12 votes

With Neither Tyrants Nor Fascists: An Anarchist Analysis of the Growing Fight Against Anti-Gun Legislation in Virginia

5 comments

  1. [4]
    moonbathers
    Link
    Disclaimer: I really don't like guns and American gun culture is fucked up. I think for the largely white, conservative rural people that form these militias, the threat of the government coming...

    Disclaimer: I really don't like guns and American gun culture is fucked up.

    I think for the largely white, conservative rural people that form these militias, the threat of the government coming after them is hugely overblown. The Bundys were treated with kid gloves both at the ranch standoff and at the wildlife reserve in Oregon, and hard-right militias have always gotten a longer leash from the FBI than their left-wing equivalents. Modern gun control started with Ronald Reagan and Republicans in California in the 60s in reaction to the Black Panthers openly carrying. If a couple hundred black people showed up to a state capitol decked out in gear like the Virginia protesters were, people would freak the fuck out. Racial slurs would be thrown at them and Fox News and Republicans would make thinly-veiled racist comments about their "lawlessness" and invoking the whitewashed version of Martin Luther King that people are so in love with.

    It's also pretty hilarious that the article is titled "With Neither Tyrants Nor Fascists" and the picture immediately below that has a guy with a swastika tattoo. I don't know how the author can write this sentence:

    Most people know someone impacted by their violence: someone who gets into fights, a bystander, a victim of domestic violence or depression or the police.

    and not come to the conclusion that our country's relationship with guns is fucked up.

    Besides flirting strongly with para-militarism, this proposal offers a taste of the type of resistance this bill will face. A cascade of murky and dangerous consequences threaten to pour out in response to a state legislature pressuring police to enforce an unpopular and extreme proposal.

    This reads to me like "people are going to die if this law isn't repealed", which means "people like these protestors are going to kill their opponents if they don't get their way" which is such an incredible self-own. They're not about defending themselves, they're about asserting their power over their enemies. Donald fucking Trump insinuated on national television that Hillary Clinton should be assassinated if she won the 2016 election and appointed a Supreme Court justice who didn't support gun rights as much as the NRA wants them to, and no one batted an eye.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      Leonidas
      Link Parent
      Thank you for the response. I agree with this. My dad grew up in a household that was about as fundamentalist and far-right as you could get without actually being either of those things per se,...

      Thank you for the response.

      I think for the largely white, conservative rural people that form these militias, the threat of the government coming after them is hugely overblown. The Bundys were treated with kid gloves both at the ranch standoff and at the wildlife reserve in Oregon, and hard-right militias have always gotten a longer leash from the FBI than their left-wing equivalents.

      I agree with this. My dad grew up in a household that was about as fundamentalist and far-right as you could get without actually being either of those things per se, and he showed me some of the insane sources like the New American magazine and the John Birch Society which are so influential among these demographics. It's a mindset which is completely divorced from reality, and the more you buy in (which is easier when you're surrounded with people just like you), the harder it gets to disengage from it.

      Modern gun control started with Ronald Reagan and Republicans in California in the 60s in reaction to the Black Panthers openly carrying. If a couple hundred black people showed up to a state capitol decked out in gear like the Virginia protesters were, people would freak the fuck out. Racial slurs would be thrown at them and Fox News and Republicans would make thinly-veiled racist comments about their "lawlessness" and invoking the whitewashed version of Martin Luther King that people are so in love with.

      Yes, and I think this is essentially what's being argued by the writers. I think their concern is less that guns are prevalent and more that the "right to bear arms" is restricted in practice to the demographic you mentioned--rural white conservatives. This is also reflected in law enforcement bias--Atatiana Jefferson was armed when she was shot by cops in her home as a result of a "wellness check" called in by her neighbors. You can guess what the reaction was from gun rights groups, or rather, what it wasn't. Instead, she was demonized and blamed for her own murder, simply for having a firearm to defend herself. When one group of gun owners is backed by multimillion-dollar lobbying groups and acquiescent police forces and other groups are put at risk simply for existing in the first place, it's impossible to claim that the Right is under attack. Yet they're still the ones hamming it up and trying to turn a unionization bill into a decree for the New World Order, because acting like they're under constant threat suits their political purposes.

      It's also pretty hilarious that the article is titled "With Neither Tyrants Nor Fascists" and the picture immediately below that has a guy with a swastika tattoo.

      I think the point behind the title is that left-wing gun owners like the people writing it are opposed to both the far-right (such as the neo-Nazi portrayed in the picture) and people who make tone-deaf arguments for gun control while siding with oligarchs like Bloomberg.

      This reads to me like "people are going to die if this law isn't repealed", which means "people like these protestors are going to kill their opponents if they don't get their way" which is such an incredible self-own. They're not about defending themselves, they're about asserting their power over their enemies.

      You're absolutely right about that, but this isn't a "self-own" as far as I can tell because the writers don't support the ideology or actions of the protesters. In fact, they explicitly state that "[The protesters'] goals are rooted in a long legacy of white vigilantism and State terror." I don't think the writers saying that because of their violent nature, militias like this should be given free reign, but want to emphasize that by simply trying to force gun control, politicians like Northam and Bloomberg ignore that the real consequences are more likely to be further disenfranchisement of left-wing gun owners (especially those from minority groups), and an even more frenzied and motivated conservative backlash.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        moonbathers
        Link Parent
        It felt to me when I responded last night that it felt like they kinda did support those people, but I'm kinda biased. It's something I've been torn about since I became a socialist; there's a...

        It felt to me when I responded last night that it felt like they kinda did support those people, but I'm kinda biased. It's something I've been torn about since I became a socialist; there's a long history of violence toward left-wing movements as we've agreed on and the powers that be might not give up / share their power without a fight, but on the other hand, when is that fight going to happen anyway? In the meantime all owning a gun does is make it more likely that you or someone you care about will get shot.

        2 votes
        1. Leonidas
          Link Parent
          Yes, that's definitely a legitimate concern. On the other hand, one of the factors which helped me discover leftist thought (as opposed to socially liberal capitalism) was finding out about...

          Yes, that's definitely a legitimate concern. On the other hand, one of the factors which helped me discover leftist thought (as opposed to socially liberal capitalism) was finding out about organizations like the Socialist Rifle Organization and Trigger Warning Queer and Trans Gun Club, since it showed the perspectives on these issues were more nuanced than I'd been aware of. Ronald Reagan, the conservative second coming of Jesus, being a gun-grabber when it came to organizations like the Black Panthers was pretty enlightening. Seeing that the argument for many conservatives is less "the government is infringing on people's rights" and more "the government isn't infringing on other groups' rights as much as we'd like" is key to understanding the authoritarian tendencies which have seemingly popped out of nowhere with Trump and the alt-right.

          3 votes
  2. Leonidas
    Link
    While this article is slightly out of date since the Richmond protests have already occurred (and Alex Jones did indeed show up, as the article speculated), it still digs into the underlying...

    While this article is slightly out of date since the Richmond protests have already occurred (and Alex Jones did indeed show up, as the article speculated), it still digs into the underlying political conflicts which have fueled this debacle. Community defense can be a powerful form of solidarity, as shown by left-wing groups like the Black Panthers and the recent right-wing example of the Oath Keepers which the article mentioned. However, this creates issues when historically, guns have been restricted to white people and "gun culture" is dominated by right-wing groups like the NRA. The political views expressed in this analysis may not be agreeable to everyone, but it shows that the debate over gun control is not as simple as "liberals vs. conservatives."

    6 votes