All across the country, right-wingers are lining up behind a standard answer to the question: “Why are we against a ban on assault weapons”? And that answer is: civilians need assault weapons so they can defend themselves against tyranny. What tyranny? Well, they don’t really say. And though it sounds like a talking point from some militia survivalist bunker, even learned judges are arguing it, gentle reader. At least Fox's friendly judge, Andrew Napolitano, was arguing that point in a foxnews.com op-ed which was also posted on the Fox Nation.
The core of his argument is that rebels against tyranny need as much firepower as the tyrant they’re trying to overcome. “The limitations on the power and precision of the guns we can lawfully own not only violate our natural right to self-defense and our personal sovereignties; they assure that a tyrant can more easily disarm and overcome us,” Napolitano maintains. “The dictators and monsters of the 20th century -- from Stalin to Hitler, from Castro to Pol Pot, from Mao to Assad -- have disarmed their people, and only because some of those people resisted the disarming were all eventually enabled to fight the dictators for freedom…”
The main reason the colonists won the American Revolution, he says, is because they had firepower to equal the British. "If the colonists had been limited to crossbows that they had registered with the king’s government in London, while the British troops used gunpowder when they fought us here, George Washington and Jefferson would have been captured and hanged.”
Really? What tyrants are threatening us, that we need to arm civilians with assault weapons? Napolitano won't go that far. Fox Nation also has a post about Piers Morgan getting “SHREDDED” by Ben Shapiro of breitbart.com, who's been getting around a lot lately, and Shapiro didn't go that far either. He answered that question this way.
MORGAN: Do you believe your own government is going to turn on you In a way that you require an AR-15 to challenge them?
SHAPIRO: They may not turn on me, they may not turn on my children. But the fact is this; history is replete with democracies going tyrannical. It happened in France in the 19th century, in Spain in the last century, happened in Germany, in Italy. It has happened repeatedly, it has happened in Japan --
So I guess I need an assault rifle now, to pass on to my great-great-grandchildren just in case. I'd rather leave them my jewelry and guitars.
The threat of despotism does not go away, unless the government fears its citizenry.
Laws to enforce seat belts in autos help, speed limits help, drug laws help, street lights help, smoking and alcohol restrictions help. Unfortunately, laws permitting every man and women to pack a gun to protect themselves after making personal judgements whether they are about to be assaulted and need to fire their guns. None of the laws are perfect, but they all help us to avoid having a chaotic nation where everyone does as he/she wishes in order to protect themselves. The constitution has built in protection for the government as well as for individuals. Everyone gives up individual freedoms for the general good. What the hell is wrong with that?
This mysterious knowledge the NRA claims to have concerning the meaning of the Second Amendment is like one religion claiming to know the true meaning of the scriptures, or claiming to know which is the true God. The NRA is BSing their members for financial gain and their members are gullible, fearful, and usually uneducated citizens. Our founding fathers, if presented with the issues we now face, would think it ridiculous that the public should arm and rebel against its own government. The constitution was adopted to preserve the nation not to destroy it. Because a few nuts think their children may have to rebel against their own government some time in the distant future is not reason to arm every citizen today. It is a ridiculous concept which our founders could not have imagined. Where does the NRA draw the line? Why stop at semiautomatic weapons and large ammo clips? Why not include rocket launchers, grenades, poison gas and chemical and thermonuclear weapons?
According to the CDC, “…more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined” (443,000 annually). Given these horrifying statistics, why is there no proposed ban from Congress on cigarettes? Using the same logic that is used on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, it is clear that such chemicals “…are not needed…” . At the very least, can’t we agree that a restriction in the length of “high capacity” cigarettes is in order?
Similarly, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, “…in 2010, 10,530 people died in crashes that were linked to speeding.” Given that the top speed limits in most states are 70 mph, why is there no proposed ban on cars that can exceed 70 mph? Shouldn’t we be proposing the immediate elimination of new vehicles that can exceed this limit? Surely we can agree that a Corvette, (with a top speed of 190 mph), “…is not needed…” for daily commuting or recreational driving! Perhaps a ban on these high speed vehicles can be expanded to all law-abiding owners of vehicles that have the potential to exceed these limits? We could ensure compliance by requiring our citizens to install governors (no pun intended) on their cars that must be registered and inspected annually. Think of the lives that could be saved!
Or perhaps Congress would like to restrict the intake of our sugar which, according the journal of Nature, can contribute to as many as 35 million deaths worldwide each year! Next we could restrict our intake of coffee. It is apparent to me that no one really “needs” a $4 soy mocha latte with Madagascar cinnamon when a simple cup of Joe is enough!
The obvious argument here is not whether or not such excesses of cars, cigarettes, sugar or guns are needed. We can probably all agree that they are, in fact, not needed at all. The point, however, is that when we start allowing our government bodies to restrict our lives through legislation based on what they (or their constituents) believe is needed for us, we erode the liberties of all through the good intentions of protecting a few. In short, our government should not be dictating to law-abiding citizens what they “need.”
Trust me, I don’t need their advice on what I “need.”
If they were ever faced with a real life threat of any kind they would first empty their bowels and bladder, and then be so freaked out they’d probably end up shooting themselves in the foot.
Funny how everyone on there is ignoring that Fox and Newscorp US, for all their pro-gun talk… are the only two companies that didn’t put in a bid. In fact, comments pointing that out have an average lifespan of 1 minute.
US History is replete with paranoid idiots like me. I’d buy tactical nukes if I could get ’em! Got any leads?!!!