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.

Hoplophobia in extremis

Amusing post at the Gun-Free Zone.

Sure, he wants to send gun owners to Syria to defend America, but I doubt would want CCW permit holders to defend him or themselves in his local shopping mall.

Disdain does not require logic.

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.

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

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….

The Irrelevance of Conservative Despair

Over at Protein Wisdom, a former Marine and gun store owner speaks a few truths.

Writes Jeff:

Unfortunately, we’ve become expert, as a popular and political culture, at pretending we haven’t encountered those very truths we continue to molest — all in an effort to will new truths into being out of something so gossamer as manufactured consent based around manipulated perception.

All ideologies emphasize some truths and de-emphasize others. What Jeff is talking about is something far more insidious, because unspoken: an exercise in doublethink. One hears, one perceives truth, and one simultaneously pretends that the truth is not true, due to its simplism, its epistemic cloture, its unreasonableness. Because we do not like the truth (that the state is in many ways powerless to stop people from harming others), we will replace it with one more to our liking (that with the Courage to Act according to a Rational Spirit of this Our Enlightened Age, we can Do Amazing Things).

They are, of course, wrong. Human nature is not infinitely malleable, and even if it were, the state would need totalitarian powers to mash us into the New Soviet Man desired. And no state with totalitarian powers avoids becoming evil. Hayek spelled this out seventy years ago,  but people refuse to believe him, because they do not feel empowered by it. It spells out a limitation of human ability, which one cannot accept and remain progressive.

And right now, the progressives are powerful. Via double-think and the long march through the institutions, they can and do frame the debates to their utmost advantage. They routinely apply (while conveniently denying) a double-standard to the actions and pronouncements of people based on ideology and party affiliation. They run the tables on us, and we barely manage to stand across the train tracks yelling “Stop!”

This is all true, and we are only beginning to come to terms with it. We are passing through the stages of grief, from Shock (Holy crap, are we really going to lose Florida?), Denial (Karl Rove attacks the call), Anger (Whose Fault is this!), to Despair and Acceptance. Right now, I sense Despair, the hopelessness of standing against the Beast, the longing for the Sweet Meteor of Death, the call to Let it Burn. This feeling is real, and it is irrelevant.

Because they are wrong.

They. Are. Wrong. About Everything. About Guns. About Abortion. About Social Security. About spending, about taxation, about debt. They are Wrong about the Economy, and the government’s role in same. About every issue of public policy that has shaped the last 100 years, the progressives have put their yearning to immanentize the eschaton ahead of any other consideration, and have led themselves into continuous and repeated acts of folly, while blaming the world and we who disagree for reality’s obstinate recalcitrance.

Boasting of tolerance, they despise and indulge in violent fantasies about anyone who marches not in lockstep with them. Vomiting populism, they coagulate into a clerical/political class that exempts itself from the health care and gun laws they extol for the provincials. Yammering about freedom, they labor like stevedores to  build Caeser’s dais.

There is no magic bullet to defeat them. Negotiating with them will not slow them down. The only way out is through the truth: continuously, convincingly demanded. Taken to public forums and shoved in their face over and over and over again, until they first recognize that we will not be cowed.

And there are other ways. Pop Culture is not going to go away. It is a fertile breeding ground for assumptions – ideas which are not examined. We can use this it, too – once we understand how it works.

See, Andrew Breitbart didn’t expect someone else to do the hard, grassroots work of retaking our culture. There’s no army of conservatives out there who’s going to do it while you’re curled up watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show (starring an actor who shilled for Obamacare).

There’s you. You need to occasionally – not always, not all the time – acquaint yourself with pop culture sufficiently to participate in the discussion it sparks. Girls poses hard questions about young people, their aimlessness, their lack of morality, their crushing unhappiness – and conservatism has answers.

You need to make sure the people around you hear those answers, but step one is to be a part of the discussion.

There’s a step two, but step 0.5 is to be prepared to argue with people, to tell them, deftly, politely, bluntly, wittily, that their ideology is built on quicksand.

So get the hell on with it. It matters less what our gutless triangulating Congressmen do if we have the strength to punish them for it. They will believe we have that strength when we start manifesting it in every way we can.

Gun Laws and Other Acts of Folly

This is several days old, but since I greatly enjoyed David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge: The Dismantling of American Culture (Have you not read it? You must), it would be remiss of me not to link his brilliant, hilarious essay for the Daily Beast, “Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm.” It contains many useful arguments about the nonsense surrounding the gun control debate, such as this oft-quote graph:

The Left loves a phantom statistic that a firearm in the hands of a citizen is X times more likely to cause accidental damage than to be used in the prevention of crime, but what is there about criminals that ensures that their gun use is accident-free? If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves? Is this absurd? Yes, and yet the government, of course, is arming criminals.

Of course they are. Because if it was not a perverse unintended consequence, the government would not be doing it. To wit:

All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

This is the truth the progressive cannot admit. Forever they call for “sensible” laws, “reasonable” regulations, emphasizing the adjective in unspoken testimony to their own sense and reasonability, even though they may have little or no knowledge about the law passed or the thing to be regulated. Then the law and regulation is handed over to an indifferent functionary who knows perfectly well that if he fails utterly to achieve a goal, his superiors will insist that lack of funding is to blame. Forms will be filled out, and reports will be filed, and we will be exactly where we were the day before. Except the paper Leviathan will be that bit bigger, and we that bit less free, just as fifty years of Drug War has made drugs exactly as available as they were in 1960, except for the massive expenditure, slow erosion of the Fourth Amendment, and a prison population to rival Stalin at his most paranoid.

Such a thing can not be explained as public policy. It even strains ideology. There is something deeper in this, a surrender to fear that I remember the Left warning us about incessantly after 9/11. This bespeaks and emotional need to “do something” when tragedy strikes, and an almost willful ignorance of whether the thing done will accomplish anything at all.

An “assault weapons” ban will not prevent a single murder from happening on the streets of Baltimore tomorrow. You know that, I know that, everyone knows that. It will not prevent a single robbery. It will not prevent a single rape. And it will not prevent a single mass shooting from happening anywhere in the country. And when that mass shooting happens, as it will, we will fall all over ourselves being sensible and reasonable and attempt to ratchet up the regulations a step further, like Johnson dropping ever more and more bombs on North Vietnam, because what’s been missing is more of the same.

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Piers Morgan, Freedom Fries, and Other Jokes That Progs Don’t Get

Right now there’s apparently a White House Petition to get CNN jawflapper Piers Morgan deported to the that happy realm whence he came. Something to do with his flubbering commentary on Newton and the 2nd Amendment. I haven’t read it, and I certainly haven’t signed it. Because punishing idiotic speech is not what we do in America. Middle-Class Englishmen with tony accents are always welcome here, even if their understanding of American law, liberty, and culture is no better than your average working-class yob with a few pints of Newcastle in him (stereotypes: they never get old).

Unfortunately, Morgan himself doesn’t seem to know that:

Dear me, what a sticky wicket! Like to chuff one’s chips down the apples and pears! Narky! (I have no idea what I’m saying).

Now’s probably a good time to mention that none, or very few, of those who’ve signed the petition actually want Piers Morgan deported. And even if they did, almost none actually expect it to happen. Even if President Obama was terribly interested in checking the visas of European immigrants, he’s hardly like to expel a man for agreeing with him on what should be done in the wake of Newton. So Morgan need not worry. He’s got a home in the USA so long as CNN can pretend his ratings can only go up.

So why are we bitterclinging wingnuts bothering? Aren’t we just making asses of ourselves, diminishing the dialogue, making a big deal out of nothing?

Probably. But consider this:

This is what no one ever got about “Freedom Fries.” OBVIOUSLY French Fries weren’t really going to be renamed. OBVIOUSLY a Congressional resolution to rename the items on the Capitol Menu was an utter waste of a legislative session. OBVIOUSLY the whole thing was juvenile and stupid.

But what about the message that it sent? The disrespect to a valuable ally?

Every now and again, we on the right like to blow off a little steam, stick our fingers in the eye of whoever happens to be irritating us. It doesn’t accomplish much, but it lets us find an outlet for the frustrations we suffer sharing a country with socialists and the useful idiots who love them. The French were being rather annoying back in 2002, so Congress found a creative way to remind those cheese-eating surrender monkeys that we hold them in as much contempt as they hold les laides americains. And unlike similar events in European history (War of Jenkins’ Ear, anyone?), nobody got hurt.

The effort to run Piers Morgan out on a cyber-rail is much the same. It will accomplish jack mixed with squat, but it gives us a way to be obnoxious to a man who drives us to drink every time he unbuttons the flap on his pie-hole. It reminds the triumphant progs that we are not quite dead yet. And it reminds those recalcitrant mopers who still can’t believe that Mittens lost that there are better targets for bitter japes than our fellow wingnuts.

And besides, as I tweeted to Piers:

Never let the redcoats get too comfortable.