Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Tonight? Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Still Is a ... Sham

   Tonight is the night for the Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns event.

   I questioned the intentions of John Hallgarth, cited by a couple of local media outlets as originator of the event, in a November 23 blog. More facts have emerged about his past. He has expressed admiration for, even belief in the politics of, the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization founded by a former associate of George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party. The NA founder also authored Timothy McVey’s favorite book, The Turner Diaries. I dropped reference to "neo-Nazi" in the title of this series of blogs because others who (1) advocate gun rights and (2) vehemently expressed their disgust with Nazis and their ilk, see merit in joining an event to educate people about gun rights (however ill-conceived some might think that to be as people at 11 on a Saturday night in Broad Ripple generally are drunk as they hit the bars for which Broad Ripple is known). I did not drop the "neo-Nazi" in the title in deference to Mr. Hallgarth. Check out fellow blogger Paul Ogden’s posts on Ogden on Politics. The documentation is there. Mr. Hallgarth’s has not been a youthful dalliance with an odd, silly belief. It dates back to 2003 or 2004 (odd how websites disappear) and has continued to at least a few days ago.

   An interesting dialogue has developed between me and a person who has referred to her self as a "gunny." She posted a reply to my blog of yesterday, and so I want to continue the give-and-take. And, btw, thank you for the advice on use of the computer.    

   1) Many might not connect the Saturday night gun event with the OWS movement. Some will. If anything negative happens, I am confident one "fair and balanced" network will hype it. Mr. Hallgarth attempts to take advantage of a political phenomenon that is at odds with what he has expressed as his beliefs.

   2) As for Buckley and Gore, they had nice exchanges. They also had one, during the 1968 Democratic Convention, in which Gore called Buckley a "crypto-Nazi" and Buckley said he would punch Gore in his "goddamn face." They were eloquent up to that point. I believe each accused the other of drunkenness, one of the nicer facets of a liberal arts education; the drunkenness, I mean. Otherwise it was a treat to hear their exchanges.

   Okay, about the anarcho-capitalist position you mention: I am a philosophical anarchist. You are right, that is a discussion for another time, but I at least had to address it.

   I will take issue with Paul’s level-headedness, especially when it comes to Theodore Roosevelt. He loses all objectivity then. Well, maybe he does not lose all objectivity. Thank you, you have been civil to me, as well, in the posts on this site. And I try to be reasonable. There are some matters about which I cannot be rational. (I am a Cubs fan; explain that.) On most matters political/philosophical, my goal is civil, reasoned discourse. Paul and I share some beliefs. (We both are fans of the National League.) But we can discuss/argue in civil manner. I hope you will watch past shows on the website.

   3) Fine, we are in agreement. But I really thought SoBro was trendy.

   4) Such matters as complete bans on guns should be discussed. The topic is not similar to chattel slavery. There are people who believe in complete bans. There are people who believe in some gun control (a position, incidentally, that was at the core of the founding of the NRA). It is interesting that when I Google variations on the term "ban guns" I come up with pro-gun websites, usually efforts at sarcasm, that block my attempt to find places where people advocate that guns should be banned. Those websites serve the purpose of blocking free speech. Self-defense might be an intrinsic right, but ownership of firearms does not fall into that category. Handguns, especially, are favorite items for burglars to seize. Burglars rarely hit houses where someone is home. As to self-defense on the street—I agree a handgun can enhance one’s ability to defend one’s self. But how many more people are shot/killed/wounded by accident, in domestic disputes, etc., than are saved by use of a handgun in self-defense? There are numbers bandied about—that is the purpose of discussion and debate. If we do not discuss Fourth Amendment rights, how many people will be ignorant of that Amendment’s virtual evisceration? If there had been open and healthy debate in the general public, would the Barnes case have been handed down? Some people think there are limits on the Bill of Rights. Let’s discuss the Second Amendment. By discussing a ban, people might be swayed to the opposite view and support your position. Open discussion and debate are healthy. Open discussion and debate usually are shut off before rights are taken away.

   And about the incense, I think all drugs should be legalized. And before you say it---I know, how can I square that with my opposition to firearms? Again, a discussion for another day.
   5) I did not use the term "neo-Nazi" lightly. I believe the evidence is sufficient for the claim that I made.

   Okay, we disagree about use of the word "sham." But about what I wrote on the Occupy movement and the use of ads—the ads were for corporate entities like State Farm Insurance. The ads were for corporate entities at the heart of what OWS opposes. As I said in that blog, I am not against making a buck. But ads for those entities, or running ads without any means of accounting to people for how the money is spent, is antithetical to the occupy movement. And that appears to have been only one of three groups. 

  Mr. Hallgarth would have had a more philosophically consistent name for his event if he had called it "Tea Party in Broad Ripple with Guns." There are more Second Amendment boosters in that crowd.   







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Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 27, 2011 at 3:44am

Typos -- TR was a fascinating man, not a "many."  The last line was supposed to be, "That's freedom -- everyone gets a chance to speak out."  We are not owed convenience in grinding our own personal axes, only a chance to give it a try.

     The missing * footnote: "Uncomfortable as that might make both groups."  Which is unfair to the folks in Pink Pistols, an LGBT gun-activist group.  (The Internet, underminer of easy stereotypes).

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 26, 2011 at 9:33am

1. Has Fox News Network -- not the local Fox affiliate (Murdock doesn't own them) -- even noticed?  I haven't seen Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns receive any national-level press, airtime or high-traffic-site Web coverage.

     Open-carry events have become fairly common in the gun-rights community.  The reason is akin to the original reasoning behind a Gay Pride march:* get people noticing, "Why, they're just like reg'lar folk!" 


     2. Yes, the infamous incident -- in hindsight, I think both men realized they were out of line...and chose, if I remember correctly what I have read, to each admit so for the other fellow.  :)

     Anarchism comes in a dizzying array of shapes and flavors and many espousing it seem to have been sucked in to the prevalent  notion of everyone having to hew to the One True Way (whatever the person so saying thinks that might be).  --If all association is voluntary, it seems to me that each variety's adherents could get along, hanging out with one another or not as they saw fit.  Alas, it falls apart when one of the "property is theft" gang shows up and tried to liberate someone else's furniture.

     You cannot calmly debate Teddy Roosevelt with most Republicans (or many Democrats, though it's a later Roosevelt many of them hold too dear to examine).  I'm not sure Teddy could have managed it himself.  A fascinating many, but he's the point where the power and size of the Federal government  really starts to grow quickly.  (Mind you, the accelerated growth started with Mr. Lincoln but at least he was trying to win a civil war).  I really wonder if we'd've been stuck with that racist, war-mongering Wilson if TR had made some different choices.

     --I will watch your programs, as time permits.  Busy, busy.


     3. SoBro probably is trendy.  It is (or was) also affordable, as BR goes.  I can't buy houses or cars on the basis of trendiness, I'm too much a cheapskate.


     4.  Nope, banning handguns is off the table for me.   It really is the same (at least to me) as proposing the franchise ought to be sharply restricted, or the right to privacy (such as remains) ought to be abolished, of that freedom of religion or of the press should be abolished.  It's like proposing book-burning.  That's not a debate for reasonable, decent folk.  (It's also not the law of the land and cannot be; even organizations like the Brady Campaign and CSGV now say they do not want to ban guns).  The history of gun control is remarkably racist and classist; let us not turn that clock back.  And as for NRA -- a large but as you point out, at times lukewarm supporter of gun rights --  they were founded to help improve civilian marksmanship.  Their mission has shifted somewhat over time but they still  sponsor instruction classes and competitions.

     This brings us to something you wrote that I'd like for you to re-examine.  But first, imagine a park with a lot of soap-box orators holding forth.  All have audiences. Only a few are saying things you think need said and you have to work your way through the crowds to hear them.  Is your freedom of speech (and hearing) abridged by this? Would freedom in general be increased or decreased if all but your favorites are silenced?  You wrote, "It is interesting that when I Google variations on the term "ban guns" I come up with pro-gun websites, usually efforts at sarcasm, that block my attempt to find places where people advocate that guns should be banned. Those websites serve the purpose of blocking free speech."  No, they don't.   They are free speech, same as the ant-gun sites.  Those are your fellow citizens, speaking their minds, and the good people who make search engines provide a way to page through them rapidly.  (It's no picnic for collectors, either;  the political noise-level makes looking for technical or historical info more work than it otherwise would be.  That'


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