20 January 2013
The Pre-Inaugural Protests
The President was officially sworn in for his second term today and will hold the public celebration of the event tomorrow. Yesterday, however, the opposition threw its own parties. Rallies across the nation gathered gun owners in opposition to legislation approved or pending across the country limiting their access to weapons. I caught a fleeting glimpse of the rally in Albany, where the state legislature has passed a law offensive to Second Amendment absolutists. Signs denouncing tyranny were everywhere, and you had the sense that the protesters didn't see tyranny as a future threat. Yet if tyranny does come, dare I suggest that the constituents of tyranny, not its opponents, were gathered in Albany and in the other cities? These people are so concerned about hordes of people coming to take their stuff -- that's why they resist limits to the ammo magazines they can use. Do you think they'd never take pre-emptive action against potential hordes if they ever got a chance. By comparison, what is this "sadistic tyranny" that one poster denounced? It seems to boil down to a desire to make less miserable the lives of people these protesters deem deserving of misery -- the same people these protesters expect to form the hordes they fantasize about -- the same people they dream about killing. And dare I suggest that the next mass shooter was in one of those crowds? It's probably not true, since the typical amoklaufer probably doesn't do political rallies. But that fact aside, why shouldn't I think that one of these people will, to reiterate the point, go pre-emptive on all the people he (or she) sees as future enemies? The suggestion certainly outrages the gun community. Why can't I trust them with their guns, they'll ask. Well, why can't they trust anyone else? They get to assume that everyone is out to rob them or enslave them or rape them. But the rest of us are supposed to trust them implicitly. We're never to question their intentions or their underlying motives; doing so proves our untrustworthiness, our malevolent intentions, our tyrannical (or servile) nature. But if it outrages them or insults them or hurts their feelings really bad, so be it: we don't trust you. We have no obligation to trust you if you feel no obligation to trust us. If I'm a tyrant, you're a murderer. Judge not lest ye be judged.