On July 11, The Nation claimed that attacker Micah Xavier Johnson was simply fighting tyranny for the NRA when he opened fire on Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter rally.
The Nation makes this claim based on the NRA’s contention that one of the main reasons we have guns is to fight tyranny. In so doing, The Nation misses the fact that this was James Madison’s assertion long before it was the NRA’s, and that the assertion does not apply to just any group we whimsically label tyrannical. Rather, Madison applied it to a central government which oversteps its constitutional boundaries and tramples the liberties of the people.
But these things are lost on the publisher, which zeroes in on the NRA as if it were complicit in the actions of the Dallas attacker.
The Nation reports:
The NRA is quite explicit about this. In 1998, Charlton Heston gave a speech at the National Press Club shortly after being named president of the NRA that has since become famous among gun-rights activists. “I say that the Second Amendment is, in order of importance, the first amendment,” he told the gathered reporters. “It is America’s First Freedom, the one right that protects all the others.… Because there is no such thing as a free nation where police and military are allowed the force of arms but individual citizens are not.” He called the right to bear arms, “the right we turn to when all else fails.”
The Nation refers to the possession of arms to fight tyranny as the “insurgency theory,” and suggests the theory is propounded to ensure Americans retain a right to own “assault weapons” which can be used to repel tyranny from our highly militarized government.
For The Nation‘s theory of the “insurgency theory” to work, however, you have to be able to choose your own tyranny. For Dallas attacker Micah Johnson, that meant being focused on “killing white officers.” And in the context of this choose-your-own-tyranny scenario, The Nation claims “Micah Johnson was what Wayne LaPierre might call a ‘good guy with a gun.'”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.