I’m going through old emails, and found this little bit I once sent out to friends and family who are gun nuts–that is, nutty about how guns are evil.
“Why, Dave, Why do you keep pestering me about these damn guns? I don’t like ‘em, I’m afraid of ‘em, they’re wicked and bad and loud and smelly and dangerous, and they KILL PEOPLE, Dave; why can’t you just leave me alone?”
Because I love freedom.
Because I love you.
Because I trust you.
I don’t trust the police with guns. They make mistakes that would get you or me executed, and they get paid leave, union legal representation, counseling, and a citation for bravery.
I don’t trust the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, or even the Coast Guard with guns.
The police and the military are the traditional tools of state oppression.
Senators Kennedy, Schumer, Clinton, and Feinstein are all either armed or have armed bodyguards, because they’re important. But we’re not important enough to rate bodyguards, and they don’t trust us with guns. Fine. I don’t trust them with guns either.
I don’t trust Bush with a gun, because if it came down to him or me, he’d shoot me in a heartbeat with the gun I loaned him. He got to be President, for crying out loud; how can you trust a man like that?
Come on, seriously now, do you even trust these self-serving clowns to tell you whether or not you should have an abortion, or to justly execute a suspected criminal, or to decide whether or not you can smoke that joint or drink that beer?
I sure as hell don’t.
But you I trust. With all your ignorance, faults, blind spots, frailties, and fears, I trust you with a gun like I trust myself.
I trust you because I believe you are a honest believer in and defender of liberty. I believe you hate oppression. I believe you hate other people telling you what you can and cannot do, and that’s all government is: other people telling you what to do.
If you’re a slave, you can talk about Master behind his back. Oh, you’ll get a mighty whippin’ if you’re caught, but you can talk. You can huddle around the lantern at night with the curtains drawn, and teach your children to read, and put them to bed confused about this “freedom” nonsense you go on about. You can practice your quaint backwoods religion, ‘specially if you sing real nice when Master’s around. You can even run away, and ask other people to take you to a land where Master probably can’t find you, and if they’re honest, they won’t turn you in for the reward.
But until you can stand on your front porch, point a gun at your would-be master and his dogs, and tell him to fuck off or die*, you are still his slave, and he can still drag you back, whip you, rape you, and put you and yours back in his fields where you belong.
I trust you. I love you. I don’t want you to be a slave.
* People in New York City can’t. People in Washington D.C. can’t. People in Chicago can’t. Lots of folk in California can’t, and the ones that can, can’t have the gun they want, and their state legislature is working hard to shorten the list even more. In some states, those that can have to fill out more paperwork and get tracked more closely by more agencies than rapists or murderers out on parole. How about where you live?
And, yes, you might die doing that. But with any luck at all, he’ll go on to the next cabin with one or two fewer dogs. Enough people do that, and sooner or later, he’ll run out of dogs. And you might, just might, take him out as well, and wouldn’t that be a happy hoe-down in shanty town?
You damn sure won’t end up standing at the edge of the mass grave you helped dig, waiting for the guards to mow you down with their machine guns, or the bulldozer to just push you in and cover you up still breathing.