The greatest fear of a genuine conservative is government inflicting too much power on society. The greatest fear of a genuine liberal is that government lacks the size and power to govern society.
Hold those thoughts. We’ll come back to them.
There are a lot of reasons to distrust government. The least of them is that nothing guarantees it will ever be able to help you when you need it.
It’s happened. Katrina, of course, was a debacle. Before that? It took only a videotaped beating and an unpopular “innocent” verdict to turn one of our major cities into a war zone – one from which government withdrew, leaving the citizens to the mercy of the mob and to their own devices.
And the most inspiring scene from that entire miserable episode was that of Korean shop owners, armed with their own rifles and shotguns, patrolling their storefronts and rooflines, bringing order to anarchy. As stores burned all around them, they and their property remained safe – because when government couldn’t safeguard them, they did it for themselves.
I saw that, and I damn near cried. It was beautiful – the silhouette of an American citizen with a rifle, doing what big, stupid government can’t, drawing the metaphorical line in the sand and saying “You, evil, shall not pass”, and facing down the mob, and on their little corner or in front of their little store, winning.
They were the militia.
Not the idiot nutslaps in Michigan who are serving as the media and left’s current boogeymen on the subject.
Indeed, we all are. That’s the law. The Second Amendment says so – boiled down to 21st century parlance, it says “since freedom needs to be defended, the people shall have the right to own guns, and use them”. Heller declared that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” means “you and me, the law-abiding citizens”. God willing, McDonald will say “and it means the same thing in ever corner, nook and cranny of the union”. It is the duty of every law-abiding citizen who pays more than lip service to liberty to own a gun and be proficient with it.
Now, go back to that first section. The great difference between liberals and conservatives is the question “who’s in charge”.
Last year during the Tea Parties, much of the media and about half the nation got the victorian vapours over a few reports that Tea Partiers had brought firearms to the rallies. And it was instructive to see peoples’ reactions to the news that nobody got arrested, because in the jurisdictions involved, it was perfectly legal.
About half the country rolled their heads in horror; “what if someone had shot somebody?” Some even suggested that the possibility that one of these law-abiding armed citizens would step out of line was cause to restict the Second Amendment.
The other half went “Well, duh!”. They know that the law-abiding citizen is a law-abiding citizen, whether he’s carrying a wrist rocket or an M14 or a flamethrower for that matter. Our rights, they know, front and center in the heart of their soul, are not dependent on what our dumbest neighbors might do!.
To the liberal, a citizen who believes society is a free association of equals who consent to be governed, and who believe that consent must be earned, and who arms himself to reinforce the point, is threatening; “who governs him?”, the liberal asks. The conservative responds “Unless I’ve actually broken a law? I do!”. That defies the liberal’s vision for what “society” is.