Presidential candidate Marco Rubio employed a standard neocon rationale during an appearance on Face the Nation: Rubio said he supports the 2nd Amendment because the Islamic State is a domestic threat and a family is entitled to protect itself against it.

In all fairness Rubio also mentioned wanting to protect his family from run-of-the-mill American criminals. But the addition of IS in the statement reveals how neocons invariably inject terrorism into the dialogue.

Even the corporate media agrees the chance of falling victim to a terrorist in the United States is at best remote.

“In the United States, an individual’s likelihood of being hurt or killed by a terrorist (whether an Islamist radical or some other variety) is negligible,” The Washington Post reported following the Paris attack.

Consider, for instance, that since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have been no more likely to die at the hands of terrorists than being crushed to death by unstable televisions and furniture. Meanwhile, in the time it has taken you to read until this point, at least one American has died from a heart attack. Within the hour, a fellow citizen will have died from skin cancer. Roughly five minutes after that, a military veteran will commit suicide. And by the time you turn the lights off to sleep this evening, somewhere around 100 Americans will have died throughout the day in vehicular accidents—the equivalent of “a plane full of people crashing, killing everyone on board, every single day.” Daniel Kahneman, professor emeritus at Princeton University, has observed that “[e]ven in countries that have been targets of intensive terror campaigns, such as Israel, the weekly number of casualties almost never [comes] close to the number of traffic deaths.”

Other things more likely to kill an American than an Islamic State terrorist: prescription drugs, contaminated food, nutritional deficiencies, brain-eating amoebas, risky sexual behavior, falling off a ladder and even toddlers.

None of these, however, promote endless war and intervention in small countries on the neocon target list.

Marco Rubio, who has received a thumbs up from the guru of bellicose neoconservatism, Bill Kristol, and may receive support from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is merely pandering to Republicans who support the Second Amendment.

The neocon philosophy formulated by the late Leo Strauss held classical liberalism—not the progressive variant now in vogue—in contempt.

Jeffrey Steinberg explains:

The hallmark of Strauss’ approach to philosophy was his hatred of the modern world, his belief in a totalitarian system, run by “philosophers,” who rejected all universal principles of natural law, but saw their mission as absolute rulers, who lied and deceived a foolish “populist” mass, and used both religion and politics as a means of disseminating myths that kept the general population in clueless servitude. For Strauss and all of his protégés (Strauss personally had 100 Ph.D. students, and the “Straussians” now dominate most university political science and philosophy departments), the greatest object of hatred was the United States itself, which they viewed as nothing better than a weak, pathetic replay of “liberal democratic” Weimar Germany.

It stands to reason then if neocons uphold the Straussian philosophy and abhor classic liberalism and the idea of natural rights and believe the populace is little more than foolish children to be deceived, they oppose the Second Amendment. Authoritarians reflexively oppose an armed citizenry because they ultimately pose a threat to the monopoly on power held by absolute rulers.

Granted, Marco Rubio may not even know this and he is probably not a true Straussian neocon. He may in fact support the right to bear arms, although it is debatable if he supports the primary reason for a Second Amendment—to oppose and defend against a tyrannical government.

For the founders of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the right to self-defense was not only an inherent or god-given right, it was a duty.

It is unclear if Marco Rubio believes this.

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