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June 08, 2002
On Being an Armed Liberal

There is a good summary of why one might call oneself an armed liberal on a blog of the same name.

Not being a conservative and spending most of my time with New Democrats, I generally fall into this camp too. I agree with him pretty much across the board. However, there are two subtle differences for me. Having not hunted much because it hurt me so to have killed an animal before (a Blue Jay with a BB gun when I was a kid) I don't share the hunting hobby. I will say, though, that I do understand what he is getting at because of that experience. Clay pigeons are generally more than enough for me.

The second item I take some issue with is his comment that private ownership of firearms is mostly symbolic in the state/citizen balance. Though I fully agree that deer hunters taking on U.S. regulars is a somewhat looney proposition, I do think that the reality of citizen soldiers given the order to disarm the citizens is at least somewhat chilled by private firearms ownership. I know quite a few reservists and active duty folks and the reality is that the fact that the populace is armed keeps those soldiers in check to some degree. The risk added to the tradition of only following legal orders is a very effective deterrent. Maybe this supports the symbolic concept, but the reality of the tool helps dissuade the average GI Joe from being interested in training their weapons on the populace.

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