The School Walk Outs have me torn, and probably not for why you might imagine (Content Note: Guns/Armed Violence)


#1

(Mod Edit: This thread will contain discussion of guns and armed violence. Go into this thread with this in mind. We are keeping an active eye on this thread and encourage users to flag any posts they find that are inappropriate and/or violate our Rules and Code of Conduct. This post has been unchanged except for removing embedded images/links and adding some content notes.)

Disclaimer: This is not a post promoting violence. It is however an attempt to have a conversation on what the potential for violence of any kind means. As well as gun culture and control and everything relevant to these topics.

There’s been a ton of horrible takes from Right wing people about how the kids getting their first taste of activism are somehow misguided are wrong. I’m not Right, I’m the opposite and half of me wants to completely support this. The other half of me is keeping my silent on this because I don’t want to speak against it.

I’m very pro an armed and organized people. Here in the US and everywhere else. Don’t misunderstand me though. FUCK the NRA and their Illuminati-like (no I’m not a conspiracy theorist, the comparison works though) entrenched political influence and power on national and local levels everywhere in the US.

I don’t know what to do with myself today. I really want to talk to people about this though. Especially if you disagree with this Leftist Pro-Arms position. And I don’t mean arguing or even debate. Just constructive conversation.

Here’s a series of relevant links/media:

https://twitter.com/IRPGF/status/889445690656608256 (mod edit – content note: homophobic language)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/redneck-revolt-group-who-are-they-left-wing-armed-group-protect-minorities-interview-a8117551.html

https://armoryoftherevolution.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/arm-the-left-the-lunatics-already-have-guns/ (mod edit – content note: ableist language)

https://psmag.com/social-justice/why-some-members-of-the-far-left-advocate-against-gun-control

https://www.wrath-bearingtree.com/2017/03/left-must-prepare-for-violence/

https://diversityoftactics.org/2017/01/21/why-the-left-wing-needs-a-gun-culture/

edit: links that I should’ve just included in the original post but instead post as screenshots and random images.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bff3-UzDikp/?hl=en&taken-by=killermike
This is from Killer Mike’s instagram, and it looks like the caption is completely absent so here’s the important part of this link:

“To be very frank, As a member of a group of Americans who have only been free 54 yrs I don’t trust the people who run the country enuff to relinquish my god given right to hunt my own food, defend my own life and resist tyranny by violent means if necessary. No American shud. No black Americans especially. This message has nothing to do with our current debate but rather to say to black women and men in particular, Buy a rifle, train weekly vote for those that agree with your right to do so. Love and Respect to all. Wakanda aint real but The Black Wall Street, Rosewood, The Atlanta Riots (1906) and a 100 yr lynching campaign were. Defend your rights or lose them. Love and Respect to all! #RobertFWilliams tried to teach y’all better. The Real black panthers were not un armed.”

http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/self-defense-newton.html#.WqmZGOjwa00

“An unarmed people are slaves or are subject to slavery at any given moment. If a government is not afraid of the people it will arm the people against foreign aggression. Black people are held captive in the midst of their oppressors. There is a world of difference between thirty million unarmed submissive Black people and thirty million Black people armed with freedom, guns, and the strategic methods of liberation.”

https://www.reddit.com/r/liberalgunowners/comments/5wo5y7/my_views_on_guns_are_extremely_liberal/

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/lgbtq-groups-in-america-are-arming-themselves-against-the-farright-a3665596.html


#2

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#3

i think its weird (and also very american lol) to set it up as a Pro Gun Vs Anti Gun thing

i’m against more laws being created wrt arms literally just bc historically it isnt White Lone Gunmen who actually get stopped by that

but also i am very fucking pro the disarmament of Society Writ Large especially the cops

it isnt about being Anti Or Pro Guns so much as it is about. like. being cognisant of power dynamics.

also uuhhh hh h h New World Order Illuminati shit is kind of an antisemitic trope more to the point the Scary Conspiracy you’re talking about has a name already and it is capitalism


#4

a few things stick out at me:

  • assuming the proletariat were armed, how armed would you have to be to not get completely obliterated by the US military machine (if not some of their more militarised police forces)
  • if you were going to arm the proletariat, you’d probably be wanting to be acquiring arms through less legal, less trackable avenues anyway
  • how far away is the US from a large enough proportion of the population willing to support the overthrow of the US govt in favour of a socialist institution, let alone put their lives on the line for it

given the above questions, i cannot fault people wanting to deal with the more immediate (and more realistically solveable) problem of assholes being enabled to commit mass murder within schools and other places.

this can absolutely be used as an opportunity to explain to people how current systems enable and profit from violence at the expense of human life (especially that of marginalised groups), and introduce them to socialist thought. i don’t think you can tell people who are clearly desperate for violence to stop that they need to wait until it’s the Good Kind Of Violence.

this isn’t to say there aren’t a plethora of issues with how gun control laws would be implemented i.e. with high levels of racism


#5

To preface I’m coming from a very American perspective, because that’s my frame of reference.

It is important to recognize in discussions about disarmament that wide-scale disarmament of a populace in which that society’s police and law enforcement retain what are basically military armories is an incredibly dangerous situation for groups that are generally endangered by those structures. The current talking point for American liberals at least, which boils down to public restrictions and disarmament without any reciprocal action among police forces and domestic military branches completely ignores that danger, and it’s a huge flaw.

That said, I don’t think a heavily armed populace to match that heavily armed police force necessarily alleviates that danger, partially for the reasons @hideokojima’s comment says. And I agree with @goblin in that full disarmament of society in general would be my preferred state of things. What complicates that so harshly is just how many firearms, both registered and unregistered, currently exist in the US. Not only are the politics an issue, the logistics of that disarmament, even if most of the country were to agree to it, would be thorny by itself.


#6

The thing I can’t move past is that more guns always equal more preventable deaths and a citizenry more eager to make use of the firearm they are carrying, even in situations that don’t warrant it. “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. Many of those advocating for stricter gun control understand the dangers of the “good guy with a gun” argument, and in many ways the idea of liberal-minded people arming themselves en masse is really just an extension of that argument for me.

Flooding the streets with more guns will result in the preventable murder of more innocent bystanders and increase tension in situations involving an sort of confrontation, and this isn’t even commenting on the alarming connection between suicide and the availability of firearms. That said, I completely see why people are torn on this and the idea that marginalized people are hesitant to to advocate against what they see as an opportunity to defend themselves is one that I think maybe doesn’t come up enough (mostly because not enough people are listening to them, as usual). The other thing that doesn’t come up which has been mentioned here is the that police are more heavily armed and militant than ever, while still being held accountable for brutality and abuses of power like, never

I hadn’t personally encountered a whole lot of liberal-minded people against gun control until the guy who came up with “Milkshake Duck” literally milkshake ducked himself real bad a while back by attacking and demeaning marginalized people who took issue with a tweet he made about how all guns are bad and absolutely no one should have them. He received more than a few furious replies and handled the situation very poorly by insulting, mocking, and blocking anyone who politely dissented, many of those people being LGBTQ+ and PoC.

Given how deeply entrenched our culture and relationship to guns is in the US, total disarmament and the adoption of similar buyback programs like those instituted in Australia after the Port Arthur Massacre seem a much more difficult proposition in execution, but the idea that we shouldn’t even try to make laws to keep us safer and keep guns away from criminals unless we can effectively eliminate all crime at once remains ridiculous


#7

While I appreciate the situation in the US, it’s really hard as an outsider from a virtually gun-free country to imagine a scenario where anyone having guns is a desirable outcome. For every disciplined gun owner with leftist politics, you’re always going to get three tankies who think they’re going to seize the organs of power October-style with their dad’s AR-15. And while I’m for a dominant, powerful left that genuinely threatens the worst factions of the right, I don’t think a policy of deterrence has any impact on the reactionary mindset. They’re already bringing guns to protests, they want to use them and unfortunately they’re going to use them if threatened by equivalent violence on our unarmed comrades more often than on the armed leftists trying to protect them. A politics of violence, of meeting violence with violence, may someday be necessary but it’s not something we should actively be working towards.

With regard to guns themselves, even with all the social good that leftist programmes will do for people with psychological problems, people who have suffered from domestic violence etc, there will still be school shootings and kids catching bullets outside of school while guns are still available in the numbers they currently are. Part of what keeps me going is the thought of a world after we win, the utopian ideals and goals we want to fulfil and strive towards. Even if we stopped the sale of all guns and ammo tomorrow, there would still be one where people die needlessly from gun violence. Tying that future to acceptance and use of guns seems like it will be burdened with the same violence.


#8

your language is ableist and the october rev ruled thanks


#9

Fist I want to make a clear distinction here from what I’m talking about and what some people might be thinking. This isn’t some kind of “The Revolution is coming” or whatever type of position I’m making. The position I’m making is one of trying to get people to think about communal armed defense. Would this be opposed by the “authorities” both local and federal? Yes of course. Are they likely to march into communities of people who happen to own guns and start killing them indiscriminately? Probably not.

Not necessarily. Again I think you think this conversation is something different than what it’s intended to be.

You’re definitely thinking very differently about this than I am. But that’s OK. If I need to explain myself better I can. And if you want to talk about “revolutionary” scenarios I can get into that too, which is relevant to this but not the point of it.


#10

This is how it always is. We stop mattering to a lot of White Liberals and Leftists the second we have any sort of opposition to any of their positions. This isn’t new and it’s not a trend that gonna end any time soon.


#11

The mod team would like to remind everyone in this thread to remain civil and appropriate when discussing this topic. Slurs and hurtful language do not become acceptable when passions are high.


#12

Completely disagree. If you’re not armed now, if you’re not training now, what use will you be to yourself or anyone else when the time comes?


#13

Mods informed me and edited before I could change it. Apologies, there wasn’t any intent behind ot. My vocab’s pretty limited.


#14

I apologise for misinterpreting - in terms of leftist pro-gun arguments, it’s these kind of hypotheticals I see people talking about the most, so that’s why I jumped to that conclusion. Communal defence, as you put it, isn’t something I’ve given a lot of thought to previously and certainly gives me a new perspective to view things from.


#16

Some clarification may be in order. And I apologize for not seeing this coming, I really should have. To be clear, this post isn’t me saying that buying a gun and learning how to use it with like minded people is somehow a revolutionary act or gonna necessarily lead to anything of the sort.

This isn’t me tiptoeing around revolutionary struggle. It’s exactly what it says it is. Talking about the need for the have-nots of society to be able to protect themselves and each other.

Now if we want to talk about revolutionary struggle in relation to this, we can. It’s not off topic, but it’s definitely not entirely on topic either.

There’s a very modern revolutionary struggle that comes to mind, that I’m sure mention of won’t spark any sort of controversy or backlash whatsoever (sarcasm). The struggles of the Kurdish majority Left in the regions of Bakur and Rojava. Quick side note, don’t mistake “majority Kurdish” for erasure of the revolutionary actions of their Turkish, Assyrian, Syriac, Yazidi, Arab brothers and sisters in arms. The YPG literally began as a network of armed communities in Northern Syria in 2004. They formed out of necessity because the Assad regime came into their communities, in which they had peacefully began organizing democratically and engaged in protests and other activism for their autonomy. The Assad regimes response to this was murder, torture, and imprisonment. The start of Rojava’s armed defense forces didn’t come about because they decided it time for a revolution out of nowhere. They formed because they were under attack, because they tried to do things the peaceful way and were met with violence. They formed out of necessity, not out of simple want.

A more recent example of something directly inspired by them slightly further north is the YPS formed very similarly. except they looked to something (the YPG/YPJ/SDF/MMC/etc) and are trying to directly emulate it.

I’m not saying this is how it has to be or that militancy forming out of response to existential threats is best, or anything like that. The only reason I’m making this response is because it feels extremely relevant. And if you want to know more, Here’s a whole book on it.
@hideokojima


#17

I agree with you. But lets try to keep this thread as on topic as possible. It’s really easy for something like heated opinions about the past to derail discussions like this.


#18

Full disclosure: I’m from a country with almost no gun violence and extremely strict gun laws so take my POV into consideration when reading this.

Man, as much as I try I… Just can’t put myself in your frame of mind, as someone who lives in an almost gun free country. Arming the masses as a means of protection just seems like such an escalation of the issue, because the alternative of looking to de-militarize both the police and the masses is the more familiar outcome and one that has shown itself to work.

Your argument that it weakens people who are already vulnerable targets of the government is one that I hadn’t initially thought of and I see your point, but… I don’t know, I don’t see any type of gun laws restrictions or otherwise changing this. With how the gun laws are currently, would you feel more safe from the police or the army if you had a gun? Reality is that we are all to varying degrees at the mercy of the government to varying degrees, and while that in and of itself can/is a scary proposition, having a gun and knowing how to use it likely isn’t going to make you any more safe in the grand scheme of things.

The issue of a governing body or society oppressing select parts of the nation through overtly explicit means or otherwise is most certainly something that should be fought, but I do not think that it is something that can be truly solved through armed conflict “when the time comes”.


#19

This is a hard thing to talk about, and I don’t have enough knowledge to make more than a couple points, but I’ll do my best with them. Also, I’ve been trying to learn a little about Haitian history lately so my example comes from that. Serious apologies for not knowing more.

You can be organized, and armed, and still be re-enslaved. There’s always gonna be an issue of disparities in your arms. The US was able to come in and occupy Haiti because of economic warfare–we took over the central bank and wrought havoc via that. Haiti, in return, put up a large and organized populace that revolted. But the US had machine guns and aerial bombardment, while Haiti had rifles and machetes. A history of successfully resisting white aggression didn’t save them. In the end, it was student protests that led to the end of direct US control over Haiti. (But then, the military immediately stepped in and took power from the leftist students, so take from that what you will)

I don’t know. In the end, who the military serves and economic control are always gonna be most important, I think. I don’t think that armament is serious option for self protection for anything below full-scale revolution. In the US, right now, the prevalence of guns leads to aggrieved majority members killing people they presume are a threat. Gun control is meant to alleviate that. I don’t know that the vice-versa is true–that guns are protecting/can protect those people perceived as threats. Guns only seem to protect white people in this country, because it’s really whiteness that’s protecting them–the black Clive Bundy would have been taken out immediately.


#20

My family relocated to Canada because of issues like OP has been discussing. We are Sri Lankan Tamil, the ethnic group that begat the Tamil Tigers. This group was able to resist the Sinhalese majority through armed conflict for over 30 years. 30 years of killing, 30 years of war crimes, 30 years of a Sri Lankan diaspora having to find new homes and rebuild wealth. All for the resistance to eventually be crushed, leaving behind a country essentially returning to the status quo amid the rubble. I dunno, witnessing the futility of it all makes me really skeptical of any armed minority being able to defend itself through bearing arms.

But yeah, I find this whole thread more than a little distasteful. Children protested en masse today so that they could learn without fucking getting shot. Theoretical musings and fantasies of armed resistance feel so beside the point. Anyway, that’s my two cents, feel free to ignore.

EDIT: I apologize if my comment was too heated. My grandfather is basically on his deathbed currently, and he will die having not seen his home country in 35 years, nor his two sisters that still live there. Fuck war is all I’m saying.


#21

If the options are

A. Be victimized without the means to even attempt to fight back

or

B. Be victimized with the means to at least go out swinging

I’m choosing option b every time. And I think most people would.