Seventeen years ago, a young United States Attorney told sympathetic listeners that “we must really brainwash people” against guns. He really meant to “brainwash” away the Constitution. And he, and his current boss, and his allies everywhere have done that ever since—and long before.
The context of the ‘brainwash’ statement
That young US Attorney (for DC) was Eric Holder, now the Attorney General. He used that word brainwash before the Women’s National Democratic Club on January 30, 1995.
What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we’ve changed our attitudes about cigarettes.
Holder meant to build a massive publicity network, like the one that has almost made smoking socially unacceptable. That campaign began in 1962. The American Cancer Society and the American Heart and Lung Associations all took part. Whether the health fault in cigarettes lay with the tobacco itself, or with the chemicals that the tobacco companies put into the tobacco to make their cigarettes, is an open question. Whatever the case, no one may smoke on an airliner anymore, and a semi-permanent “blue haze” hangs over the doorways of workplaces everywhere, because people may not smoke inside. These are the results of that campaign.
Holder had in mind that people would simply forget their wish to protect themselves, if they heard often enough that this was socially unacceptable: He wanted to line up celebrated public figures, who would stand as tall in the public mind as the anti-smoking advocates did. He also wanted to push this campaign in the government schools.
He conveniently forgot one thing: the Constitution.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
So Holder was already trying to “brainwash” away the Constitution. But the campaign did not start with him, nor even wait for him to speak.
How long the brainwash campaign has gone on
The campaign to “brainwash” people to look on guns as inherently evil began with the Progressive movement. One reason that the gangs of Chicago and other American cities were so terrifying was that ordinary folks already had laid aside their guns. If ordinary citizens of Chicago had been as well-armed as were the citizens of Coffeyville, Kansas, when the Dalton Gang rode into town, Al Capone and “Bugs” Moran would never have been able to carry on their war as far as they did. But they weren’t, and the result was the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre and calls from the public for stronger police.
When Holder made his speech, celebrated TV personalities had carried on their “brainwash” campaign for at least twenty years. Producers Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear, and actors Carroll O’Connor and Rob Reiner, did their best to make gun ownership look like a pastime for ignorant rubes. Nor did the campaign stop there. Medical schools used a “health inventory” to train their students to sound out a patient about bad health habits. One of them: carrying a gun. The “health inventory” form said that those who carry guns are that much more likely to die early. Put away the weapon; live longer. Who wouldn’t respond to that?
Of course, after Holder spoke to the Democratic women, an event happened three months later that lent itself neatly to the “brainwash” campaign. A self-described (and clearly renegade) militiaman, who probably had outside help, destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. One hundred sixty-one casualties later, no one wanted to hear anything more about militiamen.
How does “brainwash” work?
The word brainwash became popular in the 1950s and especially with the release of the motion picture The Manchurian Candidate (dir. John Frankenheimer; with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Khigh Dhiegh, and Angela Lansbury; Columbia Pictures, 1962). Speculators, including some US military officers,thought of using mind control on one person at a time, and a process that the controlling party would need to reinforce. But Isaac Asimov (Foundation, etc.) probably knew that “brainwash” really works not on one person, but on many.
The techniques are absurdly simple: control what people (especially children) learn, and teach a distorted or incomplete version of history. One must also teach children to respect people in authority more than they do their own parents. So the techniques to defeat brainwash are just as simple, though not as easy: un-teach the distorted view of history, teach the real history instead. The problem: when someone has learned the wrong history while very young, learning the real history is much harder. The basic problem: trust. Whom do you trust, and how far, and what with?
Sadly, the “brainwash” campaign has largely succeeded. But it can unravel at any time. Truth is a complete antidote to brainwash. And the truth is:
- People do have the right to keep and bear arms, and
- The Framers spelled out that right in the Constitution because the British authorities started the War for Independence by trying to take the people’s arms away from them.
More to the point: Eric Holder violated his oath of office. By offering to “brainwash” people to give up their most basic Constitutional right, he poured contempt on his oath to
support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and [to] bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
He broke his oath then, and he breaks it now with his “throw-down” campaign to supply weapons to Mexican drug gangs and then blame the flow of weapons on American gun dealers and their legitimate customers. This is yet more reason to remove not only him, but his boss.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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