Dear Movement Conservatives of the Gun Culture,
Can we talk?
I know, I know, any moment now Obama's blue beret-wearing UN Socialist/Muslim/Illuminati/One-World Sekrit Army is coming for your own personl Arsenal-O'-Democracy, but this will only take a couple of minutes...
So I was on Facebook this morning when I came across the following gem:
When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they intended there to be a revolution every once in a while to keep the idiot scum politicians in line. That's why we will keep assault rifles and banana clips. The last revolution we had in the '60s was peaceful and although it cured some of their problems, it didn't really help the U.S. out in the long run."
This was in response to a new PPP survey that claims 37 percent of Mississippi Republicans would support the Confederate States of America in a Civil War mulligan. Personally, I think 63 percent of Mississippi Republicans were not being entirely honest in their responses...
That not withstanding, this commenter's take illustrates a central thesis informing much of the curent gun culture amongst Movement Conservatives: not only are they the last line of defense against whatever existential threat to the nation they perceive that day, foreign or domestic, from deep in their basement room in their parent's house, but also that the Founders actually intended this condition and specifically planned for this in our national charter.
In fact, if one actually takes the time to peruse the Federalist Papers, along with other writings by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, et al., I think you could make a strong argument that one of their organizing principles for a Constitutional Republic was an intense desire to create a nation where the European legacy of nearly 1,000 years of continual violent political turmoil since the fall of Rome would be finally consigned to the dustbin of history.
Madison, as one of the primary intellectual engineers of the Constitution, was nearly obsessed with the idea of preventing factionalism, and he devotes the bulk of his writing in the Federalist Papers to describing the dangers of living under a threat constant politically-inspired violence and why the Federalists' vision of a republic was the best way to prevent such a condition.
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. [...]
The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.
Madison -- Federalist No. 10
Madison's dedication to preventing the "instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils," caused by factionalism was an overriding consideration in the creation of a republican form of government.
Hamilton, ever the historian, uses Federalists 6 and 9 (and to a lesser extent 29) to discuss the various failures of European states that had not turned away from violent factionalism and sought something better than depending on arms to determine the direction of government.
A FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy."
Hamilton -- Federalist No. 9
The common thread running through many of these commentaries is that any republic founded on the notion that it's safety and stability is dependent on the threat of armed violence from disatissfied citizens is doomed from the start.
So, I am sorry Conservative Gun Culture, but the Founders, even while they did favor private firearm ownership, did not neccessarily contemplate socially crippled gun-humpers as being vital to the security and political survival of the nation. It is, as the actual record shows, quite the opposite.
Whether anyone likes it or not, at this point private ownership of firearms is more-or-less settled law. So relax, neither Obama or the UN are coming for your smoke-wagons...
You want your AR-15 with banana clips? Fine. You wanna run around the woods playing Army Manz until mom calls you in for dinner? Knock yourself out. But remember, those gun rights come with responsibilities as well, and frankly you have not handled those responsibilities very well... If you make anyone's everyday life more dangerous or more of a hassle than it already has to be due to your firearm fetish, well, that's on you. That, too, is pretty well settled law...
So while you have the right to your guns, just know that the Founders, particularly Madison, Hamilton and Jay saw you as the problem, not the solution.