Some of you may remember my last piece on Josh "El Guapo" Horwitz and Casey "El Jefe" Anderson's theory that the people should not have enough firearms to seriously challenge the government, "Monopoly (or, Slouching toward 'nut cuttin' time')" on Chris Horton's Mindful Musings blog, 11 May 2008. I was reminded of this by Kurt "45 superman" Hoffman's email to me below, which informed me that El Guapo amd El Jefe are mounting up to ride again, seeking to plunder our natural and God-given right to arms.
I was knocking around Chris Horton's place last evening, and stumbled upon your "Monopoly (or, Slouching toward 'nut cuttin' time')" piece. I had read it before, but have yet to come across anything of yours not worthy of a second reading--so I read it again. In it, you refer to the CSGV's Josh Horwitz, and the book he was working on, which at the time was supposed to come out some time last year, under the title Freedom Under Fire, examining the relationship between guns and democracy. Now it seems that the release date has been pushed back to May 28th of this year, and that the title has been changed to Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea (and "El Jefe," Casey Anderson, is being credited as co-author). Here's Amazon's description (excerpt):
The NRA steadfastly maintains that the 30,000 gun-related deaths and 300,000 assaults with firearms in the United States every year are a small price to pay to guarantee freedom. As former NRA President Charlton Heston put it, "freedom isn't free."
And when gun enthusiasts talk about Constitutional liberties guaranteed by the Second Amendment, they are referring to freedom in a general sense, but they also have something more specific in mind---freedom from government oppression. They argue that the only way to keep federal authority in check is to arm individual citizens who can, if necessary, defend themselves from an aggressive government.
In the past decade, this view of the proper relationship between government and individual rights and the insistence on a role for private violence in a democracy has been co-opted by the conservative movement. As a result, it has spread beyond extreme "militia" groups to influence state and national policy.
In Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea, Josh Horwitz and Casey Anderson reveal that the proponents of this view base their argument on a deliberate misreading of history. The Insurrectionist myth has been forged by twisting the facts of the American Revolution and the founding of the United States, the denial of civil rights to African-Americans after the Civil War, and the rise of the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. Here, Horwitz and Anderson set the record straight. Then, challenging the proposition that more guns equal more freedom, they expose Insurrectionism---not government oppression---as the true threat to freedom in the U.S. today.
It occurs to me that one of the "Pragmatics'" objection to the "3pers" is that all of us who talk about such things are full of shit and internet bravado, and that no one takes the idea of armed resistance to the U.S. government seriously. It seems to me that someone clearly takes it seriously enough to consider it a real threat to "Democracy."
Just struck me as interesting--hope it's not a waste of your time.
By the way, speaking of books--I can't remember where I saw you mention Robert Churchill's To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face: Libertarian Political Violence and the Origins of the Militia Movement, but that sounds like a book I'll need to buy when it comes out. As for Horwitz's book, I'll be damned if I send him any money, but I am curious enough about what he has to say about us bad old insurrectionists that I'll have to see if my local library can get the book when it comes out.
Kurt "45superman" Hofmann
The article that originally drew my attention to El Guapo and El Jefe was published at The Huffington Post on 6 May 2008, and it advanced the theory first expressed by their fellow bandido of gun control, CSGV's Ladd Everitt:
“The government must have a monopoly on force.”
El Guapo and Jefe were concerned that the then undecided Heller case might overturn their gun control cart for good and all. Scratch a liberal, get a fascist:
In its decision, the Court of Appeals asserted a broad range of purposes for the Second Amendment, including hunting, self-defense and, most notably, to defend against the "depredations of a tyrannical government." After the ruling was successfully appealed to the Supreme Court by the District of Columbia, the National Rifle Association made a similar argument in their brief to the Court, affirming that the "very existence of an armed citizenry will tend to discourage would-be tyrants from attempting to use paid troops to 'pacify' the populace." Such "insurrectionist" philosophy is common among a small but vocal group of gun rights supporters. Insurrectionists assert that unrestricted access to guns of every kind is an essential element of freedom. Government is seen as a likely enemy, and gun regulation is viewed as a plot to monitor gun ownership and, ultimately, to confiscate all private firearms. If this insurrectionist logic were to be embraced by the Supreme Court, however, our democracy would be severely degraded.
As I observed in "Monopoly, "Ah, democracy, sweet democracy. El Guapo and Jefe are right you know. Democracy IS 'severely degraded' by constitutional restrictions. AND THAT'S JUST THE WAY THE FOUNDERS WANTED IT."
So now we are going to have a book length treatment of why the government must have a "monopoly of force." And it will arrive, presumably, just in time to serve as an intellectual predicate for the Obamanoids' latest gun control bills.
You know, Bill Clinton's rules of engagement for the Serbs are looking more attractive by the minute. El Guapo and Jefe, meet the final shootout of The Magnificent Seven.
And you thought this was a comedy?