17 January 2013

What's All the Fuss About?

As a voting citizen, why should I feel as though I need to maintain an arsenal of weapons “to protect myself from the government?” I hear that thrown around as “ammunition” (pun intended) against stricter gun control. The people who are in power in our government were put there by the electorate (the people). If my reasoning for having a cache of weapons is the intent of taking action against a duly-elected government, that smacks of fascism. Pretty scary, if you think about it. Maybe I should be less worried about the government and more worried about who wants to get rid of some (or all) elected officials. The second amendment was put in place for the following reasons:
  • enabling the people to organize a militia system
  • participating in law enforcement
  • deterring tyrannical government
  • repelling invasion
  • suppressing insurrection
  • facilitating a natural right of self-defense
Insurrection? Yikes!

However, if I lived in the 1700′s and was a part of a colony, which was controlled by a (non-elected) King, and felt as though I was being oppressed by said King, (i.e. King makes laws without regard for the citizenry or my colony and levies taxes on me without representation) then I might feel a need to protect myself from a (tyrannical) government. Even if I felt as though some of my officials were doing something beyond the powers of their office, it seems that I remember something from 10th grade Civics class called “checks and balances," (aka "trias politica") which are in place to limit the power and any one man or group. Additionally, I believe that I also recall that there are policies in place to remove officials if they overstep the boundaries of their office. Please let me know in the comments if an impeachable offense has occurred. Also, please backup your claims with evidence.

I live in America (‘Merica!). I am not a part of a militia. I am no longer a member of the military. We are a people who are free to elect officials as we see fit. The last election was a legal one (as far as I know). That means that even if I don’t agree with the policies of some official(s) within our government, I am duly bound as a citizen to abide by the laws they impose. If I am unhappy, the only (legal) recourse I have is to impose my will in the next election. I don't think arming myself with guns and a justification for such arming as preparing to take part in an insurrection against the government is in the best interests of me or my family. What do you think those "minds full of mush" are picking up from your actions and words? "Gee, mom and dad are buying guns and talking about protecting themselves from the government. Maybe our government shouldn't be trusted." 

Why aren’t all the gun control opponents raising cain about term limits? If you don’t like the direction of the country (and by extension the government) is going, let’s do something about it. I am not sure that complaining about the roster of the players (which we selected) is the best way to change the outcome of the game.

That said, I also do not feel as though it’s necessary to maintain anything with more than a couple of rounds. I shot Expert (39 rounds on target out of 40 pop-up targets) during basic training. I really only need one round to do what needs be done (sarcasm). In reality, my preference would actually be a small shotgun. If you come in my bedroom in the middle of the night (or any other time of day), I only need point in your general direction and you’ll likely be in a bad way.

One final note, this NRA commercial in which they ask about whether the President’s children are more important than mine? That’s not really an effective analogy. His kids have armed guards because it’s a privilege of his office. Not because there is some ranking of importance on children. A benefit of that privilege is that they have armed guards assigned (individually, mind you) to those children. Additionally, those guards are members of the federal government whose job it is to protect the President, and by extension his kids. So is the NRA saying that the federal government should be putting federal officials at all schools to protect our kids? I thought conservatives (right-wing, gun-toting folks) were against big government? I also thought that some of their use of the 2nd amendment is to protect themselves from the government. Doesn’t it seem counter-intuitive to then provide more federal officers who have guns? In close proximity to YOUR KIDS? So, NRA 10 points for your use of rhetoric. Zero points for allowing me to use your own arguments against yourself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I don’t claim to have the answers. I hope to start a discussion with some questions.

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)