What I don’t understand about ‘pragmatism’

I had pretty much made up my mind to step away from the rancorous, and apparently endless, debate between the “pragmatists,” on the one hand, and the “3 percenters,” on the other. It’s an argument that will pretty clearly never be “won” by anyone, except perhaps the citizen disarmament advocates. After catching up on my reading of the Sispsey Street Irregulars, however (“catching up” being necessary after my month-long break from involvement with the gun rights issue), and seeing the intensity of vitriol* some of the more outraged “prags” have seen fit to direct at Mr. Vanderboegh and his “merry band,” I feel compelled to once again wade into the fray.

In the interest of full disclosure, my sympathies are very strongly and unabashedly with the “3 percenters,” although to count myself actually among them would be to give myself vastly too much credit, considering my physical inability to usefully participate in any militia endeavor. Still, if Mike and the rest don’t object to me referring to myself as an “honorary 3 percenter,” I’ll gratefully do so.

As far as the “prags” go, I don’t consider them cowards, or collaborators, or many of the other insults that “3 percenters” have tossed their way. I do consider them vastly overly optimistic about the prospects of gun rights prevailing through solely “within the system” activism. They remind me a bit of Neville Chamberlain, with the Heller decision being their Munich Agreement (and by the way–don’t give me Godwin’s Law–that ain’t what this is about).

And this brings me to the source of my confusion. The “pragmatic” strategy, apparently, requires gun rights activists to count on the Constitution for protection against people who have made it absolutely clear that they consider the Constitution to be so much Charmin substitute. At least one “prag,” for example, has railed against some other gun rights advocates, for their refusal to vote for one of the chief architects of one of the most brazen attacks on the First Amendment in recent history.

I have frequently criticized proponents of restrictive gun laws for their bizarre “strategy” of attempting to use laws to rein in the behavior of the lawless. I can’t really see much of a difference between that, and counting on the Constitution to protect freedom from those bent on subverting it.

* Some examples (just a couple, of many):

“Three Percenters” are self-righteous, anarchist, egotistical, self-centered, solipsistic, incorrigible asses, and are appropriately full of shit.


I love this “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” nonsense from the .3-percenters. Fine: I’m against you. Not in principle, actually, but just in the childish, moronic way that you draw attention to yourselves. Typical, from people who’ve never actually had to fight a war against an oppressive state.

Pathetic bunch of losers.


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