OP/ED: On the American Mythology of Guns

By SAMUEL BRASLOW| This is how the argument goes, as summed up by one writer for the conservative site Daily Wire: “We Americans don’t want to keep our guns so we can overthrow the government; we want to keep our guns so we never have to.”

- Advertisement -

I’ve heard this argument floated around for years, but it came to a head when I heard an acquaintance make it in the wake of the Douglas High shooting. Sure, he admitted, one person can inflict staggering damage with one gun—but imagine what an entire government can do when it’s people don’t have any. He pointed to Nazi Germany, the USSR, and North Korea. Had there been more guns and less gun control, then the citizens of each country would have resisted the oppressive regimes.

I didn’t know how to respond at the time.

Seventeen people are dead—shot at a school. Before that, there were 4 killed at a car wash. A little further, 5 murdered at another school—an elementary school that time. Before that, 26 at a church service. Then there were 58 at a concert. And then 5 at an office. And 4 at a bank. And another 4 at a club. And 5 again at an airport. And that’s only the last year.

Did you have the patience to read through that whole list? Because I hardly have the patience—the emotional stamina—to care each time it happens again and again and again. Especially since Sandy Hook came and went without any change, I’ve become increasingly fatalistic on the subject. But with politicians completely hamstrung to do anything, it seems as if the best thing we can do is challenge the mythology that props up our gun-obsessed culture.

Let’s talk about the facts. The overwhelming consensus among historians and experts dismisses the argument that gun control played a causal role in authoritarianism. Dictators do not boil down to the absence or presence of guns. If we did follow that logic, we should make all military instruments available to the civilian population as a check on the government. I mean, anything short of leasable tanks and any resistance would be like holding out a sheet of paper to block a bayonet. You could probably mount a decent guerrilla campaign for a bit, but without control of manufacturing centers, it’d end up like the Spanish Civil War (an instance in which guns were not enough to stop a fascist dictator).

But that gets away from an even bigger point. What are we supposed to make of every other wealthy country on Earth? Is Japan inching closer to totalitarianism? Is Britain ripe for a military coup? Is Justin Trudeau plotting to install himself as President for Life? Guns are not what keep us safe from power-hungry despots. Impartial courts, checks and balances, dogged journalists, and informed and active citizens keep us safe.

Nina Simone once described freedom as the absence of fear. You know what I thought about when I saw Black Panther on Friday, sitting in the theater and waiting for the movie to start? Aurora. You know what I thought about when I went out afterwards? Pulse. And you know what I’ll think about now when I drive by my alma mater, North Hollywood High School? Douglas High. So no, I have no stomach for hypothetical future-tense tyranny when we already live under a very real tyranny right now.

Comments

37 COMMENTS

  1. You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  2. Hey, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using and the theme as well. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it? Have a nice Tuesday!

  3. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good web site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this web site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  4. I am typically to blogging and i really respect your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and preserve checking for brand new information.

  5. Oh my goodness! an incredible write-up dude. Thanks Nonetheless We are experiencing trouble with ur rss . Do not know why Cannot subscribe to it. Could there be any person acquiring identical rss problem? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  6. The majority of us don’t know how to start. Making it basic, you might be capability to ask all people nearest thing to you personally is most likely the best method to look for these types of condos in simply the subject associated with time and place.

  7. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  8. I felt great reading this article and I believe you’re entirely correct. Inform me if you are thinking of traffic ticket, that is my main competency. I hope to check back with you in the near future, be careful!

  9. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually understand what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also consult with my website =). We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!

  10. I was discussing with a friend of mine regarding this article and even regarding traffic citation too. I feel you made a number of good points on this page, we’re excited to find out more information from you.

  11. ANPC is a free nation for and by the living men and women of the earth. This Private Nation is a grassroots association based out of Indonesia having its own International Charter, Peace Treaty, Constitution, Rules of conduct and has adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. These Treaties have been Registered by International Notice to the Hague and World Court as well as other agencies worldwide. The entire goal and mission of ANPC is WORLD PEACE and freedom for all the nationals of the world, focusing on a peaceful gathering together of all tribes and nations. Our living men and women are to live as Peaceful Inhabitants on the land, striving always to create a better world today and for future generations.

  12. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here