Monday, June 9, 2014

Privately Owned Firearms- Preventing Tyranny Since Never

Once more I feel it is necessary to state the obvious at tedious length.  Privately owned firearms will not stop government tyranny.  You are not a revolutionary soldier and King George is not quartering Hessians in your houses to make you pay taxes on tea.

The government does not engage in fair fights.  If the FBI or the Sheriff or the BATF or the local police come for you and they think you are armed, there will be a midnight, no knock raid and any resistance will be met with overwhelming force.  Any handgun or rifle it is possible to own in the US is useless against a modern military.  It may be possible to kill a government agent or two if an attacker is very lucky.  But when the Feds or local police are hunting a cop killer, they are not very careful about the "alive" part of "wanted dead or alive".

The movie "First Blood" where a veteran single-handedly defeats an entire town's police force, is a movie, a fantasy, and is the same level of gun worshiping porn as any issue of "Soldier of Fortune" ever was.  There is a reason so many mass shooters end up dead before they can be arrested and it is not severe peanut allergies.

Video games, action movies, and overheated political rhetoric from people that ought to know better have fostered a group of people that believe the only thing separating themselves from mighty deeds of heroic valor is ownership of a private arsenal and some kind of righteous crusade.

Well, that's not enough.  Untrained individuals don't win against the government in a violence fight.  The local cops may be corrupt, corpulent, and feeble, but they have radios, telephones, and the internet.  They can and will summon help.  That help will be increasingly competent at violence.  To use a video game metaphor, after defeating a wave of low level enemies (schoolchildren and teachers seem to be the standard), the boss fight in a confrontation with police is not a seven foot tall cyborg with an obvious weakness, it is the SWAT team snipers hundreds of yards out.  If you doubt this country's historic proficiency in the area of violence, ask yourself why your landlord is not Native American or British.

Resisting the authorities with firearms, or with any level of violence at all is a game for suckers at best, and suicide at worst.

If you own a firearm, you are more likely to die from a self inflicted gunshot, or kill a family member or spouse than you are likely to successfully use it to kill a criminal.  Every year, in the US, 10,000 people die from being shot by someone else.  And 20,000 people die from shooting themselves.  Unless you live in deadly fear of being oppressed by yourself, it's hard to find in those numbers a convincing argument for firearm ownership.

Gun owners also suggest that even beyond self defense and the defense against tyranny, that hunters and sportspeople every day use firearms in a responsible manner.  Which is both true and entirely beside the point.  Hunters and sportspeople could do 95% percent of their activities with a bow, crossbow or airgun, none of which have the rapid fire deadliness so easily available at any gun store or Wal-Mart in the country.

I know what it is like to love a hobby which the majority of the country views with suspicion.  As a motorcyclist, nearly every time I go for a ride, someone is all too ready to tell me how dangerous it is, how their wife would never let them ride, how a guy they know died messily from an accident.  There have been groups that lobby to outlaw various kinds of motorcycles, to limit their speed or their power or their noise output.  And in a democracy that is the kind of give and take we have to put up with.  But in order to operate my motorcycle, I have to be licensed, I have to be insured, I have to meet minimum vision and health standards and if I am operating it in an unsafe manner I have to answer to the police.  I have to suffer the negative publicity anytime anyone on two wheels acts out in an antisocial manner.  And if the actions of the Hell's Angels and the local squids and stuntaz and the hooligans that plague Baltimore on stolen motocross bikes give the rest of us a big enough black eye, our two wheeled recreation might be face a ban.  That is the situation gun owners find themselves in today.

Gun owners find themselves trying to justify their love for the tools of murder with increasingly shallow justifications.  We have a long and storied tradition of firearm ownership which is baked into the foundational document of our country.  Which like the long and storied tradition of slave ownership which was also in our foundational document, we need to change.  It's time to grow up and put down the tools which make killing ourselves and each other easier so we can pick up the tools to make our country and our world better.


  1. If only gun owners found themselves receiving the same amount of criticism as we bikers do. But nope, no criticism is allowed, the constant drip-drip-drip of bloody carnage is just the price we have to pay to live with our GUN FREEDUMBS!
    Our country is sick.

    1. If only gun owners found themselves receiving the same amount of criticism as we bikers do.

      You can see part of the reason for this problem though, right? The gun nuts are carrying deadly weapons, while all you and I have are some bikes. The person who criticizes gun nuts has to have guts and that's a scarce commodity.