"If I don't see you there
We'll all know why
And I'll try to find you
Left of the dial"
How can you read about Dan Cooper and not come to the conclusion that actual freedom and actual personal responsibility are essentially meaningless to the vast majority of people who call themselves "conservative"?
Dan Cooper was basically a poster-child for libertarian-conservative values. He was a small businessman, a manufacturer of high-quality hunting rifles, who shepherded his business through hard times until it ultimately employed about 38 people. Clearly this is a guy who supports "individualist" interpretations of the Second Amendment. And since I know a few things about guns and I've known a bunch of people who loved hunting, I can tell you that people who bother to buy a rifle like the ones that Dan Cooper sold are not generally going to be your typical modern gun nut. These are fairly expensive guns, bolt-action rifles designed for hunting game, not clones of military weapons intended to make the bearer feel potent. Whether you like the craft they're used for, it's hard not to accept that what he made were craftsman's tools, not assembly-line garbage with no legitimate use in a civil society.
I keep using the term 'was' because Dan Cooper isn't making guns anymore. Oh, the company's still there, but Dan's gotten fired as the President of the company he founded.
Here's what happened to Dan Cooper: he had the audacity to publicly announce that he supported Barack Obama. And for that, he was hounded out of his position by a bunch of limp-dicked gun nuts.
And yet pathetic pseudo-intellectuals like Andy McCarthy can write, with what they'd have us believe is a straight face, that Obama is the one who's going to have a catastrophic impact on our "liberty." These guys and their fellow-travelers on the radical religious right are the ones who would place restrictions on my liberty by enforcing a tyranny of the minority from the extreme right.
Andy McCarthy doesn't have the guts to deal with real freedom because real freedom might mean people choosing ideas other than the ones he's behind. Being a real thinker means having the courage to have a real discussion about your ideas, which is something that the narcissistic dregs of post-Buckley Buckleyism (which I won't dignify by calling 'Conservatism') and pseudo-conservative intellectualoids snarf down their unholy cocktail of Rand & God & penis-amplification devices.
But then, I suppose freedom from liberty is a kind of freedom. Or freedom from choice. Everything is so much easier when you get to let someone else choose for you, right? Like Dan Cooper should have let the phallicly-challenged nut cases in the NRA dictate who he offered public support for.
As I said, I've known a lot of people who loved hunting and hunting-guns. I'm a bit heartened to see how many aren't locked in to the ridiculous knee-jerk mindset:
As a gun owner from Montana myself, i can't wait to buy one of Mr. Cooper's firearms. Notice I didn't say his former company's firearms, as I would not support them any longer. And yes, I cast my vote for Barack Obama on October 6th.
If only the more vocal minority of self-proclaimed "gun nuts" could be that rational (and gracious).