The Road to Absolute Power
Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth abound in the wake of another senseless mass killing. The search for a way to stop the slaughter, as always, turns to gun control. The argument always comes down to one simple sentence, “If we can take all the guns away from the law abiding citizens the problem will be solved.” Whether it is stated exactly that way or not, that is what it means. Why? Because the criminals will never surrender their guns and so far no one has ever found a way to take them away from them. In fact, formerly law abiding Americans will become criminals when they are forced to go to the black market for weapons with which to defend themselves and their families. Who will supply those weapons? Why, the criminals of course – who else?
There will always be a supply to satisfy a demand. That’s the way it has always been and always will be.
During WWII gasoline was rationed and could only be obtained legally with government issued gas stamps and 17 cents a gallon. Only 3 miles from my home you could buy all the gasoline you wanted, without stamps – for $1 per gallon. Supply was there to satisfy demand.
During prohibition, alcohol was manufactured in bathtubs, abandoned warehouses, backwoods stills, and thousands of other places all over America. There was absolutely no shortage of alcohol as supply rose to satisfy demand.
Until gambling was legalized with the advent of Casinos, only a few spots in America existed where gambling was legal. Are we so naïve as to believe nobody was gambling? From back alley crap games to illegal roulette wheels in secret hideaways, people continued to gamble. It may have been driven underground but it flourished all across America as supply rose to satisfy demand.
The Twentieth Century saw prostitution outlawed except in a few places – yet it flourishes to this day in every American city of any size. Again, supply rises to satisfy demand.
The government’s “War on Drugs” has been waged unsuccessfully for decades and yet marijuana, cocaine, and a veritable plethora of illegal drugs are available in every metropolitan area in the USA. Multimillion dollar international businesses have sprung up in Mexico and other nations to provide Americans a never ending supply to satisfy a never ending demand for illegal drugs.
It has been said that in Washington DC “Power is the drug of choice”. Like the lust for money, the lust for power is never satisfied. It has been that way with government rulers down through history. Consider these examples.
In 2000 BC the Egyptian Pharaohs began building the great pyramids. Historians have found no evidence that the Pharaohs let out government contracts to have the pyramids built. On the contrary, they built them the same way those in power do anything – by using the public treasury and the labor of the people.
In 221 BC the Chinese war lord Chin Shu Huan waged war on the other states, defeating and consolidating the provinces into the first Chinese nation. Once he had dictatorial control he set his army about building the Great Wall of China. They conscripted civilian slaves who were forced to work under conditions so severe that over 300,000 of them died to erect the wall. The cost was more than human as it nearly bankrupted the country. His power was so great that he had his own mother killed and her lover drawn and quartered. As he approached the end of his life he had a burial complex constructed that includes the now-famous terra cotta army. At his death, he had all the members of his court, the builders, and family members buried alive with him. There was nothing he would not do to hold onto his power.
At the time of Christ, the Roman emperors were no better. Just for fun, people were thrown to wild beasts or forced to fight each other to the death. The Roman armies looted, pillaged, and raped their way across the known world to feed the egos of their insane emperors. The Roman Coliseum was built with funds obtained by sacking the city of Jerusalem and carrying away everything of value – all without any concern for their vanquished foes. Power was something to be gained, consolidated, expanded, and retained as long as possible.
The Twentieth Century continued to produce power mad dictators just as cruel and ruthless as any who came before. Adolph Hitler duped the German people long enough to gain power. Once in power he consolidated that power by killing his enemies and giving the German people someone to hate – the Jews. One obstacle stood in the way of Hitler’s NAZI party – an armed citizenry. The solution to that was simple. He required everyone to pay a tax on each weapon they possessed. This allowed Hitler to create a registry of every citizen who had a gun. Once the registry was complete he started raising the tax on weapons. By the time the tax reached $200 per year Germans were voluntarily turning in their guns because they weren’t worth the tax they had to pay on them. The next step was predictable. They simply went to the homes of those who still had guns and confiscated them. An unarmed citizenry is very easy to control and allows the nation’s leader to retain his power unchecked within his own country. That is true whether the leader is an emperor, a pharaoh, a dictator, or even a president.
The cry for gun control is not about creating safety for citizens. On August 31, 1911 the Sullivan Act banning guns went into effect in New York. The murder rate in New York City has remained around 400 victims per year for the last 40 years. So much for the effect the Sullivan Act has had on gun violence. Cities like Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri kill far more people every year than the crazed public shootings that make the headlines. Drive-by shootings are a way of life in some sectors of major cities, yet there is no national outcry, no weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth for these victims. Their lives are no less precious than those of school children gunned down by a crazed lunatic. Their families grieve the same and feel the same hurt – yet no president or vice president vows to solve their problem. To consolidate his power with gun control the president needs an emotional issue and dead and dying children provide the ideal issue. Unfortunately, the end result is the same as in NAZI Germany – an unarmed citizenry. Gun control is as futile as the controls on drugs, prostitution, gambling, alcohol or any of the other activities people want to engage in. But gun control is the road to unlimited power – the road Obama has chosen.