Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 23, 2011

Various and sundry thoughts

Tonight (this morning, as it is currently 0140 MST ?) I believe I am going to ramble a bit.

While "zoning out" (a little zen, perhaps, or dharma yoga?) at my reloading bench earlier in the evening, it occurred to me that those of us who reload are the new alchemists: turning lead into gold. Even if you don't sell your reloads (and I do not), they sure feel like gold, sitting on your shelf or in your safe. Should we be reduced to a barter economy in the not-too-distant future, they may become more valuable than gold. When food and other necessities become scarce, would you trade gold for food you need to survive? Sure. Would the fellow who has the food be willing to take gold in exchange, if it were winter and the possibility of obtaining more food was questionable? Maybe not. Ammunition that could be used to hunt and kill an elk, a moose, or a deer would be pretty valuable though, as would ammo needed to protect and defend your self and your family from marauders or gangs. So, loading hundreds of rounds of .45,.44 Mag, .40, .357, 9mm, .308, .223, and .45-70 feels even better than putting gold into the safe.

If you are a shooter, it is possible to get into reloading fairly cheaply at the start, with better equipment possible if and when you are able to spend a little more. Customizing your ammo for your own particular needs (say a hard-cast 405 grain flat nosed .45-70 bullet loaded to 1800 feet per second to deal with bear or moose in the brush) is fun, a lot less expensive than in the sporting goods store or even Walmart, and will continue to supply you when the stores don't have your ammo available (and maybe stop selling it altogether?). Learn to cast your own lead bullets and save even more. Learn how to anneal your brass cases, and make them last for many, many reloadings. Plus there are good sources for all of the specialty bullets - soft-nosed, hollow-point, full metal jacketed, etc. - that you may wish to load for self-defense, hunting, or target shooting for practice. Lots of good info on the Internet on reloading and bullet casting, and many good books on the subject are available as well, some at your local library.

Tonight I read a post by Francis W. Porretto at his web site, Eternity Road. It concerned socialism and the sort of "thinking" that goes along with leaning in that direction. One of his points, if I may restate my understanding of his point, is that even people who are otherwise conservative in outlook have gotten suckered into believing things which aren't true, but have been stated and repeated so many times - as well as being taught by left-leaning teachers and professors - that they appear reasonable to said conservative. Like "taxing the 'rich' ". At the end of his post, Francis says,

"The point of all this, of course, is that even people we think of as solid conservatives of unquestionable allegiance to Constitutional principles and the free market have adopted some socialist assumptions. All such assumptions will display the defining mark of any sociopolitical assumption: the word "should."
Watch for that little word. When a normative statement -- that is, a statement that asserts a particular condition or policy as a "should" -- is offered to you as if only a lunatic could disagree, the speaker is attempting to assert that you and he share it, and any assumptions that underlie it, beyond question.
Some normatives are completely incompatible with freedom and the prerogatives of free men. When someone with whom you agree on most specifics of public policy comes out with a clinker of that sort, inform him, as gently as possible, that he's spouting socialism. He might not understand. Indeed, he might take offense. But he's revealed a chink in his argumentative armor. If you can convey the vulnerability it imposes on him, and if he's truly a devotee of freedom, eventually he'll thank you for it. 
They who are staunch in maintaining a bedrock socialist principle as a premise are, of course, unreachable by argument. But by their premises -- their "shoulds" -- shall ye know them. It will save you the effort of arguing with them in the future."

Unfortunately, the "he'll thank you for it" isn't likely. There are a lot of folks out there who like to believe they are devotees of freedom, but simply cannot accept that some of their thought has been shaped by liberal, socialist memes. A fellow who moderated a list I was a member of for almost fourteen years took serious offense to my informing him of a socialist assumption he was making (although I tried to soften it by calling it "liberal"), and said fellow then proceeded to hold all of my posts until he had approved of their content. After his numerous complaints about my comments on a number of topics, I stopped commenting on the articles and essays I was posting. Then he decided to require me to explain, for each and every post, why the other members should or shouldn't be interested in what I was attempting to share with them. As he was requiring none of this from any other member of the list, I took the "hint" and retired. 

Francis would, I'm sure, simply say this fellow was definitely not a true devotee of freedom, but he certainly thought he was, as did some of the more vocal members of the list. I'm afraid that those who are big enough to accept the fact that some of our thinking has been warped by socialist memes are fewer than might seem likely. I experienced that myself in my belief, for a period of over twenty years, that the NRA stood for freedom, and supported the Second Amendment. It took a Russian immigrant to our shores to demonstrate to me, factually and logically, that the NRA exists simply to fund their own salaries and perquisites. When I discovered that every piece of gun control legislation since the Gun Control Act of 1968 (and actually some before that) was written with the assistance of the NRA, it woke me up to the fact that the NRA makes a living off of working with the gun control crowd in order to stimulate its members into donating large sums of money. Like two attorneys working together to bilk their divorcing clients of as much money as possible before finalizing the divorce. 

Examine some of your beliefs and assumptions from time to time in light of whether or not they truly support freedom, the rights of the individual, and the free market economics that have been responsible for all of the good years this country has experienced in the past. You might be surprised, especially when you find yourself using the word "should".

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, Reg. I plan on doing a bit of alchemy myself, this weekend.


Sorry, folks. I was completely ignorant about comment rules. Anyone can post, but I'd prefer a name, even if it is made up. Anonymous posts just seem cheap, if you know what I mean. Also, if you want to argue a point, that's fine. Cheap shots and name calling towards me or another person commenting (ad hominem) is rude and will get you banned. Other than that, I'd love to get some comments.