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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Talking Points for the Progressive Militia

I appeal to liberals to give these issues a fair hearing in public discourse. Even if you do not agree, please post so that there can be debate.


1). Liberals tend to be against the free ownership of arms based on essentially public health grounds. Guns are dangerous.

FACT: Weapons are dangerous by design. That's the point. Weapons in the hands of the Militia (originally defined as the whole body of physically fit civilians able to wield arms) were enshrined in the Second Amendment in order to protect the people from our own corrupted government (Source: The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison & Jay). Traditionally, the concept of "liberal" suggested more power to the citizens and less to the government. The Second Amendment is a case in point.

FACT: According to the National Security Council
( http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm ), the lifetime odds in the U.S. of dying from any injury is 1/24; from dying in a transportation accident is 1/77. The odds of dying from a fall is 1/229; from exposure to poisoning and noxious chemicals is 1/212; from exposure to forces of nature is 1/3056.

The lifetime odds of committing suicide (by all means) is 1/118. Suicide by firearm is 1/218 (being an effective form). Death by assault by firearm is 1/315. 1% of unintentional injury deaths are due to firearms ( http://www.nsc.org/xroads/Articles/5/qa-hoskin.htm ). Higher actual numbers were due to suicide and homicide, but the relative numbers were less than by death from transportation accidents, falls or poisoning. We live in a world of dangerous opportunities; arms are one among many.


2) In a democratic government with free and fair elections, there is no need for the population to bear arms to maintain our liberty.

FACT: If, God forbid, the voting machines were ever corrupted, and all three branches of government were to fall under the spell of one narrow interest, there would be naught left to fall back on.


3) The weapons and tactics available to the US military would render any resistance by the population futile.

FACT: One word: Iraq.


4) The Founding Fathers could not have predicted or anticipated the absolute destructive potential of modern weapons. These weapons can do far more damage than imagined when the Constitution was penned.


FACT: Firearms did not exist before the Renaissance. They changed and evolved steadily for 300 years prior to the Bill of Rights. Given the genius of the Founding fathers (far wiser than today's crop of politicians), it's preposterous that they would not have envisioned further advances in technology. What they were interested in was the concept that the people could have technology that could effectively defend against the standing army (which Washington and others warned against). The founding fathers found great value in entrusting the people with the possession of firearms. As Jefferson noted, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's unimaginable that they did not also understand the value of deterrence.

A reasonable individual may argue that weapons of mass destruction do not belong in the hands of the People, but short of that, the Founding Fathers made their intentions clear.


5) Terrorists can obtain weapons through the open U.S. market that they can use to shoot down airliners.

FACT: Through long-established smuggling routes developed as the result of the longstanding "War on Drugs," Terrorists can get .50 Cal and other high power weapons from overseas without great difficulty. Most of the world's Heroin Traffic is controlled by criminal interests from a largely Islamic country (http://mondediplo.com/1998/07/05turkey ).


6) It is not necessary to support Second Amendment rights in order to advance the Progressive agenda.

FACT: The South has gone from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican gradually since Nixon's "Southern Strategy" in the 1960's. Although largely portrayed as a racial issue, the true wedge in recent years has been solid support for the Second Amendment in the South. Progressives will never retake the South (or other red states) without supporting firearms rights. This is a true "tipping point" issue.