We Don’t Actually Want Another Civil War

A rare political post that I’m throwing up because it touches upon an area I just finished writing about.

Larry Correia takes the world’s dumbest tweet by a Congressman, and drops a hydrogen bomb of truth on it, and makes the rubble bounce.

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?

Not a new statement. Whenever this comes up, proggies love to retort that the armed populace of the US could not possibly resist the U.S. Military. This is, sadly, a meme among them.

It’s dumb for a number of reasons, most obviously the fact that a high school senior today has never known a time when the U.S. Military has not been actively engaged against insurgents in Afghanistan, and by all accounts, we are not getting anywhere. Afghanistan is Vietnam with a lower body count (and according to some authors, we actually made some progress in Vietnam after Westmoreland left in ’68. But whatever):

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.

Extrapolate that to the resources necessary for the U.S. Military to conquer North America, and some 20-30 million (if we go with the low estimates) of gun owners. Keep in mind that it took the better part of a century – from Fallen Timbers to Wounded Knee, for the U.S. Military to take North America from a variety of Indian nations, all of whom stepped out of the Stone Age no sooner than their first encounter with Europeans. I recently went horseback riding with some Blackfeet in Montana, and they told me that until the early 18th century, no Blackfeet had ever seen a horse. The Indians fought back with every weapon they had at their disposal, at a massive disadvantage in population and firepower, and it still took decades to defeat them. And they weren’t even unified. The Apache, Comanche, Iriquois, Dakota, etc., each fought their own individual war against the invader. And they each went down hard.

Oh, but that was when we had an emaciated army, underfunded and undermanned? Sure. But Correia reminds us not to be to sure of that high-tech, all volunteer military, to say nothing of the cops:

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?… 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.

This is what prompted me to come into this, as someone who just finished writing a novel that takes place in the Civil War, especially Sherman’s March: in 1861, the U.S. Military had about 16,000 men and 1,100 commissioned officers. Of those, about 20% defected and joined the Confederacy. Of the 200 West Point graduates who came out of retirement, nearly half joined the Confederacy.

How long did it take to defeat the South again? 4 years. Despite the fact that the North had over double the population, five times the railroads, and virtually all the industrial capacity. Despite the fact that of the southern population, one-third were slaves who were by definition (until the very end) banned from military service. Despite all of that, it took the advanced, industrialized, highly populated section of the country 4 years of bloody conflict to crush the agrarian, thinly populated half. And that was only because at the end those West-Point-trained Southerners honored their commitments to peace. That’s right, that was after four years of conventional warfare. The Confederates didn’t even try a guerrilla insurgency.

So how many current members of the U.S. Military are right-wing enough to have a real problem with firing on civilians in support of the abrogation of the 2nd Amendment? Wanna bet it’s higher than 20%? How many Robert E. Lees join the rebellion this time? How many Apache attack helicopters do they take with them? How many Abrams tanks?

Hell, how many nukes? Do you know where we keep all of our land-based missiles? That’s right: out in flyover country. When I was a kid, the running gag held that if Montana and the Dakotas seceded from the Union, they would instantly be the third-largest nuclear power on earth. I don’t think they have as many missiles now as they did in the 80’s. But they still have some.

How hard would it be for the governors of those states to order their respective National Guards to take over the missile silos? How many guys inside the missile silos would help them do it? And how many cities would they need to wipe out to win the war?

Two. New York and Washington. Game over.

Now, of course, it might not break down like that. War is never as clear in reality as it seems at the outset. But that’s my point. The scenario in which the 1.3 million members of the U.S. Military are going to be able to contain a guerrilla revolt by a group an order of magnitude larger than them, and within the country they draw their logistical support from?

That’s not gonna be over by Christmas.

Mass Shootings Worse in Europe?

Stop undermining the narrative!

It appears that France suffered more deaths from mass shootings in 2015 alone – 508 – than the United States has suffered during the entire Obama administration – 424. According to John R. Lott, that is.

Lott is a noted gun-rights advocate and a contributor to the Crime Prevention Research Center. The raw data to back up his claim can be found here.

Nor is that all. When you factor in the size of the United States population to that of Europe, the US is about in the middle of the pack when it comes to frequency of mass shootings, and death rate from mass shootings.

Where the U.S. is way ahead of Europe is in its homicide rate of 5.2 people per 100,000 – tied with Chile. However, that’s only fourth-highest in the industrialized world, behind Brasil (25.5), Mexico (23.4), and Russia (12.8). We’re slightly above the average for the 34 countries measured, which is 4.1.

It should be kept in mind that the U.S. gun homicide rate has dropped precipitously over the last 20 years, even as its firearm ownership rate has risen by almost the same percentage. And by “almost”, I mean “more than.”

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Signal and noise, people, signal and noise.

Poor Gun Controllers: They Just Can’t Help Themselves

Every time this happens, the gun controllers seize the commanding heights of moral authority. “Can we finally now do something to stop the violence?” They say. Can we finally pass “sensible,” “reasonable,” gun laws? How many more have to die?

So they rush out to fill the void of knowledge with wishcasting and devil-chasing, because they know that mass killers are NRA-types who have been to one too many Tea Party rallies. Who kill with AR-15’s.

Doh.

All of the mass shootings of the Obama era were committed by persons with deep and grave psychological disorders. Mass shootings must be the work of the mentally ill. Who else would do it? But everytime, we have to pretend that it is the tool that matters and not the mind that puts the tool to use. Meanwhile, literally millions of so-called assault weapons sit in homes without ever once being used to harm others.

So settle in folks, we’ve seen this movie.

Why I’m Calling Shenanigans on Ms. Magazine’s “My Month With a Gun” Column

With the exception of an antique single-shot percussion-cap pistol inherited from my grandfather, for which I keep neither powder nor shot, I do not own any guns. My reason is twofold: 1) guns are expensive, and I lack the time to devote to their maintenance and the necessary training, and 2) Wifey doesn’t like them. But I support the rights of other Americans to arm themselves, and the gun-rights movement over the gun-control movement, with my votes. I have again a twofold reason: 1) I have never seen any compelling evidence that gun control improves public safety in any sizable way (rather, I think the reverse is true), and 2) I see far too much hysteria and  snobbery in the gun-control movement for my liking.

Reasonable people can and will disagree about the efficacy of any public policy, and a robust debate about the purposes of the Second Amendment, and what level of regulation best balances liberty with public order is like to continue so long as the Republic does. This to be expected, and is all to the good.

However, Ms. Magazine’s “My Month with a Gun” feature does not contribute to that debate. I don’t think it really intends to contribute anything but shock and incredulity (and of course, hits for its parent web site). The feature is long on impression and short on facts, and its entire premise reeks of the kind of manufactured authenticity that Reality TV trades in.

The writer of the feature, one Heidi Yewman, a self-proclaimed “board member of the Brady Campaign,” has decided to go thirty days armed under the carry laws of her home state. She operated under four “rules”:

Carry it with me at all times, follow the laws of my state, only do what is minimally required for permits, licensing, purchasing and carrying, and finally be prepared to use it for protecting myself at home or in public.

The last rule seems to come with emphasis on the “finally”, as in the course of this first week Yewman has not bothered to learn the first thing about operating or even loading the Glock 9 she purchased:

Tony told me a Glock doesn’t have an external safety feature, so when I got home and opened the box and saw the magazine in the gun I freaked. I was too scared to try and eject it as thoughts flooded my mind of me accidentally shooting the gun and a bullet hitting my son in the house or rupturing the gas tank of my car, followed by an earth-shaking explosion. This was the first time my hands shook from the adrenaline surge and the first time I questioned the wisdom of this 30-day experiment.

I needed help. I drove to where a police officer had pulled over another driver. Now, writing this, I realize that rolling up on an on-duty cop with a handgun in tow might not have been fully thought through.

I told him I just bought a gun, had no clue how to use it. I asked him to make sure there were no bullets in the magazine or chamber. He took the magazine out and cleared the chamber. He assured me it was empty and showed me how to look. Then he told me how great the gun was and how he had one just like it.

The cop thought I was an idiot and suggested I take a class. But up to that point I’d done nothing wrong, nothing illegal.

The feature ends and begins with her sitting in a Starbucks, shaking with fear that the gun is suddenly going to leap from its holster and start killing children.

I have two problems with all of this.

How Awesome is Gun Control?

This Awesome (picture for link):

Go on, tell me again how sensible and obvious these rules and regulations are. Tell me how Leviathan has a special plan for my life!

Oh, and don’t forget to let me know how different today is from the frontier days of the 19th century. You will be dead right about that.

Chicago Twice as Dangerous as Afghanistan

You can’t make these things up.

Between 2003 and 2011, 4,265 people were murdered in the city of Chicago. In 2012 alone, 512 people were murdered in the city.

Operation Enduring Freedom, the name for the war in Afghanistan, which started Oct. 7, 2001, has seen a total of 2,166 killed. The war has been ongoing for 11 years, 3 months and one week.

In fairness, I should point out that Iraq claimed 4,422 Americans KIA. So the city has that going for it.

Of the 4,251 people murdered, 3,371 died from being shot, with 98 percent of the murder weapons being a handgun. Thirty-seven people were killed with a rifle (caliber of bullet not specified), and 40 were killed with a shotgun.Murders by stabbing in Chicago accounted for 9 percent of the total between 2003 and 2011; 7 percent of the people murdered in Chicago between 2003 and 2011 died from what the Chicago Police Department classifies as “assault”; 92 people were killed by strangulation; 27 people by blunt force; 15 by asphyxiation; and 51 people were categorized in the “other” category.

That’s right: strangulation is over twice as deadly as AR-15’s in Chicago. Boy, that gun control sure is something, huh?

Not a single gun shop can be found in this city because they are outlawed. Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, too, until 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that was going too far, leading city leaders to settle for restrictions some describe as the closest they could get legally to a ban without a ban. Despite a continuing legal fight, Illinois remains the only state in the nation with no provision to let private citizens carry guns in public.

And yet Chicago, a city with no civilian gun ranges and bans on both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, finds itself laboring to stem a flood of gun violence that contributed to more than 500 homicides last year and at least 40 killings already in 2013, including a fatal shooting of a 15-year-old girl on Tuesday.

Nothing to see here, move along….