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Of Mice and Tyrants )

bulls on parade

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”–Thomas Jefferson

The issue of gun control is rife with stupid arguments on both sides of the isle, and I guess in some ways that’s why I love it so much…I can just float through Facebook and glean the battle-memes.  And there be many.  But no argument for the private ownership of firearms is quite as misguided as the use of the 2nd Amendment.  For those of you unfamiliar with said amendment (I can’t imagine there are many of you) it goes thusly: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as ratified by Congress).  It is the only amendment with a stated purpose and, as of late, that purpose has been most popularly translated as an individual’s ability to protect themselves and their family from a tyrannical government…Read: Federal Government.    This translation is nothing more than a romantic notion…the idea that one man with his AR-15 would be able to hold-off the feds should they determine to round us all up and send us to the salt-mines (that’s still a thing right?).    It is a notion that ignores the superiority of the weapons possessed by the government it wishes to fend off, it ignores the legal jurisdiction that has been handed over to said government by liberals and conservatives alike, and it ignores the main component that has been the historic driving force in any successful defense against governments-gone-wild: solidarity.

At the time of its penning this might have been a legitimate interpretation…the gap between the government’s arsenal and that of a well-regulated militia was not as vast as it is now.  It is no tough task to learn about the supremacy of the weapons at the beck and call of the U.S. government.  They are impressive.  Go ahead, Google them…admire them…you bought them.  Gone are the days when you had to round up a gaggle of tank drivers to drive through a public square breaking up a citizen uprising as they go (a flock of tank drivers is called a gaggle…trust me…and I know you were thinking: “it should be called a murder”…no, that’s too “on the nose”…hacky much?).  That, my friend, is exactly the scenario for which God created radio-controlled drones.  No worries though because handheld firearms and semi-automatic long-rifles work great against those; just ask our friends in Iraq or Afghanistan or Los Angeles.  There’ll be no epic “Wolverine”-yelling-shenanigans as you flee into the Coloradan hill-country, that bullshit is the stuff of film and first-person-shooter games, not revolutions…not anymore, C. Thomas Howell.

It would be impossible to exaggerate the level of legal jurisdiction that was grabbed by the federal government under the leadership of that pinko-liberal George W. Bush…wait, what?  He was a small-government conservative?  Of course he was.  The USA PATRIOT Act is nothing if not a small government, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights document of the stripe that would make Thomas Jefferson proud.  Right?  On the contrary, it is a personal-rights-striping act of the U.S. Congress that shits all over conventional jurisprudence so completely, it renders the 2nd Amendment impotent with regard to defending one’s self from the aggressions of a government turned tyrannical.  Seriously though, I know GW is not to blame; he just happened to be the guy who was sleeping at the wheel when his friends turned tragedy into opportunity.  Nobody blames Barney Fife for the ne’er-do-wells in Mayberry.  It so obviously unfair.  Instead we just chuckle in uncomfortable embarrassment, and hope that little blind squirrel doesn’t shoot himself in the foot in the process of finding his nut.  The very act of writing this post could get me into all kinds of trouble based upon the loose language found in that Act, if this were interpreted as a treatise for revolution…please allow me to be clear…this is NOT a call to revolution…I would willing go to the salt-mines should my beloved government call upon me to do so…Hell, I love salt.  Phew, that was too close for comfort…I think they’re gone now.  Go ahead and read some of the articles in the Patriot Act and imagine how easy it would be for you to land in Gitmo for an extended vacation for even attempting to assemble a well-regulated militia.  And speaking of militias…

Have you witnessed a good example of anything resembling a “well regulated militia” in the U.S. in your life time?  I’ve found them to be astonishingly absent.  And not just absent in reality, they don’t even make much of an appearance in our fiction.  Our folklore is rife with the imagery of rugged individualists coming in and saving the lemmings from their would-be oppressors…all the while using witty quips like “Yipee-Ki-Yay Motherfucker”.  Even the toppling of the Soviet Union, in a fascinating case of revisionist history, is popularly attributed to a lone-cowboy demanding: “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall.”, instead of the reality that through the policies of “Glasnost” the people of the Soviet Union became more resistant to tyrannical rule.  Solidarity topples tyrannies.  And yet the idea of solidarity in the American narrative is the modus-operandi  of terrorists, radicals, and commies.  Our tradition seems to have little patience for the gathering of like-minded people in the interest of unseating a common enemy.  Even the most recognizable visage in modernity of a well-regulated militia, the volunteer “border patrollers” in our south-western states, have a disdain for their fellow “minutemen” that is veiled only a little less thinly than their racism.  Our founders, who were better historians than the average lay-person of today, understood the concept that revolution is best accomplished using “the buddy system”.  As such, they clothed the 2nd Amendment in the language of solidarity.

I hope that this isn’t read as an anti-gun tirade.  I love guns.  They’re a lot of fun, and if I wanted to possess guns I would do so.  I have owned guns; I don’t own guns right now.  I may, one day, purchase a gun.  I don’t know, the thought doesn’t occupy my imagination much.  But I do have an intolerance for illogical group-thought arguments whose use is limited to shilling the interests of the gun industry.  If you feel the need to own a firearm to protect yourself and your family from people who’d do you harm, I fully support your decision in that pursuit.  If you own guns because they are a part of your culture or an important component of your hobbies, awesome.  If you own guns for any reason short of gunning down people to accomplish your own self-interests, I’m right behind you (it’s safer there).  But please, don’t tell me that you need an AR-15, or the like, to hold your government in check.  I’m too smart for that…and I think you are too.  Additionally, please don’t revolt against your government (see, Mr. Rove, I’m against revolution), but if you do, know this: with solidarity it matters little what weaponry you lack, without solidarity it matters little what weaponry you have…that’s just history folks, plain and simple…


About pats0

Pats0 is a writer who is informed by a punk-rock ethos, and a hatred for group-think. He is the founding member of The Pirate-Clown Guild of Free-Thinkers, an aegis from under which he soils the internet with his thoughts. Welcome.

9 responses to “Of Mice and Tyrants )

  1. Stephen

    Wait… John McClain is NOT heading up a well-regulated militia that will overthrow any threat of tyrannical government lordship? I sort of feel like my assault rifle cache was purchased in vain now…


    • pats0

      well, now I feel bad…He might? Though I heard that a good deal of his screen time in A Good Day to Die Hard was spent looking for a jacket…cause old people get cold fighting evil


  2. anya

    Well, you are more gentle than I. I hate guns. Plain and simple and cannot (and will not) rationalize their stupidity.

    And actually, in most areas of life, I am all ‘Dude, you gotta do what you gotta do’ and ‘FREEDOM!’ But this issue? Not so much.

    Also, I like the safety the internet provides in this instance. I can say my opinion freely without actually having to offend someone face-to-face.


    • pats0

      I’ve always suspected I was more gentle than you…I fully support your lack of willingness to rationalize guns…they are kind of stupid


    • Cam ⋅

      The only problem with “hating guns” is that you can only hold that view till you legitimately need one…. or have to call someone with one (aka 911).

      If it’s simply a philosophical view of wanting Utopian peace throughout the world (and the non-existence of weapons in general), well I hear you. Unfortunately, reality plays to a different tune.

      Demonizing the modern weapon of our time wont keep us any safer. In fact, I would argue that it makes you less-safe given the fact that you can not un-invent them.


  3. lwk2431

    You wrote:

    “This translation [of the 2nd Amendment] is nothing more than a romantic notion…the idea that one man with his AR-15 would be able to hold-off the feds should they determine to round us all up and send us to the salt-mines (that’s still a thing right?).”

    You are absolutely right that tactics would have to change. Instead of massing up and going head on into DHS, the Marines, or whatever, how about this scenario?

    Kill every Federal employee in your neighborhood who won’t resign their job. Burn their house down. Run their family out of town? Hard to run a country without employees.

    Of course I would not advocate that now, but if government really, really turned into tyranny, then maybe the tactics would have to be different?

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a survivor of the Russian gulags:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”



    • pats0

      huh…kind of a private-sector preemptive strike…Dubbya would be proud, were he not so beholden to the Federal Government…good luck with all of that…


  4. pats0

    Reblogged this on and commented:

    I thought I’d take a moment and re-share this post from a few months ago. Since I wrote this piece, the erosion of the 1st and 4th amendments has become big news. Not every one was pleased with this opinion of mine. Some folks took a considerable amount of time to explain long fetishized strategies about how they could ward off a U.S. gov’t turned tyrannical. It was clear they had thought about it for some time. My apologies, I never wanted to destroy a dream. Yes, Virginia there are well regulated militias. Speaking of, some folks took issue with the claim I made pertaining to the lack of militias in the U.S. I didn’t mean that there were no militias, merely that they lacked significance. Prove me wrong militias, prove me wrong. Also, there were some who felt I went too easy on guns. I have always been honest about the fact that I like guns. I know that this enjoyment is not borne of the more evolved parts of my brain. I enjoy guns the same way a reptile might, had they the opposable digits. That being said, I owned a gun for 10 or so years, I only used it at a range for target practice (that’s when you go to a huge dusty lot with ply-wood cut-outs and shoot a bunch of bullets at inanimate objects so that you and your gun become better at doing the only thing a gun is is designed to do: killing stuff) then I sold it…I didn’t need it. If guns were banned tomorrow I couldn’t bring myself to care…I really couldn’t


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