It's not about guns...

It's about citizenship

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The Potowmack Institute's homepage from August, 2010 to August, 2012 is at
The previous homepage from May, 2008 to August, 2010 is at
The homepage prior to May, 2008 is at
Much more information is on those pages.

Assaulting Jim Zumbo

The NRA on Extremists

NRA scams its members

The Lionel Show
AirAm Radio's ignorant, crude, ugly,
air waves barbarian
Dear John Ashcroft
The armed populace doctrine at the DOJ
The Washington Post
cultivating ignorance.
Gun Policy News
news stories compiled daily.
"Sixty Minutes"
Failing its Mission
NPR's Diane Rehm
Civilized without Substance.
A longstanding dereliction.
Violence Policy Center
The public health agenda
falls in line with the NRA.
Militia Act of 1792
To enroll— conscript, register— That is,
a coerced civic obligation.
Return of Militia
Inventory of private weapons in
the early Republic reported to the
President of the US
John Kenneth Rowland
Lawrence Cress
John K. Mahon
Obama's challenge
Going around the NRA leadership
Senate Judiciary Com.
Jan. 30, 2013 hearings
Congress fails again.
LaPierre's list

The Quotes, the Quotes
Fabricating the armed populace doctrine
Libertarians, Conservatives

Tenn. Law Rev., 1995

What does the NRA want?

Update Sept. 20, 2013

Sen. Durbin's hearings on American Legislative Exchange Council's "stand-your-ground" agenda for Sept. 17 were posponed. A new schedule will be set.
ALEC has pursued the Stand-Your-Ground laws in partnership with the NRA.

In the aftermath of the Navy Yard incident, Dr. Janis Orlowski received recognition for commenting: “There is something evil in our society.”
The greatest evil and danger is that we have a government that does not understand what it means to be a government. The rule of law, the state’s monopoly on violence and the state’s internal sovereignty all mean the same thing. The credibility of the present hearings will depend on whether they begin with the fundamental premise the courts have already decided: There is no civil right to be armed outside of the knowledge and reach of law and government.

When the NRA cannot win the right it wants in court, it has to viciously attack any threat to its preposterous, anarchic doctrine.

Durbin's office is well informed.

The challenge to Sen. Durbin and his committee is to ask the simple question to all panelists: Do you accept and support accept the ruling of the courts that we can have "registration ... for militia service if called up"?

Accountability to a governing authority— that is, registration— is the one point of policy that the NRA's "armed populace at large doctrine" cannot accept.

The other great challenge to Durbin and his committee is to exposed the NRA's scam on its own member. The NRA calls itself the oldest civil rights organization. A civil rights organization goes to court for favorable rulings to secure its right enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The NRA has never argued to the courts for a right to be armed outside of the knowledge and reach of law and government. It is a right that never can be had under any viabile concept of constitutional government. The NRA will have its right anyway by defeating legislation. It defeats legislation with demagoguery. It is a perversion of the political and judicial processes. Partnering with ALEC is part of the stragegy.

Insert, August 9, 2013

In mid July, the Zimmerman verdict was issued.

The problem, as bad as it is, in the Zimmerman case was not two flawed, out of order “jerks” (for want of a better word), but the concealed weapon law. When the first reasonably accurate and reliable concealable weapons— Samuel Colt’s cap-and-ball six shooter— became available in the mid-19th century legislatures rushed to prohibit carrying concealed weapons on the rationale that concealed weapons introduced a destabilizing factor in any personal confrontation. It does not matter that Zimmerman had a permit. It is unlikely that Zimmerman would have been so bold in pursuing Martin if he had not had a concealed weapon. It is unlikely that Martin would have been so aggressive in attacking Zimmerman if he had known that Zimmerman had a concealed weapon. President Obama has correctly raised the issue of what would have been different if Martin had had the concealed weapon. When the problem is the law, it is We The People who are on trial.

When We The People are on trial there is a much larger context. Gun rights and the gun vote are not about guns. They are about furthering a malignant vision of economic, social and political life and controlling political outcomes in that agenda. We all become on our own armed against each other. There can be no security created by an overarching governing authority in our person-to-person relationships or in our political and economic relationships. There cannot be in the words of John Locke in the Second Treastise of Civil Government a "force of the community" that maintains public order. Public order will be maintained the gun lobby's "armed citizen guerrillas".

The connection to the larger context becomes explicit when we see the American Legislative Exchange Council partner with the National Rifle Association to enact stand-your-ground, self-defense, concealed carry laws in more than twenty states. Many of the corporate interests have distanced themselves from the agenda after the Martin/Zimmerman incident which says something about how little they understood about what they were caught up in to begin with. Attorney General Eric Holder— a long standing weak sister in the business of firearms policy— and many others have taken cognizance of the laws without any appreciation of the larger political context. Making policy does not start with challenging the larger political agenda. It doesn’t start with an agenda on racism. It does not even start with stand-your-ground laws. It starts with a simple question. Here is where you get this right. If you want to see LaPierre become completely unhinge, just ask, Do you accept and support the conclusion of the courts that we can have “registration ... for militia service if called up”? The Constitution is a frame of government. It is not a treaty among sovereign individuals. The Founding Generation understood the difference. If we have problems now, it is because we have lost our way.

Anyone who does not accept the conclusion of the courts has only one choice: to launch a campaign for a constitutional amendment to redefine gun rights—that is, redefine constitutional government. We need to know what the wording would be. Would we still have constitutional government or some semblance of anarchy? We need to know how the words would be handled in the Congress and in fifty state legislatures. There is where we get seriously political. Everything else follows.

Update, May 9, 2013.

Cody Wilson who has produced a 3-D printed plastic gun, at this stage of dubious quality but which portends much with future technology, is a self-proclaim anarchist who want to produce "chaos for the state." In That Every Man be Armed," Stephen Halbrook describes the National Rifle Association's ideology, of which he is the primary formulator, as "extreme libertarian." Extreme libertarianism does not recognized the legitimacy of a governing authority. It is an anarchic adolescent presentist ideology blanched of all history, culture, and reason that is not self-serving. The adolescents shall govern us— Or, rather, they will put us on our own to govern ourselves in the State of Nature.

Insert, March 17, 2013

The best result for the Obama Administration's present "gun safety" proposals is that they will be defeated in Congress. Then there will be the opportunity— but only the opportunity— for serious, aggressive political leadership on the most vital and fundamental issues of political life. It is not as if the Obama Administration and members of Congress are not well informed.

Continues at
The activity on the Potowmack Institute homepage, index.html, increased from about 100 per day in fall, 2012, to about 200 per day in spring, 2013. That is still not significantly different from zero by internet standards. If anyone thinks there is a great momentum toward "gun safety" or any other firearms policy, the jump from index.html to indexA.html is only less than two per day. The gun rights militants, the only ones who show up here, need fear no threat to their childish political fantasy.

II. Sovereignty and the appalling spectacle of anarchic federal judges

III. Failing our history and historical concepts

IV. Civic values and the politics of the modern state

V. Guns and controlling political outcomes

VI. Toward a national firearms policy

VII. Adolescent insolence, insurrectionist fantasies and personal sovereignty

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