Ah, the “slippery slope” metaphor. Over-used, sometimes misused and rarely is it effectively used – I hope I don’t manage to make those same mistakes.
Individual liberties were of prime concern to the founding fathers. The Constitution makes it difficult for the government to infringe upon the rights of the individual and progressives find this incredibly frustrating.
So what is a progressive liberal to do? Grit their teeth – nah, might ruin that new retainer Mom and Dad got ‘em. Whine and complain? Sure, but that’s pretty much a constant noise the rest of us have now tuned out – much like MSNBC. No, they chip away at the offending freedom until there is nothing left. This practice has been used as long as there have been those that would strip away a liberty from one citizen in the name of safety, security, or well-being of another. More correctly, they take the liberties of a group of Americans in the name of the greater good – that’s not Marxist..
Examples of this practice are easy to find. The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. Progressives know that any attempt to repeal that amendment would meet the kind of resistance that would destroy their little movement. Instead, they have attempted to dismantle the right slowly, through regulation. They outlawed high-capacity mags where they could, the assault weapons ban, a recent attempt to outlaw lead for fishing and shooting – it’s a constant assault.
The liberals are also attacking smoking. I don’t smoke cigarettes, but the attack on another’s freedom are too much to bare. Certainly, I don’t need anyone blowing smoke in my face, that’s my right, but recently, there are boards in North Carlina trying to get smoking outlawed in open air parks and greenways. For Pete’s sake, if someone wants to smoke in the wide open space of a park, certainly I can find my own clean air. Sure, the libdergarderners make the argument that smoking causes cancer and that society pays the price. I say, only because of the terrible regulation of the insurance industry. If rates weren’t so tightly controlled, smokers would pay through the nose for insurance – an outcome of their own choice to smoke. My rates would be unaffected. If the government is so concerned, they could do the same with Medicare.
The real question is at what point will most Americans realize that the next freedom to go might just be one they like. The whole chip-away strategy goes after a total goal – let’s say the eradication of guns in America. What is done is to segment the kinds of gun owners and take rights from each group in a successive manner. First, those that really like high-capacity mags. The occasional target shooter or hunter may not ever buy a high capacity mag and could easily just let this regulation go by without putting the fear of re-election into the Representatives. Next would be those that like semi-automatic rifles with clips (detachable magazines). An article on about.com demonstrates the skewed definition of an assault rifle as it was put in the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban (AWB):
In general, the AWB defined any firearm with a detachable magazine and at least two of certain other characteristics as an assault weapon.
For rifles, those characteristics included:
- Telescoping stock
- Pistol grip
- Bayonet mount
- Grenade launcher
- Flash suppressor
A pistol grip and flash suppressor could easily be found on a competition gun (which would have clip). But most hunters and shotgun sports enthusiasts might let this go. Now we have dolts like Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) would limit the size of ammunition magazines. What would be next? In 2009 McCarthy wanted to ban on anything that remotely resembles a military rifle. That definition won’t get misused by the courts or regulators at all ..
So you may not be a smoker or a gun enthusiast, but what happens when a freedom you appreciate comes under fire because someone in the government doesn’t like it? If you don’t stand up for the rights of gun owners, smokers, the religious, etc – who will stand up for you when your favorite liberty gets stepped-on? You cannot pick and choose, defend every liberty offered by the Constitution or be willing to lose them all.