After my previous post, the only arguments I got in favor of owning gun to keep tyranny in check were of the abstract “we’ll all recognize it when we see it and have a mass uprising against it” variety. Which is lovely, but not at all convincing.
Frankly, I think if the government were really afraid of armed citizens, all guns and ammunition would already be outlawed. The fact that they aren’t points to a more important idea: it isn’t armed citizens that are standing between us and tyranny, it’s our own laws, our own checks and balances. The darker areas of our government–and the businesses and the wealthy who fund the lobbyists that push for some laws and push against others–are far more concerned about information being in the hands of all citizens than guns.
I generally try to be understanding of other points of view. I try to be generous and give people the benefit of the doubt. But I’ll be blunt: if you think you need to be armed because the government might become a tyranny someday and an armed rebellion will spontaneously and righteously rise up against it, I think you’re being utterly paranoid. And your desire to be armed is not more important than my right to not be shot.
The arguments I see defending the 2nd Amendment as “the right for any and all citizens to be armed with whatever we can get our hands on” invariably become an argument about the rights of the individual versus the rights of the state. What gets lost is the rights of the community. I think a community’s safety is far more important than an individual’s desire for weapons. Never mind what the government is or might possibly maybe someday become. If you live in a community, your individual rights are subservient to the needs of the community when your individual rights threaten the safety, the security, the health, the very lives of other members of the community.
Yes, there are countries where might makes right, where the strongest with the best weapons hold dominance. The US was set up to not be one of those places. If you want to live in a country where your weapons make you stronger and more dominant, feel free to move there. I prefer to live in a country of laws, where differences can be and should be settled peacefully. Yes, sometimes you have to bloody some noses and kill others to defend that society. But that in no way justifies the kinds of lax gun laws we now have in the US. As other countries clearly show, you don’t need lots of guns in the hands of citizens to live a peaceful, democratic life.
So until you can come up with a better argument than “my guns make me safe and keep the government in check” (because they don’t), you’re not going to convince me that stricter gun laws are anything but necessary and justified.