Support for 2nd Amendment rights is contingent upon what individuals believe is the true function of the un-infringed right to bear arms granted to American citizens in the Constitution.
Fairleigh Dickinson University released its Public Mind poll on Wednesday, offering some perspective about the partisan divide with regard to gun control and where Americans with opposing political beliefs think firearms fit into American society.
The pollsters offered the following query with the option to “agree,” “disagree,” remain neutral or refuse to answer: “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.”
They found that an overall 29 percent of Americans were in agreement with the statement. Segmented by political belief, people who believed armed revolution will become necessary were: 18 percent Democrat, 27 percent independent and 44 percent Republican.
“The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson, said of the results. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”
While the poll left the severity of the threats to liberty that might spark such a revolution to the imagination, some on the left have already begun shouting: “See! Conservatives can’t win elections, so their obvious reason for liking guns is to overthrow the government.”
That’s precisely how Salon’s David Sirota addressed the poll results:
Typically, GOP leaders typically say that their opposition to minimal gun regulations has nothing to do with helping arm those who want to commit acts of violence, and everything to do with wanting to make sure people can defend themselves. Based on the poll, of course, it is certainly likely that many are buying such weapons in an effort to defend themselves, both for day-to-day life and in the event of a sudden armed revolution. But here’s the scary part: how many are buying weapons to arm themselves in order to foment an armed revolution? Maybe none, but maybe a lot. I don’t have an answer – but this poll suggests the question should at least be aired…
…According to the Farleigh Dickinson poll, 44 percent of rank-and-file Republicans seem to believe that because they aren’t getting their way through the ballot box, bloodshed may be justified to impose their will on everyone else. Think of it as sore loser-ism juiced by violence.
Sirota goes on to back up his theory of revolutionary fomentation by those on the right in saying that conservatives have used “vitriolic” language in describing “almost everything in the Democratic/liberal agenda — from Obamacare to taxes to environmental regulations to contraception policy” as an assault on liberty. He goes on to accuse conservatives who don’t want to see their Constitutional rights eroded, don’t want to be told what to eat, may have religious objections to contraceptives and don’t agree with Obamacare of “undermining the most basic non-violent democratic ideals that are supposed to define America” in favor of violence.
If there is a bloody American revolution in the cards in coming years, people like Sirota will be just as culpable as those who initially take up arms against perceived Federal tyranny in sparking it. Sirota’s shrieking alarmism that Republicans could at any moment be working to spark revolution perverts the very ideal of democratic civil discourse he claims to worry so much about.
Sirota is simply doing his part to further the cause of big-government gun control by crying wolf, and his shtick is nothing new.
Way back in 1787, Thomas Jefferson, who was in France at the time, wrote a letter to his friend William Smith in which he discussed concerns over how a rebellion that had just taken place in Massachusetts — which became known as Shay’s Rebellion — was being used by the governing class make the case for more Federal government. And propagandists like Sirota had a part to play.
The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness.
Jefferson’s point that the real threat is nowhere near as serious as was implied by some agenda-driven individuals applies quite nicely to more contemporary arguments for more firearm controls.
The Founding Father continued:
God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?
So how many Republican-sparked armed revolutions have occurred? Zero. What, then, must be the agenda of people like Sirota? Perhaps it’s removing the threat of violence, which serves nicely to encourage civil discourse, so that liberal agendas can be shoved down the throats of the unwilling. More government without question or threat. More taxes. More regulations. More welfare.
And that brings us to the most famous portion of Jefferson’s letter:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
Sirota should thank those Americans who believe revolution could one day become necessary to preserve liberty, because they are crucial to the preservation of “basic non-violent democratic ideals.” And perhaps if more Americans thought like those 29 percent who can fathom the possibility of armed revolution, government corruption, waste and abuse would be far less rampant that it is in the bureaucratic behemoth that exists today.