Going Mainstream

Josh Horwitz seems to be having issues with the fact that insurrectionist thinking is going mainstream. I hate to tell him this, but many of the ideas he rails against have always been mainstream. Take a look:

While America began as a revolution against the king of England, revolution turned out to be a terrible form of governing, Horwitz says. “There was no ability to tax, so (Gen.) Washington’s army starved. State legislatures had an immense amount of power. There were mobbings in every city with no central authority to put any (revolt) down. Militias formed and closed down the courts.”

This seems to be a tacit suggestion that perhaps we would have been better off staying under the British Crown. I have to wonder if Horwitz believes that. Because really, what Horwitz is rallying against is the very founding idea of this nation itself:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

If you had to pick one paragraph from the Declaration of Independence that you could say is really the philosophical basis of the United States of America, this is it. This was the sentence that gave birth to this nation. If the anti-gun people want to take the side of the loyalists, and suggest we ought to have remained under the British Crown, they are free to. But you can’t escape this passage. It is who we are, and it shouldn’t be surprising that people are still talking about it 234 years later.

What I can’t figure out is whether Horwitz is legitimately goofy about believing that folks who would suggest the Declaration of Independence is a blueprint for just revolution are just as radical and extreme as, say, a Timothy McVeigh, or whether he’s trying to chain the real extremists to those who are not in hopes that it pulls the whole issue under the water. If it’s the latter, he might want to rethink much of his rhetoric.

12 thoughts on “Going Mainstream”

  1. “revolution turned out to be a terrible form of governing, Horwitz says.”

    Well, there’s his problem. He doesn’t understand the definitions of “revolution” and “governing.”

    Here’s a hint, Josh: revolution is not a terrible form of governing, because it’s not a form of governing, and is not meant to meet the same needs as government. Comparing revolution to government is like comparing apples to paperclips – it doesn’t make sense.

  2. I just read the entire article–and I want to know, since when did most gun owners advocate anything beyond “one person, one vote”?

    Come to think of it, I think he’s implying that gun owners are violent people who are itching to overthrow the government. Never mind that owning guns are there for two purposes: for when the government collapses, and for when the government turns on you.

    Having said that, I like the idea–apparently one used in Alexander the Great’s Greece–to require someone who wishes to vote, to present fully-functional militia gear (a pistol, a rifle, and a descent amount of ammunition).

  3. I have a hunch they’re deleting comments over there. I linked to the DOOT expose of Josh/GritsJr and my comment appears to have vanished. It may be caught in moderation, but I doubt it.

  4. Josh obviously never read our Founders’ writings. Jefferson claimed that violent revolution on a regular, periodic basis would be necessary to maintain the “tree of liberty.”

  5. I’m honestly starting to wonder whether Horwitz has, in fact, read what the founders had to say and has decided he just plain doesn’t like it. That’s his right as a free person, but I would point out to him there’s a place across the pond where the Monarch still reigns, and there’s no dastardly Second Amendment to deal with.

  6. Sebastian, I can’t believe you’re encouraging your friends to talk like this. Arnie’s referring to what Jefferson said, is always good for a laugh, but does that really have anything to do with us today? And wasn’t that Josh’s point? You guys sound like a bunch of adolescents in the school yard.

    What I’m disappointed about in Horwitz’ talk is his referring to the Revolutionary War period at all. I’d rather he leave that to you pro-gun guys because using “the founders,” who were slave-owners who denied women basic human rights, as the source justification for anything just doesn’t make much sense to me.

  7. Then you don’t support the constitution or Declaration of Independence either? All of Western Civilization owes its roots to slave owning child molesters who tried to conquer the world. To what degree do you untie yourself from the past in order to wash its sins off your consciousness?

    In that case, why not a new social order? But how long before people are appalled our new constitution fails to recognize artificial lifeforms? Or people who have been so genetically altered as to hardly be human anymore?

    Maybe the answer is you never bind government from the past, but then how do you control it? These are serious questions you can’t just dismiss by bringing up the sins of the past. People don’t work the way you are imagining they do.

  8. Very serious questions, indeed. I agree completely. As we try to evolve away from the mores and ethics of 250 years ago, we open up many interesting questions.

    What I object to is when people cite “the founders,” or the bible for that matter, as a higher authority upon which justification is for gun ownership is based. We’re talking about serious questions all the time, like how far should you be lawfully permitted to go in protecting yourself and your property.

    Why would you even need Constitutional protection for something like that? Why can’t you defend it without resorting (hiding behind) the Constitution, especially if it’s as fundamental and clear cut as you say?

  9. How do you restrain government without a written constitution? Or do you argue that government need not be restrained?

    People cite the founders because they thought very carefully and thoroughly about these matters, more than most people have throughout human history. They also held no illusions about the nature of man. It’s for those reasons their writings, thoughts and form of government reverberates through history. If their ideas had failed, no one would give them a second thought. But their ideas didn’t fail. They succeeded spectacularly. Probably beyond even what they could have imagined.

  10. Latest comment I have left over there,

    “I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world. Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander.”

    How does Horwitz suppose that the last two “shall not”s of Prof Bauer be carried out if everybody outside of the government is disarmed?

    Does Horwitz believe that opposing true government atrocities, not ire over some piece of legislation but the sorts of government actions that put 150 million (or more) innocents in their graves in the last century, constitute insurrection, and if so is that illegitimate?

    Lets see if this vanishes down the memory hole as well.

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