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Nick Gillespie at the Independence Institute's 8th Annual ATF Party

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From Chuck Plunkett of The Denver Post, re: Reason's Nick Gillespie appearance at the Independence Institute's fantastic annual Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms party outside Denver, Colorado. The bash's slogan is "Enjoy Your Freedoms While You Still Can":

This year's ATF featured Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason.com and Reason.TV, an urbane sophisticate who, until Saturday, had never fired a gun, and who failed to hit a single flying clay disk in the few rounds he attended before sneaking away to crib out his presentation on a hotel memo pad….

Gillespie is a true intellectual, who can, before finishing his lunch, discuss how "The Great Gatsby" might be written today, switch to a riff on free-market reasons for supporting a value-added tax, reference economic studies that detail the "self-correcting" tax distribution in European countries that have applied a VAT, chart from memory the nation's deficit spending patterns since the Great Depression, and all while handling a pretend-I'm-interested discussion with a political candidate whose conversation is limited to repeating the phrase, "It'll be a real dog-fight, in every sense of the word."…

While Gillespie began by mocking the more out-there recent excesses of the Nanny State (such as bans on "fish pedicures"), his goal was to argue that such debates were mostly trivial symptoms of a larger ill….

Gillespie said, one of the dangers of prosperity and comfortable living is that you can get soft-headed.

When you're hungry and struggling, you tend to focus on the necessary.

When you live with plenty, you have to remember to focus on the necessary.

And so it is that our freedoms are being threatened by lawmakers and supporters with "collectivist" ambitions that could slow our progress and diminish our prospects, Gillespie warned….

So, Gillespie exhorted the crowd, raise your children to be responsible and mindful of the rewards available to them. Raise them to resist the impulse of over-reaching politicians who wish to limit our freedoms.

And enjoy your day.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Is John Stagliano's Victory a First Amendment Victory?

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  1. Please suckle my knuckle, people.

  2. Nick, you’d never shot a gun before Saturday? I am disappoint.

    1. Yeah. WTF Gillispie?! The Jacket needs a hidden pocket for a J-frame at the very least.

    2. There is no need for barbaric weaponry when the wit of The Jacket is easily accessible.

  3. And yes, there are plenty of conservative thinkers, like Gillespie, who make reasoned arguments. But please give your Spotted This Morning correspondent a little slack ? because you’ve got to admit that the storyline that usually gets told focuses on the folks with the Gadsden flags.

    Is this a new development among conservatives, or just a moment of clarity?

    I bet Nick didn’t realize that he’s a conservative. Seriously, how is it so fucking hard to comprehend that some people who are not Democrats are also not conservatives? Fucking blinkered-ass moron liberal hack writer.

    1. *gasps*…must fit philosophy… into existing paradigm… *gasp* …got to… try…

  4. If that kind of thinking becomes a clear message from the right, it will become more difficult for opponents to shrug off conservative thinkers as misanthropic or selfish.

    Oh, I think they’ll manage to find the strength to do so somehow, some way.

  5. You think Nick mentioned legalizing drugs or open borders?

  6. Geez, Nick, even I hit the clay a couple times when I shot skeet the first time.

    1. I will admit, that is kind of sad, but cut him some slack. Look at him. He strikes me as more of a stabber. Maybe even a Pikal guy.

    2. You do all of your shooting in a black leather catsuit, I presume.

    3. Me too! I have literally fired two shots in my life and one was right at the skeet.

      I’m assuming it was beginner’s luck.

    4. It was probably hot. No Jacket. Otherwise the pigeons would have lined up and exploded on command.

    5. Were the pigeons flying straight out, or from side-to-side?

      Nick moves down several notches until he can hit at least 4 outta 20, mesays.

      Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

      1. Looks like there is a skeet range in Glen Dale, MD as well as Centreville, VA.

        That’s a healthy truck from downtown, but my treat at your convenience, Gillespie.

  7. Raise them to resist the impulse of over-reaching politicians who wish to limit our freedoms.

    I’m surprised the Post didn’t include a rebuttal from Arne Duncan.

  8. Nick supports a VAT?

  9. Nick. You conservative thinker you.

  10. Aw, that’s my buddy who wrote this. He added clarification at the beginning.He didn’t mean conservative-conservative.

    I’ve almost brought him to the dark side. And he’s right that if somebody like the Jacket was the face of the non-leftists masses, they would certainly have fewer justified accusations of hypocrisy.

    Basically I’m just jealous Chuck got to go debauching with the Jacket.

    1. Context does help. =)

  11. Nick, how would The Great Gatsby be written today?

    1. On a laptop.

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