September 10, 2005

All That We Are

"Milton Peterson was adamant that he would not leave. The retired 57-year-old said his wife had died earlier this year and that the house was full of too many important things of her's for him to leave. His six grown-up children had already left. They had wanted him to leave as well, but he had refused. He had never been outside Louisiana and he had lived in his house for 37 years. He was ready to lock himself behind the iron bars of his house and wait for the police to come for him. 'I don't know people in Chicago or New York,' he said. 'Why would I want to go there? What do I know about those places?"

From an article called New Orleans: Police go door-to-door to clear out last residents

That is why folks, at least some folks do not want to leave. That is why some folks will resist leaving however best they can.

In the movie Gods & Generals there's something rather fitting. It's a dialogue between General Lee & one of his aids. His aid points out that Fredericksburg, Va. is where Washington was rumored to have cut down the cherry tree & thrown the silver dollar across the Potomac. Lee responds thusly:

"That may be so Mr. Taylor but it has an even greater significance to me. This is where I met my wife. That's something these yankees do not understand will never understand.
You see these rivers & valleys & streams... fields, even towns... they're just markings on a map to those people in the war office in Washington. To us, oh my goodness they're... birthplaces & burial grounds, they're... battlefields where our ancestors fought. Places where you & I we learned to walk, to talk & to pray. Places where we made friendships &... oh yes fell in love. & they're the incarnation of all our memories... Mr. Taylor, & all that we are...all that we are."

Typed words cannot do justice to Duvall's delivery of those lines.

The cops in New Orleans - you'd think they'd understand. You'd imagine they'd have some sympathy. They apparently do not. They look upon people wanting to stay in their own damn homes as a problem to be solved. They are no better than any foreign invader who comes to subjugate a people & sack its lands.

" ...defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign & domestic..." heh. Foreign & domestic indeed. We've all heard that, even if just as a throw away line in a movie. Do we really understand it though?

If an army came up from Mexico or Canada & attempted to do these things we'd be pissed; & rightly so. But what does it speak of the nation that the outcry over gun confiscation & forced evictions is only coming from a small community of folks who are typically derided as "gun nuts" or "right wing nutjobs" or "anarchists"? Is it truly any different that it's being done by domestic agents instead of foreign ones?

Yet how many folks have heard any outcry in the MSM? Hell, did anyone hear any conservative talk show hosts raising any sort of fuss about this? It's anecdotal but I have not.

I have seen lawyers & lawyerly minded folk trying to explain how this might be legal &/or constitutional; how the courts are not "equipped" to second guess an official in this sort of situation. I've seen gun nuts counsel that bloodshed would be bad for us & our best hope is to take it to the courts.

Does any of that stop a thug with a badge from pointing a gun in your face? Does that prevent a lowly sunuvabitch from tackling an old lady? Will that stop them when they come across someone who will not lay down his arms?

No; the courts offer little refuge. I would ask those same folks if they advise people to plead before a judge when a burglar breaks into their home? They will undoubtedly say no.

& the "rule of law" crowd - the rule of law is a concept where the rulers are bound by the same laws as the people they rule. In other words if a government does something contrary to law then it's the government who has abandoned the rule of law, not the people who seek to lessen or stop the damage caused by such illegal activity.

Law enforcement apologists for years claimed that should gun confiscations be ordered you'd see a lot of cops refusing to comply or walking off the job. The only cops I know of walking off the job were when looters ruled the streets. They didn't do it in solidarity with the looters, let alone sympathy for the gun owners. Their reasons are their own. But has anyone heard of one cop since then who has thrown his badge down in disgust at the orders he was told to execute?

This is troubling. I am not surprised by the feds going in to steal folks' guns. But the locals? the local cops? In NYC I would not be surprised, but in a city of the South? In New Orleans? Granted New Orleans has a corrupt police force, perhaps the most corrupt in the nation, but is that rot so deep that concepts of home & freedom & property are alien to them? Has New Orleans or America fostered a society so removed that the words Duvall uttered in General Lee's name have no meaning? Do they not understand or care that an old man wants to stay on his own damn property, where his life was lived & the evidence of it provides some comfort?

I'm reminded by the words of that Louisianan that they call Bocephus:

"...if you ain't into that we don't give a damn..."

I'd like to know how the culture can be so removed from itself that the local cops have no moral dilemma in stealing guns & kicking people out of their own damn houses. But in the present it doesn't matter why; it matters what.

There's an old SCOTUS case that says (more or less; excuse the paraphrase) that dispassionate reflection in the presence of an uplifted knife is not a realistic expectation. Knowing the why is nice, but that does not mean you should not focus on the what until there is time to do so.

We can focus on the why. The people whose homes are being invaded & their guns stolen from them cannot afford to do so. The why can be helpful for us as we try to concentrate on preventing this kind of thing from happening elsewhere. It's a diagnostic tool that we should employ.

But right now I simply don't care. I don't find any of the justifications I've heard or thought of so far as being remotely defensible. Why do they want to steal guns from the people? I really don't give a damn; not about them (the gun grabbing public servants) or their reasoning. I care about the folks who are being victimized by them. I care about the rule of law that they are disregarding. I care about the constitutions which they are disrespecting. & finally I care about myself because I know it wouldn't take much for me to be one of those people wondering why the nice officer is beating down my door.

"...[they] do not understand will never understand." As for what happens to public servants who rob & scatter people by force I do not care will never care what becomes of them. The only thing they understand is force. I hope the good people of New Orleans realize this. I hope you do as well.

Posted by Publicola at September 10, 2005 12:04 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?