Sean Davis

If We All Complied Like You Want, This Country Wouldn’t Exist

(Photo by Max Sulik on Unsplash)

Sean Davis examines the Second Amendment and who is rightly justified in taking up arms against a tyrannical government; supporters should reconsider their stance.

 

All the staunch Second Amendment supporters who arm themselves to buy a cup of coffee or go grocery shopping, all these Gadsden Flag waving, boat parade, flag caravan “militia” types say they want everyone to exercise the Second Amendment in the way they explain it should be used. They say we need to be armed in case we need to fight against our own government if that government becomes tyrannical.

If the average US citizen needs a rifle to stand against the possibility of their tyrannical government turning on them, then what would keep every person of color in this country from buying a gun to defend themselves against inept, unqualified, racist police officers or corrupt, racist elected officials who are killing them and taking away their Constitutional Rights?

The Second Amendment is just one of ten Amendments written into the Bill of Rights. A series of laws written after the Constitution was signed. The US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence are all held up today by the Right and gun enthusiasts as important as the word of God. The Declaration of Independence, the document that created the United States reads:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We were always a nation of many races, religions, and creeds, and all men may have been created equal, but there is no doubt that not all men have been treated as equals. From the beginning of our country to now, whites have been in charge on every level—from police, to city, to state, to federal government. Now that the US population is changing and there will soon be more people of color than whites, the whole system will undoubtedly change and a part of that change will be more representation of people of color, and this scares the hell out of many white people.

According to the Brookings Institute and many others sources, whites will be the minority as early as 2040. As of right now, whites make up 59% of the population. I would ask if the cultural consciousness of many whites believes they will somehow be replaced, but we’ve recently seen white supremacists screaming, “You will not replace us!” in Virginia and Charlottesville. So, instead, I’ll suggest that there is also a subconscious cultural fear of whites being replaced. We are seeing the symptoms of this fear on our streets, on right-wing “news” media, and in city, county, state, and federal governments.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that half of the land in Oklahoma belongs to the Muscogee Nation, isn’t there a precedent for the rest of the First People to rise up and take back the lands they were promised in broken treaties? Would it be Constitutional for the reservations across this nation to rise up and take retribution for this government stealing their history, their language, their children, and their land?

What if we argue that a “free State,” as written in the Second Amendment, can be defined as a community of a few hundred thousand?

Today, the city of Baltimore has the same population as half of the Thirteen Colonies when the Constitution was signed. According to a study by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2014, sixty-nine percent of the people who died in a police encounter that year in Maryland were Black. The Black population in the state is only twenty-nine percent. This means that the police force—and by extension their city, county, and state governments—killed five Black people to every one white person, even though whites nearly outnumber Blacks 4 to 1.

Does this constitute a tyrannical government? According to the MAGA/NRA population, do they have the grounds to fight back yet? Or should they just comply? Because the same people who yell, “They can take my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!” are the same who say, “If they would just comply with the authority, they’d still be alive.”

After an election with record turnout sent the first Black man and Jewish man from Georgia to the US Senate, the state of Georgia passed bills that would make it harder for a person of color to vote. The Georgia politicians didn’t even try to hide what they were doing.

One of the biggest reasons for the Senate win was “Souls to the Polls.” This is the practice of having buses ready to bring a congregation to vote right after church. So, the GOP in Georgia created a law that now makes it illegal to vote on Sundays. We’ve all heard about the law that makes it illegal to give food or water to a person waiting in line to vote, but this law also expands the power of the Legislature over elections. That means, if the Georgian Politicians in the House and Senate don’t like how the election turns out, they can change it. This is after President Trump was recorded in a phone call asking for the Legislature to turn the election to his favor.

So, my question is, with the state government so against the people of color in Georgia, can the people buy a bunch of guns and attack their government?

 

So, my question is, with the state government so against the people of color in Georgia, can the people buy a bunch of guns and attack their government?

 

This may seem ridiculous for thousands of armed Black churchgoers to rise up and go to the Georgia State Capitol and take it over by force. Can you imagine the outcry from Fox News and their viewers, from the GOP and their voters? Yet, this is exactly what happened in Michigan over having to wear masks, having to temporarily close businesses, and the restrictions on boating (this really did create a huge backlash), all to help stop the spread of a pandemic that’s killed over 500,000 US citizens. Armed Michigan “militias” forced their way into their Capitol Building and screamed at police and threatened their lawmakers, yet no one was shot and there were no arrests.

Who do you believe would fare better in an armed uprising? The Michigan “militias” or people of color asking for their Constitutional Rights?

Even during the January 6th uprising at the US Capitol, no one was arrested. Now imagine if the people were Black and they came to address very serious and justifiable grievances? Yeah, it would be a bloodbath. How do I know? I stood with Black Lives Matter in Portland where people were beaten, gassed, and abducted by unidentified Federal Troops into an unmarked van, and we were all unarmed. All they were asking for was not to be shot anymore. Well, the US can’t stop shooting Black people. Just ten miles away from where the George Floyd trial is being held, a twenty-six-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department shot and killed Daunte Wright, a Black twenty-year-old.

Even if we could somehow put aside the fact that police officers are killing unarmed Black people, let’s look at the other symptoms of this subconscious cultural fear. In a story reported by the Washington Post on April 14th, Texas high school students set up a Snapchat group called “Slave Trade” where they bought and sold their Black classmates. Let’s look at the Governor of Mississippi, the state that just recently removed the Confederate stars and bars from their state flag. He declared this month, April of 2021, Confederate Heritage Month. He didn’t do this publicly. People only found out when the Mississippi chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans Facebook Page shared the document with his signature.

No one wants an armed uprising, and I certainly am not suggesting people of color should arm themselves and fight their government. I am pointing out the fear and hypocrisy of certain white people who watch the injustices going on across our country and think it could be solved by Black people just “complying” with authority, while they clutch their guns and say they have the right to go to war with their government if they don’t like how they’re being treated.

We can change all the amendments. The definition of amendment is change. The reasons why amendments exist is because our Founding Fathers knew they were not going to get everything right. They knew the world and our country would change. And if you’re one of those gun nuts who believes that you need an automatic rifle with a 100-round magazine, you better watch what you wish for, because, if everyone shared your view, things would definitely change in ways you will not like.

In the late Sixties, the Black Panthers did arm themselves and they patrolled the streets of Oakland, California, because they believed the police weren’t doing their jobs in Black neighborhoods. They even called it CopWatch. The Black Panthers qualified as a well-organized militia, so, carrying these assault rifles fell within their Constitutional Rights. Well, because of this, the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, with the backing of the NRA, signed into law the Mulford Act, an assault rifle ban that made it illegal for people to carry loaded weapons. Yes, the NRA helped write and pass an assault weapons ban, and NRA member and GOP demigod Ronald Reagan signed it.

We are moving towards an era where we will be forced to live by the values declared during the formation of this country. I say “forced” only because so many police, politicians, and citizens are either actively or subconsciously fighting against this change, but there will be no choice since our governments and police forces will, just because of the changing demographics, look more like the communities we live in. There will be a change, but don’t see that as a threat. See it as an opportunity to live up to the ideals that started this country.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

 

Sean Davis

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War, a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran, and a community leader in Northeast Portland, Oregon. His latest stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various magazines and media sources such as HUMAN the Movie, the international fashion magazine Flaunt, Forest Avenue's forthcoming anthology City of Weird, and much more.

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