Anti-government sentiment is not cause for fear, a sign of insanity, or a precursor of tragedy. Quite the contrary. Anti-government sentiment signifies attentiveness, understanding, and a love of liberty. If you truly value freedom, then you absolutely must distrust and despise government with every fiber of your being. Why? Government has no ability, whatsoever, to give freedom to anyone. Government can only take freedoms away. Our founding fathers fully understood this fundamental truth. They did not view government as a potential source of good, but as a necessary evil. Although they understood that limited government would be necessary to protect individual citizens from each other, they also understood that the Constitution would be necessary to protect all citizens from the government. Our founding fathers knew that if they did not restrain the government with the constitution, then nothing would stop it from taking all of our liberties away. This is simply the nature of the beast.
Many people mistakenly believe that the first Amendment grants us freedom of speech. This is dead wrong. The first amendment tells the government that they are not allowed to take that freedom away. Many people mistakenly believe that the second amendment exists only to protect hunters so that they can feed their families. They are dead wrong once again. Our founding fathers expected our government to overstep its bounds, and the second amendment was intended to be our insurance policy to rise against those encroachments. The second amendment is a direct extension of the Declaration of Independence where it states:
The gunman accused of trying to assassinate Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, Jared Lee Loughner, was not on any government watch list that might have warned someone not to sell him a gun or caused police to investigate his unstable behavior.
It turns out there is not a list in the United States for people like Loughner.
Obviously, Sullivan is implying that there should be a list for “people like Loughner”. The term “people like Loughner,” however, could mean a million-and-one things. When Sullivan refers to “people like Loughner,” she could be referring to white males, gun owners, crazy people, disruptive students, illogical bloggers, pot heads, fans of the Communist Manifesto, people who distrust the government, etc. etc. etc. Heck, just to be safe, we should place all of those groups on watch lists! Although I’m being sarcastic, I have no doubt that hacks like Sullivan would be okay with that.
The same goes for Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, last February. Stack left behind a 3,000-word, rambling screed about his problems with the U.S. tax code.
Less than a month later, John Patrick Bedell shot two Pentagon guards. He left behind anti-government writings and cited conspiracy theories involving the U.S. military.
Richard Poplawski, too, left an online trail of racist rants and paranoid thoughts about President Barack Obama imposing a gun ban before he allegedly shot and killed three police officers in the Pittsburgh area in April 2009.
In the past two years, there have been at least six incidents in which disgruntled Americans, acting alone, have taken violent action into their own hands. In many of the cases, signs of government distrust and paranoia wouldn’t have been enough to justify law enforcement intervention.
Six incidences in two years? SIX?!?! Of all the thousands upon thousands of violent crimes, murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, and atrocities that happened in America in the last two years, is Sullivan implying that these six are somehow symptomatic of a grand problem or a major threat? It appears to me that being unhappy with the government leads to violence far less often than being unhappy with one’s marriage. Maybe we should place people who attend marriage counseling on watch lists too.
There are scores of domestic groups with members who oppose paying taxes, disagree with the government and voice their opinions eagerly. But their rights are protected by the First Amendment, and opposing taxes alone is not enough to trigger an investigation.
Pay close attention to the language and tone Sullivan uses here. She is careful to use the term “domestic groups” when describing people who oppose taxes, disagree with the government, or (god forbid) voice their opinions. Sullivan is fully aware that, thanks to the mainstream media constantly warning us about “domestic terrorists,” we’re being gradually conditioned to believe that any “domestic group” has evil and violent intentions. The word “terrorist” follows the word “domestic” just as readily as “jelly” follows “peanut butter.” I wonder if Sullivan would ever point out that the girl scouts, the NAACP, and congress are all “domestic groups” as well. Also pay close attention to the second part of that passage. Sullivan actually bemoans that people’s rights are protected by the first amendment, and implies that “opposing taxes alone” should be enough reason to trigger an investigation.
I would love to ask Sullivan her opinion of our founding fathers. Would she have wanted Thomas Jefferson and George Washington placed on watch lists because they opposed government, believed in gun ownership, spoke out against taxes, and even endorsed violent revolution as a necessary part of perpetuating liberty against the threat of tyranny? As I reread Sullivan’s article, I can’t help but notice one bit of irony. Sullivan points out John Patrick Bedell because he “left behind anti-government writings.” Our founding fathers also “left behind anti-government writings.” We know them today as the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.