Then again, the multitudinous gun crimes, suicides and mass shootings that have occurred just in my own lifetime would also point that out, so perhaps we didn’t really learn anything this weekend after an old white supremacist went on a shooting rampage against the Jewish community, and militia groups descended upon Bundy Ranch in Nevada to repel borders against their own government. Personally, the most depressing aspect of this weekend’s exploration of “American Freedom” is my complete lack of surprise or shock at what transpired in both Nevada and Kansas. That doesn’t mean I’m not sickened, or not convinced that this kind of jackassery is a symptom of just how broken and on the edge of collapse this country is, but shocked?
No. I’m not shocked. At all.
In the Kansas shootings we have your boiler plate American shooting spree — excuse me — Freedom Spree where in a man took it upon himself to dispense round after round of freedom projectiles into buildings full of people, in order to give them more freedom. You know, freedom from breathing. By all accounts the alleged shooter is a well-known racist and given that he was shouting allegiance to Adolf Hitler as he was being arrested, I think it’s safe to say he is indeed a racist asshole.
You may think I’m being extremely sarcastic and snarky when I use the word “freedom” like I just did; and you’d be right to a point. But the truth seems to be that it is indeed American “freedom” that enabled this twisted old bastard to bring tragedy to his community. This twisted notion that everyone everywhere is entitled to own a gun, regardless of their mental health or potential danger to society, depends most ironically on the Federal government’s founding document. In other words, without the Federal government, militia groups and gun nuts would have no firearms with which to attack the very same Federal government.
These groups are always so completely wrong about the historical context of the Second Amendment. They seem to gloss over the fact that we had no standing army when the Constitution was written. They totally ignore the fact that the Bill of Rights was at its heart a rebuke of the occupation of the British Empire, and that most of its protections were written to either purge ourselves of their policies, or to protect us against their return and re-occupation.
Instead, thanks to the NRA’s complete revision of history and non-stop barrages of “the Feds want to take yer gunz” rhetoric, we have millions of Americans who believe their guns supersede our votes. Anyone who believes that the founders intended for bullets to speak louder than ballots is not only completely and utterly wrong, they are a danger and a menace to the entire notion of a civilized society. The people who showed up to support the tax-dodging cattle rancher in Nevada were spoiling for a fight. If you read comments on articles written in support of them, you can see dozens and dozens of people making reference to “Lexington and Concord” and the “New American Revolution.”
These people truly believe that when Jefferson said the tree of liberty is watered with blood (paraphrasing here), he literally meant that you have to keep violently overthrowing your government in order to maintain liberty and freedom. But while Jefferson also said “the earth belongs to the living generation,” he wasn’t advocating that every 20 years we violently overthrow our government. He was saying that every 20 years we need to use the system he helped create to vote for people who will help us mold our society in ways that suit our lifestyles and pursuit of liberty and happiness the best.
The gun nuts — er excuse me militia men — who showed up to help “protect” Bundy’s property are nothing but thugs and goons — violent sociopaths who don’t actually respect democracy, at least not when the results of elections don’t go their way. These are the mouth-breathing idiots who you see commenting on Facebook pages talking about “taking their country back.” They don’t mean becoming politically active, coming up with cogent arguments for their side and petitioning for votes the way the Constitution actually mandates societal change be made; they simply want to keep re-fighting the Revolutionary War, and many of them would love to re-fight the Civil War.
…and the percentage of them that would love the stakes to be slavery all over again is something I don’t even want to ponder for fear of losing all hope entirely.
I do not want to make any sweeping generalizations here, but if we had taken a poll of the gun zealots at Bundy Ranch this weekend, how many do you think would have advocated Voter ID laws? Judging by their words, by their actions and common sense, my guess is that most if not all would be more than happy keeping as many people from voting as it took to win. They don’t actually respect our form of democracy. Before someone tells me we don’t have a democracy; we do. Congress is directly elected.
They only respect their guns and the power they assume guns give them to inflict damage on people’s lives when they feel their precious “freedoms” are being violated. I want to shake every one of them (after they put all their guns down of course) and ask them why the Hell they think they don’t have to play by the same rules the rest of us do. I want to ask them why they haven’t bothered moving to a part of the world that doesn’t even try to hold elections, because it’s clear as day that unless they get the results they want, they’d rather murder people instead of voting altogether. None of the armed sycophants involved in the Nevada standoff actually love America or even its Constitution as they profess. If they did, they wouldn’t be protecting a guy who said he doesn’t even recognize the existence of the very government that literally is The United States of America.
The Second Amendment — upon which all of these militia groups and Bundy himself were resting their rights to confront the Federal government is written into the most supremely important of all Federal documents — The Constitution of the United States of America. Bundy has flat out said he does not even recognize the existence of the Federal government. So where exactly does he think he gets the ability to own one gun, let alone to call upon a cadre of violent sociopaths pretending to be patriots? If he doesn’t recognize the existence of the Federal government, how can he claim his Second Amendment rights, which are bestowed upon him by us, through the Federal government’s founding document?
In short: you don’t get to own a gun without the federal government existing, period. And before someone shouts “states’ rights” without the Second Amendment, any blue state that wanted to could pass a law banning all guns. So suck on that one, strict constitutionalists.
In fact, the more you think about it, the more stupid these militia men actually look. How can you espouse a love for The United States of America and then defend a man who doesn’t even acknowledge the U.S. exists? I’ll tell you how these morons excuse away their idiocies: cognitive dissonance that could choke a rhino. Not only would none of the founders have supported Bundy and his fellow gun lovers, President George Washington would have rode up on his own horse, with the United States Army behind him, and crushed this little insurrection before it got started. For any gundamentalists out there who don’t believe me, just Google “Shay’s Rebellion.” Then sit down, sit back, and shut up.
They hate the Federal government, and everything about it, but yet they absolutely, positively depend on the Federal government for their right to own the firearms they were threatening that very same Federal government with. I feel a great disturbance in the Derp.
The founders wanted us to use our newly formed democracy to change society, not our guns. They wanted us to be revolutionaries at the ballot box. That doesn’t mean they’d expect us to suffer actual, honest-to-God governmental tyranny, but that’s not in any way, shape or form what Cliven Bundy or the militia men were fighting. Because if we did truly live under the oppressive rule of tyranny, the government not only wouldn’t have backed down for now, they would have taken the land and the cattle and left a smoking, burning hole full of gun cradling insurgents, and the “standoff” would have been over in moments, because all the AR-15s in the world can’t repel a Hell Fire missile shot from a drone, can they?
Not that I’m advocating that; because unlike any of the slack-jawed bullet bangers who showed up in Nevada this past weekend, I actually do respect our country and its Constitution, and that’s why I vote with a ballot, and not a semi-automatic weapon.