Thursday, February 20, 2003

Fuddites. Just like their namesake, they never seem to learn. Our Fuddite of the Week, Dale Bowman has written another article: this time on letters he received because of his previous article in which we learned what the term "Fuddite" means.

"Farmer's was one of hundreds of responses to Sunday's column, "Hunters need to separate themselves from gun nuts.''
Most were regurgitations of National Rifle Association propaganda. Exactly the stuff that puts hunters in the lunatic fringe, where we can be marginalized and ostracized. There's a reason more than 90 percent of hunters don't belong to the NRA: It doesn't represent our views."

The NRA has many many faults. I have ranted about them here, here, here, here, here, & here. I will not argue that the NRA does not represent gun owners effectively. What I will argue is why: it's not that the NRA is too extreme, it's that their too willing to compromise. They sell gun woners out to further their own political gains which I suspect is one of the reasons why only a percentage of gun owners are NRA members.

The other reason most people aren't NRA members can be exemplified by Mr. Bowman's perspective: if they ain't talking about my gun, I dont' care!
It seems that Mr. Bowman didn't care much for history either, or perhaps he'd remember the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller:

"In Germany they came first for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Ah, the things history will teach us if only we'll listen.

Fuddites in general & Mr. Bowman in particular feel that banning certain guns or putting restrictions on ownership of any &/or all guns is not a big deal because they never contemplate that restrictions or bans will affect them personally. They don't mind bans on AK-47's because they don't own one & see no purpose for them. If only they realized that an Ak-47 is mechanically no different than a Remington 7400, a popular hunting rifle.
They don't mind bans on handguns because they see no legitimate sporting purpose in handguns. If only they realized that people use handguns for hunting all over the world.
They don't mind requiring permits because they don't have a problem with getting one. If only they realized that permits can be denied, even to them.
They just don't care about what restrictions get put on guns or gun ownership because they think it will never interfere with their ability to hunt.
If only they realized that guns are not just for sport: millions of people every year in this country alone use firearms to stop or prevent criminal attacks. If only they realized that the main reason we own guns is because owning weapons that enable us to hunt for our own survival, & more importantly owning weapons to protect our lives ( from animals, criminals & oppresive governments) is a right. It is not subject to a majority vote, nor is it subject to what they believe they need to bag their trophy of choice. Owning weapons , even weapons they do not believe they or anyone else needs should not be subject to a vote.
If only they realized that the same mechanisms they approve of to ban certain kinds of guns or place certain restrictions on ownership can be used to take away their hunting guns. Once you establish a legal justification for banning one type of arms it is not that hard to justify banning other types. The only difference between an AK-47 & a Remington 7400 is magazine capacity & cosmetics. They both function in an identical manner. In fact the Remongton 7400 can be chambered in more powerful calibers than the AK-47, so it's reasonable to assume that the Remington 7400 would be more dangerous & therefore more desireable to ban than an AK-47. Their "wabbit guns" (shotguns) are the most devastating close range weapon available, so their ban wouldn't be far behind. & their deer rifles? You mean those sniper rifles capable of shooting a man at 300 yards or more? Guns that shoot twice the distance of the gun the D.C. Sniper used? Of course their on the list of guns to be banned. Handguns, like the one most Fuddites or their wives carry or have at the house? Yep, they're the target of a lot of gun bans.

The Fuddites, among them Mr. Bowman are self concerned creatures. They lack the reasoning to see beyond their own present needs. They ridicule anyone who doesn't see things from their limited viewpoint as radicals, extremists, or "gun nuts". They mistakenly credit the NRA as being an extremist organization who represents gun manufacturers rather than people.
If I were a gun manufacturer or a Firearms retailer I would think twice about selling one round of ammunition to these Fuddites who went along with plans to limit peoples' rights as well as limit my business. That'd be a pleasant scene wouldn't it? "I'm sorry Mr. Bowman, since you are in favor of restricting my livelyhood as well as my rights, I'm afraid you'll have to find some way to make your own ammunition & firearms."

Sadly, Fuddites such as Mr. Bowman will not learn untill it's too late the treachery they are condoning.

If you live in Illinois, I would recomend boycotting any business, such as the "Outdoors with Mike Norris" radio show & the Chicago-Sun Times in which Mr. Bowman writes an "outdoors" column, as well as ostracizing him socially if he is an aquaintence, & finally inform the owner of any gunshops he frequents that you will not do business their as long as he does.
Is all of the above a bit drastic? Not when you consider what Mr. Bowman & other Fuddites are doing to our freedoms. Will it make a difference? Probably not in the grand scheme of things, but if any of the above makes a Fuddite re-think their position I'd be for it. Besides, social & economic exile is the only acceptable way to treat people who would endanger our freedoms in a non-violent manner.

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