Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The cult of the 2nd Amendment

From Ed Kilgore at TPM:
Nowadays this revolutionary rationale for gun rights [that the main purpose of the Second Amendment is to keep open the possibility of revolutionary violence against the U.S. government] is becoming the rule rather than the exception for conservative politicians and advocates. Mike Huckabee, a sunny and irenic candidate for president in 2008, all but threatened revolutionary violence in his recent campaign book for the 2016 cycle, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy:
If the Founders who gave up so much to create liberty for us could see how our government has morphed into a ham-fisted, hypercontrolling “Sugar Daddy,” I believe those same patriots who launched a revolution would launch another one. Too many Americans have grown used to Big Government’s overreach. They’ve been conditioned to just bend over and take it like a prisoner [!]. But in Bubba-ville, the days of bending are just about over. People are ready to start standing up for freedom and refusing to take it anymore.

Perhaps the most surprising statement on this subject from a Republican presidential candidate was by a rare figure who dissents from the right-to-revolution talk, per this report from Sahil Kapur at TPM a few months ago:
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's argument that the Second Amendment provides the "ultimate check against government tyranny" is a bit too extreme for potential 2016 rival and fellow Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

"Well, we tried that once in South Carolina. I wouldn't go down that road again," Graham said, in an apparent reference to the Civil War. "I think an informed electorate is probably a better check than, you know, guns in the streets."

Graham joked about this, but liberals generally are not amused by the suggestion that “patriotic” Americans should be stockpiling guns in case “they”—it’s not clear who, of course—decide it’s time to start shooting police officers and members of the armed forces in defense of their liberties, which in some cases are perceived to be extremely broad. Indeed, a lot of Second Amendment ultras appear to think the right to revolution is entirely up to the individual revolutionary. Here’s Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, the darling of the GOP Class of 2014, talking about this contingency in 2012:
I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere...But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.

You can wonder, as I often do, how people like Ernst would react to such rhetoric if it were coming from a member of a black nationalist or Islamist group. But clearly, there’s no point in progressives seeking any “compromise” with them on gun issues. They can only be defeated by a true mass social movement supporting reasonable gun regulation. But it’s important to understand that according to the Cult of the Second Amendment, opponents of gun measures have every right to fire back, literally.

So who decides when a police officer needs to be shot and killed, or a president, or any other government official?

In 1776, we didn't have a democracy. No one had a democracy. Today, we do. Today, we can vote. If you lose a vote, is that when you decide that police officers should be killed? Or politicians, elected by the majority of voters, whom you dislike?

And how is this different from ISIS? What makes Christian terrorists any better than Muslim terrorists?
PS. That picture above? You've probably seen it before, I'm guessing. It was popular for awhile. But I never heard the sequel, myself. Holly Fischer, that right-wing Christian gun nut who bragged about her morals and integrity, was later found cheating on her husband.

Because nothing says "moral Christian" like adultery, right?


jeff725 said...

About the picture: There is one POSSIBLE difference between the two women.

One of the women has the courage of her convictions (disclaimer: that doesn't mean her course of action is right, but I thought I would point it out)

One of the women just talks a good a game. which one is which? :)

P.S.: I can proof-read my comments so much better when I'm not typing past my bedtime.

WCG said...

I think you're giving one of those women too much credit, Jeff. Now, go to bed. :)