The latest slew of violent attacks in the United States have left me reeling. And when all other arguments against proper licensing of guns and limitations on the purchase of certain ammo or models have failed against statistical facts, the big argument is that guns are important to defend against the tyranny of our own government.
This is an argument that I can actually understand the feeling and intent behind, but my question then is – where have you been? What level of tyranny do we need to be at for action to be necessary? Where were the armed protests against the passing of the unconstitutional Patriot Act? Where are the militias marching to free children from cages? Where are the armed patriots in defense of their neighbors who protest injustices to uphold their rights to protest and make sure police or private security think twice about using tear gas and water cannons or that opposers don’t drive through their lines with vehicles? Why hasn’t any pro-gun groups or individuals addressed the illegal operations of ICE and the TSA and the ever increasingly militarized police forces present in our nation? What is the line that needs to be crossed by a controlling government for action to be taken? Because my suspicion is that the guns are really to defend your material goods from your fellow neighbors, and as long as you can pretend that tyranny never personally reaches your door (which is a gross misunderstanding of the world you are operating in), you are fine with things the way they are and in fact, frequently support those who are upholding the government and the status quo.
The way I see it, if you have knowledge, you take on responsibilities with that knowledge. It’s like being a doctor or getting certified in first aid – you then become responsible for stopping and helping in a situation, even if it puts you at certain legal or physical risks. Rights come with responsibilities for both yourself and others, and that includes gun rights. And as with so many other rights, too few understand that basic reality).
Don’t misunderstand me, I do not condone violence and death as a means of change. I value the potential of every human life to ever think of anyone as “collateral damage”. And I know that change reached via violence will never be a permanent change. But there is a lot hypocrisy in considering yourself a patriot and really just wanting your toys and the privacy to do with them what you want. So take some time to really question your motives.
We do live in dangerous times. We have willingly sacrificed much of our freedoms for the illusion of safety. We the people are angry, disconnected, isolated, sick from leading lives we should not be leading in order to survive in a damaged society. But when the building is on fire, the solution isn’t to keep throwing lighted matches at the house. And our society is essentially on fire right now.
I want a world of freedom. I want humanity to reach the point of true self-governance, where every heart and soul and mind is activated and recognizes the principle of being both individual and collective. That we don’t need to live in our fight or flight mode. But we are so far from that point right now, and there are so many systems in place that need to be dismantled to let us reach our true potential. That is where the fight needs to start.