We, the Chosen

Democracy is often equated to a being essential to a free society, and is also often confused with being the basis for capitalism as a superior system when maligning socialism.

Strangely enough, no political system today guarantees the right to vote and which is what we understand is needed for self-determination.

In the system there are already so many inherent constraints – the choice of available candidates and numbers and seat representation of the community in the overall vote – are two that immediately come to mind.

Then there is the obvious: seat gerrymandering, disqualification of voters and votes on technicalities when unable to do so legally, and of course the limiting of the means, locations and times to vote.

Even when elected, the people’s elected representative might have very limited rights and little power when there is a dominant executive controlling the government institutions.

Democracy also tends to be based on a winner takes all system, so when the winner has 50 percent of the vote plus one, who does he or she serve?

Besides the state, there are often also other forces at play, be it a monarchy or a religous establishment, from which a government of the day is then both behodden to and given having extra-ordinary powers in return.

We really do not need to worry, it is already all decided, not by whom we can choose, but by those who have chosen themselves and who will wisely decide for us.

Freedom with Guns?

When someone argues to the right to having a gun, the argument made is usually for self protection, often also that of his or her family.

There are permits too for hunting, for a rifle, but then it starts to quickly escalate with little or no differentation to all sorts of automatic assault weapons, essentially for that of waging war.

Originally the right to own and bear arms was arguably so as to be able to form militias for the defence of communities.

(For an opinion on the current easy access to guns and why there is so much resuting violence, please see my previous post: Guns and Fear – Life… as I see it (wordpress.com).)

It is hard to believe this is needed today with full fledged, well equiped and trained armies to protect against external threats.

Unless we are saying that there is a also risk of the police and various security agencies for internal threats also becoming an enemy of the people and we might need a means to fight them?

Still, it is not so uncommon for a government of the day, especially in a less developed countries, to go rogue against its own people.

We could then first assume the democratic norms in place were just not strong enough, and that secondly the military was prepared to either enable a coup or to even directly seize power.

The question then arises that if indeed violent resistance would indeed be the best course and would weapons of militia be enough?

If history is any indicator, this approach also requires intervention by the powers that be which will have a vested interest and whose support might even go so far as a proxy war.

Meaning, an outcome that if successful, is often an exchange of one form of tyranny with another, even if apparently more benign.

The path of non-violence resistance has sometimes proven to be effective in regime change, much less so in fighting a takeover, but also requires a giant to emerge from amongst men.

Wherether violent or non violent, a transformation of society will have taken place, but not always the will of the people.

So what are you prepared to give for a chance at this freedom – the price you will pay for the course of action you decide in the face of targeted killings, enforced disappearances, or long imprisonment?

Guns and Fear

It should not be difficult to understand that having easy access to guns – which are made for killing – creates fear for those without.

Easy access also allows not just criminals but those mentally ill or emotionally disturbed and the indoctrinated to have and use guns, and as a result communities are constantly subjected to violence.

School massacres, workplace violence, shootings at events and gatherings, have become common place with innocent victms.

Those who enforce the law – even with having guns – also fear that guns can be used against them, and all the more so when assault weapons are categorised as for self-defence.

With having a constant fear of real harm from guns, self preservation comes to the fore, and so the automatic choice has been to police trigger happy.

The result has been a never ending cycle which can only be broken with the removal of easy access to guns and to limit the types of weapons and who may have them.

Any right to protect oneself when needed cannot be at the expense of the right to the safety of all other members of the community.

Very simply, the privatisation of a core function of state where profit becomes an overriding consideration cannot continue, and more so when all parts of a justice system are smilarly compromised.

Imagine if your job has a quota of tickets to be issued for offenses and even arrests to be made to put people in prison?

It is easy then to pick soft targets as societies tend to be about me, us, and them, and so are inherently racist when not otherwise divided by status and class distinctions.

Here there is no easy solution beyond education as a long-term enabler.

Policing is both a core function and a responsibility that belongs to the state, not to privatised, and is as an essential service to the community being served based on principles of justice.