You really have to give a shout-out to the Founding Fathers. Yes, they were hypocritical slave owners who stole land from the Native Americans, and they routinely drank toilet water and thought mastodons roamed the Pacific Northwest. But they still had some pretty good ideas.
For example, they gave us the First Amendment (a definite highlight). And they also gave us the Second Amendment, a bizarrely worded clause that has defied simple interpretation for almost three centuries now, and which makes the United States the only industrialized nation in the world where it’s easier to get an assault rifle than preventative healthcare.
Now you might ask, “What’s so great about that?”
Well, the whole point of the Second Amendment, according to hardcore advocates of gun rights, is that it is a bulwark against government tyranny. Americans are constantly told that if it weren’t for citizens packing heat, the U.S. government would herd us all into labor camps at gunpoint… although it’s unclear who would be doing the rounding up, or why, or how rednecks with shotguns could prevent that from happening, or why the citizens of Japan or Great Britain or Canada don’t require this kind of protection.
Yeah, the details are a little fuzzy. But the point is that we have to guard against tyranny.
Well, I have good news for all those militia types who have spent their lives hoarding AR-15’s and shrieking about government oppression.
This is your chance. The tyranny is here.
You see, we now have a president who is in office only through a constitutional fluke and who has never been the American people’s choice. And this president has spent his entire term undermining our democratic norms and using the White House for personal gain. He has sold out to foreign dictators, ignored the murder of our troops, and dismissed any calls for accountability or transparency. And to top it off, his incompetence and hubris in the face of a pandemic has led to needless death and economic turmoil.
Doesn’t all that send a chill down your freedom-lovin’ spine? It should. But ok, maybe you gun-toting patriots out there believe that this is not enough to take up arms against the government.
Well, how about the fact that, just last week, the president deployed federal law enforcement officers in “unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters”? These government shock troops are “driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation about why they are being arrested, and driving off.”
I mean, heavily armed government agents with no ID are grabbing citizens and shoving them into cars, with no respect for law and order. These brazen violations of civil rights “are more reflective of tactics of a government led by a dictator, not from the government of our constitutional democratic republic.”
OK, maybe I’m a little confused.
And perhaps you missed our president’s latest executive order, which is in direct violation of the Constitution? Or maybe you didn’t notice when he implied that he might ignore the results of an election and stay in office illegally?
I mean, all that is Despotism 101. And yet you do nothing.
Do you really want to prove that liberals are right when they say that threatening to fight your own government is paranoid delusion? Do you actually want progressives to point out that despite your tough talk, you are happy to fall into line behind a wannabe fascist prone to Orwellian doublespeak?
If so, maybe you can go ahead now and admit that your problem isn’t government oppression. It’s the fear of change, of an evolving country, of people who don’t look like you gaining more respect and power.
So the next time you feel the urge to issue a manifesto or proclaim your supposed principles, do the rest of us a favor.
As you stand there clutching your gun, just consider, for a moment, that nobody believes you. Because it’s all nothing but lies.