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Does Having Access To Firearms Politically Pacify Our People?

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The prevailing assumption is that right-of-center political movements uniformly support the right to keep and bear arms, or at the very least, support arming their constituents. Yet, this is not universally the case. Among the more vocal factions of the right, particularly those identified as the “Dissident Right” or Nationalist right, there exists a significant strand of opposition to gun ownership and, specifically, to the Second Amendment’s protection of this right as either a natural right or divinely granted liberty.1 This post aims to dissect and critically assess one of the most prevalent arguments against gun ownership emanating from Nationalist and “dissident right” quarters, evaluating its validity and resistance to critical examination.

Before we delve into this argument.

It’s crucial to confront the stereotype this argument often invokes: the caricature of the complacent American boomer conservative. This caricature depicts an overweight individual who vocally supports the Second Amendment as a defense against government tyranny but is perceived as passive in response to actual instances of government overreach. This portrayal, however, is largely an online construct, shaped primarily by the internet. Relying on this caricature of the “tough-talking fat boomer-conservative” as a primary argument against the value and effectiveness of an armed citizenry results in a strawman fallacy, undermining any potential for a real debate. It really is just a strawman; a strawman on par with Hollywood depictions of thuggish neo-nazis used to demonize Nationalism — read more about this strawman here.

Dissident Right logic: “Despite having gun rights, these Boomer Conservatives never do anything against tyranny, therefore no one else would.

It’s peculiar how critics from the “Dissident Right” continue to fixate on America regarding discussions on certain rights and their applicability. Remember, the fundamental necessity of the right to keep and bear arms transcends America and the perspectives of its populace. Americans are indeed privileged to have the Second Amendment safeguard this inherent right (not grant it) against governmental encroachment; yet, the principle behind this right is ageless and far exceeds the confines of American borders or how Americans exercise it—it notably predates the inception of the nation. Hence, if the Dissident Right’s critique hinges solely on the actions of the American populace, one can only wonder: Would their objections cease if Americans once again mobilized their right against tyranny? I’m skeptical, given the rarity of intellectual consistency today.

Their Argument: Having access to firearms pacifies our people, giving them a false sense of security.

When discussing the Second Amendment within “Dissident Right” circles, I’ve encountered this particular argument frequently, along with every variation of it, over many years.

Wow, If only our government knew this, then they could quit wasting everyone’s time with gun control.

At its core, the argument posits that access to firearms pacifies individuals by imparting a false sense of security. To assess the validity of this claim, it’s necessary to juxtapose firearm ownership with other, more recognized methods of population pacification: spectator sports (referred to as “bread and circus”), alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, video games, music, movies, and various forms of entertainment. Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th-century German philosopher, identified alcohol and Christianity as the principal pacifiers of European society. Despite the long-standing availability of firearms and the relative scarcity of gun control laws before and after Nietzsche’s era, I have not found a single philosopher who has explicitly supported this hypothesis. If having access to firearms (or any weapons in general) had a pacifying effect, serious thinkers would have written about it long before the “Dissident Right” and its army of pseudo-intellectual podcasters, it’s something that would have been written about even before the existence of gunpowder and firearms. Did swords and spears have a pacifying effect on the mighty Germanic warriors of the iron age?

This discussion leads us to a broader inquiry into the pacifying effects of fundamental aspects of civilization, including institutions that enforce law and order. Does civilization inherently pacify us? Substantial evidence suggests that the rise of civilization correlates with a notable decrease in testosterone levels among early humans,2 pointing to some sort of pacifying effect or event — in contrast, handling firearms actually increases testosterone3 which implies the opposite of pacification. Therefore, to concentrate solely on gun ownership as a primary means of pacification is overly simplistic and unsupported by any real evidence. It’s somewhat comparable to the notion that connecting with like-minded individuals online acts as a significant pacifier. However, unlike with gun ownership, strong evidence actually supports this; especially considering the extensive amounts of time many people spend in online forums, partaking in behaviors that offer emotional support and create comfy echo chambers, both of which literally have a pacifying effect. Thus, it’s essential not to narrow the conversation to just firearms, as this would obligate us to address other, much more evident, pacifying factors within our society and our own habits.

“Guns have a pacifying effect on Americans, thankfully we’re disarmed. Oh and by the way, did you catch that bread and circus football game last night?”

Claiming that gun ownership merely provides a false sense of security (thereby pacifying us) clearly opens a can of worms. What doesn’t provide a false sense of security by that logic? Physical strength, a nation’s military—do these also bestow just a facade of safety? Do they pacify us? Is any form of security doomed to be a pacifying delusion? And why single out gun ownership as offering a false sense of security when, in reality, firearms serve a practical defensive purpose? The whole debate is absurd, hinging on a caricatured, online construct of American boomer conservatives as tough talkers with no action. Critics of gun rights are missing the forest for the trees, trapped in a fantasy where disarming these supposed keyboard warriors somehow makes them more attuned and responsive to tyranny. Ironically, this overlooks the glaring contradiction: by stripping away the very means of resisting tyranny, you render any potential for genuine action moot — in other words, if you’re disarmed, it won’t even matter whether you’re “pacified” or not.

What about countries where citizens do not have access to firearms?

Sure, MAGA conservatives are misguided, but are these people pacified? Do they have a false sense of security?

The credibility of the claim that gun ownership serves as a political pacifier necessitates a comparison between countries with widespread access to modern firearms and those where such access is severely restricted or nearly nonexistent. To validate this hypothesis, a reliable metric for gauging a population’s political pacification level is required. Should this be determined by the intensity of protests, or the extent of political engagement among citizens? Considering this, are populations in Mexico, Russia, and China less politically pacified than in the United States, given the stringent restrictions on gun ownership in these countries? Moreover, we must also consider other variables that could influence pacification. For instance, it has been previously suggested in this discussion that a higher standard of living in gun-owning countries might act as a significant factor in pacifying populations. Such factors cannot be overlooked in a thorough analysis.

The original argument was that gun control gives people a false sense of a security. I think that’s much accurate.

To conclude this article, I’ll leave you with a quote.

“Guns don’t matter, that’s why the government doesn’t care if you have them.”

Dimes from Blood $atellite
  1. https://radicaldose.com/hps-critique-of-gun-ownership-does-not-prevent-tyranny-by-endeavour-part-1/ ↩︎
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2014/08/01/low-testosterone-could-be-what-made-us-civilized-humans/ ↩︎
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01745.x ↩︎

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Those are all valid concerns and arguments against supporting conservatism. However they do not demonstrate that gun ownership politically pacifies people, merely that the political energy of gun-owning people can be misdirected (as it very obviously is by conservative ideology).

The dissident right needs to stop quoting Friedrich Nietzsche he was a schizophrenic loser who spent the last 20 years of his life in an insane asylum
He died being taken care of by his sister
He also really hated anti-semites
He was basically the Jordan Peterson of the 1900s

Considering the exponential increase in guns sales in America this past decade or so, I doubt they’re functioning as pacifiers. It’s the government that is the frog in the pot of water being slowly hotter and hotter. These feeble old elites with Thier mediocre intellect and smug progressive snottiness may suffer, soon, for their betrayal of the American people.

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