As illustrated by the gun cartoon I posted the other day the anti-gun people don’t understand the issue. That is just a sample of one but without much effort you could find hundreds of instances where our opponents insist we value our hobbies/profits over the lives of children or we own guns to compensate for inadequate “sexual equipment”.
They certainly do not understand why we own guns. And they don’t even come close to knowing how we think.
About 10 years ago I was talking to someone from the CIA who managed a group of psychologists. He was explaining how difficult it was for people in the U.S., even in the intelligence community, to understand how our Muslim adversaries thought. He told me, “They think differently than we do. It’s even possible they think differently than we can think.”
It may be that we have the same sort of problem with the anti-gun people and they with us. After all, many of the things they say sounds like crazy talk to us. And they insist what we say is “crazy talk” as well.
They believe that a bunch of uneducated, beer bellied, red necked, slack-jawed, hillbillies wouldn’t stand a chance against the U.S. military if it came down to a confrontation between a tyrannical government and us. But is that claim true?
They are certainly wrong in their assumptions about the demographics of gun ownership and I believe they are wrong about the outcome. And would all, or even most of the military follow orders to fire upon their fellow countrymen? Or would they switch sides and bring their equipment with them? As others have pointed out, “That guy with a S&W .38 leading a popular revolt might actually have air support.”
Furthermore there are approximately 80 million gun owners in the U.S. About 4.25 million of them are members of that “extremist” group known as the NRA. What our opponents don’t, and perhaps can’t, understand is that the reason a good number of the gun owners that don’t belong to the NRA actively reject joining is because 1) The NRA isn’t “extreme” enough for them; and/or 2) They don’t want to be on “that list” if the government ever demanded the NRA membership list.
Any idea how many members of Al Qaeda the U.S. military are fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan? According to intelligence estimates reported by the New York Times in 2010 the answer is “fewer than 500” in Afghanistan and “more than 300” in Pakistan. A 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal put the number in the range of 200 to 1000 with “affiliated fighters or funders” making up thousands or tens of thousands.
How’s that war turning out for the U.S. military? Are they going to wrap that up and come home in the next couple of weeks?
Any idea on the resources Al Qaeda can bring to bear compared the resources several million U.S. gun owners can bring to the fight? I’ll give you just a few clues.
Private citizens typically consumed 10 to 12 billion rounds of ammunition per year. But current domestic production (including that used by the military and law enforcement) is about 1 billion rounds per week and it is being purchased so rapidly it is difficult to find any on the shelves. I know individuals that have nearly 1 million rounds of loaded ammunition and/or components in their possession.
Gun manufactures are running at near maximum capacity and have a backlog of months or even a year or more. During the 1990’s Bill Clinton and Sarah Brady were considered “gun salesmen” of the decade. But, using NICS data as a rough estimate, during 1999 and 2000 private gun sales were roughly 9 million per year. In 2012 it was over 19 million. At least 19 million guns were sold to U.S. private citizens in 2012. For the duration of the time NICS has been keeping background check records from November 30th, 1998 to December 31, 2012 there have been over 160 million checks/gun sales.
Numerous other differences between a fight with Al Qaeda and a fight with U.S. gun owners should be obvious and will be left as an exercise for the reader.
Our adversaries insist we do not stand a chance against a tyrannical government. Aircraft, tanks, and artillery would, they say, make any such fight short and pointless on our part. But it has been a truism of all wars except for the Japan mainland, where U.S. troops were being prepared for an invasion, “boots on the ground” were required to win. And I have talked to enough current and former military people to believe that “heavy equipment” won’t be particularly useful or last long without a lot of ground support and a safe haven from which to maintain and deploy the equipment.
They believe we would and should just turn over our guns without a fight should the government pass a law to do so. I would say their spreadsheets have some errors but I’m nearly certain they don’t think that way. Numbers, and facts in general, are not their area of expertise.
Another thing they believe is only a few people would take up arms against our government. But Bob Owens has a different view:
Every weapon of military utility designed within the past 100+ years was gone. This isn’t society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.
It is my contention that gun sales above the mean of that during the Bush years represent committed gun owners who didn’t buy the gun just to have it registered and/or taken away a few months or years later. The mean number of NICS checks during the Bush years is a little less than 9 million per year. Hence one may reasonably conclude there have been a minimum of 10 million gun sales made “in preparation for war” during 2012 alone.
That’s a lot of boots, guns, and ammo on the ground on our side. And I didn’t even get into the training our side has. Compare that to the resources the anti-gun people can bring to bear. Yet it appears President Obama may be deliberately trying to start a civil war.
So tell me. Which side is crazy to believe they will come out on top of a violent conflict?
See also The Mathematics of Countering Tyranny.