The need for firearms is like the need for free speech. You need them the most when someone is trying to take them from you.*

* See also something similar I wrote in 1995 near the bottom of this post.


7 thoughts on “Need

  1. This is kind of in-line with something I saw on Facebook the other day. Somebody was arguing that the reason we claim that we need the second amendment has never happened (i.e. protection from the government). Although I disagree with this and we could point to instances in our history where people did need arms to protect themselves from our government (native Americans, African Americans, people of Japanese decent during WWII, but even excluding that and pretending that we never needed it to protect ourselves against the government, maybe we haven’t needed it because we had it. That alone validates it’s existence. And persecuted minorities in this country really drive the point home.

    • The main reason we need the Second Amendment is ALWAYS in play:

      “The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.” – (former) 9th Circuit Court Judge Alex Kozinski

      • “where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees.”

        Far from being “exceptionally rare”, that’s actually quite common in the world.

    • I always keep fire extinguishers in my house. My house has never burnt down, therefore I have no need for fire extinguishers, therefore I’m stupid for having them.

      I always wear seat belts while driving. I’ve never died in a car crash, therefore I have no need for seat belts, therefore I’m stupid for wearing them.

      Anyway, two examples of actual use of arms by civilians to repel government abuse come immediately to mind;

      Battle of Athens, TN.
      Citizen peace-keeping forces prevented the Bundy ranch in Nevada from becoming another Ruby Ridge.

      I’m sure there have been others.

      Also, genocides tend to happen to disarmed populations.
      The idea that “it couldn’t happen here”, to the extent that it may be true, is true because we are an armed society.

      The idea that “you don’t need a gun”, to the extent that it may be true, is often true because of the very fact that we have guns.

      As John R. Lott Jr. Pointed out, we gun owners are proving a public service, at no cost to the taxpayer, of deterrence against crime. No donut some would howl in protest at such a claim, but the claim has good standing, and those who seek to disarm the population, are, whether they know it or not, advocating crime. They’re trying to create a monopoly on the use of guns, reserved exclusively for law-breakers.

  2. It’s been a few years since I read it, but a good book connected to this topic is Tonso: “The gun culture and its enemies”. One of the chapters is written by a guy who traveled all around the south as a civil rights activist in the 1960s. He documents in quite a lot of detail the fact that their work was only possible because they were armed. And of course we know that they could only be armed because of the 2nd Amendment (with help from the 14th, though that should not have been necessary given the plain words of the 2nd). The enemy of liberty in that case was, at least in part, the local government.
    There is of course an even more obvious example, though it predates the creation of the 2nd Amendment: the “shot heard around the world”.

  3. Wingnuts kill people by the dozen, governments kill them by the million.

    • Yes, and in general they disarm their intended victims as the first step. Certainly Hitler and Stalin did.

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