Discover more from MindWar: The Psychological War on Democracy
Brilliant, Deadly Propaganda: “I Support the Second Amendment (but)”
Everyone who says this out loud is spreading the false idea that got us Uvalde
For the record, I think there is a very limited place for lethal weapons in a civilized society. I believe guns have been turned into a kind of cult that has been intentionally inserted into the political power structure and into the very identity of the right wing. This is not really about guns. It’s about a perceived loss of power.
No one needs a killing machine, except people who are trained and have a legal reason to kill someone as part of their job. I realize hunting is a thing people like to do and I don’t suggest banning it in the short term, but for fuck sake what century is this? We don’t need to shoot our food anymore.
“I Support the Second Amendment”
There‘s a reason this particular slogan has been attached to this particular Amendment to the Constitution. It’s a platitude to say you “support” the founding document of American democracy. If that’s in question, we have a different conversation.
“I support the Second Amendment” really has two meanings and two purposes.
For the right wing, this means “I support the Supreme Court’s bizarre interpretation of the Second Amendment which allows me to buy whatever dick-replacement murder machine I want to.”
For the left, the slogan is always before the word “but” with a reflexively told story about about how they love killing deers with PawPaw before expressing their concern about school massacres. This concedes defeat before you even make your argument.
What would the Founders say?
Let’s do an interview with the Founders and America as a thought experiment. Pick any Founder. If you don’t have a favorite, go with Reanimated Thomas Jefferson.
America: When you wrote the Bill of Rights, did you intend that every man, woman and child in the United States should have 1.2 muskets?
Founder: What are you talking about? Of course not.
America: OK, what if muskets could kill 30 people in 60 seconds?
Founder: What madness is this? You told me things had changed but I don’t underst—
America: Also these muskets that can kill 30 people per minute, what if people could walk into the… tavern or the haberdasher with one?
Founder: What bizarre world have you brought me back into? What would someone need with such a weapon in public?
America: Protection, I guess.
Founder: From what? Are there vicious beasts or evil spirits you need to defend from?
America: Now that you mention it… yes. But you can’t kill them with guns.
Founder: Then why do you have so many guns? What are they for?
America: To fight a tyrannical government, we’re told. Because of that thing you wrote about the “right to keep and bear Arms.”
Founder: Oh no. Is there a tyrannical government? Also, did they miss the part about a “well-regulated militia?” Didn’t you follow our instructions?
America: Yes, it’s called the National Guard. And democracy has held for two and a half centuries — despite our ups and downs.
Founder: Wonderful! So why are there super-muskets in the Tavern again?
The regressive anti-women’s rights movement led by Christian extremists successfully inserted the term “pro-life” into the mainstream vernacular — which served to calcify the false idea that taking women’s rights away was somehow morally justified. The simple trick of this term is that if you accept that their position is “pro-life” you are accepting that people who disagree with them are “pro-death.”
This laundered the real purpose behind the term, especially because it was absorbed by mainstream media and even the gullible left. For decades, abortion was portrayed as a fight between “pro-choice” and “pro-life” which created a false premise to dig out from.
“I Support the Second Amendment” uses the same basic deception. By putting it this way, anyone who disagrees with the insane interpretation by the Supreme Court is portrayed as not supporting the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. Again, this is false.
I support the actual point of the Second Amendment which is to ensure that the military is controlled by the civil government and doesn’t gain dictatorial power. This meant that we needed a “militia” to take care of things domestically that needed lethal force. It’s called the National Guard.
Here’s a less succinct version of the Amendment from the Virginia Constitution.
That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power
The Second Amendment is not about putting guns in the control of individuals. It never was. Don’t spread their propaganda for them.