Hacking the Tree of Liberty
“In the fight against terrorism, some rights must be repealed,” says Junaid M. Afeef. Afeef is an associate of the institute of social Policy and Understanding. Afeef assures us that it is no longer safe for the public to carry guns. No longer safe? When the hell was it safe for the public to carry guns? The right to bear arms isn’t about being safe. It is about being dangerous enough to keep the government in check.
I hate this assumption that being a Citizen of the United States is about being safe. No, no, no it is not about being safe it is about being freeeeeeeeeeee! “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both,” said Benjamin Franklin. Let us pause for a question from Francis Scott Key.
O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.O say, does that star-spangled banner yet waveO'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I guess not, eh? Perhaps we ought to change the National Anthem to something like Mary Had a Little Lamb. I think that it was Jefferson that said that the tree of liberty needs to be watered by blood from time to time. I hear this all the time, “freedom is not free.” I think by this we mean that freedom costs $300 billion Dollars +++ for blowing up foreign peoples in hopes of stepping on a terrorist or two. Oh, and freedom means the blood and limbs of economically oppressed young people in exchange for a shot at opportunity. Let their blood water the tree of liberty in a far far place, while we hack off a few branches and spend time shopping for a softer brand of toilet paper.
[Afeef]Today, only a handful of citizens outside of neo-nazi and white supremacist goups view gun ownership as a means of keeping the government in check. Even those citizens who continue to maintain such antiquated views must face the reality that the United States’ armed forces are too large and too powerful for the citizenry to make much difference. Quite frankly, the idea of the citizenry rising up against the U.S. government with their handguns and assault rifles, and facing the military with these personal arms is absurd. The Branch Davidian tragedy at Waco, Texas, was one such futile attempt.
I used to agree with this, not as a reason for abolishing the 2nd amendment, but because the right to bear arms has been whittled back enough that the government enjoys a superiority of fire power. But Afeef and I forget the principles of asymmetric warfare if it came to the necessity of citizens rising up against the government. One way to avoid the necessity of an uprising is to stop hacking off branches of liberty’s tree. Just because this particular liberty has become a little shaky (OK a lot shaky) is no reason to do away with it all together. Afeef stands ready to deliver the last hatchet blow to this particular limb of liberty.
Afeef complains of wanton violence in connection with guns as if somehow wanton violence will disappear if guns disappear. Well we do average about 12,000 gun related homicides/year vs. 300 legal self/other defense killings. So it may seem as if he has a point. About 16,000/year of us die from falls. By Afeef’s logic we ought to ban the right to bear and climb ladders. Wanton violence is part of our culture. We don’t like to admit it, but we didn’t just ask Native Americans nicely, “hey, can we have your land?” No, we mugged them for it, and we are proud of it. Giving up guns would make wanton violence more difficult, but won’t make it go away.
[Afeef] The idea of curtailing rights in the name of homeland security does not seem implausible given the current state of civil liberties in the United States. The war on terror has already taken an enormous toll on the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and thus far, very few Americans have objected. In light of this precedence, it seems reasonable that scaling back or even repealing the right to bear arms would be an easy task.
Ok here is a hell of an argument, freedom should be given up because freddom is being given up. While rights are being eroded in the name of safety, lets just do away with this (eroded) right all together. Hell, lets just tell Bush he’s dictator. His word is law. Piss on this constitution thing, maybe it is “just a goddamned piece of paper”. Screw rights. Screw the constitution. Screw everything. Just don’t let the big bad terrorist huff and puff and blow my house down.
Well folks – not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.