Quis custodiet ipsos custode?

Or, "Who Watches The Watchmen?"

The most common refrain from the hoplophobes is that the citizenry do not need guns, because the police can protect them.

Tell that to the folks of Bloomington, Illinois, where a police sergeant has been engaging in a rape and robbery spree. (Or tell it to the victims of the cops in NYC who moonlighted as hit men for the mob, or those jailed in LA due to cops planting drugs, or...)

"But, surely, such events are rare!"

Yes, they are -- but not rare enough that we can say only cops should have guns. It must be noted that misuse of guns by civilians, relative to the number of guns extant in America, are also rare. Accidental deaths by gun are on par with drowning in backyard pools. This...ah..inconvenient truth does not deter the gun grabbers.

Only an armed society can keep control over an armed government. A law and a ballot are both the same thing -- a piece of paper covering a gun. If you take away the gun from behind the ballot, you have no defense against the gun behind the law -- and pretty soon, the law itself vanishes, and that is left is the gun.

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  1. Zachary Drake says:

    Well Lizard, I must object to some of your argument here. I agree that people should be able to have guns for self-defense. The police cannot be everywhere all the time, and people have a right to be able to defend themselves.

    But your argument that people should be allowed to have guns to protect themselves from the government is somewhat silly, I think. The idea that one could fend off the power of the government with a personal firearm, or collection firearms, is absurd. The government has at its disposal police forces, SWAT teams, army battalions, helicopter gunships, Abrams tanks, aircraft carriers, and hydrogen bombs. If the government wants to get you physically, it will get you. If you're worried about fending off the government, hire a lawyer, form a PAC, start an activist group, or get rich and famous. I don't think buying a gun ever helped get the IRS off anyone's back or helped them avoid an unjust conviction.

    Perhaps in the "old west days" or something you really could fend off the law with a rifle and six-shooter. But these days all you could do is make it slightly more troublesome for the government to get you, or maybe take a few cops down before the sniper hits you.

    So unless you are suggesting that individual citizens should possess weapons of such magnitude that they are actually capable of keeping "control over an armed government", (or you suggest that the US should disarm itself to the point where a personal firearm could fend it off) I don't see how this part of your argument can work.

  2. Robert Mueller says:

    No, of course a single man can't stop the government of his country. But it's not about only one guy and his lone fight against "The Law"; it's about providing an entire populace with the tools to stage an armed revolution.

    It's a lot to swallow. However, when you sit down and ponder it, the threat of force is the only thing that has been reliable in keeping other people off your back. I certainly wish to never see things come down to that, but it's not like we don't have plenty of examples of governments turning against their people. Civil wars can and have happened.

    Should people buy guns with the express desire to fight off the Stormtroopers? Probably not. But gun ownership is important in this context, and advocates of gun control should be aware that this is no laughing matter.

  3. Zachary Drake says:

    OK, if the argument is that society as a whole should be armed, it's a bit more plausible an argument. But as War Nerd says, any plan that includes the item "and then the people rise up and join us" is not a very good plan. Many Americans don't even bother to vote, so I'm not counting on them to mount an armed insurrection should the government violate individual rights too much. Right now a large segment of the population seems all too eager to hurl their civil rights into the lap of Dear Leader Bush (and whoever comes next, though I doubt they're thinking that far ahead). I feel it's far more likely that they'd use their firearms to kill me for being a traitorous atheist blogger than come to my defense becasue the government is violating my rights.

    (Which would be a good argument for me to get a firearm, I guess. I still feel that the individual defense argument is a lot more persuasive than the "let's be able to violently overthrow the government" angle. I'd rather have a sympathetic reporter or a good lawyer when taking on the government.)

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