There is lots of chatter on the expected news tomorrow:
- This One’s for All the Marbles (by Kevin, a very good article)
- What if? (Uncle)
- What If We Lose? (Sebastian)
- What If We Lose? (Armed Canadian)
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.