“I think they should tread lightly…because North Idaho will become North Ireland if they take it too far” — attendant of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho Second Amendment rally, speaking about imagined government gun grabs.
Let’s start with the fact that the Second Amendment isn’t going anywhere. Sometimes I wish it was, but it isn’t. It’s in the Constitution, and it’s there for a reason–for the population to defend itself from a tyrannical government. There are varying interpretations of this–were these meant to be armed individuals? Militias?–but the essence of it remains.
It’s times like these, though, that make me wonder if the Founders had thought of the possible unintended consequences of this idea. The day’s news is filled with stories of misguided murderous individuals who were not seeking to revolt against anything, except perhaps their own depressing lives. And then there is the other problem–the people who are talking about armed revolt these days aren’t thinking of a monarch or a totalitarian dictator. Their fantasies are of overturning a government and a President which were democratically elected, but which they happen not to like. This would be the exact opposite of the populace rebelling against an oppressive elite–it would be a group of extremists depriving the majority of the vote they had lawfully cast.
What can we do to stop this from happening? Well, really, nothing. Again, our citizens arming themselves is legal and constitutional. Within the next few years, we may find out if that constitutional right was actually a good idea.