A Better Way to Tackle America's Gun Problem
The linked piece is another call for more gunowner control, this time in the form of mandating certain tools and accouterments be kept only at licensed ranges. But there's something important nestled in the paragraphs of justification leading to this proposal:
"The state has been defined as whatever authority possesses a monopoly
on the legitimate use of violence. It is this monopoly on violence that
fosters social order and permits civil society to flourish and thrive.
When a mass shooter opens fire on a crowd, he is also taking aim at
civil society and striking a blow for chaos and barbarism. But when
citizens respond to this act of anarchism not by empowering the state to
make it more difficult for the next mass shooter to carry out his
murderous plans but by putting even more guns
in circulation, they further degrade public authority by refusing to
grant the state the authority it needs to preserve order and keep us
Down that road lies the dissolution of politics, and a return
to a pre-political state of nature in which every individual acts as his
own highest authority, using violence to defend himself against
violence found all around him." (emphasis mine, link in original)
The piece concludes thusly:
"Let's make it just a little bit harder for the barbarians to wreak their
havoc — and a little bit easier for the rest of us to take a stand for
This notion, that the state is responsible for societal growth through a monopoly on legitimate use of force, is antithetical to the concept of Natural Rights. It's one of the chief demarcations betwixt the Progressive Culture and the Scots-Irish Culture (which is arguably synonymous with the Gun Culture, or Gun Culture 2.0).
Most in the Gun Culture have concluded that recognition of Natural Rights is what allows an individual not to merely exist or survive, but to grow, materially, intellectually and spiritually. That, in turn, compels society as a whole to advance. Governments are instituted as a means to protect those Rights, and when government becomes an impediment to those Rights, it slows down and stops growth, both at the individual and societal level. It becomes a bad actor and should be replaced.
Progressives tend to feel that it's the State from which all good things flow; that human growth is predominantly a function of the state imposing order on the collective. Thus the State is all powerful and when managed properly, is the source for human achievement writ large.
Individuals possessing a means to challenge and in some cases supplant the State's role in securing a safe and prosperous society is an abject evil in their minds, as it undermines the view that the State is all-powerful. It hints at the notion that the State is not the Master of man, is not the deliverer of All Things Good & Just, and implies that most heinous of blasphemies; that the State is not God.
People with this perspective simply can't grasp that any good will come from an individual that's on an equal playing field with an agent of the state. That's why you see demonization of certain types of weaponry; certain weapons should only be the property of the State, so restricting their possession to only government employees seems intrinsically reasonable to them. (And bear in mind that only the more moderate strain of this culture would agree that an individual who's not getting a .gov paycheck should have any sort of weapon at all.)
Pay attention to the closing sentence, where he makes the contrast betwixt individuals that own guns (who inevitably "wreak havoc") and the civilized people of the world. The world I live in is barbaric, because I'm a barbarian. The world he lives in is civilized, because he's enlightened.
Got that? The Gun Culture is barbarism. The Progressive culture is civilization, and therefore it's their duty to spread that civilization to our barbarous enclaves. Whether we want it or not; it's for our own good, ya know.
I've posited before that Progressives seem to have trouble with math (even basic math). Sadly, that's not the only gap in their cultural education. This notion of an All-Powerful State (which no matter how they hem and haw is the only place their philosophy can lead) is the result of their Top-Down, Collectivist-centered worldview. A populace without the means to resist their own government often becomes its servants rather than masters. (After all, what good is having an All-Powerful State if you can't even make the peasants put some fresh paint on the walls of your office?) The belief that the only way to achieve prosperity and growth is to have an Allmighty State produce order out of chaos via its magical ability to kill just the wrong people is nonsensical at best (no matter how much I enjoyed it being used as the plot of a Captain America movie).
This is in part what we're up against; a culture that believes in the State; that only the officially sanctioned collective should posses any real power. This presents a problem, one which will inevitably lead to a solution, but not a solution anyone will ever think turned out well. One day there will be enough momentum on their part to act on their solution; complete civilian disarmament. Be it some real or manufactured incident, there will be a real push for an "Australian" solution to our "gun problem".
Don't be deceived. The problem they will speak of, as some of them speak of it even now, is that you and I and any other member of the Gun Culture has weapons. The solution, the only solution they'll ever arrive at, is to disarm us, or if we refuse to see the enlightenment of their civilized worldview, then to crush us like the barbarians we are. Remember, to them the State must be omnipotent, otherwise their entire worldview falls apart.
This perception of a State who controls all violence isn't the root of why their culture is at war with ours, though it's pretty damned close, and enough to be getting on with at the moment.
But dig a little deeper if you can; next time someone argues for individual disarmament in whole or part (including support of licensing, background checks, etc.), ask them what they think the role of government is or should be, especially about its having a monopoly of violence. I think you'll find that the more approving they are of gunowner control, the more they think that the good things in life flow not from a Creator, or even Nature, but the State.
It's important to not just know what they think of you, but why. This idea of an All-Powerful State that monopolizes violence and therefore creates prosperity and growth goes a long way towards explaining the "why"; our existence (culturally at least, if not individually) contradicts their illusion.