Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First against the wall

Naomi Wolf wrote an article for The Guardian entitled "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps". Go there and read the entire thing in all its horrific detail but I'll summarize it here.

"It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration."

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
2. Create a gulag.
3. Develop a thug caste.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system.
5. Harass citizens' groups.
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
7. Target key individuals.
8. Control the press.
9. Dissent equals treason.
10. Suspend the rule of law.

I note one item missing from this list: disarm the citizenry.

One might think that the 2nd Amendment was in place specifically to prevent this sort of thing, and you'd be right. Thomas Jefferson said, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." And given that the current administration is also a very staunch support of gun rights you might be hard pressed to imagine them getting away with the above ten steps.

But, in an odd twist of politics, those with the most liberal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, that the rights afforded refer to all of the people, are those with the most conservative view of all the other rights that the administration is actively trampling upon. And when the revolution comes, well, there won't be much of a revolution because the so-called "gun nuts" of the NRA are already in the administration's camp. They will become the "thug cast" mentioned in step 3.

What we need are more liberals to actually take a liberal view of the 2nd Amendment. What could be a more liberal interpretation than to say that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the people the tools necessary to overthrow the government should it overstep the powers granted them by the rest of the Constitution.? It's why Jefferson put it there. It's why it says the rights "of the people" and not "the rights of the States" or "the rights of the Government to bear arms."

And don't for a minute try to pull that "well regulated militia" line. Just take a look at the dead and wounded coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and tell me that the National Guard and Reserve are a militia. They are soldiers under the direct control of the Commander in Chief. Just read the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. The 2nd Amendment wasn't written to protect them, it was written to protect us FROM them.

I want more democrats to join the NRA. I want more NRA members to also support the rest of the Bill of Rights by supporting the ACLU. I want the ACLU to defend ALL of the Bill of Rights, not just 90 percent.

I am the NRA. I am the ACLU.

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