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The Giffords Shooting Changes Nothing

Giordano Bruno

Generally, when one is in the midst of national tragedy, unspoken but expected rules of social conduct tend to take effect. These rules require us to engage in a chorus of collective theater in which every person must act out their best teary-eyed monologue. We suddenly feel obliged to showcase for the world how much more empathetic we are to the plight of the victim or victims than others, or, we simply silence our dissent so that we might avoid appearing “insensitive” to the fads of cultural grieving. That is to say, if you dare to question the honesty behind the sobs, the outrage, or the reactionary zealotry of the ideologues hell bent on exploiting the latest calamity to their own benefit, then you are usually branded as monstrous as the villain or villains who carried out the terrible event in the first place.

Frankly, I could care less about such conventions. The truth takes precedence over all things, even tragedy…

While the murder of 6 bystanders, the wounding of 14 people, and the attempted murder of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is indeed a horrible smear in the history of America, it is but one of many. This fact seems to have eluded the mainstream media, which is declaring (rather prematurely) that the very political climate of our nation will be irrevocably altered by said event. Before any dead had been put to rest, before Jared Loughner had even been officially charged, the MSM unleashed a hailstorm of editorials linking the shooting to the Tea Party, conservatives, gun rights advocates, Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Sarah Palin (as if she has any real influence), and “divisive political rhetoric” overall. Yet again, the media thrust it sinewy index finger of doom at the Liberty Movement, and yet again I had to see the sniveling sourpuss of SPLC representative Mark Potok spewing lines from his standardized anti-Constitutionalist playbook. Of course, as it turned out, Loughner’s political beliefs were decidedly left-leaning, and his affiliations with the groups the establishment accused were non-existent.

After several incidences over the past few years involving “lone gunman”, or random over-medicated psychotics, it has become clear that the DHS and corporate run news sources have endeavored to immediately link any domestic shooting or bombing event with grass-roots organizations which are fighting for limited government. The Giffords shooting is a perfect example of how insincere establishment pundits are, and how willing they will be to exploit every random (or engineered) tragedy to their own ends. I discussed this phenomenon last spring in my article ‘One Day Soon, We’ll All Be “Homegrown Terrorists”‘


To be blunt, what the MSM is desperately searching for is another Timothy McVeigh, and another massive body count. In order to defuse the fast growing Liberty Movement, its image would have to be tarnished beyond recognition and its participants shamed into silence. This is what occurred in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing, as many pro-civil militia and Constitutionalist groups disbanded purely on the fear that they would be found guilty by association. Not association with McVeigh himself, but mere association with McVeigh’s claimed beliefs!

The very idea that an entire movement or cultural philosophy should somehow be held responsible for the actions of a single maniac is ludicrous, to say the least. There are extremists at the far ends of the spectrum of every political body or movement on Earth (most especially in governments), but it seems that only governments and their affiliated media feel it necessary to use these extremists to classify opposing political movements in broad strokes designed to defame. Are the personal beliefs of Timothy McVeigh or Jared Loughner really relevant to the greater debate and the greater disaster taking place in our country today? Do these men matter at all in the grand scheme of things? The answer is no, they do not, unless we allow the establishment to fashion them into convoluted symbols used to manipulate the wider conflict.

Loughner was a bust for the MSM. His views are too random and too “leftist” to be used against the Liberty Movement. However, eventually, they WILL find their new McVeigh. Someone, somewhere, with enough psychological baggage, some conservative beliefs, and a track record of visiting websites like this one, will one day pop out of the woodwork and shoot somebody. Will we see a repeat of 1995? Will the event be wielded like a precision blade to cut down the Liberty Movement and the independent educational apparatus we have worked so hard to build? Not this time…

Today’s circumstances are far different from 1995. Neither the Giffords shooting, nor any other nationally condemned attack will derail the current social climate, or the Liberty Movement itself. Here’s why…

Constitutionalism Going “Viral”

The desire for smaller, transparent, non-intrusive government is becoming wildly popular and will continue to do so the more the DHS attempts to tighten its stranglehold on civil liberties. Sovereignty is the new focus for a large percentage of Americans from every conceivable background. The Liberty Movement can no longer be accused of representing a “fringe” element of the “far right”, composed of rednecks and gun nuts. Today, our membership includes insightful leaders in the business community, top minds of alternative economics, health professionals disenchanted with the unseemly medical bureaucracy, scientists and engineers who realize their great talents are being misapplied or misused, veterans and servicemen who have awakened to the fact that the government they take marching orders from does not truly represent the people they are sworn to protect, and even many in law enforcement who see corruption in the legal system everyday and are finally fed up. The “fringe” accusation was weak to begin with, now, it’s laughable. The people involved in this movement are aware of their prominence. No arbitrary label is going to frighten them off, or shut them up.

Seeing The Big Picture

Twenty years ago, an attempt on the life of a U.S. Rep or a similar event would have dominated every waking moment of the average American for months on end. The water cooler discussions would be relentless and the made-for-TV movies would flow like a flash flood. Today, though, I rarely hear a word in passing about the tragedy in Arizona, and I’ve never heard anyone use the names “Giffords” or “Loughner” in those brief exchanges that do arise. Does this mean that the public has finally gone completely cold and passive towards violence and disaster? Not necessarily. We live in an age of crossroads. We stand at a nexus of social tribulation, where so much danger and instability is present that we no longer have time to obsess over one sad but ultimately less important incident. Americans have much more pressing and immediate concerns than they did in decades past, including the collapse of the global economy, the end of the dollar, the total centralization of financial and political power into the hands of an elite minority, and the complete dissolution of their cherished freedoms. Its not that the public does not care about Giffords, but they certainly aren’t reacting as hastily as they have during previous ill periods. For many, perspective has tempered our fears, and made us less malleable to the hypnotic suggestions of mass panic.

Legitimate Concerns, Not “Rhetoric”

The primary talking point of the past few days has been to suggest that the Giffords shooting was product of “angry or violent political rhetoric”. Some in Washington D.C. have even had the nerve to assert that it is the vitriol of those on the hill that has caused all the heartache in the heartland, as if the American people simply take all their emotional and philosophical cues from the deadbeats in the capitol. While I would never deny that there are plenty of people in this country who do not know how to think for themselves, I feel it far more likely that those folks take their emotional cues from television rather than the puppet show in Washington. The real reason behind the rhetoric talking point is to perpetuate the myth of the false left right paradigm, as well as to lure Americans towards the doldrums of false “moderation”. The “vitriol” in Washington is mostly for show, being that the leaderships of both major parties end up voting for the same bills and policies regardless of how they pretend to fight with one another. Moderation, in the eyes of the establishment, means inaction. When the MSM or the government calls for a “calming of rhetoric”, what they really want is a pacification of the anger in the citizenry present because of legitimate concerns. Does the establishment really believe that using the Giffords shooting as political leverage will somehow embarrass independent Americans, or shock them into diluting their challenges to a system which is on the verge of self destruction? I can only hope they are that out of touch with the U.S. mindset…

Anti-Gun Movements Now Sterile

The 90’s were the very pinnacle of the anti-gun movement, and gun control legislation was highly effective during that period, mainly because Americans at that time treated gun ownership as a political lynchpin. Gun rights were associated with Republicans alone, and because Clinton was the flavor of the week, the 2nd Amendment went out the window. Today, gun ownership is breaking through the false left/right paradigm, and even dyed-in-the-wool democrats are taking to the shooting range. The majority of Americans like to know they have the ability and the right to defend against any adversary, and they aren’t going to take that right lightly again. Crime rate numbers were completely unaffected by the assault weapons ban, and even plummeted after the ban expired. Guns are used approximately 2.5 million times each year to STOP crimes in progress. Imagine if more people surrounding Gabrielle Giffords had had their own firearms at the time of Loughner’s attack; could he have been stopped before shooting 20 people? Would he have attacked at all if he had suspected half the crowd might be armed? The bottom line is that a vast portion of the public is now questioning the validity of the anti-gun position, and its progress has been effectively buried. The Arizona shooting is not going to reawaken anything, despite the tired calls of disarmament politicians. Once again, Americans are not going to allow the actions of one man to dissolve the rights of all men. We just don’t have the patience or the tolerance for this brand of circular thinking anymore.

Rights Taking Precedence Over “Safety”

Independent men have always been safer in the long run than dependent men, but there are some out there that believe that government can and should protect them from all danger. This is a childish fantasy. These same people constantly use catastrophes like the Arizona incident to reinforce their belief that more control is needed, more rights relinquished, more authority figures present, but really, all these events reinforce is the fact that no system has the ability to stop crime, even a system as vast and well funded as the DHS. When in the midst of a criminal event, whether or not you or your family become victims is in most cases entirely dependent on you. THAT is the root problem that overly dependent people don’t want to face. However, many Americans are beginning to accept reality. Calls for more invasion of privacy, more freedoms traded, and even more government expansion, are meeting heavy resistance. One hundred Loughners would not change the fundamental question; does trading our liberties away for the promise of safety actually lead to any tangible benefits? Given the inability of the system to actually stop violence from occurring, and the growing threat of dysfunctional violence from the system itself, any sensible person would have to disagree.

True Humanitarians Promote Freedom

Pro-establishment lackeys love to position themselves as compassionate reformers and humanitarians, especially when innocent people are suddenly subject to a volley of bullets, but do these “good intentioned” altruists really care two cents for those caught in the sights of a psychopath? Or, are they more interested in the opportunities such death creates? If they are merely concerned citizens trying to make the world a better place, then why do they find it necessary to twist every tragedy into a weapon to be used against their political rivals? Why do they choose to ignore the facts behind the events or the people involved? Why do they lie to the public straight faced and outright? Are these the methods of “humanitarians”, or something else?

Under closer examination, we find that the goals of anti-Constitutionalist circles are actually contrary to their stated mission to stabilize and enrich our nation. Their tactic of muscling Americans into a mindless mode of reactionary thinking damages our ability to reflect, or to consider the future consequences of our fixation with immediate disaster. Their co-option of ruinous events for their own ends warps our sense of history and obscures the truth. Their principles are driven by short term gains which benefit only a select few at the expense of long term prosperity for all. They oversimplify the complex, and overcomplicate that which is simple. They make us weaker as a people.

At bottom, legitimate humanitarians inspired by real compassion inevitably seek to help men become more responsible for themselves, not less. Compared to this mission, the Loughners of the world are only a distraction, a media game which does not need to be played. While it is important to safeguard against events like that which took place in Arizona, it is even more important to safeguard against the exploitation of these events by those who would do much greater harm. The wider view requires a respect for the enduring benefits of freedom, which eclipse our momentary lapses of human character. The Liberty Movement’s interest lay not just in the chaos of the present moment, but in the clarity of a possible future; one in which man’s individual sovereignty is valued, rather than feared.


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