The logic of revolt

It used to be that the defense of Second Amendment rights was linked, at least rhetorically, to the rights of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, who worried that gun laws might deny them their hunting rifles or the chance to engage in target practice. That concern--always farfetched--has come to look rather quaint. Gun lobbyists have lately touted gun ownership as necessary for citizens' self-defense against criminals and lawless hordes.

Thus the defense even of assault weapons. As Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America says, "Having lots of ammunition is critical, especially if the police are not around and you need to be able to defend yourself against mobs."

But Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne points out that in the past few years the self-defense argument has been dropped in favor of an incendiary political argument: citizens need guns, we are told, mainly so that they can offer armed resistance to a tyrannical federal government.

Here, for example, is Texas Rep. Ron Paul:

The Second Amendment is not about hunting deer or keeping a pistol in your nightstand. It is not about protecting oneself against common criminals. It is about preventing tyranny. The Founders knew that unarmed citizens would never be able to overthrow a tyrannical government as they did.

Let's see: If citizens need guns so as to be able to mount an armed overthrow of the U.S. government, don't they need something more than pistols and rifles? Don't they also need rocket grenades and tanks? What about cruise missiles? They'll probably also need aircraft carriers and tactical nuclear weapons.

People will feel a lot safer then.

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Comments

Slippery Slopes

Mr Heim,
The weird thing about slippery slope arguments is they tend to slide both ways. Most gun rights proponents will argue against banning machine guns and grenades if only to prevent the slide towards banning more defendable weapons.

Liberals also believe in the slippery slope of government intruding on rights they believe in. The slippery slope is often cited as a reason to not ban the otherwise indefensible and barbaric practice of partial birth abortion.

On the other hand, even the most blatant Constitutional pervert has trouble arguing away the clear Constitutional intent for US citizens to have the right to bear arms.

Where your slippery slope argument really falls flat however is the idea that a revolt is only possible if the people are as well armed as the goverment they intend to overthrow. You might want to read some history and world news.

The logic of revolt

It used to be linked, at least rhetorically, that the First Amendment was about freedom of religion, the right to peaceably assemble and of free speech. Unfortunately today, many bigots feel that religion & free speech are bygones of a past era and should be replaced with government approved politically correct speech and the deferment to Islam. Oh, wait, that's right, you wish to pick and choose which rights are allowed to be exercised by every citizen that wishes to. Pick any other amendment and try to argue against it. There is just one caveat to my challenge, you can't pick the first or second amendment. Other than that, please pick as you wish.

Josiah

That's easy: I choose to argue against the 11th Amendment! States should not be immune from legal challenges to their wrongdoing, both on principle and because the actual historical application state immunity leads to unfairness.

To Anonymous

If you have been around this blog for any period of time, you will already know that responses from the authors on this site happen only in rare circumstances.

I'm pretty sure its because the "bloggers" here are lazy or otherwise unable to defend their opinions. The only other possibility is that like most liberals, they believe their readers are too stupid to deserve a response.

Its really easy to have an opinion. Being able to defend your opinion takes a bit of work.

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