Do you think Trump’s a fascist?
Did you despise the Patriot Act?
Do you distrust the police and other government law enforcement?
Do you support Black Lives Matter?
Do you side or sympathize with with Antifa?
Do you believe The Handmaid’s Tale is a cautionary tale about a very possible future America?

If you answered or leaned “yes” to these questions, you probably identify as liberal or left-leaning. And, you probably support more stringent gun control laws, and perhaps even full prohibition/confiscation.

You probably also don’t see the incongruity in supporting the latter.

But, ask yourself – what do all those questions have in common?

Aren’t they all rooted in a distrust of government and its agents? Aren’t they all about standing against oppressive government?

Welcome to the Second Amendment.

You see, the Second Amendment is not about hunting, or self-defense, or sport shooting, or the Army or National Guard as the modern equivalent of a militia. It’s about an armed populace being far harder to oppress than a disarmed populace. All that other stuff was presumed so obvious as to not require a special protection in the Bill of Rights (it’s covered by the 9th Amendment, in case you were wondering, as are all sorts of other fundamental rights). The Second Amendment, as the opening clause explains, is about the People (you and me) securing a Free State. It was written by people who evicted a tyrannical government, who decided that the powers-that-be were so oppressive as to require a Revolution.

Are we at that stage, in this country? A few think so, but they’re on the fringe, and our electoral system still works and hasn’t (yet) been disrupted by a dictator or a military junta or a fascist or a despot. But, many think that our government today has overreached its authority, that the election of Donald Trump speaks of a dangerous rise in fascism or at least thuggishness, and the questions that open this essay make it clear that this isn’t merely a far-right, prepper/survivalist delusion.

So, why would you, as a Trump-hating, police-state-fearing liberal, want only the government to have guns? How does that make the slightest bit of sense? Do you think that, if all the guns in private hands go away, the fascists, the police thugs, the religious extremists, the privacy-invading autocrats and bureaucrats, and Trump himself will go away? Do you think that some liberal nirvana, where Obama 2.0 will rule benevolently and without a moment’s thought to oppression, will arise and remain in perpetuity? If so, you’re a fool. Socialists and communists killed more people than fascists did, by a large margin.

Or, perhaps you think that the notion of an armed populace standing up to the government and the military is ludicrous. You might want to contemplate our own Revolution, or the Afghans against the Soviets, or Castro and Guevara against the Batista government, or the Viet Cong against the French, or the People’s Liberation Army against Chiang Kai-Shek, or the Irish War of Independence, or countless other revolutions and insurgencies around the world and throughout history. Mind you, I’m neither advocating such action nor suggesting it’s warranted, nor am I siding with the brutal regimes that arose in some of those revolutions, but the notion that a populace, especially an armed one, cannot stand up to a government is clearly contrary to history. In fact, history’s most tyrannical governments made sure to disarm their subjects. Turkey prior to the Armenian Genocide, Russia in the 1920s, China and Germany in the 1930s, Cambodia in the 1950s, Guatemala in the 1960s, Uganda in the 1970s – all disarmed their citizens, all with dire consequences.

Is all this uncomfortable to think about? Is your desire to disarm the people about you feeling good, about doing something constructive in response to gun violence, about your feelings of unease around guns?

Take a moment, step away from your current opinions and beliefs, and think. If you fear Trump, if you fear jackbooted government and thuggish law enforcement, if you think that government is oppressive, then you have every reason to defend gun rights instead of trying to tear them down.

Sure, your like-minded friends might recoil in horror, but what do you prefer – running with the pack in the wrong direction, or being right?

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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