Last week a congressman embarrassed himself on Twitter. He got into a debate about gun control, suggested a mandatory buyback—which is basically confiscation with a happy face sticker on it—and when someone told him that they would resist, he said resistance was futile because the government has nukes.
And everybody was like, wait, what?
Of course the congressman is now saying that using nuclear weapons on American gun owners was an exaggeration, he just wanted to rhetorically demonstrate that the all-powerful government could crush us peasants like bugs, they hold our pathetic lives in their iron hand, and he’d never ever advocate for the use of nuclear weapons on American soil (that would be bad for the environment!), and instead he merely wants to send a SWAT team to your house to shoot you in the face if you don’t comply.
See? That’s way better.
But this post isn’t about that particular line from one foolish congressman. It’s about all of the silly left wing memes that have popped up since, trying to justify the congressman’s basic premise that the 2nd Amendment is obsolete for resisting tyranny, and the government would obliterate anyone who failed to comply. Like this one:
I’ve seen a slew of these over the last few days. Nukes kicked it off, but I’ve seen it before with drones, or tanks, or cruise missiles. Sadly, this is one of the better ones, but that’s because the left can’t meme. Basically they all boil down to the same fundamental premise. The federal government has access to advanced weapon systems, and thus anyone who resisted gun confiscation would be effortlessly destroyed by these advanced weapon systems, ergo gun control has already won, forgone conclusion, and they declare victory.
Like most political memes, they’re taking an extremely complex situation, and providing a cartoonish, simplistic answer, which makes them look like complete dipshits to anybody with a clue, but scores them lots of Virtue Signal Points to their likewise ignorant but posturing friends. To my people, this is really goofy stuff. I mean, if you have even a basic knowledge of this topic these memes are about as clever as the ones from the vaccines cause autism morons and the flat earth society.
We are so divided it’s like we are speaking two different languages. Hell, on this topic we are on two different planets. And it is usually framed with a sanctimonious left versus right, enlightened being versus racist hillbilly, unfailing arrow of history versus the knuckle dragging past sort of vibe.
But basically it boils down to one side making the argument: The idea of the 2nd Amendment resisting a tyrannical government is obsolete, because the federal government is too overwhelmingly powerful, and has too many advanced technologies.
So today I’m writing this for my left leaning friends and readers, in the hopes that I can break down the flaws in this argument. I’m going to try not to be too insulting. Accent on try… But I’ll probably fail because this is a really stupid argument.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a novelist now, but I retired from the Evil Military Industrial Complex, where I helped maintain those various advanced weapon systems you expect to bomb me with. Before that I was a gun dealer and firearms instructor. So basically I sold guns to the people you expect the people I trained to take them from.
On that note, I don’t think you fully comprehend the nature of the individuals you expect to do your dirty work, but I’ll come back around to that later.
First, let’s talk about the basic premise that an irregular force primarily armed with rifles would be helpless against a powerful army that has things like drones and attack helicopters.
This is a deeply ironic argument to make, considering that the most technologically advanced military coalition in history has spent the better part of the last two decades fighting goat herders with AKs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Seriously, it’s like you guys only pay attention to American casualties when there’s a republican in office and an election coming up.
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama launched over five hundred drone strikes during his eight years in office. We’ve used Apaches (that’s the scary looking helicopter in the picture for my peacenik liberal friends), smart bombs, tanks, I don’t know how many thousand s of raids on houses and compounds, all the stuff that the lefty memes say they’re willing to do to crush the gun nut right, and we’ve spent something like 6 trillion dollars on the global war on terror so far.
And yet they’re still fighting.
So yes, groups of irregular locals can be a real pain in the ass to a technologically superior military force. That’s pretty obvious.
Now here is the interesting part. Best estimates are that any given time in Iraq we’ve been fighting about 20,000 insurgents at most. Keep that number in mind, because now we’re going to talk about the scope of this hypothetical fight over gun control.
Nobody really knows how many people in America own guns, or how many guns are here. The estimates range wildly. I’ve noticed a trend over recent years of the news media trying to minimize that number, to make it seem like it’s actually a very low percentage of Americans who own firearms, a fading cultural anomaly if you will, and to explain the one to two million new backgrounds checks done every month for new purchases, a handful of us just own a few hundred guns each.
Uh huh…. Sure.
While trying to make gun ownership seem like an oddball thing, I’ve seen the media come up with some truly silly estimates about the total number of guns in this country. The one that was going around earlier this year was really easy to debunk, because they used the number of NICS checks… Problem is, it didn’t take into account the millions guns sold before that (and they never really wear out), the fact that one NICS check can be used to buy multiples at a time, and that many US states (including the gun nuttiest) use their own state background check system, and don’t report to that federal number. Oh yeah, with advances in cheap machining, making your own guns at home has become increasingly popular.
When pollsters call to ask us if and how many guns we own—we think about things like a congressmen talking about nuking us—and immediately lie our asses off. The biggest recurring joke in the gun community is that I don’t own any guns, because I lost them all in a freak canoe accident.
So nobody really knows how many guns there are here, or how many of us own them. But the answer is A LOT.
Recently the WaPo ran an article called Americans Vastly Overestimate the Number of Gun Owners. As with most WaPo articles, it was about 90% bullshit, but they are claiming that only 20 to 30 percent of Americans own guns. That may sound plausible if you live in Manhattan, but out here in flyover country, that’s downright laughable, but anyways, to make the idea of mass gun confiscation as plausible as possible, let’s run with that rosy figure. We’ll even take the lower one of 20%. (snort)
Too bad America has over a third of a billion people, because even the unrealistic figure of 20% of 325 million is still a whopping 65 MILLION people. That’s about the same as the entire population of France. That’s about the same as the population of Great Britain, only with 500 times the firepower. Good thing we didn’t go with that 30%, because now the number is way bigger than the population of Germany (and you know what a pain beating them last time was!). Or ironically, about three times the population of Iraq.
It’s kind of funny, when it comes to us adopting social or economic programs, the left is always comparing the US to Denmark, which has the population of LA county, and that’s totally not apples and oranges, but declaring war on a percentage of the American population bigger than most nation states? That’s no biggie.
But I digress…
Okay, so let’s say Congressman Swalwell gets his wish, and the government says turn them in or else. And even though the government has become tyrannical enough to send SWAT teams door to door and threaten citizens with drones and attack helicopters, rather than half the states saying fuck you, this means Civil War 2, instead we’ll stick to the rosiest of all possible outcomes, and say that most gun owners comply.
In fact, let’s be super kind. Rather than a realistic number, like half or a third of those people getting really, really pissed off and hoisting the black flag, let’s say that 99% of them decide to totally put all their faith into the government, and that the all-powerful entity which just threatened to kill their entire family will never ever turn tyrannical from now on, pinky swear, so what do they have to lose? And a whopping 90% of gun owners go along peacefully.
That means you are only dealing with six and a half MILLION insurgents. The entire active US military is about 1.3 million, with about 800,000 reserve. Which is also assuming that those two Venn diagrams don’t overlap, which is just plain idiotic, but I’ll get to that too.
Let’s be super generous. I’m talking absurdly generous, and say that a full 99% of US gun owners say won’t somebody think of the children and all hold hands and sing kumbaya, so that then you are only dealing with the angriest, listless malcontents who hate progress… These are those crazy, knuckle dragging bastards who you will have to put in the ground.
And there are 650,000 of them.
To put that into perspective, we were fighting 22,000 insurgents in Iraq, a country which would fit comfortably inside Texas with plenty of room to spare. This would be almost 30 times as many fighters, spread across 22 times the area.
And that estimated number is pathetically, laughably low.
In one of the bluest states in America, the New York SAFE Act only has like a 4% compliance rate. And that’s mostly just people choosing to ignore an onerous law. Because the further you get away from the major cities, the more people just don’t give a crap about your utopian foolishness. Its benign neglect, and most Americans are happy to ignore you until you mess with them. You start dropping Hellfire missiles on Indiana? Fuck you, its game on. And that 1% is going to turn into 50% damn quick.
So just by the numbers, it’s an insurmountable problem, but we’re just getting started with how stupid this idea is.
Let’s talk about the logistical challenges of this holy crusade to free the country of icky guns and murder everybody who thinks differently than you do.
In Iraq, our troops operated out of a few secure bases. Those were the big areas where we could do things like store supplies, airlift things in or out, repair vehicles, have field hospitals, a Burger King, etc. And then there were Forward Operating Bases. These are the little camps troops could stage out of to operate in a given area. The hard part was keeping those places supplied, and I believe most of America’s causalities came from convoys getting hit while trying to supply things like ammo, food, and fuel, because when you’re moving around, you’re a big target. All of these places were secured, and if you got too close, or they thought you were going to try and drive a car bomb through the gate, they’d light you up.
Now, imagine trying to conduct operations in a place with twenty times the bad guys, and there are no “safe zones”. Most of our military bases aren’t out in the desert by themselves. They’ve had a town grow up around them, and the only thing separating the jets from the people you expect them to be bombing is a chain link fence.
The confiscators don’t live on base. They live in apartment complexes and houses in the suburbs next door to the people you expect them to murder. Every time they go out to kick in some redneck’s door, their convoy is moving through an area with lots of angry people who shoot small animals from far away for fun, and the only thing they remember about chemistry is the formula for Tannerite.
In something that I find profoundly troubling, when I’ve had this discussion before, I’ve had a Caring Liberal tell me that the example of Iraq doesn’t apply, because “we kept the gloves on”, whereas fighting America’s gun nuts would be a righteous total war with nothing held back… Holy shit, I’ve got to wonder about the mentality of people who demand rigorous ROEs to prevent civilian casualties in a foreign country, are blood thirsty enough to carpet bomb Texas.
You really hate us, and then act confused why we want to keep our guns? But I don’t think unrelenting total war against everyone who has ever disagreed with you on Facebook is going to be quite as clean as you expect.
There will be no secure delivery of ammo, food, and fuel, because the guys who build that, grow that, and ship that, well, you just dropped a Hellfire on his cousin Bill because he wouldn’t turn over his SKS. Fuck you. Starve. And that’s assuming they don’t still make the delivery but the gas is tainted and food is poisoned.
Oh wait… Poison? That would be unsportsmanlike! Really? Because your guy just brought up nuclear weapons. What? You think that you’re going to declare war on half of America, with rules of engagement that would make Genghis Khan blush, and my side would keep using Marquis of Queensbury rules?
Oh hell no.
A friend of mine who is a political activist said something interesting the other day, and that was for most people on the left political violence is a knob, and they can turn the heat up and down, with things like protests, and riots, all the way up to destruction of property, and sometimes murder… But for the vast majority of folks on the right, it’s an off and on switch. And the settings are Vote or Shoot Fucking Everybody. And believe me, you really don’t want that switch to get flipped, because Civil War 2.0 would make Bosnia look like a trip to Disneyworld.
Speaking of ugly, do you really honestly think that you’re going to be able to kill people because they disagree with you, and they won’t hit you back where it hurts? While you’re drone striking Omaha Nebraska you really think that the people who live where all the food is grown, the electricity is generated, and all the freeways and rail lines run through, that some of them aren’t going to take it personal? And that they’re not going to use their location and access to make life extremely uncomfortable for you?
The scariest single conversation I’ve ever heard in my life was five Special Forces guys having a fun thought exercise about how they would bring a major American city to its knees. They picked Chicago, because it was a place they’d all been. It was fascinating, and utterly terrifying. And I’ll never ever put any of it in a book, because I don’t want to give crazy people any ideas. Give it about a week and people would be eating each other (and gee whiz, take one wild guess what the political leanings of most Green Berets are?).
Similar dinner conversation once, with a bunch of SWAT cops from a major American city, talking about how incredibly easy it would be to entirely shut down and utterly ruin their city, with only a small crew of dedicated individuals and about forty eight hours of mayhem and fuckery. (And guess what their political leanings were? Hint, most of them were eager to retire because they’d been treated like shit by their liberal mayors, and take their pension to someplace like Arkansas)
So yeah, let’s talk about those people you think are going to be unfeeling automatons who will have no problem killing their friends and neighbors on your behalf…
They are us.
Above I mentioned a Venn diagram of obstinate gun owners and the military, but you can change that to cops and it’s going to be pretty similar. Those diagrams overlap a lot, and depending on the particular department or unit, they make one big happy circle.
Back when I owned a gun store, we were located one block from Utah Army National Guard Headquarters. Every drill weekend my building was a sea of ACU (and the fact that very few of my liberal readers know what that abbreviation means just shows goes to show how incredibly out of touch they are, but I mean that ugly sage grey digital camouflage). It was just a bunch of guys hanging out, talking shit, and BUYING GUNS.
Lots and lots of guns. And I know most of my left wing readers can’t tell them apart, but they were specifically buying the scary ones that you want to ban the most. Thousands of them. And cops… Holy moly I sold a lot of guns to cops. Not department guns, though we supplied a few of those, but personal guns.
Having worked with a lot of police departments, guess what? The guys who actually know how to shoot? The ones who run the training programs? Usually they’re my people too. The gun nuts gravitate toward that position because A. more taxpayer funded ammo, and B. they actually give a shit about the subject, so they learn on their own, and then try to pass those skills onto their coworkers to better keep them alive.
Whenever I see one of these dipshit memes produced by some Gender Studies Major, it just demonstrates how incredibly sheltered and out of touch they are. They don’t know fuck all about these people. Usually if they’re talking about soldiers, it’s about how they’re evil baby killers, or time bombs of PTSD rage, or poor deluded fools who joined the military because they couldn’t get a real job…. And cops, it’s about how they’re just a bunch of trigger happy racists just itching for an excuse to execute everybody who looks different than they do.
But don’t worry, despite all those years of abuse, when you ask them to go door to door in their hometown to systematically attack people they’ve known their whole lives, friends and family who’ve done nothing wrong, and maybe get shot or blown up, and when it’s over then turn in their own personal guns, all because some moron in a big city a thousand miles away said so, I’m sure they’ll hop right to it.
See, one of the things you guys on the left don’t realize is that there’s that whole “Othering” thing. You do it all the time without thinking about it. Where you just ascribe increasingly terrible things to people, like all gun owners are murderous, racist, kill crazy, redneck, dumb ass peckerwoods who want children to die, to the point that to you, we’re this unimaginable, evil, Other, so it’s okay to threaten to murder us, and feel good about yourself. Because we’re bad, and you’re the good guy, and thus totally justified in all you do.
Yet you assume that the people who gravitate toward the career fields you’ll need to wage war on us will feel the same way you do. When in reality most of them think you’re posturing, elitist, ignoramuses who don’t know the first thing about guns, crime, violence, or America.
Now this is where I’ll part ways with most of my libertarian brethren, because they are quick to point out that there are plenty of places where cops enforce existing gun or drug laws. The part they’re missing is that most people are complicated, and they’ve got lines they won’t cross.
In this case, the target isn’t some Other, it’s not just their people, it’s them. And an active shooting war between the government and half the population? That’s a pretty big fucking line. And we’re not talking about people they are already inclined not to like, but rather they’re supposed to go shoot their doctor and their mechanic for doing something that up until a few days ago was legal and they were doing themselves. A small percentage will be happy to put on the jack boots and start loading people into cattle cars. But a larger percentage will say nope, I’m calling in sick, don’t feel like getting blown up today.
And another big chunk will actively help the insurgents, because they fucking hate you and everything you stand for. Like seriously, out of touch liberals, how many small town sheriff’s deputies do you think would describe themselves as “progressive”?
Now this will vary wildly depending on jurisdiction. Some places, no problem. People will comply. Others because of the culture, they won’t. Yet, in the places where they are the least likely to comply, those are the places where you are the most likely to have the local authorities be actively on the side of the insurgents. (this is kind of a no brainer to anybody who has ever looked at any guerilla war ever in history). Which means that the occupiers then have to import outsiders to do the deed, but then the presence of outsiders piss off the rest of the local fence sitters, and now everybody is getting blown up.
The problem with all those advanced weapons systems you don’t understand, but keep sticking onto memes, is guess who builds them, maintains them, and drives them? When I first saw this idiotic Apache meme my comment was that sadly Freedom Eagle’s day job was as a contractor doing helicopter engine maintenance.
Those drones you guys like to go on about, and barely understand? One of the contracts I worked on was maintaining the servers for them. Guess which way most military contractors vote? Duh. Though honestly, if I was still in my Evil Military Industrial Complex job when this went down, I’d just quietly embezzle and funnel millions of DOD dollars to the rebels. Because fuck you is why.
So you’ve got an insurmountable challenge, that’s logistically impossible, and a big chunk of the people you expect to fight on your behalf being actively against you. Your side would need an incredible amount of will, especially after they turned off your electricity and water, and there’s no more food on the shelves.
This is why smart progressives prefer to boil the frog slowly.
To pull off confiscation now you’d have to be willing to kill millions of people. The congressman’s suggestion was incredibly stupid, but it was nice to see one of you guys being honest about it for once. In order to maybe, hypothetically save thousands, you’d be willing to slaughter millions. Either you really suck at math, or the ugly truth is that you just hate the other side so much that you think killing millions of people is worth it to make them fall in line. And if that’s the case, you’re a sick bastard, and a great example of why the rest of us aren’t ever going to give up our guns.