Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The 2nd Amendment, why is it the ultimate check on government tyranny?

I watched the above video today on my lunch break, and something kept bubbling up to the surface that neither Pier Morgan (yes, I scowl just writing his name) and Ben Shapiro didn't quite delve into.  Ben Shapiro made his point adamantly clear several times that the intent and purpose for the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution was to guard against tyranny perpetrated by one's own government.  History is (as he correctly pointed out) littered with enough examples of governments persecuting it's own citizens, and that each of these examples is preceded by gun bans or restrictions.  The question is, why?

I mean, certainly, a couple of rednecks with scary black rifles isn't going to pose much of a fight to our military.  Our military armed with fully automatic (not semi automatic) firearms, tanks, planes, and enough bombs to strip mine any US town from the air in seconds.  Certainly the lopsided firepower advantage our government enjoys would clearly indicate that civilian ownership of firearms can not logically be considered to be a deterent to government tyranny.  Why then?

First of all, as we have seen in recent years, the US public owns far more than a few firearms.  In recent times, we've seen the civilian public of this country purchase enough firearms to arm our entire Marine Corps over a single weekend.  Sure, the state has them outgunned, but the civilian population has the state woefully outnumbered.

Secondly, a quick flip through a history book will point out many instances in which assymetrical warfare was easily capable of stymieing a technologically superior force.  Vietnam's larger battles were fought between well equipped armies, but a constant effort by guerilla forces (Vietnamese rednecks with bolt action Mosins and SKS's) was certainly effective in slowing US progress throughout the country.  The Russian Army was constantly harassed by the people of Afghanistan, and a generous donation of modern firepower by foreign powers (our government among them) turned the tide of that engagement quite readily.  A simple firepower advantage does not win wars, and anyone that served in the military should be able to attest to that fact.

Lastly, after my experience in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, I came to understand something I had not understood before.  People's behavior is controlled by a few things; morals, and consequences.  Morals would shape most people's behavior in the absence of consequences.  MOST people do not murder or rape or steal, not because these things will result in the loss of one's freedom, but because their own internal morality makes such actions unacceptable.  For everyone else not shaped by internal morality, or who's morality is more fluid than others, there are consequences.

The 2nd Amendment, ultimately, is a consequence to mold the behavior of the state.  Sure, some people would not murder or usurp the rights of their citizens due to their own moral compass, but for everyone else there is the threat of an armed rebellion.  This threat has always been present since our founding fathers inked it into our founding documents.  It was the ultimate check on power, the reset button, the citizen's nuclear option.  If your government ever turns 1930's Germany and starts lining people up outside gas chambers, you grab your rifles and you fight to the last man.  Whether or not you believe that today, THEY certainly believed it then as they had just finished fighting quite a war with a tyrannical government that did not respect the rights of its people.  And to insure it never happened again, they enshrined the ability of the people to resist with force.

And for those not swayed by such rational arguments, those that would still beat their chests and demand the scary black rifles be banned, that the gun registration place the names and addresses of all gun owners in the hands of the state, that the people be disarmed, let me point out what you are advocating.  YOU are advocating that the government, a group of men and women that are fallible as the rest of us, be given a monopoly on the use of force.  You are advocating the citizenry place their hands into chains and TRUST that our government will never abuse the incredible power it is given, nor push for more power after we have surrendered our ability to resist.  You are advocating we trust the state with absolute power, even as history has shown time and time again absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The reason this country has never taken up a unified effort to repeal the 2nd Amendment is because God willing most of this country has maintained it's sanity, it's rationality, and it's distinctly American distrust of it's own government.  Because if we remove the consequences from the state's potential actions, how long will their morality guide them? - Phil Rabalais

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