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The Science of Incrementalism

Updated on April 17, 2013

You've all heard this one before, haven't you: put a frog in a pan of hot water and he'll jump out of it. Put that same frog in a pan of room-temperature water, set the pan on the stove, turn on the burner and heat slowly to a boil. The frog will stay in the pan until he boils to death.

By bringing the water incrementally to a boil, the frog acclimatizes to the slowly rising temperature, not aware of the danger he's in until it's too late to save himself.

There's Gotta Be Some Way Around that Pesky Constitution

So, how do you take away a constitutionally-guaranteed right? Same way you boil a frog. Incrementally.

Take the 2nd Amendment for example. The anti-gun crowd knows damn well they can't outlaw guns with some master stroke. Not without igniting a 2nd American Civil War. In other words, the frog'll jump out of the pan.

So rather than try to ban guns outright, they'll do it incrementally - heat the water a little at a time.

They can't get guns outlawed, but they can make owning one difficult...damned difficult. They can pile regulation on top of regulation on top of regulation, unroll mile after mile of red tape, require licensing, registration, psychological profiling and the associated fees. Add tax after tax, doubling, tripling and more the price we'll pay for guns, ammunition, cleaning kits, repairs, hunting licenses (PETA'll like that), accessories, even paper targets.

They'll expand and broaden background checks to the point that if you have a cousin convicted of a felony 20 years before he died 10 years ago of a heart attack due to tobacco use or a child in the house, you won't be allowed to own a gun due to child endangerment, a family history of violence and drug use.

They'll get bans on "assault-style" weapons. You know what an "assault-style" weapon is? My Remington model 870 pump-action shotgun. Why is that an "assault-style" weapon? Because years ago, I removed the original butt-stock and replaced it with one incorporating a pistol grip into the design. No other modifications were done, it's still a standard pump-action 12 gauge shotgun, but it's now an "assault-style" weapon.

Then of course, "high-capacity" firearms like my 30-odd year old Ruger 10/22 will need to be outlawed. Ooooh....this one's really frightening. Called the model 10/22 because it's a .22cal rifle with a 10-shot capacity. Even worse, it's a semi-automatic. Bone stock, this is considered a "high-capacity" because of it's 10-round magazine. Making things worse, I also have 30-round magazines for it. Then, I removed the original stock replacing it with an "assault-style" stock. So now, I have a "high-capacity assault-style" .22 cal rifle.

Worst of all, my Smith & Wesson .40 cal semi-auto handgun. Here is the Holy Grail for anti-gunners.

Oh, you'll still have the right to own a gun....if you can navigate your way through the bureaucratic jungle and if you can pay all those fees and taxes.

Done incrementally, all in the name of "common sense precautions."

Once the Frog Is Boiled

This is how you eliminate a given legal activity or a constitutionally-guaranteed right: you incrementally tax and regulate it to the point that nobody will be willing to go through the hassles or be able to afford it.

Then, 10, 15 or 20 years down the line when the frog has finally boiled to death, you can repeal the 2nd Amendment as being no longer relevant.

Still, gun violence will continue. Won't even slow down. Criminals you see, don't give a damn about the law. Never have, never will. One way or another, they will get their hands on a gun.

Not a single life will have been saved. Not one.

What will we do then?

No, the Obama administration is not trying to take away our guns. Not yet. Just a couple of increments will do for now.

The rest can come later, a little at a time.


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