Comment streams below my posts about other topics often develop threads about Second Amendment rights and, yes, gun control. This has been a hot thread the last few days in the comments under ‘Obama is a Self-Declared Marxist’. No doubt the recent murderous rampage in Aurora, Colorado has piqued the national interest in the topic.
In the blogosphere, where straight talk and unabashed opinions abound, the Left has again manned the ramparts of the state as the only legitimate seat of power, control, and violence. Its adherents dust off the age-old arguments that even precede progressivism in their provenance – the elite and their henchmen should be the only possessors of instruments of deadly force. Anyone from the lower castes having such possession is immediately suspect of planning mayhem or sedition.
In America the Left has adopted a flanking strategy on the Second Amendment, having tried and failed with a frontal assault as being too obvious. Perusing their nostrums for “preventing mass murders in the movies”, we read of all kinds of next baby steps toward disarming the American public. That the Colorado killer had amassed a few thousand rounds of ammo now immediately directs these sharp intellects toward slowing down the legal purchase of ammunition. It will not be surprising if the Left will introduce legislation making the ownership of more than so many rounds to be illegal. Never mind that not even a deranged mass murderer can use more than a miniscule fraction of such a stockpile for the most meticulously planned dastardly deed.
But such stores of ammunition among the public do present a clear and present danger to a tyrannical state. And therein lies the missed point of all the gun control discussions circling the notions of ‘what does he need a large capacity magazine for duck hunting, for target practice, for self protection, … ?’ or ‘… only drug cartels and other criminals require assault rifles for their dirty work, not law abiding citizens.’
None of our collectivist comrades seem to grasp that not only did the Founders specifically prescribe the Republic to have an armed citizenry, but also that the citizenry should be armed broadly and powerfully enough to muster itself against a government turned rogue. In my deliberations on the matter I have introduced the concept of ‘par force’ as the short label that most succinctly captures the meaning and intent of the Second Amendment which has been the endowed birthright of every American since the Revolution. After all, it was only the availability of par force in the hands of the colonial British subjects that allowed them to throw off the growing tyranny of England, at the time their presumed legitimate government.
We don’t talk about that aspect of American exceptionalism any more. We cite the ‘civilized behavior’ of disarmed countries around the world, while turning a blind eye to rogue governments that murder their unarmed citizens by the millions. Oh yes, we give lame lip service to citizens who do arm themselves and fight for self-determination from the tyrannies that have ruled them for generations. However, our lips are often so flaccid that even lip service is too little too late, or not at all.
Today with the announcements of new technology based weaponry arriving almost daily, the concept of par force becomes more vital than ever. What is beyond my ken is the childlike belief of progressives everywhere that this time when we take away the effective means from citizens to resist their government, that governments will suddenly perform a multi-millennial metamorphosis, and become the benign and beneficial handmaidens of a grateful humanity.
Here I would like to reprise my long-held ideas about an armed citizenry that first appeared in these pages four years ago in ‘Par Force – An Uncommon View of the Second Amendment’.
[Addendum] A correspondent sent me a copy of a 28jul12 piece - 'CALL TO ARMS – SECOND AMENDMENT AND THE U.N. ARMS TREATY' - by KrisAnne Hall that expands on the historical and legal aspects of an armed American citizenry. You can download a pdf of it here Download CALL TO ARMS KrisAnne Hall.