One of the better rants I've read in a long time

Posted by David on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 at 9:55 AM.

It starts out like this, all linked and everything:

Fuck the South. Fuck 'em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they'd stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves - yeah, those are states we want to keep.

And now what do we get? We're the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment giving you the right to keep your assault weapons in the glove compartment because you didn't bother to read the first half of the fucking sentence? Who do you think those wig-wearing lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?

You really need to read the rest.

heather, on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 at 7:43 PM:

Yeah! Abso-fucking-lutely!

BlueNiner, on Thursday, November 11, 2004 at 9:45 PM:

Wow.... that was incredibly we'll written and articulate for an outright rant... of course with the changes in our country now some of you might begin to understand why I've always firmly believe that we NEED the right to keep and bear arms. Give it up if you think it won't make a difference, but I still belive it keeps some power brokers in check...

David Adam Edelstein, on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 6:59 AM:

Now now... that's exactly what the ranter (and the article from Mother Jones) is talking about. Nobody here is questioning the second half of that amendment; it's just that the NRA finds it convenient to ignore the first half of that amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."

If you hold the second half of the amendment as holy, it is disingenuous to pretend the first half doesn't exist.

Savannah, on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 7:44 AM:

Having a firearm might, if you're lucky, save your life from an intruder or stalker. (If you're not, you won't get to it in time and/or they'll just grab it and say "Hey thanks!") It will not offer you any real protection against the police or FBI or CIA should you happen to be confronted by them in a threatening situation. Has there *ever* been *any* case in which a fugitive won a stand-off or shootout with the police? Never. One individual with a firearm cannot stand against professionals with body armor, weapons of their own, the ability to call for backup from SWAT teams with helicopters that have infrared sensors and can coordinate with the cars and people on foot...I mean, forget it. That is why we all need to vote for bleeding-heart liberals who do not get massively hard at the thought of being in command of such force and fantasize about who they're going to use it against once Alberto "Forget Habeas Corpus And Torture The Hell Out Of 'Em" Gonzales's legislation gets passed.

BlueNiner, on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 9:21 AM:

The fact of the matter is that the controversy focuses on the 2nd half of the amendment. It's not that the first half of the amendment is being ignored its just that no one is really trying to repeal that one at the moment. There are two distinct ideas combined into one sentence. Both important and critical to the development of a free society. We should not lose either one. It's too bad that we can not see the origional draft as it's most likely they were two statements that were combined to get the count down to 10 amendments. I bet it made sence at the time and the writers never imagined what the twist of time would do.
The first half addresses the states rights to maintain a milita, most likely to protect the state from the federal government. The second half addresses the need for individual citizens to defend and protect themselves from both the state and the federal government. One should remeber that a majority of the 'freedom fighters', people who would be classified as terrorists in todays society, were simple farmers with guns. They came from oppressed, disarmed societies and wanted to make sure that no matter what they and their decendants atleast had a chance to band together and fight against an overwhelming force. I don't really know if it would work in the current society we've created for ourselves and I'm not sure losing the 2nd amendment formally will really make a difference at this point. I do believe retoric matters and that when it's all said and done the 2nd amendment is really the only thing the average citizen has to fall back on to enforce the other 9. It may be gone already, but when it goes formally then you are done and you might not believe it or understand it, but history will mark it as the end of America.
As for the 'giving up'/surrender argument, we'll I suppose it could be argued that one person has never made a difference against overwhelming force, but I happen to disagree. Violence is not always the best option or even a good option. Personally I've found many better solutions over the years, but ruling out violence without proper consideration is as foolish as jumping to it without consideration of other alternatives. Appeals to Ignorance are by definition fallacious arguments.

David Adam Edelstein, on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 9:35 AM:

The problem with your argument is that a militia specifically refers to your "simple farmers with guns". It doesn't mean the national guard, or an army, it means regular people who may be called upon to help the regular army defend the country.

Again, the NRA finds it convenient to talk about two entirely separate meanings, but it's a pretty fragile rhetorical construct.

Savannah, on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 12:04 PM:

Hmm, I thought "State" in the 2nd Amendment referred to the country as a whole. I don't interpret it as insurance for the other nine amendments, but as insurance against foreign attack (which, given the proximity of the British, French, Spanish, and unconquered Native American tribes to the shaky new nation, was a constant threat).

So I find it highly unlikely that "State" is supposed to be interpreted in the way BlueNiner described. Americans are not supposed to meet attempted oppression by their own government with force, but with recourse to law. That is why we *have* the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights doesn't *contain* insurance, the Bill of Rights *is* the insurance. Its clear attempt is to render anti-state violence *unnecessary* by creating an interlocking grid of absolute legal protections for all citizens. It enables us, if (god forbid) faced with wrongful arrest, to *avoid* a desperate attempt at self preservation by violence, but to take a deep breath, go forward, and say "It will be all right; they *can't* arrest me for having a copy of Das Kapital/Mein Kampf/How To Survive The Bush Years/The Story of O/Whatever; I can get a lawyer and we'll sort this out." That's what civil society is all about. And that's why the attacks on civil liberties by the Bushies are so scary.

In all of this, I agree: guns are a symbol. But if they could really help us be free or safe, believe me--the Bushies would be leading the charge to take them away. Like they took away our right to know if the police have searched our homes. The fact that the Bushies have done that, but have not bothered with our firearms, suggests to me that they consider firearms completely irrelevant to the exercize of our rights and freedoms--and that we should, too.

Derek, on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 at 8:29 AM:

I think one point we are forgetting about guns is they also have uses outside of home defense or holing up in your bunker while holding off the ATF and/or FBI. A lot of law-abiding citizens use guns for hunting. I have no problem banning handguns, since those are really only good for one thing - killing people, but we shouldn't tar shotguns or hunting rifles with the same brush. Or more specifically, let's not tar all gun owners with the same brush; some are anti-social whack jobs and some are just folks who enjoy hunting.

However, 'assault weapons' or any military-grade weapons (submachine guns, battle rifles, etc.) should be banned outright. There is no need for anyone to have an AK47 with a 30-round banana clip for home defense or otherwise. Anyone who claims that this sort of weapon is for home defense or hunting is an idiot. If you try and shoot an intruder with a military-grade round such as a 7.62mm or 5.56mm, for example, it will go through the intruder, through the next room and most likely out of the house (maybe hitting a casual bystander). Alternately, these guns are totally unsuited for hunting because they do not have the accuracy needed for hunting.