Email Reflection from February 25th, 2014 @ Age 32
RE: NRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER, LINDA, HERE—WAS TOO BUSY TO MEET WITH ME; BUT, THE **NATIONAL** RIFLE ASSOCIATION (“NATIONAL,” MEANING—BELONGING TO **AMERICA,** OF COURSE!) — CAN GO AHEAD AND ADD RUSSIA TO TEAM **AMERICA’S** ROSTER, AS OF THIS MOMENT ;oD
Linda [a.k.a. Member, NRA Board of Directors],
Thank you for reaching out ;0) I knew there was a reason that I needed to speak with you, and you pretty clearly just pointed it out. I’m very concerned about our veterans as well. I have some creative ideas on how we can make use of our dark situation though, to begin shifting our sociological conversation about mental health. It will be fun. Most notably, in linking the best-interests of all our groups now involved—second amendment rights activists, veterans who have served to protect our great country, and persons struggling to rise above mental-illness within a society that seeks constantly to oppress them back down—I envision a beautifully mutual arrangement wherein we all together, will grow capable to overcome.
That aside, however, I had mentioned to Chad [a.k.a. Secretary, Buckeye Firearms Association] that I’d only been to the shooting range once—over at Black Wing in Delaware for my 30th birthday in 2011. In response, Chad indicated that you were an instructor, that you live in central Ohio as well, and that you might be willing to meet up with me for a lesson on guns. The reason for which I seek a lesson, is twofold. First, I think it will help me to learn more about why people love guns. My understanding is shaky at best—and working to expand my knowledge-base will help fill in the conceptual holes which plague my vision at present. In addition, to be entirely honest, I am still afraid of guns—which may seem like a bad thing, but I actually think it holds great strength as well. For, in working to overcome my own fear in this sense, I will begin building the emotional charge needed to help lift others up above theirs’. This probably sounds very vague, but I promise you—it’s all just a part of the creative-writing process. Well…that, and I really want to shoot a gun again ;0)
Let me know your thoughts when you get a chance. I do realize that I’m making this a very involved process; but I want to put the time in, because it’s a tremendous opportunity to represent and support.
In the first place, in regard to this matter being a mistake. I have found that it is not entirely safe, when one is misrepresented under his very nose, to allow the misrepresentation to go uncontradicted. I therefore propose, here at the outset, not only to say that this is a misrepresentation, but to show conclusively that it is so; and you will bear with me while I read a couple of extracts from that very “memorable” debate with Judge Douglas last year, to which this newspaper refers. In the first pitched battle which Senator Douglas and myself had, at the town of Ottawa, I used the language which I will now read. Having been previously reading an extract, I continued as follows:
Now, gentlemen, I don’t want to read at any greater length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery and the black race. This is the whole of it, and anything that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro, is but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can prove a horse chestnut to be a chestnut horse. I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two which in my judgment will probably forbid their ever living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong, having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas, he is not my equal in many respects—certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowments. But in the right to eat the bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas and the equal of every living man.
Upon a subsequent occasion, when the reason for making a statement like this recurred, I said:
While I was at the hotel to-day an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet, as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races—that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, or intermarry with the white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position, the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave, I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us [to] get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes. I will add to this that I have never seen to my knowledge a man, woman or child, who was in favor of producing perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men. I recollect of but one distinguished instance that I ever heard of so frequently as to be satisfied of its correctness—and that is the case of Judge Douglas’ old friend, Colonel Richard M. Johnson. I will also add to the remarks I have made, (for I am not going to enter at large upon this subject,) that I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry negroes, if there was no law to keep them from it; but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of the State, which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes.
There, my friends, you have briefly what I have, upon former occasions, said upon the subject to which this newspaper, to the extent of its ability, [laughter] has drawn the public attention. In it you not only perceive as a probability that in that contest I did not at any time say I was in favor of negro suffrage, but the absolute proof that twice—once substantially and once expressly—I declared against it. Having shown you this, there remains but a word of comment upon that newspaper article. It is this: that I presume the editor of that paper is an honest and truth-loving man. [a voice—“that’s a great mistake,”] and that he will be greatly obliged to me for furnishing him thus early an opportunity to correct the misrepresentation he has made, before it has run so long that malicious people can call him a liar. [Laughter and applause.]
Speech at Columbus, Ohio