Friday, January 10, 2020

C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la Public Relations

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade
Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville Jr.
We've been following the upcoming Virginia gun politics debacle with some interest.  I've posted (at some length, as is my wont) that there's no way this protest comes out in our favor.

Aesop has an outstanding idea on what to do instead that would not only not be stupid, but would be pretty smart:
So how about leading with your strength, instead of your chin for a change? 
Dear Sheriff Dawg,
We, the citizens of Bugtussle County, respectfully require that you come up with a plan to deputize auxiliary deputies, to prevent or oppose any unconstitutional enforcement actions in Bugtussle County, effective ASAP. - signed, 500 registered voters 
If he does it, you've just grown fangs for liberty teeth. If not, you've identified that he was just paying lip service, and needs to go in the next election, if not sooner.
This, one hundred times this.

Consider what's in play here with the great masses of Virginia voters who are neither for us or against us: people tend to think more favorably about their local political structures than far away ones.  There's a personal aspect involved at the county level that is simply lacking even at the state level.  A lot of voters know some of the folks in the county government.  If the local sheriff deputizes a militia, the Great Undecideds will take notice.  It will be a lot harder for the biased media and Bloomberg's funding to paint the local sheriff as a racist white supremacist yahoo.  It will have a sense of gravitas, that there is an emergency threat of state government tyranny that will sink in a heck of a lot easier than shouting BUT MUH SECOND AMENDMENT!

Consider further: there are around 100 second amendment sanctuary counties, but only one state government.  Where do you think that the biased media and Bloomberg's flying monkeys are likely to show up?  A lot of this will only get known by social media postings by our side.

And if you get several county sheriffs to do this, it can snowball - it can be positive news coverage for our side for months.  The more counties that join, the bigger the sense to the Great Undecideds that maybe there really is something rotten going on in Richmond - heck, half of them already believe that.  Remember, there's more trust at the county level than at the state level, and if a grass roots reaction in multiple counties gets going, then it will build credibility that the problem is in Richmond.

That looks like a lot better chance than to camo up and hand out copies of the constitution [rolls eyes].

But wait, there's more:
A good next step for those who make it to Phase Two would be the request that the sheriff (or his designated representatives) hold mandatory monthly classes for those auxiliaries. A good first start would be classes on things like: 
Powers of Arrest
Basic Firearms Safety
Use of Force/Deadly Force and Rules of Engagement 
IOW, just about exactly what every state without a banana on the flag requires of mall security to get a basic guard card. 
Now you've given Sheriff Dawg and the good people of your county bona fides that this auxiliary can be trusted, and is answerable to the people and their designated representative, in this case the Sheriff, rather than being a bunch of yahoos.
This, one thousand times this.

If the Great Undecideds see that this is their neighbors involved under the supervision and authority of the sheriff, that will have a huge impact.  Their kids will be on sports teams with the kids of the militia. They will know that these aren't yahoos who want to play at soldier.  There's no propaganda from Bloomberg's minions that will change those minds.
At some point, after your county's group has gotten to know who's who and what's what, you should elect leadership, and tell Sheriff Dawg that with his approval, your little band of 500 has designated the following 5 folks as auxiliary lieutenants, 10-15 as auxiliary sergeants, and 50 as auxiliary corporals, over 100s, 40-50s, and 10s, respectively. Leaders will show themselves after some time together, and chains of command work both ways, while insuring basic discipline, and demonstrating trustworthiness to your actual boss, and to the people of your county.
This, one million times this.

At this point, you have something that will effectively deter Democratic jackassery.  A hundred counties each with 500 militia is 50,000.  If you take current military doctrine saying you need three times the defending force, Governor Blackface will need 150,000 troops for any reindeer games he might consider.  FYI, that's around 20% of the US Army's strength.  Good luck with that.

Or you can walk into Governor Klanhood's media trap.  Quite frankly, this doesn't take more than 2 seconds thought to see which way is the winning hand.  But that's not what we see from the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), which is full steam ahead on jumping off that cliff.  So what gives?

I think that it's the Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:
 First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration. 
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
Notice how nicely this sums up, say, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA.  I suspect the same at the VCDL.  The leaders of that are probably realizing that they've painted themselves into the corner, but are certainly thinking that gosh, they do this every year.  That's what they're about.  If they don't do the Lobby Day in Richmond, then do you even need a VCDL?  Do you need them?

And so it's into the valley of death.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
The French General de division Pierre Bosquet was an observer that day at Balaclava.  He famously was heard to mutter C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre ("It's magnificent, but it's not war").  That part is famous.  What's less known is the thing that he said next: C'est de la folie ("It's madness.")

Aesop includes in his post the Pickett's Charge scene from the film Gettysburg.  It also threw men away in a hopeless charge against an entrenched enemy, giving them all the advantages of their strengths and leveraging none of the advantages of their own.

Someone at the VCDL has blundered, and the command has come to mount up and draw sabers.  C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la PR.  C'est de la folie.
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin ...
- William Faulkner, Intruder In The Dust


A Reader said...

I do believe Mr. Aesop's plan is make of win.

Aesop said...

Only if they do it.

Sincere thanks for the nod, Borepatch.

LSP said...

Oh my, the Faulkner!

Might have to quote you, and him.

Great post.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Makes too much sense.
The local FaceBook 2A group wants war.
I am appalled at some of the comments there.

Old NFO said...

Yep, Aesop makes perfect sense, which means maybe 1% will actually do that... Dammit...

A Reader said...

I'm also seeing a lot of derp on the Texas 2A-related FB groups of which I'm a member. A lot of folks haven't grasped the notion that the only complete idiots look forward to "the boogaloo" and only criminally stupid idiots do anything to make it more likely.