Selling our souls for the gun racket
There’s a lull in the gun debate right now following the defeat of every reasonable measure in Congress. A certain percentage of the gun owning public believes we must have guns to fight government tyranny. Really? Is that what it’s about?
For most of us, when we think of John Wilkes Booth creeping into that darkened theater box and firing his derringer into the back of President Lincoln’s skull and leaping to the stage shouting, “Sic simper tyrannis (Thus always to tyrants!),” we’re on the side of President Lincoln.
When we think of frame 313 of the Zapruder film that shows President Kennedy’s head exploding in Dealey Plaza from an assassin’s bullet, spraying blood and brains onto Jackie O and sending a piece of his skull flying 25 feet from the limo, we’re horrified and saddened for the nation.
And every April 19th when we see photos of the devastated Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, destroyed by 4,800 pounds of explosives killing 168, and injuring nearly 700 more, we’re angry at Timothy McVeigh. My heart weeps for my cousin Carla who lost her father, Johnny Allen Wade, in the blast.
But the folks clinging to their guns as the last bastion of defense against government tyranny should feel a kinship to the people who committed these atrocious acts. These are their ideological soul brothers who thought they were doing the right thing, standing up to government tyranny.
When people talk about liberty and freedom from tyranny in regards to gun ownership, ultimately what they’re talking about is political assassination. We just had Memorial Day, when the nation reflected on the sacrifice of Americans on the battlefield. So let’s be clear. When these Second Amendment self-appointed guardians of liberty are talking about guarding against tyranny they’re talking about expanding Arlington.
There’s a Second Amendment movement afoot whose participants believe that they have a right, if not duty, to keep our government in check at the point of arms. They’re not shy about it. Idiotic Maine Governor Paul LaPage (R) this week, after claiming Maine Democrats were trying to silence him said, “The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out.”
Adam Kokesh, a libertarian talk radio host, is encouraging his fellow gun nuts to start a new American Revolution at state capitals on July 4. Ron Paul is shown in the 2011 documentary “Gun Fight” implying that if entitlements aren’t reined in, people may have to use weapons to limit government. His son, Rand, has made similar statements. Nevada Republican candidate Sharon Angle spoke of “Second Amendment remedies” if her supporters didn’t get their way politically. The NRA’s stooge Wayne LaPierre and the equally nutty Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America have raled against government tyranny.
Ballots, not bullets, change America. But this crowd just doesn’t get it.
What kinds of tyranny do these armed self-appointed defenders of American liberty aim to protect us from? Is it the tyranny of a partisan Supreme Court selecting a president? Is it the audacity of a government that would out one of its own CIA operatives for political advantage? Is it the tyranny of a government that does warrantless wiretapping of its citizens? How about arresting people and holding them indefinitely without trials? What about violating the Geneva Conventions on torture and ordering the CIA to destroy all video evidence of it? Or what of outsourcing torture to third parties or holding detainees in secret global prisons?
What about the government lying and manufacturing evidence to take the nation to war, resulting in the deaths of more Americans than on 9/11? Are they planning to stop a government that makes kill lists and orders, and conducts the executions of foreign nationals and American citizens with drones without charge or trial? How about a government that uses its Tier 1 special forces units as kill teams to kill suspected terrorists, even letting them operate on U.S. soil, sidestepping the Posse Comitatus Act?
All of these things have happened or are continuing to happen and none of these gun-toting liberty guardians have raised arms to stop any of it. So these folks have no interest in fighting government tyranny or overreach. Or at least their definition of tyranny is very slim. Their argument is simple. We need guns to keep the government from taking our guns. There’s no sense in trying to dress it up in some kind of noble cause.
They like shooting, collecting guns, hunting and being able to defend their homes. I own guns. I don’t hunt, but I don’t have a problem with gun ownership. But I also think we should have reasonable gun laws.
Reasonable gun laws are not in the same universe as tyranny.
But the only tyranny this minority of gun owners are afraid of, the only thing that seems to make them want to march in solidarity with Tim McVeigh, is the government coming after their guns. The gun makers, gun lobby and the politicians they buy sell fear to the public so they buy more guns. It’s the most lethal jobs program in America. It’s the gun racket. And sales are through the roof.
The U.S. Constitution, U.S. law, international law and American prestige has had the shit kicked out of it in the 21st century and the guardians of liberty have looked the other way. So don’t tell me you’re protecting liberty. Don’t tell me it’s about freedom. In the end all you’re doing is guarding the gun racket. That’s all.