from the very beginning, let me be clear, I do not approve of police shootings. Not when police shoot suspects that could be restrained, not when citizens shoot police officers in rage or revenge.
Having said that, I would now like to address the elephant in the room. The second amendment of the constitution of the United States.
That criminal element that is arising in America is enacting the very actions that the second amendment is being promoted as meaning.
While none of us can say with absolute certainty what the founding fathers intended with this amendment, the most reasonable and well thought out intent was to have a military force available to a fledgling nation that had no standing army at the time.
It was most likely written with the intent of protecting the new nation from external threats, and perhaps in thise early days when tempers still ran hot over loyalty to nation or crown, to protect against the rise of a counter revolution. Under no circumstances do I believe the founding fathers included a clause designed to threaten the existence of the republic and the government that represented it, but today, that seems to be the accepted meaning of the amendment.
The idea that you need to have guns to protect yourselves from a tyrannical government within your own nation is a fairly new idea, somewhere in the 70s the NRA and various other sources began to bring the idea of “personal protection” as the prime reason to purchase a firearm. As a result, handgun and assault rifle sales rose to compensate for the loss of hunting rifle sales.
During that time we saw the formation of survivalist groups. Paramilitary organizations within the U.S. Banding together out of a sense of fear. Fear of invasion, but also a fear of authority in general. They took the second amendment to mean they were to be armed in case the very government that upheld the constitution should violate it and strip them of their rights.
Paranoid? Yes, but as we have seen over the last two decades, there are mitigating factors that feed that paranoia. New laws that do violate the constitution, stripping of rights, not all at once but like layers of an onion, stripped layer by layer shrinking the whole slowly. The militerization of the police has become the most visually striking representation of this eroding freedom. The friendly officer in blue, supplanted by the menacing figure in black combat webbing.
Is it any wonder that as police powers increase and police violence becomes more prevalent, some members of the community see it as a threat? Is it any wonder that those same citizens take up arms against the oppressor as they have been told to do by media, movies, and the NRA? The NRA has told them for years to be prepared for the moment the government turns on you, and here we are. Seeing daily reports of oppression and brutality.
What do you call it, when people rise up for all the right reasons, but take the lives of innocents? Is this revolution? Is it criminal? Is it misguided? Is it a just war?
What are they fighting for, what are they fighting against?
It doesn’t really matter in the end, because the truth is, in the end, innocents die on the alters of freedom and oppression both, but only dialogue can stop the sacrifices. Only when a public rises up against both sides of the conflict and declare ENOUGH! Will this violent cycle begin to wind down.