Folks, you all should know by now that I often will wrap myself in the flag and our Constitution, so hearing someone publicly claim they feel a need to be prepared to violently overthrow the government, got me irritated. When I asked him if he knew the story behind Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion, he indicated he had "an idea" about them. When I asked him if the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education and the Federal Government's efforts to forcibly integrate universities and schools in the Southern States that opposed integration was cause in his opinion for armed resistance, he did not respond.
All the caller kept saying was that citizens needed to be as equipped with weapons just as powerful as the government's when "bullets are needed over ballots." Huh? Again, I asked him where he found those rights and he said the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Now, I can accept an opinion from anyone, but I have a hard time understanding how someone can calmly claim they have a right under the Constitution to overthrow the United States of America as represented by our government! Where does this right to overthrow the government begin? Who decides when the fight starts? More importantly, if Article VI stating the US Government and its laws have supremacy throughout the nation, how can anyone claim to have a "constitutional" right to destroy the government created by that very same constitution? How can one ignore the rights of other citizens established under the Constitution by believing their own right to bear arms is more important? I asked him where in the Constitution this right is found, and he could not answer me. Sure, claim you have a Constitutional right to bear arms, but refuse to acknowledge the power of United States is also based upon the same Constitution. If you want to overthrow the US Government and therefore, tear up the Constitution upon which it is based, how can you claim the very same document gives you the right to do so? Isn't this circular logic?
When pressed, the caller claimed he had instead "a natural right to defend himself." I suggested he take the time to read John Locke's Second Treatise on Government, wherein Locke discussed Natural Law and the need to give up some of your natural rights in order to create a formal society and that some rights had to be set aside in order to create a "community" (ie., a government).
Ah, but logic and understanding of the Framers (not the Founders) that wrote the Constitution seems to be an inconvenience to some Libertarians. To them, government is in the way and likely should be reduced and/or eliminated. But isn't it government that builds and maintains the roads these folks use every day? Who provides the telephone line the caller was using to call in on? Who provides us with hospitals, safe food and medicines? Sorry caller, as soon as you believe you have the natural right to overthrow the government of the United States of America due to some perceived or imagined threat, you deserve to be labeled a "Traitor" and you certainly are no patriot! Wasn't it Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes that said "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins?" I wonder how he would feel today about the rights of others when they swing their assault rifles into action against the noses of the innocent?