Archive for March 14th, 2006

Note to kanefromsf: Hollywood is not Always Right

kanefromsf ended his comment on my proposal that permit holders he allowed to carry guns on planes with these words:

“The planes better darn well be bullet proof though. ”

The movie Goldfinger ended with Goldfinger firing a bullet through the side of the plane and being sucked out to his death by the wind.

That is what people BELIEVED in the 1960s!

Even back then I thought that ending to be, to put it mildly, a bit odd. I was in aviation negotiations, remember.

If any aircraft were that delicate, it would not be allowed to fly. No one at the negotiations would allow a plane like that within its borders.

Keep your seatbelt on, use the oxygen mask, and it is one hell of a job for anything to get you.

It will be cold if a MAJOR part of the plane’s side is blasted out. That is a real danger. But no pistol, no machine gun, is going to do that.

And you will live until the pilot gets you down to safety.

The end of Goldfinger was the ultimate Urban Myth. But back then it was fairly harmless.

But today, when shooting it out could be real possibility, we really are going to have to grow up.


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To End Terrorism, Let Permit Holders Carry Guns on Planes

Every time I take off my belt at airport security, I keep thinking that the terrorists should send the security personnel a letter of thanks. If they didn’t do that, the terrorists would like to.

What all that airport security guarantees is that if a terrorist wants to take over a plane, everyone on board is absolutely helpless against him.

The hundreds of thousands of people who have held concealed weapons permits for over a decade now have a MUCH better record with their guns than ANY police agency does. If you ever saw one permit holder do something stupid with his gun it would be on the front page coast-to-coast.

How many times have you seen or seen it reported the POLICE used their guns recklessly?

Why is this true?

Police work often destroys the nerves. A permit holder is not subject to the constant pressure a policeman is.

Ask any police psychiatrist whether every policeman he knows is fit to be armed twenty-four hours of every day.

They are all REQUIRED to be so armed. Look at THAT before you panic over “Letting citizens carry guns.”

If terrorists are enough of a threat to make strip-searching grandmothers and all the rest necessary, the simple fact is that permit holders are demonstrably FAR less dangerous than that.

And even the possibility of ONE permit holder with a gun would destroy all the plans a terrorist can make.



I’m too Old to Hate Anybody

Let me make clear by what the word “old” means here. It’s what they say about used cars:

“It ain’t the years, it’s the mileage that counts.”

Years won’t do it.

“Mature” would be a better word, but I hate being pretentious. That is a value judgement I leave to you.

When I took my political life in my hands and wrote the first book in my own name, “A Plague on Both Your Houses,” it was a cathartic experience. I attacked both liberals and what I now call respectable conservatives, and I made deadly enemies in BOTH camps.

But the reviewers hated my opinions and praised the book. The Library Journal recommended it for purchase!

But to write that book I had to be VERY careful. I was in professional politics at the time. Many times while I was writing it I would find myself going off into a diatribe. And I discovered something crucial: when I went off into a diatribe I didn’t know what I was talking about.

A diatribe meant that I was furious at someone and I knew there was a reason for it but I couldn’t find a clear, simple explanation of WHY they were doing what they did. All I knew was that they were BAD.

That’s fine for polemics, but not for serious politics.

I had to say WHY people were doing things. I began to understand WHY people did things.

And a lot of my hatreds went away.

The mistake you can make at this point would be to say I was becoming “mature” in the usual sense of that word, the DIPLOMATIC sense of that word.

In other words, I was getting NICER.

If you are ever in the position of being on the enemy side from me you will not make that mistake. Most of the conclusions I came to were a LOT worse than “hate.”

Would you rather be accused of hate or of being a weak little person who thinks he’s being brave?

There is at least a bit of masculinity or courage in hate. But as I wrote the book, more and more of the people doing things wrong shrunk from huge dragons into mindless little reptiles.

I would rather be a dragon.

And that is why that book HURT the other side so much. I explained their motives and their self-delusions and their illusions of heroism. They could have read through a hundred exposees about how Evil they were and never felt anything but boredom, but my book HURT.

National Review was absolutely schizoid about it. William Rusher, the publisher of NR who had a twin office with William Buckley’s at the top floor of the NR building did the Foreword to the book. He excepted himself from my comments on Buckley himself.

Buckley has been attacked by the pros, big-time, but this one HURT.

But to give Buckley his due, he STILL published my articles in NR. No liberal would have done that.

In fact, the editor of NR today would not do that. Side by side with his liberal masters, he buries all unrespectable dissent, especially if it’s aimed at HIM.

Then National Review had a cover article attacking me, as head villain, with Pat Buchanan merely included as one of my co-villains. This was a Buckely article written by a staffer at NR.

They also had a review of my book by Professor Jeffrey Hart entitled “Read This One!”

NR’s schizophrenia about what I said is the flagship example. There were dozens of examples of the same thing in every shade of political opinion. The same people who couldn’t stand what I said about THEM couldn’t wait to quote my deadly accurate characterizations of people they didn’t like.

At cocktail parties, I was actually flattered when major political figures would walk towards me, be sure they caught my eye, and then ostentatiously TURNED THEIR BACKS on me!

This should have upset me, but, like the National Review cover story, it made me feel GREAT.

I was a major leaguer.

And I genuinely learned not to hate, but to despise, the people who are wrong.

If you are said person, that is not necessarily better. But it was no longer personal with me, which did a lot for my own mental health.

It ceased to be hate. It ceased to be pesonal.

Like they kept saying in The Godfather, “Yes, I killed them. But it wasn’t personal. It was BUSINESS.”

Not that I’m comparing big-time hardball politics to the Mafia.

We’re MUCH nastier.