two main extremes in the debate over guns. The gun control people
are basically worshippers of the state. They grovel before the
image of the state. They believe in the state. They see the state
as redemptive: an agency of healing. This agency must be armed,
they say, in order to collect the money necessary to fund the
states messianic claims and programs.
A state that
can heal must be a state that can kill. The gun control crowd
worships a state that can heal. So, they call for the abolition
of private gun ownership. This is consistent.
At the other
extreme is the private militia crowd. They think that the ownership
of weapons is basic to conducting a new American Revolution. They
think that that their ownership of weapons will in some way slow
down the state. Some day, the People will take up arms against
Here is reality.
The ownership of guns is mostly symbolic most of the time. The
gun as a symbol says this: the state is not God. The state is
not finally sovereign. Citizens are sovereign under God, and they
possess the right to bear arms as a mark of this sovereignty.
of the messianic state go ballistic in the face of this claim.
They do not accept popular sovereignty. They accept state sovereignty.
They accept the fact that voters can elect masters, but they do
not accept the fact that citizens have a right to exercise the
mark of sovereignty: to defend themselves by force of arms. The
statists want the state to possess a strict monopoly over life
and death. They understand the meaning of the symbol of the gun.
They want guns and badges linked judicially: no badge no
militia people are dangerous. Why? Because they have a romantic
view of bloodshed. They think that the modern state can be successfully
resisted by force of individual arms. This leads to a suicide
mentality. The suicide mentality is the heart of the matter, not
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