite mound continue to attack us.
     
  24. Rachen

    Rachen member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    New York
    And they are using the media and the ignorant masses' irrational fear to spread their vile and putrid agenda. In "Atomic Cafe", the media is also used to spread irrational fear. McCarthy was only a tiny fraction of the many forces playing a role in magnifying the hysteria of the Red Scare. While McCarthy just investigated federal employees, the regular politicians of that era, and the Red Scare before it (the time period of the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti) used people's fear for their personal gain. This is the exact same way we gun owners are being persecuted nowadays. There is a high population of the ignorant in the regular population, and all it takes is a politician with a twisted agenda to rile up these people and make them believe what these politicans want them to believe. Like Sarah Brady, famous for exploiting the suffering of crime victims into her personal gain of fame and money.
     
  25. Markbo

    Markbo member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    Texas
    I gotta find this movie!

    Do you think one day we will look back on this as the era of Bloombergism? Hillaryism? Barackism?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice