Second Amendment

Will New Mom Cardi B Raise an Insurrectionist Army Against Government Tyranny?

Probably not, but the new mom does support the "insurrectionist" theory of Second Amendment rights as a bulwark against tyranny.


New mom Cardi B, star of the cover story in the first issue of the redesigned Rolling Stone, doesn't generally worry about old-fashioned bourgeois respectability. As described in that story, "she's an ex-stripper with butt injections who's after your money; she's a possible former member of the Bloods…and says today that she still carries a knife."

She's apparently willing to step outside ideological respectability as well. Cardi B, the first female solo hip hop artist to earn two number-one Billboard singles, says this to reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis:

Rolling Stone

"God forbid, the government tries to take us over, and we can't defend ourselves because we don't have no weapons." She adds, "How do you think American colonizers went to Africa and it was so easy for them to get those people? Because they had guns. No matter what weapon you have, you can't beat a gun." She shrugs. "They have weapons like nuclear bombs that we don't have. So imagine us not having any weapons at all."

Even many defenders of gun rights find it less than politically expedient to emphasize the Second Amendment's value in resisting government's depredations, though it was one of the major reasons we have it in the first place. Still, Vox gave space to gun rights scholar David Kopel back in 2016 to preemptively explain why Cardi B isn't being as outrageous as some might think.

As Kopel explains, "The Second Amendment does not create a right of revolution against tyranny. That inherent right is universal." He points out that even the United Nations acknowledges this in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But by barring the government from disarming the people, the Second Amendment does "reinforce the rule of law and anti-tyranny structure of the US Constitution." And the "well-regulated militia" described in it was imagined as one of those bulwarks:

Explaining the proposed Second Amendment, Madison's ally Tench Coxe, a delegate to the Continental Congress for Pennsylvania, wrote: "As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." Madison thanked Coxe for the newspaper essay.

More recently, Kopel notes, even as proper a liberal as future vice president Hubert Humphrey wrote in 1960: "Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." One of the tyrannies Humphrey recognized was the "local tyranny in the Jim Crow system of the South."

Cardi B throwing her hands up over government's nuclear bombs brings to mind an old gag from the Church of the SubGenius: While the Powers That Be possess hundreds of nuclear weapons, the SubGenii have only three. Still, may Cardi imbue her family with the spirit of that declaration—that it's never a good idea to cede all authority to powerful people who claim rights that they deny you.

Cardi B previously spoke out against taxation as well and inspired this Reason TV video from Remy:

NEXT: Lawyers Say Michelle Carter Had a First Amendment Right to Tell Her Boyfriend to Kill Himself. They're Right.

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  1. the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”

    What was the equivalent of a mic drop back then… a wig drop?

    1. Megaphone drop.

    2. I’d sure like to be able to go back in time, to have a conversation with Madison about the BoR.

      “I’d like to talk to you about this ‘right to keep and bear arms’ amendment of yours.”

      “You object?”

      “Not at all. I think you need to make it clearer.”

      “‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ How much clearer does it need to be?”

      “Well, lemme tell you about the state of things in 2018…”

  2. How do you think American colonizers went to Africa and it was so easy for them to get those people? Because they had guns.


    1. Apparently, no one has ever broken it to home girl that Roots was fiction. They went to Africa and bought slaves like they were buying a six pack at the local 7-11.

      1. Kinda hard to keep slaves if the buyers aren’t armed, or the slaves are. Slaves aren’t just gonna go, “Oh, ok, you have a piece of paper that says you own me. Guess I’ll just meekly go along with that, even though you’re unarmed.”

        But, yeah, plenty of black people in Africa back then were warring against neighboring tribes and selling off those captured.

      2. Americans went to Africa to capture slaves? Or, did Americans buy slaves who had been captured by others and placed on the slave markets?
        How many slaves were brought to America on American ships by Americans, vs on foreign ships by foreign slave traders?
        The slave trade was a nasty international business. The Blame America First do go a bit far in historic revisionism.

    2. They actually paid for them.

      1. Apparently they don’t teach that in school any more. Wait til she finds out who was selling them.

        1. Well when talk slavery, we seem to talk only about the demand side.

          The supply side gets a pass for some reason.

        2. I’m thinking she probably didn’t spend a whole lot of time in school.

          And I’m pretty sure the only Americans who colonized Africa were black.

    3. My version of history didn’t have American colonizers making runs to Africa.
      It was global trade that brought Africans to the local colonial market square.
      Now only if there had been tariffs in place to protect the local workers from this cheap imported labor

      1. The Brits did that.

  3. “How do you think American colonizers went to Africa and it was so easy for them to get those people? Because they had guns.

    Well, more because they sold guns to people in exchange for . . . people. But I get your point.

    1. Uhh…’American Colonizers’ is about the level of comprehension I would expect from a rapper. Where, exactly, did the Americans colonize?

      Maybe she’s thinking of the British or the Spanish, or maybe she’s thinking of…California? I honestly don’t know.

      1. She could have said “American colonizers used their superior weapons to subdue the Philippines”. Even that may not be accurate, because the Americans didn’t necessarily posses superior weapons than the Filipino insurgents. It was more so that the American possessed a better trained military than the Filipino guerrillas.

        Either way, she comes to the right conclusion…sort of. She can learn history later

      2. She’s not thinking of it, but Liberia is the closest thing. However the slavery issues were after Liberian independence.

      3. Well, we did colonize a large chunk of North America.

      4. Where, exactly, did the Americans colonize?


        1. The Wikipedia Liberia article states:
          “The Republic of Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U.S. did not recognize Liberia’s independence until February 5, 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, and the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U.S., and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement. The black settlers carried their culture and tradition with them to Liberia. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U.S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected as Liberia’s first president after the people proclaimed independence.”

          I don’t think that matches Cardi B’s story of American colonizers. They were taking ex-slaves from America back to Africa.

  4. As described in that story, “she’s an ex-stripper with butt injections who’s after your money; she’s a possible former member of the Bloods…and says today that she still carries a knife.”

    Big whoop!

    I have had strippers strip before me, after as much money as I can get, been a member of a gang, and carry multiple guns.

  5. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight

  6. Down goes England. I guess it is not coming home.

    1. There are two kinds of countries in the world: ones that care about soccer and ones that have put a man on the moon– (paraphrased from Iowahawk).

    2. “How Putin helped new baddie Croatia steal their game from England”

      – CNN in about a day

  7. “How do you think American colonizers went to Africa and it was so easy for them to get those people?”

    Americans bought them from the Algerians who had a habit of enslaving Europeans too. The author of Don Quixote spent 5 years as a prisoner of war in Algiers. That’s why some of my chat sessions with my friend are historically accurate.

    Anyway … if a possible former blood believes in using guns to end tyranny and people feel afraid to walk down the block in blood territory … What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    1. Everyone keeps noting that she’s historically inaccurate here. But, if we want to give her the benefit of the doubt, she could have meant EUROPEAN colonizers conquered colonies in Africa, because of their superior weapons. That would be accurate and somewhat related to gun control.

      1. Yes, it would be especially true of the Spanish.

        1. And Italy in Ethiopia and France in Algeria and…..

      2. In the early days of colonization, firearms were primitive and not very effective, and it was steel edged weapons that gave Europeans the decisive advantage over indigenous peoples. Toledo swords beat stone war clubs, other things being equal. Firearms became a more significant advantage over the centuries as they improved, but even into the twentieth century, European colonial soldiers with firearms were sometimes overwhelmed by natives with primitive weapons, hence the term “mau mau”.

      3. If you want to give her the benefit of the doubt, you could construe the comment as, American colonizers of America, went to Africa to get slaves. Maybe not always exactly right, but right enough, enough of the time.

    2. I’m not sure, but I think there is very little overlap between the European colonization of Africa and the slave trade. Wikipedia is not a great source, but it says the the Ottomans held onto North Africa with Europeans having a few enclaves and islands until France conquered West Africa in 1830. So, most Africa-Americans are descended from the slaves the Ottomans sold to Europeans. The Ottomans also took so many Albanians out of Europe as slaves that ethnic Albanians in Turkey outnumber ethnic Albanians in Albania.

      A paper from the UK National Archives describes the British role in transporting 3.1 Million African slaves for sale, but it does not say much about colonizing except for trade outposts. Any additional information is welcomed. I only know a bit about this topic.

      1. Yeah, she’s wrong on the slavery point. I was just trying to be extremely charitable and assume that maybe she misspoke or was mildly confused in her facts.

  8. Regarding TSA, in my experience, airport security guards grope a guy less if he is carrying a rainbow flag. I guess reverse psychology can work sometimes.

  9. Ummmm….would?

    1. Not.

  10. The only place I’ve ever heard of Cardi B is here at Reason…
    What’s their deal with her?

    1. What’s their deal with her?

      She’s a slightly younger version of Rihanna. So, modestly more talented than Kim Kardashian. Kinda like Tina Turner or Whitney Houston except they can sing.

  11. Why do we care about this person? Explain please.

    1. Nobody does.
      Need more bad cop stories! It’s been 20 minutes since the last one!

    2. Because it’s funny.

  12. “The Second Amendment does not create a right of revolution against tyranny. That inherent right is universal.”

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    And that’s why America celebrates July 4, 1776 as its birthday. The Declaration of Independence created America, the Constitution created the necessary evil known as government. Ultimately, the Constitution is a contract that doesn’t just protect the people from government, it protects the government from the people. You go breaking that contract and you’re liable to find out that we aren’t locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with us.

    1. Article I. Declaration of Rights.

      Section 1. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.

      Section 2. That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

  13. No matter what weapon you have, you can’t beat a gun.

    Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.

  14. Rolling Stone is still in business?

    1. They print a magazine, let’s just say that.

  15. It’s not what I lead with, of course, but I find it sad that people lack the understanding to realize that history is filled with examples of armies that were not as well armed as their enemies who were victorious nonetheless. I mean, it’s not even ancient history we’re talking about here.

    1. Yeah, like 100% of the United States military would turn against their own families at home.

      1. ….or that all those advanced weapons -bombers, nukes, etc.- would be used to carpet bomb the very territory the government wants to rule when it’s all over. It would actually be a much more even fight than people imagine. Assuming you don’t take away citizens right to bear arms first.

        1. The Civil War turned out to be a more even fight than people imagined.

  16. “How do you think American colonizers went to Africa and it was so easy for them to get those people?”

    This is the most common belief among Americans of how all African slavery happened, and it is so fucking wrong it is infuriating. It is more blatant historical revisionism far worse than Southerners who think the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. White guilt is one of the dumbest, most destructive force in this country at the moment, and black people’s denial of Africans’ own very willing role in slavery is absurd. An entire generation of kids think America literally invented slavery. It only drives further racial resentment, due entirely to lies, and nobody is allowed to talk about it.

    1. Only about 3% of Black African slaves went to the United States. Most went to the Caribbean and South America, and some to Arab countries.

      1. and some to Arab countries.

        Where they remain.

        1. You only have to look at the faces of the Arab nobility to see they have lots of Black African ancestry. At one time the harems must have been full of African women.

        2. Interestingly, in many of the Arab/Muslim countries it was common practice to castrate 100% of the black male slaves. They of course had half breed babies with Arab fathers with black slave women, but would then castrate the half black males as well… If it were not for this the middle east would likely be FAR darker in complexion.

          I don’t know how far down the line this went, and I’m sure some people didn’t do it, but it’s a hell of a lot more fucked up than the way Europeans held their slaves… Not to mention that it started a lot earlier, and ended a lot later, than European on black slavery.

  17. Bless her heart, she’s halfway there.

  18. If Wikipedia is accurate, she’s not exactly consistent on any of this:…..statements

    1. She also loves Bernie Sanders and FDR.

      But yeah, total crypto-libertarian!

    2. A lot of deep thought and thorough research behind her opinions. Un-hunh.

  19. Cardi Who?

  20. Cardi B? Offset? Where do they get these juvenile and goofy names?

  21. A few white guys row ashore on Africa, and throw a net over the first black guy they see walking by himself. It is a foolproof bidness model

  22. Wow. So she’s as dumb as her music is bad. Not surprised.

  23. This just in: mercurial pop culture personality is ideologically inconsistent and said some stuff.

    1. Not only that she’s ugly and stupid…

      1. Would

  24. Overthrowing the government is our right.

    1. Yeah, for certain meanings of “our.” Which meaning have you got in mind?

      And by the way, the “right” to insurrection doesn’t work like the others. The others may get called natural rights, or pre-existing rights. But they get the secret sauce which makes them actually work because the People, the sovereign of this fine land, decreed it would apply sovereign power to stay the hand of government on behalf of the rights holders. The right of insurrection, for everyone, all the time? The People think that’s a little more complicated.

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