National Review On Bump Stocks And Fourth Generation Warfare

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 7 months ago

Reading National Review Online has become drudgery, with their never-Trumpism and pseudo-progressivism just remarkably wearisome.  Most times I almost can’t stand it.  But occasionally something comes across my desk that needs to be addressed.

Beltway boob Robert Verbruggen waxes know-nothing on bump stocks.

There is no good reason to make fully automatic weapons or their equivalents generally available to the public. The Second Amendment doesn’t require it: The Supreme Court’s Heller ruling took care to explain why it didn’t apply to weapons that are “dangerous or unusual” or not in “common use,” including “M-16 rifles and the like.” This is strongly supported by previous Supreme Court precedent (the “common use” standard comes from 1939’s U.S. v. Miller). It is also consistent with history: The Heller Court explained that there is a strong tradition of prohibiting the carrying of especially dangerous weapons, and that “the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty.” There may be an argument that the Court got it wrong — that the people are to be allowed any kind of firearm that exists, all the better for resisting tyranny — but few constitutional rights are so broad in scope as to completely override any threat to public safety they pose. And, if nothing else, imposing such a broad interpretation is a good way to get the Second Amendment repealed.

Self-defense is not a compelling reason for bump stocks to be easily available, either. Outside of a war zone, one would not fire a fully automatic weapon at an intruder indoors or carry one in the streets late at night. Full autos are also not hunting weapons, or tools suited to pinpoint-accurate target shooting. About all that can be said for them is that they’re fun to shoot, at least for those who can afford the copious amounts of ammunition they burn at dramatically reduced accuracy. That would be enough if the case against them were weak, but it’s not. Weapons equipped with these devices let off far more rounds, far more quickly, than do the semiautomatic weapons commonly used for hunting and self-defense. Unleashed on a crowd, even from hundreds of yards away, they can produce unprecedented casualties.

The second amendment was written by men who risked their livelihoods, their wealth, their fortunes, their lives, and the lives of their families to overthrow the government under which they lived.  They used cannon when they had them, and would have been quite happy to have used semi- or fully-automatic weapons.  To argue differently is idiotic, with the founders who wrote the very amendment under debate having seen the bloodshed, lose of life, loss of limb, and pain they had witnessed during the war of independence.

Public safety wasn’t the apex of their concerns, and in addition to being a war against England, the war of independence was a civil war.  In fact, it was primarily a civil war, and would have been over in a month had all of the colonists been patriots.  As far as the “unprecedented casualties, if the shooter could have gotten fertilizer byproducts into the hotel – and one may conclude that he could have given the large cache of weapons and ammunition we carried to his rooms – he could have caused significant casualties, and even more than his shooting if he had been able to get explosives and shrapnel under the stage or in or near the concert that night.  Moreover, I have argued and will continue to argue that if he had used semi-automatic fire and aimed with good optics, the casualty count could have been much higher.  So others argue as well who know more than I do.

What if the Fedgov going to do, outlaw fertilizer?  Bump fire stocks can be mimicked with rubber bands, a fact that beltway boob apparently doesn’t know since he likely doesn’t even know anyone who owns a gun, much less make it to the flyover states to learn about the people anywhere besides the beltway.  Are we going to outlaw rubber bands too?  Dismissing rubber bands, since that is a silly alternative to either slide fire stocks or fully automatic, is he going to outlaw people like Jerry Miculek who can fire (accurately, mind you) virtually as fast as fully automatic with his finger?  Many professional 3-gun competitors can do that.

My own son Daniel has said to me many times that he never needed automatic capabilities in the Marines (he was a SAW gunner, but carried an M4 on occasion).  The Marines had shot so many rounds down range, and in close quarters battle training, that they could put three rounds into an enemy as fast as the three-round burst on the M4.  Beltway boob is just looking for someone or something to blame, and it doesn’t bother me one bit that the progressives are after my rights.  My rights come from God, not the second amendment, and I’ll defend them as such.

Now on to a more daffy commentary today at NR by Michael Brendan Dougherty.

Alert readers (and listeners) will know that on a philosophical level, I’m a squish on the gun stuff. I find it embarrassing that the United States is “exceptional” in the amount of violence its people inflict on one another, and themselves, with handguns. And I’m skeptical about the utility of an unqualified right to acquire weapons of such lethality. My colleague Kevin Williamson says that the right to bear arms makes us citizens and not subjects. And I agree, up to a point …

[ … ]

Sometimes people put Schermer’s argument more baldly. They ask something like this: “Do you really think Bubba in camo gear hiding in the forest is going to take on the U.S. military? The U.S. military has nuclear weapons!”

Who exactly do you think has stymied the U.S. in Afghanistan for 16 years? The Taliban is made up of Afghan Bubbas. The Taliban doesn’t need to defeat nuclear weapons, though they are humiliating a nuclear power for the second time in history. They use a mix of Kalashnikovs and WWII-era bolt-action rifles. Determined insurgencies are really difficult to fight, even if they are only armed with Enfield rifles and you can target them with a TOW missiles system that can spot a cat in the dark from two miles away. In Iraq, expensive tanks were destroyed with simple improvised explosives.

He goes on to discuss the moral costs of such warfare against its own citizens.  But this all misses the point, and while the U.S. military goes about its business preparing for fifth generation warfare, they do so because they haven’t learned how to win fourth generation warfare and are planning their next engagement being a near-peer.

Do you suppose this would look like great land armies getting into formation at the edges of great fields of battle and marching towards each other?  What do you think such a messy civil war in America would look like?  Bubba would be wearing a Ghillie suit, shooting a bolt action rifle, or a modern sporting rifle, and after the shot you will never hear from him again – until the next one.  And you’ll never catch him.  Police will have to decide what side to take, and if they take the wrong one, they will be dealt with in the middle of the night when they take their dogs out to pee in the backyard.

Insurgent will be mixed with progressive statist, and there will be no SEAL teams or nuclear weapons to which you can turn because you won’t know one from another.  There will be nowhere to target a nuclear weapon, and nowhere for a SEAL team to raid.  All of their close quarters battle preparations will be for naught when their own families are in peril due to civil warfare.  These aren’t Afghan tribesmen you’re dealing with.  These are engineers, mechanics, fabricators and welders, chemists, and the world’s best machinists.  If you think Afghanistan was rough, wait to see what civil war would look like in America.

If you have ever said something like, “You can’t win because the government has a land army and nuclear weapons,” here is the moral of the story for you.  You are an idiot.  You haven’t thought through this well enough, and you need to see the second amendment for what it really is.  It is the best guarantor of peace because tyranny is mutually assured destruction.  The statists know that, or else America will suffer the consequences.

However, given the insular life of the metro-riders inside the beltway, I wouldn’t expect anything else out of National Review.  Behind, out of touch, and out of commission.

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  1. On October 10, 2017 at 7:18 am, Frank Clarke said:

    “All of their close quarters battle preparations will be for naught when their own families are in peril due to civil warfare.”

    MBV frothed over a passage in ‘Tipping Point’ where insurgents execute the widow and infant child of an FBI agent. It was a tough section even to write but the point is that, 3-percent catechism or not, such things -will- happen in a civil war.

    “If you think Afghanistan was rough, wait to see what civil war would look like in America.”

    Indeed. We would be “Afghanistan with wheat fields”.

  2. On October 10, 2017 at 8:47 am, Fred said:

    “There is no good reason to make fully automatic weapons or their equivalents generally available”
    “Self-defense is not a compelling reason for bump stocks to be easily available”

    So it’s a bill of good or compelling reason and not a Bill of Rights? I doubt the author would fair well in the land of good enough reasons. Society would immediately dissolve into tribal warlords deciding whether your reasons are compelling enough for you to be allowed to serve him…or, well, not.

  3. On October 10, 2017 at 9:12 am, JoeFour said:

    Off-topic but germane to Vegas shooting… here is a link to a MUST READ!!!

  4. On October 10, 2017 at 11:59 am, Pat Hines said:

    To those on National Review I ask, “what makes you think the only government targets will be military, or even law enforcement”?

    All government employees will be targeted in a war of defense against tyrannical government. Fish & Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, and many others. The list includes tens of thousands all across every state.

    All government employees will have to be moved into “Green Zones”, probably on Army bases such as Fort Bragg and Fort Jackson.

    I expect resignations and retirements in droves.

    What must be driven home is that a 4th generation war with gun owners is one that no government can win, a draw is a loss for government.

    As for gun owner numbers in a resistance movement, if only 1% of gun owners joins, that will produce one million resistance fighters. It’s well known among war college students that it takes a minimum of ten weapons carriers (i.e. infantry) to fight a war of resistance with any chance of winning. Even if you add the total number of US military gun carriers to every cop in the US, they couldn’t muster enough strength.

  5. On October 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm, Pat Hines said:

    The notion that Ruby Ridge is an illustration in futility couldn’t be more wrong. The US government mustered over 400 personnel during that crime against the Weaver family, more if you count the US Air Force personnel that were involved in the photo reconnaissance flights over the Weaver home.

    All to combat three adults and a number of children.

    In fact, that points out how and why government will lose.

  6. On October 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm, Bill Buppert said:


    Pat’s point is spot-on.

    During the post-WWII troubles in Northern Ireland under UK occupation, there were probably a peak of 500 active IRA (and assorted other variants like Provos, Real IRA, Continuity IRA, Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and such) paramilitaries that comprised trigger pullers and IED personnel. Of course, the auxiliary support to these paramilitaries numbered in the tens of thousands. The UK and satrap Irish forces numbered as much as 55k to rout these small resistance bands.

    The history tells us that the UK did not succeed.

    Vegas has some parallels possibly in the Omagh incident in NI. I highly recommend reading some articles on the subject and viewing some of the new documentaries. GCHQ apparently had live recordings of the bombers on their way to the destination, of course.

    There are hundreds of these stories in history where the force calculus (to twist an old Soviet paradigm) has these absurd ratios of in-country forces to resistance forces. It is certainly the case in Iraq and AFG.

    Lettow-Vorbeck in WWI led a small German band of under 10k combatants in German East Africa with as many as 600k Allied soldiers and more than 120 general officers arrayed against him at one time or another during the course of the conflict. He saw the end of WWI as the only undefeated German general on Earth.

    All of this simply illustrates that the magic number of resisters doesn’t have to be a large organization at all to be effective. Like all things, the US FEDGOD doesn’t extrapolate out the second and third order effects of their diktats and rules.

    BTW, National Review is a neocon rag. The neoconservative movement can be characterized as a philosophy that embraces national socialism at home and international communism abroad. They have no more firm grasp on 4GW than they do on sound economics.


    Bill Buppert

  7. On October 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm, C said:

    The way I read the Second Amendment, it’s just that, we should be able to purchase New M-16’s. Perhaps i am wrong, but I thought we were to be able to aquire the Common Weapons used by the US Military.
    And no, this does not include rockets,grenades,icbm’s,artillery etc.
    What the Commone US Military Ground Pounder is issued.

    Perhaps I am wrongnor thinking of anotjer founding document.

  8. On October 10, 2017 at 7:10 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    The moment the US Government launches an attack anywhere on US soil, to attack US citizens, will be the moment they lost the war. The blade of vengeance will not be denied its’ violent revenge.

    This they know.

  9. On October 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm, George said:


    I saw after reading Paul Roberts article that you linked to (which was dated October 9-yesterday) that two of the videos that the doctor had linked to were removed from YouTube as of October 10! Now that was some quick work on YouTube’s part, unless of course those videos date back a week to October 2nd or 3rd. In any case, those two videos were the ones that the doctor had said featured crisis actors playing the part of wounded concert attendees.

    Another YouTube video that people here might find interesting regarding the Las Vegas “shooting” is here:

    This video addresses something that came to my mind after first hearing of the Las Vegas incident; ” I wonder if X-ray machines and metal detectors are going to be required at hotels now”. The video mentions some interesting “predictions” regarding this very subject made in mid September.

  10. On October 11, 2017 at 11:58 am, johnmc said:

    If you can do this with a bolt action rifle — — Not as fast as a bump stock, but its good enough.

  11. On October 11, 2017 at 12:40 pm, Aesop said:

    1) The way I read the Constitution, Article I, Section 8 authorizes Congress to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal, which was to authorize private ship owners and captains to make naval war on designated enemies’ ships.
    For the perpetually clot-headed, this was done with cannon of whatsoever size one could acquire and mount on board their private ship (or fleet of same).
    IOW, it was understood that anyone could own and possess naval artillery, and operate a man o’ war, and if Congress issued the requisite hunting license, could lawfully turn their weaponry on an enemy’s naval and merchant vessels.
    2) At Lexington and Concord, the British were marching to seize, not muskets and shot, which everyone in a colonial frontier teeming with savage natives and wildlife might encounter, but rather, they were going after supplies of gunpowder (by the cask) and cannon artillery.
    (Which the British would eventually get, one muzzle blast at a time, at Bunker and Breed’s Hill some months later.)
    Yet again, private citizens had access to artillery and arsenal quantities of powder (which, BTW, were also the explosives of the day).

    So before, during, and after the Revolution, it was understood by custom and practice, as well as specific authorization, that “bearing arms” didn’t means just rifles, but crew-served artillery and explosives sufficient to wage war, at that time, on the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, Britain.

    And thus, unless the First Amendment only means inkwells, quill pens, and handbills, rather than radio, television, and satellite TV networks, then the Second Amendment doesn’t just mean rifles that the Fudds think are socially acceptable. It means any weapon of war, including crew-served weapons, artillery shells, (a cannon is useless without the cannon balls), and explosives.

    In short, everything currently banned from export without the requisite permissions under ITAR is an “arm” by legal statute; therefore everything so designated is precisely what the plain language of the Constitution authorizes “the people” to keep and bear, and did so until the 1930s, when a cowed SCOTUS started giving in to FDR’s threats, and Congress set about unconstitutionally restricting a right which beforehand was absolute and untrammeled.

    And the Second Amendment doesn’t grant those rights to us, they proceed from natural laws rights to self-defense, as human beings endowed with them. And they aren’t privileges subject to later revocation on governmental whim; they are the birthrights of free people.

    Any attempt to restrict them is, by absolute definition, tyranny.

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    You want my rights?
    Molon labe, bitchez. BFYTW.

  12. On October 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Why Did it Have to be … Guns?
    by L. Neil Smith

    Over the past 30 years, I’ve been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I’ve thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote.

    People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician—or political philosophy—is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.

    Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician—or political philosophy—can be put.

    If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.

    If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.

    What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?

    If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?

    If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you want to entrust him with anything?

    If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil—like “Constitutionalist”—when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?

    Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is really made of.

    He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school—or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?

    And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.

    Try it yourself: if a politician won’t trust you, why should you trust him? If he’s a man—and you’re not—what does his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward women? If “he” happens to be a woman, what makes her so perverse that she’s eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn’t want you to have?

    On the other hand—or the other party—should you believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives for ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group trade agreement after another with other countries?

    Makes voting simpler, doesn’t it? You don’t have to study every issue—health care, international trade—all you have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.

    And that’s why I’m accused of being a single-issue writer, thinker, and voter.

    But it isn’t true, is it?

    Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author—provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given.

  13. On October 12, 2017 at 7:20 am, Talktome said:

    Well said. does make it simpler, and 2A does tend to bring out the totalitarian in people because it’s more concrete – even if they won’t admit it out loud, they know at the end of the day, there is only one reason why the 2A exists, and it ain’t hunting.

  14. On October 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm, revjen45 said:

    How many of the victims, both dead and injured, were hurt by ballistic impact and how many were the result of being in the middle of a panicked mob?

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This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published October 9th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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