Every once in a while one comes across an article that reflects ones own thinking so well that it’s almost spooky! This is exactly the feeling I got while reading this article by Jeff Snyder on the “American Handgunner” website. I make no bones about the fact that I am as pro-gun as one can get, BUT and this is a big BUT I simply DO NOT buy the argument that – citizens possessing guns either prevents a tyrannical government from coming to power OR helps replace that government with a better dispensation! History is littered with enough examples to disprove this argument. Just look at our own neighbourhood – Afghanistan is chock a block full of firearms in the hands of civilians, but that hasn’t helped it move anywhere close to a free and fair democratic society!
The author extensively quotes from Etienne de la Boetie’s “The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude” and one cannot help but draw parallels with India’s fight for independence. It seems so much like we have exchanged one set of oppressive rulers (the British) for another (the Politician-Bureaucrat combine)! Boetie’s essay seems to have an explanation as to why we Indians have so readily accepted this new dispensation without so much as a whimper.
Why is it that so few of us are bothered by our governments repeated infringements of civil liberties? Why does the vast majority not protest the rampant corruption that ails our institutions? And why, why is no one even willing to listen (let alone act)? Boetie’s essay seems to have some pretty interesting answers. A disturbing analysis of human nature – check it out and draw your own conclusions.