In today’s conversations about guns and government, one idea is especially absurd. It’s the idea that the U.S. government — or any government, past or present, on the planet — supports a right to overthrow itself through armed revolution.

Abstractly, everyone can agree there is a right to revolution — in other places and times. But no government will ever voluntarily put the means of its destruction in the hands of those it governs.

All of us love freedom. Women, men, people of all races. Yet right now, thousands, perhaps even millions, of U.S. citizens, mostly white men, not only claim the legal right to arm themselves beyond any self-defense need, but even to overthrow the government, because of their thirst for freedom. Those men are disorganized, have no clear program, and are following the lead of elected officials who will never be revolutionaries. (Of course this does not describe “all white men.” There are white male liberals, radicals, and even white race traitors, as I aspire to be.)

In the last century, U.S. citizens who are not white men have fought successfully to gain dignity and standing — darker-skinned people, women, people with disabilities, sexual minorities, non-Christians, and others. In the process of these struggles, most white men have also gained more dignity and standing as democracy and human rights expanded. But many of us still crave the old advantages we had back in the day. And that makes some of us subject to manipulation into an incoherent armed force — a force that will never make revolution, but does intimidate its neighbors.

Who’s doing the manipulating? It’s the super-rich, trying to stay on track to squeeze our planet’s fossil fuel wealth dry at any cost, using corporate media and sophisticated messaging.

Jeff Davis, to defend massive wealth in human flesh, needed men in gray, so he told a thrilling set of lies. Today, our corporate rulers lie to everyone, persuading one group that the other group are kooky rightwing gunmen, and persuading the others that the rest of us are sleazy and immoral. All of us are told only our designated hero politicians can save us from The Evil Other.

Far too many on all sides look at real people and see fake news stereotypes. And when we are treated as stereotypes, we each just get angrier.

We white men need to adjust ourselves to the independence of women, to the full humanity of all ethnicities, to respect for gender and sexual minorities. This is taking way too long. But I don’t believe confused armed white men are my real enemy, especially when billions are spent to promote confusion.

The enemy are who manipulate them — and also manipulating liberals with fables about Russia and about spy agencies being their friends. The super-rich are protecting the power their stunning wealth gives them. They know that if enough of us actually see “the man behind the curtain,” we might go on to finish the long struggle of democracy and turn to working together to heal our world.

Larry L. Yates is a resident of Winchester.

(15) comments

Ping

Still stuck in the 60's, I see.

Ping

Both the 19th and 20th century versions of the '60's apparently.

ShruggingAtlas

Yes, he seems quite delusional.

Steve Cunningham

What an idiot!! Must be difficult to live in Larry's world [unsure]

cuphaus

And George Washington then led troops to put down the "whiskey rebellion" by those who believed the govt. was over-reaching by taxing their product.

ShruggingAtlas

Thanks for giving us yet another reason to not comply with the gun grabbers.

Rattler

The white man. Is that all you know??. They are mostly legal firearm owners, not all white supremacist idiots. Funny you complain about the disapproval of so many black in prison. So who is committing the most crimes? Hmmmm. Wonder how many of these were legal purchases by the criminal. Make all the laws you want mMr. Yates, it won't hurt the criminals because they don't follow the law. Guess next we will need more law enforcement for gun runners. You can go to most corners in predominantly people of color and buy any firearm for little or nothing. Who you hurting?... Not the white man, but LEGAL firearm purchases. People want to change there sex, maybe you ought to change the color of your skin. Before you spout you leftist bs,, maybe you should get the real facts. Bloomberg is funding Virginia, move to new york or California.

Spock Here

"Who’s doing the manipulating? It’s the super-rich, trying to stay on track to squeeze our planet’s fossil fuel wealth dry at any cost, using corporate media and sophisticated messaging." Exactly....and we are letting it happen

Steve Cunningham

This is so funny that it is sad that not just Larry thinks this way, but Spock is just as crazy as Larry [crying]

Spock Here

Self proclaimed preacher is calling people idiots and crazy, yet thinking that a mentally unfit person currently residing in the people's house is good to go. Do tell us Steven, if this blabbering "idiot" was disrespecting our national anthem like a hyper 2 year old, would you seek some medical help for him, or just prop him up with drugs so he could be getting on with the "conservative" agenda? Kinda like you did with Reagan? I hope you are at least praying for him. I'll own idiot and crazy for your sake, but then again, I am not holding on to the nuclear codes.

Steve Cunningham

"Spock Here, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Spock Here

"Congratulations, Steven, you just passed first grade."

Ping

Spocommunism

DavidSparkman

Well look in the mirror Mr. Yeats. You speak of the Civil war. Does your memory go back further? It was George Washington himself that suggested that abusive governments could be prevented by an armed citizenry. Yes, we may need to rebel again, but I prefer to think of it like Washington as a mean of prevention. To bad you expound your liberal cure for silencing a liberty loving people with your own lies. You ought to have a more diverse group of friends and you might learn something.

Maurerguy

I'm not a liberal and this letter said nothing about gun control laws.

The existence of a large number of people with personal firearms (statistically mostly white men) has zero impact on encroachments on our liberty like the PATRIOT Act. Zero.

If any of y'all were serious about being an armed citizenry, the first act would be to go out and gain the trust of the people. Be the first ones there in times of disaster. Help the homeless. Support women when they are abused or raped. Protect citizens who are in minority groups from assaults by thugs of any color. And above all, discipline those in your circles who abuse others.

Instead, you march around like little boys who just got their Daisy rifle. Other citizens are afraid of you, but the government thinks you are hilarious.

Politics is not about looking tough and powerful.It's about building power. There would have been no George Washington without Tom Paine and Sam Adams first. And there certainly would have been no George Washington if the colonial militias had all fallen for British administrators that told them they were defending liberty just by walking around with firearms.

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