I don’t do musings posts very often, especially with the podcast. Current events this week have been a little wild with the stock market, and I’ve been watching from the sides. While I didn’t partake in the Gamestop madness, I’ve certainly been entertained with the news articles and chatter on Reddit.
During all of this, I realized that there is a common thread between the politics of gun control and what’s been happening all week with retail investors.
It’s About Control
The people of the gun are all to familiar with the phrase, “It’s not about the gun, it’s about control.”
By that, we mean that the gun control debate has really never been about the hardware itself, but about trying to constrain the power of the population to wield violence. Whether you buy into the idea that only governments should have a monopoly on the use of force is not the point here, so stick with me.
One of the biggest arguments in favor of the Second Amendment is that it represents a hedge against power. By flatly stating that the common citizen retains the tools for violence, it limits the ability of the “elite” to control the common citizen. As we’ve seen over and over in history, it’s all too common for the elite and connected of a society to set rules for everyone but never be held to those rules themselves.
Some Animals are More Equal Than Others
And that brings me to the events this week. The news networks are jammed full of financial industry “experts” crying foul that the common retail investor is winning against them using their own rules against them. At best, this is causing a conversation about how to better regulate the industry “to protect the common person from themselves.”
At worst, we’ve seen insidious attempts to control the damage of common investors through market manipulation and actively preventing them from participating in the system. All the while, the elite continue using the tools for themselves to get out of their obligations.
For many of us, this rings close to the 2008 crash where the financial elite gambled with the American economy, blew it up, and were then bailed out with little more than a slap on the wrist.
This is a Time to Build Connections
If you are into gun culture and Second Amendment advocacy, this is an opportunity. Perhaps you know someone who is today getting angry at the banks and financial elites for the games they are playing.
This is a chance to show them the similarities between how they are being treated and how gun owners have been treated. Politics aside, there are a stunning number of parallels related to stopping the common person from purchasing items, participating in certain activities, and otherwise limiting their ability to participate in an ostensibly legal and open market.
All of this, guns and finances a like, is done in the name of “protecting you from yourself.” Or, “Preventing another disaster.”
Well, to that I can only say…freedom is scary, and perhaps we should all learn a bit of risk management.