Greg Littell: The idea of ‘armed rebellion’ in the U.S. is ludicrous |

Greg Littell: The idea of ‘armed rebellion’ in the U.S. is ludicrous

The shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, has brought guns and gun control back to the forefront.

Ben Carson, Republican candidate for president, said “America will never suffer under tyranny because the people are armed.”

I’m a gun owner and target shooter but Mr. Carson made a very simplistic statement. There’s a difference between common sense “gun control” and being armed to thwart a “tyrannical” government.

In the Revolutionary War, Americans were essentially armed similarly to the British; they both had muskets, swords, and cannons. Now, the arms disparity between a “tyrannical government” and citizens is so huge that the idea of “armed rebellion” is ludicrous.

Assuming the military was part of the tyranny (which it would have to be for tyranny to have any meaning), any rebelling national band of “patriots” would be told something like, “you either lay down your arms or the entire city of Dallas, Texas will disappear. You have one hour. If you continue, the next city to disappear will be Atlanta, Georgia.”

The only thing that would work to thwart a tyrannical takeover of the government, as Ghandi demonstrated, is massive civil disobedience. Freeze up the operation of everything, including the daily activities of the tyrants.

Another aspect to consider is that one man’s tyrant might be another man’s patriot. Maybe that original hearty band of patriots is openly and violently demanding something that a sizable band of opposing patriots approves.

Now you’ve got civil war, a condition that, if allowed to spread, would destroy the U.S. and its critical role in world order.

I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment, with reasonable and prudent restrictions. This is the position of the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats.

Also, we need significantly more work in mental illness intervention. However, we’re long past the time when buying an AR-15 and stockpiling 20,000 rounds of ammo represents a thoughtful and viable defense against some perceived future “tyrannical” government.

Save your money and instead work to educate yourself, your family, and the community about our government: how it works, how democracy works, and the requirements and responsibilities of good citizenship. Along with America’s great ideals and accomplishments, soberly understand its sins (slavery, Native American genocide, etc.) and why they were allowed to exist and persist.

The current internal threats to America are mainly along the lines of ignorance, poverty, a struggling middle class, corruption/greed within elements of government and the free market, and “cultural rot,” aided by the level of violence and sensuality we see in movies, TV, and video games.

The major American threats are external and the knowledge to successfully confront those, as well as our internal problems, is necessary to have an electorate informed enough to vote wisely. The depth of the partisan divide today is very troubling. Make sure your views are informed by sober intelligence, not partisan blinders.

“A nation ignorant and free, never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson

Gregg Littell lives in Auburn.

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