Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A well-regulated militia

One thing about the Libyan revolt is that the initial success of the rebels did suggest that an armed and incensed citizenry could stand up against government power, which would, among other things, lend some credence to the arguments of the American right that the right to own guns was a relevant constitutional consideration as a limit on tyranny. I don't think, now I come to reflect, that the rebels were armed with private guns -- they just raided government arsenals - but in any case the point is moot because Gadaffi's trained troops are pushing the rebels aside as easily as one might have expected, and the dissipation of the early rebel gains leaves nothing to explain.

More generally, the American right-wing position on guns and governments does seem rather incoherent; at home they say that guns in the hands of citizens make it impossible for an unpopular government to impose its will on the citizenry, and abroad they expect that the American army should have no real difficulty imposing its will on well-armed subject populations in, for example, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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