Review: Gun Control in the Third Reich

Stephen P. Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich is a book that every advocate of “gun control” in the modern U.S. and elsewhere should read – but almost certainly never will.

Most other historians have ignored or outright suppressed the role of weapons law and weapons confiscations in the Nazi imposition of totalitarianism on Germany before World War II. Thus it is forgotten that the legal pretext for the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom in November 1938 was the confiscation of all firearms from Jewish owners. And that most of the first major wave of Jews sent to the concentration camps went there on charges of illegal possession of weapons.

Gun control was not an incidental feature of Nazi tyranny, it was one of the central tools of totalitarian repression and genocide. If Halbrook’s book had no other virtues, the reminder of this stark fact would be enough to recommend it.

Halbrook studiously avoids explicitly drawing any direct lessons for our time from the Nazi revolution. He doesn’t have to; the bare chronicle of what occurred is telling enough.

It is commonly argued today that civilian firearms can do nothing to prevent tyranny because the armed citizen is helpless against the military and law-enforcement machinery of the modern state. But the Nazis never belived this; Adolf Hitler said in 1942 “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered […] peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.

Halbrook shows how the Nazis treated the Germans themselves as “conquered people”; they took the prospect of armed resistance very seriously and acted with brutal efficiency to thwart it it by disarming any civilian they identified as a political enemy or potential rebel. In this they were successful; while armed anti-Nazi resistance movements sprung up all over the rest of Europe, there were none in Germany where weapon controls had been tightest.

The Nazis built their edifice of repression on a law of the preceding Weimar Republic requiring universal weapons registration. The law’s architects realized that these records could be dangerous in the hands of “extremist groups” and required them to be securely stored at police stations. This proved extremely convenient for the Nazis, who used the registration records as a targeting list.

The lesson for today is clear: the individual right to bear arms has to be defended with zeal even when a nation’s political circumstances look relatively benign. By the time the will to repression takes visible form, opposing gun control has already been deferred too long.

There is a postscript to this story that Halbrook does not tell. Textual comparison of the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 with the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938 shows that the logic and in many parts the text of the GCA was a direct translation from the German.

Poignantly, the organization that compiled this evidence is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Their motto: “Never Again!”

262 thoughts on “Review: Gun Control in the Third Reich

  1. The usual first step of confiscation, is registration. Sometimes, it may take a few years, but there’s little other reason for it.

    Germany, the UK, Australia, California, NY, Connecticut. All their confiscations began with registration.

  2. A lot of Jewish groups use “Never Again!” as their motto. I adhere to it myself, since due to the Nazis I have few relatives on my father’s (German) side of the family. My father’s grandfather was a well-regarded machinist who made valves for Zeppelins and was headhunted by Goodyear in the 1920s and moved to Akron, Ohio, into a house he got free and clear as part of the deal.

    Yes, I own guns. This does not make me a gun nut any more than owning wrenches makes me a wrench nut. But I’m reasonably competent with either a wrench or a gun, so when I say, “Never Again,” I mean it.

  3. How Interesting that we Americans stand so steadfastly galvanized , and vehemently defend our right of free speech.. yet, we allow people to question our right to defend ourselves by attacking the 2-A.

    This is no less disturbing in other parts of the world…. A million french march in solidarity to support their right to freedom of speech… yet, have allowed themselves to be disarmed, so as to have no recourse should people deny them of their right.

  4. Famous RKBA activist Neal Knox got his start because of this sort of thing. In basic training, one of his fellows who was from the Netherlands related witnessing the fate of a family who’s head of household per the Dutch gun laws had a handgun registered to him. When he couldn’t produce it after N minutes, the entire family including of course children were shot in the village square.

    Never again, indeed.

  5. @esr:
    >It is commonly argued today that civilian firearms can do nothing to prevent tyranny because the armed citizen is helpless against the military and law-enforcement machinery of the modern state.

    I have thought this in the past. Then I realized “Hey, what about the US military and Iraq?”

    It may well be, though, that the armed citizen is helpless against the machinery of a modern totalitarian state (or even an ancient totalitarian state), but that makes the right to bear arms all the more critical: in that case any armed rebellion has to happen during the slide into totalitarianism, not after it has occured.

  6. I always wonder what must be going through the ‘minds’ of people that argue that our arms are useless against a state military. That resistance is futile? We should preemptively surrender to any threat of military force by the state?

    If they are seriously suggesting that the US military would be deployed against US civilians, then all bets would be off anyway. The government would no longer be legitimate, would no longer be recognized as having any authority, would be considered the enemy.

    The moment the government even hints at the prospect of turning weapons upon the people, they’re finished.

    Also, thanks to groups like the Oathkeepers, there is plenty of reason to believe that there would be a considerable fracturing of state forces in the wake of such orders.

    The government wouldn’t stand a chance. We have all the force we need to burn it to the ground if it dares to threaten us.

    At a price, of course…but I do not doubt the outcome.

  7. Eric, another seminal and vital post, the likes of which will never get much play in the PC major media.

    However, whereas an armed citizenry is an effective mitigation against hard tyranny, it alone may not suffice in this modern age against the rise of soft tyranny implemented via memetic contamination. The optimized tyrant of the future may employ sophisticated psychological tools to persuade the masses that voluntary disarmament is a virtue and that herd compliance is an existential imperative. In such a depraved new world, forming a neighborhood militia may not be the most effective liberty tactic, because it may just put you in the cross-hairs of the police state.

  8. Eric,
    The JPFO also unearthed and received a copy of the Library of Congress’ reply to Senator Dodd’s request for a translation of the 1938 Nazi law the original of which he provided. I think that provides a pretty substantial ‘smoking gun’ demonstrating that the commonalities were not accidental.

    http://jpfo.org/common-sense/cs34.htm

    Dear Senator Dodd:

    Your request of July 2, 1968, addressed to the Legislative Reference Service, for the translation of several German laws has been referred to the Law Library for attention.

    In compliance with your request and with reference to several telephone conversations between Miss F of your Office and Mr. K, European Law Division, we are enclosing herewith a translation of the Law on Weapons of March 18, 1938, prepared by Dr. S of that Division, as well as the Xerox copy of the original German text which you supplied.

    The translation of the Decree implementing the Law on Weapons of March 19, 1938, and the pertinent provisions of the Federal Hunting Law of March 30, 1961, is in preparation and will be sent to you as soon as completed.

  9. c andrew and company: there’s a bit more to it, Dodd (the father of the corrupt son you might have heard of) was a military lawyer at Nuremberg, and the relevant section of German law he dealt with just happened to be in the same book and near the gun laws, per the JFPO. So it’s assumed that’s how he knew what part of the law to ask the LoC for an independent translation (and perhaps his memory and/or German was rusty).

    • >(the father of the corrupt son you might have heard of)

      Aha. So daddy tries with some success to clone a Nazi gun-control law in the U.S.; two generations later sonny fronts the Big Media mafia’s attempts at computer control. That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  10. I knew he was a lawyer at Nuremberg, but did not have the specific information as to how he had come to hold a copy of the law. Thanks for the additional information.

  11. It should be acknowledged that the German gun Registration law of 1928 (the legislation the Nazis expanded upon in 1938) was enacted expressly to be a counter to the Soviet-style socialist political movements then very active (and quite disruptive) within Germany (as distinct from the indigenous German socialist movement from which the formal Nazi political party derived) and was regarded as being very successful in that application. The fact that often times the police recruited from the anti-Soviet socialist groups (who better to distinguish between the various socialist political activists/radicals?) was only one of the reasons this law wasn’t as comprehensively effective as might be supposed.

    The 1968 US GCA author’s drawing inspiration from the 1928 law (and never the 1938 version , how could you even think that?) (and just you never mind that the language similarities are with the ’38 version) was, as I recall, explained as being a natural result of copying language from a proven effective act of previous legislation during the local (and to a lessor extent, the national) debate(s) leading up to its enactment. Only a reactionary Bircher paranoid McCarthyite (I believe that was the political incantation of the day; I was soon to be a sophomore in high school in the summer of ’68 and more than a little easily distracted) would think otherwise.

    It was widely recognized at the time (but only after some uncouth type brought the tired objection up yet again ) that the ’68 GCA was largely a clone of the historic German legislation, and this was lauded as being a good thing (Germans being such logical thnkers and all) and thus obvious cause for dismissal of any such objection.

    My NRA-member Bircher parents may have filtered my impressions of the politics involved, but none of this was exactly unknown in 1967/8.

  12. Funny, but gun control has been practiced in Europe for many, many years. But we only had one Nazi empire. For instance, the British never had such a tyranny in centuries. Neither have the Scandinavian countries and many others.

    Also, what you seem to advocate is an Iraqi/Afghan style civil war. Civil war is a horrible thing. Sadly, I understand there are quite a number of Iraqis who are wondering whether they are better off now than with Saddam Hussein. The same in Syria. A fledgling civil war was one of the triggers of Nazi support. The Russian civil war after 1917 was the foundation of Stalin’s power.

  13. > the British never had such a tyranny in centuries

    Not of their own, but they had no qualms about imposing it on others. Ireland, for the most prominent example.

  14. @TRX
    It has been somewhat of a truism that the best defense against an army is another army. Civilians simply are no match. A popular uprising of lightly armed civilians has, historically, been met with a simple annihilation of that same population. Armies are quite capable of such feats. The British rule of Ireland is one example of this.

    The IS is showing that you do not need to have a regular state for this. Subgroups of the population are generally quite willing to step into the fold to take over the annihilation part.

    • >Civilians simply are no match.

      Tell that to the armed civilians who prevented an authoritarian putsch in the former Soviet Union in August 1991.

      Armed civilians don’t do well in pitched battles, but they can be decisive at key moments when government legitimacy has collapsed and the military has divided or uncertain loyalties. Similar though less publicized incidents took place in the Baltic States around the same time.

      Armed civilian resistance is also notoriously effective at chewing up and demoralizing occupying armies. In WWII numerically tiny resistance units and partisans using guerilla tactics cost the Germans entire divisions held from the front.

  15. @esr
    “In WWII numerically tiny resistance units and partisans using guerilla tactics cost the Germans entire divisions held from the front.”

    And the resistance did so with remarkably few fire arms. The Germans killed anyone seen with a firearm. Actually, they deported and killed all males in villages where a German soldier was killed. And that was in the West. In the East they simply killed everyone when they suspected someone was opposing them.

    Even inside Germany, resisting the party was a death sentence. Using violence against the party also killed your family.

    Civilian resistance only becomes an important factor when they succeed in organizing their own army. When De Gaulle “liberated” France, he did it with an army organized outside France (and under the cover of the allied forces).

    And that putz in Moscow was not serious. They were stopped because the larger army, and everybody else, simply refused to support them. When power is in the balance, a single fly can make a difference. That is no reason to put your confidence in flies.

    • >That is no reason to put your confidence in flies.

      Armed flies will make a difference sooner and more often than unarmed ones. The logic of your argument sponsors a more heavily armed civilian population, not a disarmed one. Exactly as Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership advocates.

  16. A popular uprising of lightly armed civilians has, historically, been met with a simple annihilation of that same population. Armies are quite capable of such feats. The British rule of Ireland is one example of this.

    Winter, You always choose such odd examples. At what point of the British rule of Ireland are you talking about? Because the majority analysis i’ve seen of the 30 year campaign (the last actual insurgent campaign by the IRA between 1967 and 1997) generally marks it as a stalemate . Certainly not what i would think a reasonable person would call “a simple annihilation”.

    It seems the stronger examples would have been the Serbian and Congo bouts of ethnic cleansing.

  17. Meh, y’all’ll last a couple of weeks after they turn your utilities off, bar a few off-the-grid types for whom Hellfire missiles will serve.

    • >The real cause were the British policies.

      I almost certainly have ancestors who fled the Famine, and probably ancestors who died in it; I’m quite familiar with the anti-British narrative about it. But after having investigating the matter I believe most of the blame lies on the Anglo-Irish gentry and their middlemen, who thwarted the British government’s attempts to ameliorate the crisis because those would have brought about structural changes that threatened their privileges.

      The notion that the Famine was something not far from a planned genocide is unsupported by the facts, and appears to have become entrenched in legend because it served the propaganda needs of the Irish independence movement. Which, I hasten to add, was clearly justified in its demands – but even “good” political movements often succumb to the temptation to demonize their opponents and that is what happened in this case.

  18. Winter, which Europe are you talking about? Switzerland is dead center and has the opposite of gun control: every grown male is required to have an assault rifle at home.

  19. @esr
    “I believe most of the blame lies on the Anglo-Irish gentry and their middlemen, who thwarted the British government’s attempts to ameliorate the crisis because those would have brought about structural changes that threatened their privileges.”

    All your arguments might be true. Initially, there was even a wave of sympathy in the British press. But then a campaign started that can only be described as a racial hate campaign that painted the famine as an opportunity to get rid of the Irish. And the Gentry was part of the power structure with a well known desire to drive off the Irish from their land.

    Anyhow, the Irish people were in a famine and there was a large, armed power that worked hard to keep them there. The British army had a lot of experience in conquering Ireland. They could have easily dealt with an armed populace.

  20. There seems to be a common pattern in history, going back to Ancient Greece & Rome that there are largely two classes of people, the conquerors and the conquered, and the main difference between them is weapon ownership and taxes. This may have been called Roman citizens vs. provincials & slaves, or nobles and serfs / commoners in the Middle Ages, but this pattern repeated itself all over.

    I think part of the culture of firearm ownership in America is ultimately a rejection of being treated, especially by the own government, as conquered people or subjects. This is usually what the talks about freedom boil down to, a kind of non-conquered and non-subjected status. If I am not mistaken, it is a legacy of the Greco-Roman revival ideology of the Enlightenment era, which affected every Western country, but this revival was more thoroughly implemented in America, where even institutions like the Senate were named after a Roman model. I think this was modeled on the citizen-soldier ideal of the Roman Republic.

    I was socialized different. By the advent of monarchical absolutism in Europe, that means, centuries ago, freedom in this sense, of not being subjects, became a moot point. My ancestors were subjects of Emperor Franz Josef I. They could own a .38 easily, but it did not turn them into non-subjects. And the idea of modern Emperors, up to 1919, was created by same Greco-Roman revivalist era and way of thinking.

    So, I think I your attitude is a lot like that of Brutus (the first) who needs a sword to be able to show the door to Tarquinius Superbus. I was socialized to be something along the lines of a later Roman, in the Principate era, where you might as well own a sword but you will not use it to resist Nero, at best you leave that job to the professional Praetorians. And you use your sword to resist bandits at best. Not the Emperor. Fully accepting subjecthood as such was a matter-of-course part of it, even though in the modern case democracy makes it milder.

    At any rate, the reason those Jews were OK with being disarmed is largely the same reason I am OK with being disarmed: they were socialized to be subjects of Kaiser Wilhelm, not quite citizens in that full, Roman-American republican sense. Closer to being subjects of Kai…Caesar Hadrianus.

    I don’t think things could have worked out differently. Even if they retained those guns, resisting the State was not part of their socialization as subjects. Neither is it part of mine. And I think your socialization is that you would resist the State with a toothpick, if need be.

    • >I think part of the culture of firearm ownership in America is ultimately a rejection of being treated, especially by the own government, as conquered people or subjects.

      Yup, you have that exactly right.

      >And I think your socialization is that you would resist the State with a toothpick, if need be.

      If that were all I had available, yes. People with that attitude are not a clear majority in the U.S, alas; the political overclass has been trying to propagandize us into acquiscent sheeple since the early Progressive era. But Thomas Jefferson’s “spirit of resistance” remains alive; we still exist here and keep the country from going utterly to shit.

  21. @Shenpen
    “And I think your socialization is that you would resist the State with a toothpick, if need be.”

    And what is the role of the Third Reich in this?

    Germany under the Nazi’s was not different from Germany not under the Nazi’s or France or the UK before and after the war(s).

  22. “Switzerland is dead center and has the opposite of gun control: every grown male is required to have an assault rifle at home.”

    Actually, the Swiss have the opposite of the opposite of gun control. Every grown male has a military rifle at home because he is in the Swiss army. He and his gun are both under government control.

  23. @Dan

    I always wonder what must be going through the ‘minds’ of people that argue that our arms are useless against a state military. That resistance is futile? We should preemptively surrender to any threat of military force by the state?

    If they are seriously suggesting that the US military would be deployed against US civilians, then all bets would be off anyway. The government would no longer be legitimate, would no longer be recognized as having any authority, would be considered the enemy.

    The moment the government even hints at the prospect of turning weapons upon the people, they’re finished.

    While I agree the bulk of this, I doubt this last part.

    The federal and state governments in the U.S. have regularly been able to turn their weapons against the citizenry without serious repercussion, albeit through militarized police rather than the military proper. What could possible trigger a change in the public response?

  24. “Actually, the Swiss have the opposite of the opposite of gun control. Every grown male has a military rifle at home because he is in the Swiss army. He and his gun are both under government control.”

    This is not quite correct. Yes, the govt issued weapon (usually a rifle, sometimes a pistol) Is stored at home, with a minimal required amount of ammo that must be maintained ready at the armory.

    But you can buy more ammo (it’s subsidized), and keep it at home, shooting ranges abound, and target shooting with the issue weapon is pretty much a national sport. Plus, it’s easy to buy other weapons from gun stores, with about the same level of gun control that New York state, or Illinois &etc enjoys. Certainly I prefer the approach of states like Wyoming to the subject, but Swiss laws are far from the hell that the laws in (for example) the UK have become.

    It’s an odd world when it’s easier to legally acquire a pistol in Russia than in the UK.

  25. “Germany under the Nazi’s was not different from Germany not under the Nazi’s or France or the UK before and after the war(s).”

    I can assure you that there was a lot more vigorous opposition to the standing govt in France, and the UK in that timeframe, than anything the Nazi’s would put up with.
    Even Weimar had to deal with official opposition in the govt.

  26. @JIm Richardson
    “I can assure you that there was a lot more vigorous opposition to the standing govt in France, ”

    With respect to Gun Control?

  27. The future is the nerd warrior. Brawn alone will not suffice when tyranny dawns in America. The next Hitler/Stalin/Mao will be a master memetic manipulator that undermines rather than conquers. This is already happening elsewhere on the planet (albeit in the mode of an imperceptibly slow growing cancer). To take back the night, a functioning mind will be more effective than a closet full of arms. The liberty battles of the future will be chess matches, and nerds are well equipped to play five moves ahead.

  28. > Nobody needs to own more than 640K worth of guns.

    Is that in total dollar value of the collection, rounds per minute of the collection, square footage the collection consumes or total amount of ammo stored?

    Just want to make sure I don’t cross any lines without knowing it.

  29. It’s an odd world when it’s easier to legally acquire a pistol in Russia than in the UK.

    And easier to legally carry a pistol for self-defense in Russia than in many U.S. states.

  30. Winter on 2015-01-13 at 04:24:35 said:
    > A popular uprising of lightly armed civilians has, historically, been met with a
    > simple annihilation of that same population.

    I am not *lightly* armed.

  31. @TomA
    “To take back the night, a functioning mind will be more effective than a closet full of arms.”

    Finally a sentence I can fully agree with.

  32. @Winter
    “With respect to Gun Control?”
    Absolutely, though that wasn’t the focus of the comment.

    There *was* no ‘gun control’ in the UK prior to the pistol act of 1903, (an act which required that anyone purchasing a pistol commercially, buy a cheap tax stamp, no regulation on private sales) or the act of 1920, which required a firearms certificate for pistols and rifles, but which was easily obtained if you were ‘not intemperate’, from your local police station. In 1937 the law was modified to no longer consider machine guns ‘private arms’ (prior to that, the afforementioned firearms certificate was required to purchase them) and began confiscation of machine guns. That’s about the time the Home office decided that self defense was no longer a valid reason for purchase of a firearm. So yes, a *lot* better than nazi germany, though it began the UK’s slide to the current sad state of affairs.

  33. @William O’Blivion
    “I am not *lightly* armed.”

    I guess so. But then, do you have enough rocket launchers to stave off the tanks? And how is your air defense?

  34. @Winter
    “But the Russians like to murder each other much more than the Brits. About 9-10 times as much”

    And until quite recently, it was far easier to legally obtain a firearm in the UK, than in Russia.

    Meanwhile, the US enjoys mostly unfettered access to firearms, and a homicide rate far lower than that of Russia, um, so what was the point of your comment again?

  35. Winter seems to be assuming that if it came to it, we’d play this game by the other side’s rules and conceptions….

  36. @
    “So yes, a *lot* better than nazi germany, though it began the UK’s slide to the current sad state of affairs.”

    I think the situation in the UK has been orders of magnitude better than in Nazi Germany since 1937. As is Germany after the Nazis. Actually, the UK is a very good country to live in. Most Brits seem to prefer it to the US.

    Gun control is not even a blimp on the screen in that respect.

  37. @Winter
    “I guess so. But then, do you have enough rocket launchers to stave off the tanks? And how is your air defense?”

    tank crews gotta sleep, and airplanes don’t like fod.

    Assuming of course that the military all comes in on the govts side, or even steps into the fray in the first place.

  38. @Jim Richardson
    “Meanwhile, the US enjoys mostly unfettered access to firearms, and a homicide rate far lower than that of Russia, um, so what was the point of your comment again?”

    That the murder rate in the UK is only a fraction of that in Russia/the US?

    Actually, not really, my point here was that civil arms do not protect against a tyranny.

  39. @Winter
    “I think the situation in the UK has been orders of magnitude better than in Nazi Germany since 1937. As is Germany after the Nazis.”

    No duh. Was someone claiming different?

  40. @Winter
    “Actually, not really, my point here was that civil arms do not protect against a tyranny.”

    No, people do. The will is required, the arms are helpful. The armed populace also gives a would be tyranny pause. In much the same way that a (possibly) armed woman gives a rapist pause.

  41. @Jim Richardson
    “No, people do. The will is required, the arms are helpful.”

    “No Pasaran” as they cried in the Spanish civil war. They did pass, and things were very bad for half a century.

    @Jim Richardson
    “In much the same way that a (possibly) armed woman gives a rapist pause.”

    Given that most rapists know their victims, I have doubts. How many women will shoot the son of the neighbors? Or their boss?

  42. @Winter
    ‘“No Pasaran” as they cried in the Spanish civil war. They did pass, and things were very bad for half a century.’

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

    “Given that most rapists know their victims, I have doubts. How many women will shoot the son of the neighbors? Or their boss?”

    are *acquainted* with maybe, and the women who will defend themselves against the person that attempts to rape them should not be denied the tools to defend themselves effectively.
    Disarming women is a real part of the actual ‘war on women’

  43. @Jim Richardson
    “Disarming women is a real part of the actual ‘war on women’”

    Sorry, but the rapists are more likely to be armed than their victims. Someone who is planning a crime is more likely to be armed than the average person. And they will shoot first.

    @Jim Richardson
    “I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. ”

    When you wrote “The will is required, the arms are helpful.” I was remembered by the siege of Madrid during the Spanish civil war where armed citizens were defending against a revolting army. Their battle cry was “No passeran” (they will not pass). The citizens lost.

  44. @Winter

    “but the rapists are more likely to be armed than their victims.”
    In places that disarm the law abiding, you might be correct. But most rapists are unarmed.

    ‘ roughly a twelfth of all rapes/sexual assaults involved an armed assailant.’
    http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=570

    “Their battle cry was “No passeran” (they will not pass). The citizens lost.”
    So you only fight if losing isn’t possible?

  45. @Jim Richardson
    “So you only fight if losing isn’t possible?”

    No, but most civil wars were not worth their cause. And armed civilians were rarely the decisive factor. But the ready availability of arms is part of what starts civil wars. After which regular armies were formed who finished off the civilians.

    @Jim Richardson
    “‘ roughly a twelfth of all rapes/sexual assaults involved an armed assailant.’”

    Of course, why should they. The victims were not armed. As rapist and victim mostly know each other, there would be no reason to. And that is the point. Most rapes take place in situations where women do not feel threatened to begin with. Else they would have avoided the situation altogether. So they would be very unlikely to keep a gun ready.

  46. …bar a few off-the-grid types for whom Hellfire missiles will serve.

    And what would your opinion be of the government that authorized the use of such weaponry against its own civilians?

  47. Winter – it really doesn’t matter what your opinion of past struggles may be, nor your hypotheticals.

    I reserve the exclusive right to exercise my freedom to choose the forms of arms technology I wish to avail myself of. Period. No debate.

    The answer is “NO”. With a bullet.

  48. @Winter
    “but most civil wars were not worth their cause.”

    Your opinion, which frankly, is of little import to me.

    ” As rapist and victim mostly know each other”
    Knowing someone doesn’t mean you trust them. I ‘know’ a lot of people, I trust maybe 1 in 20 of them.

    ” The victims were not armed.”

    and that’s what I’d like to see change. Fortunately, that’s the direction things are heading in the US.

    Every day carry.

  49. @Dan
    “I reserve the exclusive right to exercise my freedom to choose the forms of arms technology I wish to avail myself of. Period. No debate.”

    It is your country. You can organize it any way you see fit. Do check the local laws before you travel, though. Else you might end up in a foreign jail.

  50. @Jim Richardson
    “Your opinion, which frankly, is of little import to me.”

    No, only the opinion of the parties involved count. Ask them. There are enough civil wars to chose from.

  51. @Winter
    “only the opinion of the parties involved count”

    Thank you for making my point for me. Your opinion on this matter doesn’t even count with you!

  52. @Jim Richardson
    I do not understand you. In any war, or armed conflict, the opinion of outsiders does not count.

  53. What I usually see in people who claim that civilians will never win against trained military, is that they forget that the civilians’ victory condition isn’t to win against the military in a toe-to-toe fight. The civilians’ win condition is costing that military more to subjugate them than it would earn that military. All civilians have to do is be bothersome. Tank crews not only have to sleep; they have to eat, and eventually, they have to enjoy living, and all civilians have to do is deny that supply.

    The reason militaries – and by extension, totalitarians – often beat civilians anyway is that being bothersome can cost a few of those civilians dearly, and if they all decide that price isn’t worth it in enough cases, then they’ve done the military / totalitarian’s work for it.

    Totalitarians can, in turn, make this more likely by lowering the apparent cost of just doing what the totalitarian says. Bread and circuses. The most successful totalitarians are the ones that can present that cost / benefit picture the most efficiently – the cheapest circuses, coupled with efficient information control and force monopolization. Being a totalitarian can be hard work!

  54. As Thoreau and Boettie would have recognized, any tyrannical regime is still just a group of humans. There is usually a single leader – incapable of doing anything by himself – that surrounds himself with enablers that all want a piece of the power pie. Still, they number relatively few compared to the overall population.

    So, you have a situation where there is a small group of humans making life miserable for a huge majority. They rely on the individuals to be cowed by fear of reprisal – that the threat of a large SWAT team descending upon a house will frighten that family into compliance, frex.

    Yet still, the small gang are still only human, with human needs.

    They must be fed & financed. They also have families, homes, vehicles. When their homes and vehicles are burned to the ground, and their wives and children sent scurrying to other family for shelter, their resolve will wither like anyone elses. It probably wouldn’t even take too many burning houses for the families of other government agents to insist they do not jeopardize them, and quit their job.

    Make the costs real to these agents, instead of allowing them to believe in their delusion of magical government supremacy. They are only human after all.

  55. Cultural evolution is accelerating along with the technology explosion. Social mutation is rampant and the associated selection cycles are playing out at a hyper-fast pace relative to our species’ history. This is unknown territory.

    At one end of the social spectrum are the endemic individualists, who eschew herd participation as much as feasible. And at the other end are the herd-firsters, who value conformity above all else. Tyrants absorb the latter and battle the former.

    Note to Winter, if your survival strategy is based solely upon the past lessons of history, when the next incarnation of tyrant shows up, you’ll never see what hit you.

  56. Winter on 2015-01-13 at 14:00:53 said:

    When you wrote “The will is required, the arms are helpful.” I was remembered by the siege of Madrid during the Spanish civil war where armed citizens were defending against a revolting army. Their battle cry was “No passeran” (they will not pass). The citizens lost.

    If irregular forces engage in stand up battles against regular forces they will *almost always* lose.

    There are other options, options that tend to be self-sustaining and increase the power and scope of available weaponry.

    Plus irregular forces tend not to be dissuaded by “laws of war”.

  57. Winter on 2015-01-13 at 15:30:40 said:

    @Jim Richardson
    I do not understand you. In any war, or armed conflict, the opinion of outsiders does not count.

    You haven’t been paying attention since the mid-60s.

  58. Appropo of nothing at all, I need to get me something based on the .416 Barrett. You gotta respect something that pushes a 450 grain bullet that is still supersonic 1500 meters down range.

    Anyone got 10K they don’t need?

  59. @cdb
    “And easier to legally carry a pistol for self-defense in Russia than in many U.S. states.”

    Not sure that’s true. Most US states (40+) are shall issue or Constitutional carry, 7 are ‘may issue’ with significant local restriction, and the remainder, are may issue, but function as shall issue in most cases. To the best of my knowledge, Russia requires a permit, and getting one is dependent on which Oblast you live in, and in many cases, who you know. But yes, it’s a lot easier to legally carry in Russia than it used to be, and certainly easier than in some US states, at least until recently.

    (Illinois is shall issue now, what a huge change!..)

  60. And what would your opinion be of the government that authorized the use of such weaponry against its own civilians?

    Disapproving to be sure, but I doubt that would have much impact on them. Civil wars are nasty.

  61. @JIm Richardson

    > And easier to legally carry a pistol for self-defense in Russia than in many U.S. states.

    Not sure that’s true.

    It’s objectively true, to my knowledge. My home state, Maryland, is may-issue and does not recognize self-defense as a legitimate reason for issuing a carry permit. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld this practice as consitutional, and SCOTUS has declined to hear the case. By contrast, my understanding is that under the new regulations in Russia, self-defense is explicitly recognized as sufficient cause for a public carry license. Ergo, it’s now easier for a Russian national to legally carry for self-defense than it is for me to do so, or residents of (for instance) NY, NJ, or CA (though this may be changing).

    http://www.ammoland.com/2014/11/russia-changes-law-to-allow-guns-for-self-defense/

  62. > >And I think your socialization is that you would resist the State with a toothpick, if need be.

    > If that were all I had available, yes.

    “There are no dangerous weapons –
    only dangerous men.”. – USMC

  63. @Craig

    “It’s objectively true, to my knowledge. My home state, Maryland”

    Is not ‘most states’

    As I noted above, 40 states are shall issue, or CC, about 4 are ‘may issue’ in regulation/law, but shall issue in practice, and the remainder, including Maryland, are ‘we hate you’

  64. “There are no dangerous weapons –
    only dangerous men.”

    exactly. The weapon is the will, and the mind. Everything else is just a tool.

  65. “You are misquoting – the original was ‘many’.”

    You are correct. However, neither is Maryland ‘many’

  66. …Civil wars are nasty.

    Aren’t all wars ‘nasty’?

    Ridding ourselves of nasty people is always going to be a nasty business.

  67. @JIm Richardson

    You are correct. However, neither is Maryland ‘many’

    And neither was Maryland the only example…

    Regardless, this is a rather uninteresting branch of argument, so I’ll leave you to it.

  68. @Craig

    Most states are now shall issue, in law, or in practice. A few, are may issue with significant restrictions.

    Few is not many. Even if one of them is yours.

  69. Craig on 2015-01-13 at 18:44:48 said:
    @JIm Richardson

    Is not ‘most states’

    You are misquoting – the original was ‘many’.

    7 or 10 out of 50 is not “many”, and especially not when the criteria–supplication to the local masters–is the same in those states as it is in the Oligarchy that is modern Russia.

    In the more progressive areas of California movie stars and wealthy political donors have no problem getting concealed carry permits, but those that donate to the *wrong* side, or are just average joes don’t have a chance.

  70. Aren’t all wars ‘nasty’?

    Civil ones are often considerably nastier AIUI.

    Ridding ourselves of nasty people is always going to be a nasty business.

    The trick is to do it without creating even more nasty (ie radicalised/brutalised) people in the process.

  71. @Paul Brinkley
    “… the civilians’ victory condition isn’t to win against the military in a toe-to-toe fight. The civilians’ win condition is costing that military more to subjugate them than it would earn that military.”

    You mean, like the Palestinians do against the Israelis? Or the Syrian people against their government?

    What time scale do you have in mind?

    I think the only thing that counts is the willingness of the army to kill their own people. See the differences between Tunesia and Egypt, where the army refused to shoot, and Libya, where outside air forces were needed to protect the populace.

  72. @Winter
    “I think the only thing that counts is the willingness of the army to kill their own people. See the differences between Tunesia and Egypt, where the army refused to shoot, and Libya, where outside air forces were needed to protect the populace.”

    And where do you think the US military will come down on that divide?

    Do you think the 37TFW will be willing to drop CBUs on downtown Las Vegas?

  73. @Jim Richardson
    “And where do you think the US military will come down on that divide? ”

    And what does civilian armament have to do with this? Actually, the military will be less willing to kill civilians when they are unarmed.

    And, no, the armies of developed countries are unwilling to shoot their own people. That is why they are developed countries in the first place.

  74. @ESR

    My issue is that you are essentially calling almost everybody outside the US a sheeple. And the issue is too serious for that. I mean, you are using a traditional mind-hack: emotional appeal to the sense of masculine pride. This works, and that is the problem: it works all too well, it is dangerous like fire (the fire in the belly, the thumos), and should be used responsibly. Generally speaking it is an OK tool for stuff like motivating people to work out or learn unarmed martial arts, but I find it too irresponsible when discussing deadly arms. These things are dangerous enough that cool heads are a must – that everything with regard to weapons should be discussed with utmost unemotional utilitarian objectivity and detachedness. I think it is too dangerous to emotionalize them. You want to keep people 101% ice-cold rational with regard to weapons and not consider them manly toys or penis extensions. The proper penis extension is the boxing glove or something similarly low-harm. So unless you have a good reason to do so, please refrain from testosteron-tripping people as long as deadly arms are considered and keep in the less dangerous domains like martial arts.

    • >My issue is that you are essentially calling almost everybody outside the US a sheeple.

      Almost everyone in the developed world, yes. That judgment isn’t a “mind hack”, it’s a sober evaluation that too many people have allowed themselves to be cowed into the position of subjects. The price for that mistake is always, eventually, paid in the blood of innocents.

      Americans are not supposed to be like that; in fact it is active betrayal of everything that is best in our nation and our history to think like a subject. That many of us now do that is one of the manipulations that makes me bitterly angry with the U.S.’s political/media/academic overclass.

  75. > armed civilians who prevented an authoritarian putsch in the former Soviet Union in August 1991

    I am not very familiar with that (I should be since I was on the wrong side of the iron curtain too, still), but I am familiar with Romania, 1989. Basically it was an anarchist case for conscription. You see, conscript soldiers revolted, looted the armory and armed their friends with AKs. And they knew how to use them because they were ex-conscripts too. So, the armed civilians in Romania were soliders in everything but uniforms, having both the equipment and the training.

    http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/915a8682-e8c9-11de-a756-00144feab49a.img

    I think the American historical experience may be misleading and unpredictive here, because the Redcoats did not revolt, did not change sides, and especiallly did not hand over muskets to Americans? Largely because their family being back home put them painfully close to something akin to a hostage situation? But it is not a universal feature. Most of the time, revolutions are pretty much decided by soldiers changing sides: because most of the time they, too, are locals. And this means civilian access to military weapons, as long as they can use them – hence it makes a weird anarchist case for conscription.

    This is not an argument against civilian weapon ownership, it is simply an argument to don’t count on it as a decisive factor: the civilians who matter are generally those who are given military arms by soldiers changing sides.

  76. @TomA

    The nerd warrior is the sniper. It is all physics and math. Rob Furlong’s 2430 meter shot meant aiming about 100m above the targets head – and exactly how much above is the result of a complicated calculation with many variables: wind direction and speed, elevation, temperature…

  77. @Shenpen
    “the civilians who matter are generally those who are given military arms by soldiers changing sides.”

    The ones who really matter are those who can calm things down after the change. Having some figurehead people whom “both sides” are willing to trust helps convincing the army to chose sides, e.g., Yeltsin, Havel, Mandela, Wa??sa. It also helps when no-one trusts the old guard (as was the case in Rumania and the Moscow putsch).

  78. @LS “Actually, the Swiss have the opposite of the opposite of gun control. Every grown male has a military rifle at home because he is in the Swiss army. He and his gun are both under government control.”

    No. Power flows out of the barrel of a gun. He and his gun are part of the government. That’s why Swiss local democracy is so strong. The army is the ruler and everyone is in the army.

    Rulership is an ecological niche – it WILL be occupied. The only way not to be ruled is to do it yourself.

    They have a professional politician class they employ to run the day-to-day, but if they don’t like what they do the can organise a ballot measure to overrule them. This happens regularly on every scale from the town to the state to the federal level.

    As for the arguments about unarmed civilians not being able to take on a standing army: In Switzerland there are no civilians so the issue doesn’t arise.

    They have some really control freak laws in places, like you MUST keep your front yard tidy and you MUST clear the pavement of snow in front of your house and if your neighbour is ill and cannot do it you MUST do it for them. Neighbourliness is the law. But at least they are THEIR laws! There is no imposing them from above, they have to have majority support in every town or that town will opt out.

  79. @esr
    “Almost everyone in the developed world, yes. ”

    Amusing. I do not have seen you shooting at government officials, have you? And I guess you still pay your taxes?

    What you do not seem to acknowledge is that the barrels of guns are not exactly good policy instruments. On the contrary. If you want to force some change in the developed world, threatening lethal force is the very last thing you should use. Witness all the different terrorist groups that have roved the developed world to no avail.

  80. In the more progressive areas of California movie stars and wealthy political donors have no problem getting concealed carry permits, but those that donate to the *wrong* side, or are just average joes don’t have a chance.

    I find it incredibly hypocritical that Chuck Schumer concealed-carries, and Dianne Feinstein used to concealed-carry and now relies on armed private guards. For top-ranked American Democrats, it seems the policy is “gun control for thee but not for me”.

  81. Almost everyone in the developed world, yes. That judgment isn’t a “mind hack”, it’s a sober evaluation that too many people have allowed themselves to be cowed into the position of subjects. The price for that mistake is always, eventually, paid in the blood of innocents.

    Nations of such “subjects” have gone for 70 years without shedding the blood of innocents, and these “subjects” now enjoy considerably more freedom than Americans on any metric that matters. Meanwhile the USA has begun the backslide into tyranny; you do not see France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, or the Netherlands condoning and approving the use of torture, for example, yet the U.S. government did just that.

  82. Civilian resistance only becomes an important factor when they succeed in organizing their own army.

    Hmmm… what’s the two principle features of an army? 1) Peoples, 2) Weapons.

    Apparently Winter believes that an army to fight back against a conquering one will just fall from the sky.

  83. @Nate
    “what’s the two principle features of an army? 1) Peoples, 2) Weapons.”

    You just missed the difference between an armed gang and an army: Training, organization, and discipline. Arming a bunch of civilians does not make an army.

  84. You just missed the difference between an armed gang and an army: Training, organization, and discipline. Arming a bunch of civilians does not make an army.

    Ah so if we just train, organize and discipline a bunch of ____, then an army we’ll have, no need for weapons or people.

    You should really try listening to yourself before you speak.

  85. @Nate Winchester
    “Ah so if we just train, organize and discipline a bunch of ____, then an army we’ll have, no need for weapons or people.”

    Maybe you should reread my response. The difference between an army and an armed gang is …

    Armies have arms (of both kind), just as armed gangs. That is why it is called an army.

  86. @Winter: “Armies have arms (of both kind), just as armed gangs. That is why it is called an army.”

    Yeah no shit, then why in the world are you arguing for arms to be taken away?

    Maybe you should wake up and realize that you’re arguing for the whole “2. ???? 3. Profit!” system.

    You’ve seriously argued for awhile on this thread:

    “And what does civilian armament have to do with this?”

    While then arguing that armies are needed.

    To put that in a metaphor that will hopefully help you realize how stupid you’ve been:
    “I don’t see what metal mining has to do with anything, what is needed is bullets!”
    OR
    “We don’t need metal, it’s bullets and guns that count in a war!”

    You’re arguing on this thread that we don’t need and can get rid of the raw material because it’s the finished, process product that is needed. Which means either you can’t follow basic logic, or you believe that the raw material is just going to appear out of thin air when needed.

    In other words:
    1. Steal underwear.
    2. ????
    3. Profit!

  87. @Nate Winchester
    A rather confusing ramble to respond to. The OP and many others argue (I paraphrase) “We need every civilian to bear arms to defend our freedom against our own army“.

    It seems rather obvious to me that my comments were along the line (but maybe I was unclear) that armed civilians are no match to a standing army. History has shown that to be nearly always the case.

    My point is that it is a much better policy to strengthen the ties between the armed forces and the civilian populace than to threaten the armed forces with an armed civilian uprising.

    Now, if you plan on arming civilians and then start building a new, revolutionary army, then I think you will find out soon that there are sections of your society that will not stand by and watch you do it.

    In case of a civil war, the only recourse of the warring parties is to build their own armies. For that they need weapons and volunteers. Armed civilians might be helpful to both, but the point is not that there are armed civilians, but that there will be an army with fire arms and heavy weapons.

  88. Winter – all this back and forth is rather pointless. You are not an American. ‘Your way’ is not the American way.

    You roll your own dice, we’ll roll ours.

    Get back to us when you need America’s help to bail your asses out again.

  89. In case of a civil war, the only recourse of the warring parties is to build their own armies. For that they need weapons and volunteers. Armed civilians might be helpful to both…

    Might? “Might” be helpful to both? If there aren’t armed civilians, then where in the world do you think weapons and volunteers are going to COME FROM?

    It’s like watching someone argue, “We don’t need farms any more, we get all our food from the grocery store.”

  90. @Dan
    “Get back to us when you need America’s help to bail your asses out again.”

    Please, send us your army when we are in need. Not your armed civilians.

    @Nate Winchester
    “If there aren’t armed civilians, then where in the world do you think weapons and volunteers are going to COME FROM?”

    Where they always come from: Army barracks. Where do you think the Sunni rebels in Iraq and Syria got their weapons?

    Anyhow, if you want to stand a chance against an army, you need heavy weapons anyway.

  91. Where they always come from: Army barracks.

    Oh silly me, I thought militaries had things like recruitment quotas and stuff. Nah, they just go down to the barracks and pick up a freshly grown crop of army. And of course if the government was to turn against the citizens, the citizens would have to go try and take the barracks so they can get their own crop of army.

    To return to the food metaphor: “Where do apples always come from: the produce section.” <– that's how you sound.

    I can just see Winter writing a movie now…
    "The government has turned against us! Man if only we had an army!"
    "Sir, we have all these guys with guns."
    "Nah that would never work. If only we could know the secret of how an army is made…"

    Please tell me you are just a poe/troll now. It's a lot easier to believe that someone's messing with me than to hear that people can be this bone stupid.

  92. Oh silly me, I thought militaries had things like recruitment quotas and stuff. Nah, they just go down to the barracks and pick up a freshly grown crop of army.

    No, you click the barracks and then on “Train Marine”…

  93. Winter, you seem to be missing one essential fact: the armed forces of the United States are our armed civilians. The words “citizen solder” are neither self-contradictory nor meaningless. A large part of our armed forces are reservists who have civilian lives they put aside when their country calls.

    Further: “Where they always come from: Army barracks.”

    Where do you think the folks in those barracks come from? Or is it soldiers all the way down?

  94. “Winter – stand in the corner with the dunce hat.”

    Agreed. I can’t recall a more egregiously idiotic statement from anyone here. Not even Jeff Reid, who usually tries to out-st00pid the Eurosocialists in his quest to be recognized as One Of Them.

  95. @Jay Maynard
    “the armed forces of the United States are our armed civilians.”

    Eh, that is not quite the way it works out in practice. I might make think you have a point in countries like Switzerland. But I doubt that this holds in the USA, unless you redefine “civilian” and “armed forces”.

    @Jay Maynard et al
    “Where do you think the folks in those barracks come from? Or is it soldiers all the way down?”

    Maybe I was not entirely clear. The arms come from the barracks. The people from outside. That is how IS and Al-Qaeda in Iraq got their arms. That is how Libyan revolutionaries got their arms. That is how most successful revolutions get their armies stocked.

    In most cases, there are quite a number of deserted soldiers joining the ranks of the “new” armies. In general, that is also quite important for the success of a new army.

    I am sorry, I should have been more clear and not simply expect you to understand this. But I tend to overestimate the exposure to general world affairs in commenters from the US.

  96. @ Shenpen – “The nerd warrior is the sniper.”

    No, that’s applying the past and expecting it to work in the future (although the part about using advanced math is relevant).

    It is said that at the start of a war, old generals tend to fight the previous war and fare poorly against new enemies and tactics. As such, the tyranny of the future will likely not be a caricature of past tyrannies, and consequently opposing them will not likely benefit much from past tactics.

    In the modern world, privacy is extinct and force-projection is increasingly robotic. The optimized tyrant will likely be a more extreme version of Obama, who kills his enemies remotely from the skies without hesitation or remorse, and conquers indigenous people with memetic subversion that induces self-slavery.

    This is social evolution at hyper-speed, and only the smart-strong stand a chance of succeeding against this menace. Gun ownership in the US is fundamentally about sustaining the culture of independence and self-reliance. It should not be construed as a fantasy about civil uprising in response to the emergence of an old guard tyrant.

    The next tyrant won’t be obvious or incompetent, and it won’t be an armed mob that succeeds in getting rid of him/her. It will be unnoticed nerd warriors thinking five steps ahead and employing truly unconventional tactics. The gun in your closet protects you from the criminal in your neighborhood, the brain in your head is your weapon against future tyranny.

  97. Wikipedia made efforts to erase Nazi gun confiscation from history. It went to ArbCom where the people who brought evidence to the discussion and talked things over calmly and rationally were banned while the two most aggressively incivil edit-warring POV-pushers were given warnings. If you follow the links to ArbCom’s evidence, the people they banned were not guilty of what ArbCom accused them of doing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun_control

  98. Maybe I was not entirely clear. The arms come from the barracks. The people from outside. That is how IS and Al-Qaeda in Iraq got their arms. That is how Libyan revolutionaries got their arms. That is how most successful revolutions get their armies stocked.

    Ah so civilians shouldn’t have guns, they should wait for the soldiers to hand out guns to them.

    Instead of like… cutting out the middle man and STARTING with weapons.

    “Ok, we’ve got the people, now if we just had some guns…”
    “Sir, we’ve all got our own guns.”
    “No, those don’t count for some reason…”

    Let me guess, are you British or Canadian?

  99. Winter – I tend to overestimate the exposure to general American history in commenters from outside the US (see how thoughtless condescension works both ways?)

    You may be interested to know that our nation was fought for, and founded by, civilians – well trained with arms due to the everyday necessity of use – taking their arms and joining forces to establish organized militia. They beat the most powerful and sophisticated military the world had seen.

    This foundation exists to this day (albeit, sadly, diminished) and is somewhat immortalized in the expression “a nation of riflemen”.

    Your discrimination between ‘armies’ and ‘civilians’ is profoundly superficial. Wearing a uniform and being equipped by a formal military entity does not magically imbue any human with special powers. We can all train with our weapons to a degree of proficiency that is more than adequate to the task. A lot of us are hunters (aka ‘snipers’), and there is a wealth of information and tactical training schools – both IRL and online – that can assist anyone that is willing to undertake the effort…and 100s of thousands/millions of us do just that.

    We are well positioned to resist tyranny…you are not.

  100. @Nate
    I am Dutch. And you might read better. I do not think you have understood anything I wrote.

    1) Armed civilians cannot stop an even halfway decent standing army

    2) If you want to stop an army, build your own

    2 a) Recruit and train civilians, recruit desserters of the regular army

    2 b) Collect, buy, embezle, steal weapons. Especially, steal heavy weapons fromthe army and recruit deserters that can use them, train new ones.

    3) Train and recruit and train.

    4) Lose and be routed by the professionals. Unless you can get enough of the army to chose your side.

    Better, convince the original army to support your cause. That way you do not have to destroy your country.

    And guns for civilians? Whatever. It is your country, wreck it any way you want.

  101. Winter:

    The American people are sovereign. Europeans are not sovereign. Shenpen touched on this. We put limits on each other, as the Magna Charta did English kings, but that is the fundamental difference.

    Subjects may be disarmed.

  102. I do not think you have understood anything I wrote.

    No, you’re just that boneheaded.

    Watch this closely…

    1) Recruit and train civilians, recruit desserters of the regular army
    2) Collect, buy, embezle, steal weapons [to arm civilians]. Especially, steal heavy weapons fromthe army and recruit deserters that can use them, train new ones.
    3) Train and recruit and train.
    4) Lose and be routed by the professionals. Unless you can get enough of the army to chose your side.

    Ok now watch closely, this will blow your mind…

    1) Collect, buy, weapons [to arm the citizens].
    2) Recruit and train civilians, recruit desserters of the regular army
    3) Train and recruit and train.
    4) Lose and be routed by the professionals. Unless you can get enough of the army to chose your side.

    *GASP* look at that! Why we took 1 step, advanced it up, and now if something goes wrong, we have one less step to go through and can field an opposing army that much faster! Wow! Revolutionary! I mean it’s like we’ve needed guns all along! I mean why try and get any of the army to choose your side? What’s that going to help? Are they going to bring their weapons along or something?

    Oh right, WEAPONS.

    Again, your argument, summed up:
    “Weapons are useless in the hands of civilians. What you need to fight an army is weapons.”

    Especially, steal heavy weapons fromthe army and recruit deserters that can use them, train new ones.

    And somebody knows nothing about logistics and supplies.

    This just goes to prove that Europeans have become so removed from reality that they now think soldiers are just mythical creatures that appear out of nowhere.

  103. I still wonder where the hell Winter thinks soldiers come from.

    What do you mean? He just told you:

    Maybe I was not entirely clear. The arms come from the barracks. The people from outside. That is how IS and Al-Qaeda in Iraq got their arms. That is how Libyan revolutionaries got their arms. That is how most successful revolutions get their armies stocked.

    In most cases, there are quite a number of deserted soldiers joining the ranks of the “new” armies. In general, that is also quite important for the success of a new army.

    I am sorry, I should have been more clear and not simply expect you to understand this. But I tend to overestimate the exposure to general world affairs in commenters from the US.

    Simple, isn’t it? Arms only come from barracks. That’s where the arms generator is stored. Since arms generators obviously don’t exist anywhere else, they have to come from the barracks, QED.

    But since you lack exposure to general world affairs, you should understand that in the general world, steel cannot be shaped into the type of barrels required for arms, except in an arms generator. No one has figured out how to do that without one.

    Even if you could, you would still have to have access to things like sulfur, which is carefully controlled by megacorporations; poop, which you can’t have because the plumbing takes it away; and charcoal, which you’d have no reason to have unless you’re registered as a carnivore, and therefore carefully monitored by the government.

    Then you have the problem of training. In the general world, the only way to get trained armies without a barracks is from deserting soldiers, via abiogenesis.

    So, really, you ought to get out into the wider world. Once you do, all of this will start to make sense.

  104. @Jay

    Well you see, a sufficiently dense mass of soldierinuim will fuse to become Godzilla, while civieite will not. This means that civilians can never stand up to soldiers no matter what the odds.

    The only way to make soldierinuim is to run civieite through an Officially Licensed C2S Converter, which is somewhat like the converters that change ordinary humans into paragons of virtue for use in government.

  105. http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/G/Godwins-Law.html

    Regulation of lethal weapons is not a problem here and now and it wasn’t the problem there and then, either. If you just can’t help making analogies to the Third Reich, I suggest you stick to non-uniform enforcement of law with respect to ethnicity, which is really what that particular instance of totalitarianism was all about and which is also a real problem here and now, unlike the imagined grievances of gun collectors.

  106. The usual first step of confiscation, is registration.

    As Niemuller said, “first, they came for my car…”
    Oh wait, no they didn’t.

  107. From the OP: Halbrook shows how the Nazis treated the Germans themselves as “conquered people”; they took the prospect of armed resistance very seriously and acted with brutal efficiency to thwart it it by disarming any civilian they identified as a political enemy or potential rebel. In this they were successful; while armed anti-Nazi resistance movements sprung up all over the rest of Europe, there were none in Germany where weapon controls had been tightest.

    If gun control was indeed selective by ethnicity and nothing else, it would directly contradict the above paragraph, if we interpret “political enemy or potential rebel” as independent of ethnic background.

    What concrete evidence does Holbrook have, then? One way or the other?

    • >What concrete evidence does Holbrook have, then? One way or the other?

      One thing Halbrook did is study the police and court records that survive from the period. And of course the actual text of the laws and proclamations.

      These contain some surprises for anybody who only knows a cartoon version of the history of the Nazi revolution. One is how late the absolute prohibition of gun ownership by Jews was enacted. Prohibitions on Gypsies actually predated it by several years. And the anti-Gypsy rule does not seem to have derived from any notion of them being genetic enemies or untermenschen; Halbrook quotes language suggesting that it was their no-fixed-abode mode of life that drew suspicion on them.

      I think it’s fair to say that before the run-up to Kristallnacht gun prohibition wasn’t ethnically focused at all. Which is admittedly a little curious given that anti-Semitism was a prominent feature of Nazi thought from the beginning, but there it is. From 1933 to about 1937 being a gun-owning Communist or Social Democrat was more likely to get you in trouble than being a gun-owning Jew.

      Even after 1937, it was general gun prohibition that provided a legal pretext for persecuting Jews, not Jew-hatred motivating gun prohibition that others were accidentally swept into.

  108. @Paul Brinkley
    “If gun control was indeed selective by ethnicity and nothing else”

    It wasn’t

    You’re welcome.

  109. “unlike the imagined grievances of gun collectors”

    1) It’s not gun collectors, by and large, who are worried about the destruction of the Second Amendment. it’s regular, law-abiding citizens. At least you get points for not using the standard leftist shibboleth of “the gun lobby financed by well-heeled gun manufacturers”.

    2) Those grievances are not imaginary in the slightest, and only not part of current law because of the unceasing vigilance of those who understand what the Second Amendment means.

  110. My first thought is, how hard would it have been for the Nazis to trump up some other reason to send the first major wave of Jews to the concentration camps?

    I can’t imagine it taking very long for the Nazis to find some other reason. It’s interesting as a historical footnote, but I don’t see the fact that the Nazis used the charge of “illegal possession of weapons” as particularly strong evidence for anything.

    I think the real question is: how did a nation’s history/attitude towards individual armed citizens correlate with the effectiveness of their resistance movement? If I remember correctly, the French and Polish resistance were particularly effective, but I don’t know the history of their gun control laws. You mention that Germany itself had no effective resistance movement, but I suspect that was more due to the fact that a smaller percentage of the German population was willing to fight to stop the Nazis.

    This topic might make an interesting master’s thesis, now that I think about it. Any history buffs want to weigh in?

    • >I don’t see the fact that the Nazis used the charge of “illegal possession of weapons” as particularly strong evidence for anything.

      It’s evidence that gun-control laws are a handy all-purpose tool for oppressing minorities. Indeed, that’s how they originated in the U.S. – largely as suppressive measures against black freedmen.

  111. At least you get points for not using the standard leftist shibboleth of “the gun lobby financed by well-heeled gun manufacturers”.

    In my experience, everybody agrees that lobbying — the exchange of money for political advocacy — is dishonest, immoral, and antithetical to democracy. But nobody will ever admit to being brainwashed by lobbyist propaganda, although it seems obvious to all that somebody must have been, and everybody thinks it’s the “other side” that gains the advantage from lobbying, and from political corruption in general, so I find it pointless to bring up lobbying in any political debate that isn’t already about lobbying. Thanks for the points!

    Those grievances are not imaginary in the slightest, and only not part of current law because…

    These grievances of yours which are “not part of current law” — what are they exactly? I’ve had to wait for a background check myself. It’s a little annoying to be the one singled out at random for that honor, but for the purchase of a lethal weapon it seems perfectly reasonable to me. I also don’t perceive any need for any banned assault weapons, so I honestly can’t see the issue, although I have honestly tried to understand concerns about gun control.

  112. The ugly gun ban (so-called “assault weapons”), for one thing. It did exactly nothing but make some guns unavailable because they looked scary. The same goes for the magazine capacity limit in federal law. Any experienced shooter will tell you from experience that such limits are meaningless. Then there’s the constant calls for banning private sales of guns without the approval of a bureaucrat (“closing the gun show loophole”). No other private property has such a requirement placed on it. Gun registration, even through the back door of keeping records of background checks beyond the time needed to complete them and report the results.

    Pretty much every “common sense gun regulation” advanced by the Left falls into this category, and they all founder on the same basic problem: it’s not the weapon that’s lethal, it’s the user. Banning guns is the wrong approach to the wrong problem. Of course, it also has the advantage from the leftist point of view of making it easier to resist government grown too big and powerful…

  113. As for lobbyist propaganda…shame you had to open your mouth and reveal yourself for a leftist fool after all. Here’s a free clue for you: the NRA is financed by millions of individual people like me, not by “well-heeled gun manufacturers”. So is the NRA-ILA, their PAC. Other firearms rights lobbying organizations are even more so. If you told the head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership that he was financed by gun manufacturers, he’d laugh you out of the building.

    The average American knows how valuable the Second Amendment is, and in growing, historically large numbers, is saying that we need more gun rights, not more gun-grabbing regulations.

  114. @Jay Maynard
    > it’s not the weapon that’s lethal, it’s the user.

    I’m as big an advocate of RKBA as there is, but I think this is rhetorically an interesting statement. If that is true then you might reasonably object to, for example, the assault weapons ban, but you would have a harder time objecting to a background check. The former pertaining to the weapon the latter to the user.

    And, FWIW, I think you are all off base with regards to Winter. Your argument seems to be that without an armed citizenry you can’t have quality military forces. But surely you know there are many good counter examples to that. Most obviously Britain has a military as good as, if not better than, the USA discounting for size. For example, The Falklands War was one of the most amazing achievements in modern military history. Yet Britain is a weapons free zone. I mean even their Olympic shooters have to go abroad the practice.

  115. Actually, Jessica, I do have to concede that background checks do pass Constitutional muster – under the rubric of “a well regulated militia”…the desire being, obviously, to keep undesirables out (criminals, nutcases, morris dancers etc).

    I would simply argue that is isn’t an effective means of regulating the militia.

  116. Your argument seems to be that without an armed citizenry you can’t have quality military forces

    No…almost t’other way around. His condescending argument is that you can’t derive quality military forces from an armed citizenry. I am arguing that this is historical nonsense, and that a well armed citizenry can indeed be fielded as a quality military.

  117. No…almost t’other way around. His condescending argument is that you can’t derive quality military forces from an armed citizenry. I am arguing that this is historical nonsense, and that a well armed citizenry can indeed be fielded as a quality military.

    Exactly this. The point Winter seems to never be able to grasp is that armed soldiers have to come from SOMEWHERE. If you’re trying to build an army from scratch, it’s considerably easier, more useful, and less distance from the end goal to start with an armed citizen than an unarmed one.

  118. @Dan
    > His condescending argument is

    I have no idea why you find his argument condescending. It seems like a perfectly legitimate and honest point of view, even if I don’t much agree with it.

    > that you can’t derive quality military forces from an armed citizenry. I am arguing that this is historical nonsense, and that a well armed citizenry can indeed be fielded as a quality military.

    If your argument is that a person with experience with a gun is going to be more effective immediately than a person who has never held a gun, you are no doubt right. But learning to fire a gun to the level of quality of the average shooter isn’t all that hard, especially if your life depended on it. And I might add, with respect to the American militia in particular, the level of fitness of the average American is extremely low.Being able to maneuver effectively when you are one hundred pounds overweight and can’t climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath is a pretty major impediment for the citizen shoulder even if her name is Annie Oakley.

    I don’t doubt a militia is effective for some types of war, it is not by any means comparable to an army. Is it your view that some good ole boy from Arkansas who has been shootin’ squirrels out of a tree since he was at his pappy’s knee, is necessarily going to do better in boot camp than some baketball playing, gangbanger, or some suburban high school athlete who has never seen a weapon in his life? I doubt it.

    The reason why the American military are better than almost everyone else is that they train constantly, that they are professionals, that they work from within an organization that has a whole memetic structure to support the best military practices, training, disciplines and structures. Citizen soldiers just don’t have that, even if they go dove hunting every other weekend.

    But in terms of war, what wins wars above all else is logistics. Again, this is why the American military machine is an awesome force. Your citizen soldier can plink off a few soldiers, plant a few IEDs, or blow up a few bridges, however, he can not come close to competing with the materiel supply of the US military. All the Glocks and Remingtons in the world don’t do much good when you have fired your last round of ammo.

    Which isn’t to say there aren’t lots of good reasons for RKBA. I even agree with the whole guard against tyranny argument. But the idea that the militia could still overcome the US military at home (making the GIGANTIC assumption that the military would follow chain of command under those circumstances) I think is very unlikely to be true. Maybe in some countries, but not in any country with a well run military.

    • > Is it your view that some good ole boy from Arkansas who has been shootin’ squirrels out of a tree since he was at his pappy’s knee, is necessarily going to do better in boot camp than some baketball playing, gangbanger, or some suburban high school athlete who has never seen a weapon in his life? I doubt it.

      Er. You may doubt it, but it happens to be true. Military trainers, have, by necessty, a harshly realistic view of what sorts of recruits can be trained into the most effective line troops, and they’d prefer your Arkansas boy.

  119. @Jessica Boxer

    “I don’t doubt a militia is effective for some types of war, it is not by any means comparable to an army.”

    For the type of war that includes keeping our govt in check, it’s very much more effective.

    “All the Glocks and Remingtons in the world don’t do much good when you have fired your last round of ammo.”

    which is a) a very good reason to use the same chamberings the cops and military use and b) a good reason to stock up while it’s available.

    Speaking of, my on hand 9×19 stocks have dropped into 3 figures. Gotta fix that this weekend, oh look, there’s a gunshow in Puyallup this weekend ;)

  120. @Jessica Boxer

    Your citizen soldier can plink off a few soldiers, plant a few IEDs, or blow up a few bridges, however, he can not come close to competing with the materiel supply of the US military.

    As a guerilla he doesn’t complete with it. He benefits from it, both as a source of targets and of materiel. Recall that the most popular civilian rifle in the U.S. is, apart from rate of fire, functionally identical to the standard issue weapon of U.S. rifleman for the past 40+ years.

  121. There seems to be an underlying notion that should a tyrannical government arise in the US, then freedom loving citizens should be prepared to battle the US military on US soil. Winter has even postulated that this citizenry should expect to face machine guns, mortars, tanks, artillery, air power, and the military equivalent of the kitchen sink. This is an unrealistic and distracting case study for many reasons.

    It is illegal for the US military to fight a war against US citizens on US soil.
    National guards units are under the control of governors.
    Military personnel would likely mutiny before wantonly killing their relatives, neighbors, and other innocent civilians.

    The scenario where an ad hoc neighborhood militia makes sense is when government has collapsed and roving armed gangs are threatening communities.

    This is thinking that future tyranny will mirror the past, and that is a dangerously myopic view. Look at how some Islamic countries indoctrinate their youth and you will get of sense of how soft tyranny can grow like a cancer. Look there for relevant case studies that merit your attention and vigilance.

    • >The scenario where an ad hoc neighborhood militia makes sense is when government has collapsed and roving armed gangs are threatening communities.

      Or when, as in the Battle of Athens (1946), corrupt local government has suffered a legitimacy collapse.

  122. @esr
    ‘Or when, as in the Battle of Athens (1946), corrupt local government has suffered a legitimacy collapse.’

    I was wondering if someone would bring that up. Winter should be happy, some of the weapons used were procured from the local guard armory, though the rest (and the dynamite) were owned by the folks there.

  123. @TomA
    ‘It is illegal for the US military to fight a war against US citizens on US soil.’

    Which leads one to speculate as to why the govt is so keen to give military supplies to state and local law enforcement agencies.

  124. @ Jim Richardson

    Perhaps it’s been forgotten, but early in his presidency, Obama was intent upon creating a citizen auxiliary that could well have evolved into an SS type organization under the right circumstances. The tyrant of the future will be clever and covert and cunning. A patriotic citizen standing out in the open holding a personal firearm will not be a deterrent, but simply a target for the SS to round up and ship off to a camp.

  125. “it’s not the weapon that’s lethal, it’s the user”

    It’s obviously both. Human malice doesn’t propel bullets without help from a gun, just as guns don’t shoot themselves without human malice (or human carelessness).

    The ugly gun ban (so-called “assault weapons”), for one thing. It did exactly nothing but make some guns unavailable because they looked scary. The same goes for the magazine capacity limit in federal law. Any experienced shooter will tell you from experience that such limits are meaningless.

    And that’s obviously hyperbole. More rounds per magazine obviously saves time reloading, and would still not provide you a snowflake’s chance in hell against a tyrannical government.

    But I also think that the national media coverage of events and not trends has led to silly priorities, regarding gun regulations as well as many, many other issues. I see inefficiency and the wrong compromises offered in the hopes of appealing to public sentiment rather than tyrannical conspiracy theories. Although the magazine capacity limit might have reduced the number of victims at Sandy Hook, Newtown, Fort Hood, Aurora, or Columbine, it would not have prevented any of those events, which unfortunately are prominent in the arguments of leading proponents of well-regulated gun ownership. And the murder victims in all those events plus the ones I forgot don’t sum to the number killed each year by accident and domestic violence, with guns owned in the victims’ own household. Attempting to solve mass shootings is generalizing the exception, which is obviously sub-optimal policy, but only institutional inefficiency, not conspiratorial malice.

    The standard background check for not-a-felon status is a perfectly Constitutional good start, but as the accidental death statistics show, too many people own guns who don’t know how to store them or use them properly, or just don’t bother. Passing a gun safety course of the type required in some jurisdictions in order to obtain a concealed carry permit would be a good minimum standard for gun ownership.

    Oh, and many experienced shooters will tell you that if you need 30 rounds to kill Bambi, you have no right to call yourself a hunter. Go mash buttons on a console game.

  126. The problem with a gun safety course as a legal requirement for owning a gun is that the course itself becomes a political football. It’s tempting to think such courses would start out as no-frills, no-nonsense programs such as Jeff Cooper would have administered; in reality, it wouldn’t be long before such courses became top-heavy with spurious lesson material and testing thresholds driven by lobbies, given only by instructors licensed by the American Gun Instructor Association at great expense. (And then there’d come the calls for mandatory insurance…)

    Btw: magazine capacity limits are indeed meaningless for a number of reasons. One, any argument that a limit prevents an assailant from doing harm could be used as an argument that it would limit a law-abiding citizen’s ability to defend. (Defense often requires firing multiple shots, unless it is indeed Bambi timidly making its way into your house.) Two, limits can be very easily bypassed anyway, as several YouTube videos featuring taped together magazines will illustrate.

  127. (Which is not to say that a gun safety course is itself a bad idea. Just that its legal requirement would be. Much better to encourage all gun owners to learn gun safety, however they go about it (I got plenty in multiple lessons spanning years, and not one of them was formal), and then just nail them to the wall if they’re ever caught doing criminal damage using a gun.)

  128. @TomA
    “Perhaps it’s been forgotten…”

    No, it’s not been forgotten.

    @Rodney McKay
    “but as the accidental death statistics show” that at less than 700 per year in a nation of over 300 million, they are simply not an issue.

    “Oh, and many experienced shooters will tell you that if you need 30 rounds to kill Bambi,”
    Non-sequitur, the Second amendment is not about hunting(*).

    *) unless you were talking about hunting politicians.

  129. @esr
    “Or when, as in the Battle of Athens (1946), corrupt local government has suffered a legitimacy collapse.”

    That one is instructive. It sets experienced veteran soldiers against an unruly police force. I wonder whether these veterans even needed the guns?

    But if this is the kind of case you are preparing against, there are much better ways preventing such mayhem. Also, it keeps up my central point: Armed citizens are no match for a tyranny with a regular army. And most certainly, not against the US army.

    And when TomA writes that this cannot happen because it would be illegal, I wonder. I was under the impression that I was supposed to be the naive, statist sheepl?

  130. @Winter
    “It sets experienced veteran soldiers against an unruly police force. I wonder whether these veterans even needed the guns?”

    ‘The experienced, veteran soldiers’ certainly thought so. The ‘unruly police force’ certainly had them.

  131. On citizen-soldiers: generally speaking nations who retained conscription fit that bill better. Sure it is part time slavery and all that, but at the end of the day a higher percentage of citizens has had formal military training. And conscripts are obviously less loyal, which in case of a revolution a feature, not a bug.

    On the barracks: familiar with the idea of a gendarmerie? It is basically policemen who live in barracks, not at home with their family. It is supposed to make them more loyal, more open to indoctrination and have less contact with the civilians. As far as I can tell, it works. Same logic with soldiers. A conscript who spent a year in a barrack may not be very loyal, but those soldiers who spent their whole adult lives in barracks… I would not trust them very much to take the side of the people and not the government.

    Hunters relate to soldiers exactly the same way as people who have punched sand bags relate to people who had extensive martial arts sparring experience. Which is to say, not very well. The part “…and your target is trying hard to do the same to you” is missing, and that is arguably the most important part.

    Ultimately if you want to make sure revolutions succeed, you need to train more or less explicitly for them. This means locally organized, locally trained, locally loyal militias, who in good times also act as an auxiliary police, auxiliary fire department (why not?), auxiliary disaster relief force, which is a good enough excuse for their existence to those who otherwise would not support it. They cannot have any higher commander than a town mayor.

  132. @ESR

    >Almost everyone in the developed world, yes. That judgment isn’t a “mind hack”, it’s a sober evaluation that too many people have allowed themselves to be cowed into the position of subjects. The price for that mistake is always, eventually, paid in the blood of innocents.

    Not sure I agree. You should take into account that your view is influenced by a tradition of two layers of government and one being distrusted: Americans have traditionally been okay with state level governments, and saw the federal one as a dangerous beast that could always morph into Lord North if you aren’t vigilant. But this is not really universal.

    Actually, bringing up Germany is a good parallel too, because the nazi power grab and all that happened on the federal level, not on the state / Bundesland level like Thuringia or Brandenburg. And of course the same for the Russian / Soviet stuff. And China. Do we see a pattern here?

    My point: if don’t have this whole federal / imperial layer on top of your “organic” state government, the whole threat of tyranny becomes a much smaller issue. Large, federal / imperial nations, that consist of multiple smaller organic states are much more in danger of a tyrannical takeover than when those smaller organic states are independent.

    I think that is also why Winter feels fairly safe from tyranny, if the Netherlands were not independent but part of some kind of a United BeNeLux, Frisia And Prussia whose president is the supreme commander of all armed forces, he would be more suspicious of that kind of federal government, and rightly so. (The EU does not count: what matters is the armed forces, and they are not under EU command.)

  133. Rodney: “More rounds per magazine obviously saves time reloading, ”
    Yeah. Less than a second, for a practiced shooter. A drop-the-mag-and-reload can easily be done that fast. That makes magazine limits nonsensical.

    Accident death by firearm numbers have dropped monotonically – yes, in the strict mathematical sense of the word – since the 1930s. It’s lower than lots and lots of other causes of accidental deaths. Gonna ban bathtubs next?

    Domestic violence is gonna happen regardless of the tool involved. So is suicide.

    (Sandy Hook is in Newtown, Connecticut. You’re repeating yourself.) Nothing would have prevented any of those events: either the firearm was obtained legally under even the more stringent gun control proposals or else it was obtained illegally to begin with. In neither case would the proposed laws have made any difference at all.

    A gun safety course is only justifiable as long as it cannot be turned into a defacto method of denying gun rights. How, you ask? Make the course impossible to obtain or impossible to pass. Say it can’t happen? Ask the folks who live in DC.

    You might not need 30 rounds to kill Bambi. The Second Amendment is not about hunting.

  134. Of course this blog has firearms as one of its major foci, but I think we’ve gone off the rails if we allow ourselves to think that Hitler came to power because the Party tightened the German gun laws. The Nazis came to power in a perfectly legal manner under the Weimar constitution. The people voted for them. Far more important to Hitler staying in power were the political deals that he made.

    One of the most important of these deals was the one he made with the army. (Lots more guns there, you can be sure!) Back in the 1880s, there was a fad among wealthy, assimilated German Jews to marry their daughters off to young army officers. The result in the 1930s was a lot of army officers with Jewish grandmothers. Hitler agreed to keep the Gestapo away from the army and the deal was sealed.

    • >I think we’ve gone off the rails if we allow ourselves to think that Hitler came to power because the Party tightened the German gun laws.

      That’s neither Halbrook’s argument nor mine. What he points out is that after Hitler achieved power, gun-control laws were (a) a central instrument of the Nazis’ drive to totalitarian control, (b) the legal pretext for the first wave of what became the Final Solution.

  135. >Exactly this. The point Winter seems to never be able to grasp is that armed soldiers have to come from SOMEWHERE. If you’re trying to build an army from scratch, it’s considerably easier, more useful, and less distance from the end goal to start with an armed citizen than an unarmed one.

    Yes. And something that Winter may not be aware of, because he has no direct experience with life and conditions inside the US, is that the US military is an all-volunteer force. And it tends to draw heavily from the same segments of the population that also support our gun culture. As do many of our police departments, incidentally.

    In both situations, military and police, the lower down in the organization you are, the closer to the rank-and-file, the more likely you are to be a conservative (or libertarian, in this case more ‘Constitutional conservative’) gun enthusiast. And the higher up in the organization, the more likely you are to think like a politician, and be a gun-grabber. Which will make for some interesting times, should there be actual civil disorder.

    And noone has pointed out that, even in the most overbearing totalitarian regimes, they rely on secret police. Even the successful totalitarians seem to feel the need to conceal the identities of their enforcers, to not let it out where they live…. That probably should tell you something.

  136. >Of course this blog has firearms as one of its major foci, but I think we’ve gone off the rails if we allow ourselves to think that Hitler came to power because the Party tightened the German gun laws. The Nazis came to power in a perfectly legal manner under the Weimar constitution. The people voted for them. Far more important to Hitler staying in power were the political deals that he made.

    Strawman alert! That’s great, except that nobody is saying or claiming that.

    What people are saying, is that the Nazi’s tightening gun laws after coming into power made absolutely sure that nobody would have an effective means of expressing buyer’s remorse.

  137. Winter on 2015-01-13 at 13:33:44 said:

    @William O’Blivion
    > “I am not *lightly* armed.”
    I guess so. But then, do you have enough rocket launchers to stave off the tanks? And how is your air defense?

    Go study the strategies and tactics of irregular forces.

  138. The likelihood of a 20th Century style tyranny arising in the US is very small IMO. The US has a very large and relatively isolated land area, diverse population, 50 state governments (many with enormous martial power at their call), and still to this day, a large cohort of “liberty or die” individualists within the population. Planning to fight a civilian-based insurgency against a tyrannical government (and its military) is far-fetched at best.

    Game theory modeling suggests that the more likely scenario will incorporate a long term campaign of memetic conditioning and indoctrination that will transform the vast majority of the population into psychologically-indentured servants of the state. This programming will inculcate dependance and habitual compliance with state requirements. Under this scenario, most people will voluntarily submit to soft tyranny, and then state security can efficiently dispose of the outliers and liberty loving mutations. It will happen like a slow growing cancer, and only the elite class will possess real liberty.

  139. “Game theory modeling suggests that the more likely scenario will incorporate a long term campaign of memetic conditioning and indoctrination that will transform the vast majority of the population into psychologically-indentured servants of the state. This programming will inculcate dependance and habitual compliance with state requirements. Under this scenario, most people will voluntarily submit to soft tyranny, and then state security can efficiently dispose of the outliers and liberty loving mutations. It will happen like a slow growing cancer, and only the elite class will possess real liberty.”

    You just described much of the public school system in the US.

  140. …Even the successful totalitarians seem to feel the need to conceal the identities of their enforcers, to not let it out where they live…. That probably should tell you something.

    Indeed. Ever wonder why the black-clad paramilitary police wear balaclavas as they kick down front doors, shoot dogs and flashbang kids?

    If I was involved in the kind of vicious state thuggery they are, I wouldn’t want my face to be known either. Perhaps they’re not proud of what they do, maybe they’re ashamed…maybe they’re shit-scared what would happen to them if we knew who they were.

    They fucking well should be scared.

  141. http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/G/Godwins-Law.html

    Regulation of lethal weapons is not a problem here and now and it wasn’t the problem there and then, either. If you just can’t help making analogies to the Third Reich, I suggest you stick to non-uniform enforcement of law with respect to ethnicity, which is really what that particular instance of totalitarianism was all about and which is also a real problem here and now, unlike the imagined grievances of gun collectors.

    This neatly sums up my frustration with Godwin’s Law. Reductio ad Hitlerum has been used so many times in online arguments that a) it can be difficult to separate the genuine, justified comparisons from the noise, and b) makes it all to easy for one’s opponent to dismiss one’s otherwise valid argument as noise, and appear justified in doing so.

  142. esr
    > Military trainers, have, by necessty, a harshly realistic view of what sorts of recruits can be trained into the most effective line troops, and they’d prefer your Arkansas boy.

    Cite? Here is one from a different point of view. Apparently, a study of SEAL graduates indicates that water polo expertise is the best predictor of success. I don’t think they play that much in Jonsoboro, AK, sounds more for the preppy suburban kids of big rich cities. Of course Navy SEALs are not typical at all. But it seems to me that general athleticism would be far more useful. After all, proficiency with a weapon is a lot easier to acquire than athletic levels of endurance.

    Nonetheless, this is a minor part of my argument. There is a lot more to being an effective soldier than being a good shot or having a gun and a box of ammo, and without superior logistics the best fighters in the world are of very limited effect.

    • >Cite?

      I’ve had friends who were military trainers. I go by what they told me.

      >Of course Navy SEALs are not typical at all.

      Hell no. SpecOps troops in general are atypical; training them is quite different from training line troops.

      >There is a lot more to being an effective soldier than being a good shot

      The part you don’t understand is that being a good shot predicts more than ability to put rounds on a target. It takes patience, self-discipline, and the willingness to work at cultivating a skill. That, as much as rounds on target, is why military trainers prefer your Arkansas farmboy.

      If your farmboy is exceptionally bright and psychologically tough and can meet some demanding physical qualifications, he might be offered SEAL training.

  143. “There is a lot more to being an effective soldier than being a good shot”

    Sure is, that doesn’t mean it’s not better to start off being a good shot, than not.

  144. Well, suppose you were an expert military trainer looking for potential line troops, and you had your pick of various almost perfect candidates. What would be your priority traits other than “they volunteered”? Marksmanship? Endurance? Physical strength? Intelligence? Outdoor survival? Resourcefulness? Willingness to work within chain of command?

  145. @JIm Richardson
    > Sure is, that doesn’t mean it’s not better to start off being a good shot, than not.

    Certainly. but there are even better places to start than that too. For example, American’s are vastly more obese than the Dutch. I’d suggest that starting from an 18% adult obesity rate without being a good shot, is better than starting with a 33% obesity rate and being a good shot if your goal is to build an effective militia.

    You can go from gun-o-phobe to basic shooter in ten hours on the rifle range, forty more and you can get to be a reasonable shot. You can get is shape from vastly over weight in two years if you can stay committed, which you probably can’t.

    And again, the best shot in the world isn’t much good without any ammo.

  146. @Jessica Boxer

    and better still to be in good shape, *and* a good shot.

    Yes, you can learn to shoot decently in a few days of decent range training.
    Taking the initiative to train that yourself, is a plus in and of itself.

    (and I’d say that the extreme obesity you mention is a lot more common in the non-gun urban areas, than the rural gun friendly ones. Hard to hike after a deer if you can’t make it past the parking lot with your pack)

  147. I’d also mention that Washington’s alleged quote about the fox and the rabbit also plays a part in solidifying a militia.

  148. @esr
    > SpecOps troops in general are atypical; training them is quite different from training line troops.

    No doubt. However, for your militia, the guys who are fighting a guerrilla war against a large, heavily armed, well supplied government military, you need individuals who work well on their own or in tight groups. Who adapt well to situations, handle fubars well, and operate without centralized control. Who have abilities over a broad range of skill sets, who can endure through challenging and difficult situations and never give up. Who are experts in concealment, covert maneuver, intel gathering, and sabotage, and behind the lines operation.

    Sounds more like a SpecOps skill set rather than the skills of some front line grunt to me. So I’d suggest that people who are good candidates for SpecOps are also good candidates for that guerrilla campaign too.

    > The part you don’t understand is that being a good shot predicts more than ability to put rounds on a target. It takes patience, self-discipline, and the willingness to work at cultivating a skill.

    And you don’t think athletes have those qualities too? They are certainly not unique to shooters. It is curious, is it not, that in the article I listed, they give lots of sports that make for a good foundation for a Navy SEAL. Yet hunting, one of the most common sports in the USA, is not mentioned? I find it surprising, but there you go.

  149. +Jessica Boxer

    At this point, I have no idea what point you are trying to argue.

    Would it be better if every potential recruit were up to the standards of the SEAL intake? of course.
    Even if they had never touched a gun in their lives? Probably. But that ain’t gonna happen, and since guns are such a well embedded aspect of US culture, we get the gun handling skills ‘for free’ at induction time. This is one of the benefits of an armed citizenry. It is far from the only one, but it’s there.

    So what exactly is your point please?

  150. All this talk about hunting being a good preparation for being a soldier misses the point. As Jessica already told, a war is won on logistics. Armies fight on their stomage.

    The other truism of military life is that an army fights as it trains. An army is so effective because the soldiers work as a unit. That requires training, drills, discipline, and an effective management structure.

    All dreams of winning a war with guerilla actions ignores the fact that guerilla actions are only effective as part of a much wider strategy. A strategy that requires a large organisation and discipline.

  151. >Well, suppose you were an expert military trainer looking for potential line troops, and you had your pick of various almost perfect candidates. What would be your priority traits other than “they volunteered”? Marksmanship? Endurance? Physical strength? Intelligence? Outdoor survival? Resourcefulness? Willingness to work within chain of command?

    Cultural characteristics.

    #1 on the list being “ability to form ties of loyalty to someone who isn’t a blood relative”.

    There are lots more. I am told by people who should know, that there are certain cultural attributes that, if present in recruits, seem to make them more likely to have the potential to be effective ‘Western style’ soldiers. These attributes tend to be more common, surprise, in the West, but not exclusively so. Within the West, a farm boy is more likely to have them than a city boy (which is not to say city boys *can’t* have them, but we’ve been over the difference between averages and individuals enough here that people should get it) – upbringing, attitudes, environment and how people relate to it, do matter.

  152. >All this talk about hunting being a good preparation for being a soldier misses the point. As Jessica already told, a war is won on logistics. Armies fight on their stomach.

    Logistics are vitally important. But you don’t need good logistics, you just need logistics that are adequate for the way you intend to fight. Logistics constrain what you can do, that’s all. Making use of the capabilities your logistics allow is another matter. There are plenty of historical examples of forces with superior logistics losing to forces with inferior logistics.

    >The other truism of military life is that an army fights as it trains. An army is so effective because the soldiers work as a unit. That requires training, drills, discipline, and an effective management structure.

    And much more, besides.

    >All dreams of winning a war with guerilla actions ignores the fact that guerilla actions are only effective as part of a much wider strategy. A strategy that requires a large organisation and discipline.

    Bunch of embedded assumptions here. It all kind of comes back to the difference between top-down and bottom-up organization. I know one is the only type you consider valid – opinions on that differ. It comes up a lot on different issues here.

  153. @Winter

    As Jessica already told, a war is won on logistics. Armies fight on their stomage.

    That is true for conventional warfare. It is not true for the form of unconventional warfare we are discussing. An effective guerilla element can minimize reliance on logistics in ways that conventional armies cannot.

  154. @winter
    “a war is won on logistics”
    False, a war is won on will. When you’ve convinced the enemy to stop fighting, either by killing his body, or his will to fight, you win. Not before.

    Logistics are one of the aspects of war, and a very important one. But wars are not won on logistics, (though they may be lost on logistics) Wars are won by convincing your enemy to quit.

  155. @JIm Richardson
    > Would it be better if every potential recruit were up to the standards of the SEAL intake? of course.

    I think you missed my point Jim, because that isn’t it. There are two prongs here:

    1. Does the American culture including its gun culture give a significant advantage to the formation of a guerilla militia over the culture in other countries?

    Pros and cons. Some ways it is advantageous, some ways disadvantageous. In isolation of course having experience with a weapon is advantageous, but nothing ever happens in isolation. The comparison with the SEALs was not to determine who should be eligible, but to determine which general types of qualities are the best ones for the type of warrior required for guerrilla fighter. Being a hunter doesn’t figure on the SEAL’s list, which is to say other things are more important, other things that the american culture is not particularly optimal for.

    2. Logistics win wars, not the wide distribution of (very) small arms. Guns without bullets make poor quality clubs. That along with things like constant training, professionalism, good memetics based on years of experience, massive amounts of technology and materiel, make it a very unfair fight between guerrillas and a professional army like the forces of the US. The only reason the Mid East guerilla war hasn’t been totally squashed is because of a zero tolerance for civilian or American military causalities, something I suspect a lot less likely with a totalitarian take over.

  156. @Jessica Boxer
    “some ways disadvantageous. ”
    In exactly what way is it disadvantageous?

    ” Logistics win wars, not the wide distribution of (very) small arms.”
    a) wide distribution of small arms is part of logistics.
    b) No, logistics don’t win wars. You win a war, by convincing your enemy to quit. Bad logistics can *lose* a war, but good logistics are not sufficient to win it. War is a conflict of will.

    ” The only reason the Mid East guerilla war hasn’t been totally squashed is because of a zero tolerance for civilian or American military causalities”

    The US has the logistics in the middle east, what we lack is the political will to fight and win. Thank you for providing a good example of my point.

  157. “You can go from gun-o-phobe to basic shooter in ten hours on the rifle range”

    Depends on the kind of gun-o-phone you are. I double strongly Winter could ever be trained to become a decent shooter. He wouldn’t be able to get over the squick of holding one of those OMG nasty eeeeevil instruments of DEATH!!!11!!!one!!!.

  158. @Jay Maynard yeah, some folks never get past the ‘close eyes and flail wildly’
    Still, it’s not polite to mock the afflicted.

  159. (damned autocorrect…)

    “You can go from gun-o-phobe to basic shooter in ten hours on the rifle range”

    Depends on the kind of gun-o-phobe you are. I doubt strongly Winter could ever be trained to become a decent shooter. He wouldn’t be able to get over the squick of holding one of those OMG nasty eeeeevil instruments of DEATH!!!11!!!one!!!.

  160. @JIm Richardson on 2015-01-15 at 17:56:50 said:
    > In exactly what way is it disadvantageous?

    Americans are fatter and lazier than people in many other nations. American adult obesity rate: 33%. Dutch adult obesity rate 18%. I consider that a substantial disadvantage.

    > a) wide distribution of small arms is part of logistics.

    Yes, but you need more than a couple of pistols and a shotgun to make an effective army. At the very least you need ammo, and as you point out, the best hope of success in such a war is to last a long time. So a basement full of ammo isn’t going to last. Making and capturing ammo make for big easy to defeat targets.

    > b) No, logistics don’t win wars. You win a war, by convincing your enemy to quit.

    And one way to do that is to make your enemy run out of bullets or twinkies.

    >The US has the logistics in the middle east, what we lack is the political will to fight and win. Thank you for providing a good example of my point.

    Yes, and if a totalitarian regime did take over, one worth fighting such a war, such a weakness would be very unlikely. The lack of political will is due to the fact that we are very nice people and we make our scummy politicians at least pretend to be just as nice. If the politicians don’t care what the people think, nice is no longer a factor.

    I will say this also, getting back the American culture, the real problem is that the people mostly really do get the government they want. Americans want the sort of soft totalitarianism that we suffer now. They want the power of force to take from the rich and give to the poor. They want to have their retirement options reduced and herded into the dreadful social security system. They want to have some soft form of socialized medicine. They want to be groped and irradiated, and inconvenienced before they get on a plane. They want to NSA to be able to snoop everywhere to catch that one terrorist. They want their MTV.

    The ideas of liberty, of “give me liberty or give me death,” are shriveled down to a tiny percentage of the population. The “Conservative” movement who form the backbone of the RKBA-ers are certainly not particularly pro-liberty, they are just pro-a-different-kind-off-oppression. The idea that the american population has the gumption to bring about armed resistance to a totalitarian government is nuts. On the contrary, given the option they’d probably vote for one.

    So I don’t think the American culture is conducive to a liberty revolution. A more likely scenario is the opposite, the mob violence when the governor of Wisconsin makes minor tweaks to the trough feeding of the public unions. I’m afraid the spirit of Jefferson and Henry is, if not dead, at least on life support.

  161. I went to a range in Budapest once, actually the only one in the whole country where the used target travels to you on wire and you don’t have to walk in and collect it. Took a Colt Detective and half hour training. Took some shots. People who know how to add the holes up added the holes up. They told me it was good enough to qualify for the lowest (fourth) level of national competitions. I have no idea if this is supposed to be hard or not: the fourth level was introduced in Hungary precisely as as law-hack: to enable to people to get a gun licence by being qualified competitive sports shooters. So it may be a “wider side of the barn” level.

    I was not a gun phone before and I was not a gun phobe for other people after, but I was a gun phobe for _me_ after: I did not like the idea of having a so easy suicide tool at hand. I am not even depressed. I just did not trust my impulse control. I tried it the second time and missed the target by meters, turned out they give me a gun whose sights were looser than Bill Clinton’s sexual morals, and I said ugly things about their mothers (which may not be very wise with armed people) anyway I left and I did not pursue this hobby much afterwards. I still have no problem with other people doing it. I guess I will rather stay away from these kind of stuff until I am more convinced of my own impulse control.

    However one of these days I might want to try biathlon i.e. skiing and rifle shooting. I live in Austria now and it is such a central part of their sports culture and sounds like a really interesting combo. And I was an okay skier when I was younger and thinner.

  162. @Jessica Boxer
    “Americans are fatter and lazier than people in many other nations. American adult obesity rate: 33%. Dutch adult obesity rate 18%. I consider that a substantial disadvantage.”
    we were discussing the gun culture aspect. Which has little or nothing to do with this (unless in opposition)

    “Yes, but you need more than a couple of pistols and a shotgun to make an effective army”
    We don’t need an army, we simply need armed citizens. We aren’t discussing sending them off to invade Iraq, or patrol the DMZ in Korea, we are talking about people defending their own neighbours and neighbourhoods.

    “Yes, and if a totalitarian regime did take over, one worth fighting such a war, such a weakness would be very unlikely. ”

    which is why we struggle now, and why the right to keep and bear arms is considered a canary in the coal mine, when the pols try to infringe it, watch out.

    ” I’m afraid the spirit of Jefferson and Henry is, if not dead, at least on life support.”

    In which case I am for damn sure keeping my guns, and getting more ammo for them.

  163. +Jessica Boxer
    I take it we can now put to bed the false claim that “Logistics win the war” ?

  164. However, for your militia, the guys who are fighting a guerrilla war against a large, heavily armed, well supplied government military, you need individuals who work well on their own or in tight groups. Who adapt well to situations, handle fubars well, and operate without centralized control. Who have abilities over a broad range of skill sets, who can endure through challenging and difficult situations and never give up. Who are experts in concealment, covert maneuver, intel gathering, and sabotage, and behind the lines operation.

    Yeah, you know who work well on their own or in tight groups, have to frequently adapt to situations, fubars and without centralized control? Who have to master a broad range of skills and endurance?

    FARMERS!

    You know who practices concealment, cover maneuvering, intel gathering, and sabotage in enemy territory?

    HUNTERS!

    So yes, farmboys (who are not infrequently hunters) will absolutely make the best raw material for special ops!

    Yes, but you need more than a couple of pistols and a shotgun to make an effective army. At the very least you need ammo, and as you point out, the best hope of success in such a war is to last a long time. So a basement full of ammo isn’t going to last. Making and capturing ammo make for big easy to defeat targets.

    ….

    Right, because when getting ammo, the last thing you would want is MORE. I mean sure you can make and capture ammo, but you know what? You’re going to have less ammo than the person who made and captured ammo AND had a basement full.

    That’s like saying, “You can’t become a millionaire if you have $500,000, you have to have a job!” Well true, but it’s FAR easier to become a millionaire if you start a job with $500,000 in your bank account than with $0.

    You and Winter also seem to be operating under Hollywood tactics, namely that if one can’t win the war with a single attack (blowing up the Death Star, for example), that some how it’s all fruitless. No, you’re both just idiots. You need to read up on the principles of hardening targets and other tactics. Arming citizenry isn’t hardening the population against government tyranny and increasing the odds in their favor if a civil war breaks out. No it won’t win the war, but when it comes to war, you don’t want to pass up even a 2% advantage in your favor.

    Also, you’re both laughably ignorant of just how much support staff a military requires. Look up how many hours of maintenance a fighter jet requires after just one hour of flight for just one example.

  165. Jessica, you are badass and worthy of nerd warrior status.

    You have correctly deduced that we have been losing a memetic and political war for several decades now and the hard-as-nails frontiersmen stereotype has become more of a myth than reality. We are lazy and obese because we have been affluent for too long. We are more herd than lone wolf because of relentless government paternalism and dependence indoctrination. We are living an illusion that the current generation is capable of replicating what the founders accomplished, or for that matter, even what the Greatest Generation did.

    Playing armchair general to a mythical civil insurrection is not the answer. It will be up to the relatively small (and largely anonymous) cadre of smart-strong to reverse the tide when the time comes. And the primary tool is between your ears.

  166. @TomA

    >We are more herd than lone wolf because of relentless government paternalism and dependence indoctrination.

    Actually, simply being rich does it on its own. Governmental-political stuff may add to it, but wealth and comfort suffices. That is the irony of capitalism: if it does the job it is expected to do well: makes the majority or at least a large minority middle class wealthy and comfortable, then it may kill the very virtues it needs to function, because all that comfort and luxury spoils and softens people.

    Look, it wasn’t government paternalism that came up with the idea of a Kraft TV dinner and cheap McMeals so that many people don’t even know how to cook anymore. It was the profit motive seeking to satisfy the desire of customers. And their desires, efficiently satisfied, turn them into lazy, spoiled people with low self-sufficiency, low survival skills and so on.

    This isn’t even new, the Greco-Roman world knew already that wealth, comfort, luxury spoils. This was actually their most important dilemma.

    Obviously, paternalism and suchlike can add a lot to it, but that is not the only, not the primary factor.

    It would be interesting how could one, at least in theory, “configure” a kind of wealthy-and-comfortable capitalism that doesn’t have this effect. I have no idea. Specialization and the division of labor are the major movers of capitalism and this means you do one thing only, you specialize like an insect (Heinlein), you make money with that and spend money on everything else instead of doing it yourself, so other people heat your house, prepare your food, paint your walls etc. because it is simply more cost-efficient that way.

    To the extent it did not happen yet is partially cultural, many a man would be too ashamed to not do any household repairs, many a woman would be too ashamed not to cook, still the capitalist market mechanism generally drives towards the extinction of self-reliance skills, drives towards everybody becoming a specialized insect without a wide range of experience, because it is way more cost-efficient that way, already Adam Smith discovered and more or less finalized the idea of how the division of labor works and I don’t think there are any serious economist arguments against that.

  167. Prev. comment continued: OTOH outsourcing fighting to professional bodyguards, police, soldiers and other people not doing it (“sheeple”) is a different case from the Adam-Smithian-division-of-labor stuff. The issue here is that the demand for fighters, soldiers, has huge fluctuations between total peacetime and world wars, and that requires different economics. Pre-WW2 German soldier-economics were actually a rational solution for that: they were allowed only a small army, so made sure that everybody is very highly qualified, and then they could later on very quickly inflate it because every grunt was able to be made a capable NCO and every NCO an officer.

    The way to deal with huge demand fluctuations is to keep your supply small but very quickly inflatable.

    This reasoning actually supports the non-specialized, militia, weekend-soldier case, or even the conscription case.

    But don’t expect capitalism to keep self-reliance alive in those kinds of things where demand does not fluctate much. In those things, division of labor logic, cost-efficiency rules supreme. There will be probably fewer and fewer people who can cook or erect a drywall. I am almost tempted to offer a bet regarding thisk.

  168. @Jay Maynard
    “I doubt strongly Winter could ever be trained to become a decent shooter. He wouldn’t be able to get over the squick of holding one of those OMG nasty eeeeevil instruments of DEATH!!!11!!!one!!!.”

    On the internet nobody knows you are a dog
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog

    Actually, I wonder how you get to distill this from my postings? I have never ever written anything even remotely suggesting that I fear fire-arms. Also, as an atheist, I never got the point of saying “OMG”.

    And to those who think logistics is “secondary” in war. The whole western front after D-day was in jeopardy because the allies were unable to capture the estuary of the Scheldt river in the Netherlands. As a result, the harbor of Antwerp was unusable and the troops could not be supplied. The whole operation came very close to a standstill due to lack of petrol.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Scheldt

    Oh, and the war in Iraq is dragging on because the USA is not willing to exterminate the Sunni population. There are good reasons not to try to exterminate the Sunnis in Iraq. The same with the Pathans in Afghanistan.

  169. Winter, your every post about guns concentrates on how evil and dangerous they are…so evil and dangerous that no right-thinking citizen needs one. That is the classic European hoplophobic attitude.

    And just as asymmetric warfare is asymmetric in tactics and weapons, so, too, is it asymmetric in logistics.

  170. @Winter

    And to those who think logistics is “secondary” in war. The whole western front after D-day was in jeopardy…

    We are not talking about conventional warfare. How, exactly, do you think the logistics of armored amphibious assault apply to armed, in place resistance against an occupying force?

    Oh, and the war in Iraq is dragging on because the USA is not willing to exterminate the Sunni population.

    And this effect is far more pronounced when an army is in action against it’s own people.

  171. @ Shenpen

    Laissez-faire capitalism is a chaotic natural process that mirrors the evolutionary stew of experience. Corporate capitalism is a hybrid between this type of chaos and a managed society. Democratic government is partial parasite and partial overlord. And finally, totalitarian government is rule by force, regardless of market feedback.

    Whereas corporate capitalism has its significant disadvantages and drivers, it’s power is largely persuasive (or perhaps coercive in some cases). Government, however, can become a runaway cancer that continues to aggrandize power and systemically perverts the market and corrupts its people. The latter is far more perilous and apt to degenerate rather than self-correct.

  172. How about the kind of acculturation to small unit tactics that participation in MMO games provides to the participants? I’m not saying that the counterstrike/battlefield/MMORPG-raid rope scenarios are going to make you a better shot, but they are going to inculcate the kind of small unit teamwork that Western-style infantry tactics is based on, and be even more valuable to a hypothetical American Guerrilla movement where chain of command is “undefined.”
    IIRC this was one of the reasons the US Army created and released a free team FPS.

    Also, the point of guerrilla warfare isn’t to win, it’s to not lose.

  173. >We are not talking about conventional warfare. How, exactly, do you think the logistics of armored amphibious assault apply to armed, in place resistance against an occupying force?

    Because he either doesn’t understand it well enough to put it in context and generalize, or he’s just fishing for historical examples and doesn’t care about the context.

  174. @cdb
    “How, exactly, do you think the logistics of armored amphibious assault apply to armed, in place resistance against an occupying force?”

    Read the link. This was the supply to the invasiin into Germany. That is, tanks and people fighting in Eastern Belgium.

    The same constraints defeat the defenders. They too need oil, munitions and food.

    But I understand that the basic assumption is that tha US army wont fire back. Yes, indeed, if the enemy refuses to fighr, you can win with only light arms.

    • >This just in [Europe’s Leading Rabbi: Jews Must Begin Carrying Guns], although it’s probably nothing.

      Ah, yes. At least one rabbi has learned the lesson of Kristallnacht.

  175. “Yes, indeed, if the enemy refuses to fighr, you can win with only light arms.”

    That’s why will trumps logistics.

    • >That’s why will trumps logistics.

      Or, as Napoleon put it, “In warfare, the moral is to the physical as three to one.” Which becomes yet more pointed if you realize that the Napoleonic army invented both moderm military logistics and the conscript military.

      Logistics dominates the warfare of set-piece battles between armies. This exactly the context in which civilian weapons are least effective. The armed civilian comes into his own in situations where the government behind the army has suffered a legitimacy collapse or its attempting to impose its will by occupation. In these situations insurgents can win by not losing – by incurring such a high political and morale cost that the army loses its will to fight.

  176. I will try to be helpful.

    >Read the link. This was the supply to the invasion into Germany. That is, tanks and people fighting in Eastern Belgium.

    To put logistics, and logistical needs in the proper context, ask ‘what was the strategic goal of the Allies? What aim were they trying to achieve by fighting?’

    They were trying to put paid to the Third Reich by invading and conquering Germany, and liberate various occupied nations along the way.

    Next you ask things like ‘What obstacles were they likely to face in attempting to achieve their goals? How were they going to overcome those obstacles? I.e. what forces were they able to use? What forces would they need to use? How would they employ them?’

    You answer all those questions, you’ll get a general idea of your logistical needs. You look at your actual logistical capabilities, and you’ll get some idea of what kind of operations you can conduct, where and when.

    Trying to conquer territory by taking it away from a large and committed enemy army, that is modern and reasonably well equipped and probably man-for-man tactically superior to your own… you’re going to need serious mechanized firepower to succeed. Which is going to have extremely heavy logistical demands.

    >The same constraints defeat the defenders. They too need oil, munitions and food.

    In that particular scenario, ask all those same questions as the Germans. The German forces on the whole actually had substantially lower logistical requirements than the Allies. Which was fortunate for them, because their logistical infrastructure consisted of horse-drawn wagons from the nearest railhead.

    I’ll point out that light infantry have substantially different capabilities, and also substantially different logistical requirements, than heavy forces (armor, mechanized infantry, etc). In particular, you should note that light infantry are going to have much lower demands for POL.

    It’s not all the same, it’s not all about logistics alone. Logistics is critically important, but it must be taken in context. And what is critical about logistics is have *enough* of it, not having a lot of it. Enough of it for the way you intend to fight, in order to defeat your particular opponent in a particular time and place.

  177. @JIm Richardson
    > I take it we can now put to bed the false claim that “Logistics win the war” ?

    Sorry, a lot of TL;DR going on here, but no, certainly not. If it is your opinion that the claim “Logistics win the war” somehow means “In every case logistics is the only thing that matters” then you would be reading things way to literally.

    Logistics is generally speaking the decisive factor in wars. However, there are some special cases, specifically when the good guys have overwhelming logistics, and the bad guys feel that that justifies them in doing particularly horrible things. So perhaps in your little war against tyranny, if you were willing to do horrible things you could be successful, but that is just replacing one tyranny against another. Irrespective of that more general point the broader point remains unanswered. What exactly do you plan to do when you run out of bullets, or food? What do you plan to do when the enemy both has overwhelming logistics and were prepared to do evil things? We need to think of Vichy France here. Did the French resistance hurt the Nazis? Yes they did, but they did nothing even approaching defeating the enemy. The French were oppressed up until the day the Americans and other Allies rescued them with, you guessed it, vastly superior logistics.

    It is no doubt true that in the history of warfare there are exceptions. However, as I mentioned before, the Falklands war was a military miracle. But not because of any special tactics, or unusually brilliant fighting, most of that was professional, well executed, and largely perfunctory. No, it was a miracle above of all logistics.

    @Nate Winchester
    > FARMERS!
    > HUNTERS!

    That does make sense Nate except for the fact that according to the article I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t ACTUALLY correspond to the reality of what happens. Apparently high school athletes are the primary source. So my common sense would agree with you here, however, like you, I don’t know squat, so I’d rather take the word of the people who actually do.

    > That’s like saying, “You can’t become a millionaire if you have $500,000, you have to have a job!” Well true, but it’s FAR easier to become a millionaire if you start a job with $500,000 in your bank account than with $0.

    This is a false analogy. A better analogy would be: you want to build a mansion? Sure you are better off starting with $50 rather than $0. In truth you really aren’t. Instead of pretending that $50 is “at least something” you need to start out with the realization that your initial goal is unrealistic and you need to find a better way.

    > You and Winter also seem to be operating under Hollywood tactics, namely that if one can’t win the war with a single attack (blowing up the Death Star, for example),

    Actually the opposite. Civilians with guns can no doubt pull off attacks something like that, but the real problem is that they run out of materiel. So my problem is the idea that such a resistance can take much action for much time at all. Logistics, at its very heart, is about the ability to endure. So you are in fact projecting.

    > No it won’t win the war, but when it comes to war, you don’t want to pass up even a 2% advantage in your favor.

    Ah, but you are missing the key point which is this: you should never start a war you can’t win. If the odds of you winning are 1%, and a few small arms make it 3%, is that materially better? Nope. It is an indication that you need to find a strategy that does not involved war.

    > Also, you’re both laughably ignorant of just how much support staff a military requires

    I have no idea what if anything I have said that would lead you to that conclusion.

  178. @Jessica Boxer

    “In every case logistics is the only thing that matters”
    That is not what I thought you were saying. I thought you were saying that you must have superior logistics to the enemy, to win. Which is obviously not the case.

    In either case, logistics are important, and bad logistics can lose you the war. But if you have a choice between will to win, and logistics, pick the will. You *can’t* win without the will, you can win without the logistics.

  179. Hmmm…as usual (with these kinds of discussions), lots of armchair commandos trying trying to make points they are unqualified to make.

    Hands up all of you that have actually had militia training…and know what you’re talking about, rather than just bullshitting over the intertubes.

    That’s what I thought.

    This thread == big fucking waste of time.

  180. The rapid evolution of technology is profoundly changing nearly every aspect of human existence, and consequently predicting future events and scenarios is extremely problematic. Applying the lessons of the past to a presumptive future tyranny is also risky and uncertain. What will come, will come. And possessing a nimble and open mind may be your best asset.

    As a example, history teaches us that logistics does matter (particularly in major conventional wars), and any commander would be foolish to ignore this lesson. But in Vietnam, we had the superior military, excellent logistics, and air supremacy; and nevertheless, a lack of political leadership (will to win) resulted in a retreat without victory.

    None of this is to suggest that a rebel uprising will likely defeat a future tyrant (Star Wars trope), but simply that the future will be new and likely quite surprising.

  181. @Dan
    > lots of armchair commandos trying trying to make points they are unqualified to make.

    Just a thought for you Dan. I see a consistent pattern in your dialog where, when you are not convincing your interlocutor, or perhaps when you grow weary of the argument, you have a tendency to say “you all are unqualified to make this argument”, sometimes in a rude way, sometimes not.

    Me? I think an argument stands or falls on its own merits, irrespective of whether it is presented by a moron or a genius.

    > This thread == big fucking waste of time.

    Who made you king to decide what other people consider a useful pastime. If you think it is a big waste of time, why are you still here? Me? I think it has been interesting and recreational.

  182. Yes Jessica, it is weariness.

    As wonderful & insightful as this forum is (much, much higher than most), and as much as I enjoy your contributions as well as many others’ … whenever we have these 2nd Amendment-oriented discussions, there are a few interesting comments, but still mostly the same bullshit I can find in tedious abundance on the intertubes.

    I am not king, am not deciding anything for anybody…just calling it as I see it. BFD.

  183. It’s very hard to overcome the (as Eric put it) ‘smartest person in the room’ fallacy. Where people tend to assume they’re the smartest person in the room, they know all that’s worth knowing already, etc. As I put it, people with ‘unknown unknown issues’.

    As hard as it is to get through a thick skull, you never succeed by just calling someone an idiot. You just might (unlikely, but unlikely is better than absolutely not) succeed by teaching them something they didn’t know. Then they might realize there’s some there there, and maybe pick up a book… Who knows.

    (No expert here, but I am a satellite member of the gun culture and have studied history and military history and war-related topics some, as soldiering is a bit of a family tradition particularly on my father’s side.)

  184. @whodat? – not sure I understand your question. “Choke Point” has been revealed to be a rather cynical, low-down POS initiative pushed by the DoJ to hamstring the banking world’s provision of normal business credit & services to the firearm industry.

    Quite frankly, given the shitkicker caliber of the current administration, when I heard about it, I was utterly unsurprised. It was almost an expected revelation.

  185. @Greg – Nicely put, sir.

    Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be the smartest person in a bucket of sardines…I have an IQ you could re-sole shoes with ;)

    • >Would guns have helped the poor jews in the Third Reich? I really don’t think so.

      The Nazis thought it would. And the Jews proved them right to worry at the Warsaw Ghetto.

  186. The Nazis thought it would. And the Jews proved them right to worry at the Warsaw Ghetto.

    In Germany the jews were very much part of the fabric of the society they lived in and they were living scattered all over the place, whereas in Warsaw and many other places in Poland, they were living in their own more or less self-sustained communities. The jews in Germany would have had no chance even if they had been armed like the Barrow-gang, because they were a minority woven into the fabric of a society where the overwhelming majority hated them.

    • >The jews in Germany would have had no chance even if they had been armed like the Barrow-gang, because they were a minority woven into the fabric of a society where the overwhelming majority hated them.

      I repeat: the Nazis behaved as though they believed armed Jews could successfully resist what they had planned. You, eighty years after the fact, are in no position to second-guess that judgment.

      Also, anti-Semitism does not in fact seem to have been an “overwhelming majority” position in Germany. One index of this is that the Nazis had enough trouble recruiting Germans for Einsatzgruppen that they came to lean heavily on recruits from areas where anti-Semitism was much more virulent – Latvia being a particularly notorious example.

  187. Also, anti-Semitism does not in fact seem to have been an “overwhelming majority” position in Germany.

    The majority of German were surely not anti-Semites from the outset, but they gradually became so because of the massive propaganda and enormous political pressure to bash the jews. They became anything ranging from active participants, to abetters or passive bystanders. If this were not so, the Holocaust simply would not have been possible. There were not many Schindlers in Germany. Then you are saying that the Nazis believed that armed jews could successfully resist die Endlösung. Where is the documentation that they thought so? If it is in the book, then there must be a reference that you might quote.

  188. “There are no dangerous weapons –
    only dangerous men.”. – USMC

    I’m reminded of a story told by a retired SEAL I know. As he tells it, in the early days of SERE (I think sometime in the 1970s), one of the components was to put trainees through a POW camp with conditions resembling that in a VC resort. The Navy put a group of 5 or 6 SEALs from the same team into the camp simultaneously, separated, disarmed, in restraints, and forbidden from communicating with other prisoners. Within 48 hours the SEALs had, with no fatal injuries to anyone, captured the entire camp, including the armed guards and command staff.

  189. The Nazis believed civilian firearms could threaten the state because civilian firearms actually could threaten the state in 1942.

    That is no longer true in 2014!

    • >That is no longer true [that civilian firearms can threaten the state] in 2014!

      You’ll have a hard time finding any military planner who agrees with you on that.

  190. Or 2015. For those who remember what year it is. (Really need to enable the comment editing feature.)

  191. I’m very skeptical that even thousands of Americans armed with civilian firearms could do squat vs one B-1B bomber, for example.

    Maybe act as terrorists, take some hostages, be a general nuisance, sure, maybe. But overthrow the government? No way.

    You have already lost your right to bear arms. Arms that matter, anyway. Unless you are wielding high altitude, precision bombers, drones, and possible nukes, you aren’t even playing the game.

    • >You have already lost your right to bear arms. Arms that matter, anyway. Unless you are wielding high altitude, precision bombers, drones, and possible nukes, you aren’t even playing the game.

      Read the backscroll on this. You are terribly ignorant, and I don’t have time to fix it right now.

  192. Harumph, disappointing. I’m scrolling through but not finding anything very relevant.

    Could your civilian-firearms army make a little stand and have some effect on popular opinion? Yes. Could you storm NORAD and literally overthrow the government? No way.

    I’m pro-gun rights, but this thread is a good example of why mainstream Americans think libertarians are a bunch of wackos. Liberals don’t want gun control so they can oppress you. They are worried about gun accidents etc.

  193. @Shawn Yarbrough
    “Liberals don’t want gun control so they can oppress you. They are worried about gun accidents etc.”

    Then they are worrying well under 1000 accidental deaths a year, in a nation of >310million people, with 80+ million gun owners. (and that number has been falling for decades) You think they’d have more sense. Hell, hernia’s kill more each year than die in firearms accidents.

    Either your assertion is in error, or ‘liberals’ are some pretty paranoid folk.

  194. Swahn is begging the questions of “What is the state?” and “How can it be threatened?” Not to mention “Will the US military support a state that must be overthrown?”

    (There’s some other issues, starting with the US military has next to no heavy armor/equipment stored in-country; and the primary US Heavy Armored formation in-country is in TX. I have some issues with Col Kratman’s premise and characters in A State of Disobedience, but the issues facing the federal government in the novel are not exaggerated).

  195. Avoiding sloshy philosophical questions, I assert there is no frickkin way any rebel army armed only with civilian firearms can win a real, sustained fight with the U.S. military. The 2nd amendment was designed with the idea that angry villagers could march up the hill with their guns and demand that a tyrant resign.

    You have already lost your 2nd amendment right in that sense. An evil president with some amount of public support could sit in a bunker and pick off rebels casually as if it were a video game. They’d never even see the drone or bomber that killed them.

    A *really* desperate government would simply nuke the rebels and paint them as terrorists in the press, possibly framing them for the nuke detonation in the process.

    The world has changed since WW2.

  196. You are still begging the question of whether the military will follow the orders of the tyrant; or even that they will act monolithically – something that didn’t even happen in the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s been mentioned (perhaps in this thread, I forget) that the police forces are analogous to the “standing armies” that the Framers feared; and they are rather more likely to be instruments of oppression. But they’re not nearly so well equipped

  197. “A *really* desperate government would simply nuke the rebels and paint them as terrorists in the press, possibly framing them for the nuke detonation in the process.”

    The govt could nuke someone, and try and blame the disarmed rebels, but who would believe them? and how would it be worse for the rebels if they were armed instead of unarmed?

    How many cities do you think the “*really* desperate government” would be willing to nuke?

    “The world has changed since WW2.”

    People are the same. That’s what’s important.

  198. “I assert there is no frickkin way any rebel army armed only with civilian firearms can win a real, sustained fight with the U.S. military.”

    Which is a very good reason to not get into one. Which is why the operational focus of irregular units is geared around asymmetric conflict. Some aspects of which involve ‘civilian firearms’

  199. > who would believe them?

    Everybody, or close to it. We are talking about a tyrant. In a technologically-sophisticated world. This is a situation that has never existed before.

    > People are the same.

    We are within a decade or two of the government being able to track the location of every single person in North America in real time 24/7/365, if not the world, if they can’t do it already, which is a remote but plausible possibility.

    This is not WW2. Wake up. Imagine a network of military weapon systems which can’t be stolen and used by rebels. If someone tries, the government remotely shuts down the equipment.

    I’m all for gun rights but I’m not going to pretend it is still 1776. If we are going to solve the problems of our society, we are going to have to face them, not stick our heads in the sand and pretend that the government is afraid of our M-16 rifles.

  200. @Shawn Yarbrough
    “Everybody, or close to it. We are talking about a tyrant.”
    Not even close.

    Yes, technology changes, people remain the same.

  201. Shawn, have you read the discussion earlier on this post?! We’ve been around this. A toe-to-toe fight is something our armed citizenry would lose, granted…but it’s also not what is needed, or would happen. Think asymmetric conflict.

    The Community Organizer-in-Chief may not fear the citizens’ AR-15s. (Citizens don’t have M-16s.) I guarandamntee you the Army does.

  202. Think of it this way. If deer were sentient, armed, and could shoot back; image how the hunting experience would be different.

    That is why a tyrannical government desires a disarmed citizenry.

  203. @Shawn Yarbrough

    B1 bombers and other assorted weaponry are irrelevant.

    The historian Ted Fehrenbach said that you can fly over a territory. You can bomb it into the stone age. You do not own it until you stand 17 year old with a rifle on it.

  204. >The Community Organizer-in-Chief may not fear the citizens’ AR-15s. (Citizens don’t have M-16s.) I guarandamntee you the Army does.

    And the NYPD and the Chicago PD, etc. And yes, every bureaucrat, everywhere. We have no shortage of examples of governments below the national level here in the US disarming it’s citizenry in order to make them more tractable. (Look up the Sullivan Act some time.)

    It is a strawman bordering on the shamefully mendacious, or the utterly retarded, to suggest that the only way privately owned firearms in the US could (and HAVE, look up the Battle of Athens again) counter governmental misuse and abuse of power would be in an all-out fight against the US Army.

  205. I’d also like to point out that somebody is showing an amazing lack of understanding of continuum of force, proportionality, and probably game theory as well.

    Why does a nation that possesses nuclear weapons even bother to have any forces other than nuclear weapons? Why are those non-nuclear weapons still valid and useful?

  206. Shawn, for hypothetical purposes, I will temporarily grant you the claim that the world has changed, and that we cannot take on a government equipped with bombers, nukes, and data centers.

    Does this mean that having arms is irrelevant? Well, no: because that said government could collapse, or descend into a quagmire of corruption, and we may be left fending for ourselves, defending ourselves against roving gangs–some of which (as in Mexico), are made up of soldiers who defected, and took their guns with them.

    Now, I will take away my grant, and address the other issue you brought up. First, how would any government be able to nuke one of its own cities, or carpet bomb a city with B1 bombers, be able to sustain that kind of war against its own armed citizens? If a President were to start doing that, is it all that difficult to imagine ten million, or even just one million, citizens descending onto the capitol to dismantle the government? Will the President carpet bomb or nuke the capitol? And will the army, which itself cosists of (if I recall correctly) 1 million people worldwide, but only a fraction of that is active at any one time, be a match for such a force?

    Perhaps you’re right: the President would lure such people in to Washington, DC, just to nuke them. But even nuking 10 million people will only take out a fraction of the civilian militia that owns weapons. And the more the President acts in this matter, the angier the remaining citizens will become.

    Is this really a sane way to conduct a civil war? If not, then arms among a determined citizenry will be effective against our military.

  207. There’s this assumption that the last time rifles in the hands of civilians prevented tyranny was in the Battle of Athens in the 1940s. I remember a case being made, however, that after what happened to the Branch Davidians in Waco, the militia movement was particularly sensitive about making sure that such events didn’t happen again; when other government standoffs occurred after that, the Federal government had to take into consideration that they would be facing armed local militia members as much as they would be facing the group they are standing off against. There is evidence that this, in turn, caused the Federal government to be much more careful when working with rogue groups.

  208. @ Greg – “probably game theory as well.”

    These scenarios have already been studied (and continue to be studied) using Game Theory based models. There is extensive insight into probable modes of tyranny evolution in the US and various responses; including civil uprising contingencies. There is also a significant understanding of the resistance modes that work best under differing methods of government suppression. To play this game seriously, you have to be looking several steps ahead. This is the domain of the hacker, BTW.

  209. >These scenarios have already been studied (and continue to be studied) using Game Theory based models. There is extensive insight into probable modes of tyranny evolution in the US and various responses; including civil uprising contingencies. There is also a significant understanding of the resistance modes that work best under differing methods of government suppression. To play this game seriously, you have to be looking several steps ahead. This is the domain of the hacker, BTW.

    I was vaguely aware of such existing but do not know of them directly. But I do once recall reading an analysis based on game theory of the military situation in Europe in the early 80’s dealing with why (in response to substantial deployments by the Soviets of new weapons of a new class) deployment of Pershing II’s to Europe was needed to relive pressure that could lead to the US nuclear umbrella over Europe collapsing.

    Having different levels of force available such that you are able to reply with an appropriate and proportional level of force (enough to deal with the issue at hand, and not too much more) is surprisingly important. Nobody sane would respond to a paper cut with a nuke, and if all you have is nukes the other guys WILL paper cut you to death. With a certainty. Lots of (paper cut level) injustice short of pitched battles against the US army that private firearms are quite appropriate to deal with.

  210. Anyway, Shawn’s argument is rather typical of the mendacity that gun owners have started to get really tired of dealing with. It often goes like this:

    1) Imagine some worst case scenario that an individual firearm owner will not be able to deal with.
    2) Therefore it follows that individually owned firearms are completely useless for anything.
    3) From that it follows that, since they’re so useless nobody needs them.
    4) And from that it follows that your ‘superiors’ are therefore justified in taking away those worthless things you didn’t need anyway.

    Every single step is based on fiction, fallacies and outright lies. It gets tiresome. In this case he only hinted at step (4), see quote below, but everything else was dead-on.

    >Liberals don’t want gun control so they can oppress you. They are worried about gun accidents etc.

    • >Liberals don’t want gun control so they can oppress you.

      Having met Shawn, I believe this is merely naivete talking rather than evil dissembling.

      Here’s a hint, Shawn: Usually, when we’ve heard talk like this in the past, it has in fact turned out to be evil dissembling. That experience has made us twitchy.

  211. >Having met Shawn, I believe this is merely naivete talking rather than evil dissembling.

    >Here’s a hint, Shawn: Usually, when we’ve heard talk like this in the past, it has in fact turned out >to be evil dissembling. That experience has made us twitchy.

    I believe it, because on further reflection there’s a step that the evil dissemblers *always* include, that he didn’t. It’s between what I listed as (3) and (4):

    3)(a) Since we’ve just proven nobody needs them, there is no possible justification for owning them.

  212. Just looked over Winter’s link (way above):

    Gun Control (Europe) vs. Out of Control (United States)
    http://transatlantic-magazine.com/gun-control-europe-vs-out-of-control-united-states/

    This article is wrong in so many ways. It compares gun deaths in absolute numbers regardless of the cause and not ”per capita” (i.e per 10.000 or per 100.000 as necessary for correct statistical evaluation. It does not differ between legally held and illegal guns.

    The US has a population of about 300 million, Germany has 80 million, France 65 million, Norway 5 million. One cannot compare gun-deaths in countries without comparing population, gun laws, numbers of guns and numbers of persons who hold these guns – plus a couple of other facts like homogeneity of the society, political, economic and social factors, etc.

    For example: None of the european countries have such an outrageous gang-culture like the US does. Shure, there are gangs but they cannot be compared to the extreme conditions happening in the US. We just don’t have gangs like Bloods, Crips, etc. The EU gangsters use illegal arms as the criminals in the US do. These numbers never show up in any statistics. Legal guns are seldom used in committing a crime.

    Maybe someone can provide statistics for crimes committed by criminals with illegal guns and criminals with legal obtained guns. This would be helpful. Also interesting would be a comparison of the numbers of legal and illegal guns in any country. I know, this is impossible bc there are no reputable numbers and never will be ;-)

    Next there is the number of suicides with guns. Suicide is not caused by possession of a gun. The numbers do not even correlate in different countries or states. Suicide happens – with or without guns. The US numbers of suicides are average compared with the statistics of european countries.

    True is … there is much more crime (and gun crime) in the US than in Europe. This has not so much to do with the guns but with social, racial, economic and educational factors.

    I don’t know if my numbers are correct, but for the US I have app. 20,000 gun suicides, about 9,000 gang-related gun-deaths and about 1,000 cases where legal guns where counted in for mishandling, crimes or accidents.

    There are about 300 million US citizens and about 500 million EU citizens. Take away the suicides and strictly gang-related gun crimes (which are very rare in the EU) you will find, that the situation in the US is not so different from the EU. Yes – about 1,000 cases – give or take. Every single case is tragic but over all it’s marginal.

    Lowering the number of accidents can be a bit improved by mandatory gun safety training. (Ignore that paper by the CDC. It’s brimming with statistical faults and assumptions). But training with a tool should be common sense.

    BTW: British gun laws prohibited possession of guns for indigenous people in India. Have a look what Mohandas Gandhi had to say about this:

    “… Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.” – M.K. Gandhi, The Doctrine of the Sword

  213. SF – well said.

    Also, a factor that is *always* overlooked is that the legal framework in the US is very different than these other EU nations.

    They have a uniform national set of laws related to firearms. We have a State-by-State patchwork of law. Great effort is being expended to try to ‘harmonize’ such laws – the most notable current example is the spread of ‘preemption’ laws in many States (that prevent localities from enacting laws/ordinances etc that are any more restrictive than State law – ie. State law overrides all).

    If we look at the US as a collection of little countries (States), and look at the distribution of firearm ownership alongside the firearm legislation in each ‘country’, and overlay this with the firearm homicide data…we start to notice interesting things.

    You see, the EU nations always get to trot out the fallacious “crime would be worse without our gun laws” line….whereas here in the US, we have 50 little laboratories (States) that we can study the differential effects of various types of gun laws. And the results point very clearly in a particular direction.

    More guns does not equal more crime.
    More guns does not equal more suicide.
    ‘Gun control’ does more harm than good.
    Concealed Carry has a crime-lowering effect.

    We have ‘hotspots’ in the US where the violence – esp gun violence – and related homicide is drastically higher. Invariably, these are ‘gun control’ zones, or ‘gun free’ zones, and are usually densely populated – with a strong correlation with black population. When we statistically control for these ‘hotspots’, we see that our experiences are not so different from Europe’s.

  214. Dan et al.: if I had to demonstrate the diversity in firearms legal frameworks from state to state (or even within a state), do any of you know of an online resource somewhere that gathers this information? For example, a starting point would be a chart that shows each state, and whether it has CC (shall issue, may issue, etc.). Wikipedia has a fairly well-organized table for exactly this, in its article for US CC; it also has a lengthy article on gun laws in the US by state. In either case, I don’t know how often these articles are updated, whether there’s another source that’s more maintained, and nothing’s standing out as a primary source in the references lists.

  215. Add Cuba to the list. The regime previous to Castro registered the guns. When Castro came in, his confiscation work was simplified.

  216. We have to move heaven and earth to own even a “non-lethal” weapon in Romania. I’ve been trying for 4 years to no avail. Of course with a few well-placed bribes I would have one in no time but would risk being in prison longer than if I killed someone.

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