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One of the worst, and ugliest suggestions of the modern-era interpretation of the Second Amendment is that it openly advocates for armed rebellion if you aren't happy with the government.

Of course they don't directly say that, but innuendo is the weapon of sneaky people. Who needs to say it when you can suggest it and let the sheep do your work for you?

As the right-wing pundits consistently portray the democratically elected President, Barack Obama as a "tyrant" on the one hand, and continue to push this false notion of a 2nd Amendment penned to overcome tyranny on the other, it pushes the right ever closer to violence.

This is the awful truth of tyrannical talk; the ones doing the talking are the ones who want to be the tyrants.

The ones who truly seek the "will of the people" seek democracy, not violent ends. I don't speak just hypothetically either. I know real tyranny, I've seen it up close.

I moved to Liberia, West Africa, in 1982. It was shortly after Samuel Kanyon Doe had led a military coup, overthrowing the government by violent means.

There were acts of brutality. The former leaders were paraded around, naked, before being publicly executed on TV.

I later met the granddaughter of the former President. Her father and his family were the only ones who escaped alive.

I encountered tyranny there as I attended high school. Sometimes it was borderline comical. My history teacher, for instance, was pulled over and fined $50 for "attempted speeding." No joke.

Other things weren't at all comical.

I knew another girl, who was from a European nation, whose mother and sister were raped by bayonets and killed by soldiers who were never prosecuted.

Members of my high school newspaper went to visit a journalist, the operator of the Liberian Free Press who was routinely beaten and jailed consistently for printing the truth about the corruption in the government.

There was a fear of the government. Military walked around with guns. Shop owners never knew if they were safe from one day to the next. But sadly, those were the stable days.

One revolution after another followed, after I left. One attempted genocide followed another as age-old tribal conflicts, held check for a century were unfurled.

For the better part of a decade there was no electricity, no running water. Teens armed with assault rifles were the only form of "government" there was.  

As soon as one despot was put down, a new tyrant rose to take his place.

Finally, a woman rose up by the name of Ellen Jonson-Sirleaf. She became the first democratically elected female president of any nation in Africa. She did so without violence, without guns. She did so with her words.

Her efforts won her not only a presidency, they won her a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course the thing she really won was a peaceful nation.

There are three things that the right-wing, and those who foolishly, and frankly malevolently toss around the word "tyrant" as though it's just a rhetorical tool for entertainment purposes, need to hear.

First, shame on you. You owe every person who has ever been raped, or beaten or imprisoned, or killed in standing against true tyranny an apology. You lost an election. You want to speak for the people? Then hear what the people said.

Your rhetoric is not just wrong politically. It's evil. It's malicious. And it must stop.

Second, you think that your Second Amendment rights are the foundation. You're wrong. All our rights are upheld by our First Amendment rights. All this silly discussion about the Nazis and the Soviets is nothing more than that, nonsense.

Gun control in Germany came prior to Hitler, and Hitler in fact relaxed gun control laws (though not for the Jews and other groups)  Stalin rose to power then destroyed the guns. In both cases what went long before the tyranny started and guns left though was discourse.

Speech trumps arms. The pen is still mightier than the sword, even if it's an AR15. It's far better to change a thousand minds than kill a single soul. If someone is right, let their conviction be in their words, not in their willingness to kill.

Third, violent revolution that rises up against a democratically elected government always ends in tyranny, and tyranny is only ended with true democracy.

Beware of sheep talking tyranny; they want to be the tyrants.

A Semi-revolution By Robert Frost

I advocate a semi-revolution.
The trouble with a total revolution
(Ask any reputable Rosicrucian)
Is that it brings the same class up on top.
Executives of skillful execution
Will therefore plan to go halfway and stop.
Yes, revolutions are the only salves,
But they're one thing that should be done by halves.

Originally posted to Backell's Big Blog of Bodacious Brewing Brainstoms on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:49 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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  •  Tip Jar (305+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, watercarrier4diogenes, GDbot, CwV, Boreal Ecologist, Lorikeet, a2nite, lotusmaglite, leftreborn, leema, bruised toes, Spinster, profundo, Vetwife, SlightKC, Chaddiwicker, RoCali, Rogneid, Shockwave, old possum, Ckntfld, tofumagoo, Dobber, tapestry, Wayward Wind, bwren, chrississippi, badscience, Paradigm Change, Smoh, Catte Nappe, trumpeter, 3goldens, rk2, arizonablue, Aaa T Tudeattack, Blazehawkins, loretta, nickrud, shopkeeper, psnyder, anodnhajo, Eddie L, WereBear Walker, Mother Mags, Araguato, PBnJ, Old Guild Guy, OLinda, jasan, Vico, bluedust, Al Fondy, ItsSimpleSimon, ruleoflaw, BlueInARedState, vacantlook, LLPete, Steven D, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, MrSandman, TomP, cskendrick, FloridaSNMOM, whoknu, Siri, zerelda, filby, sow hat, Ocelopotamus, rasbobbo, gustynpip, FrY10cK, aintnoreason, luckydog, Habitat Vic, muddy boots, peagreen, middleagedhousewife, elsaf, eltee, ask, DefendOurConstitution, pat bunny, Sylar, erratic, Nowhere Man, mlharges, texasmom, frankw9, begone, Chinton, sheepmama, rmonroe, Trotskyrepublican, createpeace, offred, jan4insight, Horace Boothroyd III, Sembtex, NYmom, K S LaVida, nailbender, cassandracarolina, South Park Democrat, sidnora, Lefty Ladig, NonnyO, jamess, GreenPA, blueoasis, Mr Stagger Lee, Michael James, theKgirls, Tommye, greengemini, fisheye, Ginny in CO, Eowyn9, camlbacker, BayAreaKen, Desert Scientist, ScottAC, boudi08, bleeding blue, Shotput8, sfinx, millwood, BlueStateRedhead, Miggles, A Citizen, sometv, xynz, Renee, AZ Sphinx Moth, AaronInSanDiego, Leftcandid, Sharoney, solliges, Notreadytobenice, ChemBob, ladywithafan, dradams, Lusty, craiger, daveygodigaditch, Hayate Yagami, Ree Zen, Liberal Granny, PrahaPartizan, Christy1947, cat, GeorgeXVIII, newinfluence, marina, smartdemmg, rogerdaddy, chrismorgan, 2014, DBunn, ArtemisBSG, Beetwasher, Sapere aude, nancelot, Black Max, badger, 43north, SoCalSal, subtropolis, zaka1, Oh Mary Oh, slapshoe, fumie, strangedemocracy, Tranny, chantedor, dear occupant, Jeff Y, Lily O Lady, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, porchdog1961, Bluesee, Leslie in KY, Thunder, uciguy30, Williston Barrett, FiredUpInCA, futureliveshere, Sue B, catly, roseeriter, Naranjadia, gloriana, kaliope, BluejayRN, MBNYC, Marko the Werelynx, coppercelt, riverlover, Yasuragi, dull knife, BachFan, kdub, Emerson, EJP in Maine, LSmith, caryltoo, jcrit, Land of Enchantment, Naniboujou, Sprinkles, blue in NC, AaronBa, edsbrooklyn, multilee, toys, Tchrldy, newfie, elmo, SD Goat, elginblt, Cat Whisperer, artmartin, SueM1121, Illinois IRV, poliwrangler, stevie avebury, fiddler crabby, Mighty Ike, wader, No Exit, LynChi, northsylvania, Walt starr, RUNDOWN, The Geogre, Glen The Plumber, ATFILLINOIS, MRA NY, Van Buren, chicagobleu, global citizen, dotsright, lineatus, Catesby, Oldowan, terabytes, annan, daveinchi, skod, letsgetreal, KiB, PsychoSavannah, The Hindsight Times, Trendar, Calamity Jean, Robynhood too, cvannatta, Paul Ferguson, efrenzy, redlum jak, Russ Jarmusch, jam, TAH from SLC, MKinTN, NYWheeler, Joieau, deha, Nulwee, YucatanMan, ExStr8, Teiresias70, quill, Jollie Ollie Orange, TexDem, Pescadero Bill, Laconic Lib, bronte17, BlueEyed In NC, HamilcarBarca, slowbutsure, fhcec, TexasTom, Nicci August, S F Hippie, flowerfarmer, jalapenopopper, jw1, monkeybrainpolitics, Angie in WA State, TX Unmuzzled, Ohiodem1, meg, seefleur, pragmaticidealist, Gowrie Gal, thomask, aargh, SeaTurtle, anyname, Carlo, buckstop, Slaw, splashy, Ironic Chef
  •  Projection, in other words. (63+ / 0-)

    Republicans, and the right in general, are experts at it. That's how they take the spotlight off of themselves. Otherwise, more people would notice what's really happening. And if that happened, they'd be laughed into irrelevancy sooner rather than later.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:16:23 PM PST

  •  Brilliant (60+ / 0-)

    Thank you for writing this. As Jello Biafra once sang,
    How many liberators
    Really wanna be dictators?

    Call me thin-skinned, but I never let language like that pass, and you have flawlessly articulated why. I never put the feeling that drives me to stamp out talk of King Obama or Obama the Tyrant into words, but you just have. Thank you again.

    I once proposed the idea of roving guerrilla heckle squads, who follow around people who say incendiary and patently absurd things, and they heckle them roundly. It's a silly idea, but it's an expression of something we should all be doing: combating the diminishing of powerful words by applying them to situations where they don't belong.

    The right loves this tactic, loves to scream "racism" and "Hitler" and "martial law" at every perceived slight. It should never go unchallenged.

    Tipped and rec'd with pleasure.

    The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

    by lotusmaglite on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:48:34 PM PST

  •  tipped & rec'd (7+ / 0-)

    great observations and correlations.

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:57:09 PM PST

  •  The culture of hate (26+ / 0-)

    combined with the love of guns seems to be a very worrisome combination.  

    We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have. (Margaret Mead)

    by bruised toes on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:04:02 PM PST

  •  for real. if we wait for gun season it's over. (5+ / 0-)

    this is an important diary.  keep talking, all of us, before it's too late.

    sometimes I spend more time reading the comments than the diaries. no offense to diarists: thanks for the launch pad.

    by dunnjen on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:08:01 PM PST

  •  Tipped. Rec'd. And a word about the callousness (25+ / 0-)

    of some gun owners and rightwingers in general.  When you bring up examples of real tyranny around the world with people living in fear of physical harm, death, losing family members, and having to flee the country for safety, callous people are going to fling the same crap at you they always use.  "If only the people in country X had guns they would have been safe."  It's ridiculous because the security force terrorizing people in country X was maybe financed by American interests and it was well armed.  The people had little resources if any to defend themselves even if they could have bought a weapon.  Facts don't matter to them, only their agenda.  They have no inhibition against hurting people who bring up their own personal experiences either.

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:11:04 PM PST

  •  Search and Replace (24+ / 0-)

    using your favorite editor/wordprocessor.  Replace all occurrences of "armed rebellion" with "shooting law enforcement and American soldiers."  

    (This is advice for everybody, not the diarist).

    Same thing with all occurrences of "defend myself from the government's tyranny" or "defend my second amendment rights," or whatever.  It's all the same thing as saying that they want to be able to kill law enforcement officers or American soldiers with their guns.

  •  I have an academic question. (7+ / 0-)

    What do you make of the statement that "it is the right of the people to overthrow such government" in the declaration of independence?

    How does the list of people who signed that declaration affect your view of that phrase, especially since a number of them then went on to sign both the articles of confederation and the constitution and became presidents of the united states?

    Like I said, it's an academic question. I like to ask it of those who I think oversimplify the history of the founders.

    It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

    by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:37:14 PM PST

    •  It doesn't say that. (19+ / 0-)

      It says it's the right of the people to alter or abolish it. In a democracy you don't need a violent revolution to do that. Alter it through democratic means.

      •  It does say that. (5+ / 0-)

        There are two such passages in the declaration of independence:

        it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
        There is no provision in the government for abolishing itself.
        it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security
        And there is the declaration of the right to overthrow.

        And before you play lawyer and parse the exact wording, recall that this is the crowd that used the words "chuse" and "brittish". There are such things as synonyms in the world, and parsing the words too onerously leads to people not bothering to even try to have conversations anymore.

        My academic question stands. What do you make of the right of the people to throw the whole thing out the window, especially since that right bears the signatures of many of those founders and eventual presidents?

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:14:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not trying to play lawyer here (13+ / 0-)

          But I will say it's a loaded question. A government which has no representation at all is one thing. A democracy is entirely another. The same people who wrote it took great care to ensure that the same problem would not exist.

          The disturbing thing about the question you ask is "who are the people" in a democracy?

          They didn't stop writing at the Declaration of Independence, nor were they infallible. It's a loaded question.

          •  Of course it's a loaded question. (6+ / 0-)

            Over and over again I see people acting as if words written in books will make everything okay, completely ignoring the fact that it takes the consent of the governed for the ink in those books to be granted weight of law.

            Just a look back through history shows that if the people themselves don't go along, then the ink in the book isn't going to be worth the paper itself.

            It was against "the law" for the people of france to hang king louis. But without the consent of the governed, that law didn't count.

            It was against "the law" for the people of the colonies to toss the tea in the harbor. But without the consent of those being governed, that law didn't count.

            I was wondering if you had given any thought to the fact that government doesn't exist without the flesh and blood people... That government is a constructed process that rests upon the willing shoulders of the people in the same way that a constructed building of legos sits upon a table... if the table were alive and able to toss it off, I suppose.

            The consent of the people is the first source of governmental power, up to and including the existence of government itself. And if enough people withdraw their consent...

            I DO ask this in an academic intent. I wonder if you feel that government exists as a method of manipulating the people into a form that is chosen by the individuals who hold governmental power.

            It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

            by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:42:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know you think you're making a point (20+ / 0-)

              But  you really aren't. Consent is given on election day.

              When you have to resort to fallacies to prove you're point, it's proof enough that your point is invalid.

              I'm not going to respond to any more comments on this line because it's not constructive.

              •  He is making a point... (4+ / 0-)

                ...the problem is you don't want to hear it.

                "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

                As this article correctly points out, we are not living under absolute despotism currently. IF fascism does take hold over here in some form, maybe you will be less dismissive of these academic arguments about tyranny, but I doubt it.

            •  Sounds like you have read Gene Sharp. (7+ / 0-)

              http://www.aeinstein.org/

              We are the government and it is us because we are citizens of a federal republic.  Any movement away from this unity is a threat to the republic.  

              That said, citizenship does not stop after an election.  Write your representatives, argue for a more perfect and just union.  

              What I see going on here is the right is being a bunch of WATBs who see the end of their demographic dominance and want to stop the sun in the sky.  

              Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

              by DavidMS on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:23:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  A bit of homework is in order (16+ / 0-)

              before you talk about semantics and playing lawyer.

              This diary right here on DailyKos is quite helpful in separating fact and fiction when it comes to rebellion in the colonies, armed and otherwise.

              Samuel Adams, wealthy smugglers, and others who had profited from the smuggled tea called for agents and consignees of the East India Company tea to abandon their positions; consignees who hesitated were terrorized through attacks on their warehouses and even their homes.
              Revolution sounds noble but it's really all about power. The fact that ours led eventually to a democracy (eleven years later, don't forget) I consider more a lucky accident than anything.

              There are offenders on both sides of this issue. Sometimes the Occupy folks get a bit overly enthused too. This diary is a sobering note of caution as to how these things usually go.

              •  Good point, I would add (7+ / 0-)

                that the luck we had in becoming a democracy also had  to do with the enlightenment influence on many of the framers. The fact that the country was so new helped. No thousands of years of history.

                Now we get back to luck. Outside of a climate apocalypse that allows pockets of humans to survive, that combination can never happen again.

                If it does, I think they may have enough knowledge to create a fairly good civilization.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:56:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  It's very telling when (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ban nock, BlueEyed In NC

              an entire community cannot (or refuses to) answer a simple question. What we are seeing is a discussion that is driven by a parralyzing fear, and any time a discussion is driven by fear, objective rational thought goes out the window. I don't own a gun, never have, and so I am not suffering from any "gun fetish" (as some people here seem to suggest) but that doesn't mean that I don't support the 2nd Amendment. Now, some people on daily kos want to claim that the 2nd Amdendment text does not establish the immutable right to bear arms for the individual, even though it clearly does, and any doubts are most certainly proven unfounded by "The States' Ratification Documents" even though I do believe the text of the US CONSTITUTION itself is sufficient. 

              Now, this diary though brings up, I believe, the heart of the premise upon which the need for the 2nd Amendment is based. Of course, the assumption of this diary is that the "soft power" of an implied threat of an armed rebellion is not sufficient to prevent or temper the rise of a tyrrany in our nation, which i do find to be a flaw in the diarist's rationale, however this diary does strike to the heart of the question:

              Do we need the 2nd Amendment to defend our freedom from tyrrany or is the 1st Amendment sufficient?

              This is a valid question.

              This diarist thinks that the 2nd Amendment is unnecessary and he/she makes an interesting case to support his/her belief. 

              Now, clearly, as your question serves to illustrate, the founding fathers felt rather strongly that we needed BOTH the 1st and the 2nd Amendment. Anyone who claims that this is not true is, I believe, just not being honest. And unfortunately, whenever the historical facts are presented, or when respectful academic questions, like yours, are raised, the ensuing discussions on this site involve: (a) avoidance, (b) outright denial, or worst of all, (c) ad homonym attacks. Some members have even resorted to concocting an absurd story suggesting that the 2nd Amendment was to support slavery, with the obvious goal of trying to claim that anyone who supports slavery today also supports slavery. Which, again, is just plain absurd. It's also insulting . 

              Please. Just please! 

              Now, if this community wants to continue claiming to be a rational respectful "reality based community" then such denial of the documented facts of this nation's history will only marginalize this community's ability to influence public opinion and affect legislation. And insulting false accusations also do not help and only makes this community look bad. 

              The current legislation is focused on addressing issues of data collection to enforce existing laws to help the ATF do their job. I support this effort. I support this legislation. This is important legislation. We also need a head of the ATF and we haven't had one in six years. This is important. This is critical. Very critical. I also think we should punish the parents of children who commit gun crimes with their parent's guns. These are important objectives that would do us all good. We should agree on our shared goals and work towards them with respectful rational discussions. 

              Unfortunately, the irrational discussions that are occurring in both the republican communities AND the democratic communities are not helping. So please, everyone, try to be respectful. 

              Read this article, if you want to see my perspective and where I believe our priorities should lie:
              [Legislative Handcuffs Limit A.T.F.’s Ability to Fight Gun Crime - NYTimes.com]

              Now, as far as I am concerned, the assault rifle ban is, I believe, a red herring, for two reasons, but I am still none the less not against it. I am not against it because I think a hand gun (even with limited rounds) can be just as effective in defending our freedom as any assault rifle in the hands of a trained person. And, in fact, in close quarter combat, the handgun is superior, in terms of agility and accuracy -- and reloading  a new clip takes seconds, and a well placed hollow point will do just as much damage as any bullet from an assault rifle. So, any legislation to ban assault rifles serves little purpose, except (a) to make people who are ignorant, afraid of guns, and against gun ownership, feel more safe, and also, (b) it will make those people who are in support of gun ownership feel more paranoid that the real ultimate goal of this legislative effort is to completely repeal the 2nd Amendment. 

              Which leads me to: 

              The goal of this diary is the outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment. 

              The agenda of this diarist is to repeal the 2nd Amendment. 

              The premise of this diary is that the history of another nation's fight for freedom and to end tyranny, which this diarist witnessed first hand, is of the same nature and characteristic of the tyranny that this nation must guard against, and therefore, this is proof that we, in the United States of America, do not need the 2nd Amendment. There was another diary I read today which discussed the UK's gun laws, as well as, their manner of guarding their freedoms. And, these are both good and interesting discussions and valid arguments, which I do believe have merit. Unfortunately, these arguments, or rather, the fact that you all are making them within the context of a larger narrative that includes an irrational denial of this nation's history and the clearly documented intent of the founding fathers, an intent for which generations have fought to preserve, also confirms the worst fears of those who do feel that the 2nd Amendment is just as important as the 1st Amendment. In other words, when you do not respect the facts of this nation's history, you are not helping the cause of passing necessary gun legislation. 

              Executive orders are not permanent. Congressional legislation is also not entirely permanent but it is far more permanent and can be far more reaching than executive orders. Republicans can still block legislation, and if any legislation smells of a strategic attempt to eventually repeal the 2nd Amendment, there will probably even be Democrats who oppose it. And, the only way to overcome the irrational fears is rational discussion. 

              Rational debate is our friend. 

              Questions that stimulate thought, on both sides, should be respected, not ignored. Ignoring doesn't help you, or us, or anyone. 

              Personally, I think this diarist is wrong in two ways: 

              (1) the implied threat of an armed populace is sufficient to temper any extreme tyranny from rising to power. It need never be applied.  Ie: "talk softly but carry a big stick" 

              (2) comparisons to another nation's history, and the dynamics at play in that nation, do not take into account all that is at play in this nation's history, and the same is true of the UK. 

              FACT: 
              In the UK, the government grants rights to its subjects, and anything not explicitly granted to their subjects, resides with the government.

              Conversely...

              In the USA, the citizens grant rights to the government, and anything not granted to the government resides with the people. 

              And, the existence and history of the USA, in relation to the UK, has influenced the UK in far more ways than most realize, such that, it is impossible to say what the UK would be like today had the USA never happened. 

              But, having said all that, the diarist might be right, and I might be wrong. I am not close-minded in my position. I do think the 2nd Amendment is as important as the 1st Amendment, and I get that the diarist does not, and I get why she/he does not. But bear in mind, many in this nation agree with me and their dedication to defending this nation is no less than yours. And while I may be wrong, so too may you be. And remember, Obama and Biden are not fighting for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and any suggestion that they are, would probably have a disastrous effect on their ability to get ANY needed sane rational legislation passed.

              •  typo correction: (0+ / 0-)

                Some members have even resorted to concocting an absurd story suggesting that the 2nd Amendment was to support slavery, with the obvious goal of trying to claim that anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment today also supports slavery. Which, again, is just plain absurd. It's also insulting.

                And let me add: such attacks of this nature do not even deserve a response.

              •  You make all kinds of assumptions (9+ / 0-)

                In trying to shoehorn a different conversation into this.

                Mabye the diarist just didn't want the diary highjacked.

              •  The point of the diary (3+ / 0-)

                ... is that the Second Amendment does not allow a "right to overthrow". The Constitution is quite clear attempting the violent overthrow of the government is treason. The militia is subordinate to the state and federal government.

                There's also the question of what types of arms people may have, where and in what circumstances they may be taken, and in what circumstances they may be used.

                There are few who would claim the right to keep and bear nuclear weapons, but that is a restriction. If you accept that restriction, then it simply is a matter of what sort of restrictions are allowed.

                The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

                by A Citizen on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:07:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  There's no written rule about this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laconic Lib

                but it's widely accepted that this much verbiage, no matter how apropos, belongs in its own diary and not in a comment.

                That said, I'll briefly address your question

                Do we need the 2nd Amendment to defend our freedom from tyrrany or is the 1st Amendment sufficient?
                To me, that's a little bit like asking Do you need the steering wheel to get to work, or is the drivetrain sufficient? But even responding that way assumes that I accept your premise that the 2nd Amendment is helpful for defending our freedom from tyranny. That premise may have been true in the days of the Founders, but I believe it's widely off-base today, when the firepower available to the government is vastly superior to that which we could tolerate in the hands of ordinary citizens.

                So to me, a more accurate answer to your question is that the whole of the Constitution is essential to defend us from tyranny -- and I believe that the 2nd Amendment could be excised from that whole, and would not be missed any more than I would miss my appendix if it had to be removed.

                (I may be wrong about the need for the 2nd Amendment; but I'm quite sure that if you're looking only at the 1st and 2nd Amendments, you're missing the big picture.)

                Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                by Nowhere Man on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:40:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

                  I am new to daily kos.

                  And, after posting my comment and reading Backell's comment above, I actually did go and create my own diary re-posting my comment a little more flushed out.

                  But, having said that.

                  Thank you for responding to the question, and I did not mean to imply that the 2A should be taken out of context of the entre USC. But, even so, I do respect your opinion. I don't agree with it. But I do respect it. I think that this is a subject that some of us are going to have to agree to disagree. One problem though, if we muddy this current legislation with an agenda involving an ultimate intent to repeal the 2A, this will derail any progress, since a large portion of this nation feels it is necessary, if for no other reason than as an implied "soft power" ... that need never be applied. And, given the fact that we could elect an Obama after a Bush/Cheney is a testimony to the fact that our Government works without any need for violence. However, one might ask whether Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power had we not had the 2A. Makes you wonder.

                  •  But this is the problem (0+ / 0-)

                    'if we muddy this current legislation with an agenda involving an ultimate intent to repeal the 2A, this will derail any progress, since a large portion of this nation feels it is necessary, "

                    Rhetoric like this is the problem. Fear mongers trying to go beyond the scope of the ACTUAL national conversation. No one seriously trying to repeal the second amendment.

                    In fact, no one is seriously trying to take away anyone's guns.

                    I'm fairly certain that Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power. We have to stop looking at every political figure as inherently evil people (well except for Cheney.)

                    •  Well, actually, (0+ / 0-)

                      if you read through the responses on the diary that I went and posted, due to your comment above, 35% of the 37 people who voted said they felt 2A is not needed. Now, 37 voters is not a lot, no. But, if you read through the comments on my diary, and if you read through the prolific REC list diaries, and the tens of thousands of comments therein, like in this very dairy itself, it is very clear that there is a prevailing MEME being pushed that... 

                      (a) ...that 2A is not needed,
                      (and you all viciously attack anyone who does think it is needed, calling us paranoid right wing fanatics, in the worst instances, (with unfounded HR abuse / harassment) or treating us with great disdain and contempt, in the least... I am not seeing ANY mutual respect or civil rational discourse coming from anti 2A folks, yet I am seeing great patient rational respectful discourse, time and time again, coming from mine)

                      (b) ...that 2A does not protect individual gun ownership rights, 
                      (even though historical documents prove that it clearly does, and when the irrefutable proof of this is presented, it is blatantly ignored)

                      (c) ...that 2A was not intended by the founding fathers to protect individual gun ownership rights, 
                      (even though the historical documents prove that it was, and this is also ignored, just as the question up thread was ignored) 

                      (d) ...that 2A supporters are racist slave owners, 
                      (which is is an extremely insulting way to silence opposing views, and is based upon an obscure reference in an obtuse connection, yet is entirely unfounded given the main discourse in the congress) 

                      (e) ...that 2A supporters are right wing extremists who's "gun fetish" makes them a threat to society, 
                      (which is just another insulting disrespectful  way to silence opposing views)

                      (f) ...that the founding charter / documents of this nation are not sacred to our nation and its traditions,
                      (therefore, if they do support an individual's gun ownership to protect against government tyranny, who cares, because that was 225+ years ago, and it's not like there hasn't been dozens of generations who swore to fight with their life to protect the US Constitution, except, of course, there has been... oh yeah, a minor factor in this discussion ... not! 

                      So, yes, the majority of this community ABSOLUTELY IS pushing for an outright ban on all guns. ALL GUNS. That is not paranoia, that is demonstrated by your complete intolerance for any arguments involving a belief that the 2A is just as necessary as the 1A to protect our freedom from government tyranny... which is not just my belief, but it was our founding fathers' belief, as well as, the belief of generations since. Call me a radical, but I sort of revere the founding fathers and their vision, and so did my / our ancestors. 

                      Now, as I said to numerous people in my diary, if you believe that the 2A is not necessary, fine. I respect that belief. I don't agree with it. But I do respect it. However, please don't claim that "black is white" by trying to deny the historical facts. This and these sorts of irrational disrespectful actions makes all of you anti 2A folks characteristically similar to the right wing folks, and as a "reality based community" the last thing you should be doing is stubbornly denying historical facts when they conflict with your bias, nor should you be demonstrating an incapacity for rational respectful discussion. Poor form, as they say.... very GOP of you. You see, liberal vs conservative is not merely determined by your positions, but rather, by the high ideal of a shared appreciation for respectful honest discussion between opposing viewpoints. GOP is intolerant of dissenting opinion, liberals are not. Ironic how the roles have reversed on this issue. Strange but true. Now, the NRA is bad, no doubt. But you guys are worse these days, and I am sorry if this offends you, but it is sadly shockingly true. 

                      And last but not least, Bush/Cheney attempted what can easily be said to be an outright coup, involving massive corruption, public admission of torture on national tv, tyrannical wars under false pretenses with trumped up lies killing untold hundreds of thousands of people, repeal of Habeas Corpus, illegal wire taps, corporate corruption on a massive scale, stolen elections in 2000 and 2004, etc etc etc .... and with the very real threat of a tribunal at the Hague for War crimes, or maybe even war crimes here.... I am sorry, but no, I absolutely do not believe that Bush/Cheney would have relinquished power had it not been for the 2nd Amendment. 

                      And I think if you are really honest with yourself, neither do you. 

                      But, be that as it may: 

                      You have your beliefs.

                      I have mine.

                      I respect you and your beliefs. 

                      Please respect me and mine.

            •  There is another problem with this line of (4+ / 0-)

              argument. It's based on history that was consistent for a LONG time. It ignores the recent history that has established a new, effective path for overcoming tyrants.

              Gandhi, King and Mandela successfully took peaceful, non violent resistance to a national level in the 20th century. It was studied, further developed, and greatly enhanced with technology. In the 21st century it has been working in various ways and means around the globe, with powerful in vivo development.

              This is not to say there has been no violence or weapons used, or that all the resulting governments are free of non democratic actions. It takes time to build a government that works for it's subjects. The newcomers need a few people who know how the system worked. We started with the Articles of Confederation and totally chucked them to create the Constitution.

              Government can clearly exist

              as a method of manipulating the people into a form that is chosen by the individuals who hold governmental power.
              A form also chosen by those who hold power over the government. Religion, military, wealthy, ideologues.  It's been part of government since it began. The Framers were quite familiar with all of them. They put stuff in the Constitution to ward off the problems. People with lots of power, over time, have removed or diluted many of the prohibitions. And carried on using the standard sociopathic playbook, scheming ever new power grabbing tactics.  Many of us have seen it becoming a really tough battle to change the laws and the status quo. See: US Supreme Court.

              We are willing to get in the streets or where ever we will obstruct their doings. If we get jailed, injured, killed; so be it. Killing other people is a very, very last resort. I would not totally exclude it if resistance does not work. Entirely because of climate change denial, which is also a  unique situation in history. It would need to be very targeted, with as much probability as Frodo dropping the One Ring in Mt. Doom. Best to keep working the non violent approaches.  Including computer hacking... another new tactic.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:57:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  You're confusing the Declaration of Independence, (36+ / 0-)

          which was a declaration of rebellion against the English king, with the Constitution, which is the basis of government for this country.

          Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

          by loggersbrat on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:37:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh hey! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead, Beetwasher, Jane Lew

            That's what I said, only much more succinctly!

            All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

            by Noddy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:39:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Both documents memorialized the intent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DefendOurConstitution

            of the founding fathers in establishing this nation.

            Both documents have been the rallying cry for generations of Americans who built and fought for this nation.

            Both are sacred and have guided us through dark and bright times.

            Please do not insult us by denying the sanctity of this nation's most cherished words.

            •  Words. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftreborn, newfie, RUNDOWN, Laconic Lib, Noddy

              Sanctity, not so much.

              Same with the implication that the comment you were replying to was some kind of insult to said cherished words.

              I swear, the "sacred" idolization of words is almost comical.




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
              ~ Jerry Garcia

              by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:08:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hasn't it though? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sensetolisten, backell, Noddy, DeadHead

                Why is it that we would have to adhere to one interpretation of words for the rest of existence.  Oh you can't say that it defiles the sacred words. It is too sad to be funny really.

                "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                by newfie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:37:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  newfie

                  Original intent versus living document.

                  I fall into the latter category.

                  For such an 'immutable' document, it sure has been amended alot.

                  ;)




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                  ~ Jerry Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:06:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Are you an Anerican? (0+ / 0-)

                Where were you born?

                Where were you raised?

                If those words are not sacred to you, being the very words upon which the United States of America was founded, words that generation after generation have fought to preserve, shed blood sweat and tears to preserve, the sanctity of which being demonstrated by the reverence with which the forefathers of this nation have enshrined them, then clearly you are not from this land.

                You can belittle and dismiss many things, but when you do so of the Decleration of Independence or the US Constitution, then you cross a line, sir. Either we share these enshrined values, or we do not. Clearly you do not.

                Good day, Sir.

                •  When we post our written words here at Kos in a (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Laconic Lib, DeadHead

                  diary or a comment, we're offering our ideas for discussion.  We don't generally intend to make ourselves the topic for discussion.

                  Communication is improved when the back and forth commentary stays focused on the opinions posted here, not on the people who post them.  

                  In a competition of ideas, you don't advance your argument by criticizing and attacking the people who disagree with you. Your point of view should be able to stand on its own merits, if it has any and if you are able to articulate them.  

                  It comes down to a choice.  Use your intellect, fluency, persuasiveness, and knowledge to give others something to think about or maybe even change the way that other people think.  Or change the subject so that the writers and commenters become the subject for a lashing when you disagree with them.  That's up to you and you don't win the debate with personal insults, disparaging remarks, derisive comments about the other participants.  

                  Asking other participants for any personal information is never a good idea.  There's a difference between public and private information.  

                  Let's remember the high ideals and principles of our country's founders and respect the right of everyone to have their own way of looking at things.  We may disagree but we should always remember to defend the right of others to have their own opinions.

                  "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

                  by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:31:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I am not an "Anerican". (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  S F Hippie, DeadHead, luckydog

                  But I'll assume you meant "American", and I am an American.

                  Yanno, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its Amendments are important documents, but they were NOT written by any god I know of, nor were they written by saints, prophets, or others who claim to speak for some deity or other. They were written and signed by human beings, not gods.

                  Therefore, while they are important, they are not sacred. They are worthy of respect.

                  Your assumption that DeadHead is not American because he doesn't conform to your strict and rigid theocratic view of what makes someone American is unworthy and mean-spirited.

                  We do not have to share "enshrined" values because American is NOT a theocracy.

                  This is America - we can can hold different views of what's important. Being different, holding different views, expressing our views and concerns in different words is what makes us Americans - working together with, because of, and in spite of, our differences,makes us stronger Americans.

                  You need to apologize to DeadHead for questioning his birthright.

                  All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

                  by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:56:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  :) (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Noddy

                    You and I shall be waiting a long time for that apology, Noddy.

                    That's ok, the typo in the original comment will have to suffice. ;)




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                    ~ Jerry Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:39:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  If you mean American (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  S F Hippie

                  and not 'Anerican,' well, I was born in Encino, California, in 1969. I've lived here all 43 of my years.

                  Does that qualify? Or do I need to agree with you on everything, first?

                   If I have a view that puts less emphasis on words written like, two centuries ago, does that make me a commie or something?

                  In rejecting your degree of reverence, do I by default also reject any person who's done the right thing over the course of the country's history, or is it all-or-nothing?

                  Just tell me what you want me to believe, so I can believe it.




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                  ~ Jerry Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:00:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Those were rhetorical questions (0+ / 0-)

                    and yeah, with my iPhone my typing is prone to typos: AMERICAN.

                    Tell you what I want you to believe? No. Believe whatever you want to believe. But, to me, the Decleration of Independence and the US Constitution memorializes an ideal that is "sacred" to me, and it is "sacred" to me because it inspired and guided our nation to be born, and inspired / guided generations to preserve this nation. Now, if you want to dismiss their importance with cavalier contempt, then you are also dismissing the importance of this nation with cavalier contempt, because those words define who and what this nation is. And again, that is your choice. You dishonor this nation, the founding fathers, and the generations who have shed blood, sweat, and tears building it. Your choice. Now, I don't think you actually do have contempt, and I think you are American through and through, but I also think that your anti-2nd Amendment bias has so colored your opinion, that you are dismissing the importance of those documents because they conflict with your agenda, which is to repeal the 2nd Amendment. It is inconvenient for you that the founding fathers' opinion, and the founding charter /documents are in direct opposition to your agenda. So what do you and your anti-2A friends do? 

                    You lie about that history.
                    (and when that doesn't work)
                    You deny that history. 
                    (and when that doesn't work)
                    You ignore that history.
                    (and when that doesn't work)
                    You trivialize that history.
                    (and when that doesn't work)
                    You attack the people reminding you of that history...

                    ...rather than honoring that history. 

                    Now, if you don't think that the 2A is needed anymore. Fine! I respect that. I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect it. But, if you trivialize with contempt, what generations have fought to preserve, don't be surprised when this results in people responding to you with contempt.

                    I asked you those rhetorical questions not because I didn't think you were American, I asked you those rhetorical questions to remind you what it means to be American. 

                    And if you don't know why...

                    Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment into the United States Armed Forces is administered by any commissioned officer to any person enlisting or re-enlisting for a term of service into any branch of the military. The officer asks the person, or persons, to raise their right hand and repeat the oath after him. The oath is traditionally performed in front of the United States Flag and other flags, such as the state flag, military branch flag, and unit guidon may be present.

                    In the Armed Forces EXCEPT the National Guard (Army or Air)

                    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

                    I am sorry, but no, I don't think I owe you and your friends here an apology. I think you and your friends owe this nation an apology. But I'm not holding my breath. And no, I don't think you're a "commie." Who said anything about communism or socialism? I most certainly did not. And the last time i checked, there is no mention of that in the DOI or USC. So why did you bring it up? For the record, I have no problem with Social Security or Medicare or Obamacare, or any other social welfare programs. I hope we one day have single payer. I think these make our nation stronger. And my mother and father are sure thankful of them. I like capitalism too, for some things, but not all things. And it is prone to corruption, so strong regulatory oversight is necessary for a healthy economy. And I strongly believe that a massive stimulus package is needed right now. Shall I go on? Or do you still think I am a RW wacko just because I happen to think the DOI and the USC memorialize a "scared" ideal. Look, I don't think anything about you other than this: I just don't think you honor this nation's "sacred"!ideals, as memorialized in the DOI and USC. 

                    I have nothing more to say to you, Sir. 

            •  At no point did (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead

              loggersbrat deny the sanctity of the documents, only that they serve different purposes. One is a declaration of intent towards another government, and the other is the original governing document of a new country.

              Different things, equally sacred, but not to be conflated.

              All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

              by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:42:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  A declaration is not the same (20+ / 0-)

          as a constitution. One is a manifesto, a letter of intent, an explanation of what the author(s) is (are) about to do. It is not a governing document. The Constitution is, it outlines how our country operates.

          One is a vision, the other is the action.

          Our Constitution has provided us with peaceful ways to change how our government and our elected employees work. We have the methods, from the smallest local government unit to the largest national one, ways to direct our government. Our Constitution was written with checks and balances, and to take one part and elevate it at the expense of the rest of the document defeats its purpose.

          Those who threaten violence to their fellow citizens because they disagree with them don't understand that, don't understand we are all in this together,whether we agree or not, and our government isn't just about them or just for them. It's for us.

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:37:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  social contract (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock
            Our Constitution was written with checks and balances, and to take one part and elevate it at the expense of the rest of the document defeats its purpose.
            Checks and balances.

            But one of those checks was the assumption, explicitly mentioned in the Federalist Papers, that the people would be able to "check" the power of the federal government to do blatantly tyrannical things... because they were presumed to be just as well armed as the federal government.

            It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot torture me.
            It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot forbid me from speaking.
            It does not defeat the purpose of the Constitution to say that the government cannot disarm me, either.

            the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

            by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:43:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is a fantasy... (10+ / 0-)

              You state:

              because they were presumed to be just as well armed as the federal government
              Truth is, we aren't.  The government has aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks, artillery, nuclear weapons, guided missiles, bombs, fighter jets, bombers, stealth fighters and bombers, ground assault aircraft, attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and numerous small arms that are illegal for citizens (list is not comprehensive).

              The cops have better weapons at their disposal too.  A heavily armed citizen couldn't even defeat a SWAT team.

              The thing that prevents our government from becoming a tyranny is not the gun, it is the vote.  

              •  which is to say (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RUNDOWN
                The thing that prevents our government from becoming a tyranny is not the gun, it is the vote.

                it's mostly just a question of when.

                the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:48:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Is It? Why? (6+ / 0-)

                  Do you vote? That's your chance to change things to your vision. Persuade others of your vision. If you can't, too bad. That's democracy.

                  So, in your opinion it SHOULD be guns, then? Guns should prevent tyranny? Do they? Or do they enforce it?

                  This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                  by Beetwasher on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:24:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, at some point... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeadHead, FiredUpInCA, RUNDOWN, Noddy

                  ...people will learn to talk to and listen to one another instead of retreating into their foxholes ready to shoot the "others" when they come.  Differences will be resolved without violence.  People will learn that they can disagree with people and still not hate or fear them.  People will learn to live with people different than themselves.  We have a lot of work to do, but we've made some progress on developing tolerance within at least one party in this country.  We also instituted programs that create a social obligation that we all share to help each other (Social Security, Medicare, etc).

                  Yes, there are dangers.  The main negative impacts of government are precisely those areas where the government is expected to carry the fears of its citizenry.  As a result, governments ruin their economies with pointless military spending, and build wasteful police forces to hunt down the criminals.  Demagogues arise who spread fear and hatred of their fellow citizens (Rush).

                  But the answer is not to give in to those same fears and retreat even further from the world into our own personal shelters, but to engage the world and fight the fears that are the real source of the problem (with words).  And we have to be willing to stop pretending that each of us is an island.  We'll all have to accept our obligation to our fellow citizens.  Some of our "freedoms" will be lost, just as the freedom of the slave owners was restricted when the slaves were emancipated.  

                  This is the progressive project, and it isn't tyranny.  But if we succumb to our fears and turn to violence tyranny is what we'll get.

                  •  I reject your premise (0+ / 0-)

                    that a society can't be both democratic and well-armed.

                    the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                    by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:02:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not sure where you found that (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      a2nite, RUNDOWN

                      premise in the above post.  Rather I tend to read the opposite in other posts - that a society cannot be democratic unless it is well armed.  

                      For the record, I say that Democracy is not dictated by the presence or lack thereof of guns.

                      And some even go beyond that premise.  Their premise appears to be that there cannot be a Democracy unless "we" ) are allowed to have any (and as many) guns that we want.

                      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                      by newfie on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:43:00 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I reject the idea that policians will (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Laconic Lib

                      vote for the best for everyone when a gun from one group is to their head (and not just metaphorically).

                      David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

                      by PsychoSavannah on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:11:06 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  As long as the armed citizens (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JayRaye, DeadHead

                      are well-regulated and responsible ones, there's no reason we can't have both a democracy and citizens who choose to bear arms for whatever reason other than murder or committing crimes.

                      It's when gun owners are careless with their guns - shooting grannies because they couldn't take 2 simple precautions:  pointing the weapon away from people and carrying it unloaded to a large gathering of like-minded people, or allowing mentally unstable people access to them to commit massacres of children - that the rest of society has to rise up in rebellion and say - ENOUGH. If you gun owners can't regulate and behave responsibly on your own recognizance with your weapons, then we as a society must take action and impose some limits on you.

                      We gave the gun owners (aka the NRA, who were once the voice of reason about guns) lots and lots of time to talk among themselves and come up with ways to prevent the misuse of guns in our society - and all they could come up with was to arm everybody!

                      That is not a viable solution, so the rest of society is now taking on the burden the gun owners should have shouldered to enact rules and regulations to keep gun ownership safe and responsible.

                      Notice we aren't using guns against the irresponsible gun owners - we're using votes and pressure on our legislators, we're using words not bullets, to make those changes.

                      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

                      by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:28:45 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  We can check the power (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftreborn, backell, DeadHead

              with VOTES not guns.  

              At the moment, our government is not so bad that we truly are oppressed, repressed, unrepresented.  We are nowhere near living in a tyranny in America where we must overthrow our oppressors.

              I have no problem with people owning guns - you'd know that if you paid attention.

              What pisses me off is people like you coming in and assuming that I am not a citizen of my country and my voice doesn't count because I don't believe as you do.

              We had an election.  The majority of the people and the majority of the Electoral College representing us made a choice.  The people spoke. I am sorry (but not too sorry since the other choice was Romney) that the majority voice wasn't yours, but just because your voice wasn't the majority voice doesn't mean you are oppressed.

              You show me where the "tyranny" is in America that's so bad you need to shoot your fellow Americans.

              I'll show you where the freedoms are:

              You still have freedom of speech,

              you still have the freedom to gather,

              you still own those guns your like-minded people are waving around loaded, carelessly shooting grannies at gun shows and babies in schools,

              you still have the freedom to live where you want,

              you still have the freedom to call your government and elected employees names,

              you still have the freedom to work to change the next election,

              you still have the freedom to apply for a job of your choosing (the corporations and business owners control whether you get hired, not the government - unless you're applying for a government job...)

              you still have the freedom to cruise the internet,

              you still have the freedom to become educated,

              you still have the freedom to own your own home (your finances willing),

              you still have the freedom to go to movie theaters,

              you still have the freedom to travel (except by flight, and I'm working on changing that) anywhere in the US,

              you still have the freedom to shop where you want to shop and to own what you can afford to own,

              you still have the freedom to dress as you please,

              you sill have the freedom to sire or birth all the babies you can handle with a willing partner,

              you still have the freedom to marry whom you will (oops, sorry, you only have that freedom if you're a man/woman couple, but we're working on it - you can still love whom you will, though),

              And you have many many more freedoms.

              None of which you'd have in a tyranny that cried out for you to overthrow it.

              I am very happy with the country I have.  It has its flaws, and we can work to fix those flaws because we have the freedom to legally alter our country - by activism, by speaking out, by persuasion (the kind that isn't backed by the coercion of weapons or threats), by votes, by supporting those who share our views, by writing editorials and giving speeches, by putting signs in our yards, by marching, by protesting, by striking.

              If I don't like something, I have the freedom to campaign for change.

              And so do you - without resorting to guns and threats.

              As Asimov said, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."  By advocating gun violence against our government, not only would those people doing so be guilty of treason, they are demonstrating they are too incompetent to use the tools we have to make any necessary changes.

              All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

              by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:15:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  When the citizens of Great Britain, (5+ / 0-)

          through their Parliament, vote one party out of power and place a different party in control, it is said that they have established a new government. I don't have any knowledge of how long this term has been in use, but it's evidence that, in actual usage, a new government does not necessarily mean a new constitution (with a lowercase "c'".)

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:41:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is where the argument about tyranny and the (9+ / 0-)

            Second Amendment hinges.  In a democracy like ours, Great Britain or any of the others, is it even possible to claim that tyranny exists when people still have the right to vote, and there are other checks on the system.  Citizens can recall an elected official, the President can be impeached, etc.

            It's like everything is being turned inside out and upside down.

            Even though it was a democratic election, if I disagree with the result, I'm not going to respect the will of the majority and I won't accept the result. The minority believes it can prevail over the majority by force.  That used to be the definition of tyranny but now it isn't.  Instead, if my party loses an election and I disagree with their policies, we'll call that tyranny, even though there was a legitimate election.

            It's all backasswards.

            "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

            by leftreborn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:52:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I seem to recall that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftreborn

              the old Soviet Union (and its vassal states) held regular elections, the proletariat enjoyed the right to vote. Sometimes with restrictions based on ethnicity, language, sex, class, etc., but we've seen some of that here too.

              Deal was that it didn't matter how anyone voted because all the candidates were duly approved aparachniks of the Communist Party. We have two powerful political parties in this country (and several very minor, not powerful parties). The two primes differ radically in rhetoric and the 'vision' they're selling, but not in substance because they are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the economic oligarchy that actually calls the socio-political shots.

              "Freedom" can also be an empty word in modern usage. So long as you are inclined to do what The Powers That Be [TPTB] want you to do, you are 'free' to do anything you like. It's only when you try to do something TPTB don't want you to do that you may find yourself stripped of 'freedoms' altogether.

              •  I've had moments of pessimism when I compared (0+ / 0-)

                our system to the Soviet Union too.  And I heard that the Ds and Rs are the same when I was in France during the 1970s.  It's not new to me.  

                To say the Ds and Rs are the same today is like saying an AR15 is the same as an AK47.  They're not the same and it comes down to whether anyone wants to know the difference.

                Look at Paul Ryan's Budget and President Obama's budget line by line and tell me they're the same.  They're far apart.  If the Ds and Rs were the same, why would the Rs filibuster 252 times in four years?  If their policies are the same, why can't they agree on anything?  I look at granular details and I see differences.

                The Republicans front for a privileged few.  The Second Amendment is part of their agenda.  The so-called guardians against tyranny would only be paving the way for a complete takeover by the oligarchs.

                "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

                by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:24:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say they're the same. (0+ / 0-)

                  I said they differ vastly in rhetoric and the 'vision' they're selling [to the people in exchange for the people's votes]. But that in the end, they are all functionaries for the ruling elite. Obama's the one pushing cat food, you know. The other guys would just as soon let us starve en masse, and keep us from any health care at all to ensure we die sooner rather than later. I'm quite sure cat food is preferable to nothing, but a bag of Meow Mix for the week doesn't resemble a healthy human diet in anybody's book. [Aside: Who wants to bet it'll be Purina that gets the gub'ment contract for Soylent Green?]

                  Do not be fooled by appearances, rhetoric or any grand 'vision' they're peddling. Or by the sleight of mind distractions that perpetually keep us fighting amongst ourselves for bare crumbs so we won't notice the wasteful gluttony of their war-feast. The people have spoken, loudly, with the only voice we've got: our votes. We might as well be mute for all the attention the Kabuki players will pay to us before the next time they want our votes.

                  We prefer the Dem's kinder, gentler austerity to the Puke's mean-spirited "let them starve" attitude. It's austerity either way, as it was designed to be when the time came for the Boomer generation to retire (despite the 'extra' couple of trillion dollars Boomers have put aside into the mal-named "SS Trust Fund" to cover the cost of the demographic bulge Boomers present). Because there is no plan on either side of the aisle to make the rich repay what they've stolen, the young (and chronically, perhaps permanently un/ underemployed) simply don't have enough wealth to shift the burden down the line.

                  We've been [tax] "farmed" during our productive lives to generate wealth our financial/governmental overlords could steal once they'd stolen everything else. Only land/homes and labor are worth anything of actual value in this world, hence "credit default swaps" on real estate so the land/homes could be stolen outright, along with a taxpayer bailout of the gamblers so they could cash out twice on the same properties. Double Indemnity! Plus a "jobless recovery" to the 21st century's Great Depression (scheduled to last another 20 years at least to facilitate global repositioning for the next Big Cash-Out).

                  It's harvest time again, happens every generation or two when the Masters of the Universe cash out on the life's savings of the people. Last time it was the S&Ls, this time it's the banks and their Wall Street operatives. This is how our system has operated over the last century (at least), it can be no surprise that the biggest generation's retirement from the workforce would signal the biggest cash-out.

                  Doesn't mean I'm not fully invested in the Democratic version of kinder, gentler austerity over the Puke's bottom-feeder creed of hatred and division (just shoot us). It only means I can see past the funny makeup, bad costuming and dumb plot line to get the gist of what's really going down.

        •  the declaration (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead, Beetwasher, a2nite, Laconic Lib

          is not the constitution.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:21:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  We actually seem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        to be having revolution through initative though as states we don't always agree one common a direction.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:37:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about colonies held by a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catesby

        parliamentary democracy led by a monarch who is mostly a figurehead?  Is revolution acceptable under those conditions?

        the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:35:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  1776 was about -Independence-, not "Freedom" (18+ / 0-)

      from "tyranny." It's a subtle but important distinction.

      It must always be remembered that the "government" against which the American Revolutionaries rebelled was one in which they had no representation, no vote and no recourse, that sat an ocean away and was ruled by an unaccountable king whose power was hereditary, not democratic. They had no way of "overthrow[ing]" such "government" except by declaring independence and fighting for it when the Crown would not grant it peacefully.

      The American people have an opportunity every two years to "overthrow" their government. (In fact, Americans do "overthrow" their government every two years; no two Congresses have had the same composition from one two-year session to the next.)

      What prevents "tyranny" in a representative democracy is not guns, or the threat of armed resistance or insurrection. It is a system of government that includes  three coequal branches, checks and balances, separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, an independent judiciary, dual sovereignty (state/federal), full representation, regular lawful elections, habeas corpus, due process of law, separation of church and state, no official state religion, civilian control of the military, and nothing resembling a monarchy, or hereditary royalty/nobility.

      •  Actually, it was both freedom and independence. (5+ / 0-)

        Don't take my word for it, take it straight from the text of the DoI itself:

        We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;
        and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War,

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:20:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with your definition of our government... (5+ / 0-)

        "It is a system of government that includes  three coequal branches, checks and balances, separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, an independent judiciary, dual sovereignty (state/federal), full representation, regular lawful elections, habeas corpus, due process of law, separation of church and state, no official state religion, civilian control of the military, and nothing resembling a monarchy, or hereditary royalty/nobility."

        Now if we can only get the plutocrats, the shadow government and the security state to agree.

      •  And then all three branches were promptly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        bought by corporations and the great red versus blue  kabuki game began. :)

        Obama: self-described moderate Republican

        by The Dead Man on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:06:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Most people in this country (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib

        had no representation in the new government when it was formed.

        I'm not certain how it was much more democratic than Britain, if you look at the details of governance and franchise.

    •  You excised it from its context. Rule of thumb: (30+ / 0-)

      Never trust any quote that has been edited so that what came before and after are omitted.  

      When you select only the words: "it is the right of the people to overthrow such government" you make it seem that the right that was mentioned here was absolute.  

      Go back to the context and just fill in the words immediately preceding:

      But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,
      There are preconditions that create an intolerable situation which justifies the right that was mentioned.  In fact, the preconditions trace back to the beginning of the document where it lists the fundamental freedoms of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.  It declares that Governments are instituted to secure these freedoms and that when it becomes destruction to that end, the precondition is set.

      The document establishes a justification to rebel against serious despotic tyranny.  In this document, the right to overthrow or rebel does not exist without the preconditions.  

      The Declaration of Independence isn't considered law or the equivalent of law.  It doesn't have enduring statutory authority.  Instead, it announced a set of conditions that were in existence at a point in time and the decision to take corrective action.  The Constitution which came a dozen years later is the legal foundation of this country.  It is quite clear in description of domestic citizens taking up arms to wage war against the US as treason.  It's punishable.

      "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

      by leftreborn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:57:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good Response (18+ / 0-)
        The Declaration of Independence isn't considered law or the equivalent of law.  It doesn't have enduring statutory authority.  Instead, it announced a set of conditions that were in existence at a point in time and the decision to take corrective action.
        Well said!
      •  Context is everything.... (4+ / 0-)

        Thank you.

        I had ancestors who survived that war, so I'm a might partial to the facts and the historical context in which the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were written.

        [One of several ancestors of mine was in the Continental Army for six years.  First enlistment was three years from January 1777, he was discharged, reenlisted the same day, and served through the end of the war.  His final discharge papers, signed at Newburgh in June 1783, have the signature 'G Washington' and I compared the signature with known handwriting, and it was, indeed, "the" G. Washington of first president fame.  Said ancestor had been at Valley Forge the first winter of 1777-78, and was in several famous battles before and after that winter, including both Battles of Saratoga against Burgoyne; it's amazing he lived through all that.]

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:48:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a piece of history. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          backell, NonnyO, DeadHead

          People try to revise history to make it fit their agenda but records from the time tell the tale.  

          "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

          by leftreborn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:15:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I knew from pre-computer research... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead, leftreborn, Calamity Jean, Noddy

            ... that this particular ancestor had been in the Rev. War, but only recently when I was looking for a different person in the same line did Ancestry flag this pension application file with 29 papers in it - also contained his earlier records from when he was in the service, plus his discharge and leave papers did I know which battles he was in and where he served and under which companies.  So..., a bit more digging online, and one was a site from Valley forge with muster roll files, and that's when I found out he went through Dec '77-May '78 without any notes..., but in June '78 he's listed as 'sick in Yellow Springs hospital' (with what, it doesn't say, but it is generally known that dysentery, typhus, and pneumonia were common illnesses that winter/spring).  There's a bunch more trivia, but I compared where his company went with the PBS series Liberty on YouTube and Revolution, also on YouTube (had to look that up on Wikipedia for the chronological order), and when the locations mentioned in his pension application file were mentioned, I paid attention.  My jaw dropped in a few places (this isn't high school history class listening to dry info..., this is what my ancestor really went through along with the rest of the people in that unit...).

            So, I'm gathering quite a nice portfolio on my ancestor, along with an itemized timeline for part of his life.

            These last years since getting my first PC, I've gotten access to more copies of documents than I would have ever believed 50 years ago when I first got interested in genealogy research, and I've made leaps and bounds on lineages I never would have guessed I'd be researching, both in the US and three of the countries of origin (I've documented seven, but some are so far back not many documents are available).

            That's the fun of genealogy research....  :-)  I have a bunch of interesting ancestors from colonial New England, actually, starting with the Mayflower forward.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:05:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't that amazing? I did similar research and (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead, NonnyO, Calamity Jean, Noddy

              learned some things about my ancestors that no one alive today in our family knew before.  But nothing as interesting as what you were able to do.  

              "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

              by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:44:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Keep searching! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leftreborn, Calamity Jean, Noddy

                If you had ancestors in colonial America, something is bound to fall out of the tree when Serendipity is ready to drop the fruit on your head.  There's a lot of free books now online via Google Books (some even written in the 17th century) and Internet Archive, and all available for a free download because the copyrights expired long ago.  One book on one of my lineages I got a reprint of several years ago, even sprang for the hardcover reprint.  Fast forward a few years, that same book is now a free download on Google Books, as are several others from my family tree.

                It took 45 years and finding precisely one reference to the location in Sweden where my grandfather was born to get the info on him.  A couple of his daughters knew where he mailed letters to his sister and thought that's where he was from, but no.  That (adjoining parish) was where his sis and youngest bro moved to when they were adults, not where all four siblings were born and where the family had lived for a couple of generations before that.  The correct location was listed on my youngest paternal aunt's birth certificate once I got copies of all birth records on my parents and their siblings (and I found four babies - stillbirths and infant deaths - whose existence was never talked about), and it's the only American record I know of where the precise location is listed (only slightly misspelled).  Instead of the generic "Sweden" the full location was listed.  I wrote to the Sweden list.  As luck would have it, someone was still up there (they're seven hours ahead of my time zone), and within ten minutes I had my answer back.  Birth record for my grandfather, his siblings, their parents, and it got better from there because I figured out two of his mother's siblings lived near where he did here in the US and I don't recall anyone knowing that a relationship existed.  We knew his brother came to the US before him, but after the 1900 US census I lose him in IL, so I don't know his fate yet.  The names of kids I was told were his turn out to be first cousins of my grandfather because they were offspring of my Swedish gr-grandmother's brother and his wife.

                So, keep digging for info because it is there.  Keep systematically searching, doing Google searches on names of ancestors, develop a network of people to turn to for help to get documents [Genealogy without documentation is mythology.], but keep in mind sometimes official documents are wrong and proceed and keep on searching..., something will turn up sooner or later.  Serendipity plays a huge role in putting info in my hands, or coming across my computer screen, and it's quite marvelous when it happens.

                :-)

                I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                by NonnyO on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:57:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  On a tangential note... (17+ / 0-)

      I found it funny when arguing with my friends who are Ron Paul fans that they always talk about the "will of the people".  But then when I show them a particular topic where the majority of the American people do NOT support their position, they suddenly bring up how we're NOT a direct democracy, but instead a Constitutional republic.  :-P

      •  A bit like how the Fed can give money (3+ / 0-)

        to the Banksters -- or backstop their loans to the tune of some (various accountings) $16T or $29T.

        but not to the People -- even indirectly -- for any benefit to society in general.

        Different rules for different occasions.

        No moral hazard here.

        They who own the rules, own the game, and own us.

        e MMT unum.

        United We Understand

        by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:18:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We're not a Democracy, We're a Republic (10+ / 0-)

        "We're not a democracy, We're a republic," has to be one of the most infuriating and annoying things they say. It's like I want to tell them,  just shut your libertarian mouth and learn to read. But I don't because I try to restrain myself to civil discourse.

        It's like they have all this "false knowledge" and the "know things" that aren't true. And you try to explain to them that if Ron Paul were elected the entire economy would collapse.

        They are simultaneously ignorant AND indoctrinated and they don't even know they their the latter and not the former.

        I can't remember what it was but there was something EXTREMELY basic, I mean like you learn it in fifth grade basic (related to three branches of government or something?) anyway I can't remember.

        I assumed that he knew THAT, and he didn't. And we went through this big argument over something (I really wish I could remember what it was.)

        Anyway, he eventually told me that I was naive.

        Sometimes there's just not a hard enough wall to bang your head on after dealing with those clowns.

        •  The worst is... (8+ / 0-)

          their smug sense of superiority in just how they "know" those things, isn't it?

          I've tried explaining I can show their basic economic belief can actually be disproven just by using the Prisoner's Dilemma.  (Short version: both people will try to do what's best for them individually, which will lead to a worse outcome for both.  But by thinking rationally and working together, then, and only then, can they arrive at the truly optimal solution.)

          That only makes them madder, as they also seem to have very little understanding of mathematics and logic.

        •  I had that one thrown at me here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BruinKid, a2nite

          not too long ago.

          I was told to take a basic civics course. The fact that the two terms have been used interchangeably was irrelevant to the individual.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
          ~ Jerry Garcia

          by DeadHead on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:26:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Democracy vs Republic - where they're coming (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          backell, PsychoSavannah, RUNDOWN

          from.  A few years ago I was invited to go on an all day hike with work colleagues.  I knew they were on the conservative side but not the extent and I wanted to do the hike.

          It was a long day.  I found out they were full on, hardcore Ron Paul libertarians.  I had also given them my personal email so I ended up on group lists for the viral stuff they send to each other.  They didn't have the courtesy to use the BCC line so my email address went viral in the bargain.  I was getting messages from people who didn't even know me.  Considering the content it was funny and horrifying and disgusting all at the same time.

          For public consumption Libertarians pretend to be interested in maximizing rights and freedoms.  'Just for them' is the part they leave out.  They lean heavily to the rights of the property owner.  In fact, Ron Paul spoke in the House against the Civil Rights Act of '64 and he said it infringed on the rights of the property owner.  They believe only property owners should have the right to vote. They're getting a little ahead of themselves when they say the US isn't a democracy. They wish.

          This is a personal observation: whenever I pointed out the gaps in their logic, their contradictions and erroneous assumptions they can get vicious and nasty on a scale I've never encountered with any other people.

          "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

          by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:58:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is something about libertarians (0+ / 0-)

            that I have always found off-putting.

            whenever I pointed out the gaps in their logic, their contradictions and erroneous assumptions they can get vicious and nasty on a scale I've never encountered with any other people.
            My impression is not so much of viciousness or nastiness, but of adolescent, weeping martyrdom. Their self-admiration is so intense and their self-regard so exaggerated, and they see anything and everything that occurs outside of themselves as completely arbitrary and illegitimate, that they can only see themselves as heroic martyrs. To me, they seem to weep for themselves constantly; they weep for their lost "freedoms" and their arbitrarily-deprived "rights," they weep for their unbearable plight at being "forced," "at gunpoint," to live under the brutally oppressive tyranny of American law.  
      •  Here's another one: (14+ / 0-)

        Constitutional fundamentalists who say "What part of 'shall not infringe' don't you understand" when they defend the Second Amendment and in the next breath they call Obama a Muslim.  If they were really going by the Constitution they'd respect Article 6, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  

        They betray themselves with their own words.  

        "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

        by leftreborn on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:44:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Works for most... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          but the friend I have in question is actually a Muslim who came over from Iran as a kid.  He originally got turned on to Ron Paul because of his anti-war stance and pro-pot stance, and now has been brainwashed into all the psychosis of Paul as well.

          He doesn't do the birther stuff, thinks most Tea Partiers are nutjobs, and then shares that bugfuck Sandy Hook conspiracy theory on Facebook.  Oh, and he's also a 9/11 truther, which may or may not have anything to do with his views on Israel/Palestine.

          Sigh.

    •  The Declaration of Independence (5+ / 0-)

      ... is an interesting historical document written before the existence of the United States of America. It has no force of law in the United States of America.

      Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

      by elsaf on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:20:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RUNDOWN

        The constitution will not protect you if you rebel against the government.  Your ass will get shot or put in prison.

        I think virtually everybody agrees on this point, probably even that Yeager guy.

        However, rights do not come from government or the constitution.  If government gave you something, then government is free to take it away, and the whole concept of "unalienable rights" presumes that the government cannot take fundamental rights away.

        If our great-great-great-great grandparents had the right to overthrow governance by a mostly-democratic parliamentary monarchy, how can we say that our great-great-great-great grandchildren shall never ever consider overthrowing whatever sort of not-at-all democratic regime might exist in the future?

        the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:06:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the red herring (12+ / 0-)

          Woudla? Coudla? Shoulda? It's all moot. Why worry about hypothetical governments. We have a rule of law. We have a stable democracy. The problem with people talking about the "people" in THIS context is that they actually mean ONLY the "people" that agree with them, which is in the minority. If they were in the majority (like under Bush) they wouldn't be complaining about tyranny. They'd be telling us to move to Canada if don't like it, and that "Bush won, get over it."

          To them I say, Obama won, get over it. He won twice and he didn't need to disenfranchise voters to do it.

          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RUNDOWN
            Woudla? Coudla? Shoulda? It's all moot. Why worry about hypothetical governments.
            Because anything more than a couple years in the future can only be hypothetical.  The Framers presumably imagined quite a number of hypothetical futures, probably none as weird as this one.
            We have a rule of law. We have a stable democracy.
            And if you say it will remain that way, you've wandered into the hypothetical.  
            The problem with people talking about the "people" in THIS context is that they actually mean ONLY the "people" that agree with them, which is in the minority. If they were in the majority (like under Bush) they wouldn't be complaining about tyranny. They'd be telling us to move to Canada if don't like it, and that "Bush won, get over it."
            If you're calling them hypocrites for not opposing illegal wiretapping and the Patriot Act with the same vehemence, I agree with you.  If you are saying that the specific hypocrisy of specific individuals should change my opinion on the nature and extent of "unalienable rights," no.

            the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

            by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:07:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What Makes Your "Rights" "Unalienable"? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DefendOurConstitution, a2nite

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:30:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That part is deliberately (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RUNDOWN

                left vague in the Bill of Rights.  It deliberately avoids language like "people shall have the right to blah blah blah," which would imply that the rights are coming from the constitution itself.

                Instead it's "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech."  The freedom of speech is presumed to already exist.  Where did it come from?  The constitution doesn't say.

                the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:10:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It all comes from the consent of the governed (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Beetwasher, Catesby, RUNDOWN, Noddy, S F Hippie

                  Even the Bill of Rights was put in force by a vote. And that wasn't vague at all.

                  You can look for and believe in other sources of rights (god, nature, Aristotle, Ayn Rand), but none of those sources are going to stand next to you and defend the rights you presume are derived from them.

                  So in reality, your rights are never any more than what you can get people to agree to, whether it's in a meeting of your garden club, a court of law, or anywhere else in the government.

                  In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

                  by badger on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:24:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  By that logic (0+ / 0-)

                    slavery didn't violate anyone's rights.

                    the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                    by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:26:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's exactly right (6+ / 0-)

                      Get in your time machine, go back to Mississippi in 1830, and show me how you're going to enforce a right to be free of slavery (it's harder to be that noble on the ground, in reality, than in a Tarentino or Spielberg movie).

                      Don't confuse things you think should be rights (basically ethics), with rights you actually have (reality). Is there a Federal right to smoke marijuana? To gay marry? My state says I have both of those rights, but the Federal government says no. Why does my state say I have them? The consent of the governed, offered up last November. I didn't have those rights before then.

                      If the election in 1787 (IIRC) had gone the other way, there would be no Constitution and no Bill of Rights. Regardless of what you think your Creator endowed you with.

                      In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

                      by badger on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:36:44 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Previously you said (0+ / 0-)
                        It all comes from the consent of the governed
                        But now you're saying
                        show me how you're going to enforce a right to be free of slavery
                        Am I wrong in interpreting this as "rights only exist if your allies can exert enough force to enforce them?"

                        So, I can haz rights if
                        -The government agrees, and
                        -The government cares enough to send enough guns to enforce them.

                        But if having allies with guns is a prerequisite to having rights, why shouldn't I cut out the middle man and own the guns myself?

                        Oh, and

                        Don't confuse things you think should be rights (basically ethics), with rights you actually have (reality).
                        I don't.  
                        If you prefer to think of fundamental rights as mere ethical rights, go for it.  That doesn't make them a speck less important.
                        If the election in 1787 (IIRC) had gone the other way, there would be no Constitution and no Bill of Rights. Regardless of what you think your Creator endowed you with.
                        Which is relevant how? If a dictator executes a dozen undesirables somewhere in the world, I'm not going to say "he had the legal authority to do what he did under the Slobovian General Code Article Seven."  

                        I'm going to say they were murdered.  Because people have the unalienable right to not be arbitrarily executed.  Even if you want to call it merely an ethical right.

                        the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                        by happymisanthropy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:41:21 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Taking the last first (0+ / 0-)

                          You can call it murder because in your cultural and historical framework, it's murder. Slobovian culture and history may lead to other ideas about whether it's murder or not.

                          A lot of people - many outside the US, some inside the US - think that Timothy McVeigh was murdered. Some people even think that killing American kids without a trial using a drone is murder.

                          You'e arguing for an absolute conception of rights - based on what? What are you going to base rights - or even morality or ethics - on, except culture and history? And when you choose something to base it on, why do I have to accept your choice? Don't I have a right to disagree? I should, unless, as I point out, you're an absolutist.

                          So instead of rights as God's commandments, or more effectively, unicorns, I'd suggest it's only meaningful to talk about rights where they actually exist - and that's where people agree they exist (in a democracy), or generally, where they can actually be shown to exist.

                          Slaves in Mississippi in 1830 had, practically, realistically, no rights. No law enforcement agency or personnel would enforce them (beyond some property rights, to be sure), no court would recogize them, state or Federal, almost no church or fraternal organization would recognize them, and slaves couldn't exercise those rights you believe they had. So they add up to nothing.

                          So, to summarize, you haven't shown where rights come from, and, barring that, you haven't shown how rights can exist when they, in reality, don't.

                          In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

                          by badger on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:27:53 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                            You'e arguing for an absolute conception of rights - based on what? What are you going to base rights - or even morality or ethics - on, except culture and history? And when you choose something to base it on, why do I have to accept your choice? Don't I have a right to disagree? I should, unless, as I point out, you're an absolutist.
                            You don't have to accept my choices, any more than I have to accept yours.  
                            So instead of rights as God's commandments, or more effectively, unicorns, I'd suggest it's only meaningful to talk about rights where they actually exist - and that's where people agree they exist (in a democracy), or generally, where they can actually be shown to exist.
                            The particular decisions of a particular regime in a particular century are barely worthy of my consideration.

                            Governments don't HAVE to exist, but if they do exist they need to respect the freedoms of their people.

                            Slaves in Mississippi in 1830 had, practically, realistically, no rights. No law enforcement agency or personnel would enforce them (beyond some property rights, to be sure), no court would recogize them, state or Federal, almost no church or fraternal organization would recognize them, and slaves couldn't exercise those rights you believe they had. So they add up to nothing.
                            And an armed attacker could mug me tomorrow, torture me for five minutes, and then kill me.  In this society of two people, there is no effective protection for my rights, so by your logic my rights do not exist.  No law enforcement, court, church, whatever, will take an interest during my lifetime.  I can't exercise those rights, so they add up to nothing.
                            So, to summarize, you haven't shown where rights come from, and, barring that, you haven't shown how rights can exist when they, in reality, don't.
                            I haven't attempted to do so, nor am I interested in trying.  
                            But, if you reject the notion that "securing the blessings of Liberty" is a legitimate function of government, what do you think is?

                            the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                            by happymisanthropy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:40:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But I do think "securing the blessings of Liberty (0+ / 0-)

                            to ourselves and our posterity" is a legitimate function of government. I'd point out that the first three words of that same document (and the first three words of a number of paragraphs in the President's speech yesterday) are "We the People ...". Because that's the sole source of that document's - and that President's - legitimate authority, and of the rights it seeks to extend to us and to guarantee.

                            And I believe in those things because of the culture I've lived in my entire life, and that culture's history (and that culture and history change continually, too). I don't believe in those things because there's something else that "makes" those things true. I don't know what that something would be.

                            Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

                            by badger on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:37:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Or to quote some guy today (0+ / 0-)
                          For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

                          In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

                          by badger on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:04:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Other than (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            badger
                            gift from God,
                            I'd prefer that he leave deities out of it, but I don't disagree with any of that.  That's what people create governments for, to promote and secure the rights they already have.

                            the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

                            by happymisanthropy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:49:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  You're Obfuscating (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Calamity Jean, Noddy

                    I get what you're saying, but since the Constitution DOES recognize that and we, "the people" recognize the Constitution, we are assured our rights by its existence.

                    •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

                      The Constitution doesn't have the force of a physical law or law of nature. It can, and often is IMO, be ignored, often egregiously.

                      Were the Japanese interned in WW II - many citizens and native born - "assured [their] rights by its existence"? Even the Supreme Court ruled against them in Korematsu, and many of the same justices who voted for rights in Brown v. Board held that Fred Korematsu had no right to be free.

                      The Constitution, before the 14th Amendment, allowed slavery. How was it changed? I'd argue by the consent of the governed, acting through their representatives, but I'm obfuscating, so you tell me your version. I'd argue it goes back to Jefferson's phrase "as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness".

                      What is this magical thing the supersedes the consent of the governed and grants and enforces rights? Even a dictator needs the consent of the governed - he just gets via torture in backrooms or at the point of a gun.

                      In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

                      by badger on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:37:14 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And somehow it ended (0+ / 0-)

                        Without the Japanese Americans rising up with guns and putting down the tyrannical government.

                        •  No, and if you're going back to (0+ / 0-)

                          the original diary's point and premise, I agree with you on that (and thought you put it very nicely, too).

                          But the fact remains that the consent of the governed is what holds us together and determines what rights we possess realistically. That's all I've been saying in this subthread, because someone asked.

                          Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

                          by badger on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:27:05 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Understood (0+ / 0-)

                            I get your point. I just get tired of the whole "the people" kind of argument the way the right uses it. They act as though they are the people. I don't know who they think the left are. Something other than people in some way? I don't know. But yes, the consent of the people is a given in a democracy. The domination of the people is a tyranny.

            •  I guess I see room (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftreborn, Noddy

              Between tyranny and perfection.

          •  Just because some conservatives (0+ / 0-)

            are completely wrong on the subject today does not mean such an event is impossible in the future.

            They are two different and independent subjects.

            Not being able to imagine such an event shows a very narrow view of world history.

            And besides, people have always had a right to rebel against their governments, whether it's written down on a piece of paper or not.  And they are certainly not limited to the reasons outlined in a piece of paper.

            And the government has a right to try them for treason if they don't succeed.  

            Saying "You can't rebel, it's illegal!" is just ridiculous on its face.  It's been illegal in all places and at all times.  It was illegal when the US did it.  But we won.

            If these conservative idiots tried it, they'd lose.

            •  It's not a Question of Whether it Can Happen (0+ / 0-)

              But whether you acknowledge trolls by biting at their (the right-wing nuts)  bait.

              My problem with their whole premise is this notion of "the people" as though THEY are the people and THEY have the right to tell the MAJORITY of the people they are under a tyranny.

              It's obfuscation. Yes. There is some hypothetical distant future where it's a possibility. There are thousands of hypothetical futures, with various outcomes, and as many with a utopian conclusion as apocalyptic.  

              We don't need to know what the future is to know that at present we are so far from anything tyrannical that we can't responsibly use the word in the present conversation.

        •  Alas, not so. (0+ / 0-)

          The government can and does take 'fundamental rights' away all the time. It's called the "criminal justice system." Even if you are never charged with a "crime against the state" (almost all crimes are crimes against the state, which is why the state's prosecutor prosecutes), your fundamental rights can and too often are violated "under color of law." If that happens to you, you can sometimes seek redress against the state (and its responsible agents) in civil court. But only if you've got a few hundred thousand dollars to invest in the effort.

          Think of Joe Arpaio. Who as Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ is positively famous for taking away the 'fundamental rights' of those he doesn't like the looks of. Note that he was re-elected to his position of power just a couple of months ago.

  •  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seems like a miracle (22+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    I didn't know about her. Thanks for education.

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:40:11 PM PST

  •  Vitally important point (9+ / 0-)

    People forget that revolutions nearly always make things worse.

    The problems need different solutions, but the problems exist. Being pulled over for "attempted speeding" would not surprise a contemporary US African-American.

  •  Almost Sad..... (14+ / 0-)

    Looking @ the homemade signs carried by the pro gun rally yesterday on "Gun Appreciation Day", was unreal.

    There were signs like "unarmed....for now" or "unarmed....this time".

    Their private stock of weapons is not going to whip the US military into shape.  It's grown too big, too powerful....mainly at the behest of the right wing.  They wanted a strong army, second to none.  Well, that's what they got.  That's what they told their reps & senators  to vote for.  They don't want to cut the Pentagon during the sequestration.....even now.

    They got what they wanted.  Now what?  

    •  Our pro-gun rally at the Capitol in Phoenix (14+ / 0-)

      yesterday featured a lot of similar signs -- suggesting that they are the only people who will save America from tyranny. First, what Obama is proposing is not tyranny; it's what the majority of Americans want. That's called democracy. Second, if they think they're going to stand up to our military with their stockpile at home, then they're nuttier than I thought they were. Perhaps they have not heard of missiles, drones, or nasty-ass tanks.

      stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

      by Mother Mags on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:42:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely..... (6+ / 0-)

        If they start some kind of a revolution, the drone attacks will commence.  Their fantasy seems to be hand to hand combat at the end of their drive way or ye local parking lot of Walmart @ high noon.

        It's a pipe dream.  They have nothing to compare w/ a drone swipe of their neighborhood @ the slightest hint of insurrection.  Waco & Ruby Ridge were a long time ago & a million eons ago in a technological tit for tat.  

        •  Ask the Pakistani Taliban about that... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erratic, happymisanthropy

          Problem with Drone attacks is that they tend to radicalize the population because they kill people who are clearly non-combatants.  

          Good counter insurgency is lead by good intelligence.  It also helps that in America warts and all, we have it pretty good.  

          Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

          by DavidMS on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:30:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Often A Survivor Of A Battle..... (4+ / 0-)

            in history is let go on purpose.  He would be used to get the word back to the others.  One good swipe w/ a drone in the United States would be shall we say.....a wake up call.

            Many of the folks @ the Gun Appreciation Day looked passionate but older, kind of out of shape & 99% white.

            I think the US military could take them.....even if some of them went AWOL which is what the FOX crowd is counting on.  

            •  I am worried about the ones not at the rally... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite

              Yes the Local Police, Sherif's Dept, State Police and FBI could take them but any clumsiness could make the matter worse.  

              Resupply for them would be a problem until they learned where to steal it and how to smuggle supplies in.  Given the right's tenancy to splinter and, lack of professionalism, they would be locally dangerous and difficult to smother.  Not an expert but it would take years to suppress them.  Take a look at the ETA and Forest Brothers.

              I hope the right doesn't do anything too stupid...

              Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

              by DavidMS on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:05:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Five Of Them Shot Themselves Or Others..... (4+ / 0-)

                by accident at three different gun shows on Saturday in Ohio, Indiana & North Carolina.

                Their guns discharged by accident or because they left a bullet in the chamber.  Not exactly a professional, well honed crowd.

                Shooting at a target in the shooting gallery or @ a bale of hay in the back yard isn't quite the same as a well trained, professional military unit.

                75% of the mass murders since the 1980's were in gun free zones like high schools, movie theaters, malls, or elementary schools.  If they start something, things won't stay weapon free for long.  .  

                •  I can't figure that one out... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  a2nite, Calamity Jean

                  I have been to a few gun shows (good for buying accessories, not so good for buying guns) and remember that all guns are checked at the door (empty magazine, chamber and with a zip tie through the action) to prevent this sort of thing.  

                  Had a friend who sweped me twice with an empty gun.  I chewed on him both times as did a few other people.  He now respects the 4 rules.  Everyone should be required to take a gun safety class before taking possession of a gun.  

                  There are also plenty of idiots who write down their computer passwords and put the sticky label under the keyboard.  

                  There are just some people you can't reach.  

                  Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

                  by DavidMS on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:33:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In the case of the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DeadHead

                    3 people being shot at the one gun show - it was the gun check point person who screwed up - by pointing a weapon into a crowd of people before he'd verified the gun was unloaded.

                    It was also the fault of the gun owner for not verifying the gun was unloaded before carrying it from his vehicle into the gun show.

                    Two blatant rules violations, and three people get shot.

                    Gun safety and regulation is supposed to come from the gun owners. After all, they are presumably the most knowledgeable and would know what would be the most effective.  When their response is to arm everybody, trained or not, they have failed in their societal duty, and it then becomes incumbent upon the rest of society to work to resolve the unsafe use of guns in our society.

                    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

                    by Noddy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:09:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  If you look at the photos (9+ / 0-)

        from the various rallies, you can easily determine that for the most part the attendees are older mostly white males, many of them sorely out of shape.

        These are the guys who are going to save us from tyranny?  

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:09:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  People Appreciation Day (5+ / 0-)

        In response to the accidental shootings, the National Association of Rifles has announced that in 30 days, for all the guns that don't hurt people, there will be a People Appreciation Day.

  •  Thanks for this. (22+ / 0-)

    I wrote this recently in one of my own diaries:

    If any individual or group can decide, unilaterally and extralegally, by their own definition and their own standard, that "government tyranny" has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur, and by their own authority use their guns to threaten and/or murder everyone else's duly-elected representatives and duly-designated law enforcement officers, in order to prevent, reverse or destroy this condition of "government tyranny" that they and only they perceive, then this is not a free country. When the guns of a minority trump or nullify the vote of the majority, that doesn't prevent tyranny; that is tyranny.
    I think you stated it much more succinctly (paraphrasing): Those who violently overthrow a democratically-elected government, are tyrants.
  •  The real tyranny imho (4+ / 0-)

    Is the neglect of the 4th and 5th amendment of our consittution. thats it .. all I have to say. Obama needs a course correction on those two points.  

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:33:00 PM PST

    •  I'm been seeing more of them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hangingchad

      called out on this at other sites. Doing it myself as well. It is definitely a point that needs to be made early and often in these discussions.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:41:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (14+ / 0-)

    It's a good reminder that hyperbole has no place in political argument. No one living in the United States is living under tyranny. Tyranny is North Korea. Here we can say and do nearly everything we want, and get a new president every 4-8 years.

    I think all the would-be revolutionaries are all bluster -- not one of them would start a revolution, unless s/he was as nuts as Timothy McVeigh.  Their first-world existence is WAY too comfortable.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:36:43 PM PST

  •  T&R and great rescue, Rangers (12+ / 0-)

    The narrative being fostered by the far right regarding gun-rights versus "tyranny" is repugnant and dangerous.

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:05:01 PM PST

  •  All hail our overlords (4+ / 0-)

    the Banksters, Peterson, the Kochs, the Waltons:

    • Banksters ("we're exposed, it's only on the upside, but heh")
    • Pete Peterson -- goal: eliminate Social Security in favor of market investment
    • the Kochs -- goal: dismantle regulation so corporations can pollute the commons
    • the Waltons -- "would you like some chains with your groceries"
    They are winning now -- before the revolution.

    They will win (a bit more) then -- after the revolution.

    And they don't even have to pay the serfs for their efforts.

    MMT, you are only hope.

    United We Understand

    by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:26:42 PM PST

  •  If they think Obama has too much power... (5+ / 0-)

    ... they need to look at the usurpation of power by Dumbya..., which has been passed down to Obama in a little metaphorical cherry wood box John Nichols spoke about when he and Bruce Fein were advocating for impeachment of both Dumbya and Dickie on 13 July 2007 in a Bill Moyers Journal interview.  Obama inherited the non-constitutional powers given him by Dumbya (and Dickie, the puppet master).

    Obama did not favor impeachment for Dumbya and Dickie from this June/July '07 interview when he was still Candidate Obama, nor does he seem much inclined to want to investigate the lies and war crimes of either man or their co-conspirators.

    They didn't mind the usurpation of unconstitutional power when Dumbya claimed the same powers and passed them on to the next president....

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:32:17 PM PST

  •  Thank you (14+ / 0-)

    For reminding people what these words really mean. As some who has lived in a police state and a former fascist one I get frustrated by people throwing these words around.  My grandfather was executed, my father and uncle enclaves by one.  With due respect, Oakland police don't compare to Saudi police

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:57:36 PM PST

  •  You nailed it! (11+ / 0-)

    I have always said in my head to these people advocating violence to overthrow a perceived tyranny "Just why in the world would I trust you with the country?"

    These tin-horn patriots are nothing more than potential dictators.  No thanks, I'll take my chances with an elected government, however flawed, rather than a would-be war lord!    

  •  The thing about the imaginary "right" (8+ / 0-)

    they claim to see in the 2nd amendment, which of course is not there (or else the entire constitution would be a dead letter), is that they don't need the 2nd amendment to have and if necessary invoke such a right, which, if it exists, is a natural, not legal right, as Jefferson cited in the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    The Declaration of Independence, of course, has no legal authority. It does, though, have moral authority. And in it Jefferson referred to every peoples' natural right to overthrow a government they deem to be tyrannical. They don't need a law to have such a right, and in fact it's obviously quite silly for there to be such a law, or to NEED such a law to have and be able to invoke such a right. What if there were no such law?

    Oops, we can't overthrow the tyrant, the law doesn't let us! It's like wanting a law legalizing torture in case of the ticking time bomb scenario. Uh, if there's a ticking time bomb and you believe that only by torturing someone can you save countless lives, you need a freaking law to torture them and won't if you don't, and let all those people die? You torture the guy, save the world and deal with the legal fallout later, like the hero you imagine yourself to be!

    In that imaginary and 100% implausible scenario, of course.

    How stupid do these people think we are? Don't answer that.

    Note that I'm not saying that our government is tyrannical and should be overthrown, just saying that if it was and should be, we wouldn't need a law saying it's ok, and only a freaking moron thinks otherwise.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:09:37 PM PST

    •  But the Whole thing is a GIANT red herring (5+ / 0-)

      once you start sniffing out that trail you end up where you don't want to be. If we're not a tyranny, we don't need hypothetical conversations about how one day things stop working. Whatever the heck we decide here sure isn't going to be read there.

      •  I'm just taking their idiotic argument (6+ / 0-)

        to its logical demise, using it to refute it. Nothing they say really makes sense. They simply identify with guns. It's literally as simple as that. To them they're not just tools used for a purpose, but a way of life, that became obsolete ages ago. I have nothing against hunting, but it's about sport, not sustenance. The form remains but the function has long gone.

        I'll allow that there's this whole cultural aspect to it that connects them to their ancestors and a long gone way of life as well, and I respect that. They don't need to hunt and own guns from a purely practical point of view, but from a "spiritual' point of view, they do, and that's fine. But what that has to do with defending against tyranny or 30 round clips is beyond me.

        I get the legitimate reasons to own guns. But the crazy ones, I just don't.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:58:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for destroying more myths of the gun (6+ / 0-)

    Cult.  We could certainly use more reality based comments and diaries like yours.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:21:19 PM PST

  •  Tyrant wiki: (0+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as, "one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others". During the seventh and sixth centuries BC, tyranny was often looked upon as an intermediate stage between narrow oligarchy and more democratic forms of polity.
    So, back-in-the-day not as bad as an oligarchy.
  •  There is something pretty awful brewing. I (6+ / 0-)

    can't give a dozen reasons why I think and feel this, but I think we will have to deal with a lot of cr-p before it gets better.

    A sister of a friend in VA absolutely hates the President. She periodically posts nasty signs and the last time I saw on it became even more crystal clear why they are disturbed. One guy actually used the N-word and something about killing a snake in the field.

    I called this guy out on it, even calling him a racist. Another chain email was about the Kenyan thing. When I hit "reply all" saying you had to be delusional to still believe this, I got a hateful and hate-filled email back.

    I always call the person on what they say but I think fascism is rearing it's ugly head.

  •  Hate has become all too commonplace in our daily (7+ / 0-)

    lives. Words are slung around generously today that just a few years ago would have had us blushing collectively. We’ve advanced to be a society that rewards failure, relegates lying, cheating to status quo, encourages hate, sees education as evil, government as the enemy, regulation as treasonous, savings Insurance programs that citizens have been paying into for decades as entitlements, equality as a detriment to society, taxation as subversion, environmental preservation as conspiracy, science a charade, material means as our barometer of success and sex education as perverted.

    The white men’s ‘talking points’ are perpetuated by Mr. Limbaugh and others like him to mislead the American people to believe that self regulated-free markets is the answer to our economy, that the 40 year trickledown a success, that tax cuts are the only solution to help our country thrive, “starve the beast” to inspire the less fortunate, creationism as the truth, religion as the means to preserve our innocence, abstinence only, regulating women’s bodies and fighting to strip their fellow American’s constitutional rights is considered ‘real American’ while at the same time research, exploration and creativity are a cyst on society.

    Year of the Weakest Tea

    by 2014 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:15:11 PM PST

  •  For several years now, we've been documenting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beetwasher, 2014, a2nite

    white supremacist and other domestic terrorism and violent hate groups at the History Commons. I want to make it the most complete, "go-to" source of information on this as we can, but we have a long way yet to go. And the sons of bitches keep doing more stuff that warrants inclusion....

    The gun rights loons fit right into this. We haven't connected the dots yet at HC, but I have no doubt that we will be able to show that far-right gun advocacy groups have direct ties to white supremacist and insurrectionist/militia groups.

    If you want to help document all this, drop me a line. Kosmail will do the trick.

    •  Growing Fascist Groups Dont Make Me Want To Disarm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      Somehow when I see actual Fascist groups on the rise, nothing makes me say "Well this is the ideal time for me to unilaterally disarm!"  Nope, it just not the reaction it creates.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:15:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even if it does, this is 2012. (4+ / 0-)

    This is no long man against man, musket against musket.   When the corporate owned tanks and drones come for them, they're dead meat regardless of how many assault rifles they own.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:30:20 AM PST

  •  I think you've identified a very important point (3+ / 0-)

    about the fact that the right openly advocates for armed rebellion if you aren't happy with the government.

    This argument should be named and countered.  We have no "right" enshrined in the constitution to stage armed rebellion.  First of all there is posse comitatus, which prevents the government, with the exception of defined and controlled police power, from attacking us as the right imagines it can.  Secondly, it is the essence of democracy to resolve political disputes through political processes.  The right's problem with this truth is evident elsewhere, e.g. in the debt ceiling "debate", which isn't a debate at all, but as others have pointed out, a taking of hostages with threats.  And finally, there is the sheer ridiculousness, the silliness of these gun rights believers thinking that they could meet the full force of hte US military with their guns if it were necessary and right, which it isn't.  They'd be ducks in a shooting gallery if it came to that.  

    Those are the counter-arguments, IMHO.

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:16:16 AM PST

    •  Hence the marriage of ALEC, the GOP and the NRA. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:48:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So true. Foment discontent of the scapegoating (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution, a2nite

        kind and then assure the malcontents that armed rebellion is their constitutional right, which is the opposite of the truth.  Sadly, weak-minded people are gullible and vulnerable and tragedy can result.

        The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

        by helfenburg on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:04:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary with salient points. Read it on my way (4+ / 0-)

    out the door, so no time to read all the comments so if I'm repeating something someone else said, my apologies.

    This should be a letter to the editor at a major newspaper. You're preaching to the choir here and what you're saying needs a wider audience. People need to have the ridiculousness of their hyperbole pointed out to them.

    Great job. I'll look forward to more from you.

  •  one of the best things I've read here in a while. (5+ / 0-)

    Passionate, well-reasoned, literate and concise. Thank you.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:29:10 AM PST

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, Noddy

    Having spend four years in Togo and Burkina Faso in the 80s, I recognize the truth of your arguments.

  •  A Nice Insightful Posting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy

    This was a diary that no one could have told unless they've been there. And observed. And learned. The Greater Lesson. Thank you for surviving to tell us.

  •  Timely and necessary (0+ / 0-)

    The language they claim is tortured, too.

    1. The English executed an abusive king, Charles I, even though Charles I was, in fact, fixing things and changing from how bad James I had been.
    2. They had a democracy, sort of, but it was a tyranny of the army, and it saw one populist group ruthlessly suppress the others.
    3. They then got a king back. The king knew better than to be too bossy, and the people knew better than to talk of democracy.
    Here comes John Locke.

    Was it legal to overthrow the king? Is the king placed by God? Locke says that power comes from mutual consent and contract, and Hobbes is right on that, but that all persons are given, by God, ownership of self. From this property, one has the rights that go with the self. They can't be taken away or even given away. Therefore, if a king breaks enough faith with enough people, then the people can divorce (kill) the king.

    Everyone's happy!

    The Americans put it into practice by trying to divorce England. The Irish had tried it a few times before. They would try some more. The Americans succeed.

    In the U.S., the bit of Locke saying that people can divorce the ruler, if the ruler violates the terms of power becomes enshrined in our Declaration and repeated in our national faith. In other words, we get stuck on one phase of Locke, one place, and we keep repeating it, over and over again.

    Had George III really broken faith enough for dissolution? Well, it was weak enough that today's losers will say, "expanding Medicare" is an equivalent.

    People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

    by The Geogre on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:01:23 AM PST

    •  Good Books On The Restoration & Edwardian Era? (0+ / 0-)

      I need to read more

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:19:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, heavens! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bernardpliers

        Wow.

        You know the Taylor series? They make soft cover books that contain essays by serious historians (TM) on opposing sides of matters. The Taylor on The English Civil War is excellent -- mainly because the historians are excellent and get to use two centuries of prior comment and analysis as their starting points.

        Nothing will surpass E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class for me, but he covers the political as a factor in the creation of a distinctive proletariat. The Great Rebellion is winner's history of the civil war (and Glorious Revolution), while Christopher Hill had a minor industry going in finding socialists among the dissenters. His The Experience of Defeat is highly tendentious, but it has enough scholarship in it, and the thesis is solid enough, that his faults of fact -- damning as history -- can be forgiven by a general reader.

        I honestly don't know what to make of Steve Pincus's new 1688 The First Modern Revolution. It so differs from history as I know it, where primary sources are necessary and conclusions are tentative, that one of us is out of his mind. I guess it's me, but I can't applaud a new conceptual frame ("catholic orthodoxy") for utility unless I see a need for it and some evidence that it fits.

        For an orthodox general history, I should mention Robert Smith's book, especially as he was my teacher all those years ago. He did a few. I liked Eighteenth Century Politics: Patrons and Place Hunters. He gave me the political, court-side history of the old fashioned sort, while my other professors were making sure that I knew how to make little round bombs (pat. pend.).

        Other than that, I'd point to Donald Greene's extremely readable The Age of Exuberance for a really fun (if pugilistic) summary of the 18th century and why it was a time of explosiveness rather than "reason." (Greene pushes too far one way to make up for Roy Porter, who pushes too hard another way.)

        [Why do I feel like the Graeae all of a sudden?]

        People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

        by The Geogre on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:34:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  These people need to shut the fuck up. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, backell

    "Your rhetoric is not just wrong politically. It's evil. It's malicious. And it must stop."

    These people truly believe that any, Any gun legislation comes from true enemies of their warped, ignorant, misinformed, sick concept of American liberty. And it is frighteningly serious as to the rhetoric spewing from all corners of the gun-scape. (Did Reagan or Bush have to endure such dangerous dogma?).

    Give us one rebellious bunch of pissed-off, deluded, drunk, 'patriotic,' assault-weaponed bigots that has been listening to this crap, for just a little too long- and with the NRA using terms like 'Fight of the Century.' Fight? Okay. And this continuing spoon-fed, borderline violence rhetoric might horrifically lead to attacks on federal entities, or people.

    * These dickwads need to shut the fuck up.. collectively.

    Thanks for this post.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:25:38 AM PST

  •  You argue that Nazis relaxed gun laws (0+ / 0-)

    to a certain extent - they still had gun permits, etc. in 1938.

    But they didn't allow any Jews to have guns. That's REAL gun control.

    And they killed 6 million Jews by herding them with guns.

    They killed Jews, who had no guns to defend themselves.

    And if the Jews could have defended themselves with guns, do you think 6 million would have been killed?

    Gun control led to murder of millions of citizens in Germany, so your conclusion is that gun control is always good. What am I missing?

    •  I said that too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainDog2

      Gun control didn't lead to the murder of Jews. Hatred, monopolization of speech and a host of other things did. Do you really believe that if the German Jews had guns there wouldn't have been World War II?

      You're completely disingenuous representation of both the actual history AND my position demonstrates that any discussion here is pointless.

      Honest discussion can only happen between honest people.

    •  It wasn't just guns that the Nazis' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead

      didn't allow the Jews to have.  The Nazis' also took their bikes and cars and property.  The Jews were not allowed to teach at the University or attend school.  They "herded," the Jewish people by passing laws that isolated them.  The Nazis destroyed their shops, synagogues and arrested them by the thousands.  The Jews were isolated by hate, hate speech, and herded by a powerful military with machine guns.  There were partisan groups that had weapons and fought back, but it took the military of other countries to bring down the Nazis'.

      I lost family in the Holocaust.  It didn't happen just because of gun control, it happen because of hate filled rhetoric and actions directly against not only the Jews, but socialists, gays, Gypsies.  Gun control doesn't always mean geocide there are other elements that creates a geocide.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:19:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jews Were Noncitizens At That Point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1

        Enabling Act 1933 purges trade unions
        Night Of The Long Knives 1934 Purged Nazi socialists
        Nuremberg Laws 1936 Banned employment and intermarriage of Jews

        Germany was years deep into domestic terror by 1938.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:22:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not terribly effective Gun Control, actually... (0+ / 0-)

      The Jews that decided to fight back (i.e. the Ghetto uprisings, the Jewish partisans, etc.) did manage to acquire weapons.  Granted not of the caliber possessed by their oppressors.  But even in a open market for guns, that would still have been the case.

      The real problem was that fighting back meant you would get slaughtered, so most only did fight when it became absolutely clear that they would be slaughtered regardless.  Those that resisted from the beginning did so for political reasons (i.e. they were aligned with the Communists).  And as a well organized resistance movement, they had little trouble finding guns.

  •  Reading this gave me 'the chills' (0+ / 0-)

    Mostly, because the over-riding tone of your piece is I lived it - but you don't have to.

    It's definitely a #MustRead, and that's just how I put it.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:13:18 PM PST

  •  More on president Sirlief: (0+ / 0-)
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