There once was an unsuccessful Nevada US Senate candidate who famously said during her tea party fueled campaign derailment that “Second Amendment remedies” might be the needed option if voting wasn’t “the cure for the Harry Reid problems.” At the heart of Sharron Angle’s bluster is not a miscalculated political quip but rather an implied threat of ‘if we don’t get our way via the ballot there’s always the bullet.’ Voicing the threat is designed to put all citizens on notice.
This threat implication is a strong binding thread that is woven all though the current post-Newtown gun debate. I submit that the virulent adamancy and repeated invocation that the Second Amendment’s driving purpose is to protect us from some fantasized future tyrannical state and that the provision for guns rights is a doomsday bomb planted within our Constitution to stave off or rampage in violent revolt against a hypothetical dictatorship is both inconsistent with the Constitution and invented extracurricular interpretation.
However a huge swath of the right from the most reactionary shrill voices like Alex Jones to less wild local GOP bloggers like Matt Gagnon using some gussied up ornamental language, are pushing the “guns guard against tyrannical dictators” meme in their effort to desperately vilify and beat back reasonable and Constitutional gun responsibility laws. Interestingly many of these same voices who are often raised in patriotic fevered admiration for members of our military, sworn to defend the United States from enemies foreign and domestic and obey the President, are knowingly or errantly promoting the possibility of in the future taking necessary small arms potshots at US soldiers. And the conservative “law and order” crowd of yesteryear is now promulgating the criminal concept of envisioning civilian police as obligatory small arms targets.
Of course the “dictator” for many, not all to the same degree, of the purveyors of ready, armed, and would be NRA and tea fueled revolutionaries is President Barack Obama, the duly elected and reelected by popular and electoral vote President of the United States. They claim he is overreaching with executive power regarding guns when clearly he is not. Their definition of dictatorship apparently includes popularly elected Presidents who speak out on issues of substance such as gun violence and ask that Congress enact legislation. Apparently in their worldviews we have had a series of forty-four dictators, not Presidents.
But placing aside the vilification of President Obama and the flights of armed rebellion fantasies, the aim of the Second Amendment remedies voices is to put all of us, the people of the United States, on notice with the implied threat of ‘we got the guns, we know how to use the guns, we’re not giving up the guns, and if…’ The ‘ifs’ are chillingly easy to see.
Thus the political will to enact reasonable civilized protections and safeguards regarding an unhealthy addiction to extreme firepower weapons of mass personal destruction is going to take standing up to this ever present and unspoken dangling threat. The argumentative fantasies from the right need to be to debunked so they don’t create collateral damage by inspiring more Timothy McVeigh imitators or Ruby Ridge icons and far more vitally to set us on the long and likely generational path of reasoned and Constitutionally legal gun responsibility that will start to stem the tide of the already more than one-thousand gun deaths that have taken place in these United States since the violent horror of the Newtown massacre.