Dorner case dispels the "nutty notion that a citizen can be heavily enough armed to fight off the government"

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no talking points

George Skelton's column in today's L.A. Times makes so many good points, it's hard to know where to start. Here's as good a place as any:

The nutty notion that a citizen can be heavily enough armed to fight off the government went up in smoke near Big Bear Lake.

Then Skelton went on to share some emails he's received from, erm, ardent gun owners. Here are a couple of excerpts:

The [purpose of the] 2nd Amendment is to enable 'the people' … to protect themselves against government tyranny." [...]

Then there are the right-wing racists, like Pam:

"When that redistributionist Marxist [deleted] Obama decides to take away decent people's homes and businesses and give them to the black criminal gangbangers, the garbage illegal aliens [deleted] and the rest of the low information welfare/food stamp crowd who voted for him, we who have our guns can meet them at the door, loaded and ready."

And there are many like Bryan, who asked: "What if the German Jews had been well armed" against Hitler?

My answer: They would have been slaughtered by the Nazi Panzer divisions.

The French and Poles were well armed. How'd that work out?

Skelton describes how many people believe the part about the Second Amendment right to bear arms "being necessary to the security of a free state," but ignore the part about the militia being "well regulated."

He explains how it should be "obvious to everyone by now that the right to bear arms can be 'infringed.' We're not allowed to bear bazookas. Or machine guns. No automatic rifles."

And for good reason, despite the recurring case being made these days about the right to own semi-automatics ("assault weapons") and large capacity magazines.

However:

As of this writing, it's not clear what suspected killer Christopher Dorner had in his arsenal. But it was enough to hold off law enforcement in Tuesday's shootout until someone upped the firepower, literally, by lobbying incendiary tear gas into the cabin where the axed cop apparently was making a last stand against the government.

The government virtually always wins.

He then reminds us that Jefferson Davis's rebels failed to fight off northern "tyranny" — and "back then the U.S. government didn't have tanks or drones, let alone ballistic missiles."

There's that.

But neither Washington, D.C., nor the LAPD is a foreign power. Americans are not going to permit Uzi-armed citizens to rebel against their country, regardless of any "tyranny" some disgruntled misfits might perceive.

Some in the Los Angeles Police Department who were on the lookout for Dorner ended up shooting at women and others who bore no resemblance to the suspect, a controversy our own David Garber wrote about in his post Mistaken Identity or Trigger Happy?

But as Skelton notes, "that calls for firing, not armed citizen rebellion."

As he also notes, guns are for hunting and for protection. I haven't seen too many arguments against those assertions, even from people like me who are no fans of guns in general. Of course, if it were up to me, I'd prefer that no animals be killed for sport, and that guns be as rare as "pro-lifers" would like abortion to be.

Skelton ends with this:

Guns to overthrow tyranny, irrational. That's why our founders gave us the ballot box.

The Second Amendment remedies for "government tyranny" just don't make sense. The way to "overthrow" government officials is to vote them out, not shoot at them. And in the unlikely event that the American government actually were to become a real threat, assault weapons would be no match for drones, tanks, or anything else in the government arsenal.

Time to retire that talking point and way of thinking and enter the real world.

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  • Hsialin

    Wow what a communist website this is.

  • http://www.blondetwit.com/ Blondetwit

    There's an enormous misconception in this argument.  The 2nd Amendment is NOT about defending ourselves against governmental tyranny.  It is, however, to provide a well-regulated militia in the event that the MILITARY were to attempt to stage a coup upon our government, which was, and still is commonplace against governments throughout this world.   

    That said, the basic argument certainly still holds true:  there is no personal arsenal that is capable of defending one's self from the assets of the military of the U.S...and it has been that way for a very, very long time.

    Anyone who stands on the claim that they have their arsenal to protect themselves against "the government" needs to be placed under psychological and/or psychiatric observation.

    Some will say I am splitting hairs, but I am not.  As someone who has been up to my eyeballs involved in "government", I am quite qualified to point out these distinctions.

    There are three branches of government: Legislative, Judicial, and Executive.  This is provided as our GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.  The military is established for the singular intent to protect THAT GBTPFTP, as government's agency, and is not accessible BY THE PEOPLE...etc....If a citizen chooses (or is chosen) to become a member of the military, they abandon many of their rights as a regular citizen...for example, they are no longer subject to the same laws as the rest of us, but instead, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is ENTIRELY different than laws established (many by blood, sweat and tears), and without many of the same protections that the rest of us citizens take for granted.  

    You and I are part of the government - unless we choose to stay silent and not participate, which, inevitably, those who cry the loudest about tyranny rarely, if ever do.  We, however, are significantly limited as to what participation we can ever have in the military, which is why, taadaaa!  the 2nd amendment was provided, to level that playing field.  It has done that beautifully over the years.  

    Stepping off my soapbox now.... =^..^=~~