“Randy Hawes, [British Columbia’s] minister state for mining, says he’s heard some First Nations members talking about using shotguns and giving their lives to prevent Taseko’s Prosperity Mine project,” ctvbc.ctv.ca reports. “He says he understands the spiritual value of the area to First Nations and knows the aboriginal community has concerns about the project, but no society will tolerate threats of violence. Hawes also says many non-aboriginals in the Williams Lake area desperately want the economic benefits the mine would provide.” This small story raises some big questions. Like the importance of American’s Second Amendment . . .
TTAG has chronicled liberal commentators’ attempt to paint the Tea Party as gun nuts, proto-terrorists and fascists-in-training. To tie them to the Hutaree and/or anyone other group of armed extremists. To portray them as the harbingers of armed insurrection.
Funny that. As the Glenn Beck rally proved, you couldn’t ask for a nicer group of folks. From what I’ve seen, Tea Party people are unflaggingly polite (at least to each other), swear fidelity to the democratic process and keep it clean (litter was obvious by its absence).
Yes BUT—there is a threat of armed insurrection. Oh, it’s a distant threat. A veiled threat. But let’s face it: those Americans who oppose a large, centralized, profligate federal government aren’t entirely unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the idea that they could take up arms against their own government if they really had to.
Let me put that another way: there’s a balance of power out there, somewhere, between the governing and the governed. And it doesn’t depend exclusively on what happens at the ballot box. Mainly. But not exclusively. Privately held guns are the 500-lbs. citizens in the room.
More to the point (at least relative to this Canadian contretemps) private firearms are the ultimate protection from tyranny for besieged minorities. Southern whites certainly thought so; they did everything in their power to remove guns from blacks, both before and after slavery. Florida’s Seminole Indians might have a thing or two to say on that front as well.
As do, now, Canada’s First Nations aboriginals.
The funny peculiar thing about this story is the Minister’s assertion that no society will tolerate threats of violence (rather than violence per se). I maintain that Hawes got it exactly backwards. A free society is based on threats of violence.
Would citizens obey the law if they didn’t face the threat of law enforcement? Would America respect its minorities—and I’m not speaking solely about race or religion—if they didn’t have firearms? I think not. Even the threat of armed resistance changes the political dynamic. As it has here. As it should. An armed society is a free society. Except when it isn’t.