This past weekend, a white nationalist terrorist carried out a massacre in Buffalo, New York. The killer’s own published manifesto makes crystal clear the genocidal zeal and demographic panic induced fanaticism which motivated this base act of public murder, which he live-streamed so as to strike fear into the targets of his hate and for the amusement and inspiration of other thugs like himself.
The manifesto’s obsession with the white nationalist “great replacement” theory is particularly disturbing in its timing with the impending Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, as while believers in this theory rejoice at their chance to turn everyone they understand as a “fertile white woman” into a baby factory for their deranged racialist worldview, fascist militias are stepping up deadly attacks on groups they consider “racial enemies” with the same underlying motive. Biden’s election, much touted as an antidote to the fascist trends encouraged by Trump and those close to him, has self-evidently not changed their goals or means or confidence in pursuing both.
It goes without saying that in our analysis this latest attack cannot be viewed as some aberration but part of a growing trend of attacks with an aim to defend the white supremacy which has been hegemonic in the United States since the genocidal foundation of the settler colony.
Consequently, we seek neither explanation nor solution in the lessening of the availability of firearms in the US. While the question of what laws should govern firearms need not be as absolute as right-wing 2nd Amendment fundamentalists claim, we recognize the violence of mass shootings, racist terrorism and even everyday armed robbery as varying symptoms of the overarching capitalist system. White nationalists who carry out such terrorist attacks are the number one source of such murders even according to the state’s own definitions and statistics. They are disproportionate in their presence in the police and military, they already privately own large stockpiles of firearms and accordingly under any legal arrangement the state can provide they will remain more heavily armed than the peoples’ own capacity to arm themselves.
More pertinently to us is the question of what the masses are to do, especially in light of the last fact. We do not see revolution as a process of steadily arming the masses to where they can outshoot the state and its increasingly panicked reserve army, fascist militias, which elements of the state oppose in word but do not wage war on in deed.
Rather, revolution is a social process by which the masses become organized in such a fashion as to be able to bring down the state and totally reshape society in the conscious image of a liveable future for all. In the final instance, this is the only solution and defense of this goal by any means necessary is a condition of its success.
However, in the first instance, all progressive, popular democratic, oppressed nationality and oppressed gender forces must take such attacks as the threat they are and a wake-up call to action: the state is no genuine safeguard, we have no means of defense against the violence of oppressors but our own self-defense. As collectives, we must be armed and trained accordingly.
We call in particular on socialists reading this to get organized in broad-based, country-wide left-leaning firearms organizations like the Socialist Rifle Association. Socialist theory and practice cannot be done on one’s own, and self-defense and community defense are no different. In situations like this, many people go straight into panic-buying a firearm; the advice offered by gun stores to new firearm owners reflects their interest in sales more than their desire to offer sound firearms (or financial) advice. The best place to learn is with the guidance and experience of politically like-minded individuals, not ex-military YouTube LARPers, gun store salesmen and old men who still think rock salt in a shotgun is an adequate “nonlethal” home defense option.
Workers and oppressed peoples of this country and the world must unite, before it is too late. Any of us could be next.