College Professor Claims Gun Rights Have Brought Tyranny

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File

There are a few words that, frankly, we shouldn’t cheapen in any way, shape, or form. Well, we shouldn’t cheapen any, but it’s going to happen. Words like racism shouldn’t be expanded to include anything but actual racism, for example, or else the real thing will get hidden. Genocide is another one.


Tyranny is yet another example, and like “racism” and “genocide,” it seems to be the target of some to include pretty much anything they can think of.

The Cambridge dictionary defines “tyranny” as:

government by a ruler or small group of people who have unlimited power over the people in their country or state and use it unfairly and cruelly:
This, the presidentpromised us, was a war against tyranny.
a situation in which someone or something controls how you are able to live, in an unfair way:
Women, the play seems to suggest, must resist the tyranny of domesticity.

Now, please keep that in mind for a moment because it seems that college professor Dominic Erdozain believes that our gun rights have created the very tyranny our Founding Fathers crafted the Second Amendment to protect against.

In March 2023, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser sent out a distress signal: “Protect Hawaii and our peaceful culture from tyranny of guns.” The Supreme Court’s Bruen decision had made it legal to carry firearms outside the home in all 50 states, and laws were pending to apply the ruling to Hawaii. “So, guns are coming,” warned the authors: to churches, schools, shopping malls and restaurants. Between “this dystopian future” and Hawaii’s peaceful traditions there were few remaining options.

A gun gives its owner “the power to intimidate,” continued the authors. It shrouds ordinary conflict in the possibility of death. “Once the guns come out,” they warned, “an unarmed person will almost always submit to an armed person.” And that is no way to live. This culture of confrontation ran counter to Hawaii’s values of modesty, tenderness, and harmony. But thanks to a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court, Hawaiians were going to have to live with the fear and anxiety that follows guns wherever they go.

Tyranny is not too strong a word. Guns have begun to define the American experience, from small decisions about where you might travel to the massacres that haunt the news cycle like the visitations of a malevolent deity. Sold as freedom, they have created the very conditions that the liberal state was designed to prevent.


Oh, yes it is too strong a word.

There are two kinds of guns in this nation: The lawfully held and the unlawfully held. When we talk about guns in a legal context, we’re exclusively talking about lawfully held firearms. The Bruen decision didn’t somehow give criminals a license to carry firearms and conduct criminal activities. It meant the state could not prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their right to bear arms outside of their own homes.

Yet what this essay in the pages of Time does is somehow equate the lawfully held gun with the unlawfully held. After all, to take a sentence from above:

“Once the guns come out,” they warned, “an unarmed person will almost always submit to an armed person.”

Now, let’s understand for a moment that the lawfully-held firearm is almost never going to be used in such a way absent some threat to the individual or someone else. The moment it is, it becomes a crime and is no longer protected under the law.

Now, an individual with a firearm can lead to tyranny, or what I term as the tyranny of the thug.

In other words, a criminal using a gun is, in essence, tyrannical. Yet our gun rights aren’t the problem because most of these individuals aren’t lawfully in possession of a firearm in the first place. It’s not our gun rights that are the problem and gun control isn’t likely to reduce such tyranny.


Take a state like Hawaii, for a moment.

For all this kvetching about how the restoration of gun rights on the island will lead to bad outcomes, the state already had violent crime. Yes, it was low, and for a lot of reasons, none of which were because of their anti-gun laws.

Despite the fact that it’s an island which causes limits in how people could potentially bring in firearms, and despite the extensive gun control laws on the books, criminals still got guns.

They could enact the tyranny of the thug.

Yet Bruen made it so the average American doesn’t have to submit to that tyranny. They can’t be barred by the state from carrying a firearm for self-defense, from having the means to protect against this tyranny.

As a result, the entire thesis of the essay is fundamentally flawed. Yet it’s a flaw anti-gunners will try to exploit time and time again because no one in the mainstream media is remotely interested in challenging it.

But Time really should be ashamed of itself for publishing it.

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