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An interesting question

Sean Linnane: QUESTION.

Excellent milblogger Sean asks the interesting question why right wing NRA members are presented as a threat in America, when the nut jobs on killing sprees have mostly been registered Democrats.

He's looking at his question wrongly. Those so sure they know better how others should live as to have no qualms about using state violence to compel them are precisely the ones to be feared around weapons. Mostly, of course, they will prefer to have others use the state's weapons on their behalf, but if they have a mental breakdown there is nothing in their ethics, upbringing or personal inclinations to provide a moral barrier to using their own.

State forceIn Los Angeles, as the hunt for another registered Democrat on a killing spree continues, police opened fire on two innocent ladies delivering newspapers from the same kind of truck as the suspect. They seem to have done so without any attempt at identification. They didn't even shout a warning first.

It seems that those drawn to jobs as the state's armed enforcers are also among those not to be trusted with weapons. I suggest it's for the same psychological reasons. As the validated agents of what they see as a superior moral force, they feel justified in their appalling actions, but also sure that if they get it wrong the state will defend them. Reckless and panicky they may be, but having injured two innocents they "protect and serve" they are safe. At least as safe, say, as an NHS mandarin who presided over the deaths of thousands.

Nor is it coincidence that unthinking advocates of statist violence are so consistent in seeking to disarm others. Those others, after all, are people who want weapons for defence against either them, or their beloved state, when they get out of control.

There is no contradiction here, Sean. It is not a bug. It's a feature.