Earlier today, armed demonstrators stormed the Michigan State House protesting the state’s stay-at-home order.
I’m not going to delve in to the specific politics around the stay-at-home order, or whether I think it’s a good idea or a bad one, because there is a more important point to be made here. Actually, two important points.
(1) Nobody got shot. These protesters were not out-of-control yahoos intent on violence. This was a carefully calibrated and very controlled demonstration.
(2) This is the American constitutional system working correctly and as designed by the Founders. When the patience of the people has been pushed past its limit by tyranny and usurpation, armed revolt is what is supposed to happen. The threat of popular armed revolt is an intentional and central part of our system of checks and balances.
We aren’t at that point yet, though. The Michigan legislators should consider that they have received a final warning before actual shooting. The protesters demonstrated and threatened just as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other Founders expected and wanted citizens to demonstrate and threaten in like circumstances.
I am sure there will be calls from the usual suspects to tighten gun laws and arrest the protesters as domestic terrorists. All of which will miss the point. Nobody got shot – this was the last attempt, within the norms of the Constitutional system as designed, to avoid violence.
If the Michigan state government responds to this demonstration with repression or violence, citizens will have the right – indeed, they will have a Constitutional duty – to correct the arrogance of power via armed revolt.
This was your final warning, legislators. Choose wisely.