John Chuckman



Sorry, but it is simply not true that the Second Amendment is about opposing tyranny.

I believe that you cannot read the Second Amendment clearly and come to that conclusion.

However, technically true or not, such claims are ridiculous because they ignore the concrete realities of power today.

Consider the forces at the disposal of a modern American government wanting to enforce its will.

A massive armed forces, equipped with every weapon you can imagine.

America’s Reserves and National Guards equipped with many heavy-duty weapons.

America’s huge and militarized police forces.

City Police.

State Police.

County Police.

America’s huge and militarized TSA.

The FBI.

The ATF.

The DEA.

The Secret Service.

The Federal Air Marshals.

The CIA and other security agencies.

Just where does anyone see the remotest possibility of citizens with rifles – or even machine guns, if you will – standing up against laws they do not like when the laws are enforced by this horrendous collection of force?

American officials are the most over-armed on earth, and I think it’s time to stop Jeffersonian fantasies about returning to 1790 or thereabouts. Jefferson’s views were not realistic even in his own day – for example, he had a very poor grasp of economics and some pretty flaky ideas of sturdy yeomen and didn’t like industry – and today, in a complex and globe-straddling empire, they are just bad jokes. If you embrace bad jokes as wisdom, you only assist powerful modern authorities to impose bad rules.

America can never be what “patriot” or “militia” or even silly “tea party” types want to think that it can. It just literally cannot happen. There is a definite kind of blurry religious thinking which fogs these matters in America, the religious thinking of what has been called the American Civic Religion with its Scriptures: the Constitution and Declaration of Independence; its Twelve Apostles: the Founding Fathers; and its secular Saints: Jefferson being the central figure almost like St. Peter. And we all know that states guided by religion are dangerous and undesirable.

By the way, even in Jefferson’s day, these backwoods wet dreams of how government should be were impossible. The Great Sage himself had no patience for those who opposed his policies as President, policies such his embargo of Britain which was quite nasty and hurtful to many, and he didn’t hesitate to be ruthless with the use of force against opponents.

People who see him as a benevolent figure, walking with feet barely touching the ground and spouting gems of wisdom about government, almost like lines of poetry, simply do not know the man. He was sneaky and ruthless in grasping for power and going after his enemies, but he also served as his own public relations or propaganda official with his writing providing a pleasant gloss for history.

It’s time to wake up and think about what you can do to make America a better place. That is a gigantic task, and I am not sure that it is even possible given the country’s ethics of imperialism and militarism, but private guns have no role to play in any case.

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