A fascinating essay that begins with coyotes on the prowl and explores along the way the nature of statism and statists:
To use lethal force in self-defense is the ultimate declaration of independence, a kind of momentary secession from the authority of the government whose laws and prisons and police officers have, in that moment, failed the citizen. To acknowledge the right to self-defense — and the concomitant right to be forearmed against aggressors — is to acknowledge that some things are outside the state and its authority, or at least that some moments are outside the state and its authority.
The horror that progressives feel for gun owners is in many ways like the horror they feel for homeschoolers, whom they recognize, correctly, as one of the few truly radical movements in America.
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You will not be surprised to read her lamenting a “constitutional culture” dominated by “militias, gun collectors, and ideologues constructing, with little help from courts and no resistance from liberals, an individual Right to Bear Arms.” She connects this Second Amendment horror to other challenges to unlimited state supremacy — the anti-tax movement and citizen border patrols — and, like David Ignatius, she cites Hobbes, framing the debate as Leviathan vs. anarchy, leaving no room for well-ordered liberty under constitutionally limited government: If those rubes out on the tarps can fill the young skulls of their plenteous broods with any old rubbish, without the least privity or countenance of authority, then they're bound to get funny ideas about guns and taxes and illegal immigrants. And they are bound to chafe at having their lives run by Georgetown law professors.
Just as state schooling is not about education, but about the state, gun control is not about guns: It's about control. A citizen who can fend for himself when the predators come or the schools fail is less inclined to look to the state for sustenance and oversight in other areas of life. To progressives, that's an invitation to anarchy. To the men who wrote the Second Amendment, it was a condition of citizenship in a free republic. It's what free men did, and do.
Those of us with even a hint of libertarianism get this false either-or thrown at us all the time -- "the debate as Leviathan vs. anarchy, leaving no room for well-ordered liberty under constitutionally limited government:" -- but it usually isn't put quite that cleanly or honestly. Our commitment to limited government is exaggerated -- if we belive in fewer laws, that must mean we're against all laws! -- while their devotion to total government is downplayed and minimized. They just want reasonable controls to improve the human condition, you know, and we want to send everybody back the caves to fend for themselves. Y