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Ted Cruz’s frightening gun fanaticism: When a presidential contender encourages armed insurrection. That’s the headline at, as steadfast a proponent of civilian disarmament as you’ll find on the Internets. Sub-head: “Ted Cruz thinks Americans should arm themselves against ‘tyranny,’ and Lindsey Graham thinks that’s crazy.” Call me crazy, but I think it’s crazy that Lindsay Graham thinks it’s crazy. Anyway, here’s the windup:  . . .

As incredible as it sounds, there’s an argument going on right now between two Republican senators (and, potentially, two Republican candidates for the presidency) over whether the American citizenry should be ready to fight a war against the federal government. The two senators in question are Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, and they can’t seem to agree whether the Second Amendment serves as bulwark against government “tyranny.”

And here’s the pitch:

It all started with a fundraising email Cruz sent making the case that “The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t for just protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty.” TPM’s Sahil Kapur asked Grahamwhat he thought of his Texan colleague’s view of the Second Amendment, and the South Carolina senator was not impressed. He even invoked the Civil War, which should make Cruz’s people plenty upset. “Well, we tried that once in South Carolina,” Graham said. “I wouldn’t go down that road again.”

This view of gun rights that casts personal firearm ownership as a check on the abuses of government doesn’t make a great deal of practical sense, and it betrays a lack of faith in our democratic institutions.

Yeah, no. Cruz’s view of gun rights is faithful to the fathers who founded this country. Founded it with uninfringeable gun rights to protect the constitutional republic (for which it stands).

It’s not a pretty concept: patriots fighting their own government to preserve their freedom. But that’s exactly what’s prevented government tyranny. Well, sometimes. Ask the descendants of slaves, American Indians and interned Japanese Americans how that worked out for them. Or the families of the innocents murdered at Waco by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

I don’t doubt that Cruz would argue strongly against an armed response to Obama’s immigration orders and tweaks to Obamacare. But at the same time, he’s the one bringing up government “tyranny” and “lawlessness,” and he’s the one bringing up the need to arm oneself in order to preserve one’s liberty. So he should be the one to explain where those two concepts intersect, and when an armed citizen would be justified in committing violence against the government.

Note to author Simon Maloy: it’s like pornography. You’ll know it when you see it. Alternatively, it’s when the water in the pot gets too hot for us frogs.

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  1. “as steadfast a proponent of civilian as you’ll find on the Internets.”
    Maybe you left a word out? I’m guessing “disarmament?”

    Other possibilities:
    dependance on the nanny state

  2. “So he should be the one to explain where those two concepts intersect, and when an armed citizen would be justified in committing violence against the government.”

    I think the red line for that question is when the federal government institutes a systematic gun confiscation effort. Just my guess at this point. Key word here is systematic. And it’s going to be tough to determine if it is systematic, as it will probably start out in a very nefarious, underhanded, and subtle way.

    • the time is past… a POTUS helping the enemy and daring congress to do something about it. just about evrry action the BOY King has done would have grounds for removal by the founders or all out revolt.

      does he have to kill someone live on camera. are we going to wait till they knocking our doors.

      sadly it might yes. people are to afraid to be labled terrorists or racists then to defend their rights.

      our country is dead even if not one more bill is past….. its already to late unless everything sense jan 2009 is repealed. the laws are already done and just not implanted yet. tweeking will not do it.

      • While I agree with you, the fact that the first letters in your sentences are not capitalized is really throwing me off.

        • Well Kstan. The reality of this existence is that we depend on the ability to communicate with the written and spoken word. There are accepted rules for such. In a civilization, there is the expectation that following the Rules, as in the Rule of Law, or the Rules of the Written Word are important. This ties in with the idea that words mean something, as in Shall Not Be Infringed. If a person violates the most basic of these rules, (as in capitalizing the first letter of the first word in the beginning of a sentence) that person is either uneducated, or is to lazy to use the proper accepted form of written communication. Either way, it shows a basic lack of discipline, a laziness, a lack of desire to the the job right, a lack of education.

          There is a reason civilizations rise. An attention to detail, a personal desire for excellence, doing the job right. When that desire for excellence becomes “old fashioned”, that is the beginning of the end for that culture. That is the beginning of the fall.

          The written word of the Constitution no longer means what it says, because it has become a “living breathing document”. The words as they were written by the accepted rules of the written word of it’s time now means whatever we want it to in this current time. The rule of law is no longer a rule, it’s a suggestion, especially for those with power.

          And your a “Grammar Nazi” if you want anything else.

        • Yikes. I counted at least seven (7) grammar and punctuation errors right there, without even trying hard. It’s deuced hard to come down on someone else when one’s own house is made of cracked glass.

        • LOL. Thar you go davidx. I’m a product of the current Liberal/Progressive degradation of standards. I grew up on the West Coast in the Bay Area. It is because of their “good enough” attitude that we are in this current state of free fall of over all societal standards of civilized behavior.

          Which is why I’m back in school to get the education I didn’t get growing up. But it is a process to unlearn bad behaviors learned at an early age. But it is happening. If slowly.

        • I wouldn’t stipulate that one has to “go back to school” in any formal sense to recover one’s rightful Western civilization heritage. Years ago I’d say that the local library would be the place; find what you most want to learn and get it there, using the…card catalog. Except they got rid of their card catalogs and now libraries have Winblows PC’s hooked up to the innernet and lots of social events and “community” happenings.

          My best learning has come from finding the books by hook or by crook on whatever subject and diving in. If one wants to learn how to write the King’s English, one searches out how best that can be done and who has done it best in the past.

          I didn’t mean to pounce on anyone for their grammar, spelling, or typos; we all make mistakes along those lines. I grew up and was “educated” in the East Coast Megalopolis publik skools of Maffachufetts and had to unlearn a whole bunch of stuff, mainly the putrid Murkan history version I was taught there, for starters.

          Best wishes, and pax vobiscum

      • E. E. Cummings was a poet. You are not. (Look it up.)

        Start using punctuation correctly, because you look stupid when you don’t. Take the time to press the Shift key once in a while.

  3. Just because southerners’ defense of their homeland was not successful is not sufficient excuse to prevent future generations from doing the same. Protection of home and country is a right and a duty of honor.

  4. LOL, probably comes from typing too fast and not proofreading.

    Salon is an infamously hard-left rag based out in SF and its founders and main backers are old 60s-70s political retreads from the era of the Black Panthers, SDS, the late unlamented Jim Jones, etc. Old sordid commie politics, and the New Kids writing for them are even worse. Picture Mao’s “Little Red Book” as a typical Murkan or U.K. tabloid. They think Obummer is a Repub tool, basically, and would be much happier if Raul Castro or Bernadine Dorhn was in the White House.

    As for Cruz and his vaunted defense of our Second Amendment and right to resist tyranny, etc., etc., that would all disappear in a flash of camera lights the second he got elected and never be spoken of again. But he won’t be elected; it’s in the bag; we’re looking now at eight years of the Clintons ahead and they’re gonna be instructed and allowed to finish the job that was started on this country years ago.

    • +1. I dont think Salon has ever made a profit, so you have to wonder who is propping them up. They stopped being “fresh” about six months after launch it seemed to me, reading it some then.

      Salon IS useful. If they are attackjng Ted Cruz this early, he clearly terrifies the left. Thats another vote by me for Cruz on that basis alone.

      The guy can handle himself with the idiot press, perhaps even better than Reagan, off the cuff.

      The less said on Graham, the better.

    • Except, Cruz campaigned in 2A rights in seeking his Senate seat on 2012, which he won. In his first term, immediately after Sandy Hook, he was the Senate’s strongest voice on firearms freedom. He didn’t make a lot of Senate friends with that (or with his opposition to Obamacare, which he also campaigned against.)

      What we’ve seen so far is a man who’s stood by his principles, putting him at odds with the go along, get along, GOP Establishment. Now he’s running for President specifically courting such disaffected conservative voters who’ve sat out recent elections, resulting in Republican lossess.

      It would make no sense to build an entire base on 2A and similar core principles, snub the establishment, then abandon the base and embrace the establishment once in office; especially since he’s already demonstrated in the Senate that he won’t do that.

    • It’s Lindsey Grahamnesty. He’s part of the HERD of old bull RINO assholes who need to be UNelected fast like McCain and Chaffee. NONE of them can recognize the B of R with those giant horns on their lips.


  5. Mrs. Graham is a total d-bag. That old queen needs to fly off into the sunset with his boy McCain and retire to some island in the south Pacific.

  6. It’s like basically every werewolf movie. One character (who fears he may become a werewolf) hands a firearm to another character and says “Lock me away and kill me if I try to escape.” It is not in the first character’s will to escape; it is in the will of outside forces infiltrating and influencing the actions of the first character. The first character inevitably changes into a werewolf, and the second character just as inevitably fails to kill him or her, leading to a rampage, wanton destruction, tragedy, and the worst … string music.

    The first character in that metaphor is government. Sure, they’re benevolent. No, they’d never want to hurt us, the other character in the metaphor, the governed. However, when that full moon (money/power/influence/etc) rises, the government changes into something malicious. Not across the board, but in key areas. It’s up to the other character to act and save so many people.

    I believe fur is sprouting, even if nails and teeth aren’t yet lengthening.

    • The government werewolf has been out for a long time rampaging, engaged in wanton destruction and tragedy. The only thing we are missing so far is the worst … string music. It should have been stopped and put back in its cage long before you or I were even born. The People could choose to do so at any time and would be completely justified. Look at the Declaration of Independence. We’ve tolerated so much more than caused the American Revolution in the first place.

  7. So the GOP’s sole lesbian senator thinks the abolitionist movement was ‘government tyranny’? That seems a little racist to me.

  8. Everyone’s rights are systematically being infringed everyday seizing assets for forfeiture for executive branch monetary gain.

    Not a drug mule…they’re taking it anyway, your dime, go to court to get it back.

    Protest claiming the 4th. Ignored by bringing a drug dog for a false alert, thereby employing an effective workaround. All based on the word of an LEO with full backing from Congress and supported by judges.

    Legally own guns being confiscated in CA and its precedent will led to more state adopting this rule of law.
    How, when and who can touch a gum in NY will ink blot to surrounding states.

    The Constitution, the foundation of our liberty is rapidly becoming nulled by direction of representatives we elect.

  9. Wow. When the senator from illinois says “None of the rights in the bill of rights is absolute.” Wow….

  10. I’m guessing–and it’s just a guess, based on what I see when I open the home pages of portals like Yahoo and MSN, that Salon has even less of a reader base than HuffPo.

  11. If you are a congressman and use the word “tyranny” in any context, the eyes of progressive freedom-hating statists excitedly pop open. They then wholeheartedly laugh and rain ridicule on that person to the likes of a pacific island typhoon. After they are finished they propose more legislative regulations on individual social affairs usually for our “safety” requiring strict obedience, at the expense of our personal freedoms.

      • Which wasn’t the reason used to initially justify an armed invasion of the Davidian’s home.

        The whole “statutory rapist” meme was what was pushed after burning 98 men, women and children to death.

        It some how makes it alright that almost a hundred people, including children, died in screaming agony due to government violent invasion of people’s home on a fishing expedition, in the minds of some.

      • While Koresh probably needed a bullet in the head, it wasn’t under the purview of the ATF to arrest him for that. They should have let 1 Texas Ranger pick him up with a warrant when he was out for his morning jog. Instead, the Clintonistas killed all the victims and all the children, more Children than McVeigh and Lanza combined.

  12. It’s divide and conquer season for 2016 so Hillary looks “reasonable”. Even though she’s a war mongering neocon she’s still on the liberal plantation.

  13. I left a comment over at, however it wasn’t “approved” for posting, despite that it was polite in everyway. Went something like this:

    But there are ridiculous arguments against gun control, perhaps the silliest of which is that the framers of the Constitution wanted to preserve the possibility, or even encourage the idea, of armed rebellion against the government. It’s a particularly absurd argument when it comes from a member of Congress who is running for president.

    “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)

    The founding fathers excised armed rebellion against their government. It would be hypocritical for them to not believe we should able to exercise the same in their position.

  14. The two are not mutually exclusive. Graham is correct when he states the best bulwark against tyranny is an informed, engaged electorate. I doubt anyone, including Cruz would disagree. This is why Cruz is running for President and not organizing a militia. But having that armed citizenry in as a last resort isn’t a bad idea either.

    So typically, much hysterical hair pulling over nothing.

    • One could say that elections are the knob on the stove, and the right to keep and bear arms is the fire extinguisher on the kitchen wall.

    • “Graham is correct when he states the best bulwark against tyranny is an informed, engaged electorate.”

      But what authoritarians and erstwhile tyrants all seem to fear most is an informed, engaged electorate who has both the armed means and ability to defend itself. That’s what happened at Concord bridge and it’s what happened at the Bundy ranch.

  15. One guy in the comments at Salon provided a quote from Hubert Humphrey that almost exactly matches the “scary” thing Cruz said. Lol at the hysterical hyperventilating headline at Salon. There’s nothing remotely controversial about what he said.

  16. For those who can’t tell the difference between Lindsey Graham and Lindsay Lohan, here’s a tip: one is a whiny, degraded little twit and the other is an actress.

  17. The YouTube video is open for comments and likes! Here’s mine:

    Feinstein could care less about the 2nd Amendment. Such rights simply don’t apply to the lowly taxpayer, in her arrogant mind. She’s been a senator “for a long time,” and she’s “seen people shot.” Those experiences give her the “expertise” to deny gun rights to responsible citizens while simultaneously enjoying the protection of armed police staffing metal detectors.

    As with most statists, hypocrisy is strong. She’s “important” and you aren’t. Now go back to begging the government for permission to carry a gun. And make sure you pay your taxes. All of them. Or else armed men will be coming after you.

    • It’s important to note that her technique is to IMPLY that she saw first hand people shot with these weapons.
      “these weapons are dangerous”” but the people she saw first hand were killed with a ..38 S&W revolver.

    • DiFi is the poster child for what the plummy NPR crowds knows to be the solution to stopping crazy school sbooters, which is more early identification and treatment for the mentally ill.

      Not to be mean, but thr inapproriate irritation and agitation, and obvious confusion following the conversation in the YouTube looks like classic early Alzhemers symptoms. She really ought to be responsible to Califonja, and step down, alkngside Box-A-Rox, retiring this term.

  18. She said “unusual weapons” and to drive home her point, she says “should people have bazookas?
    Not even the senior senator from California is capable of a “reasonable conversation” which the antis cry and complain that “gun nuts” refuse to have.

    I sure won’t miss her.

  19. She sure isn’t a 6 year old, but her argument from authority is her “strongest argument”. Her example of “bazookas” is, I believe an appeal to extremes fallacy. As much as I could listen to her ridiculous squawking and blustering the take away was that she justifies all by emotional pleas and exaggeration.

    If she really was interested in saving lives she should take a look at the Heroin deaths that actually are increasing. From Forbes “Between 2010 and 2013 alone, the number of deaths nearly tripled. Just over 8,200 Americans died from heroin overdoses in 2013, averaging 23 a day.”

    How about smoking? The CDC cites smoking as the “leading cause of preventable death”, with smoking being attributable for “480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day”

    I think her attacks on Constitutional Rights has nothing to do with saving anybody. I think she is the worst type of opportunist.


  20. Lindsey Graham is one of the ass-hats that backs the unPatriot Act, NDAA etc that undermines liberty in the U.S.A. shifting power to rogue alphabet agencies and weakens Posse Comitatus. He and Peter King should be sent down to Gitmo for water boarding to find out why they back this crap.

  21. I’ve watched this video numerous times. It was the first time I’d really paid attention to Cruz. Here the guy shows his intellect and formidable argumentation and debate skills. As you watch the video, it’s worth keeping in mind that this a very junior senator facing down the anointed liberal lions of the senate. They are neither comfortable or at all happy at having this upstart from Texas dare to challenge senator Feinstein on her most cherished political position. Throughout the heated exchange, Cruz never gets rattled, never loses focus, never raises his voice or even defends his position. He knows perfectly well that he’s made the unassailable point: in order to defend her position on gun-control, Feinstein has to deny the sanctity of the US Constitution. She realizes that Cruz, this upstart Texan, has her well and truly boxed-in. Then Cruz drives the final nail in the coffin he’s carefully built by pointing out at the end of the exchange that she didn’t answer his question. It is often said that people resent Ted Cruz because he’s very often the smartest guy in the room. This video is a good example of why that’s true for both the criticism and the fact. Can you imagine how different the negotiations with Iran would be if they were going face-to-face with Cruz?

      • He was smart enough to clerk for the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS. His grades were higher than Barry’s (ashamed to show his), Dubya’s (C), Kerry’s (C-) or Gores (B-).

      • Not many people can stand up to a guy like that in a debate. Debates are intellectual gunfights. Only the very brightest have the kind of the rhetorical skills he has.

        Here is an example of someone who . . . doesn’t quire have what it takes.

  22. Let’s see, a legitimate position regarding how laws should be informed by restraints imposed by the Constitution answered by idiots who hide behind seniority and whose raison d’etre is to just pass the laws that suit them and leave it to other branches to decide how constitutionally valid they are. Feinstein and Turban should have been summarily drummed out of the building for that by itself. I couldn’t work with dotards of this magnitude.

  23. “…and, potentially, two Republican candidates for the presidency…”

    “Potentially” in the sense that Lindsey Graham meets the bare technical requirements to be a candidate for president, I suppose. Graham might be a complete moron, but even he isn’t stupid enough to think he’s got even a microscopic sliver of a chance at being the Republican nominee, much less win in the general election.

  24. “The 2nd Amendment is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty.”
    Okay by me. I would vote for someone with this view.

  25. Can someone please explain to me why there seems to be some exceptions to the First Amendment, like the child pornography that was mentioned in the video and shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater? What should the response be when those cases are brought up (usually by an anti-gunner looking for justifications to nullify the 2A)?

    I’ve always wondered this but never really got a good answer.

    • The first amendment protects you from reprisal from the federal government for saying things counter to the federal government. It does not allow you free reign to say whatever you feel like without reprisal.

      Shouting “Fire!” in a theater when there is none IS protected speech. You are NOT protected, however, from the “disturbing the peace” charge your shout caused. The same as if you incite to riot. Inciting to rebellion is protected speech. Not riot.

      Child pornography is similarly not protected because it breaks other laws. Lots of them. The acts depicted in the images are illegal, not art as they claim when the participants are adults. You have a right to not incriminate yourself, but if you take pictures and post them everywhere well… Similarly, the possession of illegal items is illegal. You cannot own stolen property even if you did not steal it yourself, for example.

      Think of it this way. You have a right to defend yourself from all enemies (foreign and domestic), and a right to own the arms to do so. You do not have the right to go downtown and start shooting in the air like a fool. Or, your right to free speech (self defense, privacy, etc) extends as far as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

      (Edit: You do not have a right “to not be offended”. Although I do feel some people have a “right” to an a$$ whooping from time to time.)

    • Well, the “shouting fire in a crowded theater” argument is easy because it is a false argument. There’s so much available about that on the internet that I’m surprised that people still use it. 😉

      Just one example from a quick search:

      Ninety-three years ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote what is perhaps the most well-known — yet misquoted and misused — phrase in Supreme Court history: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

      Without fail, whenever a free speech controversy hits, someone will cite this phrase as proof of limits on the First Amendment. And whatever that controversy may be, “the law”–as some have curiously called it–can be interpreted to suggest that we should err on the side of censorship. Holmes’ quote has become a crutch for every censor in America, yet the quote is wildly misunderstood.

        • The truth rarely gets in the way of people intent on enslaving others. They’ll still be trotting that one out long after I’m dead and buried.

          You are welcome and DownrangeFuture’s answer is superb, IMHO. The only thing I would change would be that one can also yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. But, as he so adequately stated, it’s what happens afterwards as a direct result of such action that matters.

  26. They tried the same smear against Joni Ernst in her Senate run. She spoke of protecting her family from a hypothetical tyrannical government and the pearl clutchers went apesh*t.. She won. Convincingly.

  27. This is exactly WHY I’m going to vote for Cruz. No one else is standing up for America without worrying about their delicate careers and possibly offending some pansy hoplophobic sheep on the public dole.

    • He hasn’t got the proverbial snowball’s chance, anyway, but if by some weird miracle or something he became President, do not be surprised if he returns to type (political hack) once having inhaled the toxic vapors from Mordor-on-the-Potomac. The guys in the White House are figureheads, and have been, on and off, for a pretty long time now. They’re told what to do and how high to jump.

      We also need to ask ourselves cui bono? Who benefits from either a disarmed civilian populace, or two halves of the populace at each others’ throats? We seem to be rolling steadily toward another civil war; half the country is outraged by what has happened to it over the last fifty years, and the other half is outraged at our outrage. And there is increasing tension and bad blood between civilians and cops, and between civilians and veterans, and even the veterans and active-duty people are divided among themselves.

      This does not bode well.

      Give a read to these guys if you haven’t already, plus the links:

  28. Oh, my goodness. Casting “citizen arms are a bulwark against tyranny” as “armed, national insurrection against the army” is the scarecrow-est of straw men. Citizens are far more likely to experience oppression in the small. Jim Crow was regional, carried out by local governments, and essentially uncoordinated across jurisdictions. Not so much the feds with the army, everywhere, all at once.

    I’m no fan of federal over-criminalization but most of the news reports about extortion or worse by “law enforcement” involve local entities. When fed agents do it, thus far it’s invariably been a local, over-zealous, rogue operation, which the overlords denounce then promise to reign in.

    Arms in citizen hands provide, rather, a backstop against the million petty tyrannies to which armed agents and officers might be tempted, were they not at risk of confronting someone likewise armed if they push their presumed prerogatives too far. (Does noone read Alexis de Tocqueville any more?)


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