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Joe The Plumber: Guns Are For Hunting Politicians

Facepalm

More wisdom from Samuel Wurzelbacher, who seems to be making something of a comeback in conservative media circles:

Samuel Wurzelbacher — better known as Joe the Plumber — likes guns. And he wants everyone to know why.

“Guns are mostly for hunting down politicians who would actively seek to take your freedoms and liberty away from you,” Wurzelbacher wrote on Thursday in a blog post on his website. “Google ‘Hitler, Mao, Kim Jung Il, Castro, Stalin’ just for starters.”

The post was a kind of follow-up to the “open letter” Wurzelbacher published Tuesdayaddressing the parents of the victims of last week’s mass shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Following the shooting, Richard Martinez, whose son Chris was among the victims, blamed “craven, irresponsible politicians” and the National Rifle Association for his son’s death. Wurzelbacher responded by writing that “[a]s harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”

In his latest post, Wurzelbacher said his pro-gun arguments also had something to do with Memorial Day.

“I wrote my ‘open letter’ on the eve of Memorial day – a day we honor the fallen heroes that defend and protect our rights,” he wrote. “These men and women that served and paid the ultimate price for our way of life were someone’s dad, mom, brother, sister, or daughter. They made that sacrifice, which guarantees our freedoms because they believe in America. So I’m asking the question: Why are the lives of these brave Americans less important than the victims of Elliot Rodger?”

This idea of guns as the last bulwark against tyranny isn’t new, of course, it’s been part of the rhetoric of the gun rights movement for some time now. In all honesty, there’s some element of truth in it to the extent that a perusal of the literature of the Founder’s era reveals that the ability to fight back against a tyrannical government was indeed one of the reasons that gun rights were important to members of that generation.

Whenever I hear rhetoric like this, though, two thoughts occur to me. First of all, do people like Wurzelbacher really have any idea how they sound to most Americans, and even to most Americans who happen to be gun owners? The idea of taking up arms against the government isn’t exactly something that sounds entirely normal to your average middle-class suburban American, and if that’s the rhetoric you’re using to try to sell the idea of gun rights it strikes me that people are going to dismiss you as a lunatic quite quickly. Second, with all due respect to movies like Red Dawn a bunch of people with assault rifles would be no match for a fully equipped modern military. Just ask the people in Syria.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    Second, with all due respect to movies like Red Dawn a bunch of people with assault rifles would be no match for a fully equipped modern military. Just ask the people in Syria.

    Yeah, somehow these idiots have convinced themselves that when they rise up they’ll be taking on the redcoats, or at best the jackbooted thugs of the ATF.

    They never stop to consider that they’d actually be taking on the 101st Airborne and the 1st Armored Division and the US Marine Corps and the Navy SEALs if they’re lucky — and if they’re not, just a missile fired from an invisible drone in the sky.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Whenever I hear rhetoric like this, though, two thoughts occur to me. First of all, do people like Wurzelbacher really have any idea how they sound to most Americans, and even to most Americans who happen to be gun owners?

    This is another one of those regular, “every time I think it can’t get more stupid … ” moments.

    You’ve got to wonder when the time will come when the “thoughts” of guy like Samuel Wurzelbacher will NOT be newsworthy. Wurzelbacher has been considered newsworthy ever since Republicans incarnated him as the voice of average American working guys, just “fighting for the American Dream.” I dream of the day when “Joe the Plumber” gets a job de-greasing donut racks at Krispy Kreme.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  3. wr says:

    @al-Ameda: ” I dream of the day when “Joe the Plumber” gets a job de-greasing donut racks at Krispy Kreme.”

    What — and put Jenos out of work?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  4. TheoNott says:

    The big problem I have with this “we need teh gunz to prevent tyranny” argument is this: who defines tyranny? Who appointed you guardian of our democracy? What if, hypothetically, a left-wing, socialist, insert-whatever-they-dislike government was democratically elected and was supported by a clear majority of the populace, but these guys consider it as a tyrannical regime? Would they seek to overthrow it, notwithstanding the popular verdict in its favor? But doesn’t that make THEM the tyrants? When you claim the right to use force to override the government whenever you, subjectively, deem it a totalitarian regime you are basically claiming a violent veto power over the rest of us, regardless of how you spin it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  5. CSK says:

    Here’s some exciting news. If you go to his actual blog post, you can enter into “The Family Gun Giveaway” contest!!!!! Winner gets a Glock 19, a Glock 17, and a Ruger rifle: one for the mister, one for the missus, and one for junior. (Junior, one presumes, gets the rifle.) And yes, the guns are to be used against “left-leaning politicians.”

    Given that the fringe right has defined Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and, in fact, most of the Republican Party as “men of the left,” the hunt will be broad in scope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And all this time I thought guns were for hunting unlicensed plumbers…. Silly me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  7. ernieyeball says:

    @TheoNott: But doesn’t that make THEM the tyrants?

    Goons maybe?
    Or as addressed in Art. I Sec. 8 Par. 15 of the USCon. insurrectionists.

    The Congress shall have power: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. Kari Q says:

    Second, with all due respect to movies like Red Dawn a bunch of people with assault rifles would be no match for a fully equipped modern military.

    First: Exactly how much respect is due to Red Dawn and the like?

    Second: I’ve used that reply every time I hear this argument. I sometimes also point out that the armed militia was all but useless even in Revolutionary War. In fact, their greatest contribution (if I recall correctly) was the certainty that they would run away when fired upon. Smart commanders, like Morgan at the battle of Cowpens, relied on this to give them an advantage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  9. Google ‘Hitler, Mao, Kim Jung Il, Castro, Stalin’ just for starters.

    Only one of whom was shot, and that was a suicide.

    Couldn’t you at least have picked some examples like Mussolini, Ceaușescu, or Qadafhi who actually died at the hands of angry citizens?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  10. Franklin says:

    Did somebody ask for 2008 back? Is Mr. Wurzelbacher really the only deep thinker we can consult on these issues?

    Sorry, Joe, but passing a health insurance law isn’t exactly the type of tyranny that I’m going to take up arms over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  11. Second, with all due respect to movies like Red Dawn a bunch of people with assault rifles would be no match for a fully equipped modern military. Just ask the people in Syria.

    Syria isn’t a very good example, given that Assad’s modern military has been unable to eliminate a poorly armed insurgency after more than three years of fighting. Likewise our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan show how well a bunch of people with assault rifles can stand up to a fully equipped modern military.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. stonetools says:

    The idea of taking up arms against the government isn’t exactly something that sounds entirely normal to your average middle-class suburban American, and if that’s the rhetoric you’re using to try to sell the idea of gun rights it strikes me that people are going to dismiss you as a lunatic quite quickly

    Have you ever been on the Internets, Doug? Because such rhetoric is commonplace among the “gun rights” enthusiasts. Check out the comments section on any right wing site when the subject of guns comes up. This idea is practically Scripture in gun nut land.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  13. KM says:

    @Rafer Janders;

    They never stop to consider that they’d actually be taking on the 101st Airborne and the 1st Armored Division and the US Marine Corps and the Navy SEALs if they’re lucky — and if they’re not, just a missile fired from an invisible drone in the sky.

    The last gun nut a-hole who tried that line of “thought” with me was challenged to a round of paintball. Theoretically, if they’re so damn macho and badass they can take on the US Army, they can take lil’ ole me right? It didn’t even last 10 minutes – I smoked his ass and paintball isn’t even my thing! If a novice can take down the big bad liberty-hunter with ease, then they are doomed. Oh a few might survive to run around as insurgents (you never can get all the rats) but they will be a nuisance as best, not the conquering heroes of their dreams.

    (Said A-hole is no longer speaking to me FYI. Apparently the fact that a “little liberal feminazi” got a kill shot in minutes was some sort of disturbing aberration but since I’m “unreasonable”, he has “better things to do”. Ah pride….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  14. gVOR08 says:

    I realize parsing Sam the almost plumber’s words is a waste of time. But what is his list of dictators supposed to prove? One shot himself, three died of natural causes, and the fifth is well into his dotage. This demonstrates his point how?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  15. James Pearce says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    They never stop to consider that they’d actually be taking on the 101st Airborne and the 1st Armored Division and the US Marine Corps and the Navy SEALs if they’re lucky — and if they’re not, just a missile fired from an invisible drone in the sky.

    Of course not, because the 101st Airborne etc will ignore the chain of command and their training to rally to the rebel cause. “They can take your lives, but they’ll never take your freeeeeee-dumb!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce:

    Which leads to the question, if the military’s going to be on their side, then what do they need their own guns for?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  17. Jr says:

    Lee Harvey Oswald agrees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0