Archive for February, 2013

None of my comrades on the left, or my friends on the right who know me would be shocked that I’m a firearms enthusiast. I own an AK-47 (with an eeeeeeevil 75 round drum magazine) because its fun to shoot, it’s important to learn how, and because I appreciate the craftsmanship and durability of the weapon. Same goes with the Glock 17, whatever caliber-snobs might have to say about the 9mm. Suffice it to say, I very much enjoy guns.

I’m an ardent leftist, an avowed Socialist even, but independently minded enough for the gun control debate to force me into introspection. Lazy political analysis would put me with the right-wing on this issue, and perhaps that may be practically true, but despite (or because of) empty-headed rhetoric from both sides, I’ve realized there’s nothing that gives the American right-wing exclusive ownership over gun rights. The fight to protect gun-rights can and should be cross-partisan.

There is a fundamental problem with accepting a theory of Pre-Packaged Politics; the notion that, because one identifies with a particular party, or space on the political spectrum one must assume a pre-determined set of beliefs based on the conception of others. It’s as lazy of a form of politics as the your-team-my-team substance-free horse race we see every two to four years.

Alex Jones and Ted Nugent make me cringe every time they appear on television to talk about guns; today the worst spokesmen are the usual suspects who make anyone with a .380 in their nightstand sound unhinged. Nonetheless I’m a gun-rights enthusiast for a number of reasons, most of which I’ll spare you by staying with one.

Being on guard against government overreach in the use of force, particularly against it’s own citizens, is at once the most derided and necessary reason to be a gun-rights enthusiast. Leftists (and liberals not completely moist with adoration for the President) who complain of a metastasizing national security and surveillance state should be appreciative of this. Yet, such concerns are laughed at while, as with education, those least experienced with and furthest removed from firearms seek the most control over them.

No, I don’t seriously consider that the United States Army will soon be rolling tanks down the streets of America, or that all service-members would comply with orders to do so. I don’t seriously consider myself evenly matched against an A-10 running a bombing sortie on a protest rally, even with my so-cherished AK-47. We’re nonetheless living in an era of our country’s history in which the president claims absolute power to spy on every aspect of your life, detain anyone he likes indefinitely without charge or trial, kidnap and disappear anyone he likes, assassinate anyone he likes on a whim with no meaningful restrictions. In times as unprecedented as this there is something fundamentally unnerving to watch the president claim and aggressively defend such powers, and still be told with a straight face and steady voice that, in the face of this I must to be disarmed and made totally helpless and defenseless to a government that claims such powers

So sneers like the one’s depicted in this meme fail completely against those who believe as strongly in the Second Amendment as they do equal marriage and women’s rights just as they should fail against those independently minded enough to be able to reconcile the two without distress.