18 August 2009

Coming Soon: Suicide by Secret Service?

Perhaps lost in the concern over the appearance of openly armed private citizens at recent Presidential appearances is the fact that the demonstrators may as well wear jackets with bullseyes painted on them. I would at least assume that every such person is a target for a Secret Service or police sharpshooter, whether such attention is really warranted or not. That would at least give these yahoos an intelligible reason to carry firearms, though the reasoning would certainly be circular. Otherwise, it's fair to ask such people what immediate danger they think themselves in that they have to strut about so. They might answer that they don't need to feel endangered to display firearms openly, or don't have to justify their exercise of a constitutional right. Whatever their constitutional cover, they carry the guns because they want to, because they want the world to know that they are ready to kill at any moment in defense of their perpetually endangered right to...kill at any moment. They construe the Second Amendment to confer upon themselves as private citizens the right to kill, when in fact the explicit right to keep and bear arms in anticipation of forming a citizen militia, the inferred right to personal self-defense, and the assumed right to kill are three different things. But why even argue this point? The President, while campaigning last year, deferred to the Supreme Court's dubious ruling that the amendment conferred a personal right to bear arms. He is no threat to any gun owner unless gun owners choose not to trust him for their thinly disguised racist reasons. But some Americans have already decided that the President of the United States is their enemy -- not merely a fool leading the country to ruin, mind you (so let the comparisons die on your tongue) -- but an essentially if not actually alien enemy of the country he was elected to preside over. They posture as if the republic were in danger, but they endanger it, if anyone does today. I don't know if the Arizona jackasses are birthers, deathers or any other kind of conspiracy-monger, but I suspect that they belong in the same general category. I hope they enjoy the scrutiny. If they start whining that "Big Brother" is watching them, they ought to remember that they asked for it.

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