I go away for a week, and the Aluminum-Foil Deflector-Beanie crowd suddenly experiences a resurgence of purpose. I hope there isn’t a cause-and-effect relationship there.
As reported on FARK and Fox news (among other places), something called the “Missouri Information Analysis Center” (MIAC) issued a document to be used in training Missouri police officers and state troopers in detecting domestic terrorists. Assuming your brain cells do not require long-distance phone service to communicate, following the link above will probably cause you physical pain, so I will summarize:
“ZOMG! The New World Order is a-comin’, and the Blue Helmets are gonna getcha!”
I’m only slightly kidding. The sheer hysteria in the linked article and the comments thereon would be funny if it weren’t so painfully real.
I have read the actual document from this MIAC organization, and there are some Constitutional issues with it- most notably the training of police officers to use political opinions (in the form of bumper stickers) outside the two primary parties as evidence of Militia involvement (and therefore domestic terrorism). I’m pretty sure the First Amendment to the US Constitution was intended to prevent this sort of crap, but I could be wrong. You be the judge:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Maybe it’s just me, but those bits about “Free Speech” and “Peaceable Assembly” and “Petition for Redress of Grievances” seem to forbid this sort of Byzantine exercise of police power. I think that any police department arresting or even mildly inconveniencing citizens under the auspices of this training will quickly find itself sued to smithereens under the First Amendment.
Not that you could prove anything of the sort by the histrionics on the linked website. According to Prison Planet, the document in question actually states that any American who talks about his or her Constitutional rights, owns a gun, flies an American flag, or attends any sort of protest is suspected of being a Domestic Terrorist.The fact that little of this is evident in the actual documents appears to have no effect upon the hysteria.Reading some of the comments on Prison Planet’s website is revealing- a large number of them apparently believe that 9-11 was an inside job by the Gummint. Hysteria and paranoia are not a good combination.
In a similar vein, a great many people all over the country are apparently buying firearms and ammunition in anticipation of wholesale gun bans and possibly even confiscation by the Gummint. The net result of this panic is the steep rise in the prices of firearms and ammunition- to the point where manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with the demand. If you enjoy shooting the most common types of ammunition, count on it costing a Hell of a lot more than it used to- assuming you can find it at all. Forget about buying the more popular firearms of whatever sort- there’s a waiting list almost everywhere. If you have your heart set on a so-called “assault weapon” (a nebulous term that essentially means any weapon whose cosmetic appearance makes gun-haters swoon with fear), count on a long wait and a vastly inflated price. All because of raw stupidity feeding hysteria and panic. Mob mentality.
I approve of honest citizens availing themselves of their Second Amendment rights for defense of themselves and their neighbors. As a gun owner, I take the responsibilities inherent in those rights very seriously. That said, far too many of the people buying firearms these days appear to be panic-stricken fools. I am not getting a warm fuzzy feeling about the probability of all of these people being responsible gun owners. The possibility that this spike in firearms sales will result in tragedy (and therefore more ammunition for gun-haters to further restrict my liberties) worries me greatly.
Hysteria is never useful and panic is always stupid. In this case, it is also counter-productive.
Current status: Awestruck at the stupidity of my fellow Americans
Current music: Space Lord by Monster Magnet