Barack Obama recently gave a speech about gun control. In it, he addressed an argument used by gun rights advocates (not used often enough in my opinion). He commented on the position that essentially says we shouldn't have more gun control because it is a last resort against a tyrannical government.
In his speech, Obama said the following:
"You hear some of these quotes: 'I need a gun to protect myself from the government. We can't do background checks because the government's going to come take my guns away.' The government's us. These officials are elected by you...I am constrained as they are constrained by the system that our founders put in place."
First off, if you watch the two minute segment, Obama comes across as a bumbling idiot. He almost reminded me of Bush. Who really thinks this guy is a good speaker? Maybe he's ok with a teleprompter, but he doesn't have an original thought in his head.
Second, I find it amusing that Obama feels it is even necessary to counter this argument. I have brought up this libertarian argument several times with friends and many of them have never heard it before. They may be for or against more gun control, but they think of it in terms of hunting and protection from common criminals (as opposed to government criminals). But for Obama to address this, he must have heard this more than once before. The fact that he felt the need to even respond shows that the liberty movement is having an impact.
Now to the meat of his statement. Is the government really "us". Are Obama and "these officials" really constrained? Obama is trying to get us to believe that just because we live in a so-called democracy (I know, it is supposed to be a constitutional republic) that the government can't become tyrannical?
I guess Obama would like for us to forget about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died because of a U.S. government invasion and occupation. I guess we should forget about all of the weddings in Afghanistan that had U.S. bombs dropped on them. And let's forget about all of the innocent children in Pakistan who have died from U.S. drone bombings. Oh no Obama, the government couldn't possibly do any harm, because we have elections.
This whole democracy thing is such a fraud. Obama only got about 66 million votes in 2012 out of a country of over 300 million people. And probably half the people who voted for him were simply voting against Romney and the Republicans. Aside from this, it doesn't matter what percentage of people vote for the winning candidate. The government runs secret operations all the time. How are people supposed to monitor what is going on inside the Defense Department, the CIA, the FBI, or any of the other agencies?
Before Hitler came into power, Germany was a democracy. Hitler took over and became dictator. Why couldn't Obama do the same? As long as it were blessed by the Supreme Court, then everything would be fine with the anti-nullification crowd, which is presumably many of the same people as the anti-gun crowd.
If Americans are well-armed, then perhaps we don't need to worry about Obama going too far overboard in abusing his power against the American people, as long as enough Americans are on the side of liberty. But if Americans are disarmed (except for the government), then what is to protect our precious democracy that Obama talks about? Obama could just declare himself dictator, get the blessing of the Supreme Court, and then order the military to enforce what he says. While this may seem impossible right now, it would certainly be far easier for a president to accomplish this in the future if Americans were disarmed.
The fact is that governments of the 20th century killed well over 100 million of its own people, and this doesn't even count the hundreds of millions more who died fighting other countries in wars. A well-armed society is symbolic of a free society, just as a disarmed society is symbolic of an unfree society. This is not to say that we will see mass genocide in any country that bans guns. But, it does make it more likely to happen in the future and it certainly makes it more likely that there will be a more tyrannical government, particularly to its own people.
I am glad that Obama addressed this subject. It just draws more attention to the fact that we really do have to fear our own government, regardless of whether we are considered a democracy.