Tomorrow is the big day

There is lots of chatter on the expected news tomorrow:

I agree with those that say, in essence, the U.S. Supreme Court cannot be counted to rule in any rational fashion. They will rule however they want to rule without regard to original intent. Oh, they will find something someplace to hang their decision on but they will have no qualms about putting on the blinders and steadfastly ignore data that disagree with how they want to rule.

At the end of the day (figuratively speaking, literally it will be next spring), the question is what will people do if we are ruled against. Uncle says, “Then, giddy up.” Armed Canadian says he would expect the NRA to engage in its biggest fund raising drive in history. Sebastian says it will motivate people in the short term and then the RKBA will gently fade away.

One alternative is a constitution convention as discussed in the comments to Kevin’s post. Yeah, right. Our country completely and totally abandoned the enumerated powers model of the constitution during the Roosevelt administration. There wasn’t enough outrage then to do a constitutional convention and the loss of just one amendment that is only exercised by something like 40% of the population won’t meet the bar.

Going back to the revolutionary war we find that only about one third of the population were in favor of revolt against the tyrant King George. Another one third was opposed and one third were uncommitted. So, based on that model a case could be made that enough outraged gun owners might be able to pull off an illegal action of some sort.

I’d like to imagine there would be some sort Unintended Consequences revolt to the decision but from talking to many gun owners I know that won’t happen. I know of three different FFL holders that were outspoken defenders of the RKBA and told of how if they ever gave up their FFL they would have a “mysterious fire” and all the 4473s would be tragically lost. When it came down to it, all of them turned them over to the ATF with only a mild whimper. Another person was exceedingly outspoken about how strongly they believed in their right to free speech and the RKBA. It wasn’t even government action, merely pressure from potential investors and employers that convinced them to take their blog offline.

Several years ago one IPSC shooter I know was complaining about the stupid gun laws and how wrong they were. I asked, “So what will you do when your guns are declared illegal and you are told to turn them in? What will you do?” He gave me a confused look and said in a tone that indicated that he thought I was insane to even ask such a stupid question, “I’ll turn them over. I’ll complain, but I’ll turn them over.”

Who do you know that has actually followed through on some illegal activity in pursuit of securing liberty for future generations? Okay, if they are smart they won’t tell anyone they broke law. So lets reword that a little bit; Who do you suspect may have broken the law in pursuit of securing liberty for future generations? I’ll bet you can count them all on the fingers of one hand with several fingers left over.

When talking to one outspoken (in private) gun owner and former Special Forces guy about this he explained that the conditions for revolution is a well known science. IIRC he told me there are five stages to this. Until the people are in stage four there is no point even pushing people in that direction. Our country is, at most, in something like stage 1.5. I tried to push for more, what are the stages? How do you measure them? But he claimed it was too many years ago and he didn’t remember.

In the darkest days of the Clinton administration gun rights leaders were privately saying they were merely fighting a delaying action. The war was lost and they were merely fighting on to postpone the inevitable. One evening after attending a public hearing in which the city council discussed destroying confiscated guns rather than “turned them loose on the streets to kill again” (sell them to local gun shops) I found myself alone in the parking lot with a gun rights leader. I asked what about a revolution? What will it take for people to say, “You have gone too far. This cannot be tolerated.”? He told me it would never happen. If for no other reason than other countries would not allow us to have a revolution. The U.S. is just too important to the world economy for the other countries to tolerate a civil war. If nothing else they would starve us of critical materials that would shut us down. Embargoes would hurt us so badly that no one would be willing to take the hit in their lifestyles for the sake of their guns and liberty.

The bottom line is that I think Kevin and Sebastian are right. This is for all the marbles. If we lose, then that’s it man, game over man, game over.

Update 11/13/2007: Today isn’t the day after all. I’m reminded of the Emerson decision that took something like a year and a half to be decided when most cases were decided in a few months.

14 thoughts on “Tomorrow is the big day

  1. Mr. Huffman:

    I don’t believe that it would be a revolution…it would simply be individuals who have decided that the line that they drew in the sand has been crossed, and will not accept any more tyranny.

    My wife’s family comes from Poland, with an admixture of Lithuanian/Russian. They are Jews. One of her family members did extensive research on the village from which they came to the United States at the turn of the century. It had been, for hundreds of years, a “Jewish” village in Poland. It had been subjected to countless decimations of its people by the pogroms of both the Russian and Polish governments/troops and peoples.

    Today, the ONLY surviving members of the entire village are represented by the people who were able to emigrate to the United States in the early 1900’s…everyone else was killed during the Holocaust. In the village, there is no trace that it was ever a Jewish community. The land titles were destroyed, the synagogues burned to the ground, and the original inhabitants moved out to either ghettos, or directly to the extermination camps. It is known that both the Germans and the Poles participated in these actions, but no one in the village today will even acknowledge that it was ever Jewish.

    Partially as a result of this, my wife has very strong views on the right to keep and bear arms. When she was a young girl, her father taught her to shoot a .22 rifle, telling her, “NEVER give up your guns. When they come for you, at least you can take some of them with you when you die.” I can’t argue with that sentiment. One of the primary reasons that the Germans were able to implement the Holocaust was that they had disarmed their victims long before implementing their actual destruction.

    My wife and I have drawn our line in the sand. If the federal, state, or local government ever decides that our (previously) legally acquired and kept firearms are now unlawful, they will have to come and try to take them. Will we successfully carry out a point-defense of our house against even a tiny modicum of governmental firepower? Of course not. But we have decided that, when push comes to shove, that is where our government will have ceased to provide any protection of the rights of the individual, and is now comprised of forces which are actively destroying the rights of the individual, and we will die defending those rights.

    The phrase, “Your status in hell is determined by the size of your bodyguard” can be seen as braggadocio, but it is our intent to take as many of the forces of evil (which the enforcement arms of the government will have become, should this ever occur) as we can before we are killed. With no children, and no responsibilities except for ourselves, dying in the defense of our right to keep and bear arms would be the best end one could expect in such a world.

    If enough other individuals make this same decision and draw the same line in the sand, then the confiscations would stop almost before they started. But I do NOT worry about what others will do (or not do) in defense of the Constitution…I can only speak for ourselves, and hope that our lack of willingness to trade our lives for our freedoms would not go unnoticed as an example for others to follow.

  2. Not “Game over, man!”

    The game starts for real that day. We stop worrying about whether or not we are “scaring the white people”.

    Oh, and Blackwing1 … if they come for your guns, make a point of not being there when the raid comes. Be the hunter, not the hunted.

  3. Duck:

    “Cold dead hands” is bad strategy. If you wait for them to come, they will make your hands cold and dead … even if they have to j-dam your house. Just disappear … and re-appear only when it is to your advantage.

  4. Duck, I’m with Kristopher. The appropriate retort is, “When they reanimate their cold dead hands.”

    I’m just skeptical anyone will do much more than talk big. It will be too easy to do “bury your guns” and declare victory. I made a long comment over at Sebastain’s place that I’ll repost here tonight as a follow up. It will explain some of the issues as I see them in greater detail and in full agreement with nearly everything Kristopher said above.

  5. If history (even very recent American history) tells us anything, it tells us that your legally purchased firearms can indeed be made “illegal” and that most people will either turn them in or hide them. I don’t recall any stories of Californians or WA DC residents putting up a resistance. In 1930s Europe, as in today’s Europe, we find little, but mostly no, meaningful resistance to tyranny.

    The American Revolution is a major exception to the rule. In that case there was a weeks-long sea voyage separating the revolutionaries from the King’s men and their supply lines, a vast frontier surrounded by trackless wilderness, and an American population accustomed to much freedom, making do on their own, and well armed and able. Even then the matter was far from certain until very late in the war. If the Britts hadn’t made several critical errors, they would have won. The result we got was a miracle.

    There was another factor: A few, very talented American promoters.

    Politically, I say we are at an important crossroad in our history, and it could go either way. One could make the case that the Loony Left has been overplaying its hand, and that people are getting disgusted with it. The next year and a half will be interesting.

  6. I will die before I will give up my guns; and I don’t plan on dyin’

    I figure, maybe 5% of gun owners HONESTLY feel the same way; and of those, maybe 5% will actually do something about it.

    …250,000 is more than enough…

    Even if I’m wrong by a factor of 10, 25,000 is more than enough.

  7. Joe:

    Boy, this post takes me back a ways, to the darkest depths of the Clinton Administration,(oh wait…that might be yet to come).

    What should be borne in mind is that while there may be 5 steps to (inciting a) revolution, there’s an infinite number of steps in Mutiny.

    Maintaining a tyranny gets expensive.

    And to answer your question:

    “Probably…but nobody ever indicted or convicted me of anything.”

  8. Less than 3% were involved in the American Revolution on either side.

    The rest just claimed they were secretly supporting the winners … after they retrieved their firearms from formerly British armories. We won’t find out if any of us ( including myself ) will walk our talk until it happens.

    Yea … most will either bury them or turn them in. If you are going to bury, consider selling them at half price to someone who wont.

  9. Lyle: And somehow, I don’t think we can expect the French to bail our asses out this time.

    Not that this means we should surrender before the game even begins.

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