American Culture

Sometimes a gun is just a gun

il_340x270-731368759_4lvuJust because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you. – Kurt Cobain

Did you know that in Russia it is legal to own a handgun but not a rifle? If you are a gangster and you want to shoot someone at point blank range, to rob them or to exact revenge or to terrorize their fellow citizens, the government has no problem with that. It’s the medium to long range shooting that falls under regulation. As it happens, rifles are necessary to overthrow a government.

We the people are mourning the loss of 49 of our brothers and sisters. We should never lose sight of that. The fact that the Orlando Massacre was a targeted attack against the most cohesive and politically active minority in our nation, we should not lose sight of that either. Nor should we lose sight of the method of attack, terrorism, which can be carried out by bombing, poisoning (Anthrax), lynching, or a hundred other methods.

This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. I must beg you, during the raging maelstrom of your grief, to consider the conservative point of view. Please, forgive me, I weep with you for the innocents slain. I don’t want to do this, but I’m afraid of what will happen if we give Hillary or Trump or their successors the power to take away our rifles.

The American Republic was bought with bloodshed. We all know it. We were temporarily the rebels overthrowing the empire. That became possible because we had the ability to manufacture guns, which our (British) government was unable to regulate. The Minute Men were just farmers, merchants, students, and literally every able bodied male. Our unregulated access to firearms made all the difference in the fight against tyranny.

We remain a peaceful nation, free, forging alliances according to the natural rules of mutual benefit, and ruled by a government that is just and ready to answer to the governed. This is as it should be. It is also unique. The only comparable governments are ruled or once ruled by the British Crown, or modeled after our own, like Germany, Japan, and Israel.

Our government is fundamentally different than any of those governments. They are all designed to be functionaries of a larger government, a higher power if you will. Even our mother England functions on the premise that the power of God, channeled through the monarchy, will open the legislature, and oversee the necessities beyond the faulty capacity of elected leaders.

Guns are our responsibility. We took them up. We used them justly. We are the Marshall. When a new gunslinger rides into town, we take him down. This is our role. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. And one unalterable element of this responsibility is holding our own government accountable. We are still the Minute Men, although now we’re programmers, engineers, salesmen, and literally every man and women, physical handicaps be damned.

I like to think of it as a tandem bike. My brain is riding in the front seat, controlling the handlebars, exercising freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and feeling the wind in my hair. How long is that going to last without someone in the back seat with a medium to long range weapon of high caliber? As soon as I say something the President doesn’t like, I’m a stain on the pavement.

An assault rifle is just a medium to long range weapon of high caliber. I don’t want terrorists to have them any more than you do. I do want our servicemembers, our former servicemembers, and every man or woman who can demonstrate proficiency to have one. It’s how we keep the government honest. The founding fathers knew this. If we surrender our rifles, we surrender our freedom. Doing it by slow degrees means preserving our own freedom by selling our children into slavery. I won’t do it. I can’t do it. And I can’t stand by and watch you do it without saying something.

There, I said it. As you were.

9 replies »

  1. I think that if all of our military forces combined with all government and civilian law enforcement agencies decided to declare and enforce martial law in America right now, there would not be enough civilians with guns and the proper training to stop them.

    So, basically, your argument is invalid.

      • I’m just wondering if anyone reading this has ever had a gun pulled on them. Show of hands. Yes? No?

        I have, in San Francisco in 1990 when I heard a knock and opened front door of an apartment I was renting in a somewhat upscale neighborhood. Another tenant, the woman who lived in the apartment right below mine, threatened to shoot me for walking around too much and making her apartment noisy. It was frightening, it was life-changing, it was PTSD-inducing. And looking back upon my own experience in this regard in the days since Orlando, what it begs me to remind everyone reading this is that gun control in America is a street-level safety issue.

        So to me Josh’s argument above is a distractor task, a diversion, that places the usefulness and necessity of guns in the philosophically-lofty position of being the American citizen’s constitutionally-guaranteed line of defense against government that might one day become an aggressive oppressor. Great, good for you. But having your heads in clouds spun from sunshine ‘n’ patriotism regarding guns does absolutely fuck all when it comes to ordinary people trying to safely live day-to-day in America. You’re so worried about keeping your country safe, but what are you doing about keeping people safe? America is the people, and yet more of us die by accidental or otherwise preventable gun violence than in any other country on earth.

        When a five-year-old kid accidentally shoots his younger sister, or some fender bender ends up with someone getting shot and killed, or a herd of macho shithead open-carry dipshits go for coffee at Denny’s and scare the hell out of moms and kids with their holstered pistols, are these the prices we’re expected to pay for liberty? Show of hands. Yes? No?

        I say not only no, but fuck that. I want my freedoms, specifically my freedom from fear, more specifically freedom from fear of the domestic component of “all enemies, foreign and domestic”. I’ve looked down the barrel of a neighbor’s gun, and I don’t want anyone ever to have to face that. Anti-government gun-hoarding paranoia and childish open-carry cowboyism don’t make it justifiable nor right. It all just erodes the liberty and safety that you pro-gun advocates claim to so highly revere.

        • Twice. And it sucked both times. This will probably just go in the category of things we’ll agree to disagree on. Then I can get back to liking photographs and wry wit, and hopefully you can as well 🙂

          One of the biggest problems I have with this issue overall is that I don’t know a single person who takes a stand based on bad intentions. So there’s that, for starters. And from that start, what I usually see is a frightening inconsistency from both sides. Since I’m taking the pro-gun “because tyranny!” angle at the moment, I’m stuck poking at my own team, even though I tend to cheer on most other issues.

          A gun nut pipes up with “because tyranny.” The usual retort is, “against the massive might of the US military?” My usual response since the outbreak of civil war in Syria is, as here, “see also: Syria.” Nowhere on earth have we figured out how to put down a violent insurrection successfully. And our military actually has a poor track record when it comes to winning guerrilla warfare, house to house, even when it’s against those folks over there and we can wave off civilian casualties as so much collateral damage, or accidents, or bad intel. I’m not willing to wager on the willingness of US troops to do any better against their own here. And all of this assumes that, should we ever actually have a violent insurrection here, nobody on the sidelines would attempt to interfere and/or profit off it by doing what we’ve always done best…supplying arms.

          There’s much that’s disturbing about our violent landscape, but there’s this to consider as well. Kent State. Chicago convention. Scan ahead to present day. See how effective our anti-war movement and Occupy were? How quickly Ferguson and Baltimore were contained, all things considered? And on the flip side, look at Bundy and the bird sanctuary brouhaha. Not that I would encourage it, but I can’t help but honestly think that if the left were as quick to defend this right as they are any other, maybe we’d *have* an anti-war movement and the ability to protest a la Occupy without fear of the government just stepping in and shutting it down.

          You made a bunch of other fine points demanding response. Unfortunately, lunch break is but so long.

  2. I think you’re making assumptions about “all our military forces combined with all government and civilian law enforcement agencies.” I think they are protecting the idea of America. They are helping, along with the guns, to make sure that no leader consolidates power. That was part of my fictional Trump post. If we have 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns in private hands, it stands to reason that a crazy guy might get his hands on one every now and then. The fact that it doesn’t happen more often is proof that the system works.

  3. Everyone is all for bearing arms, but the problem with that is the arms will be used more for criminal activity then against gov’t tyranny.

  4. The American Republic was bought with bloodshed, yes. The same guns that earned them their freedom were also used to slaughter Native Americans by the thousands. You forgot to include that part in your history. Peaceful nation indeed…

  5. I always read your posts Joshua. Not because I agree with you on all things but because I really enjoy your youthful enthusiasm and writing style. It was a pleasant surprise this morning to follow the email notification to your post, fully expecting a diatribe and instead finding something I am in total agreement with.

    Good job young man!

  6. Very logical post Joshua. I am neither party and call myself the freedom party. if I want to do heroin it is my right. let me put it this way prohibition on anything has never worked in the history of the world, it only causes more problems then it solves.
    OK, now if we take the guns or long guns from the people the honest upstanding citizen, then who will have them. the government and the crazies and the criminals. sure we might not ever need guns to control our government, might not. guns are also for the protection of the minorities and individuals. if you think the government is going to protect you, well they
    should have in Orlando. registration is the first thing that happens when the government wants to take them away. do you really believe that the criminals and crazies will register the guns?? that is why they made it illegal to have a national registry. I guess some of the politicians do think. the form we sign when buying a gun was translated directly from German. it is what Hitler used to take the guns away from the Jews. allowing the UN to make us register is the first step. when someone says it is only for the militia or the people in the military, well that is just plain BS. when that was put into the constitution we had no standing army. I have an old dictionary and if you can find one you will read the true meaning there. the militia was ever able bodied man in the town or what ever that when the emergency bell or what ever tolled would assemble to protect them selves. they also had drills or a little training. they were also required to show up with the most advanced weapon in good working order. that only makes sense. what ever the need they were suppose to take care of it. you never take a knife to a gun fight or a pistol to a rifle fight. if that is all you have you do your best but you are at a distinct disadvantage. criminals are not going to follow the law that is the definition of a criminal. so if you take the guns away from the citizens it only means the criminals and crazies will have an easier time making a living.

    there will always be accidents, crime and crazies. everyone should know you try and take care of those. making it illegal only leaves the population defenseless. by the way crime has been going down since 1990 because of the relaxing of gun regulations. there are a few places that crime did rise and it was in those places that restrict guns the most. the crazies well they are not human, not even an animal they are just nuts! all the places they go to mass kill for some crazy reason are gun free zones! we need to reduce gun regulations not increase them. allow people to protect themselves. if you think the government can do it why are we having so many problems.

    the right to protect your self is not given by our government, it just makes sure everyone knows you have the right. it is an inalienable right, a natural right to defend yourself with the best current weapons one can afford. this is idea goes back even before the Magna Charta stated it. that was when the government would not let you have a sword. the peasants learned to use farming tools to fight the government. the reason the government want to control guns are to have a better chance controlling the masses, plain and simple. al the places that went down that road still have mass killings. we have more, yes, but they are on the decline.

    our government has tried to put off the next recession until someone else is in office, they are afraid now. why? well, QE was magically printing money to put off the adjustment to the economy. you can not stop the adjustment you can only put it off and make the adjustment that much bigger. they printed 4 times the current money supply at that time. that is an insane economical move, totally. also under our fearless leader in 8 years they have doubled the national debt from 8 trillion to 16 trillion, IN JUST 8 YEARS. Obama care etc., etc. I hope I am wrong, but I and many others see this as the coming of the worst depression this world has ever seen. why, because almost ever country was doing the same thing. at that time guns to protect you and your family will become very important. there will be a lot of people looking for food, the great depression had an advantage. people did most everything for themselves back then. now everyone pays someone else to do it for them. they do not know how to do it now. like I said, I will gladly be wrong and I hope I am. one thing I do know is no one can make the economy a Camelot forever and if they try they make things worse.

    I have a right to protect myself and will not let the government take away my right. they can come and kill me first, but I will not give them up. I do not know how many people feel the same way, but I believe that around 62%, up from 42% 20 or 30 years ago might feel the same way. prohibitive gun laws did not help france. while I am not religious I believe in freedom, freedom to live my life the way I see fit. not what some government or religious inspired government is telling me how to live. all religions have the right to exist, ALL, but when they become violent and hurt or kill people, well those of us with any balls, guts, or whatever you call them will try and stop them. really religion has killed more people then what we call wars. they still have the right to exist, at least until they prove killing is there religion.