A Philosopher's Blog

Gun Rights & Tyranny

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on January 23, 2013
Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One common approach to arguing in favor of civilian gun rights is to claim that such rights prevent, deter or at least provide a defense against tyranny. In general, the idea seems to be that the people in power will be less inclined and less able to impose tyranny if the civilian population possesses the right to keep and bear arms. In the United States, this is presented in terms of the members of the government deciding to impose tyrannical rule over the people.

On the face of it, this justification does have some appeal. After all, if the government has to overcome armed civilians, then it would obviously be harder than using force against unarmed civilians. Also it could be argued that politicians might fear that they would be assassinated by armed patriots if they started acting in tyrannical ways.

People also point to the American Revolution and claim that the fact that the civilian population was armed was an important factor in the American victory over the British tyranny. Those with some science-fiction leanings also present counter-factual scenarios in which one is asked to imagine what would have happened in Germany if the Jews and anti-Nazi Germans had possessed the right to keep and bear arms (or were at least armed). Stalin and other dictators are also often brought up in this context. The idea is, of course, to appeal to the intuitions of the audience and persuade them that if only the Germans had had their own Second Amendment, then Hitler might have never been able to come to power and the Holocaust might not have happened.

The idea that the cowardly politicians who dream of tyranny are kept in check by red-blooded Americans exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms does have a certain emotional appeal. So too does the thought of armed plucky rebels defending America from tyranny. In fact, such scenarios would no doubt make for successful Hollywood films. But what is appealing and what might make a blockbuster film are not the same as what is, in fact, true.

Naturally enough, the general idea of the role of civilian armaments in deterring tyrants can be debated extensively. This is, of course, a worthwhile debate and would be a rather interesting project for historians to sort out. However, what is under discussion here is the rather specific matter of whether or not the right to keep and bear arms is warranted by the deterrent value of this right against tyranny. This, obviously enough, involves some key matters of fact.

One obvious matter of fact is the issue of whether or not gun rights frightens politicians with tyrannical intentions—that is, whether worries about assassination keep them in check.

As argued above, it makes sense to think that a politician would be less inclined to do something if she believed doing so would result in people attempting to kill her. Naturally, if the population has easy access to firearms, then an assassin could easily acquire a gun. If there were strict controls on guns, then politicians would have less to worry about in terms of assassins drawn from the ranks of the general population. They would just have to worry about the military and police forces (and anyone who could make a bomb or wield a knife). Obviously, even in a state with strict civilian gun control, the politicians would need to win over the majority of the military and police forces to their tyrannical agenda—or their attempts at tyranny would end rather quickly. In the United States, this would require winning over the national forces (the military, FBI, and so on) as well as the state (National Guard and state police) and local forces (police and sheriffs).

Interestingly, democratic states with stricter gun control than the United States, such as the United Kingdom, do not seem to have fallen into tyranny. This suggests that it is not fear of assassination by citizens exercising their guns rights that keeps a democratic state from tyranny, but rather other factors. But perhaps they are just biding their time and the United Kingdom will soon be back under an absolute monarchy.

A second obvious matter of fact is the issue of whether or not civilian gun ownership would deter the military and police forces from imposing tyranny on the people at the behest of the tyrant(s). This, of course, assumes that the tyrant(s) has won over the majority of the military and police forces to her plot of tyranny and that there is no significant opposition from the military and police forces that are not in on the tyrannical take over. That is, the tyrant has won over the American citizens in the military and police forces to the degree that they would be willing to throw aside the Constitution and turn their weapons against the general population—including their friends, family, spouses, and children.

In such a scenario, it would seem that civilian weapons would be of little use. After all, the military and police forces of the tyrant would have military weapons (tanks, attack helicopters, bombers, artillery, ships, nukes and so on). Handguns, rifles and shotguns would be of rather limited use against such forces. Back in the time when civilian weapons and military weapons were essentially on par (muskets) and the most destructive military weapons were very limited (muzzle loading cannons) an armed civilian population would reasonably be regarded as a deterrent. However, it is hard to imagine suburban Americans battling successfully against tanks, Predator drones, and Hellfire missiles using AR-15s and .38 specials. That said, there is something to be said for an honorable death fighting against impossible odds.

Of course, the civilians could turn to the sort of tactics used by insurgents and terrorists to resist the military and police of the tyrant—but this would not be a case of the right to keep and bear arms deterring tyranny. However, the main thing that seems to defeat tyrants is a lack of support-without that a tyrant is a just a single man.

Naturally, it can be pointed out that civilian arms could be used to resist a small scale tyrannical incursion (perhaps a takeover in a small town). However, in such a scenario the tyrant would soon be dealt with by the police or military of the state. Also, the main deterrents against American tyrants grabbing American towns would seem to involve not guns but other factors—like an unwillingness to go along with a tyrant.

It would thus seem that civilian gun ownership would be little, if any, deterrence or defenses against a serious tyrant. It is also interesting to note that if such armaments provided considerable power against the state, there would be the fear that they would be used by a segment of the population to impose their own tyrant on others.

In light of the above, the defense against tyranny argument would seem to provide little in the way of justification for civilian gun rights. This should not be terribly shocking—after all, the second amendment does not justify the right to keep and bear arms in terms of having an armed population ready to shoot it out with other armed citizens.

There are, however, good reasons for gun rights, but these are beyond the intended scope of this essay.

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51 Responses

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  1. magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Mike, you’re not thinking like an insurgent at all in this article. You’re thinking like an 18th century general.

    Revolutions throughout history prove rifles can win. It may not be easy, but it can be done, because the people with rifles end up with more and more stuff as the tide turns. Mau’s guerrillas proved it can work. of course it’s not easy, because almost by definition, governments have a monopoly on firepower.

    • WTP said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

      No, he’s writing like a 20th century sophist. Will he address, directly, you points in the post below re WWII Germany and modern day Syria, or will he gloss over, obfuscate, and reframe you points in the context of strawmen, etc.? My money is on the latter.

      It is also interesting to note that if such armaments provided considerable power against the state, there would be the fear that they would be used by a segment of the population to impose their own tyrant on others.
      An argument full of fallacy that no one challenged him on the last time he presented it.

  2. magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Why have tyrants throughout history argued the opposite of what you’re arguing? Why did they fear an armed populace? Mau’s theories on guerrilla warfare prove that lots of people with rifles can overthrow powerful armies, as long as they have will and staying power. If they don’t have those, then yes, they have little chance. When the Nazis invaded eastern europe, they took all the guns away. Why? A WWII rifle was no more effective against a Panzer than an AR15 is against an Abrams. And finally, why did Alllied forces disarm German citizens after the collapse of the nazis? Were they being delusional? Of course, overthrowing a government with rifles would not be easy. But that’s not the way wars go. Eventually guerrillas start using government weapons, as in Syria (yet another example of how small-arms can be a big problem in sufficient numbers.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

      And you can’t send a tank every time you want to arrest someone. People would pick off the bad guys one at a time as the opportunity presented itself.

      Mike is clearly wrong. It is very hard to subdue an armed populace.

      • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        It freaks me out how over the years you write the exact sma ethings I’m about to write. I was laying in bed this morning and thought of this exact same argument. My hypothetical anecdote was a tank crew coming to arrest Mike in Tallahassee Florida.

        The power of tyrannical governments is not the tank–it is the secret police.

        • WTP said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

          Heh, I felt that way about TJ’s first comment on the NRA post.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        The major tyrants won their critical battles in the minds of the people. Hitler, as you might recall, came to power via legitimate means. The armed Germans overwhelmingly backed him. He then rolled over much of Europe, despite their arms.

        The overt struggles involve the flash and roar of arms, but the even more critical struggles take place in the silence of the mind.

        • WTP said, on January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm

          Hitler, as you might recall, came to power via legitimate means.
          Yes, just like Mao, Pot, Lenin/Stalin, Kim, Khadaffi, Castro, Hussein (Saddam, of course, not BHO), Amin, Mugabe, (deep breath), the heads of various puppet states of the Soviet Union not the least of which being Hungary and Czechoslovakia following their attempts at rebellion, 1989 China’s Li Peng and cronies, Ho Ho Ho Chi Mihn…Getting the picture yet?

          Of course we’re ignoring all the people Hitler had killed before his “legitimate” rise to power.

        • WTP said, on January 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm

          BTW, Nazi party percentage of the vote:

          May 1924: 6.5%
          Dec 1924: 3.0%
          May 1928: 2.6%
          Sep 1930: 18.3%
          Jul 1932: 37.3%
          Nov 1932: 33.1%
          Mar 1933: 43.9%

          And the last election, as you might recall, was in the context of a little incident known as the Reichstag Fire.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      Guns can, of course, kill people. No state wants potentially dangerous people running around with weapons of any sort. However, my focus was on the United States. After all, what might or might not have happened in a counterfactual Germany does not seem to bear significantly on discussing the issue of whether or not civilians having guns serves to protect the population of America from our government and our military.

      I don’t think that McCain, Biden, and you are eager to impose tyranny and are just held back by the fear that some plucky patriot packing a peashooter will put you under the pasture. But I could be wrong. Do the folks in the military plot treason all day, but say when night comes “if only those damn civilians didn’t have their AR-15s…we’d put a king on the throne of America!”

      • WTP said, on January 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm

        If only Mike could equip his many straw men with trigger fingers…but I best not get all counterfactual.

        Benghazi? Bueller? Benghazi?

        • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

          I’m not arguing it’s an automatic win for insurgents with rifles. There are many factors. But there are numerous examples of insurgencies winning with very little in the way of firepower. Guerrillas always attempt to minimize the firepower advantage of the government. If the guerrillas did not have a disadvantage in firepower, they would not use guerrilla warfare. There are examples, too, and recently, of governments winning. Initially, the government has an advantage. The longer the fight, the more advantage the insurgents have. The insurgents avoid decisive battles. They choose the place to fight. They avoid technical and firepower advantages of the government by hiding amid innocents or using rough terrain. The more firepower the government uses against populated areas, the more chances the insurgency has to recruit angry military aged males; the insurgency gains legitimacy. This was the Russian mstake in Afghanistan. They leveled entire villages while being unable to control the hinterlands.

          Consider the First battle of Grozny. The Russians dropped more ordnance on the Chechen capital than they used at Stalingrad. The Russians were nearly stopped and their whole system broke down. Yet, the Chechens were able to recapture Grozny in 1996. Rifles would not be the entire arsenault of a fight against tyranny, but no insurgency would fight without rifles. Eventually the Russians regained control. But imaggine how much more difficult the fight would have been if the Russian government would have been fighting ethnic Slavs, as opposed to separatist Muslims.

          “The Chechen fighters had the advantage in that they were highly motivated and familiar with the terrain. As Soviet citizens, they spoke and were educated in Russian and had served in the Soviet armed forces. Many (like their Russian adversaries) had Soviet uniforms. Chechen units were divided into combat groups consisting of 15 to 20 personnel, subdivided into three or four-man fire teams. A fire team consisted of an anti-tank gunner, usually armed with Russian-made RPG-7s or RPG-18s, as well as a machine gunner and a rifleman. To destroy Russian armoured vehicles in Grozny, five or six hunter-killer fire teams deployed at ground level, in second and third stories, and in basements. The snipers and machine gunners would pin down the supporting infantry while the antitank gunners would engage the armoured vehicle aiming at the top, rear and sides of vehicles.”

          “In 2003 the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grozny_(1999%E2%80%932000)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grozny_(1994%E2%80%931995)

      • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        The biggest problem an insurgency has (assuming it has weapons; if it has no weapons than that’s the biggest problem) is motivating and mobilizing enough people. If enough people have weapons and are sufficiently motivated, a government cannot stand. Where would it get enough money if a suffiecnt amount of people refused to pay taxes? This is all wrapped up in insurgency /counteinsurgency studies. The question is always one of perceived inadequacy/injusctice on the part of the government and a sufficienly motivated populace. One can never tell if the population will become motivatyed. After all, the Russians never really fought the tyrannical Soviet government, but the American Revolution occured because of, historically speaking, relatively insignificant goverment tyranny.

  3. magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Also, who says people would jsut use rifles to fight tyranny? They can make bombs and buy stuff from foreign countries.

  4. T. J. Babson said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I think it is safe to say that guns would have prevented the genocide in Rwanda.

    • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      The first thing the CIA does when it wants to help revolutionaries is provide them with rifles.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      Perhaps. But perhaps it would have played out just as bloodily or even more so.

  5. T. J. Babson said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I think Obama may have already jumped the shark for his second term.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Probably just wishful thinking. But the gun issue is a clear loser for Dems.

      • WTP said, on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

        I wouldn’t be so sure about that. They don’t have to completely disarm the populace all at once. They’ve already started in various states and major cities. Try getting a gun permit in NYC. The tactic is to incrementally get what you want, then when the populace accepts that such is the way things are, you come back for more. Haven’t read Allinsky, but FWIU this is in line with his rules for rads.

        • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

          Obama has shown the trait of a master politician: Patience.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

            So, what is he up to? I mean other than organizing more drone strikes.

            • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

              He’s done an excellent job in pushing at just the right times and in just the right amounts. He’s up to exactly what he’s accomplished and he wants motre of it: More centralized government. Am I wrong here? Does he have Stalinist dreams? No. Is he good for our nation? No.

            • biomass2 said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm

              magus: Sounds like a matter of opinion. Not a matter of absolute right/wrong. My opinion: You think you’re right here. I don’t.

            • magus71 said, on January 25, 2013 at 4:15 am

              “You think you’re right here. I don’t.”

              You think more central control is better? Or you don’t think that’s what Obama wants?

            • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 9:39 am

              My opinion: Had we continued down the path we were traveling pre-Obama, we’d be much worse off now. Compared to McCain/Palin: Is he good for our nation? A most definite yes.

              Centralized government. Opinion. Given what the states have to offer, a stronger, more efficient centralized government could hardly be worse. I can imagine 48 wayward states making their way in the world. . . bumping into each other on the way to the bank, selling each other out for their own survival.

              But how centralized? How large? Those have always been the issues. Or should have been.

              Nordquist’s ideal? A starting place for a discussion—but not a realistic end point .
              All powerful? Obviously not.
              We’re still looking for the sweet spot. Unless be suddenly become a country cowed by idiots and go off the rails.

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

        I can see the ads already. Dems ban guns, number of rapes increase. Obviously a war on women.

  6. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    A couple points to consider:

    1) The US Constitution is a dead letter, legally speaking.

    2) Organizing armed resistance is illegal under federal law, and has been since 1789.

    3) The only way to overthrow the tyranny we are under – and we are under a tyranny, and have been since 1979 – is to organize a legal and nonviolent resistance, which has the backing of armed force is necessary, and form an alternative, temporary, truly representative de jure government, in abstentia, which the military and police and the People can support in order to overthrow the de facto government.

    This is not rocket science people. There are no other viable options at this point. We need to you to join us and help us get this movement up and running, now.

    Please and thank you.

    I am not organizing this because I’ve nothing better to do, nor have I been writing about this for three years because I’ve nothing to do either.

    I’m in Mexico now because I am working to bring together various truth, justice, and peace movements so that we can do exactly what I said above, now.

    We needn’t desire or attempt to convert Mr and Mrs Sheeple to this cause, as they would – and are – follow Satan into hell itself, and pay for it with their hard earned monies. We need the few who are awake, unafraid, intelligent, and realize who our enemy is and what we need to do to organize and come together.

    Now.

    Please people: THINK

    See: https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/philosophy-and-plan-of-action-summer-of-justice-2012-dc/

    See: https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/leap-and-mpjd-together-at-bi-national-encounter-in-mexico-city/

    See: https://www.facebook.com/makethedreamareality

    • WTP said, on January 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    • biomass2 said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Do you have a constitution or some other rule of government in mind to replace the current government ? The Constitution was created to replace the Articles of Confederation, so I would think that option is out. I would think anarchy is out. What are you aiming for? Until you lay down specifics beyond your proposals and prove their efficacy, I’m willing to bet you won’t get the the following you need.

      It seems you’re looking for some form of Utopia. Some things like interstate exit ramps lend themselves to an either/or solution, and some don’t. . . EX: “only one legal/sociopolitical philosophy can be the most just.” That may be true, somewhere that doesn’t exist yet. Could we, as imperfect human beings, be living that philosophy now?
      I believe this is a place where we need a philosopher to enter the discussion. Can “only one legal/sociopolitical philosophy be the most just”? Is that a conclusion that thinkers through the ages have concluded?
      Has such a legal/sociopolitical philosophy been identified? It may have been. I don’t know.

      I do know that the Constitutional Convention brought together the greatest minds in the states at the time. They haggled over the issues represented by the contents of the Constitution and the Amendments for nearly 6 months.

      When they were finished, Franklin said “There are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. … I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. … It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies…”

      The current ,dead letter Constitution is “. . .near to perfection” in the mind of a great man. Yet, for example, the importation of slavery, arguably one of the great injustices of man, was allowed to continue, by agreement of these great men until 1808.

      It seems that , basically, you’re seeking an either/or solution to a problem that mankind, even our founders, found too complicated for that approach. A revolution like you’re suggesting may be impossible in a world as complex as ours. You must have the mechanisms in place before you undertake The Summer of Justice.because with our enemies there is no room for any kind of vacuum of power. No room for missteps. Without the structure in place, we’ll be a fledgling country in a world of buzzards. I wouldn’t want you and your followers to stop. I admire your persistence. Good luck. Your success, if it is complete and absolute would be more than admirable. The slightest weakness, on the other hand, could be the end for” mankind’s greatest hope for the future”
      US Marine Lt.Gen.. John F. Kelly
      http://www.legion.org/convention/211861/mankinds-best-hope-future

      • magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm

        I’m very impressed by Gen Kelly here. The article says that he is Leon Penetta’s top military advisor. I’ve always wondered how Penetta made such a smooth transition. I admit I was very sceptical of Penetta when he was first appointed, but he has done an excellent, bi-partisan, job, and was sincere is his care for the troops and the defence of the country. I hope Hagel can carry on the tradition of Gates/Penetta, but I again am sceptical.

        If only I worked with more people like Gen. Kelly…

  7. magus71 said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    War of the Flea.

    Trying to undo or preempt any damage Mike may incur when tender young minds visit his blog. Unfortunately, I do not have a PHD, am not a college professor, and thus do not have the juice. So I have to commence guerrilla warfare against Mike’s superior firepower.

    http://www.amazon.com/War-Flea-Classic-Guerrilla-Warfare/dp/1574885553/ref=pd_sim_b_2/187-3524331-3734116

  8. magus71 said, on January 24, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Does everyone remember the cried of fascism and tyranny under Bush? But now, it’s just not possible. Yet Obama kept Gitmo intact, smokes American citizens with drone strikes, and supports the Patriot Act. Additinally, there are heavier screanings at airports, and now gun rights will be chipped away. How are we more free than under Bush, and yet no protests from the liberal elite. Shocking.

    Reason mag: http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/23/look-whos-mocking-fascist-fear-mongering

    • magus71 said, on January 24, 2013 at 1:07 am

      *screenings…

    • biomass2 said, on January 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

      There may be no protests from the “liberal elite”— just as the conservative elite ignored Bush’s decisions on these subjects . But I’m certain I’ve heard and read cries of protests from the left (and not even that far left)* objecting to drone strikes and Gitmo.

      These may be two of those issues where the protesters should offer up realistic alternatives. . . where Bush may have actually gotten it right—or as close to right as possible given the very dangerous situation he was dealing with. Again, if better approaches come along that provide for the demands of the Preamble— defense, general welfare and blessings of liberty—they should be presented, debated, and implemented**.

      * I got the impression that the votes for Obama in the Nov elections that came from the left were more anti-Romney than pro-Obama. And those who were not single-issue voters probably voted out of residual dislke for Bush.. . .even though Obama was carrying over some of his policies.

      **I believe it would be more than intriguing to see how the House and Senate votes would run on these topics.

    • WTP said, on January 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

      You need only look at Clinton’s testimony yesterday regarding Benghazi and the lack of attention paid to her pathetic melt down to understand the lies, deception, and sophistry of our mainstream media, our universities, and the greater percentage of the US population, not to mention the political left (but I repeat myself).

      9/11 conspiracies were treated the same way, but one or two nutcases in far corners of society speak of some Sandy Hook BS and the media and Democrat machine (but I repeat myself again) are all over it like stink on sh*t. It’s because they see the world as clay that they mould with their politics, thus their politics become the truth to be upheld and not what is really happening. And as the resulting product has their fingerprints all over it, it feeds into their egos and narcissism. Saw this on Ace of Spades yesterday:

      Why is it so emotionally charged with them all the time?
      If it’s emotional, it must be personal, and if it’s personal, one next wonders what makes it so personal. And what makes it personal is that liberalism is not, for many, about politics, but about identifying themselves — and their egos — with Better People whose august company they aspire to join.

      And when you contradict their liberal beliefs, then, you’re not just having a dispute about politics; you’re contradicting the very thing that gives them self-worth, their tenuous connection, somehow, to celebrities and famous professors. They’re not celebrities and famous professors themselves, of course, but by aping the attitudes and mores of such persons, they are identifying themselves as being essentially the same as such persons, and they derive a great deal of comfort for their egos from that connection.

      So when you denigrate liberalism, you’re knocking the very thing that Elevates them into the Upper Classes. (In their minds, subconsciously.)
      And thus: It is indeed personal.

      It’s not that hard to understand that this has happened given what has been going on in our schools for the last 30-40 years or so. Indoctrination has replaced thinking. I remember taking AP history and being TOLD that when asked on the big test what was the cause of the Civil War, if you centered your answer on slavery you would get dinged for it. This was what was taught to advanced students. So what do you expect when those advanced students grow up and start influencing the world? They turn out like Mike and teach more flawed thinking/reasoning. Mostly because their indoctrination makes them recoil from jobs in which you are confronted with reality. Best to try to survive in a world of their own making.

      • magus71 said, on January 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

        “if you centered your answer on slavery you would get dinged for it. ”

        Yeah I love that one. Liberals can’t bear to think that for the first time in history an advantaged majority fought to free a disadvantaged minority and did so in a manner that resulted in the highest casualty rates of any war in history.

        If there was no slavery, there would have been no civil war.

      • healthcarebenefitsall said, on April 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

        Wow. I’m a progressive conservative by most developed countries standards, which makes me a liberal by American standards (communist by TeaParty standards). Mainly because I’m a capitalist who believes in universal health care (and know through experience that it can work despite the exaggerated stories and out-right lies spewed by Republicans and their insurance masters, aka blood-sucking pigs). I don’t give a damn what celebrities think, and I don’t aspire to be anyone but my “best self”. If I’m ever “emotional”, it’s only because I have a big heart and I CARE about others. I hate to know anyone or anything suffers needlessly, or is exploited in the name of power or money. I agree 100% with this blog. While it may be possible for citizens to rebel against tyranny, the bottom line is the majority of military and police would have to follow orders to turn on their own people to impose it against our will. That’s NOT going to happen in the US or any other rich, developed country. If anything, because the politicians (aka Oligarchs), who everyone is so afraid of, and their corporate masters have MUCH more to lose than the rest of us.

        • healthcarebenefitsall said, on April 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

          I’m also a responsible gun owner who believes in the right to bear arms for self-defense, to hunt, etc. but not for the delusional, paranoid belief that tyranny Nazi-style is right around the corner. The people I know who act like they want to make love to their guns are probably not mentally-stable enough to own one.

  9. biomass2 said, on January 24, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Re: Ace of Spades
    “Why is it so emotionally charged with conservatives all the time?
    What makes it personal is that conservatism seems to be about their basic fear that the system as defined in our Constitution is not up to the challenges of the modern world . It’s too late to work from within the system to improve the system (though they have been part of the system since the inception and had every opportunity to insure that their views would be heard and implemented). Their answer? Retreat as far into the past as possible while at the same time , by some rabbit-out-of-the-hat magic trick, maintaining what they most cherish, progress and wealth and the freedoms ^they^ cherish—the freedoms of others be damned. . . . Bitching all the while.
    When you denigrate conservatism, you’re knocking the very thing that Elevates them into the Upper Classes (and yes, Virginia, there are conservatives in the Upper Classes”

    Nordquist would “shrink it [the government] down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” That would be tantamount to killing it. I would say it’s an unfortunate metaphor, but at least he’s got the germ of an idea. That he’s likely to have little success is not the fault of Liberals(left) anymore than progress and the growth of the nation and its passive and violent interactions with other members of the world community is solely the result of Conservative (right) thinking and actions. There are forces at work driving the world forward and pulling it back. It would seem that the adult approach would be to get our juvenile act together and streamline the current system to best deal with ‘Now’.
    30-40 years or so. What concrete actions have you personally taken to improve this ‘corrupt’ educational system during that time?

  10. magus71 said, on January 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Mike believes in Fukoyama’s, The End of History.

  11. magus71 said, on January 25, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Remember what I said about the French Revolution: It has more to do with where this country is headed than does the American Revolution.

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/obama-has-hijacked-the-american-revolution/

  12. Chip H said, on January 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Pip Hellion wrote Constitution to speak up about the government breaking its own laws and taking your gun. You can hear a clip for free on iTunes.

    CH

  13. […] Gun Rights & Tyranny (aphilosopher.wordpress.com) […]

  14. healthcarebenefitsall said, on April 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    This was well said. I agree 100%. I laugh when the NRA gets their paranoid, delusional members fired up with the paranoia that Obama is coming for their guns. The gun manufacturers also laugh… all the way to the bank. Make no mistake about it, gun manufacturers LOVE LOVE LOVE having a Democrat for President!

    • healthcarebenefitsall said, on April 22, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      The gun manufacturers know its unconstitutional, unrealistic and (as most people believe) unfair to confiscate guns from the general public (other than insane or unstable people who shouldn’t have them)…but the more paranoia their lobbying arm can create, the better!

  15. apollonian said, on April 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    The people have all the rights, period–it’s impossible for a gov. respecting rights to take away the people’s right to have guns. Guns for overthrowing tyrannic gov. is obvious virtue of rights; guns for defense, including esp. against lawless gov. and law-enforcement people–like at the Bundy ranch, for example is another outstanding purpose.

    But again, the easy formulation is people have all the rights, PERIOD.


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