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A Well Regulated Militia...

Another response to A Well Regulated Militia...—on what I'd do if fascists took over the government:

>> Based on your obvious disdain for the Republican party, and what I perceive to be your belief that they are out to take care of the rich at the expense of the freedoms of the poor <<

My belief based on a well-documented history, yes.

>> may I ask what you would do in the event of Dubya declaring himself to be ruler no matter what? I mean, if the Republicans were willing to circumvent the Constitution to get him in the White House, can the suspension of free elections be far behind? <<

I think Bush* acted hypocritically by trying to stop the recounts rather than letting them proceed. I don't think he dictated or orchestrated the Supreme Court's final ruling. The five doofuses supported Bush* because they're conservative ideologues like him, but I don't think Bush* pulled their strings. (The real question is who, if anyone, pulls Bush's* strings.)

>> What would you do if the Republicans went fascist? <<

Take the civil rights marches of the '60s, multiply them by 10 or 100, and the fascist government would fall in a matter of days. For more recent examples of people vs. government, see the LA riots of '92, the WTO riots in Seattle last year, or the million-man and mom marches on Washington. Imagine if those million people marched with the express purpose of yanking Bush* out of office.

Don't bother talking about how people would wilt in the face of guns and tanks. Few soldiers or police officers would be willing to fire on their moms. More important, protesters wouldn't have to march on the White House to take control. They could quickly blockade the streets and airports...take down telecommunications equipment...hack into government computers...etc. And they'd have the worldwide support of every country, from Britain and Japan to our traditional enemies. The pressure on the Republicans to cave in would be enormous...overwhelming...unstoppable.

All that would happen without guns, just as the marches and riots I mentioned happened without guns. Sure, there'd be bloodshed, but there'd be more bloodshed in an armed firefight. With or without guns, a united populace could easily overthrow a sitting government. Guns wouldn't make the difference; resolve and determination would.

To quote a posting on my website: "Does nonviolence work? Of course. Look at the civil rights movement, Solidarity in Poland, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, People's Power in the Philippines."

Compare this to, say, China, since I'm sure that's on your mind. China has a couple of millennia of command-and-control authority over its people. The totalitarian infrastructure is a well-oiled machine. In contrast, Republicans would have almost no infrastructure to support their fascist takeover. The people who controlled the infrastructure would rise up against them.

As the Chinese people become more educated and cosmopolitan, they'll move against their masters. With the global economy, the Internet, and events such as the Beijing Olympics, it's bound to happen eventually. That's why I predict China will be a democracy—a dubious democracy like other Asian models, no doubt—before it attempts a world war.

Incidentally, I don't think Bush* wants a fascist takeover. He's no worse than a Reagan Lite. It's the Christian-capitalist fundamentalists who worry me. I don't know who their leaders are these days, but they tried hard to shut down the government (Gingrich) and remove a popular president (Hyde, et al.).

Bush* is a frat boy who has risen to his level of incompetence. He's a mirror who reflects his TelePrompter. Like Reagan, he's too bland and innocuous to lead a real revolution. He'll do like most Republicans do—line the pockets of his buddies—till we boot him out of office.

All clear? I'm sure you agree with my positions 100% and there's nothing to argue about. Right? <g>

*Elected by the Supreme Court, not by the voters.


The debate continues....
>> I think supporters of Gun Control are forgeting a basic fact. ALL govenrments will eventually become totalitarian. <<

Is that a fact, or an opinion?

If it does happen, is it because the government was armed and the populace wasn't, or because the rulers became rich, powerful, and corrupt by other means?

>> The first step is disarming the citizenry. <<

Bull. I haven't heard of any sword-control laws in ancient Egypt, Rome, or China. Catapult-control laws didn't keep the European kings or popes in power. Rather, they had huge, centralized mechanisms of state control at their beck and call. The best guarantee against that kind of power is the First Amendment, not the Second.

>> Whether that is the intention of a given law or not is irrelevent- take away the guns, and the State has the ability to impose injustice on the people with no chance of reply <<

As long as they can assemble and speak, they can and will reply.

>> An armed citizenry holds that first step at bay, and keeps pro-Republic demonstrations in Washington from becoming like the pro-Democracy demonstrations in China. <<

Spare me. The Chinese are lacking the whole panoply of human rights. If their rulers gave them every right in the Bill of Rights except the right to bear arms, the government would quickly fall. As it is, it's falling slowly.

>> If the guns are taken (and yes, i know that isn't the first step- first it's registration and restrictions on purchasing, and finally for the 'good of the people' confiscation) <<

R-i-ight. And once the Chinese have bought a few commercial properties in Panama, they'll sweep through Mexico and storm our border. Let's stick to the facts. Your paranoid delusions don't particularly interest me.

>> You don't trust them to take guns away, but as I see it, they eventually will, just through different means. <<

You can "see" all you want, but the public doesn't support "confiscation." Therefore, it won't happen.

>> Thomas Jefferson compared gun laws to trying to take back fire for fear that one might be burned. These laws effect only those who have neither the motivation or cause to commit a crime. <<

"In 1993, Congress passed the Brady law, which requires background checks to prohibit gun sales to criminals and others, including those with a history of mental illness. Since the law went into effect in February 1994, background checks have stopped more than 600,000 gun sales to prohibited purchasers. Research has shown that these background checks have saved thousands of lives."

>> Take the guns from the honest citizen and it is only a matter of time before we are all silenced. <<

Keep enriching the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us and it's only a matter of time before we're silenced. Concentration of power is a much bigger threat to the republic than gun control laws, yet you're abetting this threat by clamoring for tax cuts, deregulation, and other sops to the rich. If we studied ancient Rome, I think we'd find the funnelling of wealth and power to a small elite had everything to do with the empire's eventual collapse. We'd also find that sword-control laws had nothing to do with it.

>> Would you stop the internet because some publish kiddie porn? <<


>> Would you stop publishing books because some print bomb manuals? <<

No, but I might do something about those particular manuals.

>> Should we take all cars because of drunk drivers? <<

Nope, but we should continue requiring licensing, registration, and training.

You raise a good point, though you don't realize it. If the government confiscated our cars, it would effectively control us more than if it confiscated our guns. Yet you protest only gun control, not car control. Like other gun nuts, it seems you're on a holy crusade. If you were arguing rationally against government power, you'd spend a lot more time on deregulating electricity and cars and the media and a lot less on deregulating guns.

>> Should we eliminate the need for a search warrant because a criminal might get away? <<

No, and complain to your conservative buddies about that one. Conservatives are the prime advocates of increasing police powers such as warrantless searches. Liberals consistently try to limit police authority.

>> I've asked before- if the country goes to despots, what will you do? <<

I'd stump for their departure and perhaps march in the streets. I don't envision taking up a gun and trying to overthrow them by force. I don't think it would be necessary.

>> I'd like to think the fire you use to argue with me would be used on the side of liberty. Am I wrong? <<

"The pen is mightier than the sword."

I notice you had nothing to say about "The First Amendment also protects free speech, yet one cannot yell 'Fire' in a crowded theatre." Why aren't you concerned about the curtailing of your "right" to yell fire in a crowded theater? Isn't that the first step toward curtailing speech altogether? The parallels with gun controls are clear, yet you ignore the point. Why are reasonable limits okay in one case but a potential holocaust in the other?

As I said, you're not arguing rationally for your position. When you come out in favor of letting people yell fire in theaters or drive cars without licenses, let me know. Until then, you're stumping for your fanatical cause, not for reducing government power to safeguard freedom.


The dippy dictatorship theory
If democracies inevitably become dictatorships, where's the proof? Give me an example of any established democracy that's become a dictatorship in the last millennium. Good luck with your answer.

If your answer is the United Stated, you might as well give it up, since Americans have never been more free. Take any of our basic rights. We've never had more ways and means to express our freedom of speech without government interference. Non-Christian religions—like Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Native American religions, even Wicca and Satanism—have never been more protected from government interference. Since Miranda warnings became standard in the '60s, we've never been safer from illegal searches and seizures. "Cruel and unusual punishment" has never been interpreted more broadly, safeguarding people from unjust incarceration or execution. "Due process of law" has never been interpreted more broadly, safeguarding people from unfair inquality or discrimination.

No taxation without representation remains essentially unchanged. Trial by jury remains essentially unchanged. Writs of habeus corpus remain essentially unchanged. Etc., etc., etc. That more than covers all the rights Jefferson considered fundamental to democracy. (Sorry, the right to bear arms wasn't one of them. He explicitly listed what he considered the fundamental rights a couple of times and didn't include that one.)

A quick look at our British roots shows the folly of your claim. Roughly speaking, the British Isles' government power has evolved on a bell-shaped curve. It went from local chieftains before Christ to an absolute monarchy in the Middle Ages to the recent Thatcher/Blair era, which began dismantling the cumbersome state bureaucracy. British citizens haven't been this free since I don't know when—the time of King Alfred?

You can quibble with the details, but it's incontrovertible that Britain has transformed itself from a monarchy to a representative democracy. And it's incontrovertible that it's existed as a culture for 3,000 or more years, depending on when you pick the starting point. So when is it going to revert from democracy to dictatorship? In another 3,000 years? 5,000? 10,000? Give me a time frame that's even remotely plausible.

Let's face it: You can't begin to justify your silly claim. It's another slogan you've pulled from an NRA pamphlet, libertarian website, or back of a cereal box. Do some original thinking and list all the established, post-classic democracies that have reverted or soon will revert to dictatorship. But don't waste too much of your precious time, because I'll give you a clue: There aren't any.


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