I have just read a compelling and convincing argument in favor of the position that the Socialist Democracy of Amerika should be transformed into a police state. I know many of you believe we are already in that condition but I am talking about a real, full-fledged, one hundred percent police state. Think SS and Gestapo and you will be on the right track. My good friend Mary Reeves of Littleton wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post last week expressing her argument in favor of a police state. I share it with you here, in its entirety:
"The Second Amendment is about the need for protection against threats to persons and property. However, in societies that have well regulated and well trained police, this protection is carried out by professionals. Police in this country are not universally prepared to do this job, and therefore all kinds of people think they need to own guns. The abundance of guns in our society contributes not only to terrorism and mass murder but also to suicides, accidents and unpremeditated murders in households where guns are owned. Transforming police into well regulated, well trained professionals who are concerned with the welfare of all citizens results in the protection that the Second Amendment identifies. Thus untrained individuals no longer feel the need to own guns, and violence is greatly reduced."
Wow! How can any rational person disagree with that argument? Like most people Mary presupposes lots of things prior to getting down to the dirty details of her argument. Do you see the unmentioned presupposition in Mary's argument? Actually, Mary is presupposing two beliefs in order to come to the conclusion that an SDA Gestapo would be good for this country. In case you don't see them, let me tell you what they are. First, Mary is presupposing that human beings are too evil, nasty, sinful (if I might use that archaic word), selfish, greedy, hateful and violent to be trusted to own guns. She acknowledges that we all need "protection against threats to persons and property" and she also believes that allowing the rank and file among us to own guns contributes to those threats. Indeed, she has a long list of evils that are the result of giving sinful human beings guns. That list includes terrorism, mass murder, suicide and unpremeditated murder. According to Mary's first presupposition, human beings are a pretty vile lot and need something to keep them under control. I can't disagree with that.
Unfortunately Mary's second presupposition contradicts her first presupposition. Or at least it seems to. Maybe she can explain how it does not. I suspect she is much smarter than me and that is why I am incapable of seeing how she does not contradict herself when writing about the immoral nature of humanity. From my perspective Mary somehow now believes that, out of that lot of wretched human beings that we all belong to, a group of people can be discovered who are known as "professional police officers." Unlike the rest of us, these folks do not suffer from any of our sinful maladies. They are all altruistic, kind, gentle, peaceable and, above all, interested in sacrificing themselves to protect the rest of us human scum. Why would they want to do that? Duh! Because they are better than we are. In Mary's own words, "these well regulated and well trained professionals are concerned with the welfare of all citizens." Now here is my problem.....just where do these noble men come from?
Is there, as Plato argued, a special class of human beings who are born to rule over the rest of us simply because they are superior human beings? These people must naturally gravitate into the positions of authority in our land because they are just so much better than the rest of us. Being superior to us all, they can tell who is a member of their class and who is not. That allows them to perpetuate their superior class, thus ensuring that we underlings can be protected from evil forever. Amen.
Maybe this police caste comes from the same clay as the rest of us. Maybe they become sanctified the moment its members put on a government issued badge giving them the authority to use deadly force to keep us in line with myriad rules and regulations that have nothing to do with morality and everything to do with preserving the status quo. Maybe it is the office that makes the man. But, if that is true, then it really does not matter who goes into that office and even those violently stupid gun owners that Mary despises so much could end up being her masters. I suspect Mary does not believe that the office makes the man. Mary does not tell me where these supermen come from so I am left to my own designs when trying to figure out the dilemma of their origination.
Introducing even more absurdity and difficulty into her argument, Mary recognizes that "police in this country are not universally prepared to do this job." It would seem to be the case then that some vile folks like you and me may end up wearing a police uniform and, not surprisingly, do a terrible job at playing god. In that situation these folks are neither Platonic leaders nor men transformed by their office. Indeed, Mary takes a logical step backwards and says that what these inferior forces need is a process by which they can be "transformed" into a well regulated and well trained group of security professionals. Unfortunately that assertion only begs the question. Where do the trainers come from who are vested with the magical ability to transform sinners into saints, thus providing an adequate supply of perfect policemen to rule over us? Mary does not provide an answer to that question either.
In Mary's hallucinogenic universe some super-humans are able to train some somewhat less super-humans in the art of altruistically protecting the lives and property of the filthy rabble that is the rest of us. Once those people are identified they are to be given absolute power. Any granting of power less than absolute power is insufficient and will result in the state of affairs we have to live with today. We know for a fact, or at least Mary does, that absolute power does not corrupt these men. No, absolute power only enables these god-like creatures to do their job more efficiently and effectively, thus ensuring that we all live in peace and prosperity forevermore.
I am one of Mary's "untrained individuals." In fact, I rebelliously despise the "training" that comes from the civil government. I do not believe it is training that we receive from our handlers. Propagandized brainwashing is a better term for what comes our way. That means I will never be qualified to live in Mary's ideal state unless I willingly submit to the absolute power of my superiors. What choice do I have? I have decided that Mary's world sounds like a dandy idea to me. I am tired of living as a quasi-free man. It is time to give up and give in to the powers that be. I can't see any possible or even probably negative outcomes from giving one group of people absolute power over another. Give all the guns to the good guys from the government and grant them a charter to keep the rest of us in line. That is my new motto. Once that simple goal is accomplished we can all sit back and let the good times roll.