I often have difficulty expressing an opinion on the gun rights movement, because my views are so ambivalent.
Principled arguments for gun rights based on resistance to unjust authority resonate strongly with me. I’m very aware of the historic association of limitations on gun ownership with issues of social control of the working class, going back to the Game Laws in Britain, to racial policing in the American South under slavery and Jim Crow to the present, and the role of armed worker self-defense in a host of confrontations with cops, soldiers, and Pinkertons. I acknowledge the role that armed self-defense has played in situations ranging from the workers’ militias that thwarted Franco’s July 19 coup in half of Spain, to Robert William’s defense of the NAACP in Monroe, NC, to the Pink Pistols today.
Unfortunately, such cases are almost totally obscured in mainstream U.S. culture. The groups that scream the loudest about government tyranny are, objectively, the most privileged, and have the least reason to complain. They are, overwhelmingly, white dudes who think they’re being “oppressed” because they have to see women in hijabs, people of the same sex holding hands, people speaking Spanish, etc., in public places, and aren’t allowed to kill them. Hence the politics of “Take America Back.”
Categories: Culture Wars/Current Controversies