Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Ok, now this is a little worrisome … guns at a pro health care reform rally? What’s up with that?

with 11 comments

protester

I’m assuming everyone in the country has now heard of people bringing guns to recent political events. Granted every pundit in the country has weighed in on this, but I’ve never let that stop me before. I’m not as excitable as some, guns sure do get people riled up.  It’s not clear whether these peeps with guns are spontaneous or organized, or both possibly. So my comments are predicated on that basis.

There’s a few problems I have with this gun toting business. The first seems the most obvious to me. No matter what anyone says about this, bringing guns to a political event is not some neutral commentary. You don’t need a gun at a debate, so if you choose to bring one, this is clearly on some level meant to intimidate the other side of the debate. The right has gone from flag waving to gun waving? If this is a trend, it isn’t a good thing in my opinion.

The rationalization given for these firearm displays is a bit unnerving as well. They claim it’s about gun rights and the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. The problem I with that is pretty simple, this issue was settled last year. The Supreme court ruled that the Second Amendment most definitely means that individuals have the right to own and possess a gun. Gun laws across the country were struck down, and the rights of gun owners are more secure than they have ever been. So, why now are they feeling all threatened? With that in mind, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this is intended as intimidation, not defence.

Lastly I’m a little concerned about the muted response to this. Maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m pretty sure if armed Black Panthers or immigrant’s rights groups or PETA members were showing up at events, the media and public response would be far less muted. In fact, some people would be going ape. Yet because it’s good-old-boys, the media seems to be handling it very gently. And the Secret Service, which zealously caged protesters in “Free Speech zones” during the Bush administration, isn’t even skipping  a beat. Hmm.

In any event, it’s certain an odd development. I hope it’s not the wave of the future. The country is way too militarized and militant as it is in my opinion. And more importantly, people don’t brandish guns unless they are angry and confrontational. And sadly a lot of modern American politics seems to be angry and confrontational, with no room for debate or compromise.

Speaking of politics, I’m a little dismayed by the Obama scene at this point. So far his term has been characterized by a massive bailout for the rich, an escalation of the war and America’s military spending, and a wishy-washy health reform package that seems designed to fail in some ways. Not looking good. Not looking terribly liberal either. And I read an interesting article that pointed out that in Washington, it’s all about connections and calling in favours. And Obama has few, if any, of those in his quiver. So we may be seeing something akin to the Carter administration, where a relative newcomer to the scene finds all his initiatives paralysed by subtle lack of cooperation among the political elite in Washington.  In this way the whole rancid corrupt structure defends itself from any input of new ideas, let alone reform. Maybe Obama genuinely wanted to change things in Washington, but it’s sure seeming to me that his options for real change are extremely constrained, and getting more so all the time.

Granted I’ve always maintained that the President of the USA was in some ways the least free person on the planet. Sure, he’s got seemingly unlimited power and prestige at his disposal. On the other hand, that is balanced by the fact that every single person on the planet is going to have expectations of him. And a lot of those people are very very powerful and spend a lot of time making sure that people live up to their expectations. Or else.

Which kinda gets us back to the beginning, we now have gun toting civilians showing up at presidential venues. And these folks are not there because they support the president, that at least seems clear. What happens when the expectations of a gun toting person are thwarted? Do I even want to know? If I was president Obama, maybe I’d be a little concerned about these guys. I’d be especially concerned about who was behind this, if in fact this is driven by people behind the scenes. And there was some evidence of that in the Arizona scene pictured above. Did a radio station arrange this simply for publicity, or was there another finger in the pie so to speak? And if there is a subtle unstated message from powerful interests with these gun-toters, is it aimed at the President, or the rest of us?

Fascism happens when the captains of industry and the extreme right in a  country decide to work together, and I can’t help but wonder if a failed economy and a “liberal” president might be the catalysts that that  finally makes fascism precipitate out of solution in America, so to speak. For the first time, I am actually a little scared. No need to flee yet, I think we’ve got a few more years to go before the FEMA camps start getting filled, but Amerika Über Alles could be happening. I’ll speculate more on these lines soon.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it’s arguably an historically important image, and in this universe and any conceivable alternate universe, its use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Copyright: AP Photo.  It’s a guy named Chris legally carrying an AR-15 rifle to a pro health care reform rally in Arizona. I’m not reassured when he was asked  if he thought the “solution may be some sort of violent revolution,” … Chris said “I believe that may unfortunately have to be the way,” Sounds like a threat to me.)

Written by unitedcats

August 19, 2009 at 10:56 am

Posted in Politics, Propaganda

11 Responses

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  1. […] Doug writes today about guns showing up at health care rallies and imagines, what if, instead of good ol’ boys, it was, say the Black Panthers … Oh my. Can you fucking imagine. A row of uniformed (black leather jackets and cool berets, as I recall) angry, young and solemn African-American men carrying fucking guns. […]

  2. As an American, I am deeply disturbed by some of the things going on in my country. And, by far, the most distressing is how the majority seems so oblivious to the big picture developing before our eyes.

    From a political standpoint, I guess that I’m more closely aligned with the Libertarians than with any of the rest. But I prefer to maintain my independence. Being an independent, free thinker is, however, becoming more of a risky proposition by the day.

    The sad vision of the future America I see is one divided into a multitude of fortress-like encampments that accept only a very narrow range of opinions and behaviors from those allowed inside – everyone else be damned.

    I agree that it won’t happen overnight, but once it has happened everyone will wonder at how it came to be that way.

    So much for America being “the leaders of the free world.” What a sad ending to such a wonderful dream.

    izaakmak

    August 19, 2009 at 6:28 pm

  3. Using a gun as political speech is precisely the image of totalitarianism.

    Mike Goldman

    August 20, 2009 at 12:18 am

  4. There is always the possibility of the Agent Provocateur..

    ET

    August 20, 2009 at 9:42 am

  5. Balkanization is on the horizon.

    ET

    August 20, 2009 at 9:43 am

  6. I see no difference between citizens and police carrying guns. The media doesn’t make news out the police and feds are carrying guns. It a normal thing. The reporting on this is trying to make out like citizens openly carrying guns isn’t normal.

    Mike

    August 21, 2009 at 11:48 am

  7. I have to admit that sometimes I think that, if we were all visibly packing a gun, then perhaps the thugs would find another line of work. But then again, that didn’t do much to stop the thugs in the old west did it?

    izaakmak

    August 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

  8. Even more worrisome to me is the easy with which the most egregious lies about “socialized medicine” are accepted as truth.

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

    Yeats, William Butler

    Dorothy Kahn

    August 23, 2009 at 6:02 am

  9. Just a comment about the whole health care issue that pisses me off: So far the most legit reason I’ve heard of why not to have universal health care is so immigrants don’t also get it, but if (like any good American) you have your values set straight, you would realize that it’s better to save the life of one American while 10 immigrants also, than lose that American. I’m just glad I don’t have an idiot running my damn country that I’m fighting for anymore. Obama’s plans for our economy, despite conservatives attempts to derail for the benefit of the next election, are nonetheless working within about half a year. Sorry for my little tirade there but I’m fed up with idiots and i don’t want them running my damn country. I really am.

    Andrew Ruffin

    August 30, 2009 at 11:45 pm

  10. You would have never survived the old west!

    John

    September 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

  11. If there is one undeniable way in which “the good old days” were better, it was because it so much harder for stupid people to stay alive. The environmentalists are always complaining about our “interfering” with nature. What could be worse than a species acting to protect and promote its own worst enemy.

    izaakmak

    September 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm


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