British General Thomas Gage didn’t like the concept of colonists having firearms and powder without the consent of the government. Gage pushed his luck… and colonists left the bodies of his Regulars and Royal Marines scattered along the Concord Road, triggering the Revolutionary War.
American patriots have always harbored a distrust of government, and with good reason. Government is at best a necessary evil, and the longer a government exists, the more it attempts to intrude into the lives of a free people and extort their liberty from them. If unsuccessfully checked, tyranny is the inevitable result. It isn’t a matter of if tyranny will result, it is only matter of how long it will take to arrive, and by which specific mechanism.
We’ve discussed the fact that given enough time, governments inevitably find a way to pry away the right of self-defense from its citizens. It has happened since the weapons of the day were bronze and iron, and continues in the age of steel and Kevlar. Always, always, the cries of disarmament are for “the public good.” It matters little whether the specific cry is for “the good of Rome” or “the decree of the Crown” or “the safety of the proletariat” or “for the children.” Those who would be the masters of the people must first disarm them of their weapons first, and they will always fins a “public good” to justify their tyranny.
In Massachusetts, police chiefs enjoy their fiefdoms, as does any good petty tyrant. They like to extend their powers and their reach, and cry out when they’ve been told that they may not seize more liberty from their citizens:
Top police officials and activists from Boston and area communities blasted the state Senate Tuesday for watering down gun control legislation by stripping a provision aimed at keeping rifles and shotguns out of the hands of dangerous people.
“I’m real disappointed in the Senate,” said Boston police Commissioner William B. Evans, standing with more than a dozen police officials and gun control advocates at the State House.
“What the Senate chose to do is placate the NRA instead of supporting law enforcement,” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence.
The unusual public criticism by police chiefs comes after the Senate last week voted to remove a House provision giving chiefs discretion to deny firearms identification cards, required to buy shotguns and rifles, to people they deem unsuitable. They now have that discretion over licenses to carry handguns.
“Are people really going to be any less dead if they’re killed with a rifle or a shotgun than a handgun?” Police Chief Terry Cunningham of Wellesley said at the morning press conference.
Crime with rifles and shotguns in Massachusetts is, of course, almost non-existent. The number of homicides in the Boston area committed with long guns in a given year can be counted on one hand. These petty tyrants aren’t complaining because they fear they are missing an opportunity to stop crime. They’re whining because they’ve seen their hopes of grabbing more power for themselves dashed, if only temporarily.
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