HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Atlantic - "The NRA ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:26 AM

Atlantic - "The NRA and the 'Positive Good' of Maximum Guns" - Excellent, Disturbing Read

Here is very interesting article that discusses the fight over slavery back in the 1800s and how the proslavery movement was not content to merely preserve slavery in the South, but sought to double down and affirmatively spread slavery in an effort to combat abolitionist forces. It is reminicent of the NRA doubling down and preaching the spread of guns to combat gun deaths.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/the-nra-and-the-positive-good-of-maximum-guns/266571/

In the 1840s and 50s, abolitionists often spoke of a menace they called "The Slave Power." This pejorative wasn't aimed at Southern slavery, per se. It referred to the vast reach of proslavery money and influence in Washington and beyond. If unchecked, abolitionists warned, the Slave Power would poison every corner of American life and territory. I'm wary of historical analogies. But in the wake of the Newtown massacre, I'm struck by parallels between the Slave Power and a force haunting us today: call it The Gun Power.

For decades we've appeased and abetted this monster, as Americans once did slavery. Now, like then, we may have finally reached a breaking point. I don't mean to equate owning slaves with owning guns. But I do mean to equate the tactics and rhetoric of the NRA with those of proslavery "Fire-Eaters." The NRA casts itself as a champion of the Constitution. So did slaveholders, citing the safeguards accorded owners of human "property." Few Americans questioned slavery's legality, though they debated the Founders' intent, just as we do with the Second Amendment.

But as the nation spread, slaveowners turned the defense of a right into an expansionist crusade. Slavery wasn't just a right that nonslaveholders had to recognize and uphold. It must extend wherever slaveholders traveled and settled. So, too, has the N.R.A. demanded the right to carry guns into every conceivable place, including schools, churches and hospitals. The N.R.A. does so in the name not only of rights but of "safety" and "self-defense." Guns, you see, aren't a danger to be regulated; they're a source of peace and security that everyone should enjoy.

Proslavery zealots had their own version of this. While 18th century slaveowners like Jefferson had treated the institution as a necessary evil, John C. Calhoun lauded slavery as a "positive good," a source of freedom even, because it liberated whites from drudgery and class conflict and blacks from African "savagery." It followed that all should enjoy its benefits. "I would spread the blessings of slavery, like the religion of our Divine Master, to the uttermost ends of the earth,' declared Mississippi Senator Albert Brown.

4 replies, 1025 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Atlantic - "The NRA and the 'Positive Good' of Maximum Guns" - Excellent, Disturbing Read (Original post)
TomCADem Dec 2012 OP
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #1
BainsBane Dec 2012 #2
villager Dec 2012 #3
enough Dec 2012 #4

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:29 AM

1. An Interesting Piece, Sir: Thanks For Sharing It

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:07 AM

2. I was thinking of this very comparison

That Slave Power was like gun power today. First amendment rights were denied (the gag rule) to defend slavery, while the gun lobby has effected similar restraints in states like FL where doctors are now prohibited by law from talking to patients about guns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:58 AM

3. No accident they're similar -- being pro-gun now is as historically astute as being pro-slavery then

n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:02 AM

4. And in both cases, the zealots/expansionists were protecting a

massively lucrative industry under the banner of "positive good" for society.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread