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Saturday, March 13, 2010

email exchange with reader

Below please find cut-and pasted email correspondence between myself and U.S. soldier M. Finn. This sort of conversation is so much better than trying to talk with the indoctrinated clones that make up much of academia. Below is the kind of conversation I like to have.  Thank you Michael Finn.  

 From: Finn, Michael P CIV USA FORSCOM
> []Sent: Tue 1/19/2010 10:57 AM
> To: Patrick, Brian
> Subject: Love Your Book! (UNCLASSIFIED)
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: FOUO
> Dr. Patrick:
>  I am the new gun culture you described and I absolutely loved
> "Rise of
> the Anti-Media."  Equally love your motto: "Let's talk."  So I
> offer the
> following comments and questions (not expecting you to answer any
> or all
> of these directly, just wanted to respond) in that spirit.  Just so
> youknow my demographics, I am a mid-fifties civil service lawyer,
> married29 years to a law school classmate with 3 adult offspring
> (all college
> grads), an Army reservist with multiple combat tours over halfway
> through my fourth decade of service, and a fervent gun culture
> warrior:"first-wave" CHL, NRA Benefactor, life member of SAF, GOA,
> JPFO, and my
> state organization, Texas State Rifle Association.  I signed my
> kids up
> as NRA lifers in 1994 at the height of our troubles when the Clinton
> "It's a crime, Bill" crime bill loomed.  All three kids seem
> inoculatedagainst anti-gun propaganda, even with one in grad school
> in California
> and one in the film world in New York.  The third is an active duty
> Armyofficer and remains my shooting partner as recently as this week.
> 1.  You opened my eyes to the different characteristics of gun culture
> versus gun grabbers.  Before this book and your previous book on the
> NRA, I believed that while the anti-gun crowd enjoyed more top-down
> grant money as well as media support, we were essentially two teams of
> roughly similar size and organization, eternally squared off against
> each other in what I saw as a rear-guard, forlorn hope that just
> neededto be fought.   What you bring is very, very good news
> indeed.  So my
> first concern regards how we keep or improve the status quo with
> the gun
> culture as communities and the anti-gunners as professional, vertical
> organizations without members. Breaking this down,...
>   a.  What chance do you see that the anti-gun organizations will
> takeyour message to heart and attempt to organize in our fashion?
> (I realize
> you will probably be ignored or demonized by them, or a combination of
> both, but I worry about this stuff.)
>   b.   With concealed carry on the rise, how do we the good guys (you
> know who I mean) keep up the momentum?   I realize we have a few
> statesleft needing CHL, and need improvements to each state's laws
> to smooth
> out the compromises required for initial passage, but how does the gun
> culture maintain the cohesion and power you describe if we reach a
> stagewhere we no longer see ourselves as constantly isolated,
> demonized, and
> insulted by the media and the elites?  I see potential offensive
> fightsfor open carry, (more to keep the bad guys on the defense,
> see how they
> like it, than as a requirement for self-defense) nation-wide CHL
> reciprocity, repeal of the 1986 new machinegun ban, and fierce
> fights in
> the blue states for what we in the real America already have, with the
> ultimate goal of uniform Alaska- or Vermont-style laws nationwide. 
> Thecurrent administration, even with the fear it engenders, has not
> yetassaulted our gun rights, and gun organization fund raising
> using the
> specter of Obama is beginning to seem somewhat strident and contrived,
> even while gun sales continue at record levels. In light of the ideas
> you bring, how do we stay on the attack and avoid complacency?
> 2.   I would have liked to have heard more about the conversion of the
> old gun culture into the new gun culture.  As a reasonably aware
> teenager in the late sixties, I was as politically ignorant as the
> restof the gun culture at the time.  (I had participated in NRA
> marksmanshipearlier, but lived then in New York City where my
> father was stationed,
> obviously without owning guns.)  As the debate over guns heated up and
> Johnson rammed through the Gun Control Act of 1968, (GCA 68) I
> viscerally disagreed with the increasing tempo of the "guns are evil"
> theme the media employed more and more, but naively believed that
> GCA 68
> would be a grand compromise that would put the whole gun issue to bed,
> and so not worth opposing.  Imagine my shock and sense of betrayal
> whenthe anti-gun crowd was back before the ink dried on the bill
> demandingthat we now do something about those pesky "Saturday Night
> Specials."And then cop-killer bullets, plastic guns, assault
> weapons, ad nauseam.
> From that time on, I realized that we were in for a tremendous fight
> worth fighting no matter how overmatched we seemed at times.  My
> position regarding any anti-gunners' initiatives remains what Groucho
> sang, "No matter what it is or who commenced it, I'm against it, I'm
> against it." 
>    a.  How do you like the following theory of the "perfect storm"
> thatset the elites and media on their virulently anti-gun course,
> and we in
> opposition, in the sixties?  First, the amenability to administrative
> control of the population caused by mobilization in World War II
> and the
> Cold War thereafter (the post-war Tennessee revolt of armed veterans
> being the exception that proves the rule.)  It is hard to believe now
> that the same polls that you so ably undercut suggested back then that
> we wanted subordination of our sovereignty to the UN, UN armies and
> oversight, so universal personal disarmament is a logical subset.
> Second, the extension of the polis to cities and suburbia outgrew the
> Aristotelian republic ideal, and thus even the "right people" weren't
> sufficiently known to each other to allow them to carry concealed, or
> even own guns for that matter.  Finally, the increase in crime, and
> evenmore so, the increase in the perception of crime and riots
> generated by
> the media, highlighted the increasing conundrum between disarming the
> public and an ever-increasing perceived need for self-defense.  With
> these three simultaneous goings-on (can't use "movements" since I read
> the book) The old gun culture was mugged by reality.
>    b.  I was on active duty during the Cincinnati revolt of 1977 and
> remember the relief I felt that the organization was going in the
> direction I agreed with, not the backpacking club for which they spent
> ungodly amounts of my money to purchase Whittington Center in New
> Mexico.  On several occasions since, we have had to defend and
> reinforcethe Cincinnati reforms to keep NRA on track.  While you
> correctlymentioned Harlon Carter as an architect of the new gun
> culture political
> approach, perhaps space did not permit mention of Neal Knox, who
> essentially played Trotsky to Carter's Stalin (continuing the Soviet
> analogy you began with Ms. Hammer.)  While he was expelled into the
> wilderness, not murdered with an ax, Knox' ideas as expressed in his
> columns, currently in book form, are the ones that underpin our
> advances.  In particular, he pioneered the no-compromise approach,
> whichled to our temporary defeat and ultimate victory on the
> assault weapon
> ban. 
> 3.  Are you familiar with the novels of Stephen Hunter, the
> Ur-storyteller of the new gun culture?  If not, I would particularly
> commend Point of Impact (now the movie "Shooter") and the new I,
> Sniper,which came out when your book did.  Interestingly, Stephen
> Hunterenjoyed a pilgrim's progress toward right gun thinking
> similar to what
> you describe in a couple of places, since in a collection of his
> earlierfilm criticism called Violent Screen, he called for
> "sensible" bans on
> assault weapons.  No longer. 
> 4.  While I think you touched on the words when you discussed Cornell,
> one more dimension to the impetus toward practicing concealed carry
> thatneeds emphasis is duty.  I carry not just because I can (like a
> doglicking himself) but because as a trained, experienced person who
> actually has swapped lead on foreign shores, I consider it my duty
> to be
> prepared to use those skills instantly if needed, just like the church
> lady in Colorado.  I am willing to endure the inconvenience of
> bureaucracy, the physical and clothing hassle of carrying, and the
> potential litigation consequences of having to use a weapon.  Being a
> Federal employee, I cannot carry at work, but do so everywhere
> else. 
> 5.  This may seem too forward, but for your next work, I would be
> honored to review the manuscript for use of words and other items
> whichspell-check does not catch.  I'm somewhat anal retentive that
> way, which
> might prove useful for getting your message out.
>  Again, Dr. Patrick, thank you for your magnificent books.  I can't
> remember the last time I stayed up late to  read and re-read a
> non-fiction work, marked and made notes in it, without it being needed
> for a class.  Or got so many new and exciting ideas.  In a recent
> emailto a friend despondent about the course our country is
> following, I
> recommended your books.
> Sincerely,
> Mike
> Michael P. Finn
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: FOUO

From: "Patrick, Brian"
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010 11:10
Subject: RE: Love Your Book! (UNCLASSIFIED)
To: "Finn, Michael P CIV USA FORSCOM"

> Michael:
> Thank you for your marvelous letter.
> I had been waiting for a time to compose a suitable reply, then
> realized that if followed this course, you might not get any reply.
> So here is what I can repsond with at the moment (my semester just
> began).   In no particular order, then:
> Re gun grabbers adopting horizontal means.  I think they will do
> their best to simulate them, like the phantom moms march and moving
> onto facebook, but these will only fool the mass media audience,
> and have little durable effect.  My belief is by association,
> example and in-formation  new gun culture will continue advance
> vine like--you don't actually see a vine grow, but in a relatively
> short time, it covers the trellis.
> Re Hunter -- I like his stuff, and read "Point of Impact" when it
> was given to me a a gunsmith friend several years back  "Ur story
> teller" is apt.   I did not know about his "sensible" ban stuff or
> earlier years, but am not surprised to see the direction of his
> evolution.  I like his Swaggert family.
> I probably should have gone into Knox. I met his sons at the Gun
> Policy Conference in St Louis back in October) and plan to write a
> review  soon of the posthumous book.   they have published of his
> writings. I have no excuse for omission other than feeling
> pressured to make a manageable narrative.
> re 2a, I am still thinking.  Interesting ideas. But some sort of
> bedrock hermeneutic shift in US culture seems to have happened in
> depression/WWII and the 1950s.  I am not sure what, exactly.  I've
> been pondering , believe it or not, C.G. Jung's last book, the one
> on UFOs, and wondering about "visionary rumors" that Jung talks
> about.  Actually I have been thinking of writing an article
> analyzing the Obama phenomenon as a UFO, a visionary rumor 
> experienced in times of troubled collective unconsciousness.  Much
> of that UFO hysteria stuff had to do with the delivery of
> overarching panaceas from giant administrative powers in the sky
> (latter popularized into entertainments like "The Day the Earth
> Stood Still" and the various "Star Trek" series.  People  seem to
> await the big intervention.  It's difficult for any true,
> earthbound voluntary association to compete with this cargo cult
> mentality--and which makes new gun culture appear all the more
> impressive in its accomplishments.
> I am presently working on what will be my third book, "The Ten
> Commandments of Propaganda"  (Actually, there are eleven, but one
> of the commandments calls for propaganda to reflect values /ideas
> that are already in people's heads.  The book is  my attempt to
> systematize what I think I know about propaganda/social control.
> Are you interested in this kind of thing?
> Thank you again for your most encouraging letter--and I am pleased
> to digitally meet you.  We will talk more, I hope.