So Rosie, you wanna arrest Hardyville?
By Claire Wolfe
I don't care if you think it's your right. I say: Sorry, it's 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison.
I usually ignore the mouthings of 15-minute celebrities. I grit my teeth and quietly boycott corporations that fund unfreedom. But Rosie, you and your handlers at Kmart have finally gotten to me.
You want to arrest me -- ME! -- and just about every one of my neighbors. You want to haul away the folks who own the Hog Trough Grill and Feed -- and Dora-the-Exiled-Yalie -- and the Young Curmudgeon -- and old cowboy Nat Lyons -- and my dear Significant Sweetie. All of us!
You want, Rosie -- and don't try to make it sound prettier -- you want uniformed men, armed to the eyeballs, to smash into our houses, ransack our possessions, and haul every one of us to prison. Fifty million Americans locked into cells. That's your dream, Rosie. Fifty million Americans rotting in idleness, or plodding through forced labor, while their children go into foster homes, their businesses go broke and their assets are seized by creditors or alphabet-soup agencies.
And don't say you didn't mean it to happen quite like that, Rosie. "Own a gun ... go to prison." That's how it works.
But worse than you, Rosie, is Kmart, the cheap-goods chain that hires you as its spokes-celebrity. Kmart, dear Friends of Hardyville, says they can't fire Rosie because "she has the right of speech."
Well, make no mistake, she does have that right. And a good thing, too. Even violently-inclined, hate-spewing people like Rosie O'Donnell shouldn't be prosecuted by government for the mere squirting of effluvious verbiage. And that, as any homeschooled child knows, is the protection offered by the First Amendment -- a protection against government censorship or prosecution.
But you also know Kmart's contract with Rosie allows them to bounce her -- hard and fast -- if she offends the customers. The First Amendment's got nothin' to do with it. It's a private agreement they and their lawyers chose to make. On the other hand, Kmart is free to keep Rosie, even if she babbles death threats or racial epithets or starts claiming Kmart is controlled by aliens from the planet Prolapse (which, indeed, it may be).
I'd just shrug if off as one more act of celebrity bigotry if it weren't for a nagging detail:
Kmart turns out to have a ... shall we say, ever so slightly inconsistent ... record on this alleged "right of free speech." A few years ago, their then-spokesthing, golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, blatted this embarrassing remark about Tiger Woods:
That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say, "Congratulations" and, "Enjoy it" and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. ... Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.
And Fuzzy was gone, gone, gone. Banished from the Big K forever.
Why the double-standard, Kmart? Why does Fuzzy have no right to his views, while Rosie has an absolute right to hers? I asked Kmart. Kmart dodged the question, simply insisting they intend to stand by Rosie.
Could it be that Kmart is so suddenly tolerant of violent bigotry against an American minority because it agrees? My, my, isn't that interesting?
Well, we all know it's okay to demonize gun owners, don't we? So, Kmart, lemme ask you a different question -- a question about those other minorities you do hesitate to offend:
How many of the folks your Rosie wants to haul away are black, Mexican, Korean, Jewish, Puerto Rican, disabled or "disadvantaged" -- Hm, Kmart? How many official, government-sanctioned, Kmart-approved minorities does Rosie want to lock up -- just because they're also gun owners?
Do you really think the idea of being slung into a dank pit for years isn't offensive to those minorities??? Heck, I can't speak for others. I'm merely Irish-hyphenated-American. But I can tell you that if I had to choose between listening to one drunken-Irishman crack from Fuzzy Zoeller or spending 10 years in prison at the behest of Rosie-the-Raider, I probably wouldn't require more than three or four hours to decide which hurt my feelings worse.
Well, Kmart and Rosie can do as they please.
Question is, what do we please? We gun owners have taken it up the backside, down the throat, and in the heart for 30 years. But some of us just ain't gonna take it any more. No boxcar rides to your camps for us, Rosie. No, not even a polite trip in handcuffs to the local cop shop.
But what do we do besides bluster -- as we wait for whatever Final Solution the Fans of Rosie decide to impose? And what do we do, knowing "they" probably won't arrest us out of the blue -- knowing we'll first have to undergo more of the slow hell described by activist Russ Howard:
The m.o. is the death of a thousand cuts. Ugly guns, large magazines, detachable magazines, flash suppressors, economical guns, effective guns, effective bullets, victimization periods, registration, safety-free zones, one gun a month/year/life, Lautenberg, gun show restrictions, personal transfer prohibitions, etc., etc., etc. Each stab makes it a little more difficult or risky to exercise our rights, until finally the last step -- total confiscation -- isn't so big after all.
Next week, we'll look at some possible answers to the very tough question: What hard decisions will gun owners make, someday soon, to save themselves and freedom?
For today, if you simply want to let Rosie and Kmart know what you think of their sneering contempt, here are a few actions that fall into the category of "protest lite."
But all these are momentarily satisfying, ultimately inadequate. Let's quit pretending gun owners have the slightest long-term hope "within the system." One day the Fans of Rosie will come knocking.
We must -- and a few million of us will -- prepare for the day when both we and the arms we bear will cease to be "sporting."
See you next week to talk about that. If Rosie doesn't send her armed thugs to Hardyville first.
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