David Mamet on governments and gun control

Fabulous thought-piece by a great film maker “Wag the Dog”, The Spanish Prisoner”, “State and Main”, and my favorite modern playwright. He warms up thus:

All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.

As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.

President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”

But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?

It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”

The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned good—that we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions.

Then, guns:

Q. Who “needs” an assault rifle?

A. No one outside the military and the police. I concur.

An assault weapon is that which used to be called a “submachine gun.” That is, a handheld long gun that will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held down.

These have been illegal in private hands (barring those collectors who have passed the stringent scrutiny of the Federal Government) since 1934. Outside these few legal possessors, there are none in private hands. They may be found in the hands of criminals. But criminals, let us reflect, by definition, are those who will not abide by the laws. What purpose will passing more laws serve?

What possible purpose in declaring schools “gun-free zones”? Who bringing a gun, with evil intent, into a school would be deterred by the sign?

Ah, but perhaps one, legally carrying a gun, might bring it into the school.

Good. We need more guns in schools.

Anyone applying to purchase a handgun has, since 1968, filled out a form certifying he is not a fugitive from justice, a convicted criminal, or mentally deficient. These forms, tens and tens of millions of them, rest, conceivably, somewhere in the vast repository. How are they checked? Are they checked? By what agency, with what monies? The country is broke. Do we actually want another agency staffed by bureaucrats for whom there is no funding?

The police do not exist to protect the individual. They exist to cordon off the crime scene and attempt to apprehend the criminal. We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to “award” us. They have never been granted it.

The so-called assault weapons ban is a hoax. It is a political appeal to the ignorant. The guns it supposedly banned have been illegal (as above) for 78 years. Did the ban make them “more” illegal? The ban addresses only the appearance of weapons, not their operation.

The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.

President Obama seems to understand the Constitution as a “set of suggestions.” I cannot endorse his performance in office, but he wins my respect for taking those steps he deems necessary to ensure the safety of his family. Why would he want to prohibit me from doing the same?


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13 responses to “David Mamet on governments and gun control

  1. Anon

    Four stars.

    I wonder had Sandy Hook happened in October and not December if it might have changed the election outcome. The Great Gun Debate is polarizing and might have gotten more republicans who didn’t vote because they didn’t like Romney out. Of course it could have easily brought out more anti-gun folks too.
    O/T: did you know there was a pro life march in DC that brought out some half-million people. The MSM considered it a non-event. JournOLists!!!

  2. Greenwich Old Timer

    Wow. Thanks for sharing such a rational, beautifully thought out and expressed piece.

  3. TheWizard

    Some excellent points here that those supposedly on our side In Washington need to learn.
    Don’t accept the premise of the liberals’ statements. Debate from a position of them claiming power over us, somehow, that they’ve never been granted.

  4. Interesting bit from Frontline includes interviews with Teri Buehl.


  5. Walt

    Dude –
    I always liked Monet’s painting better than his writing. He did some great French impersonation stuff, didn’t he? Water lilies and crap like that.

    Anyhows, this may be your best post EVER!! I know that really doesn’t set the standard too high, but I really think Monet nailed it on this one. He is spot in all respects.

    He says what I have been saying all along, just in a more boring way. The government is built to sub – optimize. Set the standards to the lowest common denominator. It is ass backwards. Just like you!!

    How do you destroy this once great Republic and turn it into a Liberal conceived Commie utopia? It’s easier than you think, and the Chosen One has us well on the way.

    Foster divisiveness and class warfare. Demonize the successful, and redistribute the wealth through entitlements and an oppressive tax system on those with wealth. Give no one more than they “need” as defined by you.

    Dismantle the Constitution. Disarm the populace, and demonize gun ownership by private, law abiding citizens. It’s not gun control, it’s gun safety!! Told you they would call it that!!

    Use the MSM to spread your propaganda. Enact laws to regulate the internet, and limit free speech.

    Control the education system, and use Federal regulations and Presidential executive orders to bypass the Constitution.

    If anyone opposes you call them a racist, a child hater, and whatever else it takes to beat down their opposing point of view. Lying is OK.

    So great post Clowny. You done good.

    You frigging loser.
    Your Pal,

    • Mark B.

      Well said Walt, as much as it grieves me…
      I get some funny looks when I say in exasperation, “If we completely lose our gun rights, I will be free to move to a place I dearly love – Paris.”
      I am immediately branded as UN-American for such a statement.

      But at this point, what else is seperating us from these other countries…?

  6. Mark B.

    Great piece. And apparently our pal Cuomo isn’t stopping with assault weapons –
    He is now proposing outlawing the plea bargaining of speeding tickets, a practice that brings tons of money into the municipalities (in some cases millions a year). It also helps drivers – they still pay the fine but keep points off their license, keeping their insurance rates down. This New law would funnel the moolah away from the towns and (you guessed it) to the State.

    Cuomo’s stated and published reason for changing the law?
    Why, to make the highways safer for the people of course.

    “It’s for the children”, in statist lingo.

    • Mark B.

      We need some humor, speaking of Monet.
      One time, I’m wandering through the Louvre or Musee D’Orsay (like it matters) which is equivalent to a gibbon turned loose in a Bloomingdales, and I happen across some Monet works. You know his style – beautiful, but it’s like he painted it with a seventeen-foot brush.
      Next, sans my reading glasses, I bump into a Manet with a tag I innocently misread. So I’m looking at a huge painting in super hi-def of a naked woman having a picnic with two well-dressed gentlemen.
      “Jesus,” I thought to myself, “this f–ker couldn’t make up his mind…”

  7. Front Row Phil

    And that’s why he’s David Mamet. Thanks enormously for posting.

  8. David Smith

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t SCOTUS declare a few years ago that paid, sworn, the police have no enforceable duty to protect the commoners.

    Or was it some state court? Whatever.

  9. Balzac

    Each minor and petty government bureaucrat has infinitely more power over us than the richest businessman. You can avoid the businessman. Tried to avoid motor vehicle or the watercourses agency recently? For Obama, the bureaucrat is a quiet hero, doing good, of whom we need many more.

    Peggy Noonan was brilliant in the WSJournal again this weekend. Obama is all about redistribution, and the major national issue, DEBT, is simply not on his mind. And the silly press says he is so intelligent……….