On Guns, the 2nd amendment, and the militia

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Kittamaru, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    iceaura - the problem with going by "historic" examples is that we have NO historic examples involving a people so vastly outgunned as the Citizens of the US vs the US Military. From the dawn of recorded history until a few decades ago, people and their government were generally on a fairly even playing field in terms of tech - rocks and sticks, then swords and spears, then bows and arrows and armor... all things that can be overcome with vast numbers.

    Ten thousand people with sharp sticks and heavy rocks can easily take out a hundred people with swords and bow and arrows.

    As WWII showed us, however... ten thousand people armed with bolt action (or even semi-automatic) rifles and pistols charging a bunker of 50 soldiers with two or three machine guns? Those ten thousand will be torn to ribbons.

    Take that same ten thousand people and give them automatic pistols and, hell, for giggles, lets give them assault rifles and even allow them to weld plates of steel to bulldozers and other vehicles... except, where is the enemy? Oh, in jet fighters and helicopters, both carrying weapons capable of obliterating armored bunkers protected by dozens of feet of solid earth... weapons capable of punching through the most advanced tank armor on the planet today. They will also be in armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, and tanks... all of which will be utterly unaffected by ANYTHING a citizen is allowed to own today.

    Roadside bombs and land mines you say? Where, pray tell, do you want us to get those? Last I checked, it wasn't possible for you or I to go out and purchase a mine capable of defeating a tank, much less something with a mine resistant design. IED's? Sure... sure, and after one or two tanks are lost, how long will it take before that tyrannical government, which is already willing to murder former citizens in cold blood, starts simply shooting first and asking questions later?

    No... simply put, if the US Military sides with the government in a tyranny situation like that... we are utterly and absolutely fucked.

    And we haven't even discussed the mobile artillery, long and short range missiles, mortars, or systems such as Metal Storm or the AC-130 gunship. The military has infra-red, satellite reconnaissance, and would be able to shut down power, water, gas, and other utilities... communication for the resistance forces would be nigh impossible on a scale larger than a few miles.

    And then... after this has gone on for a while and the country is weakened to the point of being insolvent... China or Russia or another country can come in and take the spoils...
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Both wrong and irrelevant.

    Never mind the wrong - irrelevance, To repeat: that's not how most modern tyrannies were or are imposed. The military is beside the point. The resistance to tyranny does not involve beating the army in open war. That's a strawman.

    Same place Timothy McVeigh did, how about? Or Ted Kasczinski? Or the Boston Marathon bombers? Please.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There is not going to be any government overthrowing of the people here. Our military is made up of the people. The military would revolt before it became necessary for the people to do so.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Which does not settle the matter of imposed tyranny. Many imposed tyrannies begin not with the overthrow of "the people", but in furtherance of their wishes and with their enthusiastic (organized) support - especially, those in the military.
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Is this really your best argument for why we need more and more guns in the U.S.? Is the threat of imposed tyranny the greater threat or problem in the U.S. or the violence that results from having so many guns in reserve just waiting for that tyranny to start imposing itself?
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    ? I have never made any argument favoring more guns in the US, let alone a "best" one. I favor fewer guns and better government enforced control of them, in the US - always have. In plain English. Explicitly. Time and again, including explicit recommendations. For - literally - years now, in probably dozens of threads including this one, on this forum.

    What do you suppose the political effects are, in the US, of the common ideological stance and very visible mental approach underlying this apparent inability of a significant fraction of gun control advocates to recognize that someone like me is advocating for more and better gun control?
  10. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    *shakes head* iceaura, I'm sorry - but in this instance, I really cannot wrap my mind around whatever train of logic you are riding here. Simply put, if the US government were to decide to go 1984 on us, all the handguns and hunting rifles in the world wouldn't make a difference... so in essence, the 2nd Amendment is moot point in this argument about gun control... meanwhile, as people shout and scream that "Obama's gonna take our gurns ERRRGG!", more and more people are killed in ever more common mass shootings...

    Outlawing firearms obviously wouldn't work, nor is that proposal being entertained... but surely something must be done.
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Nothing can be done. The gun lobby is too powerful; the arms manufacturing sector is too lucrative; the legislators are too cowed; the people are conflicted and confused.
  12. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    As has been said on numerous occasions in history:

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing."
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It's not a "train" of logic, it's two lines of contingent observation with two cars in a row each:

    I) specific here: 1) Governments normally impose tyranny on their own people via small numbers of lightly armed thugs and terrorists acting locally via informants etc - associated with the police, some branch of a special and reliably loyal Guard, sheriff's department, something of the kind, but informally outside the law and certainly not the expensive, inefficient, and inherently unreliable official army 2) so rifles and so forth have been and are in fact effective deterrents to government tyranny as well as neighborhood oppressions, and the usual practice of tyrannical governments - going to much trouble and expense disarming their citizenry prior to or in the course of imposing tyranny - is not a mysterious or gratuitous or inexplicable feature of their governance.

    I included a couple of examples, from modern times.

    II) general: 1) Better gun control in the US has been blocked by a public, politically significant, long term deadlock of irrational and threatening and fantasy-addled extremists on - and this is the unique aspect - "both sides". 2) Strawman arguments directed at the other side's extremist's addled fantasies, such as the inability of rifle wielding resistance fighters to defeat a real army in open combat, are part of that deadlock.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    How would American tyranny - hypothetically - happen?
    Not a military junta, using the standing army? Or the militarized police?
    Okay. Then -
    Who would do the tyrannizing? Why? To what end? How would it begin? How would you know it was happening? What method(s) of enforcement would they use?
    Say if it happened - hypothetically - next January?
  15. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Oookay, I think I understand what you are saying now. My concern is... if the government did intend to impose tyranny using the smaller thugs as you say... and the US Populace started efficiently, hm, removing said threats... what would the governments recourse be? Our government has a bit of a bad habit of escalating situations.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The whole point is to deter. Bullies don't start fights that look risky, or persist in battles when the initial reconnoiter raids have shown the likelihood of a real struggle and a lot of hard work. It's much harder to recruit, equip, train, and deploy loyal vicious thugs when their presumed and visible targets are dangerous. And so forth.

    A government that wanted to impose a tyranny on the US would have to take this eventuality into account, in advance - what would the "recourse" have to be, and are the prospects of success worth what appear to be very likely costs.

    It's not impossible. It's just more difficult and less rewarding, and therefore less likely. It's been > deterred<. To some degree.

    Like town and castle walls, nuclear weapons, and the like - and they did work, although the stories are never about the years of placid routine and the absence of the battles that were shifted to foreign grounds - guns hold most of whatever real defensive value they have in their latent or assumed threat. It's the war that didn't start, the crime that was never attempted, the absence of what would (or might) have been, that has to be estimated and considered in evaluating them.
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    You haven't answered my question.
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member


    The Americans pulled out because of increasing casualties and costs, which is the same reason - tied to public opinion - that they won't go back even for ISIS.

    Iraq. Vietnam. Vietnam II (China). Cambodia. Afghanistan. (Pick any given Afghan conflict.) Palestine. Etc. The American Revolutionary War. It hasn't worked uniformly, but it certainly has worked.

    Drones must land, refuel, be serviced, directed, have a reliable power supply - in a nation, all of whom speak the same language as their occupiers, and many of which also have substantial military experience themselves. A popular resistance armed with small arms would be more than sufficient to bring the United States to a crawl, destroying it economically, politically and

    Then there is no reason for the Obama administration to consider them the threat it does, I suppose. The Obama administration currently considers them more dangerous than Islamist movements in the US, despite having caused far less damage. You're correct about the bunkers: bunkers are located and destroyed. What is harder to destroy is the average citizen, hiding an assault rifle and assorted explosives in his home, or a shed, or a dead drop in the woods, all of which can be taken up again at need... and then hidden again, at need. This was much of the basis for the actual, original American Revolutionary War - which they won.

    Of course. But I suspect such a popular resistance would be considerably more discriminate, particularly given the lack of violent inter-tribal history in the US compared to, say, Iraq.

    They might; but without physical damage, there is no shock and awe. Neither did Saddam face a particularly strong resistance. Diarrhea is unpleasant, but rarely mortal in the Western world. Montezuma's Revenge has not driven the tourists from Mexico.

    No, I suspect that a tyrannical American government would be highly susceptible to several angles, including low-level armed resistance. There is simply no counter-argument available, as the above illustrates.
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    No. You, as Bells, are presuming that this hypothetical resistance would do the hypothetical American tyrannical government the courtesy of lining up on the battlefield or making a nice, easily-recognizable site from which to resist. As in Iraq, they would not. They would hide among the citizens of the nation - much as the conflicts I list above - and attack at unexpected intervals, killing a few dozen here, a few dozen there, planting a few bombs, terrorizing occupying forces. I do not see why either of you are making the argument that this hypothetical militia would make their extermination quite so convenient.

    You list planes, tanks and APCs. I give you: Afghanistan.

    Of course. Which is why the Afghans never had them, or Stinger missiles either. Small arms for light targets. Heavy arms for opportunity. Do you suppose that soldiers live in their tanks? I didn't. We had a tent when we weren't driving around.

    Shooting at what? The masses of milling, confused civilians? At the empty space where a mortar was set up, now removed and hidden? At the cellphone of the IED bomber? At the tax accountant driving to work - but having concealed his weapons in a drop pit in the woods? What will they shoot, I wonder? The air? Sacred cows? Assumptions? Presently, the American government is unable to stop simple pistol violence. Detroit is very much like a war zone. Now, in the event of an armed militia fighting them and then just disappearing into the populace, how exactly would this hypothetical tyranny locate all these arms that just happen to be "lost"?

    No, this simply isn't so: too many assumptions, and too little experience with the concepts of unequal conflicts. An America with small arms and a modicum of determination would be an insanely difficult nut to crack. I would not hold out much hope of such a conflict falling in favour of the tyrants; it would be better to simply crack down on public speech and political expression - slowly, over time, like boiling a frog.
  20. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    You are making the assumption that a government that corrupt would care to avoid harming "innocent civilians"... to that, I give you ISIL/ISIS, the Taliban, and other Terrorist organizations...

    Do you think that if the roles were reversed, and ISIS was the "larger force" and our troops were hiding amongst civilians... do you think that ISIS would show restraint?

    Indeed, there are far too many assumptions being made... on both sides. Including the assumptions that the government, in a situation of absolute tyranny, would show restraint. Hell, our "public defenders" (police) are having issues with such restraint... why would an omni-present, all-powerful (in their eyes) Tyrannical Government show such restraint, especially when their consolidated power is at risk?

    If we assume all sides are fighting a "morally just" fight, and attempting to cause as little collateral damage as possible, then sure... but simply put, I'm not so sure a government that corrupt would give a damn about civilian casualties, or being "just" and "honorable"... hell, look at what just happened in Turkey; I'd be willing to be the ones in that Coup are going to be dead quite soon... if they don't simply "disappear" entirely.
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    One thing.
    The army ain't there to protect the people.
    The army is there to protect the institution of the established order and the government, and for the occasional foray into military adventurism in support of "foreign policy".

    If it seems that the army also protects the people of the polity, then it becomes easier to dedicate an inordinate percentage of the budget to empower the brute force of the army.

    A well armed citizenry's only hope is pure gorilla warfare. 2 centuries ago, it was said that only a fool would face the British army in the open field. The same is true today of our U.S. military. When that military is forced to fight a gorilla war, they do not fare so well.
    The people who would arm themselves in fear of tyranny are true patriots.
    Those who would arm themselves for just fear of their fellow citizens are dangerous fools.

    Sorting the 2 out becomes problematic. Who is to do the sorting, and what criteria are to be used?
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It did. Fallujah was destroyed, and still the US was and is unable to control or govern the place. The limits of military force are nowhere more visible.
    That is the situation being deterred. Prevented.

    Again: deterrence. D.E.T.E.R.R.E.N.C.E. What you do before - before - the bad thing happens, to prevent it.

    What is being deterred is the use of the special forces, the police, or informal paramilitary goon squads, to establish tyranny. That is the common, visible, standard mechanism, and an armed population makes it unattractive. So it never happens.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
    sculptor likes this.

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