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Tim McNabb’s recent article Occupy St. Louis and The Second Amendment revealed that many of the “be-in’s” participants supported the Second Amendment. Underneath the post, TTAG commentator Eliotte questioned the reliability of the anecdotal evidence. “I’d like to see similar responses from different areas of the country, I think you might get a different response from DC or NYC or San Francisco.” Real life and an editorial budget that resembles couch change prevented me from pursuing the question in those conurbations. But when I saw Occupy Providence’s tent city, I decided to add some more data to the sample. It wasn’t anything scientific, mind you (as Mr. Wills cautions above), but the fact that ten out of ten interviewees were pro-2A raises some interesting questions. Such as . . .

Can you be pro-2A/anti-police state and pro-socialism? Wait. Back up. Are the Occupy volk pro-socialism or anti pro-capitalism?

I’m seriously confused about this movement. Unlike the Tea Partiers—whose anti-tax- and-spend agenda was clear—the Occupiers represent a large number of causes: opposing America’s military involvement in Afghanistan and the Middle East, railing against rapacious banks and their federal enablers, and a bunch of other stuff.

To my jaundiced eye, all of their complaints have a decidedly leftist bent. And yet the protesters are largely, in some cases vociferously, pro-Second Amendment. It makes me wonder where liberalism ends and libertarianism begins. And how the media missed this element.

I guess it’s true: you see what you want to see. I want to see a broad coalition of American lobbying for a vastly smaller government [sic]. I’d like to see more citizens deeply committed to individual responsibility and genuinely free markets. Can you be for one and not the other? I doubt it.

As I said, the Occupy movement is a conundrum wrapped in a puzzle surrounded by people looking for a party—but not Republicans or Democrats. And the most interesting aspect of their transcendental 2A support is this: none of the interviewees actually owned or carried a gun.

As always, actions speak louder than words. Meanwhile, it’s time for the NRA and their ultra-conservative gun owners to re-think their knee-jerk opposition to the Occupy movement. In fact, one of the Providence protesters proudly proclaimed that she’s a “card-carrying” lifetime NRA member. How about that?

[NB: This post was taken off-line and re-written since it’s original publication.]

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    • Enemy of my enemy makes strange bedfellows. Robert’s a bit confounded by this development because like it or not, he’s in the business of framing things. That’s also what politicians and corporations do.

      Yet individually most of us just want to live and let live, even love our neighbor. A political movement is not just precisely like minded individuals so it takes a while to sort out the platform. I see something potentially significant going on here and hope folks will inform themselves concerning what might be in their best interest. If you only read main stream media or your own favored alternate media you’re still getting a package. Mix it up, read what the actual OWS folks are putting out there. They operate by consensus only and are misrepresented by most media depictions.

      It’s easy for misfits and knuckleheads to grab the spotlight but there’s a large core of diverse, fair minded people supporting the notion that free markets and capitalism have been co-opted by a cheating, colluding series of corporate and political players. Keep your eyes and ears open, situational awareness implies some people try to deceive you.

  1. I might suggest a minor adjustment to the headline to avoid any confusion that this sentiment represents all of Occupy Providence. These guys made that clear at the beginning of the clip and it is an important ethical point to nearly all consensus-based and direct action groups. They don’t want anyone speaking for them beyond their consent; likewise, they don’t wish to speak for anyone beyond their consent.

    Thanks for going out and gathering this though!

  2. I have been pondering this at length – I think a clue is found in the objections to high-capacity magazines with my batch of “occupants”, and their belief that the 2nd Amendment is a protection against tyranny. They were not able or willing to see the problem fighting a government WITH high capacity magazines WITHOUT high-capacity magazines.

    This is only one logical breakdown in a target-rich environment, but I am seeing a glimmer of hope among these folks.

    • you and i both know that if push comes to shove they would give in and wouldnt have the stomach for it(not that im advocating armed revolution).

    • “They were not able or willing to see the problem fighting a government WITH high capacity magazines WITHOUT high-capacity magazines.”

      I’ve never found this totally compelling. High-capacity mags are the least of the problems. Chemical weapons? Supersonic jets? Infrared optics?

      No one wants this country to become a United States of Afghanistan. Right?

      • I think it is one of many logical inconsistencies. Ultimately, supersonic jets and chemical weapons are large force on large force weapons. To keep ground and hold it, you are stuck with boots on the ground which means squad on squad.

        God forbid, but this is where the citizen restoring an out of control government stands a chance, and needs infantry weapons that rival those of government troops who are serving tryanny.

        • I think there are several piles of rubble and meat chunks that used to be funeral processions full of women and children that fly in the face of that assessment. Make no mistake, if the US gov’t threw caution to the wind and started treating us more like its other subjects around the world, whole cities would be carpet bombed to get rid of their infrequent but insidious “criminal element”

  3. libertarians are often present at our local protest, but i will admit, there is a lot of anti-tea party feelings in the movement. which has me disfranchised with the movement, i’m not a tea party member but the anti tea party seem to translate to anti conservative feelings. its sad because there would a lot of hope if the tea party types and the occupy types helped each other out. also i got sick of all the 60’s hippies types spewing the same failed bullshit and using the young people for political gain.

  4. I’m sure Fidel and Che were pro gun rights before the revolution.

    Heck CPUSA espouses anti gun control views because they fear it will inflame the far right.

    Quite frankly the movement is nothing to support, they have weird logic that gets by me, bailing out banks who probably paid that much in taxes in the 5 years preceding their bailout don’t deserve bailouts, but they who do not pay taxes should get a bailout because they got worthless college degree for 100k+.

    Maybe they should talk to the Universities giving back the money to the banks so their debt is forgiven right? Doubt it would happen in a million years.

    • Two wrongs don’t make a right. Neither the left’s nor the right’s bailouts were moral because they steal from capital-generators to give to capital-wasters. Doesn’t matter what the proper name of the recipient is. If you steal lawfully gotten gains from someone to give to someone who unlawfully or irresponsibly squandered their own, it is wrong.

  5. This is the problem with a two party system that has thrived in an environment where they are rewarded for creating DEEP divides between the American people, by each clinging on to polarizing subjects.

    I’m not sure why one would assume anyone in support of Occupy Wallstreet, would not be in support of 2A.

    The fact is, that people are not either Conservative OR Liberal. They range in their opinions on a wealth of subjects.

    As far as the Occupy Wallstreet movement is concerned, anyone who doesn’t think that large banks and large corporations aren’t overly integrated with government, and given too much power to influence US Law/policy, to the detriment of the American people, is more worried about politics than reality.

  6. The question should be “why are they pro-2A?”

    I have a feeling most gun rights supporters are pro-2A for two basic reasons: it guarantees us the right to defend ourselves rather than rely on government, and it’s a Constitutional right that acts as a safeguard against said government. It’s a symbol of self-determination.

    I also have a feeling that many people who say they’re pro-2A (especially those who suspiciously support values contrasting with other Constitutional guarantees, like many occupiers do) simply like the fact that they themselves are free to arm up and get violent if they want. I guarantee you, such people would love the 2A when it serves them, but if they were ever in power, they’d eradicate faster than you can say “Che.”

    • Meh…your making assumptions based on the fact that you couldn’t fathom anyone who was a 2A supporter, also be an Occupy Wall Street Supporter. I am both a veracious 2A supporter, AND I support the core messages of Occupy Wall Street. I am fiscally conservative, BUT socially liberal.

      I think its difficult for people who allow them selves to get sucked in to a HEAVILY polarized mindset, either from the left or the right, that their is a middle ground.

      • My assertion wasn’t just about the occupiers, though I did use them in general as an example due to the thread subject. It’s just about being careful overall in regards to who we call allies. I’m suspicious of OWS because, while I also can appreciate the core message, lots of varying extremists have latched onto the whole OWS movement.

        Bottom line is, I think it’s not only healthy but also necessary to question why someone believes what they believe and supports what they support.

  7. Silver is absolutely correct. The Occupy people consider themselves oppressed, so of course many of them would like the ability to meet force with force, if needed. But if they ever actually took power, the first thing they would do is reverse course and confiscate every gun they could grab. The brilliance of our Founding Fathers is that they were just the opposite. They took power and then provided that the right to keep and bear arms could not be infringed. Amazing.

    • Go Ralph, go….

      You’ve nailed that the whole point of the 2nd is to provide, umm, motivation to those in power to follow those other numbers.

      IE, the 2nd is the ultimate “check and balance”.

  8. My honest estimation of the OWS groups are that by and large they’re a bunch of twenty-something college students who relish the idea of protest and have jumped at the first big protest in their lifetime. The whole movement suffers from such a lack of clarity and focus I can’t begin to give them any serious consideration. The fact that so many of them are bitching about situations they got themselves into garners no more sympathy from me. Seems to me they feel that the very fact they got college degrees means they automatically deserve a high-paying job. Not so. North Dakota has a surplus of jobs but the average OWS protester seems to think jobs should come to them and heaven forbid they actually have to move to get a good job. They are obviously lacking in history or they’d realize that this country has seen tougher times than this and in the tough times we’ve seen whole families wander the country looking for work, ANY work. A bunch of self-entitled babies and washed up hippies looking for a last hurrah if you ask me.

    The fact that they deface objects with anarchy signs and trash the buildings of honest small business owners only further reinforces my opinion. Babies and washed up babies that have no clue.

  9. It’s pretty simple. I, and most of my friends and people I’ve met in the Occupy movement, are what I call Social Libertarians. Freedom of the individual is paramount. This means legalizing gay marriage, ending the war on drugs, opposing invasions of privacy, and supporting the second amendment.

    Economic issues are a completely separate topic.

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