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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 01/18/2013

Friday Rant: Armed and dangerous edition

I have to say I’m a little unclear on the message from the anti-gun-control people. Aside from “NO,” that is. I do understand that word. But part of the message now seems to be that the 2nd Amendment favors the amassing of personal arsenals as some kind of defense against the American government. I won’t pretend that I don’t understand how that interpretation is enmeshed in our national history, and even has some plausible basis in argument. I just think we haven’t had this argument.

I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that private arsenals serve a liberty function against tyranny, unless you are willing to spell out what exactly that means in the real world. Which tyranny are you talking about? Some hypothetical post-zombie takeover that is about as remote from happening in 21st Century America as any time in history and any place on planet earth? Or are we arguing more subtly, and darkly, that American democracy, as currently understood and practiced, is ALREADY nearly a tyranny that needs to be checked by force of arms? I don’t think this is an unfair question, and I’d like to hear someone answer it.

And how and when is this private arsenal legitimately deployed against the government? Seems like something worth discussing, perhaps? As part of a well-organized militia armed and acting in open conflict against the government? American Civil War II? Are individuals autonomous in this regard? Or not? I don’t see how you can avoid wondering about the implications here. Love to hear the answers, because meanwhile we’re just sitting around waiting for the next mass tragedy.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 01/18/2013

 
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