Debate Magazine

Josh Horwitz on the Bogus Application of the 2nd Amendment: Insurrectionism

Posted on the 27 February 2013 by Mikeb302000

This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct an important hearing to consider the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein that would take military-style firearms off the civilian market and ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. Undoubtedly, claims will be made by some Senators on the committee that assault weapons are merely "scary-looking pieces of plastic" that are functionally equivalent to your grandfather's hunting rifle.

Josh Horwitz on the Bogus Application of the 2nd Amendment: Insurrectionism

But what are assault weapons really for?
Please click here to access the written testimony I submitted for the hearing which comments on the intersection between support for assault weapons and insurrectionist ideology. In this testimony I make two primary assertions:
  • Semiautomatics AR-15s are now the weapon of choice for violent insurrectionists in the United States.
  • Contrary to the assertions of the gun lobby—the taking up of arms against our government by individuals (or armed mobs) has always been considered treason.
One doesn't have to look hard to find evidence of the true purpose of assault weapons. Right-wing academic David Kopel—who recently testified before the committee—has written that since “resistance to tyranny or invasion would be a guerrilla war…‘assault weapons’ would be useful and citizen resistance might well prove successful." And none other than NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre told Senate Judiciary Members that the Second Amendment was drafted to allow civilians to fight back against police, the military, and other government officials.
Such radical ideology had little standing with our Founders, who made it clear in the Constitution that the role of the Militia was to "suppress Insurrections," not to foment them. But it has proven far more successful in generating profits for the gun industry through a decades-long fearmongering campaign warning Americans about the dangers of forcible gun confiscation and even enslavement by our democratic government.

It's time for an honest debate about the role assault weapons play in our politics and culture. I hope my testimony can contribute to that dialog.

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