As some may know there is an armed protest planned in Washington DC for the 4th of July. Adam Kokesh, a former RT tv show host and military veteran, plans on leading 2000+ people from Virginia (where open carry of loaded weapons is legal without a permit) across a bridge into Washington DC (where I’m pretty sure thinking about any item powered by gunpowder is illegal). This has put me in a position I am not really used to, my view is apparently moderate.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe we have the right to own any tool we want as long as we don’t harm others and I believe we have the right to self-defense. I own a gun (and she is beautiful) and have broken many gun laws in the past and I think the case for civilian ownership of firearms is strong from a philosophical and practical standpoint. Philosophically, we should not be discriminated against based on other peoples actions, which means I should be able to own a gun, tank, or whatever if I own it peacefully. I should not have my rights restricted based on what people like me have done in the past and I should not have my rights restricted based on what harm I have the potential of doing. Basically, the law should not discriminate and we should all be innocent until proven guilty.
From a practical standpoint I think when people say “but what about nuclear weapons” they are being intellectually dishonest and have divorced themselves from reality. If Iran can’t get a functioning nuclear weapon I am not concerned about my neighbor getting one. Also, I think that the government is here to serve the people and part of the balance of power is allowing citizens the ability to physically protect themselves from tyranny. If history tells us anything it is that every government eventually oppresses their own people or is invaded and overthrown… in either case, a well-armed populace will help secure the life and liberty of everyone. The United States of America is no different, there will come a day when this empire will become a police state or weaken so much that an aggressor will take over (I think the former is most likely).
So, I support private ownership of weapons but I think Adam Kokesh’s move is fucking stupid. This is not 1776 where marching against some red-coats will motivate a few people get involved and King George won’t know it is happening for a few weeks or months. If they march on DC and shots are exchanged (it really doesn’t matter who fires first) it will be used as an excuse to strip more rights from individuals, expand a “gun free zone” based on mileage instead of state borders around the capital, and the protesters will lose. And the public will support every one of these measures.
I have to wonder what Kokesh is trying to accomplish. This is tactically foolish and makes all libertarians look like gun-nuts. The current strategy of using the judicial and legislative system to re-secure our rights to own a weapon has been incredibly successful. There are more “will issue” states for concealed weapons permits, the Castle Doctrine is spreading, the Brady Gun Ban expired with little real opposition and the Supreme Court has defined the 2nd Amendment as an individual right in “DC v Heller” and “McDonald v Chicago”… it has been a good couple decades for gun rights and there is no real opposition to it. There has not been blood in the street, in fact, quite the opposite is true. So, what is Kokesh trying to do? Is this a power trip or some sort of ego-trip? He has been accused of worse though I really don’t know, I’ve never met the guy.
But, I think Skeptical Libertarian has it right:
“70% chance the protesters will meet in Virginia, try to walk over the bridge, get stopped by DC police, turn around, march around Arlington and call it a symbolic victory.
20% chance most of them turn around and a couple get arrested. 10% chance someone does something stupid and they die in a hail of gunfire.”
I certainly hope they are right, bloodshed over a relatively non-issue (regardless of the right-wing screeching about Obama trying to take our guns) would be a tragedy for all involved.
Any mode of resistance is valuable. It won’t be one act that leads to an egalitarian social and economic condition. It will be a series of acts that culminates into something more powerful. All acts of resistance are legitimate. I’d be interested in better understanding how libertarian and how anarchistic you are. An anarchist would never offer that the government is here to serve the people and would probably be excited about any resistance without criticizing like the mainstream media will.
I disagree, I don’t think ANY mode of resistance is valuable. I think in all battles (and the push for a free society is a battle) you need to understand the battlefield conditions and adjust your tactics accordingly. If you fail to understand the battlefield your tactics could end up causing more harm than good. An event like this needs to include public opinion, police response, and consider long-term consequences as part of the battlefield conditions. Like we used to say in the army, “the enemy gets a vote”.
Kokesh certainly has the right to open carry his weapon in DC, I don’t question that at all, but just because he has the right to do something doesn’t mean he should. I have every right to go into Central Park in broad daylight with a blanket over my lap and masturbate while waving the Gadsden Flag and handing out flyers about the NAP but that doesn’t mean that act would be good for me or for libertarian/anarchists.
You seem to doubt I am a libertarian or an anarchist, and to be honest, I really don’t care if you do. I’m pretty sick of the litmus testing and “more libertarian than thou” mentality of many people (which is how I interpret phrasing like that).
I don’t recall ever saying the government is here to serve the people, if I did then I misspoke and will clarify but that doesn’t mean I should be excited about any resistance and should fall in line without criticizing. I owe no allegiance to anyone, no matter how anarchist they say they are or what their stated purpose is. If I think that an act could lead to blood in the streets or will reduce my freedoms I will speak out, solidarity be damned.