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THE COLUMN: Guns N' Roeses
Michael Walsh • 27 Jun, 2022 • 7 Min Read
Rage, rage, against the dying of the Leftist light.
It has long been a dictum of mine that, as far as the progressive Left is concerned, "they never stop, they never sleep, they never quit." After their twin defeats at the Supreme Court last week, regarding two of their most sensitive issues (both of which derive from their devotion to cultural suicide, which is their principal objective), don't expect them to give up easily. They subscribe to their version of Islamism or the Brezhnev Doctrine: once they've conquered moral or physical territory, it can never go back to the way it was. They see themselves as the heroes of their own movies, good red-diaper babies constantly battling the forces of revanchism and irrendentism, which are you. The idea that they're the bad guy never occurs to them:
These are, after all, the same people who refused to accept George W. Bush's narrow presidential victory in 2000 ("selected, not elected"); refused to accept Bush's win over John Kerry in 2004; rained hellfire and brimstone down on poor Sarah Palin, whose only crime was a surfeit of motherhood, and snarlingly turned on her running mate and their erstwhile favorite maverick, John McCain in 2008; and went bonkers over the surprise victory of Donald Trump in 2016, thus triggering the entire "Russian collusion" hoax that started with Hillary Clinton and eventually came to embrace the FBI, the intelligence community, the media, and the judicial system.
In the same way, having outlawed school prayer and, from that beachhead, having driven almost any expression of the Christian faith from the public square—the offending prayer in question read, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country," which the pestiferous Madalyn Murray O'Hair and her ilk somehow equated with the "establishment" of a religion—they have gone to the mattresses to expunge anything that smacks of Christianity, especially any proscriptions against the form of baby murder that goes by the sobriquets of "choice" and "women's health." To wit: abortion.
About their only admirable trait is their refusal to give up—something that brands them in perpetuity as sore losers, with whom we have to live as long as these United States stay together. The question is, how much longer can this go on?
"The State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution."
They won't realize it, of course, but justice Clarence Thomas, in the Bruen decision, and Samuel Alito, in Dobbs/Roe, just did them a big favor. In Bruen, Thomas and the majority invalidated New York State's Sullivan Law, a gangland-era judicial excrescence that for more than a century has been a clear violation of the Second Amendment. As I wrote in the New York Post ten years ago:
The father of New York gun control was Democratic city pol “Big Tim" Sullivan — a state senator and Tammany Hall crook, a criminal overseer of the gangs of New York. In 1911 — in the wake of a notorious Gramercy Park blueblood murder-suicide — Sullivan sponsored the Sullivan Act, which mandated police-issued licenses for handguns and made it a felony to carry an unlicensed concealed weapon.
This was the heyday of the pre-Prohibition gangs, roving bands of violent toughs who terrorized ethnic neighborhoods and often fought pitched battles with police. In 1903, the Battle of Rivington Street pitted a Jewish gang, the Eastmans, against the Italian Five Pointers. When the cops showed up, the two underworld armies joined forces and blasted away, resulting in three deaths and scores of injuries. The public was clamoring for action against the gangs.
Problem was the gangs worked for Tammany. The Democratic machine used them as shtarkers (sluggers), enforcing discipline at the polls and intimidating the opposition. Gang leaders like Monk Eastman were even employed as informal “sheriffs,” keeping their turf under Tammany control. The Tammany Tiger needed to rein in the gangs without completely crippling them. Enter Big Tim with the perfect solution: Ostensibly disarm the gangs — and ordinary citizens, too — while still keeping them on the streets.
As befits the criminal organization masquerading as a political party, that's exactly what the Democrats did. And what Justice Thomas just undid: "“Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution." You can read the opinion for yourself, and you should:
The two most important words in Thomas's opinion are "self defense," an unalienable right from time immemorial. "Self defense" is also a concept that the Left has worked tirelessly to abolish, not simply via the Sullivan Law but with the countless thousands of "common sense" infringements they and their baleful cadres of lawyers have diligently inserted into state and municipal gun laws all across the country. Like Big Tim Sullivan, they know that when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns, and that's just fine with them: the outlaws are doing their dirty work for them. Every shooting on the streets of Chicago, every mass murder by incel 18-year-olds who should never have been allowed near a firearm, brings them closer to their desired fascist/national-socialist state, one in which the government need not control the means of production but instead controls the only thing that matters: you and your fellow Americans. For the common good, of course.
But "self defense" smacks too much of freedom, and for the Left the only freedom they believe in is sexual license, untrammeled by any social, political, physical, or legal consequences. Such as special exotic diseases or, worse, children. Reproduction by proselytization is their preferred method of replication, the old-fashioned way being too cisnormative or heterogenerative or whatever their term of opprobrium du jour is at the moment. Their howls of outrage at Justice Alito's Dobbs decision come from a very deep and ugly place: as with Bruen their preferred outcomes are diktats from a central authority, and not the messy result of constitutional republican democracy, in which all matters not expressly delegated to the central government are reserved for the states and the people.
A crime, never a "right."
Ah, but to superannuated "feminists" such as Gloria Steinem, "democracy"=abortion. “Obviously,” she wrote, “without the right of women and men to make decisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy.” Never mind that the deliberate killing of a quickened child within a woman's womb was not only never considered a "fundamental right" as the wizened poltroon pretending to be president said the other day; unless you were an ancient Baal-worshipping or Moloch-adjacent Canaanite or Carthaginian, it was a crime. As Alito noted in his eloquent opinion for the majority:
Not only was there no support for such a constitutional right until shortly before Roe, but abortion had long been a crime in every single State. At common law, abortion was criminal in at least some stages of pregnancy and was regarded as unlawful and could have very serious consequences at all stages. American law followed the common law until a wave of statutory restrictions in the 1800s expanded criminal liability for abortions. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, three-quarters of the States had made abortion a crime at any stage of pregnancy, and the remaining States would soon follow.
Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.
Alas, the returning of the abortion question from the purview of nine unelected white men in 1973 to the vibrant diversity of America in 2022, a country in which the principles of federalism can once again be given free reign, has set off paroxysms of fury on the Left, whose insurrectionary extremists have attacked Christian pro-life centers and called for the abolition of maleness, among other things. The political uses of violence have always appealed to them—that's what the old Sixties concept of "direct action" means, and what "by any means necessary" explicitly embraces—so their hyperventilated overreaction was to be expected. But deep down in the hard core of their animus toward a world whose reality stubbornly refuses to conform with their political ideology, they know peaceful co-existence is impossible. "Pro-choice," my ass: you will be made to care, comrade.
Care about all their transient neuroses, of which their contemporary sexual lunacy is only one of many. There is no stasis in Leftism: you're either breaking boundaries and pushing envelopes and shattering glass ceilings or you're losing. The reason they never stop is that they cannot stop. They can't be satisfied with a small victory. It's all or nothing. It's their fatal flaw, their Achilles heel.
They could have taken their victories and shut up, but they couldn't. They had to push and push and push and push until they finally ended up in court. They can't stop because their rage comes from the vast, burning nihilistic emptiness inside them that no amount of expanded abortion rights or "pride" months or drag queen story hours or transgressive love stories in Disney cartoons can ever satisfy. The two big decisions last week have given them an out: blue-state fantasy homelands of their very own where they're free to abort babies and celebrative 52 genders and chemically castrate their XY birth-defectives and drive magic electric cars and heat and cool their homes with windmills and eat bugs and refuse to defend themselves and defund the police and enforce "equity" and anything else their hearts desire, even if it kills them.
Because, in the end, that's what they really want. An end to their restlessness and their war against their own savage gods. All we want, by contrast, is to be left alone with a culture we love and prize and wish to pass on to our children. But they want to take us with them because, as we all know, misery loves company. Either we'll learn to care, or they'll die trying. Because in their world, right now, everything's coming up guns and Roeses, and they can't have that, not now, not ever.
Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis