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Carl Davidson, national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, offers a nuanced view on gun control and an interesent take on the 2nd Amendment's history.

Gun Control and the Lesser Known Reasons for the 2nd amendment

By Carl Davidson
Keep On Keepin' On

I'm a 2nd Amendment guy from a semi-rural area of Beaver County in Western PA. Most folks around here have guns, but my guess, judging from the debate in our local paper's letter's page, is that most of them are also reasonable on gun control, not to mention horrified by the latest school slayings.

None of the Amendments in Bill of Right is absolutist dogma, including the 2nd Amendment. A line has to be drawn somewhere, unless you want to insist of anyone's 'right' to own Bazookas or Stinger shoulder-fired missiles that can readily take out tanks, helicopters or jetliners taking off from the airport.

So where do you want to draw it? I say ban these military capacity weapons and their large magazines, but keep our deer rifles and shotguns--for those of sound mind who want to keep them. I'm also for thorough registration, full background checks-all to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, those convicted of violent crimes and those under 'orders of protection regarding domestic violence.

But waging the 'gun control' debate often misses a deeper question that need to be highlighted. The main purpose of the 2nd Amendment, when it was adopted, had little to do with deer or varmint hunting or individual home defense.

The 'well-regulated militia,' in the eyes of many of the Founders, was for several purposes: putting down slave insurrections, seizing land and destroying threats from Native peoples, and defending local governments, usually pro-slavery, against the possible 'tyranny' of a federal government that might become inclined against slavery.

In our modern age, these purposes carries over among our rightwing populists. A good number of them, to read their blogs, want military-style weapons as 'defense' against Black or Mexican 'hordes', or a government 'too left' to their liking. A handful of them have been brazen enough to state this openly on a few talk shows, but only rarely.

It remains, however, the main reason the NRA core leadership and others of their ilk, as opposed to the NRA rank-and-file, insist of their right to weapons with a military-scale capacity. That's the real reason behind what seems to be the unreason and stubbornness you heard at the NRA's press conference this week.

I have no fear whatsoever of 'hordes' of people of color; however, I do worry about those who do, especially if they're organized in modern-day 'militias.' Finding a compromise on gun control will be tougher than it seems, and this bit of hidden backward thinking is one of the key obstacles. But all of us with any sense have got to spotlight it and put our shoulders to the wheel.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Should non hunters have hunting rifles ? (0+ / 0-)

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:46:28 PM PST

    •  If they want them. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper
    •  IF they carry adequate liability insurance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, gramofsam1

      And register their gun.
      And pass a gun safety course.
      And own a gun safe.
      And keep their gun in it when not in use (which I guess would be always).
      And aren't a felon.
      And aren't under a restraining order.
      And aren't crazy.
      And aren't going through a divorce.
      And don't live within firing distance of a school or daycare center.
      And don't live with a felon.
      And don't live with a crazy person.
      And don't live with someone under a restraining order.
      And don't live with someone going through a divorce.
      And everyone living with them passes a gun safety course.

      Then it begins to be reasonable.

      But allowing guns in the hands of anyone failing to meet even one of those criteria is willful negligence.

      •  Interesting list- I agree with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JMcDonald

        most, not sure about people going through a divorce although I do know a couple of people who got violent in that situation. One neighbor of mine was so enraged that she pulled out the washer and dryer and heaved them through a huge plate glass window, onto the deck, through the railing and down 2 stories to the ground.  She was about 5'3", 120 pounds. Adrenalin can be scary.

        I do like the fact that you've included all members of the household, not just the purchaser. When we got our dog from the SPCA, everyone living in our house had to go and give consent to the responsibility of having a dog. Seems sensible to do the same with a gun.

  •  I've been digging around some dark corners of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    internet lately.  I spent some time watching YouTube videos and reading blogs demonstrating, comparing, and instructing about tactical semi-automatic rifles.
       One guy kept referring to their use by "military, law enforcement, and sheepdogs."  How benevolent!  If you aren't either employed by the government to train to shoot people, or consider your self a warrior protecting the everyday "sheep" from undefined but easily guessed at "wolves," then stop watching!
      There were a few blatantly racist items I saw, many that crossed obvious lines of illegality, irresponsibility, or both, and some that were just so offensive as to be pathetic.
       I'll see if I can't dig some back up and share them with you...

    •  "AR-15 Mall Ninja tactical Zombie Destroyer" (0+ / 0-)

        Mostly a joke, undoubtedly.  But when you stack 9 30-round magazines on a tactical semi-automatic rifle and use the word "Mall" in its description, you have to be looking for pushback.  Right?

    •  5 year old fires -yes- FULLY automatic 12 gauge (0+ / 0-)

      in a "controlled environment," aka "field."
      ...of course this is "responsible gun handling education."  You can clearly hear his father tell him to "Hold down the trigger."  Apparently the hearing protection they're using is almost as good as the eye protection.

    •  This helpful guy, at the 1:20 mark, refers to (0+ / 0-)

      tactical rifle owners as "civilian sheepdogs," in comparison to the military and police forces who also use them.  Fairly benevolent-seeming term, but would seem to place the rest of us into categories of either helpless prey or predators.  Thanks, dude.

    •  And you tell me if this is racist: (0+ / 0-)

      "When the revolting scum start rioting like chimps and burning cars in the streets of America, it will quickly come to a stop because of Viking-sired rednecks with Remington 870 pump action shotguns."
         I think so, but I could be wrong.  It's lifted from this: The 10 Manliest Firearms, a diatribe that has a lot of references to Viking blood, and really makes me scratch my head with this nugget:

      At that price, you should have several, so any guests you have during the Collapse can be outfitted as they receive Enlightenment. Then they can pillage, kill, sack and loot with the rest of the men who secure a new Dark Ages to hasten the new renaissance. We have kingdoms to carve, men!
       Apparently, the current Age we're in, with arguably the greatest advancements in almost every single field of human endeavor, isn't good enough for him.  I'm guessing, from his wording, there are certain people he feels should be purged so the rest of them can finally create a real Utopia. Sounds familiar, haven't we Godwin-ed that path before? And, silly me! I thought the next big extermination of souls was coming at the hands of the U. N., after all the guns were taken away.  I just can't seem to keep it straight any more.
         But the thing I find compelling about this blog post is that his rap about it all is so normally delivered.  There's no code, no wink.  He's just a guy who expect society to collapse, to participate in a huge bloodbath, which he'll prevail in due to his armaments, ammo, and ancestry, and to be there to pop a beer with his buds when it's all done.  And obviously there's a substantial culture out there who agrees with him.
  •  Paranoia strikes deep (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    furi kuri, gramofsam1, jhop7

    From the NRA 2006 brochure "Freedom in Peril"

    It's inevitable that terrorists will infest America for generations to come. It's also inevitable that an anti-gun president will occupy the White House, and anti-gun forces will control the U.S. House and Senate. This is when the alchemy explodes, never to be contained again. When these two certainties intersect, America's anti-gun agenda will emerge in full force masquerading as an anti-terrorist agenda. Unless we are well-financed to face that moment, the final disarmament of law-abiding Americans will occur beneath the shroud of anti-terrorism legislation. […]
    And yes it is real not the Onion.

    Just a draft, our bad

    The NRA confirms that "Freedom in Peril" is the real thing, but that it's simply an unedited draft version. "What you see on the Internet is just in draft form," spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told ABCNEWS.com. "We have not even signed off on it yet. It was stolen during production."

    Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

    by BOHICA on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:20:07 PM PST

    •  Wow! Props to them for using Diego Rivera-esque (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA

      faces.  They know how to be real dicks, don't they?
         And don't try to kid us, Arulanandum... if this crap hadn't gotten leaked in production and caused a stink, it would've mailed.

  •  2nd amendment was a tool of slavery, needed to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhop7

    Be repealed after the civil war. The "south" needed to be disarmed. Too late now. Now it is a tool of oppression for people to oppress us who are non-violent. We need many other gun owners to be on our side.

    2nd amendment = more gun sales & more profit for the death dealers.

    •  In theory, the laws protect us from their guns. (0+ / 0-)

      In practice, being right but dead doesn't console anyone, and the barrel of a gun can be an awfully strong argument to do exactly what you don't want to do.
         I really don't want a gun and can't see ever owning one, I honestly think it would be an anchor and a burden.  But I get mighty tired of the sheer number of people who are comfortable waving the tacit threat of gun violence in my face.

  •  You know how RW language and memes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    are often exactly opposite what they purport to be?

    Laws than ban what they appear to support; claims of "family values" from dead-beat Dad Congressman; hysteria over Democratic "voter fraud" that turns out to mainly be done by Republican operatives - well, you know the drill.

    The RW-gun nut cohort is getting all worked up about the need for these powerful weapons in order to "defend freedom" from their fantasy of an encroaching Obama administration, complete with Black helicopters, FEMA camps and UN troops, etc.  A government attack being about as unlikely as the Pope coming out for gay marriage in his Christmas message.

    I was pondering what they will say when in 2016 a new Prez is chosen and the attack still hasn't happened.

    And then I remembered the whole "white is black" rhetorical style of the RW. And their extraordinary ability to project their own fears and malfeasances on to their opponents.

    What if the point of this whole weapons arms race isn't defensive; could it be offensive against the very people they claim to need protection from: people of color and progressives/liberals and non-Christians? In short, everybody they have an imaginary grievance against.

    Now, that is a sobering thought.

    Araguato

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