A Progressive Response To The Nonsense About 2nd-Amendment ‘Rights.’

              I always wondered how Ruch Limbaugh could claim that his audience was comprised of good, honest, working Americans when his weekday program can only be heard between 12 noon and 3 p.m. when most working Americans happen to be at work. But I guess a lot of those people I saw driving their cars yesterday when I drove down to New York City around noon were working in some way or another. And if they weren’t listening to Rush, maybe they were listening to Thom Hartmann, whose nationally-syndicated talk show goes out on Sirius, cable, Primerica and various other online and radio networks which carry the progressive alternative to the alt-right.

              In addition to his daily spieling, Hartmann is also a prolific author, with more than 16 titles to his credit, with another book, The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment, coming out on June 6th. The book’s appearance then kicks off the requisite national book tour, and you can meet Thom at bookstores in many different cities – the schedule can be accessed here.

              What Hartmann calls the ‘hidden’ history of guns reflects his belief that many of the events which shaped the history of the United States occurred the way they did because Americans had access to guns.  In particular, the author looks at how we ‘pacified’ the native American population and then grabbed their land, then how we maintained human bondage by organizing slave patrols which became those citizen militias referred to in the 2nd Amendment as the rationale for private ownership of guns.

              Basically, Hartmann’s argument is that the history and development of America was based not on the conquest of land, but on the conquest of people.  These conquests required the use of violence, and the violent methods of both types of conquest were best carried out with the use of guns – a tradition which continues up to the present day! The daily carnage which occurs in neighborhoods is a function of the social inequality of American society, an inequality reflected in such events as the ‘war’ on drugs, the mental illness of mass shooters and the gunning down of unarmed civilians by the police.

              Hartmann’s argument basically takes the pro-gun narrative and stands it on its head. The folks who promote the 2nd Amendment also believe that guns have a ‘hidden’ history which is consciously kept out of circulation by the liberal, gun-grabbing elite. And this history says that we wouldn’t even be a nation, and we certainly wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we enjoy if it weren’t for access to guns, not the other way around. Want to believe that nonsense?  You go right ahead.

              The author’s style is snappy, clear and a good, quick read. I’m also a sucker for non-fiction works based on facts. There’s a school near where I live which is advertising a graduate degree in ‘creative non-fiction.’  Obviously, this is a degree program that Thom Hartmann has yet to take.

              On the other hand, since I reserve the right to raise at least one issue in any book review that I write, here’s the issue I wish to raise with the author of this book. He claims that by bringing guns with them, it was much easier for Europeans to engage in a genocidal assault on America’s native populations. This argument sounds logical and reasonable, but it doesn’t really align with the facts.

              What reduced native populations to a fraction of their pre-conquest size was something else that Europeans brought with them, i.e.,  the practice and whole legal paraphernalia surrounding the concept of private property on which European society, particularly British society, was based. Even though many native tribes practiced cultivation, all native populations were structured around a transient style of life. Erecting fences, marking off property which could only be accessed by one as opposed to the many, is what demolished native American society and culture. Guns were an afterthought in that respect.

              This book is a direct and unvarnished response to the idea that guns make us ‘great.’ I recommend it highly and without reservations of any kind.

              I always wondered how Ruch Limbaugh could claim that his audience was comprised of good, honest, working Americans when his weekday program can only be heard between 12 noon and 3 p.m. when most working Americans happen to be at work. But I guess a lot of those people I saw driving their cars yesterday when I drove down to New York City around noon were working in some way or another. And if they weren’t listening to Rush, maybe they were listening to Thom Hartmann, whose nationally-syndicated talk show goes out on Sirius, cable, Primerica and various other online and radio networks which carry the progressive alternative to the alt-right.

              In addition to his daily spieling, Hartmann is also a prolific author, with more than 16 titles to his credit, with another book, The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment, coming out on June 6th. The book’s appearance then kicks off the requisite national book tour, and you can meet Thom at bookstores in many different cities – the schedule can be accessed here.

              What Hartmann calls the ‘hidden’ history of guns reflects his belief that many of the events which shaped the history of the United States occurred the way they did because Americans had access to guns.  In particular, the author looks at how we ‘pacified’ the native American population and then grabbed their land, then how we maintained human bondage by organizing slave patrols which became those citizen militias referred to in the 2nd Amendment as the rationale for private ownership of guns.

              Basically, Hartmann’s argument is that the history and development of America was based not on the conquest of land, but on the conquest of people.  These conquests required the use of violence, and the violent methods of both types of conquest were best carried out with the use of guns – a tradition which continues up to the present day! The daily carnage which occurs in neighborhoods is a function of the social inequality of American society, an inequality reflected in such events as the ‘war’ on drugs, the mental illness of mass shooters and the gunning down of unarmed civilians by the police.

              Hartmann’s argument basically takes the pro-gun narrative and stands it on its head. The folks who promote the 2nd Amendment also believe that guns have a ‘hidden’ history which is consciously kept out of circulation by the liberal, gun-grabbing elite. And this history says that we wouldn’t even be a nation, and we certainly wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we enjoy if it weren’t for access to guns, not the other way around. Want to believe that nonsense?  You go right ahead.

              The author’s style is snappy, clear and a good, quick read. I’m also a sucker for non-fiction works based on facts. There’s a school near where I live which is advertising a graduate degree in ‘creative non-fiction.’  Obviously, this is a degree program that Thom Hartmann has yet to take.

              On the other hand, since I reserve the right to raise at least one issue in any book review that I write, here’s the issue I wish to raise with the author of this book. He claims that by bringing guns with them, it was much easier for Europeans to engage in a genocidal assault on America’s native populations. This argument sounds logical and reasonable, but it doesn’t really align with the facts.

              What reduced native populations to a fraction of their pre-conquest size was something else that Europeans brought with them, i.e.,  the practice and whole legal paraphernalia surrounding the concept of private property on which European society, particularly British society, was based. Even though many native tribes practiced cultivation, all native populations were structured around a transient style of life. Erecting fences, marking off property which could only be accessed by one as opposed to the many, is what demolished native American society and culture. Guns were an afterthought in that respect.

              This book is a direct and unvarnished response to the idea that guns make us ‘great.’ I recommend it highly and without reservations of any kind.

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