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Liberty v. tyranny of the marching Mall masses — contrasting Washington weekends
By Mark Alexander
I recently returned from a long weekend away — a fitting break from my Liberty book project — to revisit the intellectual repositories of the three most influential men in the history of Liberty v. tyranny — the American triumvirate, Washington, Madison and Jefferson.
Traveling with my wife, Ann, our first stop was Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters are still endeavoring to tear down historic war monuments. Last year, privileged students at the University of Virginia displayed their monumental ignorance by desecrating and shrouding a statue of UVA's founder, Thomas Jefferson, at the university's famous Rotunda.
Our visit to Jefferson's Monticello was, as always, inspiring.
Next, we traveled north to James Madison's Montpelier, an equally inspiring historical visit.
From there it was, of course, on to the Mount Vernon home and library of George Washington. In addition to a docent tour with an outstanding historian, we were also given access to Washington's archive collection, and the curator showed us the surveying compass my ancestor produced in 1795 for Washington as a gift for his nephew. (Some of you may recall that Washington was a surveyor prior to becoming The Indispensable Man.)
Our Saturday destination was Marine Corps Base Quantico, where our son and 63 other young Marines graduated from the Infantry Officer School — before dawn!
After that celebration, we headed for the swamp — Washington, DC.
I know you will be shocked to learn that we were not going there to join the hordes of adolescents (of all ages) gathered on the Mall, pleading for the incremental revocation of the "palladium of the Liberties of the republic," our nation's Second Amendment.
It's no small irony that our destination was actually the NRA's National Firearms Museum, where we spent the afternoon with its senior curator and historian, for a review of an amazing collection of the weapons that have aided in the defense of Liberty, foreign and domestic. I figured it was the most antithetical thing we could do in DC in contrast to the anti-2A protests. We were amused at the greeting we received from a few aging hippies holding "shame" placards across the street from NRA headquarters.
So, from Jefferson, Madison and Washington to the tyranny of the marching mall masses in DC.
Allow me to offer a few observations about the so-called "March for Our Lives" and all the "little Barack" brown shirts in attendance there and in a few other urban centers.
First, as for those leftists who pretend that the repeal of the Second Amendment is not their objective — that they're only advocating for "commonsense gun safety" legislation, that pretense was dealt a blow this week. The New York Times published this blunt argument for repeal from former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, a Gerald Ford appointee who finally retired from the bench in 2010.
According to Stevens' badly flawed logic, "Demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment. ... [It] is a relic of the 18th century. ... A constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple. ... [It] would move Saturday's marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform."
Is that clear enough? Stevens has betrayed the Left's hand by revealing the "commonsense" legislation gun grabbers are really pursuing. And in doing so, he has also tipped the Leftmedia's hand regarding the real objective.
The Washington Post's Aaron Blake lamented, "Rarely do we see such an unhelpful, untimely and fanciful idea as the one put forward by retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens. ... The move might as well be considered an in-kind contribution to the National Rifle Association, to Republicans' efforts to keep the House and Senate in 2018, and to President Trump's 2020 reelection bid. In one fell swoop, Stevens has lent credence to the talking point that the left really just wants to get rid of gun ownership and reasserted the need for gun-rights supporters to prevent his ilk from ever being appointed again (with the most obvious answer being: Vote Republican)."
In other words, the Left's "boiled frog" approach to repealing the Second Amendment is undermined when a leftist leapfrogs over that approach and reveals the ultimate objective — an especially terrible thing to do in a midterm election year.
When I think of "survivors," what comes to mind would be the 23 individuals who survived the collapse of the twin 110-story World Trade Center towers on 9/11.
In the Parkland context, as with other rare mass acts of violence, a survivor would be someone who was wounded and did not die. Perhaps that word could be extended to those who were in the immediate line of fire but escaped injury, as was the case with many people in Las Vegas last year.
But the hundreds of students who were on the Parkland campus that day are not "survivors," as the Demo-gogue leftists and their Demo/MSM propagandists insist. That moniker is purely for emotive optics and political theater.
In keeping with that fake narrative, The Washington Post claims there are now 187,000 survivors of sociopathic attacks on schools — the three most referenced of those being Columbine in Colorado (1999), Sandy Hook in Connecticut (2012) and Stoneman Douglas in Florida this year.
That phony assessment degrades the struggle of those who are actual survivors of such tragedies.
Of course, most of the students at these schools experienced differing degrees of trauma during those terrible moments, but their distress has been amplified by classifying them as "survivors." As intended, that has generated a lot of consternation among parents and kids nationwide, but in reality, there is not an epidemic of school shootings across our nation.
Yes, the parents of young people on the few school campuses where attacks have occurred were rightfully worried about their children, as I would have been. But being on or near a campus during an assault on other students doesn't make one a "survivor" — except for political expedience.
Third, regarding the number of Mall marchers, while initial media reports on attendance were based on event-organizer estimates of 800,000, in fact, according to CBS and other networks, there were, at most, only 25% of that number. That turnout is astoundingly low given that 91% of DC's voters cast ballots for Hillary Clinton and that the surrounding Virginia and Maryland suburbs are infested with statist bureaucrats.
Suffice it to say that many of the marchers, however well-intentioned, exuded a sense of moral panic wrapped in their abject ignorance of the Second Amendment that, ironically, is our Republic's foundational assurance of their First Amendment rights to march and protest. But they won't recognize that until those liberties are lost — should those of us who steadfastly defend our liberties, and their own, fail to do so.
Fourth, the leftists at the helm of the Democrat Party have based their future political fortunes and statist objectives on the propagation of such ignorance, which they have institutionalized in government schools — the pool from whence came many of Saturday's march attendees.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day."
But as communist protagonist Vladimir Lenin declared, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." For many decades now, the Left has been infusing his progeny with a full 13 years of statist indoctrination, preparing them to sow that seed.
The unifying characteristic of these uninformed leftist lemmings is that they have a pathological affinity for statism and its false promise of nanny-state security.
Essentially, they fear Liberty and loathe those who defend it. And rich suburban liberals really fear grassroots gun-owning Americans. The notion that the Second Amendment provides a check on the usurpations of individual rights is anathema to them, as is the thought that the government on which they depend might devolve into tyranny.
And finally, let's review the most pertinent facts about violence in America:
Until Democrats join Republicans in a unified effort to reverse the policies that have devastated our families and communities, violence will continue to rule the day. Violence in America is the direct result of failed statist policies, the effluent of their so-called centralized social programs, which have enslaved generations of poor Americans on urban poverty plantations in every major city nationwide.
Fact is, Democrats don't care about children unless they can use their caskets as political props. If they did care about children, they wouldn't promote the culture of death that each day kills 2,446 of the most vulnerable among us before birth.
Finally, it's tragically evident that our nation has reached the pinnacle of privilege and ignorance when some of its citizens now demand that certain constitutional rights be taken away.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.