24 January 2011

The right of self-defense...against what?

H. Randy Morris ought to applaud the brave showing on behalf of individual liberty made by a Florida man today. As of the time I started writing, the Floridian had fended off attempts by government officials to invade his home, killing two policemen and wounding a federal officer, but the latest update from St. Petersburg reports that he has died. Of course, the government had accused the man of aggravated battery, false imprisonment and sexual offenses, but he wasn't he simply exercising some of the old patriarchal prerogatives? Who is the state to judge?

How does Morris come into this? Two days ago the Rotterdam Junction man had a letter published in the Troy Record under the heading, "No more gun control." Responding to the alleged politicization of the Tucson amoklauf by the "liberal media," and seeing that as prelude to "the enactment of new anti-gun legislation," Morris warns his readers against the "deceitful propaganda" of "these 'government can cure all ills' cultists." The propaganda, he allows, is not so much deceitful as "blind" to "the very real relationship between the private ownership of weapons and the long-term survival and political freedom of man.

"History demonstrates that, without exception, all goverments eventually grow into uncontrolled, abusive, corrupt and monstrous tyrannies that continually threaten the life, liberty and property of their servile citizenry," Morris writes. After citing grim statistics from R. J. Rummel's Death by Government, the writer accepts the crimes of Hitler and Stalin as proof that America will go the same way, unless we arm ourselves.

All governments are fearful of a sufficiently armed populace — properly so. An armed populace represents a very real check on government usurpation of power and on the violent abuse of delegated authority. As a result, government always uses contrived schemes, as well as genuine tragedies, as an excuse for civilian disarmament.Once disarmed, former “citizens,” now spineless ““sheeple”,” can be easily herded, dominated and terrified into doing whatever armed government criminals demand of them. Unfortunately, what has been human experience will be human experience again and again. Given flawed human nature, it is most foolish to believe that such things “can’t happen here.”

The Second Amendment, Morris insists, is our only safeguard against such a fate, though his own fatalistic viewpoint gives little cause for optimism. Since he's informed us that tyranny is inevitable, all resistance must eventually prove futile. All he appears to allow himself is the opportunity to die with honor, as the man in Florida may have in his eyes. But wasn't that man a criminal? In whose eyes? The government's? Shouldn't their dictates be suspect? Since all government tends to tyranny, and each man, presumably, is the best judge of the threats to his own freedom, who is Morris to say, should he say so, that the St. Petersburg man was not acting legitimately in his own defense against a usurping state? And should Morris determine that the Floridian somehow had no right to self-defense against the constabulary or federales, what makes his argument compelling to the man in the attic?

Leaving Florida out of it, Morris begs a big question by invoking a "sufficiently armed population." Since the sufficiency guarantees fear, in his opinion, are the people today sufficiently armed, or the government sufficiently fearful? Given the forces at government's disposal, how many arms will suffice to establish the proper balance of fear? On that practical point, just as on the point when one is entitled to perceive tyranny on the march, Morris is menacingly vague.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If all government tends towards tyranny, but all governments are formed by individuals, doesn't that actually mean that all individuals tend towards tyranny? In which case it is not firearms, but self-control that is our greatest tool against possible tyranny.

In a nation like ours, where the government is elected from a pool of civilians by civilians, there are only two possible ways a tyranny could happen. If the majority of people vote for it, in which case to stand against it is to stand against democracy; or if a secret military junta assumes full control of the military and performs a coup against the legitimately elected government. In which case, Mr. Morris and the rest of the gun nuts will only manage to die with their guns in their hands. Which is what they really want, isn't it?