But guns have long signaled something different in rural places than in urban ones. Just as significant, guns now signify something radically different than they did a few decades ago. In short, guns have become highly politicized, both a cause and a symbol of our nation’s accelerating polarization
A favorite quotation from American founding documents is this partial quote: “We, the people.” Taken from the Preamble (and thus the first words) of the U.S. Constitution, “We, the people” is meant to illustrate the primacy of the people of the United States over other powers, especially the powers of the government formed by that same Constitution.
But this reading misses the mark. I take those opening words to reflect that the people and the government are one and the same.
This seems like an important point in the discussion of 2nd Amendment rights. It is also an important point in many other aspects of how the people and the government relate to one another. And understanding that point drives many of the policies we operate under, and advocate for or against, today.
If we hold that “the government” is some entity that exists outside of, separate from, and in enmity against, the people, then many of the policies of the Republican party follow quite naturally.