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Forum Post: On the Public Right to Bear Arms

Posted 11 years ago on July 23, 2012, 1:17 p.m. EST by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In the wake of the most recent incident of mass murder in the early minutes of Friday last, July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado, proponents of reasonable gun legislation have again taken up the issue, even as the President remains aloof to the topic.

Meanwhile, the NRA launched its All In campaign as early as April 13, in time for their annual convention, held in Missouri. A significant portion of this campaign includes paid for television programming, featuring the likes of John Bolton, who dwells at length in a morass of paranoid ranting over the U.N. arms treaty; and so demonstrating without shame or remorse the concept and legitimization of paranoia as a virtue, illustrating with stark clarity that paranoia has value to some as a means to political ends.

Let us be be clear: The entire issue of gun legislation is but a distraction, and rants against the U.N. in this instance serve only the interests of gun manufacturers .

Timothy McVeigh killed a great many more people than were killed in this latest incident, and he did not use a firearm.

Jet Blue captain Clayton Osbon, who had a meltdown while in mid flight, had in his hands the capacity to kill a great many more people than were killed in Colorado.

What is more, I could demonstrate how to make someone who is otherwise perfectly normal, highly functional and productive in our society, have exactly this kind of meltdown.

It would involve a variety of criminal behavior, to include stalking. We all know how difficult it can be to hold someone accountable for stalking, unless the stalker crosses the line and actually commits violence - and even then, our Judicial system may prove less than effective at preventing further violence at the hands of the stalker.

More restrictive gun laws will do nothing to change this reality. What is worse, when a process of stalking does have the result of creating a meltdown in an individual such as that experienced by Clayton Osbon, it is always the victim who is blamed.

This is no different than to say a woman who dresses a certain way is responsible for acts of rape committed against her person. This is to say the sex offender is innocent, the victim guilty. We would not consider such a state of affairs within our legal system today as either reasonable or just as it pertains to the issue of rape.

Yet every time someone has a meltdown, it is always the individual's responsibility - never have we seen an examination as to potential sociological cause, even though the process itself is highly predictable in terms of outcome.

  • "The court finds, based on the psychological evaluation and testimony of Dr. Robert Johnson, that the defendant suffered from a severe mental disease or defect that impaired his ability to appreciate the nature, quality, or wrongfulness of his behavior at the time of his offense," Robinson wrote in her verdict.

If what I suggest is true, then Dr. Robert Johnson has committed perjury in a court of law, and this will have consequence that will be borne by the people of this nation.

More restrictive gun laws have no bearing on the matter.

And what does it mean, if indeed Dr. Robert Johnson has committed perjury in a court of law?

What does it mean if basic psychological principles have been used to drive a man to such a state that his aspect and behavior present itself as mad?

Will we seriously hand such individuals over to the psychological industry for healing in such an event? The same industry which has now demonstrated a propensity to violate our judicial code as it maintains a shroud of silence and secrecy around this entire topic?

  • the answer is yes, we have and we shall, and this is little different than to place the victim into the hands of their tormentor.

And worse - for not only will we place the victim into the hands of their tormentor, we will make our entire system of Justice complicit in this most heinous and criminal act.

With this complicity comes corruption, comes subversion; and so long as the silence surrounding this entire process is maintained, so long as the victim remains in a state where no redress of wrongs done is possible, the entire nation sits confounded, utterly foiled in its commitment to the preservation of liberty, and of justice.

Among the shadows of this silence subversion and corruption of all we hold dear remains utterly certain.

Faced with such absolute certainty, better is it to leave the public undisturbed over their right to bear arms, in the pitiful hope that should that day present itself when it is undeniable to all that this nation has indeed descended into such a state of fascism that no political solution remains, perhaps the children of the Light of Liberty may rise up and throw off by violence what we have not yet thrown off by reason.



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[-] 5 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

How about we look at the "right" to use drones to attack civilian areas in America, and other countries (acts of war) without approval from congress.


[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 11 years ago

As I have stated elsewhere, my personal wish about gun ownership and 2nd Amendment rights from a personal protection standpoint is a negative one (I favor non-lethal personal protection if one must carry something). But the discussion is largely academic, because even if every single gun were removed from the US, violent minds will invent violent means to carry out their objective.

  • As mentioned in the OP, Tim McVeigh took down a large building with a truck full of fertilizer

  • A person can easily assemble a homemade flamethrower from parts attainable at any decent hardware store. In a large crowd, such a weapon could be as effective or nearly as effective as an automatic weapon

  • Pipe bombs can be easily put together using everyday household chemicals, and the knowledge to do it is obtainable from having attended any high school chemistry class. There are a lot of copies of The Anarchist Cookbook still lying on shelves in people's home libraries despite it being removed from public availability after 9/11

  • A compressed-air nail gun using large nails at close range can be just as deadly as any handgun

  • I myself used to have a dud hand grenade that I used as a paperweight. Such could probably be obtained at any decent Army Surplus store. It would require very little effort to stuff it full of explosive again

The list can go on virtually endlessly, limited only by the imagination of the person intent on violence.

Although I hate guns and wish that the human race were evolved enough to dispense with them through self-realization, such is only a distant dream. The plain fact is that we are more animal than rational, and the possibility that we will nuke ourselves is virtually assurred at some point in the future, be that future near or far. Even if all nukes were eliminated as well, the fact that the knowledge exists that they can be made means that someone somewhere at sometime would try to make one again. Such is the sickness that humans possess --- the desire to kill each other for reasons that make no sense. So it is not the instrument of death that is at the heart of the problem, it is the deeply flawed nature of the human animal that executes such insanity. Will such madness never end? Must violence against our fellow man continue forever?

Well, the last two questions are rhetorical, since the MIC assures us that the answers are no and yes, respectfully.

[-] 2 points by NLake72 (510) 11 years ago

I wonder if mental health care was more accessible, and less stigmatized, that we might have a lower per capita murder rate, or reduced incidence of mass murder?

I suppose a preventive medicine program such as this would involve some form of financial investment in our society, and it would surely turn into one of those crazy liberal programs that no red blooded American should support, because it's probably socialistic, or communistic, or maybe a cleverly veiled government mind control program or something like that.

However, let's remember: guns don't kill people, fucking crazy people kill people (even when it is a rational response to a crazy situation, which, does sometimes occur.) For that matter, I think we would probably have to extend the whole mental care program to include preventive prescriptions for such diseases as "dude needs a long vacation and lots of rest and good food."

Just an idea.


[-] 0 points by FreedomReigns (72) 11 years ago

In places like Sweden, everyone gets 8 or 9 weeks paid vacation. Its a pay-off that works both for people and businesses. Folks are less stressed, so they are sick less, and businesses get well rested and more productive employees. I've not checked but something tells me that mental health in Sweden is probably not the same issue as in the US...despite the cold and dark winters.

[-] 2 points by NLake72 (510) 11 years ago

Sunlight deprivation is no joke, we get a certain amount of that right here in the states. I'm guessing it's a leading cause of cabin fever, which (in the movies, anyway) usually ends with two guys in opposite corners sharpening their blades. There may be some truth to this cliche.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"Deranged Angels Of Self-Preservation : Second Amendment fetishism and the empty grandiosity of Hollywood’s comic book boilerplate" :

by Phil Rockstroh.

pax, amor et lux ...


[-] 1 points by marvelpym (-184) 11 years ago

I'm curious as to what people think about stop and risk along with stricter gun control laws. Both have been argued to either save lives or take away freedom. What do you think?


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

What? Tell me that you are not considering going to a stylist and trimming that beard and getting a stylish hair-cut and then buy some upwardly mobile looking clothes.


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

I can relate to that - I mainly shave when I am gonna be seeing my mom as she hates my beard.

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 11 years ago

The 9/11 terrorists did not need firearms either. All they needed was the naiveté of the American people.

Other people who did not need firearms:

Joe Stacks - airplane into IRS building

Ted Kaczynski - homemade pipe bombs

Timothy McVeigh - homemade chemical explosives

Ted Bundy - blunt instruments

Japanese subway attack - sarin gas

Eventually killers will realize that even automatic weapons are not scoring the numbers for their deranged purposes. Indeed, guns are the tools of amateur thought. Guns may even be a distraction from more lethal alternatives, such as bombs, planes, chemicals, biological, and those yet to be devised. As difficult as it may be to accept, guns may be the lesser of future evils.”



[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

??? - whats up?


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

What did it say?


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

It goes to a removed post.


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

I have not been following to close since about 11 as it is football Sunday. The post was not perhaps a smart ass comment suggesting this being a dem campaign site?


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Um....ZD....really? someone who found their way here but can't use google? Back to the game detroit is trying to make a late come back.


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Football coverage sucks - but it really spews during the election season - they just cut to commercial in the middle of a punt return. Late comeback effort by detroit.


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

I used to play - I used to be good - it was back when I was young and healthy ( well about as healthy as I've ever been anyway ). BTW - detroit did make it tied - went to overtime won with a field goal. Good game but as they are in the same division as the Vikes I would not have been bummed if they had lost.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago


[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 11 years ago

Henry A. Giroux: Colorado Shooting Is About More Than Gun Culture

Monday, 23 July 2012 09:51 By Henry A Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis

Violence saturates our culture both domestically and in our approach to foreign policy. The United States has become addicted to war and a war economy just as we increasingly have become addicted to building prisons and incarcerating minorities marginalized by class and race. (Photo: The U.S. Army)

The current reporting about the recent tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, is very discouraging. The media response to the alleged murderous rampage by James Holmes largely focuses on the guns he used, the easy availability of the ammunition he stockpiled, the booby trapping of his apartment and the ways in which he meticulously prepared for the carnage he allegedly produced. This is a similar script we saw unfold after the massacres at Columbine high school; Virginia Tech; Fort Hood; the supermarket in Tucson, Arizona; and the more recent gang shootings in Chicago. Immediately following such events, there is the expected call for gun control, new legislation to limit the sale of assault rifles and a justifiable critique of the pernicious policies of the National Rifle Association. One consequence is that the American public is being inundated with figures about gun violence ranging from the fact that more than 84 people are killed daily with guns to the shocking statistic that there are more than 30,000 gun-related deaths annually. To bring home the deadly nature of firearms in America, Juan Cole has noted that in 2010 there were 8,775 murders by firearms in the US, while in Britain there were 638. These are startling figures, but they do not tell us enough about the cult and spectacle of violence in American society. Another emerging criticism is that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney has spoken out about gun control in the aftermath of the Aurora shooting. Gun control matters, but it is only one factor in the culture of symbolic and institutional violence that has such a powerful grip on the everyday workings of American society. The issue of violence in America goes far beyond the issue of gun control, and in actuality, when removed from a broader narrative about violence in the United States, it can serve to deflect the most important questions that need to be raised.

Violence saturates our culture both domestically and in our approach to foreign policy. Domestically, violence weaves through the culture like a highly charged electric current burning everything in its path. Popular culture, extending from Hollywood films and sports thuggery to video games, embraces the spectacle of violence as the primary medium of entrainment. Brutal masculine authority and the celebration of violence it embraces have become the new norm in America. Representations of violence dominate the media and often parade before viewers less as an object of critique than as a for-profit spectacle, just as the language of violence now shapes our political discourse. The registers of violence now shape school zero-tolerance policies, a bulging prison-industrial complex and a growing militarization of local police forces. State violence wages its ghastly influence through a concept of permanent war, targeted assassinations, an assault on civil liberties and the use of drone technologies that justifies the killing of innocent civilians as collateral damage. Just as body counts increase in the United States, so do acts of violent barbarism take place abroad. Increasingly, we are inundated with stories about American soldiers committing horrendous acts of violence against civilians in Afghanistan, with the most recent being the murders committed by the self-named "kill team" and the slaughter of men, women and children allegedly by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. The United States has become addicted to war and a war economy just as we increasingly have become addicted to building prisons and incarcerating minorities marginalized by class and race. And, moreover, we have become immune to the fact of such violence.

Also See: "Henry A. Giroux | Violence, USA: The Warfare State and the Brutalizing of Everyday Life"

Also See: "Violence, USA: An Interview With Henry A. Giroux"

Violence in the United States is a commodity mined for profit, a practice that has become normalized and a spectacle that extends the limits of the pleasure quotient in ways that should be labeled as both pathological and dangerous. We are not just voyeurs to such horrors; we have become complicit and reliant on violence as a mediating force that increasingly shapes our daily experiences. The culture of violence makes it increasingly difficult to imagine pleasure in any other terms except through the relentless spectacle of gratuitous violence and cruelty, even as we mourn its tragic effects in everyday life when it emerges in horrifying ways such as the senseless killing in Colorado. Increasingly, institutions are organized for the production of violence such as schools, prisons, detention centers and our major economic institutions. Rather than promote democratic values, a respect for others and embrace social responsibility, they often function largely to humiliate, punish and demonize any vestige of social responsibility. Our political system is now run by a financial oligarchy that is comparable to what Alain Badiou calls a "regime of gangsters." And as he rightly argues, the message we get from the apostles of casino capitalism carries with it another form of social violence: "Privatize everything. Abolish help for the weak, the solitary, the sick and the unemployed. Abolish all aid for everyone except the banks. Don't look after the poor; let the elderly die. Reduce the wages of the poor, but reduce the taxes on the rich. Make everyone work until they are ninety. Only teach mathematics to traders, reading to big property-owners and history to on-duty ideologues. And the execution of these commands will in fact ruin the life of millions of people."(1) It is precisely this culture of cruelty that has spread throughout America that makes the larger public not merely susceptible to violence, but also luxuriates in its alleged pleasures.

We are a country gripped in a survival of the fittest ethic and one consequence is not merely a form of hyper masculinity and a new-found indulgence in the pleasure of violence, but the toxic emergence of a formative culture in which matters of ethics, justice and social responsibility are absent from what it means to create the conditions for a citizenry able to hold power accountable, produce citizens capable of caring for others and offer the conditions for young and old alike to be able to think critically and act compassionately. Justice in the United States has taken a bad hit and its absence can be measured not only in the vast inequalities that characterize all facets of everyday life from the workings of the justice system to the limited access poor and middle-class people now have to decent health care, schools and social protections, but also in a government that separates economics from social costs while selling its power and resources to the highest bidder. America needs to talk more about how and why violence is so central to its national identity, what it might mean to address this educationally and tackle the necessity of understanding this collective pathology of violence not just through psychological and isolated personal narratives, but through the wider ideological and structural forces that both produce such violence and are sustained by it.(2) But, of course, the American public needs to do more than talk, it needs to organize educators, students, workers, and anyone else interested in democracy in order to create social movements capable of changing the power relations that create the conditions for symbolic and systemic violence in American society.

Correction: This article has been amended to accurately reflect the number of annual gun-related deaths in the United States. It is 30,000, not 300,000.

  1. Alain Badiou, "The Rebirth of History (London: Verso, 2012), p. 13.
  2. I want to thank Brad Evans for his advice regarding the importance of emphasizing structural violence. Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission of the author. Henry A Giroux

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department. His most recent books include: Youth in a Suspect Society (Palgrave, 2009); Politics After Hope: Obama and the Crisis of Youth, Race, and Democracy (Paradigm, 2010); Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror (Paradigm, 2010); The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence (co-authored with Grace Pollock, Rowman and Littlefield, 2010); Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism (Peter Lang, 2011); Henry Giroux on Critical Pedagogy (Continuum, 2011). His newest books: Education and the Crisis of Public Values (Peter Lang) and Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (Paradigm Publishers) will be published in 2012). Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His website is www.henryagiroux.com.


[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 11 years ago

I liked the column. Sucker for good writing.

At least he addressed the KingCon contrived state of our society.

But it's Shock Doctrine and guns just help things along ~ together with stagnant wages, stripped benefits, offshoring, hoarding wealth, union busting, 24/7/365/every city RW Hate Speech, Fox Lies, MSM ownership, Citizens United SCOTUS, Crab Mentality, "Idiocracy" ignorance, lowest Voter turnout, on and Class War on....

Yet look at the fuss and expense they go through to keep us from Voting!! If Voting didn't matter, they wouldn't lift a fucking finger.

Plain enough?

Lift a finger to the fucking NRA! Get out the Vote! Don't be Conned! 2010 Never EVER Again!!


[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 11 years ago

"More cogent than you"? Peculiar question. Fishing? I don't know your writing except for these posts and replies. I'll get back to you on that. I wouldn't want to be less cogent than him, but I can appreciate academic. It can communicate to people where more colloquial or casual styles may not. Personally, I'm a Hunter Thompson disciple. But, in the end, it's all about communication, isn't it?


[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 11 years ago

Pedantics always annoy me! Especially pointless ones.

Regulate the guns, fight the Class War, Get out the Vote!!



[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 11 years ago

This is not a question of mental illness; it's a question of sanity which is a legal term that has no truly measurable basis. In short, commit a crime, you are guilty. The only question that remains is one of sentencing.


[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 11 years ago

I think your choice of Osbon is a poor comparison; Osbon had obviously become unseated and there was no intent or deliberate attempt to take human life.

Holmes will be tried for literally hundreds of counts, including Murder2. Because mentally disturbed or otherwise he is guilty.

You're a stalker?? How utterly disturbing; an abhorrent admission... you're now resorting to scare tactics?

Well, good luck with that.


[-] -1 points by Porkie (-255) 11 years ago

Well, you have an interesting point. It has long been my contention that all of today's emphasis on "body, body" as males utilize all means to get increasingly more buff, combined with both the mincing of virtue and the almost continuous exposure to gore was to serve some eventual purpose. That purpose is war and it's not a machine that speaks to us, it's evolution.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

"rise up and throw off by violence" WHAAAAT? LMFAO. Please!

The right to bear arms will not facilitate the overthrow of the most powerful military in all of human history.

Maybe if we all had S.A.M's and tanks (which are illegal) but otherwise that ain't gonna happen. Even then the "children of the Light of liberty" will get their asses drone bombed.

This is hollywood movie nonsense. Please tell me you don't believe this. It is irresponsible to rile up wacky people with this fantasy.




[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 11 years ago

it doesnt pay that well to be an spelling teacher, so why make a stink about it? Just curious


[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Sorry. Syria ain't the USA. We cannot overthrow the most powerful military in human history.

You need a gun? Get a gun. Just commit to being part of "well regulated militia"

Whats wrong with that?


[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

The example you cited of the militia planning an attack on the govt was not the "well regulated militia" I envision. So I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

You disagree with the well regulated militia thing.? but you're for the right to bear arms.?


[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld your interpretation of the Second Amendment as far as the right to bear arms. The ratified version reads, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

More or less, while room for interpretation exists, the document appears to say the right to keep and bear arms is independent of the right to form militias, though both are connected.


[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

Those of us on the left, who defend the right to bear arms outside of the NRA, often seem out of place to both the left and right.

There, I made it six points.

The right to keep and bear arms has little to do with mass murderers, who will find a way to accomplish their purposes outside of the law, regardless of how many volumes of legalese are written.


[-] 1 points by marvelpym (-184) 11 years ago

when people ask me if i'm left wing or right wing, i tell them i use both. you tend to fly straighter that way.


[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

it appeared in the top comments section on the right of the forum front page. Those comments get more views and usually get more votes because they appear on the front page.

That's how I got here actually. lol


[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 11 years ago

whats the " real issue"?


[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Well I don't see the need for guns amongst the general population. I've survived in nyc for almost fifty years without it. I don't live in fear. certainly not so much I gotta arm myself.

The constitutional may have interpreted the parts of the 2nd amendment seperately but they are 2 parts of the same sentence. As you said it's a comma, not a period.

So the correct interpretation is: not infringing the right to bear arms in order to create a well regulated militia. And certainly not the wack job militias we've heard about.


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Not any more.

The amendment was directly related to the need to defend against the most powerful military on the planet at the time (British). I see clearly a direct connection to the militia language. Nothing about food and survival. Not a thing!

But I understand the whole overthrow the govt thing. And I have agreed with your suggestions that we might need to take our govt back if it gets too far fascist. I just don't see it happening. I don't see our gun ownership as a deterrent, or a workable, or desireable solution.

[-] 2 points by justiceforzim (-17) 11 years ago

That would be YOUR interpretation, not the 'corrrect' one as far as folks like Zen and I and the millions of NRA members are concerned.

None of my guns have snuck out at night to do mass shootings as far as I know.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

NRA? That is clearly a wacko group. I believe Zen has disavowed them.

Good luck to you. We don't need 200 million guns we have in this country. There is something wrong with us if that is more important than the safety of our police and innocent citizens.

There has been precious little in the way of 2nd amendment interpretation. The most recent supports your position but of course that was the partisan right wing wacko SCOTUS of W Bush. So you gotta take that for what it's worth.


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I only said I thought you disavowed them. Not that you said they were wackos.

Of course "embracing paranoia" ( which you did just say) would lend itself to my definition of wacko.

Guns dont kill people. People use guns to kill people.

Maybe we should just outlaw bullets. Or maybe make every bullet cost $20K. Maybe that would work. Still constitutional I think.


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Well if we put aside gun control for a moment. I assume you aren't satisfied that everyday 84 people in America are killed by gun violence. (we just lost a 4 year old boy shot in the head by random bullet yesterday)

Is there anything we can do that you would support to minimize this?


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Wow. good luck boss.

I agree with ending the war on drugs. Like prohibition it creates much violence over turf and illegal income/profit. And the draconian laws are used against minorities to oppress them.

I support some additional, reasonable gun control legislation, but I think there is other action we can take. Most of all, some success in ending poverty and increasing opportunity would go the longest way to minimize gun death.

[-] 1 points by justiceforzim (-17) 11 years ago

Of course, anyone with a gun is a wacko. Anyone who knows Obama suckered you BIG TIME is too, I';d guess...


[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Ok. No prob. When that happens I'll be right there with my weapons.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

I have to disagree. Certainly, such a task as overthrowing an overwhelmingly superior force seems impossible, but we have just such a recent example in North American history.

Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba with an iron hand, and the United States gleefully backed his reactionary, totalitarian regime. Fidel Castro, who had fled Cuba in 1955, after being imprisoned for a failed attack on military barracks, gathered a small group of dedicated revolutionaries in Mexico and, quoting wikepedia, he purchased "...a decrepit old yacht, the Granma, it was on the 25 November 1956 that Castro set sail from Tuxpan in Veracruz, Mexico with a group of 81 revolutionaries, armed with 90 rifles, 3 machine guns, around 40 pistols and 2 hand-held anti-tank guns."

Less than three full years later Fidel Castro; Raul, his brother; Che Guevara; and Camilo Cienfuegos leading a successful revolutionary army that had defeated the American-backed right-wing puppet government of Fulgencio Batista rolled into Havana.

Fidel Castro has been maligned by the American government and media for over fifty years, only because he succeeded in turning his countrymen from feudal serfdom and putting them on the road to the industrial age. Even now, Cuba would be far more successful than it has been, if the U.S. embargo had not crippled the Cuban economy.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 11 years ago

Fidel and his friends were not fighting anything close to being our modern military.... poor example.

Vietnam might be a better example as to the realities of dealing with the US military, even then Gen. Giap conceded that he was fighting a long war of attrition with the end goal being that the US would tire of war and leave. The N. Vietnamese never won a major battle.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

Fidel won few major battles. Batista's army was fully backed by the US government. You can even find old photos of Batista smiling with his buddy US Army Chief of Staff Malin Craig.

So, I don't believe that Castro is poor example at all, especially when one considers that he left Mexico with only 81 men. Fidel knew that to succeed he needed to enlist the general population and even the armed forces to step-by-step support him. He did just that.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 11 years ago

"Supported by onetime Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs Roy Richard Rubottom and other State Department officials, the US Government halted US arms shipments to Batista in May 1958. Ambassador Gardner told Congress the common gossip that "Rubottom was the only man who could have stopped it." Gardner Testimony p.14 Official documents show that State Department officials justified their decision by saying pointing out opposition to Batista within Cuba: "There is considerable opposition within Cuba to Batista, who obtained power through a military coup and rigged elections. Batista probably does not command the support of a majority of the Cuban people today. He promised free elections in June but had not convinced the people that they would in fact be free and has recently imposed very severe restrictions and abrogations of civil rights. In addition to internal problems in Cuba, there is considerable Congressional and public sentiment in the U.S. opposed to shipment of arms to Batista."

~Memorandum of Discussion at State Department-Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting, Pentagon, Washington DC, 2 May 1958, http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cable/cable-5-2-58.htm

"He then turned his attention to Washington and the State Department and expressed great frustration. He noted that he was accredited to the government of Cuba, and that he interpreted this as being a mandate to give Batista full support and assistance. Yet the United States had stopped military assistance to Cuba when it was most essential, and he was sure that this was because Castro sympathizers in Washington and in the press had protested because American arms were being used to kill rebels."

"The question then before the American government was what to do about it. There was wishful thinking--as there has been about every Communist takeover--that Castro could not last. But every day that passed belied this, as he got stronger and established himself more firmly in power. The United States had outlived the day of "dollar diplomacy" and had renounced intervention in the internal affairs of other nations by the use of force."


"In 1958 the United States retires the military help to Batista's government that already for 2 years has derived in a bloody dictatorship that pursues and murderous opponents without adjustment to law some."


What arms the US gave to Batista has been categorized as second hand and never to be used by US forces again. This is not the full backing of the US Military by any stretch. We had/have a Naval base at Guantanamo Bay.... we never had the Navy provide artillery support for the Cuban Army. We never gave the Cuban Army air support on its missions. In fact all we supplied was 2nd hand weapons and some training.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

Fidel and company left Mexico in December of 1956 with 81 men total. In January of 1959 they rolled through the streets of Havana victoriously. Fidel overcame apparently insurmountable odds against the US backed regime of Fulgencio Batista. He did this by enlisting the population at large and disenchanted members of Batista's armed forces.

By 1958 the success of the Cuban revolution was a foregone conclusion. Here's a brief summary according to wikipedia: "During this time, Castro's forces remained quite small in numbers, sometimes fewer than 200 men, while the Cuban army and police force numbered between 30,000 and 40,000 in strength. Yet, nearly every time the Cuban military fought against the revolutionaries, the army was forced to retreat. An arms embargo – imposed on the Cuban government by the United States on 14 March 1958 – contributed significantly to the weakness of Batista's forces. The Cuban air force rapidly deteriorated: it could not repair its airplanes without importing parts from the United States."

In fact the US supported Batista's replacement by a military junta only because Batista had made enemies of virtually the entire Cuban population,

America had great interest in Cuba continuing as a puppet government. Once again, according to wikipedia: "According to geographer and Cuban Comandante Antonio Núñez Jiménez, 75% of Cuba’s best arable land was owned by foreign individuals or foreign (mostly American) companies at the time of the revolution."

The US government only tried to hide their complicity with Batista's government to maintain a facade of justification in opposing the Communist government.

As late as October 1963, President John Kennedy admitted as much, when he said, "...to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins."


[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 11 years ago

You can stick to Wiki, but in reality Batista did not receive the full backing of the US Military by any stretch. We had/have a Naval base at Guantanamo Bay.... we never had the Navy provide artillery support for the Cuban Army. We never gave the Cuban Army air support on its missions.

In fact all we supplied was 2nd hand weapons and some training.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

You are correct; I simply pointed out he was armed by the US government and received support of the government until our government read, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin:" the handwriting on the wall for Batista's kingdom.

I'm not quite sure what "reality" is, since it appears to be a matter of perceptions.

The United States did not consider Castro a serious threat, until the Cuban population overwhelmingly supported the anti-Batista forces. By then the best option seemed to be to oust Batista and replace him with a US backed military junta.

I only cited wikpedia to support my quotations and indicate the general backing Batista received from US sources. To deny that is simply to bury one's head in the sands of time.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 11 years ago


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I hear you. I don't wanna argue about it. Anything is possible. None of your examples really compare to the US military. but the only way it could happen is if the military service men betrayed the govt leaders.

I'll give you that. But that is so far off. It's a fantasy. It's a hollywood movie. C'mon nobody actually thinks we are anywhere near that do they?.

But if we do get there. I will be there with my weapons as well. Ok? I'm with you.


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Bush should be arrested. Is this related to overthrowing the us govt?


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I don't disagree with the signs of fascist drift you listed. I just don't think it will happen. Of course there are 200+ million guns floating around so I think we are covered on that front.

Maybe we can support and therefore build on the limited retreat from fascism you suggested Pres Obama has begun. Much has to change, starting with the corp=people, money=speech nonsense.

Good luck. (don't shoot 'till you see the whites of their eyes)


[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

There is always another one right around the corner. No doubt about that.

Luckily we have lotsa guns around to prevent the coming fascist takeover.



[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

The mass killings are horrible. But there are many more killed 1, 2 at a time. (84 everyday) This is more the issue.

The manufacturers are makin crazy money scarin the shit out of people. I Just read that gun sales are up 72% (similar to the increase in 2008) based on the fear mongering by the pr wing of gun manufacturers. (NRA).

The Dems have been cowed by the effective use of fear on citizens and politicians. These are all important signs to take seriously when judging the gun issue.

Arms (conventional, and large scale military) is a major money maker for the conservative plutocrats who are at the root of the fascist takeover you've alluded to.



[-] 1 points by April (3196) 11 years ago

List : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Group

These are the kinds of people that are running the NRA. Even though the vast majority of NRA members are for many common sense regulations. But that wouldn't be as profitable for groups like Freedom Group who have strong connections to the NRA.

'I asked the voters how many of them had health insurance. Only three out of 10 did. I asked them which candidate would be more likely to help the uninsured. Most of them said John Kerry, the Democrat. So were they planning to vote for Kerry? Almost all said no. “Why not?” I asked.

“We hear he wants to take away our guns,” one member of the group said.

“Are your guns more important than your health insurance?” I asked.

“Mister,” one woman replied, “our guns ARE our health insurance.” '




These people are truly crazy.


[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

I don't for a minute suggest an armed revolution. I only point out that it is possible. Fidel did exactly what you envision: he enlisted the population at large and slowly converted enlisted military men to support him. Otherwise he never could have won.

Look back at the Cuban revolution. The odds against Castro seemed insurmountable.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I'm familiar with it. I don't see that here. And like you it's not what I want either.

[-] 0 points by JusticeF0rTrayvon (-58) 11 years ago

Um, what? SAMs and tanks are legal.

It's called "law", you should do some research.

High explosive SAM warheads are not legal to own without license, same goes for the high explosive tank shells.

A SAM with no warhead is just a model rocket and a tank with no shells is a bladeless bulldozer.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You are mistaken. we cannot legally own SAM's or Tanks. Doesn''t matter though 'cause we would get our asses drone bombed.

[-] 0 points by JusticeF0rTrayvon (-58) 11 years ago

By Obama!

No, I know someone who has a tank. Please cite a law making it illegal or come to the realization that you are attempting to fit the facts to your predetermined conclusions. Not everything you can't afford is illegal.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

No! I won't cite a law. It is so!

Thats all.

[-] 0 points by JusticeF0rTrayvon (-58) 11 years ago

Because I said so! It makes it true!

Okay, you took door number two. And it's "cite", not "site", as in "citation".

So you're admitting that you make assumptions without factual basis? Don't worry, everyone here already knew that.

And for the record, you could own the high explosive shells for the tank if you had the proper licensing.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I disagree.

[-] 0 points by JusticeF0rTrayvon (-58) 11 years ago


Another nonsensical claim I have to disprove? Yes, it is legal to own HE munitions under certain hard-to-get licensing requirements. But it can be done. How do you think demolition contractors take down buildings?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

irrelevant. We're talkin about general population. Not spcl licenses. You make my point.

Stop wasting my time.

[-] 0 points by JusticeF0rTrayvon (-58) 11 years ago

It's illegal to drive a car!

What??? You need a license! It's true!

face it pal, you don't have a legalistic mind. You are still claiming it is illegal to own a tank.