The John Brown Clubs are gun clubs for leftists affiliated with Redneck Revolt, an outfit in turn affiliated with Antifa (they marched with the other Antifa gangs in Charlottesville). Redneck Revolt was founded to agitate among rural working-class whites across the country, the people left behind by the attempt to shift the United States into a hierarchal meritocracy. This effort reveals considerably smarter thinking than that of Obama, the coastal elites, or for that matter, Kevin Williamson and Bill Kristol.
The John Brown Clubs were founded to exploit working class interest in firearms, and to provide training and familiarization to the more effete levels of the “resistance.” Those of a certain age will recall the “Gay Communist Gun Club,” one of SNL’s funnier skits. That, in a nutshell, and with a large helping of divisive racial politics, is what the Brownies are.
The Brownies had a brief fling of notoriety this past Spring when the original Phoenix branch showed up at a Trump rally toting guns and acting as menacing as any random group of left-wing snowflakes can manage. Widely covered in the regional and left-wing press, the stories featured shots of the standard dreadlock and nose chain denizens of the current left with an impressive array of shoulder weapons. (Interestingly, none of them were masked, as has become customary on the left. Presumably, the sight of armed and masked people assembling would have required arrests.)
Close examination by firearms experts revealed that at least some of the weaponry were actually airsoft toys with the orange rings clipped off. Not an impressive debut, in other words.
Something often overlooked when dealing with the American left is that they’ve adapted the process of “projection” as a political strategy. It works like this: the left accuses the opposition (it could be “the right,” or the middle, or even traditional liberals, for that matter) of some crime or other. It can be anything at all, and it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not – the accusation is all that counts. Once placed in the record and validated by our current media, the accusation then becomes a new benchmark for political activity – as far as the left goes, anyway. Because the “far right” or the “fascists,” or whoever, violated the rules, it’s now okay for the left to do the same. They have no choice, really, if they want to save the People from being ravaged by the fascist hordes. You have to fight fire with fire, no?
So, if Richard Nixon “subverted the Constitution” during Watergate, well, that justifies every left-wing president since, from Carter to Clinton to Obama, in doing the same. Since the “far right” impeached Bill Clinton for no reason at all, the left is justified in threatening every Republican president with impeachment. Since George W. Bush cheated his way into the presidency in 2000, we can’t complain about Hillary pulling the same thing.
We could go on endlessly from there, but to cut to the chase, this is what the John Brown Clubs are all about – an attempt to respond to the editorial cartoon horror-flick image of conservatism by being even more horrifying. Comprised of bitter clingers, Nazis, and Klansmen, right-wingers lope through the twilight hills with a firearm in one hand and a Bible in the other, threatening progressives, undocumented immigrants, and every flavor of LGBTPDQ+ there is. What choice do the Brownies have but to respond in kind?
And respond they have. A recent video, released for purposes of shock and awe, reveals the Phoenix club in full panoply as a platoon of Harry Callaghans, John McClains, and Rambos – in their own minds, anyway:
Targets set up twenty paces away, clearing their weapons while aiming at their feet, that bizarre Frederick the Great-era firing line.… Clearly, the Brownies know next to nothing about guns – how to handle them, fire them, gun safety, whatever. Because they don’t think there is anything to know. The impression the left has about gun owners is simple: gibbering psychopathic loons waving weapons of mass destruction in a pathetic effort to make up for personal deficiencies. A threat to decent people, and nothing more.
Leftists – Brownies among them – have no idea why people own guns. Because they have no idea, they think they have nothing to learn beyond what end the slug comes out of. The process of learning about guns – how they are safely handled, how they are used, the differences between types and makes, and what they are for — does not occur. The same is true of the growth in character that serious firearm ownership demands and encourages – the enhanced sense of personal responsibility and discipline that is one of the great benefits of living with firearms. The Brownies don’t know that this exists. Therefore, it doesn’t happen. It’s as if somebody tossed a set of keys to a Mustang to a fourteen-year-old and told her to take it away without any effort to impart driver safety, the rules of the road, and so forth.
No – to the left, guns are simply a menace. So the Brownies have established themselves as a menace. That’s why they showed up at the Trump march in Phoenix. Interestingly, there were no photos of the Trump marchers in the articles dealing with the incident. Why not? Because those photos would have revealed the Trump marchers to be unarmed. Normal everyday people, husbands and wives, families, small businessmen, professionals, students, all out to express their support of the government with nary a pistol in evidence. Because they don’t need them. Because there would be no point.
But here come all the Che, Jrs., menacing, belligerent, willing to up the ante, to push things as far as they’ll go – and then even farther.
That, after all, is exactly what their historic namesake did. John Brown is greater than a historical figure. He is an icon. An icon of chaos, murder, and bloodshed. The absolute bloody-minded ultraviolet far end of the abolitionist movement, one who actively frightened sincere figures such as Frederick Douglass. Brown was one of the belligerents who made Kansas bleed in the late 1850s, personally responsible for at least one massacre of Southern settlers at Pottawatomie in 1856. He returned east in hopes of an even greater bloodletting, one encompassing the entire South.
He didn’t have to do this – while in Kansas, he had also freed a number of slaves and sent them north toward freedom. He could have continued that, acting as something of an abolitionist Robin Hood, bestowing freedom while making the slaveholders look foolish in their effort to turn Kansas into a slave state. But something else called to him – something that to modern eyes bears a strong resemblance to the behavior of Charlie Manson or Jim Jones. In the end, he merely convinced the South as a whole that its own propaganda was true – that abolitionists, far from a Gospel-inspired crusade in favor of Christian values, were a gang of bloodthirsty maniacs eager to plunge the South into apocalypse. And once they convinced themselves of this, they set about, against their own interests, in making it true.
The John Brown clubs didn’t choose that name by accident. Charlottesville must be thought of in same terms as Bleeding Kansas and Harpers Ferry. Because it’s the same impulse of near-demented fanaticism that lies behind them all, a century and a half apart.
The Harpers Ferry raid was intended to kick off a massive rebellion that would drown the slave-owning class in a tidal wave of blood. So was Charlottesville. Only the victims, this time, were to be the bourgeois, the middle class, the ordinary Americans who insist on going their own way in defiance of the laws of History.
After arranging for a collision between the two gangs (recall that John Brown sponsor Redneck Revolt was there, taking part in the attack), McAuliffe and Streeter stood down the police in hopes of a confrontation or even worse, a massacre. A few dozen dead kids would have suited them just fine. But this time (and largely, I would be willing to bet, thanks to the basic cowardice of the KKK/Nazis), they did not get it.
Why weren’t the John Brown Clubs at Charlottesville? Because they weren’t ready yet. God forbid that the tag team visible in that video tried to take on anybody experienced in arms. But they will be. For what other purpose do they exist?
Eventually, they will show up with their fancy weapons that they don’t understand. Eventually, somebody is going to pull that trigger, as happened at Kent State in 1970. Then the Brownies will learn what guns are all about.
They will also learn what it is to be cannon fodder.