So yesterday I heard my all-time favorite argument for protecting the rights of gun owners: we must keep our guns just in case the government gets out of control, so that we can take the power back in the name of freedom.
Um, gun owners, what are you waiting for? Let us remind ourselves of the bush legacy real quick:
torture:Guantanamo, Abu ghraib, water boarding.
judicial oversight is a joke: Monica Goodling’s justice appointments, fired attorneys, no guarantee to habeas corpus, secret prisons in Europe, extraordinary rendition.
Cronyism: No bid contracts, waging war in corporate (esp. halliburton’s) interests, Plame Scandal, the politicization of both the military and the concept of patriotism (this goes with religion too, as aggressive evangelizing towards military members has been given the go ahead by the pentagon).
Incompetence: No exit strategy, military resources stretched to the breaking point, the world hates us, KATRINA, the doubling of the national debt.
Lying/fucking with science: Abstinence-only education, “intelligent design,” a total and complete lack of action on global warming, Reasons given for invading Iraq.
First amendment erosion:
Religion: favoritism given to one, separation of church and state increasingly ignored.
speech: curtailed, not guaranteed in engagements with public officials, recent raids on protesters homes during conventions.
the press: no longer independent (to be fair, this started before Bush 43, it’s just very pronounced now), reporters denied access unless they have a cozy administration relationship (fox news), corporate bias consistently favors WASP crowd
assembly/redress of grievances: the already-mentioned raids on possible protesters homes in St. Paul, free-speech zones (even in public places), heavy police crackdown on protests, arresting protesters who dare to actually show up during congress’ business hours.
Whew. had enough? If not, People for the American Way used to have a list of Bush’s grievances, but they seem to have taken it down. They’re still a fantastic resource for examining the current administration.
But I digress. The point is that I’m not sure what standard of control that gun owners are talking about when they say they don’t want the government to get out of control. If they were being honest, they should’ve started shooting a long time ago, maybe around the time that the Military commissions act (aka bye bye habeas corpus) was passed. If they want to wait until there’s a tank in their street and soldiers positioned on their corners, it will be too late.
If there was any movement for armed revolution today, it would certainly have my support, and if such a movement had a chance in hell, I’d consider joining it. Somehow I get the feeling that my gun-touting friend is only rhetorically committed to such a revolution, and never actually sees himself resisting the police.
I did ask him “what would it take?” and he said, “when they come for our guns!” If you don’t see the circle here, I’ll point it out to you. We need guns to protect our freedom to have guns. That makes guns an end unto themselves, not the guardians of liberty.
I imagine this is closer to the truth of the average gun nut’s mindset anyway: the revolution line is just a cover for their true desire to have their mechanical projectile machines that they hold so dear. Otherwise the above list of government failure would actually register with these people. No, instead it’s just a fetish of sorts, an irrational love for one silly tool in particular, not a righteous stand for rights and freedom.