Adam Kokesh: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

Yesterday I published a hasty summary of my thoughts on the recent drama surrounding professional attention whore Adam Kokesh. I want to tease out a couple of conversations threads that developed in the comments on that post, starting first with a more thoughtful look on the entire situation. The first, and most important point I want to make is that I absolutely believe that after the video of Kokesh loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza aired, he absolutely and 100% should have been investigated and, if sufficient evidence was found to prove he committed a crime, arrested. I also believe David Gregory should have been arrested for bringing a 30 round magazine into DC. Here’s the important fact: just because a law is unjust does not mean you automatically get to escape the consequences of breaking that law. Many civil rights activists were arrested, sometimes intentionally, specifically to bring attention to the injustice inherent in the system. So now, I don’t really have a problem with Adam Kokesh being searched and arrested. Do I have a problem with how the arrest was carried out? Yes, but a discussion of the militarization of the police is beyond the scope of Gun Nuts.

More importantly, I want to talk about my criticism of Adam Kokesh, and it’s something I alluded to in the first line of this post. Nothing about his past activism history or any of his publicly released material indicates that he’s involved in any cause for any reason other than “Get more attention for Adam Kokesh.” Which hey, I’m not going to judge people for making a buck, everyone has to eat. But when you set yourself up as a defender of the faith liberty, and start acting like you’re suddenly a leader in this movement, that’s where I’m going to call BS. Adam Kokesh isn’t how we win the battle for gun rights in this nation.

Look at Illinois. They have shall-issue concealed carry now. If you told me five years ago that I’d be writing about Illinois new shall-issue law, I’d have laughed in your face. That law wasn’t brought into existence by someone like Adam Kokesh. It was brought to life by thousands of citizens of the state of Illinois that you’ll never know, who called, faxed, mailed, and talked to their legislators. It was brought to life by hard working lobbyists from the Illinois State Rifle Association and the NRA who made sure that legislators heard the voices of their constituents. It’s not a perfect bill, but that’s okay. I asked yesterday in the comments “what’s the best way to eat an elephant?” The answer of course is “one bite at a time.” That’s what Illinois represents – a bite out of the elephant. We take more bites, fix the parts of the bill that aren’t good, because now we can do that. Instead of fighting in Illinois just to have the right to carry, now we can fight to make sure the right is extended as far as possible.

We remember Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks as heroes of the civil rights movement, and it’s well that we should. We don’t remember the thousands of people who worked to support King. We forget that Rosa Parks didn’t just one day refuse to give up her seat, but that she was an activist, chosen because the NAACP believed she was the best candidate to get through the court system. We forget the shoulders of thousands of American activists on which our legends are perched…and that’s okay. Those people didn’t want to be remembered, they didn’t want to be heroes. All they wanted to do was change their world, and they succeeded.

Today, as we’re overwhelmed with information on Facebbook, Twitter, and the internet at large, it’s much easier for people to find a platform on which to grandstand. People like Adam Kokesh don’t want to change their world. All they want is for the world to pay attention to them, like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. It is a far better fate to be forgotten by history and have changed your world than to be remembered as a fool.


  1. “professional attention whore Adam Kokesh.” ??

    Yeah, sure, was with you when you rightfully critiqued Zimmerman at TTAG talking shit about Hiton Yam’s crew on 1911, without parity in experience. Then you lost me completely with your idiotic, equally unqualified critique of the “tactical turtle.”

    Frankly all gunscribes need to get over themselves. If you want to have any semblance of journalistic legitimacy, which I ‘get’ as gun-bloggers, that’s not your aim, nevertheless if you’re gonna comment, do so while demonstrating that you actually know what you’re talking about.

    He’s an anarchist activist, not the Black Bloc assholes that FBI hires to provocateur, but a genuine anarchist who believes in NO state. Anarchist simply means no ruLERS, not no rules. Politically most of y’all are pathetically ill-informed on definitions; if you spent same amount of time studying history, economics, geopolitics as much as you dicker over glock mag prices and MIM parts, blah blah blah, it’d bode better for you interjecting into these discussions.

    No, I do NOT support his antics, but I utterly do NOT agree with govt terrorist assholes raiding his home, when they walked up to Hernandez for MURDER charges in suits, equally to make a PR point.

    Get clued in. You actually think none of this can happen to you because you’re not a blunt provocative activist who did so intentionally so he can have legal standing to sue, you won’t get illegally raided, or set up? Wake the hell up and smell the coffee. Or, suppose you can go back to playing with your toys and telling real operators the fecklessness of the Tactical Turtle as if such ‘dissertation’ wins Nobel prize in Lit.

    Y’all crack me the fuck up. Key is due process. The fact that he wasn’t arrested on weapons charge but on ‘magic mushrooms’ should tell you something.

    Sure I think it’s fucking funny we live in a supposed Constitutional Republic with govt servants who’ve apparently never read the only document they take an oath to, with a bunch of feckless trigger toy bunglers deluding it’s funny that because he dared challenge govt hypocrites, it’s funny that his ass got raided and locked up.

    Yes, I’m sure it’ll be funny and you deserved it, when it happens to you, too, dumb ass. Oh you think you’re immune because you only talk about toys online??

    Keep thinking that. Good German.

  2. Well I guess we know your position now. It honestly surprises me. I don’t get how you can in one instance praise some activists and dislike others. All within one paragraph. I still like your blog but whole heartedly disagree with you on this.

  3. As I mentioned in the other post, passion is great, but effectiveness is what wins. Kokesh is less than ineffective; he’s the kind of person who actively does damage to his own cause.

  4. From a purely philosophical standpoint, I cannot argue that the ends always justify the means. If your means are wrong, your actions are wrong no matter what you hope those actions to accomplish.
    I have to agree with Caleb here. The civil rights protesters he used as examples make great examples because they knew they could be arrested for what they did and accepted that risk. Arguing someone should not be arrested for breaking a law when he knew that he was breaking the law and intended to break said law, is quite frankly nothing more than anarchistic. If you want to argue the law is wrong, go right ahead. I couldn’t agree more. But arguing that a law shouldn’t be enforced because it is wrong is the same argument that gun-grabbers would make to prevent enforcing laws that we like. You know, like the one against creating a gun registry. We don’t (or more accurately shouldn’t) decide whether or not to enforce a law based on our personal opinion of that law. The solution to a bad law is changing it.

    1. Actually there is very little difference between breaking the laws the in the states and town the civil rights people broke and the law(s) Kokesh broke. Both are / were fighting violations of our constitutional rights. Hmmmm . . . .

  5. I guess I better clear up my position. I’m not exactly saying in this case that he shouldn’t have been arrested. Being arrested actually proves our point more. It shows in real terms why the law is wrong. Adam obviously knew he would be arrested. We all did. But what about all the other people in his house? Plus I personally haven’t been arguing whether or not he should have been arrested I’ve been arguing that I think it’s REALLY short minded and ignorant to be a pro 2A person and simultaneously argue against his actions and motives. I think it’s entirely stupid for people who say they fight for gun rights to throw Adam under the bus just because he stood up for what is right and it scares you. If you really want to fight for our rights we need to be a United front. If you disagree with his methods try telling him that. It’s easy enough (used to be) to contact him on YouTube or his website. Why throw him under the bus though? It makes us all look weak! And it makes the ones doing the throwing look like the people who talk all hard on the internet about how they’ll never let anyone take their guns but when uncle Sam knocks down your door they cry in the corner like babies and hand them over. All this nonsense about effectiveness and whatever misses the point entirely. Make this case go to the supreme court. By staying United and supporting Adam Kokesh. To get there someone has to show they have been penalized under an unconstitutional law. If no one did what Adam did it would never get there. Stick to your convictions and fight for liberty in EVERY case because if we don’t then we’ll all get screwed.

    1. I think it is okay to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and it is okay to hold others who claim to speak for us to a higher standard.
      It’s hard to support this Cockish fellow (that’s not how it’s spelled?) when he’s not been arrested for an unconstitutional law. He’s been arrested for possessing ‘shrooms. Hard to support someone who is supposedly standing for a side based in logic, fact, and personal responsibility when that person appears to stand for turning off one’s brain!

      Also, if it is time to resort to “cold dead hands,” then we have already failed!

      1. Do you truly believe the shrooms were his? Also, what evidence do you have that shrooms turn your mind off; I believe it is more the opposite, read about mind drugs.

  6. It makes my heart heavy to read articles by “pro-liberty” authors who absolutely fail to understand what “liberty” actually means.

    You may not approve of his methods, but they have been effective at bringing the concepts of voluntarism and the non-aggression principle to younger generations as well as the absolute hypocrisy of government as a whole. Instead of playing into the false left-right paradigm, we are seeing a massive influx of people moving towards libertarianism (note the lowercase “L”).

    By the way, your tacit support of the wholly unconstitutional and immoral laws in D.C. is sickening. But don’t worry, a man you don’t agree with is going to go to prison for at least 5 years and lose his RKBA for the rest of his life for committing a victimless “crime.” Yup, let’s make sure that we continue to spread the gospel and support the government by saying that people who break any law should be punished. Nevermind that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Nevermind that no one was harmed or threatened by Kokesh’s actions. Liberty doesn’t mean “Don’t tread on me” it means “Don’t tread on anyone.” The sooner we can get THAT message out to the People, the sooner the concept of fighting for “gun rights” becomes moot.

    You can’t see it, but you’re no different than the anti-gun crowd; you both support the government pointing guns at people with whom you don’t agree. It’s for this reason that we will never truly win the fight for gun rights or any other natural right.

  7. Right on Alex E! At least you see how stupid Caleb and many others are being about this. I like the how when they know they can’t argue a rational reason why Adam did anything wrong they always bring up the mushroom thing. Last I checked mushrooms grow in the wild and you own your body. If reading mushrooms of any kind is a felony then I want eating grass and lettuce to be a felony too. It boggles my mind how anyone could argue for the drug war in a discussion about rights and liberty. As if drugs should some how erase your rights of you choose to use them. But I guess that’s the road we’ve gone down. We have more people in prison than any other country. With more death penalty cases and people executed as well. Sounds like American Freedom to me! Get your heads out of your asses people!

  8. I have to agree with Caleb. Mr. Kokesh has been trying to find an audience for years. First it was anti-war, then anti-Bush, and now it is RTKBA.
    He is a d-list political activist who is looking for a foothold into some sort of celebrity status.

    I do not think he cares about any ones rights.

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