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Tyranny Response Team

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Tyranny Response Team"

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I have no problem with the idea that law-abiding people should be allowed to buy and store guns if that’s what they want to do. But the waft of macho BS coming off this sort of thing is really pretty incredible. When protesters were gathered in Tahrir Square in Egypt, we didn’t see a “tyranny response team” sweep in from the USA guns blazing to defend freedom.

And more to the point, it would have been overwhelmingly counterproductive for Egyptian protestors to take up arms and start trying to go head to head with the state’s security forces. Everyone would have gotten killed and the chances for a happy outcome would be much bleaker than they are today.

The fact of the matter is that tyranny is a serious problem, and it calls for serious solutions and serious responses. The idea that the common man is going to use small arms to fight off a modern, 21st century military organization is ridiculous. And the idea that there’s going to be widespread household ownership of the kind of anti-tank missiles and other weapons you’d need to fight such a war is also absurd. In the real world, people stand up to tyranny with nonviolent tactics of civil disobedience that let protestors fight for the loyalty of the security services’ rank and file.

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