Picking Up a Gun is No Way to Address Grievances in This Country

The Ballots Not Bullets Coalition, concerned with the increasing use of violence as a tool to affect public policy, announced its launch on May 19. The organization’s launch comes on the heels of the standoff in Bunkerville, Nev., between cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government over unpaid grazing fees, which escalated to an armed confrontation. The dispute came to an inconclusive end after the government backed down to avoid bloodshed.

The coalition advocates three principles: First, the Second Amendment does not provide any individual the right to shoot government officials upon personally concluding that the government is behaving in a “tyrannical” manner. Second, there is no legitimate role for violence in American democracy. Third, the rule of law must be enforced to avoid setting a dangerous precedent that threatens American freedoms.

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