Back in April 2008, presidential aspirant Barack Obama had something to say about working-class voters living in industrial cities gutted by unemployment; Americans who’d lost faith in the federal government. “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” It was a “pay no attention to that elitist behind the curtain” moment that could have proven decisive. But didn’t. Even so, the future president’s remark set the tone for anti-Tea Party rhetoric to follow . . .
Left-leaning commentators tried to paint the Tea Party—and, by extension, the Republican party—as a bunch of home-grown, God-crazed, gun-clinging, proto-terrorists. What’s a terrorist? Anyone who’s armed who doesn’t agree with the Obama-led crusade to “progress America” through government policy, and felt free to say so whilst daring to mention the fact that they were armed against tyranny. Apparently. With the Patriot Act in play—complete with a secret, unaccountable terrorist watch list—the increased hysteria made it seem like America was teetering on the edge of “soft” martial law. Conveniently enough. For some.
The liberal media’s Tea Party smear campaign peaked when the feds arrested Hutaree militia members for a murder plot against local police. When the case disappeared down a rathole (something to do with the ATF and an FBI mole), the pro-gun control, anti-Tea Party fraternity began to lose interest in the whole militia thing. When spree killer Jared Lee Loughner turned out to be an incoherent nutcase (rather than a right-wing nutcase), the Tea Party-as-blood-thirsty-revolutionaries meme gradually faded into gray.
We’ve not heard much from the Tea Party of late. The liberals who sounded the alarm about allegedly traitorous Americans have also been silent. And yet the conflict between the two fundamentally different points of view has not been resolved. Nor will it be. On the one hand, a solid core of God-fearing gun-owning Americans see the federal government as an out-of-control bully whose endless extortion plot threatens to leave them destitute. On the other hand, an intellectual elite see Uncle Sam as the key to personal and social salvation.
The liberals and RINOs defending and extending federal power have enormous resources, and every reason to protect them. Not to go all Chance the gardener, the federal bureaucracy and its supporters can resist the Tea Party’s call for smaller government just by being there. But when push comes to shove, the feds and their growing army of acolytes rely on an entire alphabet soup of law enforcement agencies—from the Department of Education’s SWAT team (I kid you not) to the Department of Homeland Security—to make sure Uncle Sam’s will will be done.
By contrast, the Tea Partiers have . . . guns. As Martin Albright has pointed out many times, Red Dawn rhetoric isn’t strategically credible. There’s no way private citizens are going to defeat the coordinated efforts of Uncle Sam’s huge force of well-armed, well-trained agents. All that talk about Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves against government tyranny—an argument that gun control advocates use to paint average gun owners as dangerously paranoid extremists—is purely symbolic. Or is it?
What if the the Obama administration wins its battle for a health care mandate? Will Americans roll over for Uncle Sam’s directive that every single U.S. citizen must purchase health care (or have free health care from the people forced to pay for it)? Remember: under this new federal legislation, citizens who don’t buy health care face fines. If they don’t pay that fine, they’ll be arrested. By people with guns. Federal law enforcement officers. Which raises the all-important point: would Americans ever take up arms against their own government?
Yes, they would. Not over a federal directive to buy health insurance. But something. There’s a point at which the average American says, nope, that’s it, I’m done. The government will take no more from me. Or, I will take no more from it. I don’t give a damn that it’s “my” government. It doesn’t matter if I voted for the people in power or against them. It’s no longer about voting. It’s about freedom. And I will not surrender my freedom to the federal government. I will defend it. With a gun.
This is the “insurrection” that the liberals and the liberal media and yes the RINOs fear. Uncle Sam’s minions know that federal agents can kick the ass of any individual American, regardless of how good he or she is with an AR. But they also know that the ruthless suppression of a few dozen well-publicized “freedom fighters” could undermine the legitimacy of the entire federal government. What if the people at Waco hadn’t been so wacky?
Millions of “normal” Americans reserve the right to take up arms against their own government. They believe their constitutional right to keep and bear arms ensures a balance of power that keeps the federal government honest. Well, attentive. In this they are not wrong. In fact, whenever you hear liberals whining about the potential of an armed insurrection by gun-clinging Americans it’s an excellent indication that our flag still flies over The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave. Which is just as well, really.
York, PA – A statewide gun-violence-prevention group has taken issue with a recent public statement by State Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, calling it “insurrectionist.”
But Perry said his remarks are being taken out of context, and he wasn’t referring to armed insurrection so much as to general gun-owners’ rights.
A May 30 story in the Allentown Morning Call states that Perry made the following statement in a “recent interview”:
“We must be able not only to hunt but to protect ourselves from an overbearing government that does not do the will of the people.”
Max Nacheman, director of CeaseFirePA, said that statement amounts to an implicit endorsement of armed action against the government.
Nacheman said his organization consists of 20,000 members statewide. He said CeaseFirePA doesn’t back any policy that further limits use or ownership of firearms in Pennsylvania. Rather, they campaign for effective enforcement of current law, as well as measures such as closing a perceived loophole in the state’s concealed-carry permit law and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen handguns.
He said Perry’s comments show his ideological sympathy with groups that advocate armed resistance as a legitimate recourse for government policy they disagree with.
“That’s what this insurrectionist movement is about,” Nacheman said “Instead of using a vote to make their voices heard, they’re talking about using a gun to make their voices heard. That’s the antithesis of what this country’s about.”
Perry said he made that statement at an annual Second Amendment rally in Harrisburg last month.
He said he wasn’t talking about any imminent plan to overthrow the existing government. He was referring to private gun ownership as a kind of insurance policy should there ever be a genuine need to resist ruling powers.
“What if there was a coup and the government wasn’t directly elected and it was taken over by a dictatorial power or something?” he said. “You need a means to defend yourself and your life and your liberty.”