David Mamet writes this week’s cover story on GUNS. Here’s an excerpt:
Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.
For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”
All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.
Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.
As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.
President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”
But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?
It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm†, Newsweek
Pro tip: You lose 100% of your credibility 100% of the time when you use the word “slavery” to describe anything other than slavery.
Further Pro Tip: There are already MANY weapons that private citizens are legally prohibited from owning, like for instance nuclear warheads. If preventing the extinction of the human species is unconstitutional, then we should amend the constitution in a hurry.
Sad to see Newsweek stoop to linkbait tabloiding in its shift to digital, although maybe this sort of thing is inevitable. I’ve reluctantly unfollowed their tumblr.
What John said. I think trying to make a point by jumping to comparisons to “slavery” should be a thing like comparisons to Hitler (Godwin’s Law)—immediate discussion ender, everyone go home, no healthy discourse to be found here.
As far as the gun control issue goes (feel free to tune out now this is gonna be a long one), I see it like this. 1) As far as personal protection goes, having a gun in the house is useless or worse than useless 98% of the time because safe gun ownership means keeping it locked up and unloaded, but if it is locked up and unloaded how the hell are you supposed to have enough time to get it ready when you need it? Unless you know someone dangerous is after you, in which case why not just go to the cops? And if it isn’t locked up and unloaded, then (even ignoring the idea of a child getting a hold of it) there is a very real possibility than an unarmed or lightly armed intruder could take it from you and use it against you. This same idea is true a thousand fold over for carrying in schools, but if I start talking about that I’m gonna pop a blood vessel from rage, so let’s move on to
2) As far as general protection of the public against a (completely theoretical, whatever right-wing nutjobs may think) tyrannical state, gun ownership is pretty much a moot point, because whatever Red Dawn might have taught anyone, you and your miniature semi-automatic arsenal aren’t going to amount to shit against the might of the military. Even if every member of a given neighborhood were armed to the teeth and stood up to a tyrannical government, there’s nothing stopping them bringing in a couple of Harriers and carpet-bombing the place. When the Second Ammendment was written, local militias had a lot of the same equipment that the British army did, and none of it was especially impressive anyway. But it’s not 1791 anymore. If the government wants to use military force to oppress it’s citizens these days, the citizenry can’t do jack-shit to stop them short of hijacking military hardware after oppression has started.
Finally finally, to the caption reading “If President Obama determines a need to defend his family, why can’t we defend our own?” Well let me tell you why—because your family is not even remotely as likely to be the target of assassination attempts as Obama’s. Hell, I don’t think any family in the history of the Presidency has as much to fear as Obama’s, come to that. If for whatever reason your family is targeted because mob or serial killers or whatever, that’s what the police are for. Your tax dollars are paying for them, you might as well take advantage of that.
I AM the only qualified individual to determine my own needs for personal defense, Mamet, and I have determined that my own needs for personal defense involve minimizing the possibility not just that some crook can come into the movie theater at which I work and rob the place at gunpoint, but also that some civilian takes out his own gun for “personal defense” and in doing so instigates an unnecessary gunfight that causes even more bloodshed.