I enjoy fiction about bad-ass motherfuckers, in the sense that they absolutely do whatever is necessary to Get Shit Done. Takeshi Kovacs and Rorschach are these sorts of bad-ass motherfuckers. Harry J. Potter-Evans-Verres is another. Because being a bad-ass motherfucker does NOT mean physically beating the crap out of someone. It is a state of mind. It means when something has to be done you trust no one else to do it, and you don’t take even the slightest chance it could go wrong, because it’s too goddamned important. Almost no one behaves this way about anything, because it’s destructive and dangerous. But that sort of bad-assness makes my blood sing. :)
The NRA is that way about gun rights. I seriously doubt most NRA supporters actually want to make anti-tank weaponry legal. They want handguns and rifles. But the NRA knows that if we even get to the point where we’re considering discussing limits on handguns and rifles, they’ve already lost. They need to keep the discussion as far from that as possible. In an ideal world they’d be able to keep the discussion on “should we limit people to just TWO rocket launchers?”, so that nothing ever gets even close to infringing on small arms. That’s how important that right is! You don’t take chances on something like that, you leave as wide a margin as physically possible.
Which is why I support making it illegal for people on the No-Fly List to buy guns. As we all know, the No-Fly List is fascist bullshit. People are placed on it without notice and without charge. The process that leads one to be put on the No-Fly List is unknown, and there is no way to challenge or dispute the placement. No appeal, no recourse. It is arbitrary government impingement on one’s ability to travel, and I suppose I should expect that by now, but by god is it vile! The ACLU, because they are principled as hell, opposes any sorts of liberty restrictions based on this bullshit black list.
Normally I’d also be against it. Restricting liberties arbitrarily should never be allowed. Demonstrate why a particular person should not denied their constitutional rights first! But in this particular case, I say – do it. Because the NRA will have a goddamn stroke. Perhaps they will throw their considerable weight behind the effort to make the No-Fly List accountable to some sort of fucking oversight, or have it trashed utterly and relegated to the history textbooks as another embarrassment in our claims of being the land of freedom and bravery. If anyone could do it… well, it’ll probably be the ACLU, actually. But it’d be nice to see the NRA using their wealth and power to do something that’s actually good, for a change.