Using the Theater of Fear to Pass Unjust Laws
January 9th, 2013
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by Brandon Turbeville
In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut shootings, it is both unfortunate and predictable that the media-induced hysteria would be followed by a massive assault against gun rights in the United States.
In the subsequent campaign of fear and hysteria promoted by the mainstream media and elected officials, gun owners and gun rights activists have responded in a variety of ways. From public statements and debates, to lobbying, and simple outreach to those who misunderstand gun nomenclature or actual gun crime statistics, gun rights supporters have frantically tried to use all means at their disposal to have their message heard.
Also predictably, the anti-gun crowd promoters such asÂ Piers Morgan,Â Dianne Feinstein, and a host of others have largely responded with vitriol, ad-hominem attacks, and factually inaccurate arguments.
Indeed, when analyzing the debate between the two sides, it is virtually impossible to give even marginal credence to the anti-gun argument in terms of a legitimate argument. As one who considers himself capable of examining an opinion in opposition to my own with reasonable objectivity in order to determine the merit of the opinion I held when I came to the table, I can honestly say that rarely has there been a debate in which one set of participants were so clearly wrong and off the mark.
In fact, the current gun â€śdebateâ€ť bears a stark resemblance to the debate surrounding the passage of the PATRIOT ACT shortly after 9/11. Then, as now, a sizable portion of the population had been terrified by an event of a questionable nature into enthusiastically surrendering their freedom for a perception of security. Then, as now, anecdotes of Hitlerâ€™s Germany, Stalinâ€™s USSR, and MAOâ€™s China were ineffective in staving off the mad rush toward a police/surveillance state. Then, as now, logic and reason were shunned in favor of the fear that drove the population forward into even greater bondage.
That fear still drives the American people headlong into a state of scientific dictatorship fueled by a philosophy older than all the worldâ€™s established religions and enforced by a steroid infused aggression and brute force that has existed for just as long.
Today, just as after 9/11, it remains virtually impossible to reach any individual who has made up his mind to be afraid and who has become personally and emotionally invested in a political opinion that he subconsciously sees as providing him with some level of social cohesion.
This is not to say, however, that we should simply give up on those who surround us and who do not share our opinion on guns or self-defense. Many are reachable, of course, and we should continue to reach out to them. We should never throw up our hands and retreat to the comfort of social groups made up only of people who believe and feel the same way as we do.
Still, we cannot and must not negotiate our rights with anyone.
Thus, we must also continue to push not only for a strong defense of our current gun rights as they exist, but an offense of repealing any and all gun laws within the United States. We must not be content to sit and watch the debate from a distance or retreat to our remote secluded areas in an attempt to avoid the fallout. We must immediately engage ourselves in the fight.
Never has a battle been won by an armchair warrior.
Indeed, silent support is not needed.
Opinions are valueless. Coordinated action is the only effective option.
Yet, with the track record of the U.S. Government and our pathetic excuses for elected officials in mind, it is an unfortunate reality that we may very well have to consider the act of civil disobedience this time around. Time and time again, our government has demonstrated that the civil liberties and Constitutional rights of its citizens are not so much an afterthought but an unguarded target.
For this reason,Â as I have argued in other articles, it is important for gun owners, gun rights activists, and gun activist organizations as well as gun dealers, gunsmiths, and manufacturers to join together in a coalition that allows them to retain their independence but exhibit a united front. The united front, of course, should be spearheaded by a set of demands and a program that can be agreed upon amongst these various individuals and institutions. In essence, a gun rights coalition that is uncompromising in its stance must be formed along the model of the Greek Syriza Party as I have described in my article entitled, “It’s Time For The Aware To Take Action.”
Regardless, with the disarmament agenda of governments and corporations in clear view, we must also be prepared to resist such oppression in a more directly noncompliant fashion. Merely depending upon lawmakers, judicial process, and the reason of government is not enough. Neither is tough talk on Facebook and other Internet forums if that tough spirit disappears at the first sight of adversity.
After all, there has been anÂ assault weapons banÂ before. Various larger U.S. cities themselves have passed and enforced quiteÂ draconian gun controlÂ measures which are clearly in direct contradiction to the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, there was no widespread resistance was encountered because of the local or regional borders of the laws. There was no mass opposition movement. No coordinated political action. No real civil disobedience to speak of. Only a handful of tireless activists who were able to reverse a handful of horrific laws and policies through the legal process at a high cost to their personal fortunes.
In the midst of all these battles, gun rights proponents have often tried fruitlessly to reason with the anti-gun side of the aisle, doing their best to explain the true statistics of gun violence (which are actually irrelevant at the base level), historical anecdotes and comparisons, and even basic facts regarding the guns themselves to a growing portion of the population which has become increasingly connected to a fictitious world of television, trendiness, fear, and entertainment and disconnected from self-reliance, self-defense, courage, and reality.
Almost inevitability in every argument, the same terminology continues to creep into the discussion regarding â€ślaw-abiding citizensâ€ť becoming disarmed while â€ścriminalsâ€ť are able to access whatever weapons necessary for their ends.
Yet while the arguments are themselves correct, these arguments eventually force the question to be asked, â€śIf guns become illegal, should we continue to be law abiding citizens?â€ť
At what point does the designation of â€ślaw-abidingâ€ť become a liability more than an asset?
With Americaâ€™s own history of civil rights struggles in view, one must ask the question that has been famously asked before so many times in American and world history by a people or an individual who so desires his freedom and dignity that he is willing to give his life for it â€“ â€śIf this law is unjust or immoral, do I not have a duty to disobey it?â€ť
Indeed, one does not have to look far in any direction to find an endless example of just such laws. Whether one chooses to look at the most popularly understood case of immoral statutes in Nazi Germany, where laws stipulated that if an individual were to hide a Jew in his house, whose only crime was being Jewish, then that individual himself was a criminal and one who could and would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Perhaps one could also take a look atÂ Maoâ€™s China, where laws and â€ślegalâ€ť decrees ordered the forced labor and relocation, torture, and execution of tens of millions of people.
Or one could look at the Soviet Union which had â€ślegallyâ€ť binding codes of law that allowed for the incarceration of millions of political dissidents and those who simply spoke out against the state or opposed some injustice to be rounded up into concentration camps and psychiatric wards.
Were the citizens of these nations who snitched on their fellow citizens, condemning them to a life or death of torment, somehow given a moral pass simply because they were law-abiding?
At the end of the day, who does history judge as just and moral, the coward who alerted the secret police to a potential dissident or the man, who himself was terrified for his own well-being, made the decision that he would do the right thing, even if it cost him his life and provide an attic space for a helpless victim of his government to hide in?
Even the United States itself has no shortage of laws that have existed as an affront to basic humanity. Whether these laws be those which legalized slavery or those which stated that one man could eat at a lunch counter and one could not simply because of the color of his skin.
Let it not be forgotten that, for some time, the laws supporting slavery were once upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, a fact which should remind every citizen that resting safely on the assumption that politically appointed worker bees of the oligarchy are not the end of the discussion when basic rights are in question.
Indeed, it was Martin Luther King Jr., who was imprisoned on many different occasions for his disobedience to unjust legal decrees, who put to words the concept and questions I have mentioned above and which men and women have been asking for all recorded history, albeit largely in the wilderness of the mind and spirit.
â€śAny law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust,â€ť he wrote. . . . â€śOne has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.â€ť
As King discovered, it also true that almost every man who at some point in his life has decided that his freedom and dignity are worth more than his perceived security or his expected custom eventually finds himself locked inside a cell. Any man that comes to the realization that his humanity is worth more than anything provided by his continued silence inevitably puts himself at direct odds with his government and, unfortunately, many of his fellows.
As H.L. Mencken once stated, â€śThe most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.â€ť
Thus, it is for this reason that some of the kindest, most gentle, and thoughtful people among us are often crammed into cells along with the worst. It is for this reason that these individuals, who desire nothing more than to provide for themselves and their families and to live their lives with basic freedom and dignity are hounded by the state and its thugs, often receiving derision from those that they wish to free in the process.
Unfortunately, there is coming a time when many of us will be faced with an unpleasant decision â€“ obey an unjust law and continue to be â€ślaw-abidingâ€ť or disobey the law, stand for our freedom and dignity, and face the consequences of that decision.
There is coming a time when laws will be passed against our wishes and against our unalienable rights, where we are forced to decide whether or not we will concede yet again or whether we will stand firm and let the chips fall where they may.
Indeed, there may come a time when our government passes laws, whether they be incremental or sudden in nature, where it demands that we disarm or submit to disarmament. If this becomes the case, then we must echoÂ the words, not without some sense of irony, of a man who took part in the slaughter and dislocation of so many in his own right, â€śThey have made their decision. Now let them enforce it.â€ť
While nothing in this article should ever be construed as suggesting, promoting, or desiring violent action or, indeed, confrontation of any nature, this article does condone the defense of our basic human rights and freedoms by any means necessary.
Violence in the absence of the overwhelming need of self-defense is never just. Nor does it yield the results that its initiators intended.
Still, it is not incumbent upon a people whose rights are being taken away to sit idly by as they are gradually dismantled from under them. The guilt of the results of violence rests on the shoulders of the aggressor.
Thus, if those in the halls of government decide to outlaw guns, then perhaps the American people should decide to become outlaws.
Read other articles byÂ Brandon Turbeville here.Â
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books,Â Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom,Â 7 Real Conspiracies, andÂ Five Sense SolutionsÂ andÂ Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over 190 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST atÂ UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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