The revelations that took place during this week’s congressional hearing The Rise Of The Drones have huge implications, not just for the way our nation fights its wars, but also for the way that citizens defend their liberty.
For quite some time, gun enthusiasts have justified their interest in weaponry by citing the second amendment to the Constitution, and claiming that liberty is established through the intimidation of the government by citizens carrying guns. This idea has been a consistent theme at Tea Party protests around the nation, including the one pictured below in Washington D.C., at which protesters from Montana and Utah declared their readiness to come to the nation’s capital, carrying guns, as part of an armed revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government.
These particular would-be revolutionaries seem quite physically unsuited to the task of an armed uprising, and their specific grievances, such as that health care reform will expand the nation’s budget deficit, would sound like an inadequate justification for violent revolution to most people. Let’s forget the flaws of their individual protest, however, and focus on the underlying idea: That when liberty is threatened by unscrupulous leaders in the government, citizens with guns can spontaneously rise up and make sure that freedom survives.
How is a citizen militia with guns supposed to deal with a government army consisting of thousands of robotic soldiers of the sort pictured below?
These three military robots are quite real. They’ve been bought by the US military, just a few examples of the many kinds of robotic weapons under development and now being used both in the air and on the ground. They’re often operated by remote control by someone who sits at a safe distance, attacking human beings through an interface eerily reminiscent of first person shooter video games. Even the tank you see at the left, which is capable of high speeds while it fires its guns, is a robot, remotely controlled.
Thousands of military robots are already in use, and this robot army will soon number in the tens of thousands, according to testimony at this week’s hearing held by the House National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee. Some robots of this sort are also being deployed by the military and the Department of Homeland Security within the borders of the United States, and lobbyists for arms merchants are pushing for increased domestic use of these robots by all sorts of government agencies.
How could a group of citizens, even a million strong, defeat these robots? They’d have to have killer robots of their own. Guns wouldn’t do the job, even if they’re held by more fit bodies than those of middle-aged Tea Party protesters. No gun could stop the Ripsaw MS1 robot tank, or bring down a predator drone armed with missiles in the sky.
So, if the second amendment is to serve as the basis for keeping violent revolution by American citizens viable, we’re going to have to learn to accept our neighbors not just being armed with guns, but with robots capable of extreme violence. If Tea Party protesters aren’t arguing in favor of a right to own killer robots, then their talk about guns amounts to nothing more than vain posturing.