Baa Baa Black Sheep…and Other Tales of the GOP
Baa Baa Black Sheep…and Other Tales of the GOP
I’ve been involved in politics since 2004. In that time, I’ve generally eschewed local and state politics for the most part, focusing on national issues and military affairs. Tonight I was reminded of why, as I got an up close and personal look at what constitutes a “conservative” here in the bastion of liberal stupidity otherwise known as Washington State. I attended a meeting of the 44th Legislative District GOP tonight, due almost entirely to the fact that Rep. Mike Hope was scheduled to speak.
As you may recall, I’ve reported extensively on Hope’s absolute disregard for his constituents and the Constitution with his support–and even so-sponsorship—of gun control bills that would effectively eliminate private gun sales. Tonight I went loaded for bear—I planned to confront him about his position, and ask some pointed questions of what exactly he thinks his responsibility is under the Constitution. In addition, I planned to ask about the fact that he is a current Seattle police officer—which means he makes laws by day, and enforces those laws by night. Would we allow a police officer to also serve on the jury in a trial of someone he arrested? I think not.
I’d been warned that Republicans in this area are mostly RINOs at best, and yet nothing could have prepared me for the absolute idiocy I witnessed tonight. I mentioned to a few people afterward that they should hand out Kleenex at the door so that folks could wipe the drool off their faces—yes. It was that bad. Rep. Mike Hope was on hand to answer questions, supposedly, about HB 1588, his controversial gun control bill that would have negated private sales by calling for universal background checks. We won’t revisit the long list of reasons why this bill was asinine; I’ll instead defer to Clayton Strang at RedState for a general layout of the original bill so you can get familiar if you haven’t already. (If you’re thinking that since you don’t live in WA State this doesn’t affect you, you’re dead wrong. WA is a gun control battleground, and big names are lobbying here to ensure that gun control gets passed in some form or fashion.) HB 1588 was quashed and is currently a “dead bill,” but that doesn’t mean anyone is done trying to control our Second Amendment rights. But I digress–back to the sheep meadow, where the wolves don’t let sheepdogs speak.
Mike Hope served in the Marine Corps, and as such, should already be aware of what liberty is, and the unalienable importance of the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, as expected, he started giving ground as soon as he started speaking.
“[Republicans] already knew we were on the losing end of the [gun control] battle” after the events in Newtown, Aurora, and others, he stated. He claimed that he knew up front that HB1588 “sucked” in its original form, and so he decided to
stand up against it and do his part as a legislator to uphold the Constitution and the rights it recognizes co-sponsor the bill. I know, it didn’t make sense to us either, or any liberty-minded conservative, for that matter. Tonight he claimed that he made this choice so he could “own the issue,” so he could fix it and make it something conservatives could get behind. Except—what true lover of liberty would ever get behind a bill that directly infringed on the Second Amendment by using “safety” as a sneaky backdoor to control?
Hope claims that the NRA blew him off and wouldn’t even have a discussion about the bill. He says he told them, “If you’re not gonna work [on the bill], there’s the door.” Except, the NRA has been quite vocal about this and other bills. So that’s not exactly ringing true to those of us following the debate in this and other states.
He also spent quite a bit of time railing against those he called “hotheads” and “loudmouths,” the people who stood up against HB 1588, because he says they “spread disinformation” and “outright lies” about the bill. Considering I’m one of the people he’s referring to, I’m in a unique position to say that no, that’s also not true. Clayton Strang wasn’t spreading disinformation when he pointed out that the bill was unenforceable and would make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, because it would have. I wasn’t spreading lies when I pointed out that it is already illegal for a felon to own a firearm, so making a new law restricting sales would only affect those who FOLLOW the law. That’s not a lie, that’s simple logic. Is murder already illegal? Then why are people still murdering? Because bad people don’t care about your laws. That holds true for ANY law, and guns especially. Telling felons they can’t have guns won’t stop them from getting them, just like the war on drugs didn’t exactly make it difficult to get drugs.
He threw out a lot of “statistics,” claiming that 83% of people support universal background checks, and 71% of gun owners. Then he mentioned that “moms don’t want to go down the stairs with a handgun to confront the intruder in their home…they want to call the police and [they] better be there in 30 seconds.” I don’t know what kind of moms he’s talking to, but the moms I know–including myself–have absolutely no problem confronting an intruder with a gun. I’ve been in situations where I wish to God I’d have had a gun because certain events in my life would not have happened. Hope’s sampling was “500 people,” which as we all know is certainly PLENTY enough to make generalized assumptions about how “Republican women overwhelmingly support universal background checks.” (That was sarcasm, by the way.) Let’s see…I’m a conservative woman, I’m a mom, I’m a gun owner, and I carry concealed…and I don’t support a bit of it. Oops, didn’t mean to throw off the sheep’s bell curve, Mike.
To Mike Hope, standing up for liberty means you’re not playing nice. It means “ruining it for everyone,” and according to his diatribe last night, those who refuse to give any quarter on the Second Amendment will cost Republicans seats in the state legislature. We should compromise, he says. We should give a little so the liberals don’t take a lot.
The problem with this is that the world doesn’t work that way. You don’t tell criminals, “Ok, we’ll let you rape women as long as you don’t rape AND kill them.” You don’t say, “Ok, Mr. President, you can kill people with drones here on US soil but only if they’re really, honestly, truly terrorists…and we trust you to make that distinction.” You do not ever, ever give ground on liberty. The Patriot Act is a perfect example. We told the government it was okay to throw privacy out the window, but only for real terrorists. Except…now we’re all being monitored. There’s a reason the phrase “slippery slope” comes up so often…because once you start eroding rights, you don’t ever get them back. Ever. They’re gone. Do you think they government for one second will ever stop monitoring US citizens? Do you think they’ll suddenly reverse course and say, “We were so totally wrong about this stuff, so we’re ending the drone program and we’re going to sell back the billions of dollars in ammo that domestic agencies have ordered, and we’re just going to butt out of your personal lives now”? Not a chance. And anti-gun groups will not go home after getting their little compromise. They’ll simply push for the next compromise. Little by little, they will get their end result, and we’ll all be sitting like frogs in a pot, not realizing the water is getting hotter until it’s too late. Anyone who doesn’t believe that might as well go find some grass to eat, because they’re nothing but mutton getting fattened up for slaughter. Janet Reno said way back in 1993 that confiscation was the goal, and registration or background checks were just “steps” to that goal. N0 one was paying attention then either.
Hope even blamed us liberty-minded folk for ruining the “perception” of “good bills,” like what he says he personally helped turn 1588 into. We spread so much disinformation, he says, that Republicans won’t even “touch decent bills,” because of a “perception problem.” Hope claims that Rep. Matthew Shea told him that he supported the bill, but couldn’t vote for it because of “perception.” I find that hard to believe, considering on March 10, Shea wrote “No compromises & no deals on HB 1588” on his website. Shea also happily reported that HB 1588 was an “epic Democrat failure” due to the efforts of the same people Hope calls “loudmouths.” Sorry, Mike, you should probably think before you name drop.
For those of us fighting for liberty, “compromise” is not an option. Our Founders did not compromise. They did not say, “well, okay, King George, we’ll allow this little bit of liberty to go away, so you don’t take more.” They made their line and they stuck to it—and many of them died for it. THAT is the attitude we conservatives need to have. We are told by Mike Hope and his cronies that we should “be reasonable,” that we should “compromise” and play the game. The problem is, it’s not a game. It’s our lives and our freedom at stake. I just spent a week in London for work, and heard no less than five Brits ask me “Why are you letting your government take your guns? Don’t you know how this ends?” When you’re getting schooled on the necessity of an armed populace by the English, you know you’re in trouble.
Sixty-eight years ago, at this very moment, U.S. Marines were fighting their way up the slopes of Iwo Jima. They were sliding in the blood and guts of their fallen brothers as they fought with bayonets, knives, and even their fists against an enemy that would not stop coming. Shoulder to shoulder they fought with their lives for every inch of ground, and after 30 days they finally won the battle. According to Mike Hope–a former Marine himself–when faced with heavy opposition from the anti-gun lobby, we should “own the issue” by giving up a little ground and pacifying them. He says the “hotheads” will “fight the issue to..the…very…end.” Yes, because there is no other way to fight. Thank God the Marines at Iwo Jima didn’t think like Mike Hope. Unfortunately, it seems too many Republicans do—but there are some of us who don’t.
So no, I will not compromise. I will not stand down. I will not allow my lawmakers to infringe upon the rights that are endowed by my Creator. I will not be silent, and if I am called an extremist, or a loudmouth, or a hothead by those who think nothing is worth fighting for to the end, then I shall count myself among the best of company, among those who knew the price of their liberty would eventually and only be blood, and gladly chose to pay it.
“A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” —John Stuart Mill
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” — Patrick Henry, speech of June 5 1788
“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much … to forget it.” — James Madison.