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Defending the Right to Bear Arms

It’s very common to hear the defense of the right to one’s own arms as a hedge against authoritarianism dismissed. “It can’t happen here” is usually the sentiment. An American president once had over a thousand citizens jailed in opposition to what became known as the First World World War. Another, a veteran of the other’s administration, had large numbers of citizens interned and deprived of property on ethnic grounds. Both were known as “progressives.”

In dealing with murder, multiple or mass murder, there is always a call to restrict firearm ownership, a democratic principle and political right of free peoples. Little note is ever made of how political such calls are. A Latin nightclub in New York City was attacked with a simple bottle of gasoline in the 1990s, killing over 80 people. Coverage faded less than two days. No guns, no single story news cycle.

Mass killings have been carried out in many countries, on scales from hundreds to tens of millions. The victims were already “protected” by restrictions against their own gun ownership. Authoritarians always see to that.

When the serfs gained the right to their own property and weapons, they became citizens, and no longer property themselves.

- Dan Hoffman, Buffalo

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