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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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Josh Horwitz's suggested response to tyranny: sit there and take it

I've already written more than once about the contention of Josh Horwitz and his Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) that government should have a monopoly on force. Apparently, this theme is an important one to Josh, as evidenced by the fact that he's at it again.

In discussing the Heller decision, he really gets his knickers in a twist.

Upon closer reading, however, the majority opinion drafted by Justice Scalia goes far beyond simply asserting an individual right to own a firearm in the home for self defense against common criminals. Incredibly, he also endorsed an individual right to commit acts of violence against a "tyrannical" federal government which, if history is any lesson, most Americans would find appalling.
Yep--he finds it "incredible" that anyone would suggest that tyranny should be forcefully resisted. Left unsaid, of course, is the fact that the alternatives to fighting back with force (or "violence," as Josh puts it) would be politely asking for an end to the tyranny (yeah--that usually works), or . . . sitting there and taking it.

He then falls back to his standard of attacking the straw man argument that the Second Amendment is an endorsement of revolution. He quite correctly points out that no government can legitimately enshrine its own destruction.

The problem with his carefully crafted position is that it attacks an argument that no one is making. Those of us he describes as "insurrectionists" have never argued that the Second Amendment enshrines the right to rebel against the government--it protects our right to possess the tools we would need to fight back against a government that had lost its legitimacy, a government that by virtue of having violated its own Constitutional mandates had surrendered any claim it once had to the citizens' loyalty.

There may not remain in America many who will refuse to ask for liberty, and will instead seize it by whatever means necessary, but can you be sure, Josh, that the numbers are small enough that the tyranny you would enable will prevail?

III

11 comments:

Jay21 said...

"Incredibly, he also endorsed an individual right to commit acts of violence against a "tyrannical" federal government which, if history is any lesson, most Americans would find appalling."

Wow, here i thought HISTORY proved that using arms against tyranny WAS Americian. I must not have read the passages where King George released the colonies from his control by a wave of the pen. All these years I thought the Revolutionary War was a war, with guns and everything.

45superman said...

All these years I thought the Revolutionary War was a war, with guns and everything.

That's probably because you're some kind of "right wing extremist," or something ;-).

The_Chef said...

actually, it's less of a straw man than you'd think.

He's attacking the philosophical upshot of our position. Which is an implied right to revolution.

My response: "Yeah, so what?"

Thirdpower said...

This is really the only thing Josh has left. His last few posts have been pretty much the same thing repeated over and over.

His research budget is limited.

45superman said...

actually, it's less of a straw man than you'd think.

He's attacking the philosophical upshot of our position. Which is an implied right to revolution.


I dunno, Chef--I still maintain that a "revolution" carried out with government sanction is no revolution at all.

I don't think we're arguing that any time the government does something we don't like, we have the right to start killing people--it's only after the government surrenders any claim on legitimacy, by defying the Constitutional limits placed on it, that armed rebellion is justified.

This is really the only thing Josh has left. His last few posts have been pretty much the same thing repeated over and over.

His research budget is limited.


The thing is, it's such a perverse, extreme position, that if not for the fact that the CSGV takes that position publicly, I might be tempted to present similar arguments ironically, to lampoon the advocates of forcible citizen disarmament.

the pistolero said...

I must somewhat agree with The Chef on this one — if Horwitz was not attacking the position that Americans have the right to armed revolution, then he wouldn't be making such a big deal of what Scalia wrote, nor would he resort to the argumentum ad populum that "most Americans would find (armed resistance) appalling." Also, 45, I think you might be approaching this from the wrong perspective — it's not that the right of revolution is sanctioned per se by the government, not that the government says we have the right to revolution, but that the Founders were basically just pointing out with the Second Amendment that we had that right. Of course you know that the BofR only enshrined limitations on government, not rights they themselves had. I tend to think that taken in tandem with the Declaration of Independence and other writings of the Founders and other commentators, the 2A could very well be read as enshrining the right to revolution — revolution in the event of, say, "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism." Not revolution in the event of "light and transient causes."

45superman said...

I think the problem here is that I didn't make my position very clear from the beginning.

My argument is that by the time insurrection becomes justifiable, it won't matter what the Constitution says, because the Constitution would have been thrown out the window by then, anyway.

Harry Schell said...

Horwitz figures we should sit back and take what the tyranny dishes out because, I exoect, he figures it will be a "good tyranny" (such as Ho Chi Minh's) that only hurts the "right people" (the ones Horwitz is happy to see hurt), Horwitz expects tro be among those working for the tyranny and hence thinks himself immune to its predation (or will have firends to insulate him) or Horwitz genuinely feels life under a tyranny will be better, or at least the misery of life will be equally distributed, so he can cease to worry that anyone is happier than he is.

There might be a lot of other reasons, who knows, but these are the ones that make sense to me, if all of them are a mix of self-delusion and ego, uniformly despicable.

illspirit said...

My argument is that by the time insurrection becomes justifiable, it won't matter what the Constitution says, because the Constitution would have been thrown out the window by then, anyway.

Indeed. The biggest flaw in what he passes off as logic is the notion that to "suppress Insurrections" and revolution are somehow mutually exclusive. Should some sort of coup ever take place, whoever installed himself as dictator at the top of government would be the insurrectionist. Not us. Fighting such an illegitimate entity to restore our lawful, Constitutional government would surely qualify as suppressing insurrection.

This would be doubly true if the hypothetical dictator were to fire Congress (or replace them with cronies), and the elected government in exile called upon us to help.

The_Chef said...

My argument is that by the time insurrection becomes justifiable, it won't matter what the Constitution says, because the Constitution would have been thrown out the window by then, anyway.

Because it hasn't been thrown out, pissed on, and lit on fire by the Gov't?

It might be a revolution against a government that is illegitimate, but since when has legitimacy mattered to tyrants? They won't surrender that claim. They will simply regulate the Constitution out of existence (ie McCain-Feingold, The ATF regs, the expantion of police powers, the war on drugs, etc. etc. etc.)

And I'm not saying that we have a right to start throwing Molotovs the minutes government passes legislation we don't like. But we are looking at a train of abuses as pistolero says.

45superman said...

Agreed on all counts, Chef.

Actually, I'm not convinced we've been disagreeing so far.