Some people just like aggression and violence. They applaud when a comedian or politician talks about spanking children or letting people die because they don’t have health insurance. They think that protecting kids from bullies is wussy; you should teach kids to stand up for themselves and fight back.
They justify their love of violence by saying that it is the way of the world, that people are going to be violent anyway, and all you can do is protect yourself.
There is some truth in that. There is violence in all of us. St. Augustine was right—there is a God-shaped void in our soul. But there is also a fist-shaped snarl in our brain. I’m not a pacifist. I’m a Niebuhrian realist. Maybe an Amos Wilson realist. Amos is a Presbyterian pastor who served almost his whole career as a prison chaplain. “There are some really bad people in there,” he says, “and they need to be kept there.”
I suspect that 95% of terrorists, as distinct from regular soldiers or people fighting for their homeland against outside invasion, would find a reason to keep on terrorizing even if all their demands were met. That gives credence to those who say, “The only thing they understand is force.” But even terrorists have people who love them and who share their narrative. You can’t eliminate them by force, for every time you do, you create a martyr whose family and friends want to avenge him.
Sharon Angle, former US Senate candidate in Nevada, talked about “Second Amendment remedies.” Since the 2nd Amendment, which to most of its supporters is the whole of the Constitution, is about the right “to bear arms,” there is no question what she is talking about, despite how much she tried to wriggle as the election approached. Lee Harvey Oswald used a 2nd Amendment remedy on John F. Kennedy. John Hinckley tried to use a 2nd Amendment remedy on Ronald Reagan.
The whole point of the entire Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, is avoiding violence. If all citizens have the same rights, and the political system treats all those rights the same, there is no need for violence.
At the present time, the aggression lovers see their opportunity, and they are trying to take it, to subvert the constitution, so that rights are not equal, but that the powerful and “true believers” have “rights” to abuse those who are weak and believe differently. It is possible that the American experiment is over, and that it has failed.
At least, that is what a majority of voters in the last election said, and they applaud that failure. Our only hope now is 26th Amendment solutions.