Would you defend landowners against the Border Wall?
Do conservative gun owners really want to resist tyranny?
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” — Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
You see their arguments and memes on social media. Many gun rights proponents say that the Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of the people to resist tyranny with arms.
I’m not sure if it that’s true. The Militia was expected to put down insurrections, not start them. But in any case, I have to ask, why hasn’t tyranny been resisted with arms? Isn’t the federal train of abuses long enough already?
I think it’s clear why. Most (not all) politically-engaged gun owners strongly lean Republican and are thus more likely to also be “patriotic,” “pro-family,” and for “law and order.” So they don’t recognize the most basic assaults on liberty for what they are.
For instance, what could be more tyrannical than the military drafts of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War? The United States mainland was never threatened, and our enemies had no ability or intention to invade. Instead of allowing themselves to be cannon fodder for the politically ambitious and war profiteers, why didn’t potential draftees exercise their Second Amendment rights, arm themselves, come together, and dare the government to apprehend them?
Because draft resistance is “unpatriotic.”
Consider fairly common situations in which someone’s growing medicinal marijuana plants in her own home for personal use (yes, that’s still illegal under federal law)and is constantly harassed by law enforcement. How is that not tyranny? Why haven’t such homes been guarded 24/7 by dozens of armed volunteers to deter SWAT teams or the FBI from raiding?
Because many still believe marijuana is a gateway to drugs that destroy families. And we must “support the police” and “enforce the law.”
How about the tyranny of eminent domain, in which land is stolen from the powerless to give to wealthy developers? Have you ever seen armed citizens stand up to the bulldozers?
No, because poor neighborhoods bring crime, and in the eyes of many it’s better to have neighborhoods with “hard-working, law-abiding families.”
Now, think about the proposed Border Wall. If part of it is built on private lands, against the wishes of the landowners, whose side would you be on? What if the Buffett and Walton families said they would resist the building of the Wall on their lands? Would you grab your AR-15 and come to their aid?
Many will say no, because the Wall will help enforce immigration law. The law is the law! And why do you favor Mexicans over Americans?
It seems the only time a Republican gun owner would actually take up arms against the government is if the government tried to confiscate guns. And even then, I doubt they’ll resist if a Republican President does it.
To be clear, I don’t want or advocate armed confrontations with the federal government. The feds always have the upper hand with the media and will present anyone who resists as a domestic terrorist. Any legislation that follows the incident will empower the feds even more.
And I do support the right to own guns and other weapons. The right to defend oneself is the right to life, and the right to life is the right to defend oneself. Guns stop countless crimes each year and deter even more.
But when most gun owners support laws that infringe on the liberties and land of the people, we know that the gun doesn’t stop tyranny.