They Can Have My $35 When They Pry It from My Cold, Dead Hands

Today is the 11th anniversary of our government’s brutal gassing and incineration of “its own people” at Waco, TX, for the crime of exercising their Constitutional rights. With that in mind, Vice President Cheney’s address to the National Rifle Association on Saturday is worth noting.

I watched the speech on C-Span, mainly to gauge the crowd’s reaction. The Bush administration, after all, has done all the things NRA folks hissed at the Clintons for, but on a much larger scale: erosion of civil liberties through the PATRIOT Act, support for the extension of the “assault weapons” ban, not to mention the world’s largest and bloodiest act of coercive disarmament since the days of Stalin and Hitler. So what were the attendees chanting? “Four more years! Four more years!”

I have no illusions about the NRA, having quit the group long ago. Contrary to liberal myth, the NRA is at best a Jello bulwark against gun control. They eventually cave to every new gun law and plead for tougher enforcement of every old one. They give money to candidates (usually incumbents, especially Republicans) for no reason other than to bolster their “success” rate. They have even bullied the most ardently pro-gun member of the U.S. Congress for sticking to Constitutional principles.

But as I listened to the raucous cheering for Cheney–curiously, he spent about two minutes talking about guns, an hour saluting state aggression– it became clear that, far from being even a tiny impediment to statism, the NRA is an accomplice in it. Those of you who support the NRA financially should be aware of what you’re buying. You could join the far better Gun Owners of America and send the $15 bucks you save on membership fees to us. Just a thought.