David Smalley at Patheos:
I live in Texas. I’m a gun owner. I have a concealed handgun license. I’ve taught my kids how to fire weapons.
I also understand and appreciate our Constitution. I’m fully aware of the 2nd Amendment, and how its authors wanted to prevent government tyranny. Considering what they had gone through, they had every right to demand such a thing.
When an author begins by giving you his bona fides, watch out. There’s no better way to start an anti-gun rant than to claim that you own guns and truly do, honestly do, sincerely do, understand gun owners. True to form, he treats us to this.
I know enough about weapons to have a near perfect score on my firing test, to know that the “c” in SR9c stands for “compact” to make the weapon easier to hide; and to know that the AR in AR-15 doesn’t stand for ‘Assault Rifle,’ but ‘Armalite’ after the original company who made the gun.
Am I a gun nut? Maybe. But I like to keep myself skeptical and informed. And that includes realizing when I’m being illogically influenced by my culture, and taking necessary steps to correct it.
You see, one thing that’s more important than situational knowledge, patriotism, tradition, or protection, is common sense.
At this nation’s beginning, it made sense for the citizens to be armed similarly to the government to prevent tyranny.
Today, that’s ridiculous. The very concept is outdated. Some have said to me; the point is for the citizens to be “as armed as well as the government.”
For starters, today, the military has fully automatic M-16s. Citizens can’t buy that. You have to get a tamer version: AR-15.
You can’t have flame throwers, bombs, bazookas, Z10 attack helicopters, bradleys, tanks, fighter jets, nuclear reactors, or a plethora of other secret military weapons you don’t even know exist.
So even today, with the 2nd Amendment in full effect, we don’t have the rights to be “armed as well as our government.”
Secondly, what if you were? I could hand you 50 AR-15s, give you 1000 illegal bombs, steal you a couple of tanks, and smuggle in some bazookas, and even let you fully train 500 of your closest friends.
If the government wants your shit, they’re going to take it.
You still wouldn’t be a match for even a single battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Not to mention the Air Force, Army, Navy, National Guard, Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and Seals.
So stop acting like your little AR-15 is going to stop tyranny.
First of all, he’s assuming that the armed forces wouldn’t frag officers who issued such a command. But assuming that the entirety of the armed forces participated in whatever operation Smalley is conjuring, if only several hundred thousand armed Americans fought back, it would be a bloodbath.
This argument – and I’ve seen it numerous times – is locked in the mindset of early twentieth century warfare, oblivious to MOUT, CQB, insurgencies, and fourth generation warfare. A nuclear weapon is of no use when the enemy lives among friend, and friend and foe all look the same. Ask any veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom how easy it is to ferret out insurgents from among the population or fight insurgents in the shadows.
As for “If the government wants your shit, they’re going to take it,” perhaps so. But then again, perhaps not. You see, the mere existence of the argument itself is evidence against the affirmative and in favor of negation. The government wouldn’t want to ban weapons if they were of no use in destabilizing tyrannical governments. Hitler wouldn’t have wanted the Jews disarmed if he hadn’t intended to do them harm. Also consider the role of gun confiscations in the Armenian genocide. See Dave Kopel, et. al, at National Review, and also Brett Stortroen, Gun Confiscation as a Prelude to the Armenian Genocide.
Finally, those Marines to whom Smalley refers are somebody’s sons. I recall very distinctly a missionary from the European theater years ago during communist rule (I refuse to give his name or specific location) who gave my church the back story behind the falling of the wall in Germany. Night after night the crowds began to grow to tear down the wall. The German army was eventually deployed to shoot the protestors, but remember that the East German army, while working for a communist country, were sons of mothers and fathers in East Germany.
As soon as the army was deployed, grandmothers went to the wall. “Shoot us,” they yelled. The sons of German mothers and grandmothers refused to shoot their own family, and the rest is history. Now recall reader and commenter Fred’s comment on one post.
As for the military; are they still trained on illegal orders? My nephew is in tech school (navy) and I told him before he went in to seek a deep understanding of illegal orders and to make sure they trained him on it. I also told him that if he took his training and turned it on his fellow citizens I would hunt and kill him, this child that I love and helped to raise up. He understood that this is no small matter.
Smalley makes this sound much easier than it will be, that is, if the government ever decides to harm civilians based on their religious viewpoints, gun ownership or some other reason. But war always sounds easier than it will be, yes?