There's a common idea behind a lot of what the gun absolutists are telling us right now.
* The current lead story at Drudge is a video of Jason Mattera, a professional wingnut confrontation provocateur, asking New York mayor Mike Bloomberg about gun control. The point of Mattera's questions to Bloomberg is that it's somehow unfair for the mayor of New York City to have more security than, say, a professional wingnut confrontation provocateur. As Breitbart reports:
In the video, Bloomberg is seen surrounded by security. Mattera approaches Bloomberg and asks, "In the spirit of gun control, will you disarm your entire security team?"* Glenn Beck's Blaze and a number of right-wing bloggers are upset for this reason:
Bloomberg’s reply: "Uh, you, we'll get right back to you."
"Why can you defend yourself but not the majority of Americans?" Mattera asks as the mayor walks away. "Look at the team of security you’ve got. And you’re an advocate for gun control?"
The Department of Homeland Security is seeking to acquire 7,000 5.56x45mm NATO “personal defense weapons” (PDW) -- also known as "assault weapons" when owned by civilians. The solicitation, originally posted on June 7, 2012, comes to light as the Obama administration is calling for a ban on semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines.This is posted under the headline "IF 'ASSAULT WEAPONS' ARE BAD...WHY DOES DHS WANT TO BUY 7,000 OF THEM FOR 'PERSONAL DEFENSE'?"
The answer is: they're for the "personal defense" of agents of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Apparently, ICE agents who may face violence in their day-to-day work aren't supposed to be better armed than the rest of us.
* And then there's David Mamet's fact-challenged Newsweek rant about guns, in which he effectively equates his own family's security needs with those of the family of the president of the United States:
[President Obama] has just passed a bill that extends to him and his family protection, around the clock and for life, by the Secret Service. He, evidently, feels that he is best qualified to determine his needs, and, of course, he is. As I am best qualified to determine mine.The idea underlying all of this -- and underlying the NRA's "Are the president's kids more important than yours?" ad earlier this month -- is that, in effect, each of us is the president of his or her own country. Each of us is the mayor and police chief and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of his or her own nation.
This dovetails perfectly with the notion that all taxation is theft and all government spending is larcenous redistribution (your personal Medicare wheelchair excepted, of course). If government should not exist, if fellow citizens owe nothing to one another, if "there is no such thing as society" (a Margaret Thatcher quote that sends a thrill up the leg of every wingnut) ... then it's literally true that governments don't need more weapons than individuals, because the number of legitimate governments in America is equal to the number of citizens.
So, no, these folks aren't making an incomprehensible argument -- they're arguing for a literal war of each against all. And I wish they'd admit that.