There are a handful of people out there who like to pretend they’re “one of us.” They know just enough about guns and gun rights to pass off as a gun guy, and they may even enjoy firearms. What separates them from us, however, is that they don’t really understand the Second Amendment, what it’s about, or why it stands.
Take Michael Tallon. Last week, he penned an op-ed for the Philadelphia area WHYY website about gun owners. In particular, the “dirty secret” of the gun culture that he supposedly knows all too well. You see, he knows the truth. He knows what we all know, deep down inside. At least according to him.
Here’s an open secret in gun culture: We’re defending a constitutionally protected hobby, and we know it.
You see, while hunting and home defense is all fine and good–though he claims we’re not any safer by having a gun in the house–the idea of gun owners fighting against a tyrannical government is just plain silly.
But we also know that if home defense and hunting were the only arguments we had, someone might note that we don’t need military-grade weaponry for either, so it’s really important to blow smoke about how we’re the last true defense of freedom against tyranny.
That, however, is complete and utter BS. It has been since the Wright brothers.
Look, whenever one of us starts popping off stupid about fighting a tyrannical government, ask us how the hell we’re gonna stop a cruise missile. Ask us how we’re gonna shoot napalm out of the sky.
Their response will be to minimize the argument and say that we doubt the government will ever go that far, which means, I suppose, that the tyrannical government of our imagination will choose to fight fairly against our plucky army of revolutionaries in the best spirit of American freedom.
Actually, no. I’ve literally never seen anyone use that argument, except possibly for nukes. Yes, it’s probable that even the most tyrannical government would be hesitant to use nuclear weapons on its own population, but not out of some sense of a fair fight but because it would end up being even more costly in the long run.
No, most Americans who look at their guns as a means to beat back tyranny would look at your questions and point out the insurgencies in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq have all stymied the United States government without needing tanks, aircraft, or some way to shoot down napalm or a cruise missile. For all the evil these regimes represent, they also provide a roadmap with which people can resist a tyrannical government.
Not that anyone wants that. Oh, it’s on the table, sure, but it’s the last ditch response that no one really wants to use.
But Tallon really doesn’t care about that. Not really.
You see, despite him presenting himself as part of the gun culture, he’s not. His bio at WHYY:
Michael Tallon is a writer and magazine publisher from upstate New York, currently living and working in Antigua, Guatemala.
In other words, he’s not even living in the United States. He left.
Well, maybe it’s for work? Maybe he’s just down there for the short term?
Nah. He’s been down there for more than a decade. At least, that’s what Tallon says in this bio:
Michael Tallon, Editor-in-Chief, head writer and delivery boy, of La Cuadra Magazine, expatriated from the States 11 years ago. After spending a year in Antigua gasbagging about wanting to start an English Language magazine, he hit the road and wandered about South America, India and Nepal before finding himself sipping tea in Darjeeling and realizing that maybe it was time to head home and pick up the career path. That ill-fated adventure in New York lasted about 6 weeks before he headed back to Antigua, Guatemala, where John Rexer had actually started the magazine in his absence.
Now, it’s hard to be sure just when the bio was written, but if we assume it’s recent and thus accurate, then we can see that Michael Tallon has been gone long enough that it’s not so much a temporary relocation as an emigration.
Which, of course, is fine.
However, Tallon’s screed at WHYY leaves that valuable context out. It fails to note that he’s not worried about a tyrannical American government because he’s not actually in the United States. While he admits it in his bio, even that fails to note just how long he’s lived there well outside of the American government’s authority.
Meanwhile, he lives in a country that had 29.62 gun-related homicides per 100,000 people in 2013 compared to the United States’ 5.09 per 100,000 people in the same year. This is despite Guatemala’s gun ownership rate, both illicit and legal, being about a tenth of the United States’. If guns mean crime, as Tallon’s final paragraph indicates, then Guatemala should be a whole lot safer. It ain’t.
Perhaps if he’s so worried about violence, he should rethink his place of residence.
In the meantime, he has no business even feigning being part of the American gun culture. He’s not one of us, and I doubt he ever was. He may have associated with gun people, learning the lingo and customs, but he was little more than an armchair anthropologist trying to study people very different from himself.
Judging by his idiotic remarks noted above, he failed…but only to us. The journalist faking his way as part of the gun culture does more harm, though, because he sounds so much like one of us. He says things our friends and neighbors have heard, so he sounds like one of us. Because of that, they assume that when he says we all think this way, we probably do.
Folks, we don’t.
Yes, shooting is a hobby we enjoy. Yes, it’s a constitutionally protected hobby. But the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting and it never was, and contrary to Tallon’s arguments, no one believes a tyrannical government would play nice with us. We just think that if it comes down to that, it’s far better to die on our feet than to be a slave on our knees.