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Gun Control and Civil Disobedience

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by Waldog, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    SharpDog, Stevie-Ray and Browning like this.
  2. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    Doesn't surprise me a bit.
     
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  3. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Let's be clear about one thing: "civil disobedience," as practiced by Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, is open defiance of unjust laws, with a willingness to face the consequences, go to jail, and make oneself a martyr. Mere passive "disobedience," as we are seeing with gun laws, doesn't have the same effect of helping to overturn them.

    For civil disobedience to work, it requires two things: a large segment of the public being sympathetic, and a weak or indecisive government. That's why civil disobedience would never work in, say, Nazi Germany. The protestors would simply disappear and never be heard from again.
     
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  4. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    A bit more background on Henry David Thoreau: he protested the poll tax and American participation in the Mexican War. For the poll tax violation, the sheriff put him in jail for a brief time. Henry never found out who, but either his mother or his aunt payed the poll tax. When the sheriff came to release him, Thoreau argued that since he didn't pay the poll tax himself he was still not in compliance with the law and he had a right to stay in jail.

    The sheriff, who understood that Thoreau was an endearing crank but no threat to society, had been forced to lock him up for breaking the law, but he knew as well he didn't belong there. When Thoreau tried to refuse to leave, reasoning with the sheriff that since he didn't pay the tax himself he had a right to stay, the sheriff, out of patience with him, said, "Henry, if you don't get out of my jail, I'll throw you out."(This information comes from an old introduction to Thoreau's essays from a book I no longer have and therefore I can't offer an accurate citation.)

    I accept that non-compliance with gun laws in places of heavy restriction is significant and probably very high, but I question how much good it does our side when a writer throws out percentages he doesn't support.

    Also, as AlexanderA points out above, unless he defiance is open and public it's not Civil Disobedience. You might want to carefully consider when and where you engage in Civil Disobedience. As an example, I believe I have a perfect Constitutional right to strap on my six-gun openly, walk into a New Jersey police station and announce what I believe is my right. Given that New Jersey's gun laws are passed by their legislature by popularly elected representatives of the state, such an act would end badly for me, accomplish nothing, and I think it's fair to assume that the majority of the people of that state would applaud my fate.
     
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  5. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Yes, exactly. For civil disobedience to be effective, first the spadework has to be done so that at least a significant portion of the population is sympathetic to the cause. In regard to guns, if the bulk of the people is against them, no amount of resorting to constitutional rubrics is going to save them. That means we have to work at the grass roots as much as suing in the courts or lobbying the legislature. Like it or not, all these venues respond to pressure from below.
     
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  6. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    That statistic doesn't help us, though. How many of those might just have a 12 gauge or a .22 in the back of a closet and never think about guns? Some studies indicate that 3% of the population owns half the guns. The fact is that we don't know for sure, because people are increasingly secretive about what they own. Would you tell some random pollster that you own guns?

    By attaching a social stigma to gun ownership, to the point where people are afraid to admit that they own guns, the antis have won half the battle.
     
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  8. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I'm not even telling YOU I own guns

    They were all lost in that horrible boating accident

    In any case I don't believe 3% of the population owns half the guns

    upload_2019-8-11_16-11-0.png
    https://brandongaille.com/gun-ownership-statistics-by-state-america/

    https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/the-demographics-of-gun-ownership/

    https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/firearms-trace-data
     
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