Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Second Amendment: America's original monopoly-buster

I'm probably wading in over my head here, but I simply cannot allow Josh Horwitz's latest pro-tyranny screed to go unchallenged. Horwitz, as readers are probably aware, is Maximum Leader . . . er, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence CSGV. I've written before about the CSGV's remarkable candor, in proclaiming that the government should (actually, it was "must") have a monopoly on force, but I remember thinking that Ladd Everitt (CSGV's Minister of Propaganda . . . er Director of Communications) must have spoken out of turn in coming out and publicly making that statement. It's not that I doubt that these tyrant wannabes believe that--I just didn't think they had really intended to come out and say it. Clearly, I was wrong, as evidenced by the title Josh used: "The Game of Monopoly."

If this insurrectionist logic were to be embraced by the Supreme Court, however, our democracy would be severely degraded.
Josh, the United States is not, and has never been, a "democracy," and for the very good reason of avoiding the tyranny of the majority, whereby 50.1% of the population can vote to trample the rights of the other 49.9%.
Such an interpretation of the Second Amendment would make even the most modest gun control legislation unconstitutional.
Um--yeah--"even the most modest" tyranny is tyranny.
If the purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow individuals to stockpile firearms to protect against government "tyranny," then laws like owner licensing or firearm registration (and maybe even the Brady background check) could be found unconstitutional because they allow the government to monitor and regulate gun ownership.
The horror!
If every American armed up to vindicate their private grievances (the Court of Appeals gave absolutely no guidance on how to tell, or who should decide, what constitutes government "tyranny"), the government's monopoly on force would be infringed and our society would gradually slide toward anarchy.
Again with the "government's monopoly on force," but this time with a hideous new twist--somehow, in a discussion about the Constitutional amendment that guarantees that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, we've suddenly turned that amendment on its head and are now expected to be disturbed that "government's monopoly on force would be infringed." "Infringing" on that monopoly is the whole idea, Josh.
The concept of a "monopoly on force" might sound foreign or even frightening to Americans that take great pride in our revolutionary beginnings . . .
Gee--ya' think?
. . . but it is the fundamental organizing principle of any political entity . . .
Any dictatorship, anyway--but perhaps a dictatorship is the only "political entity" for which you have any respect, Josh.

Josh then tries to backpedal:
This doesn't mean that Saddam Hussein's regime, or other totalitarian states, should be accepted. These regimes lack legitimacy, which is the key to Weber's definition of the monopoly on force.
So it's OK to fight against an "illegitimate" government, but not a "legitimate" one. Fine--that makes sense. But wait a second, one cannot effectively fight an illegitimate government without arms, and one thing I've noticed about illegitimate governments is that they tend to make the citizenry's acquisition of effective arms rather difficult--a pretty compelling reason, it would seem, to acquire the arms before the government slides into illegitimacy.

Josh's arguments become even more difficult to fathom when one looks at them in light of the opening sentence of the article:
With the Bush administration casting aside the Constitution to eavesdrop on telephone conversations and hold suspected terrorists for years without access to lawyers, it's easy to see why civil libertarians on the left are finding a lot to like about the right-wing critique of expansive government power.
Is a government that refuses to abide by the national constitution not, by definition, illegitimate? If not, how do you define an illegitimate government, Josh?

Speaking personally, I would say that a government that reserves the right to kill the people with impunity is a good place to start in looking for such a definition.

I see, by the way, that a book of Josh's will be published this year--Freedom Under Fire, "examining the relationship between guns and democracy." Good title, Josh--that's much catchier than Mein Kampf.


mikej said...

Well, actually, the "assertion that there is an insurrectionary purpose to the Second Amendment" was made before there was a Second Amendment, in the Federalist papers. It's not surprising that totalitarians such as Horwitz prefer the unAmerican "monopoly of force" theory enunciated by some 20th Century kraut. It is, however, quite unusual that to find a totalitarian stupid enough to attribute the theory to its originator. They usually just state it as dogma.

Horwitz' mention of Iraq just goes to show that even an idiot, if he pounds on a keyboard long enough, might say something interesting. Because our illegitimate government has refused to enforce it's own immigration laws, America is becoming more like Iraq. We're no longer "one united people - a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs," but merely a collection of mutually hostile tribes. Those of us who hope to survive had better acquire as much weaponry as we can, and hang onto it regardless of the government's opinion of our Second Amendment rights.

Anonymous said...

45superman, you have artfully sliced and diced Mr. Horwitz' piece!
Note: Josh was abusing the 1848 pamphlet,"The Law", and spun Frederic Bastiat's ideas through the looking glass (See Bastiat's ideas on force, legitimate and illegitimate). Using reverse english on plagrism, Josh? Shame, Shame!

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Thanks for the comments, guys--although they give me the distinct impression that I have a great deal of reading to do.