Like many a mainstream media outlet, The New York Times decided that the Mandalay Bay massacre justifies a renewed push for greater gun control. Despite the fact that none of the proposed laws would have stopped the slaughter, despite the fact that the paper’s publisher’s has a New York City concealed carry permit, the Times reckons it’s time [again] to take a shot at the entire concept of civilian firearms possession . . .
Gun-rights advocates also make the grandiose claim that gun ownership is a deterrent against tyrannical governments. Indeed, the wording of the Second Amendment makes this point explicitly: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
That may have made sense in the 1770s, when breech-loading flintlock muskets were the primary weapons tyrants used to conquer other peoples and subdue their own citizens who could, in turn, equalize the power equation by arming themselves with equivalent firepower. But that is no longer true.
If you think stockpiling firearms from the local Guns and Guitars store, where the Las Vegas shooter purchased some of his many weapons, and dressing up in camouflage and body armor is going to protect you from an American military capable of delivering tanks and armored vehicles full Navy SEALs to your door, you’re delusional.
The tragic incidents at Ruby Ridge, in Idaho, and Waco, Tex., in the 1990s, in which citizens armed to the teeth collided with government agencies and lost badly, is a case study for what would happen were the citizenry to rise up in violence against the state today.
Is The Times right? Is the Second Amendment obsolete? Should we place our faith in “nonviolent democratic checks and balances on power, constitutional guardians of civil rights and legal protections of liberties”?