Guns and the Perils of Pre-Packaged Politics

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

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Comments
  1. Alan Sturdivant says:

    The one argument I hate from gun control advocates is that the American citizen could never possess enough firearms to successful take on the most power military in the world. Our semiautomatic AR-15s and AK-47s, not to mention our various hunting rifles and handguns would be ineffective against such a highly trained forced. I of course beg to differ and the reason why I do is based not only on history, but current events from around the world.

    First, we need to put such a fight into perspective. The United States military and it civilian counterparts would have to be able to cover a landmass that is approximately 3.8 million square miles in size with a military of 2.8 million personnel split up evenly between active and reserves and the five services. Now even if every single one of those 2.8 million service members chooses to stay with the government there are a total of a 120 million Americans give or take that are fit for military service in this country. Given those numbers the United States military may be able to exercise total control over specific areas but has nowhere near the numbers to suppress a nationwide revolt.

    Second, it is inconceivable that all 2.8 million of those service members would remain with the government. The military is made up of a cross section of the United States and as such it has the usual divides in it. Generally, it can be counted on that the military is a little harder in their views on certain things than civilians are, but by and large its total and complete loyalty would very much be in doubt if they are given orders to arrest and kill Americans on a large scale. The ones that do jump ship are going to take as much hardware with them as they can and the smarter one’s will destroy what they cannot take. All and in all it will be one hell of a mess since unlike the War of Northern Aggression/War Between the States/War of Succession/War for the Union/War Against Slavery/Mr. Lincoln’s War the country will not fracture on regional boundaries.

    Third and this goes back to the first point a little bit, there is no way the military can control the entire country so they cannot be everywhere at once. This will give the patriots/rebels/rednecks/communists/traitors plenty of time to do what was did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Namely they would be able to throw IEDs all over the place which are easily made, destroy critical infrastructure since there is no way in hell the military can cover everything, and generally make the military overextend itself. For instance, take a look at the national power grid. There not enough drones in the world to cover all that mileage and power just happens to be very important to a working society right about now. Ditto the interstate system or the water system or oil system, etc. etc. The only reason we have any type of success in either of those countries is because we partnered to some extent with the people of the region. That is the most important element of winning an insurgency, getting the people on your side.

    Anyways, those are my reasons for why the argument against keeping weapons because of the big bad military is wrong. I’m sure they could be refuted by people on both sides of the debate. Please excuse any spelling and grammar errors, missed words, sentence that just don’t make a lick of sense, etc. I as always blame Jacob.

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