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View Diary: Beware of Tyrants in Sheep's Clothing (215 comments)

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  •  A declaration is not the same (20+ / 0-)

    as a constitution. One is a manifesto, a letter of intent, an explanation of what the author(s) is (are) about to do. It is not a governing document. The Constitution is, it outlines how our country operates.

    One is a vision, the other is the action.

    Our Constitution has provided us with peaceful ways to change how our government and our elected employees work. We have the methods, from the smallest local government unit to the largest national one, ways to direct our government. Our Constitution was written with checks and balances, and to take one part and elevate it at the expense of the rest of the document defeats its purpose.

    Those who threaten violence to their fellow citizens because they disagree with them don't understand that, don't understand we are all in this together,whether we agree or not, and our government isn't just about them or just for them. It's for us.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:37:11 PM PST

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    •  social contract (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock
      Our Constitution was written with checks and balances, and to take one part and elevate it at the expense of the rest of the document defeats its purpose.
      Checks and balances.

      But one of those checks was the assumption, explicitly mentioned in the Federalist Papers, that the people would be able to "check" the power of the federal government to do blatantly tyrannical things... because they were presumed to be just as well armed as the federal government.

      It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot torture me.
      It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot forbid me from speaking.
      It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot disarm me, either.

      the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:43:31 PM PST

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      •  That is a fantasy... (10+ / 0-)

        You state:

        because they were presumed to be just as well armed as the federal government
        Truth is, we aren't.  The government has aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks, artillery, nuclear weapons, guided missiles, bombs, fighter jets, bombers, stealth fighters and bombers, ground assault aircraft, attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and numerous small arms that are illegal for citizens (list is not comprehensive).

        The cops have better weapons at their disposal too.  A heavily armed citizen couldn't even defeat a SWAT team.

        The thing that prevents our government from becoming a tyranny is not the gun, it is the vote.  

        •  which is to say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RUNDOWN
          The thing that prevents our government from becoming a tyranny is not the gun, it is the vote.

          it's mostly just a question of when.

          the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

          by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:48:10 PM PST

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          •  Is It? Why? (6+ / 0-)

            Do you vote? That's your chance to change things to your vision. Persuade others of your vision. If you can't, too bad. That's democracy.

            So, in your opinion it SHOULD be guns, then? Guns should prevent tyranny? Do they? Or do they enforce it?

            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

            by Beetwasher on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:24:17 PM PST

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          •  Yes, at some point... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead, FiredUpInCA, RUNDOWN, Noddy

            ...people will learn to talk to and listen to one another instead of retreating into their foxholes ready to shoot the "others" when they come.  Differences will be resolved without violence.  People will learn that they can disagree with people and still not hate or fear them.  People will learn to live with people different than themselves.  We have a lot of work to do, but we've made some progress on developing tolerance within at least one party in this country.  We also instituted programs that create a social obligation that we all share to help each other (Social Security, Medicare, etc).

            Yes, there are dangers.  The main negative impacts of government are precisely those areas where the government is expected to carry the fears of its citizenry.  As a result, governments ruin their economies with pointless military spending, and build wasteful police forces to hunt down the criminals.  Demagogues arise who spread fear and hatred of their fellow citizens (Rush).

            But the answer is not to give in to those same fears and retreat even further from the world into our own personal shelters, but to engage the world and fight the fears that are the real source of the problem (with words).  And we have to be willing to stop pretending that each of us is an island.  We'll all have to accept our obligation to our fellow citizens.  Some of our "freedoms" will be lost, just as the freedom of the slave owners was restricted when the slaves were emancipated.  

            This is the progressive project, and it isn't tyranny.  But if we succumb to our fears and turn to violence tyranny is what we'll get.

            •  I reject your premise (0+ / 0-)

              that a society can't be both democratic and well-armed.

              the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

              by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:02:45 PM PST

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              •  Not sure where you found that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite, RUNDOWN

                premise in the above post.  Rather I tend to read the opposite in other posts - that a society cannot be democratic unless it is well armed.  

                For the record, I say that Democracy is not dictated by the presence or lack thereof of guns.

                And some even go beyond that premise.  Their premise appears to be that there cannot be a Democracy unless "we" ) are allowed to have any (and as many) guns that we want.

                "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                by newfie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:43:00 AM PST

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              •  I reject the idea that policians will (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laconic Lib

                vote for the best for everyone when a gun from one group is to their head (and not just metaphorically).

                David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

                by PsychoSavannah on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:11:06 AM PST

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              •  As long as the armed citizens (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JayRaye, DeadHead

                are well-regulated and responsible ones, there's no reason we can't have both a democracy and citizens who choose to bear arms for whatever reason other than murder or committing crimes.

                It's when gun owners are careless with their guns - shooting grannies because they couldn't take 2 simple precautions:  pointing the weapon away from people and carrying it unloaded to a large gathering of like-minded people, or allowing mentally unstable people access to them to commit massacres of children - that the rest of society has to rise up in rebellion and say - ENOUGH. If you gun owners can't regulate and behave responsibly on your own recognizance with your weapons, then we as a society must take action and impose some limits on you.

                We gave the gun owners (aka the NRA, who were once the voice of reason about guns) lots and lots of time to talk among themselves and come up with ways to prevent the misuse of guns in our society - and all they could come up with was to arm everybody!

                That is not a viable solution, so the rest of society is now taking on the burden the gun owners should have shouldered to enact rules and regulations to keep gun ownership safe and responsible.

                Notice we aren't using guns against the irresponsible gun owners - we're using votes and pressure on our legislators, we're using words not bullets, to make those changes.

                All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

                by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:28:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  We can check the power (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftreborn, backell, DeadHead

        with VOTES not guns.  

        At the moment, our government is not so bad that we truly are oppressed, repressed, unrepresented.  We are nowhere near living in a tyranny in America where we must overthrow our oppressors.

        I have no problem with people owning guns - you'd know that if you paid attention.

        What pisses me off is people like you coming in and assuming that I am not a citizen of my country and my voice doesn't count because I don't believe as you do.

        We had an election.  The majority of the people and the majority of the Electoral College representing us made a choice.  The people spoke. I am sorry (but not too sorry since the other choice was Romney) that the majority voice wasn't yours, but just because your voice wasn't the majority voice doesn't mean you are oppressed.

        You show me where the "tyranny" is in America that's so bad you need to shoot your fellow Americans.

        I'll show you where the freedoms are:

        You still have freedom of speech,

        you still have the freedom to gather,

        you still own those guns your like-minded people are waving around loaded, carelessly shooting grannies at gun shows and babies in schools,

        you still have the freedom to live where you want,

        you still have the freedom to call your government and elected employees names,

        you still have the freedom to work to change the next election,

        you still have the freedom to apply for a job of your choosing (the corporations and business owners control whether you get hired, not the government - unless you're applying for a government job...)

        you still have the freedom to cruise the internet,

        you still have the freedom to become educated,

        you still have the freedom to own your own home (your finances willing),

        you still have the freedom to go to movie theaters,

        you still have the freedom to travel (except by flight, and I'm working on changing that) anywhere in the US,

        you still have the freedom to shop where you want to shop and to own what you can afford to own,

        you still have the freedom to dress as you please,

        you sill have the freedom to sire or birth all the babies you can handle with a willing partner,

        you still have the freedom to marry whom you will (oops, sorry, you only have that freedom if you're a man/woman couple, but we're working on it - you can still love whom you will, though),

        And you have many many more freedoms.

        None of which you'd have in a tyranny that cried out for you to overthrow it.

        I am very happy with the country I have.  It has its flaws, and we can work to fix those flaws because we have the freedom to legally alter our country - by activism, by speaking out, by persuasion (the kind that isn't backed by the coercion of weapons or threats), by votes, by supporting those who share our views, by writing editorials and giving speeches, by putting signs in our yards, by marching, by protesting, by striking.

        If I don't like something, I have the freedom to campaign for change.

        And so do you - without resorting to guns and threats.

        As Asimov said, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."  By advocating gun violence against our government, not only would those people doing so be guilty of treason, they are demonstrating they are too incompetent to use the tools we have to make any necessary changes.

        All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

        by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:15:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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