A good many TPOL readers have hopefully read and benefited from Larry’s five-part article at the JPFO website, which begins here: “An opinion on gun control – Part 1” Larry is an excellent fiction writer with a personal history that reminds me of Heinlein’s and L’Amour’s; he may not test out as high as a libertarian as I wish, but he still has a lot of common sense and knowledge about weapons, fighting, and people.
His discussion on this part interested me quite a bit. My comments are italic:
“So let’s talk about confiscation.
“They say that there are 80 million gun owners in America. I personally think that number is low for a few reasons. The majority of gun owners I know, when contacted for a phone survey and asked if they own guns, will become suspicious and simply lie. Those of us who don’t want to end like England or Australia will say that we lost all of our guns in a freak canoe accident.
Nathan: Well, his numbers seem low to me, as well. Then, maybe low numbers are best to use to calculate as he does. And because we don’t want to scare and panic the hoplophobes and hoploclasts into a premature revolution.
“Guns do not really wear out. I have perfectly functioning guns from WWI, and I’ve got friends who have still useable firearms from the 1800s. Plus we’ve been building more of them this entire time. There are more guns than there are people in America, and some of us have enough to arm our entire neighborhood.
I understand the estimated quantity is 340 million, and again, think that this number is low. Although he doesn’t touch on it, I do not see how anyone can ban manufacturing guns using 3-d printers – not that there are not thousands of shops with the ability to make weapons. I don’t know what he exactly means by “entire neighborhood,” but I know there are people who can arm at least a platoon; a LOT more that can arm a squad.
But for the sake of math, let’s say that there are only 80 million gun owners, and let’s say that the government decides to round up all those pesky guns once and for all. Let’s be generous and say that 90% of the gun owners don’t really believe in the 2nd Amendment, and their guns are just for duck hunting. Which is what politicians keep telling us, but is actually rather hilarious when you think about how the most commonly sold guns in America are the same detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles I talked about earlier.
Although he is saying 90%, I fear that it will be more like 95% that will roll over.
So ten percent refuse to turn their guns in. That is 8 million instantaneous felons. Let’s say that 90% of them are not wanting to comply out of sheer stubbornness. Let’s be super generous and say that 90% of them would still just roll over and turn their guns when pressed or legally threatened. That leaves 800,000 Americans who are not turning their guns in, no matter what. To put that in perspective there are only about 700,000 police officers in the whole country.
I guess I can agree with this reduction. This 800,000 sounds about right, although depending on the conditions and exact circumstances, the number could be as high as 3,000,000 (1%). But as he discusses below, some of these 800,000 include at least SOME of the cops.
Let’s say that these hypothetical 10% of 10% are willing to actually fight to keep their guns. Even if my hypothetical estimate of 800,000 gun nuts willing to fight for their guns is correct, it is still 97% higher than the number of insurgents we faced at any one time in Iraq, a country about the size of Texas.
The comparison is not that good, in my opinion: the average insurgent in Iraq was used to a far more austere style of living, and more committed to their cause. And they were in a population that was, at least neutral. Here, I think that too many of the population (not even a large minority, but enough) would be willing to support a war of extermination against gun owners.
However, I do honestly believe that it would be much bigger than 10%. Once the confiscations turned violent, then it would push many otherwise peaceful people over the edge. I saw somebody on Twitter post about how the 2nd Amendment is stupid because my stupid assault rifles are useless against drones … That person has obviously never worked with the people who build the drones, fly the drones, and service the drones. I have. Where to you think the majority of the US military falls on the political spectrum exactly? There’s a reason Mitt Romney won the military vote by over 40 points, and it wasn’t because of his hair.
He is saying MORE than thirty million? I just don’t know. In many states, yes – but would Wyoming go as high as 20 or 25% to offset Massachusetts or Maryland with their 1%? As for military, I realize he is simplifying things. We have several things here regarding drones.
(1) It only takes 1 or 2 people in a squadron to render the OR rate of the drones to zero. But that is a brute force approach, and would quickly lead to purges and arrests, even executions.
(2) More likely would be a really significant decline in efficiency, of not being able to find targets or flying on the margins of the envelope to cause more aircraft losses by crashes or making the UAVs too vulnerable to ground fire.
(3) Even more likely might be “lost” aircraft falling into insurgent hands, or even entire equipment sets disappearing.
(4) The number of “blue-on-blue” attacks would also be very likely to climb
The question would be how many people in the military simply resign immediately when the military starts fighting this domestic war, versus those who stay in with the intent of degrading the operations and seeking to pull more people with them when they resign. I still fear that this will not be as high a number as he thinks: 10-20% Too many are products of the degraded and contaminated training and environment of the last two decades.
It is the same thing with the population as a whole: I think a lot of people will play ostrich and hope it all blows over. And a lot more people will hunker down (and bunker up) and wait for things to settle down.
And as for those 700,000 cops, how many of them would side with the gun owners? All the gun nuts, that’s for sure. As much as some people like to complain about the gun culture, many of the people you hire to protect you, and darn near all of them who can shoot well, belong to that gun culture. And as I hear people complain about the gun industry, like it is some nebulous, faceless, all powerful corporate thing which hungers for war and anarchy, I just have to laugh, because the gun industry probably has the highest percentage of former cops and former military of any industry in the country. My being a civilian was odd in the circles I worked in. The men and women you pay to protect you have honor and integrity, and they will fight for what they believe in.
He does not take into account that you can be a gun nut and STILL be a tyrannical, statist monster. Much as I wish, the percentage of cops would be even less than military: 5-10%. And I DO hope that my brothers and sisters in arms WILL take the honorable route of standing up for liberty and for what we were taught the Constitution meant, and NOT roll over the way, say, the Wehrmacht did in 1933-45. But I am not so optimistic as Larry, I fear.
So the real question the anti-gun, ban and confiscate, crowd should be asking themselves is this, how many of your fellow Americans are you willing to have killed in order to bring about your utopian vision of the future?”
The hoploclasts DON’T CARE how many they kill. The stupid ones are going to refuse to think that anyone will be killed except those that are “really bad, evil people,” and the smart ones figure that they can use this as an excuse to kill all they want figuring that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. After all, they are willing to condemn millions to die around the world; what matters a couple or five or ten million here?
Or even 30 million: after all the Russians, the Chinese, the Cambodians – even the Nazis! were willing to shed 10% of the population to achieve their goals. Even France was willing to kill off 4% of its population in the Revolution (1 million of an estimated 4 million in combat deaths and executions). I can well imagine the Tranzis willing to kill three to twelve million of us: especially given their environist posturings. After all, nits make lice.