National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre once famously told a CPAC gathering that "the guys with the guns make the rules." In the town of Gilberton, Pennsylvania, he might have finally found the perfect test case for his insane vision of America.The militia clowns do not appear to be amenable to the normal give-and-take of up close democracy. I suggest the conversation take place at a much safer longer distance. For the basics of acquiring the skillz necessary to carry on an effective and meaningful long range discourse, please watch this long and boring video.
What is happening in Gilberton should be a warning to all those who value our basic, inalienable rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The story there centers around Police Chief Mark Kessler, who drew attention by posting a series of profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he attacks "libtards," fires fully automatic assault weapons, and threatens, "If you f***ing maniacs want to turn this into an armed revolt, knock yourselves out."
On Wednesday, during a meeting of the Gilberton Borough Council to consider disciplinary actions against Kessler, his supporters answered his call. While a State Police helicopter circle overhead, more than 100 people gathered outside the borough hall, many of them armed. CSF members patrolled the area with AR-15 assault rifles, telling one reporter they were there to provide "security." As John Luciew described it, "When it came time to open the small borough building for the public meeting, these armed men blocked the doors and prevented people from going inside."
They also angrily confronted Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress, who delivered petition signatures from 20,000 Americans who want Kessler fired. In an email Morrill told me, "I have been organizing for four decades. I have faced Klansmen in Kentucky, Ustase in Bosnia and police indiscriminately beating demonstrators in Italy. [Wednesday] night in Gilberton was more frightening than any of those situations."
Too many of our leaders have indulged insurrectionists as if they were bullying in-laws -- unpleasant but not really dangerous. Mark Kessler has shown us a grimmer reality: How democracy is compromised when access to the political process is blocked through brute intimidation and dissenters become an endangered species. Thanks to the gun lobby and its minions, armed political violence is no longer just something we see in the news in some far away third world country, but a contagion that is beginning to inflict our culture right here in the United States.
In response to the Whiskey Rebellion, the retired General who led our nation to victory in the Revolutionary War literally put his uniform back on, got in his saddle, and physically confronted the "insurgents" threatening our young nation. What is true then is still true today. Our democracy will not survive if we allow "the guys with the guns to make the rules."
Your pussy liberal views will be seen to prevail when no further conversation is forthcoming from your opponent.