The Right to Bear Bombs

Based on a recent blog I wrote about the 2nd Amendment, one of my readers posted a comment respectfully disagreeing and providing some insight into why he is such an ardent supporter (as am I) of said amendment, but disagrees with my thoughts about it. I welcome comments from people who happen to disagree with something I write. In fact I like them (almost as much as when people tell me how right I am). Before you get some distorted picture of this guy, let me say that from all I can tell from his Facebook page, he seems like a great guy; good looking, well spoken, smart, and best of all–a skydiver. He responded to my blog in which I asserted that “Obama is going to let the UN take our guns” is about as stupid a reason to let the American aristocracy reenter the White House as any. The young man who commented was quick to remind me:
“The framers of the Constitution believed in the need for an armed citizenry for one simple reason. Nothing will stop government over reach than an armed citizenry…” [sic]
He goes on to say more and, unlike the “Seals Hate Obama” featurette, nothing I leave out would weaken my argument if it remained in the quotation. I understand his position and it holds more water than the tired old “they (the pinko-commie-fags) want to take our huntin’ rifles!” By the time they (mostly) let that one go, only the stupidest of the stupid still believed it.
Here’s my problem with his (et al) argument: Whenever anybody says, “The framers of the Constitution believed…” they have already shot themselves in the foot (pun totally intended). Unless you have William Paca’s cell number or Carter Braxton’s email address or are willing to set up a lunch with Francis Lightfoot Lee and me, please don’t tell me what the framers “believed.” It’s only slightly less problematic than telling me what “Saint” Paul meant when he (reputedly) said, “Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” (I Corinthians 11:9,10) Don’t try. You won’t win.
People have dedicated their entire lives to Constitutional law and continue to disagree on the spirit of this (and other)amendments, mostly this one.
[By the way, here’s a little free History lesson on the side from the son of a History teacher: if by “the framers of the Constitution” you mean the men who signed the Declaration of Independence (members of the Continental Congress), you need to know that they are not the ones responsible for the 2nd Amendment. If you mean the men who drafted the actual Constitution (members of the Constitutional Convention), nope, they didn’t get you your 2nd amendment either. When the committee tasked with writing the document that would become our Constitution sought to get it ratified, it was the opposition to the Constitution as it was that demanded the Bill of Rights. They were afraid that it would allow for a “tyrannical central government.” That’s where that all-too-familiar phrase comes from. There were actually twelve amendments. The first two didn’t make the cut.]

About me and guns: I’m not a huge fan. I slept with my arms around my M16 long enough that I still miss her sometimes but I know that guns hurt far more Americans than are saved by them. How many times do you hear of a would-be robber/murderer who is stopped because a citizen owned a gun as compared to the number of crimes committed with the help of a gun? BUT, here’s the deal– 50,000 queer men were thrown into Nazi prisons. Another 15,000 were sent to the camps. World War II may sound like ancient history to you but to those of us in populations who were persecuted, to forget it to repeat. Now y’all all know me as a peace-lovin’ guy (for the most part) but as I’ve said before, when they come for us this time, they’ll be looking down the barrel of my 2nd Amendment and thanks to your tax dollars and hours spent training on the very same rifle range where Lee Harvey Oswald learned to shoot (no shit),I rarely miss what I’m aiming at. (Disclaimer: let nothing I just said ever be construed to indicate that I would ever assassinate a president. I still have much too much faith in our albeit flawed form of appointing or removing leaders.)
So if you want to tell me that you’re afraid that eventually the Tea Party will show up armed at your door or that there might be a Mountain Meadows Massacre in your future… “roger that.” Let me help you load that thing, Brother. But as far as an “armed citizenry” uprising against a “tyrannical government” here in the US, you haven’t thought that one through. For whatever we may or may not think about what the framers of the Constitution (or the people who are really responsible for the Bill of Rights)“believed,” I’m pretty damn sure they weren’t thinking of the mechanized weaponry of the 21st Century. You’re thinking of Syria. Don’t. Remember who makes up our government. Remember who makes up our military. Dream up a scenario where the big, bad US government comes after us all with their military and you’ll quickly call “bullshit” on your own bullshit. IF somehow the far right or far left took over our government (and please don’t believe the Romney shit-shovelers when they try to tell you it’s already happened) they won’t have a military to wield against us except our own. Remember, I’m a Marine. I know Marines. Marines are not going to drive their tanks into Pascagoula and point those big barrels at the First Self-righteous Church on Main Street because the worshipers are inside reciting the pledge, “God” and all. It just ain’t gonna happen. I’m not being Pollyanna-ish about this. I’m thinking it through.
BUT! (and I’ll close with this) IF by chance the Koch brothers do ascend the throne in February, AND the bottom 99% wake up to what’s really happened, AND we try to remove Romney from power by the tools of our democracy, AND the wealthy elite just ain’t havin’ it, AND they somehow coerce enough of our Armed Forces to turn our badass weapons on their mammas and daddies (as if), then we’re pretty much fucked. You can have a closet full of AK’s and you’re still no match for the US Military’s Armory (ask the Iraqis). Yes, we’d do what the Iraqis have done. We’d resist with everything at our disposal. But take it from someone who’s been there. They don’t choose IEDs over rifles because of the lack of rifles; they choose them because they’re effective.
So to the young patriot that commented on my earlier blog, I sincerely want to thank you for reading, for commenting, for thinking about this stuff, and apparently being willing to fight for your democracy. Before you were born (and for most of my life) we were involved in something called the “arms race” with another gun club on the other side of the planet with some initials I seem to have forgotten. And those “arms” they were talking about weren’t no pistolas, Brother. The big firecrackers that any military sees fit to arm themselves with to seriously be considered viable opponents to the US Military are way beyond what you can get mail order from “Guns and Ammo” or over-the-counter at Wal-Mart and I don’t care if you’re carrying a NRA Platinum Card. If you’re going to lead an “armed citizenry” against the US Government, you’re gonna need something bigger. The old saying “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight” doesn’t even come close.

About this entry