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By Paul M. Bangiola
About thirty years ago I saw Jerry Rubin, one of the “Chicago Seven” defendants, debate Abbie Hoffman, also one of the Chicago Seven, about the meaning of the “Sixties Revolution.”
Abbie was an un-reconstructed radical, then recently emerged from years underground. Jerry Rubin was a young capitalist, declaring an end to the revolution. It was, according to Jerry, time to make money.
“We won! It’s over!” he said. Abbie called him a sellout.
My takeaway from their debate was a good one-liner by Jerry to Abbie: “It’s OK to be against authority, unless it’s your authority.”
Now, this comes to mind when it comes to gun control. I hear many gun rights activists say they might need a gun for self-defense:
“What if somebody breaks into my house!”
No quarrel with me, buddy. You can just get yourself a handgun, a shotgun, a rifle, maybe a moat with alligators in it, and I hope the bad guy falls in !
Oh, one thing, by the way: Please keep those guns away from kids, particularly your own unhappy adolescent.
“But now,” I say, “tell me again about why you need a Bushmaster assault rifle with a 30-bullet clip filled with armor- piercing cop-killer bullets?”
“Well,” they say, “the Second Amendment is supposed to protect me from the Government in case we need an armed revolt. After all I might need to ‘get revolutionary’ and assert my ‘Second Amendment remedies’ (to quote a failed US Senate candidate of the R-Tea Party-persuasion).
And then I say: “Whoa, partner! It’s okay to be against the Government unless it’s your government. Treason is a crime in this constitutional republic of ours, and there is nothing in the Second Amendment that requires, say, that just because our military has F-18s jet fighters, you can get one too–just to keep the battle even when you decide you don’t like the way a vote on the town council went, and persuade yourself that a revolution of one is required.
Maybe our government needs an edge against a guy who is listening to voices and maybe even the guy who just can’ t quite get his mind around losing, or being powerless, rejected, or the recipient of one of fate’s thousand slings and arrows. I think so.
Paul M. Bangiola, Esq., is a Morristown lawyer, former municipal prosecutor, former Morris County Democratic Chairman, a 2000 New Jersey Presidential Elector, and a campaign adviser.
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