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Sic Semper Tyrannis

May 12, 2013


The words shouted by John Wilkes Booth he as crashed to the stage of Ford’s theatre, just seconds after he put a bullet in the head of the 16th President of the United States…

Thus, always to tyrants.

We hear a lot of intemperate talk about resisting government tyranny, which is the rationale often put forward by the gun lobby, their NRA stooges, and the rubes they manipulate, for resisting any gun safety regulation. In fact, the solution to gun violence in 21st century America is more guns! They way they have carefully analyzed current events, is that when life in the United States becomes so unbearable, they will be able to take up arms and…do what? The what is never really made clear, as these geniuses cannot seem to think more than one move at a time. But I am sure they have more in mind than parading around brandishing their weapons trying to intimidate a gathering of mothers.

This comes to mind now because the NRA has wrapped up it’s convention, complete with fat guys with pony tails and bleeding Obama and ex-wife target mannequins. But the most interesting and disturbing thing about this gathering, was the unveiling of the new NRA president, James Porter, who strode on to the national stage spewing outrage, paranoia, spiced with no small amount of delusion. And plenty of talk about the patriotic folk resisting government tyranny.

On the subject of tyranny, Gentile Jim had this to say :

And I am one who still feels very strongly that that is our greatest charges (sic) that we could have today is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm, so when they have to fight for their country, they’re ready to do it.

Also when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they’re ready to do it. Also when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it.

Of course, this is the guy who refers to the Civil War as the War of Northern Aggression. Nothing about slavery was aggressive, was it Jimbo? Take a moment and Google the term “Slave Breaker” and then see if you can prattle on about the “War of Northern Aggression”. And who was it that fired the first shot of the War of Northern Aggression? Oh, that’s right—South Carolina patriots firing on Fort Sumter. But I digress.

Some of this is simply empty hot air and tall talk-good for making pointy headed liberals like me roll their eyes at cocktail parties. But if this is the crazy train, its getting crowded. In a recent poll, 44% of Republicans believe that an armed revolution may be necessary in the near future to protect their liberties. And we thought that Sharon Angle and her 2nd Amendment remedies was nuts.

So, I have some questions. First of all, what is it exactly that has these dim bulbs so lit up that they would be willing to take up arms against the United States and its tyrannical ways? Is it because Obama is a Socialist/Nazi/Commie/Kenyan? Or is it because of the Affordable Care Act? Or perhaps that most of their fellow citizens believe that people should pass a background check before they are allowed to purchase a firearm? Is it the overbearing Federal government that makes sure that air travel is safe, water is drinkable, drugs are effective, and our food supply does not poison us?


Second question: When your little revolution comes and its time for you to put the tyrants up against the wall, what exactly will that look like? Is there some secret code, or maybe a Bat-signal in the sky that alerts all the Patriots to gather their arms and…go where? Do what? Or will it be more like the last stand of the Branch Davidians in Waco? How did that work out for David Koresh? Or will it be one-off and lone acts of terror, like little Timmy McVeigh? Bombing children in pre-schools in defense of liberty? Really?

Now, I have a suggestion for the “fight the tyranny of the government” crowd. I know this will come as a surprise, but there is more to the Constitution than the Second Amendment. Check out Article 3, Section 3.

For extra credit, consider what the beloved Founders thought of your idea that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to allow an enraged citizenry to fight the tyrannical government by force of arms. Google “Shay’s Rebellion” and the “Whisky Rebellion”. It should be a fun read for you. And although not a Founder, you should consider what Andrew Jackson proposed to do with the South Carolina nullifiers.

And if you keep moving through history, you will find that anytime some nut bag wanted to take this theory of yours and turn it into action, it did not end well (Harpers Ferry, the Civil War, the Haymarket riots, Sacco and Venzetti, Symbionese Liberation Army, etc.). Even the 19th Century Utah Mormons (a self-reliant and resilient bunch if there ever was one) decided it was time for God to change His mind about polygamy rather than face the prospect of an armed conflict with the Federal government. Good luck, loonies—but we know how this ends.

So grab your guns—but please do not attempt to protect my liberties. I will count on democratic institutions, rule of law, independent judiciary and a free press. And let’s not forget  overly militarized law enforcement and flying killer robots. Semi-literate fat guys with pony tails and AR-15s—either get busy with your armed rebellion or shut the fuck up. We are tired of hearing about it.

  1. Some of us have a hard time forgetting that the United States started out as an armed rebellion against government authority. Of course history could never repeat itself.

    Cute reference to Andrew Jackson who was effectively the founder of the Democtatic Party, the party that essentially led the only major armed rebellion against the US. It was the party of slavery and the party of John Wilkes Booth. But history is full of ironies.

    While we contemplate tyranny let us not forget the recent revelations about the IRS. Your timing of this post is truly ironic.

    • Your comment on the history of the Democratic party is not only irrelevant, but asinine. The post had nothing to do with Republican vs Democrat. It is a pity that the post will not easily fit into your iron-clad formulation of Republican GOOD, Democrat BAD. And, BTW, there have been some changes in the last 170 years. You should try to do a better job of keeping up with current events.

      As for the recent IRS scandal, my argument is not only unscathed, but bolstered. The reason they are not going to get away with this has nothing to do with nut bags/vigilantes/freedom fighters holed up with their little arsenals “protecting” our freedoms, but to the workings democratic institutions, rule of law, and a free press. The self appointed militias and liberty guardians are not needed and can stand down.

  2. Some moronic left wingers don’t get it. No one wants an armed revolution except Bill Ayers and his Chicago ilk . We just don’t want someone to think they can impose a tyranny without resistance. But that is too much for tiny minded leftists to grasp.

    • Other than cheap name calling, what do you have to offer?

      Lets just call this fatuous talk for what it is: equal measures of juvenile hero fantasy and implicit threat to the rest of us. After all, if you don’t get your way, then it’s guns, guns! And GUNS! This is like a child not getting his way and threatening to hold his breath until his face turns blue. To that I say: go ahead. You can try the perfume of “resisting tyranny”, but is still the pig of “treason”.

      Losing an election is not the same as tyranny. A child told to eat his vegetables is not the same as mommie being mean. Learn the difference.

  3. No but what do you say about IRS targeting conservative organizations and the AP being spied on? Tyranny starts somewhere. Defense against tyranny has a starting place.

    • Then get your gun and get the revolution going tough guy. I’ll pop the corn.

      But before you get your three cornered hat in a twist, remember the IRS targeted liberal groups under Bush:

      No slobbering talk of revolutionary outrage when the stunt was pulled under Bush. Hmmm…what do you think is the main difference between Bush and Obama (other than now Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes). Need a hint?

  4. There are activities that non-profits are prohibited from engaging in. Much as I hate the IRS, them’s the rules. When the IRS directly challenges an organization it has procedures that are followed. Such as our system is, the parties make their arguments and an aggrieved taxpayer can have his day in court. What happened with the NAACP was entirely aboveboard. Any comparison to the current situation is desperate clutching at straws by knee jerk morons. The scope and scale of this round of abuse is simply unprecedented. Have we mentioned the leaks of confidential documents, the fishing expeditions, the vengeance audits?

    • So when the left is targeted, you have mealy-mouthed excuses. When the right is targeted, is REVOLUTION! That would make you, lets see…what’s the word for it? Oh right-hypocrite. It really does not take long to get to the right-wing hypocrisy does it?

      Besides–quit talking. Get your gun! That’s the WHOLE POINT of the Second Amendment, remember? Who you gonna shoot first? Me?

      Or, are you just another suburban NRA arm chair revolutionary? Brave enough to wave your gun in the face of unarmed mothers? Full of jibber jabber, but no action. Or as they say in Texas–all hat, no cattle. What are you waiting for? Someone else to put their skin in the game?

      Talk is cheap.

      • Well that was pure silliness.

      • Silly, if you miss the whole point of the post, which apparently, you have. The point is that most of this “resist tyranny” is just talk, which you, yourself, have just amply demonstrated. The suburban revolutionaries of the NRA would not have lasted five minutes in 1959 Cuba, so matter how well armed they are. Can you imagine them good ole boys subsisting on bugs in the mountains for months on end? These fucks can’t be more than five minutes from the nearest BBQ. Resist tyranny, my ass. They can’t resist a cheeseburger.

        All of this would be an amusing diversion except for the fact that not all of your fellow-travelers are pathetic, hypocritical, cowardly bullshit artists, though most are. Some of you are seriously unhinged and will take this idiotic bullshit as a call to action. Somewhere in your ranks is the next Tim McVeigh and God knows what his triggers are.

        So when the next Federal building gets an unexpected load of fertilizer and a bunch of kids die in a preschool-you slimy fuckers will wash your hands, act like you are shocked, pray ernest prayers and light your candles. And slither away from any accountability whatsoever. Just as Sister Sarah put a target on a map of Gabby Gifford’s Congressional district and tried to slither away when Gabby was shot in the face.

  5. Great reply demonstrating your fabulous intellect and Chicago vocabulary.

    • You come on to this site and call me a moron and tiny minded, then complain about my use of language?

      Boo Hoo.

  6. not_Anonymous permalink

    No I come to admire your tough minded analysis and your erudite and scintillating expression. You’re brilliant.

    • This is pretty far off topic. I have never posted anything on the link between crime rates in general and gun ownership–principally because I do not believe that that is the main issue. This issue is noise and only a distraction. In the unlikely event I ever post something on this, I will keep this in mind. In the meantime, this should go on your own site since you think it important.

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  1. Resisting Tyranny–Right Wing Extremist Style | bigdogdancer

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