Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is there a right to revolution?

In the January 21, 2011 issue of The Week, William Falk argues that the National Rifle Association is motivated, not by a desire to protect hunters, but rather by the need to protect "the right to revolution." This is why they resist bans on automatic weapons even after tragedies like the shootings in Arizona. He writes:

"This is not a fringe view, held only by shaved-head militiamen in camouflage uniforms. Though not often discussed around hostile audiences, the belief in the "right of revolution" is a fundamental tenet shared by tens of millions of gun enthusiasts, and is at the heart of the NRA's determined — and successful — fight against gun-control laws."  
The short but complete article can be found here.

John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and others have talked about the right to revolt when the government becomes tyrannical or stops governing in the interests of those it represents. Is there such a right, and if there is, is the NRA correct it its assumption that preserving the legal capacity to own automatic weapons is a necessary precondition to exercise this right? Does this knowledge make you more or less inclined to support the NRA?

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