Sunday, May 12, 2013

Forfeiting Liberties to Protect Liberties

The Fox site reported --- According to a survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University, nearly a third of registered voters -- 29 percent -- believe an "armed revolution" might be necessary in the next few years in order to protect liberties.

After I read that claim, I went to the survey poll itself to learn more about the claim. The full report was not very enlightening other than to confirm the fact that the higher ones education level is, the less likely the person is to believe that the accounts of events are being fabricated in order to support a political agenda to remove guns from American society.

One statement in the Fox story suggests that the fear of the loss of gun rights is the cause of the sharp rise in gun and ammo sales since the Sandy Hook School shooting. Coupling the gun sales statistic and the lower education variation in opinion with the concern that armed revolution might be necessary to protect liberties suggests that people with low education attainment believe they need to buy guns to protect their rights to buy guns.

The poll language was not specific and left it up to the respondents to imagine what it is that they themselves classify as their "liberties" that might need protection in the next few years with "armed revolution." Although the poll did not explicitly word anything in terms of who might responsible for the taking away of rights in the next few years, it is an unmistakable reference to the remaining three years of the Obama Administration and the fear of a follow-on Democratic Administration.

What also was not offered for consideration is what the nature of the Legislature is now, what it will be next year or 2, 4 or 6 years hence after each biennial election.

I went to Wikipedia to obtain a sense of what liberties one might want or need to protect with armed revolution. I wanted to see who the target of the revolt might be and how a rebel force would seek to overthrow it. I mostly wanted to determine what imperiled liberties might be reinstated after a successful revolution.

Civil liberties included freedom from slavery, forced labor, torture, death. I cannot find any state sponsored violations of these freedoms here in the USA. We do have various capital punishment statutes in the US, but I cannot see very many low-education conservatives taking up arms to stop it application.

The liberties included freedom of conscience, religion, expression, press, assembly and association, speech and privacy. While we have varying degrees of infringement of these liberties, I don't suspect that a conservative thinking American would take up arms against the government to protect everyone's conscience, religion or expression since it is they themselves who support the curtailment of such liberties.

Continuing deeper into the question of liberties the list goes on with equal treatment under law, due process, fair trials and right to life. The presently Republican-controlled US Congress and the myriad of Republican-controlled state legislatures are systematically narrowing the scope of human rights and defining each of them in terms of their dollar-values.

The question of equal treatment under law has been a Great American Fiction since it was first wrapped in Old Glory and codified in the Constitution. Due Process is only defended by the much maligned American Civil Liberties Union and their like minded colleagues. Without the works of the ACLU and their ilk there would be little implementation of fair trials, due process or any semblance of equal treatment under law. I cannot imagine any conservative gun owner shooting his AR-15 rifle or his Glock 9 in defense of these three liberties.

In the broadly defined sense of life being a cluster of living cells that if left alone might soon become a human, there could be armed revolution in defense of the notion of the right to life for this potential future human being. At the same time, the same conservative minded people want to be able execute perpetrators of acts they deem as worthy of being dealt death.

The last group of liberties included the right to own property, defend ones self, have control of bodily integrity and control over reproductive processes. These are the liberties most often cited when expounding ones willingness to kill and die for the protection of. They are the liberties the proponents of gun ownership are most loathed to lose. It is ironic to me that it is the first two that they want for themselves and the second two are ones they want to control in others. It is also curious to me that they deem the first two as constitutionally guaranteed and the second two are their god given right to determine for others.

Now as to the matter of just who the rebels will be revolting against. There will be no army or militarized police force coming to arrest a person for protecting his privacy, conscience or due process and fair trials. There will be no guns pointed in the face of people who print their opinions on paper or in cyberspace. All of these thing are taken with the stroke of a pen in a far away office out of sight of the people who are impacted.

We must recall, be reminded or learn for the first time that there are three branches of the US government. It is the elected representatives who make the laws we do not like. We have a legal method of replacing them without the use of firearms. It's called The Ballot. We have a method of replacing the chief executive in the same way: Don't listen to the propaganda and vote to put the right person in the oval office, who ever that is. Democrats believed that George W. Bush was installed as the de facto President of the US by a partisan Supreme Court and we lived through those 8 years without resorting to armed revolution or even suggesting that it was necessary. Democrats believed that it was so obvious that he was engaged in criminal activity with the two wars and all the corporate shenanigans that it was possible that he could be removed from office through due process and the legal structures presented in the American Constitution.

National Republican politicians have posited 27 separate reasons for which they say they think that Barack Obama should be impeached. This includes everything from the alleged nation of his birth to the passage of a health care bill they do not like. The bottom line is the Supreme Court made its ruling and Obama IS the President. The act of impeaching is solely an accusation, not a trial and a conviction punishable by removal from office.

So back to this fear that that there may be a reason to engage in "armed revolution" in the US in the next few years to protect liberties. Why go for the use of arms when they don't even use the methods openly available to them, unless it is because they don't like what the majority of Americans do and they want to create anarchy.