The shooting rampage in Tucson last week has re-ignited the debate on gun control with the regular cast of characters on each side passionately making their arguments for either sensible gun control or wild west gunslinger mentality. There is though, another side to the gun-control issue that involves insurrection and outright revolution against the government of the United States and therein lies the danger.
There has been a chorus of voices proclaiming that the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights for the sole purpose of armed revolt against a tyrannical government, but the Founding Fathers certainly did not include any language to support that claim. The text of the amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” There is no mention of tyrannical government or revolution in the text of the amendment; just the right to possess firearms for a well-regulated militia.
At the time the 2nd Amendment was adopted, America did not have an army per se, so the Founders included the “well-regulated” militia, and when they included the “security of a free State” phrase, they meant the entire country; not individual states. The outrage by members of the tea party and many Republicans over the Federal government’s alleged overreaching into state’s rights has given rise to the “tenther” movement who claim that individual states have the right to ignore Federal laws. The provocateurs of the tenther movement have convinced the tea party faithful that President Obama’s legislative agenda is tyrannical and therefore infringing on state’s rights, thus prompting calls for “second amendment remedies” and incitement for citizens to be “armed and dangerous” to resist enforcement of federal laws.
The mysterious part of the equation is the tyranny that the tea party accuses President Obama of perpetuating on the country and particularly the individual states. It would be easy to say that the anger and alleged tyranny is the result of the Affordable Health Care Act, but the accusations began before the measure was signed into law. Even if the tea party groups considered the law tyrannical, they are not justified in complaining because the Congress was legally elected and legally passed the bill. If there is any wrongdoing at all, it is the instigators who are inciting violent revolution against the government that followed the rules of the Constitution in passing the health care law.
So the question for the tea party is; how is President Obama a tyrant? Is it because the Congress passed laws he supported according to the Constitution? Is it because the Democrats controlled both houses and passed laws that President Obama supported? Or is it because President Obama is an African-American? Since the tea party and Republicans are such staunch supporters of the Constitution and the rule of law, the only reason they call President Obama a tyrant is because of his race. There is no other possible reason.
Although the tea party patriots carried signs that proclaimed they were “taxed enough already,” and more signs proclaiming the Socialist agenda they felt the president was pushing, they were absolutely wrong on both counts. The president gave them tax cuts as soon as he took office, and his Centrist policies are far from being Socialism. They hate the idea that an African-American is sitting in the Oval Office, and it explains the birther movement perfectly.
It is not unusual for the minority party to complain about the president or make unrealistic accusations, but it is unusual to threaten armed insurrection as a means of changing the government. A great deal of the blame can be attributed to legislators who incite their followers as a means of fomenting anger at any measure that the opposition party passes into law. It is unprecedented that a sitting legislator would encourage her constituents to violence by saying she wants Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous” in case the government enforced Federal laws. Michelle Bachmann should be tried and convicted of treason and inciting her constituents to insurrection for her remarks. Bachmann is not the only guilty party. Sarah Palin uses gun metaphors to incite her racist supporters in the tea party the same way the failed senatorial candidate Sharron Angle did in Nevada. The list of politicians who suggest that violent rebellion or secession is a valid solution to the government is long, and the guilty parties seem to come from the South which coincides with the demographic of gun owners.
Whether it is Texas Governor Rick Perry who said that secession is a viable option to change the government, or South Carolina Congressmen Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney who espouse armed conflict to protect liberty and state’s rights guaranteed in the 10th Amendment; the calls for armed rebellion are inciting disgruntled citizens toward a civil war. The politicians who swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and incite violence against the government are guilty of treason and must be brought to justice.
As the events in Tucson showed last week, words have consequences and when there is more bloodshed, the instigators will claim it is the person who pulls the trigger who is ultimately to blame and at some level that is true. However, politicians are elected to legislate and govern, not to call for violence against the government. In the 1960s, Charles Manson provoked his followers to murder several innocent people and he will spend the rest of his life in prison even though he was not present when the murders were committed. It should be no different for elected officials. When the first shot is fired, Bachmann, Perry, Palin, Angle and the two saps from South Carolina should be summarily arrested and convicted as if they pulled the trigger themselves.
President Obama and his legislative achievements are not popular with every person in the country, but he is certainly no tyrant. He is a Centrist who has worked for all the American people and has not forced any laws down the country’s throat like Republicans claim. The Republicans and tea party patriots who call Obama a tyrant are doing anything possible to de-legitimize him, and apparently if that means starting a civil war or armed insurrection against the government, so be it. The apropos question is; who are the real tyrants? They are the people who promote guns and violence against the legally elected President of the United States. The Founding Fathers would be appalled at Republicans and tea party patriots for subverting the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment – and for inciting violent revolution.