“It May Be Necessary At Some Point to Take Up Arms Against the Government…”

Dawn Vickerstaff
4 min readJul 8, 2022


I thought we were done with all this over 150 years ago.

I troll (in the fishing sense, not the ogre under the bridge sense) through the news on a number of feeds from a variety of places, viewpoints and ideologies. I’m working to see if I can understand some of the views of people I consider diametrically opposed to me and my politics. That is, what I think of as my politics.

There isn’t a party on earth that fully embodies what I believe and how I wish governments were run. The words ‘ethical’, ‘truthful’, ‘person-centred’ come to mind to name a few. At least in my ideal world.

There are people in government here and there that rise to the level of attention but few that have ever reached the level of admiration. I might approve of an action there and then discover that he cheats on his wife. I hear a speech that resonates with its truth and find later that she lied about personal integrity. It isn’t, truly it isn’t, that I’ve grown cynical and suspicious. It is that I am, through years and years of experience with fallible human beings, grown cautious and perhaps less forgiving.

However, I have never leapt into the arena of such anger and disgust (oh, there’s been plenty of anger and disgust) that leads me to believe that violence and insurrection are the only remedies. It seems though, that plenty of other people have stepped deep in the doo-doo on that ground.

The University Of Chicago Institute Of Politics is a non-partisan ‘extra-curricular’ entity whose mandate is to encourage young people to participate in politics. There is more about them on their Facebook page, Linkd-In, Wikipedia and in news feeds recently. The recent interest in this academic body is due in part to the now published results of a study two of their researchers, Republican pollster Neil Newhouse and Democrat Joel Benenson concluded. They conducted a poll of 1000 registered voters from the 19th through the 23rd of May 2022. The poll “was designed to probe polarization and its relationship to the news sources upon which Americans rely in a fractionated media environment”.

Here’s my quick bullet point interpretation of the main beliefs discovered along with a break-down of which political ideologies support them and by how much.

1. It may be necessary at some point to take up arms against the government:

a. Self identified “Strong Republicans” 45% agreed 42% disagreed

b. Self identified “Strong Democrats” 21% agreed 74% disagreed

c. Independents 35% agreed 48% disagreed

Other findings of this poll indicate that a very large percentage of people feel like strangers in their own country (49%).

A majority of Americans feel that the government is ‘rigged against them’ (73% Republicans, 71% who called themselves ‘conservative’, 68% rural voters, 51% who called themselves ‘very liberal’ also agreed).

Two thirds of all Republican and Independent voters agreed that the government was corrupt, while 51% of Democrats also agreed.

The majority (56%) believed that election results were counted fairly. However, that view is deeply divided according to party affiliation. (76% Democrats agree that elections are fair, 51% of independents agree while only 31% of Republicans believe elections are fair and accurately counted.)

It is also worth noting that the vast majority of gun holders or people who have access to guns are Republicans with Independents and then Democrats falling pretty far behind.

Author’s graph from UofC IOP data

More information about the poll can be found here. https://bit.ly/ioppoll

I am reminded of that pair who were so afraid of a Black Lives Matter protest march in the street outside their door that they felt it necessary to pull out their guns — I have no idea what kind but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were assault rifles. They trained their sights on the peaceful marchers, threatening anyone who dared step on their property. I remember saying to myself “There’s a couple of Republicans, for sure!”

Turns out I was likely right.

All of this leads to a reluctant conclusion on my part. Perhaps it’s time that Democrats who, it appears, can’t beat ’em on gun control, try to catch up and join ’em. We’re outgunned, people. They seem to believe that insurrection just might be the answer, and I could conclude, January 6th was just the first read thru.



Dawn Vickerstaff

MSW, Mental Health Therapist, Writer of Truth