Reader Mark B. writes:
Practical justifications for the RKBA might usefully be considered across a spectrum of micro to macro perspectives. At the micro level we explain to the individual that she should value the RKBA in defense of her person and that of her immediate family. Toward the macro end, we say we must prepare to guard against the tyranny of a federal government. At the macro end of the spectrum we point out the geo-political danger of genocide or more generally, democide (mass killings by government for any reason including race.) Each of these points on the spectrum is a legitimate focus of debate. Which is most effective? . . .
Some of us emphasize the micro point of individual self-defense. The weakness of this focus is that we invite our audience to think about her personal safety and her personal initiative in actuating her self-defense. Figuratively, we ask her to imagine a gun in her hand and a thug standing in front of her. We propose that she aim and pull the trigger; that she – herself – become a trigger-puller. Too few people are willing to contemplate such a horrifying proposition. Anyone is willing to dial 911 to summon a trigger-puller-in-blue to save her from a dire threat; but to pull the trigger themselves; well, she would rather not think about it.
Others emphasize the intermediate point of threat of tyranny. The advantage here is that we need not ask our individual audience to contemplate herself as the trigger-puller; better her husband. Better still, her neighbor’s husband who will take-up his gun in defense of the liberty of the community. This focus is more palatable. And yet, it’s difficult for so many to take the threat of Federal (or State or municipal) tyranny seriously. An encroachment here, an encroachment there; we have all become more-or-less unconscious of the threat of tyranny from our duly elected governments at all levels. Indeed, among Progressives, tyranny in the pursuit of “progress” is no vice!
We speak least about the macro level threat – geopolitical democide. I suggest here that this may be a strategic oversight.
In the post-WW II, era society encountered a peculiar phenomena for which a novel name or term was required: Holocaust denial; or, in respect of an individual, a Holocaust denier. The phenomena of someone unwilling to acknowledge a particular historical event; viz, the Nazi mass murder of 6 million Jews and 5 million gentiles. Holocaust denial is a term confined to a particular historical event. Generalizing, it is a part of a greater class-of-denial we might call “genocide denial” or “genocide unconsciousness”.
Genocide as a phenomena has not been acknowledged because the evidence is too painful to bear witness and there is nothing to be done about it anyway. Not once has the UN declared a “genocide” since its founding. And rarely has any government in the world mustered the intestinal fortitude to use the term “genocide” to characterize a mass-murder by government.
Today, we are witnessing active genocide – or more precisely, a ‘holy’ war – in Syria and Iraq by ISIS. It has spread to Africa. The present genocide is merely part and parcel of the war of Islamic terrorism of recent decade(s). Very few citizens are vociferous in demanding that America use its military or political power to stop this genocide in progress. Why so few? The evidence is too painful to bear witness; and few of us are willing to commit the resources to do anything about it anyway.
There is still another facet to this denial of active genocide: the “It can’t happen here” reaction. Whatever form of genocide is now occurring somewhere else is perceived to be peculiar to that locality. In Syria and Iraq it’s confined within the age old Sunni vs. Shia rivalry which doesn’t exist here. In Africa, it’s confined within the Islamic vs infidel rivalry which does not exist here. Closer to home, the drug wars in Mexico, Columbia, and elsewhere are confined within inter-cartel rivalry which don’t exist here (on any comparable scale at least).
The “It can’t happen here” denial is a phenomena that needs a name or term that calls attention to itself. I propose ‘democide denial’. To a victim, it matters little that the motivation for mass murder is founded in race, religion, politics, economics or any other cause. Nor does it matter that a mass murder is the deliberate formal act of a tyrannical government, some powerful faction or a conspiracy between the two. We might even imagine a benign government powerless to effectively check a power faction originating within or outside its territory. History – from ancient times to our present day – is replete with instances of mass murder not checked by the government of jurisdiction.
I wonder, here, whether introducing a new term such as ‘democide denial’ could serve to complement our RKBA arguments of self-defense and government tyranny.
To discuss with an individual audience our concern for the current war of Islamic terrorism does not compel her to take-up arms herself; better her husband. Better still, her neighbor’s husband. Given her awareness of current war of Islamic terrorism and the history of genocide, is she absolutely convinced that “It can’t happen here” in Mayberry? Ever? Is she convinced that America’s army and her state’s National Guard will be sufficient to overcome any such threat should it ever come to Mayberry? Recent experience in places like Ferguson or New Orleans is not encouraging; nor is that of any of the riots during the last 40 years of the 20th century. American federal and state governments have been manifestly unsuccessful in resolving the War on Drugs. The Mexican government less successful in controlling its cartels.
We can’t predict when a threat of democidal magnitude might come to Mayberry or the US as a nation. Nor can we predict with any certainty whether it may be motivated by religion, drug profits, food shortages, grid failure, or tax-revenue collection. What we can know – with confidence – is that the only adequate power capable of being brought-to-bear, the instant that it is needed, is the local community itself – a community trained-to-arms.
As an individual audience, you may refrain from arming yourself; you may discourage your husband. Are you willing to deny your neighbor’s husband? Will you take that chance with the security of your children? Or, should the crisis be deferred by another generation, will you take this chance with the security of your grandchildren?
In a political context – vis a vis a mayor or a legislator – we can ask simply, ‘Are you a democide denier?’ In this context, we should be able to force the civilian disarmament crowd into articulating their defense as, ‘It can’t happen here.” Then we can have a useful discussion of the limited number of police, Guardsmen and soldiers compared to the expanse of US territory. The longer the debate endures, the higher will rise the level of voter consciousness. Eventually, we might hope, it will become un-PC to be labeled a ‘democide denier’.
The anti-gunners dismiss our claims of self-defense as petty and our warnings of tyranny as unfounded in the context of our well-established democratic institutions. A warning of future democide in our nation – founded on a deep and current history of genocides (such as the widely acknowledged Holocaust and ISIS) can’t be so easily dismissed.