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They’ve done it again. The Campaign for Liberty, which gave away an assault rifle in April, followed up with a “tactical shotgun” Remington model M870 to one lucky supporter in May! The accompanying letter for the assault rifle states that “There can be no freedom without the ability to defend it. C4L is standing up for freedom every day by fighting to Audit the Fed, repeal ObamaCare, stop NSA spying, and reclaim our Republic. But each and every one of us has a God-given right – and duty – to defend freedom. That’s why C4L is giving away a brand new Daniel Defense DDM4 AR-15. The AR-15 will come with Magpul MBUS front and rear sights and two Magpul mags. All you have to do is sign up for free below for your chance to win!”

The letter accompanying the shotgun offering reads the same with the exception of the description of the weapon itself. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the M-16 infantry assault rifle. The special combat magazines that it comes with hold thirty rounds and are what we Vietnam era vets used to refer to as banana clips. The shotgun in question is “tactical,” which means it is the type used by special ops military units and police swat teams. It holds six shells and can be fired rapidly.

I am embarrassed to have to report that the two letters from Campaign for Liberty publicizing the giveaways appeared over the signature of former Congressman Ron Paul, who is the chairman of the organization. I have the utmost respect for Congressman Paul, whose integrity was and is impeccable, but this really is too much, particularly as the accompanying letter, which admittedly Paul might never have seen or actually approved of, is reeking of bullshit.

The problem with the C4L thinking is that possessing combat capable weapons has become an end in and of itself. The argument that “guns don’t kill people” is ridiculous because that is precisely what they are designed to do and the weapons that are semi-automatic equipped with banana clips or magazines can and do kill lots of people without having to reload, which is when the shooter becomes vulnerable. That is why they are the weapon of choice for mass murders and, I might add, most of them are purchased legally.

Also consider for a moment the essentially delusional argument that the promotional letter puts forward: that a heavily armed citizenry is essential to defend freedom. Indeed, that citizenry has a “duty” to do so. And it further identifies the areas of freedom that are under siege as “auditing the fed, repealing Obamacare, stopping NSA Spying, and reclaiming our Republic.” So the implication is that one needs weapons to defend against government programs and against the federal government more generally speaking (though state and local governments are not necessarily ruled out based on the language contained in the appeal).

Which leads to the question of what is one supposed to do with an assault rifle and tactical shotgun if one has a “duty” to defend freedom? How do you define freedom in the first place without crossing the line into anarchy? Does Campaign for Liberty’s inclusion of the federal reserve, health insurance, government intelligence agencies and a general lack of Republican virtue require going out and blasting the nearest traffic light or does it mean calling 911 and then ambushing the cop, ambulance or fire engine when it shows up because they are all agents of an oppressive state structure? Or do you shoot out the windows in the nearest federal building or murder cops having lunch as recently occurred in Las Vegas? And what about the constitutional crisis caused by America’s illegal foreign wars, which have surely killed a lot of people using the very weapons promoted by C4L? Perhaps characteristically, ending those wars is not even on the Campaign for Liberty agenda.

I am sure that most C4L supporters would agree with the premise that individual liberties have declined dramatically over the past thirteen years, largely due to the consequences, both legal and practical, of the so-called war on terror. The unitary executive that has prevailed promoted by both Republicans and Democrats has enabled government at all levels to engage in illegal searches, arbitrary detention without right to trial, and even the assassination of American citizens without any recognizable due process. Compared to those crimes, ObamaCare is small potatoes, but apart from NSA spying C4L does not even mention them nor does it explain how having more guns in more hands provides a solution to the problems it has identified.

Given all of that, what has the heavily armed populace that presumably salivates at the sight of a tactical shotgun and positively swoons at the sound of a click-click as the shell enters the chamber done? Precisely nothing. Which suggests that Campaign for Liberty and the people who cling to its pretensions are all hat and no cattle, talking the talk (poorly) without having to do anything to back up their promise of righteous violence if the government goes too far. C4L should wake up and smell the roses because the government has already gone too far and the horse is long since out of the barn.

One is compelled to ask exactly what kind of affront the heavily armed citizens are waiting for before they start their revolution, particularly as most of them surely know that their insurrection will never happen. They understand full well that government at all levels now has the firepower to blow them away in seconds if it ever came down to that so it is a lot safer to vent their frustration by whining about the Fed and ObamaCare, neither of which they will be able to change in any event. And what about the lost Republic? It was lost a long time ago, almost certainly when Lincoln was president if not much earlier when the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed.

So what do I think about the Second Amendment? I support it but there is that tricky bit about militias that needs to be considered. I nevertheless think that gun ownership is a right but I also believe that with rights come responsibilities. I own guns and have served in both the Army during Vietnam and in the CIA, cultures where weapons were de rigueur. But as mass murders of children become more common aided and abetted by the easy access to guns it is perhaps time for a common sense understanding that a machine designed for killing people should perhaps be subjected to some kind of vetting process before it is sold to a 22 year old who has been receiving psychiatric treatment.

Ron Paul would disagree, noting correctly that it is difficult to tell when someone with a mental problem is likely to become violent and also observing that it is dangerous to give the government any kind of authority to set up and operate a data base defining who is crazy and who isn’t. But he also suggests that the government might conspiratorially manipulate the procedure to deny political opponents access to weapons, which I think most would consider far-fetched and even largely irrelevant given the easy accessibility to guns prevailing nationwide combined with the fact that having weapons does not equate to doing anything with them to bring about political change or to guarantee “liberty.” The only liberty evident is the freedom to buy more guns.

Paul also suggests that shooter Elliot Rodger in California might have been deterred in his rampage if he had known that his intended victims were capable of returning fire, a canard reminiscent of the idiocy promoted by fellow Texan Representative Louis Gohmert who responded to the Newtown shooting by expressing his wish that the school principal who was killed in the massacre had had an M-4 under her desk to shoot back. Actual instances of an armed civilian preventing a shooting are so few as to be statistically insignificant and the whole notion that a heavily armed society is somehow safer is difficult to take seriously, including Gohmert’s desire to have automatic weapons in schools.

To my mind there is something very unhealthy about the current demands for unlimited “open carry” of instruments that are only designed to kill, particularly as it is being linked to some warped concept of “freedom.” Here in northern Virginia a restaurant in a nearby town with a very low crime rate is encouraging its customers to bring their guns with them. Would I want to take my grandchildren to eat there if the dude at the next table is cradling his assault rifle? Absolutely not. The obsession with having free access to weapons as a benefit in and of itself might well be measured against legitimate public safety concerns that should mandate a common sense approach that is somewhere in between complete liberty and government control. Unfortunately libertarians and gun aficionados don’t see it that way with every “right” being an absolute.

And sure, bad guys will continue to be able to get weapons as there are a hell of a lot of them floating around unregistered in the US and ordinary people have a right to defend themselves, but the absurd implication that if you have a gun it will help you secure “freedom” in case you have to turn it against the government some day is utter nonsense and should be exposed for the persistent fraud that it really is. Some people like guns not for freedom or protection but because it empowers or excites them personally, so let them have their fun, but Ron Paul should be ashamed of himself if he actually read and approved of the two letters from Campaign for Liberty that he signed onto.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Campaign for Liberty, Guns 
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  1. conatus says:

    Giraldi says, “the absurd implication that if you have a gun it will help you secure “freedom” in case you have to turn it against the government some day is utter nonsense and should be exposed for the persistent fraud that it really is.”

    I would disagree. Why? The intimidation factor. Sure the government could win a gun conflict with its citizens but with many guns in the hands of the people it would be expensive to the government and that is a factor they consider.

    From the law review titled ‘Of Holocausts and Gun Control by Polsby
    “Governments have exterminated or cooperated in the extermination of something like one hundred and seventy million of their own people in the twentieth century.[107] This stark fact makes it reasonable to distrust the state and to fear the terrible crimes it may occasionally commit. However, this is only half an argument for an armed populace. The other half of the argument must meet the question whether, arrayed against the order of battle of a modern military, armed civilians could possibly do any good. What can a man with a gun do against a formation of tanks? How could irregulars, even if armed with modern repeating rifles, confront the rockets and Gatling guns of helicopter gunships? Does anyone seriously believe that had the German Jews only been armed, they might have successfully resisted the troops who crushed the largest armies in Europe between 1939 and 1941?

    The claim of futility is of course well-taken if what one has in mind is a showdown on Front Street between a man with a revolver and a crew with a tank. But depicting the problem in this way trivializes an important point and is seriously misleading. An armed citizenry is not an insuperable bar to genocide any more than an armed policeman is an insuperable bar to crime or a strong army an insuperable bar to aggression. The real question is whether a generally armed citizenry is capable of raising the expected cost of genocide (or for that matter ordinary crime) to a potential predator enough to make such disasters less likely to occur than would otherwise be the case, or if the disaster should befall, to make possible the escape of some victims and the resistance of others.”

    Call me a fool but I believe that the gun deaths we experience are a small price to pay for not allowing our government to be able to intimidate us by holding a monopoly on the use of lethal violence.Gun control is really a way to intimidate the citizenry and take away all power from them. Once there is ‘effective gun control’ then the control of lethal violence will be a monopoly controlled solely by the state and all the citizenry will be appropriately terrified to take a stand on just about any subject.
    Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, an org. in Wisc., has a great chart, with cited laws, and the results of government monopolies on violence.

    http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm#chart

    You will notice the numbers of dead, caused by gun control, are generally are in the millions.

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    I hear you Joe but I somehow cannot envision a scenario in which the armed populace confronts our government in any serious way so as to force it to become less oppressive. The past thirteen years demonstrate that there is no trigger that will bring that about and I cannot see the US government, with all its faults, engaging in genocide. And also I am not arguing for gun control just some common sense steps to make people aware that there are public safety issues that have to be part of the discussion. No right is absolute. To me handing out military weapons to supporters in defense of a "right" is idiocy.
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  2. @conatus
    Giraldi says, "the absurd implication that if you have a gun it will help you secure “freedom” in case you have to turn it against the government some day is utter nonsense and should be exposed for the persistent fraud that it really is."

    I would disagree. Why? The intimidation factor. Sure the government could win a gun conflict with its citizens but with many guns in the hands of the people it would be expensive to the government and that is a factor they consider.

    From the law review titled 'Of Holocausts and Gun Control by Polsby
    "Governments have exterminated or cooperated in the extermination of something like one hundred and seventy million of their own people in the twentieth century.[107] This stark fact makes it reasonable to distrust the state and to fear the terrible crimes it may occasionally commit. However, this is only half an argument for an armed populace. The other half of the argument must meet the question whether, arrayed against the order of battle of a modern military, armed civilians could possibly do any good. What can a man with a gun do against a formation of tanks? How could irregulars, even if armed with modern repeating rifles, confront the rockets and Gatling guns of helicopter gunships? Does anyone seriously believe that had the German Jews only been armed, they might have successfully resisted the troops who crushed the largest armies in Europe between 1939 and 1941?

    The claim of futility is of course well-taken if what one has in mind is a showdown on Front Street between a man with a revolver and a crew with a tank. But depicting the problem in this way trivializes an important point and is seriously misleading. An armed citizenry is not an insuperable bar to genocide any more than an armed policeman is an insuperable bar to crime or a strong army an insuperable bar to aggression. The real question is whether a generally armed citizenry is capable of raising the expected cost of genocide (or for that matter ordinary crime) to a potential predator enough to make such disasters less likely to occur than would otherwise be the case, or if the disaster should befall, to make possible the escape of some victims and the resistance of others."



    Call me a fool but I believe that the gun deaths we experience are a small price to pay for not allowing our government to be able to intimidate us by holding a monopoly on the use of lethal violence.Gun control is really a way to intimidate the citizenry and take away all power from them. Once there is 'effective gun control' then the control of lethal violence will be a monopoly controlled solely by the state and all the citizenry will be appropriately terrified to take a stand on just about any subject.
    Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, an org. in Wisc., has a great chart, with cited laws, and the results of government monopolies on violence.

    http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm#chart

    You will notice the numbers of dead, caused by gun control, are generally are in the millions.

    I hear you Joe but I somehow cannot envision a scenario in which the armed populace confronts our government in any serious way so as to force it to become less oppressive. The past thirteen years demonstrate that there is no trigger that will bring that about and I cannot see the US government, with all its faults, engaging in genocide. And also I am not arguing for gun control just some common sense steps to make people aware that there are public safety issues that have to be part of the discussion. No right is absolute. To me handing out military weapons to supporters in defense of a “right” is idiocy.

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  3. Mr. G:

    I think people cling to the 2nd amendment because it is virtually the last natural right that remains to them.

    They somehow rationalize that as long as they have that one left they are not living in a police state. Of course they have lost all the others including some that are not even enumerated in the Bill of Rights. I think it was shown that firearms ownership was not particularly restricted under the government of the late Saddam Hussein as long as one was not on the government’s ‘bad’ list.

    I don’t see the government being confronted by an armed populace. But I also don’t see the government confronting the armed populace. Not because they would shrink from genocide (review the Morgenthau plan). Not because of the violence – personally I believe that most of those who profess belief in firearms freedoms would cave before a government determined to confiscate firearms. I think it would just be due to plain bad p.r. If there are only 60 million firearms owning households and only 1 in 1000 chose to resist that would mean 60 thousand armed swat raids. That’s a lot of tv newsbytes.

    I would also argue that there are no public safety issues involved. Why? No legislative nostrum ever proposed has had any demonstrable effect on those issues in this or any other country.

    One possible exception: Widespread adoption of Concealed Carry MAY (note emphasis) have had some tendency to reduce crime.

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  4. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    There is no place for guns in a modern, western democracy. None. Sure, if you’re a free ranger out in the wild west (or the sticks as we call it in Australia), or a farm, then owning a gun is understandable, but if you live in the suburbs or the city, then there should be no need for it. Why? For the most part, city dwellers and suburbanites are not that violent. For the little violence that does occur, the police are there to handle it. But America does have a problem. It has a significant fraction of its population that is not adapted to city or suburban living. Unz’s knows what i’m talking about because he wrote a pretty good article about it. Any talk of gun politics in the US is foolish if it ignores this element.

    Now, i do empathise with Obama. America has a lot of fanatical libertarian types who would attack the state if Obama got serious about gun control. What to do with these people? I don’t know. They are pure ideologues who will never change their mind. They justify their arms race as a means to keep government in check. What rubbish.

    If the US wanted to, it could destroy anybody it pleased with a well placed drone strike. Gunmen pose no threat to the state. If they want to barricade themselves in a building, out of sight of a drone, then a well placed missile will make short work of them. Talk of fighting the US is absolute madness.

    Now the Taliban can pull it off, so maybe the “american patriots” are right after all? Well this is something that I can’t really answer, so perhaps my above paragraph isn’t true? But then again, the taliban do engage in unscrupulous tactics, much like HAMAS, and these tactics would be very difficult to set upon fellow Americans.

    Australia got rid of it guns after a massacre much worse than Rodger or the Nevada Wall mart ones. Since then, we’ve had no massacres, and unsurprisingly most of our gun crime , at least in Sydney, is committed by our our “middle eastern” immigrants,” and it’s mostly gang/klan warfare between rival families.

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  5. “.. as mass murders of children become more common aided and abetted by the easy access to guns ”

    Guns used to be much, MUCH easier to come by than they are now, and there were fewer nutjobs running around killing people. Guns themselves have not changed, and the laws limiting access to guns are far more restrictive than they used to be. What’s changed are people – and that’s due to the triumph of liberalism.

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    • Agree: Almost Missouri
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  6. “.. the whole notion that a heavily armed society is somehow safer is difficult to take seriously”

    I don’t know why you think that, as the homicide rates have dropped sharply even as the sales of so-called “assault weapons” have soared.

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    Sebastian - Homicide rates have dropped for a number of reasons but there is no statistical correlation with the availability of assault rifles and there is no actual evidence that I know of that having weapons in the hands of numerous civilians has actually reduced the crime rate.
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  7. @Greenstalk
    ".. the whole notion that a heavily armed society is somehow safer is difficult to take seriously"

    I don't know why you think that, as the homicide rates have dropped sharply even as the sales of so-called "assault weapons" have soared.

    Sebastian – Homicide rates have dropped for a number of reasons but there is no statistical correlation with the availability of assault rifles and there is no actual evidence that I know of that having weapons in the hands of numerous civilians has actually reduced the crime rate.

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  8. […] UNZ – They’ve done it again. The Campaign for Liberty, which gave away an assault rifle in April,followed up with a “tactical shotgun” Remington model M870 to one lucky supporter in May! The accompanying letter for the assault rifle states that “There can be no freedom without the ability to defend it. C4L is standing up for freedom every day by fighting to Audit the Fed, repeal ObamaCare, stop NSA spying, and reclaim our Republic. But each and every one of us has a God-given right – and duty – to defend freedom. That’s why C4L is giving away a brand new Daniel Defense DDM4 AR-15. The AR-15 will come with Magpul MBUS front and rear sights and two Magpul mags. All you have to do is sign up for free below for your chance to win!” […]

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  9. Ron Paul has a problem with whoring out his name. He is going to regret it if one of those weapons is used to harm people. If the economic conditions in the US deteriorate enough I can imagine people rebelling and stealing as they try to survive. I think the US government is prepared for any shenanigans with the surveillance state, and the removed restrictions on the military to act inside the US. The C4L is delusional if they think they have a chance against the US military on its own turf. I wonder how fast the US government could shut them down and leave them helpless. They would just provide the excuse for the US government to be even more repressive and be the poster child of the dangerous right wing militias the government harps about. If they wanted to defend freedom they would boycott the people and groups that support taking it away from them in order to gain concessions. Their immature behavior is no different than the Neocon keyboard warriors who find personal glory and enjoyment at the thought of violence. If they were personally confronted with the Hollywood blockbuster fantasies going on in their imaginations I bet they wouldn’t be so cheeky about it.

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  10. ” Homicide rates have dropped for a number of reasons but there is no statistical correlation with the availability of assault rifles and there is no actual evidence that I know of that having weapons in the hands of numerous civilians has actually reduced the crime rate.”

    This is a really good argument. Let’s extend this logic a little. I see no evidence (indeed his own never ending stream of articles agree) that anything Philip Giraldi has ever written has in any way changed the dynamic of Israeli-US relations. I would be grateful if he would stop writing. The Giraldis of the world want to elevate a throw away John Quincy Adams quote about foreign policy dragons into dogma, but are so interested in the actual founding doctrines of this nation that they are eager to affix inane consequentialist conditions on the Bill of Rights.

    You can always tell the shills because they want to talk about walls of separation and dragons abroad rather than you know the actual founding documents of this country. The “there are a lot of bad guys out there we need to do something” logic is the same logic Giraldi wails like Banshee about when it is used to defend domestic spying or a strong military.

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  11. “I think it was shown that firearms ownership was not particularly restricted under the government of the late Saddam Hussein as long as one was not on the government’s ‘bad’ list.”

    Do you realize how uncompelling this argument is? The amount of qualifications that final cause provides to the preceding thought? The government bad list included seventy percent of the country’s population i.e Shias.

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  12. gdpbull says:

    People who like guns, support gun rights, collect them, and shoot them are not the ones killing people. In the inner cities, its gangs that mostly kill people. And the mass shooters come almost exclusively from liberal suburbs. They are the spawn of lefties.

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  13. Douglas says:

    You said we need common sense measures but didn’t suggest any. I have one. Let’s round up all guns and make all guns illegal. That should work right? I mean it seems to have helped in the inner city of Detroit where gun laws are very strict.

    I have my assault rifle and shotgun for a very specific reason which i hope and pray never occurs. When the government money dries up and the welfare and section 8 housing is gone, i want to know i can go down fighting instead of showing my behind as i run for the hills. Yes i will be put down, but i intend to make it as difficult as possible.

    I wonder what would have happened if our forefathers would have been so easily dissuaded from their grand mission when they saw the might of the British Army and Navy.

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  14. Trumped says:

    http://blog.wilsoncombat.com/paul-howe/2nd-amendment-and-the-kool-aid-drinkers-by-paul-howe/

    As far as the old cliche Giraldi repeated above about “the people would have no chance against thr government” line, they also tend to be the types to think that the govt could go door to door and simply take all firearms away. Check out the link above, where former Delta Force and Black Hawk Down vet Paul Howe completely disagrees – and this is from someone who knows all too well about the state fighting the populace and is an expert on tactics and weapons.

    If you read between the lines, it is also pretty clear he is referencing a 4GW plan that the people would do on their own spontaneously. The people like Giraldi who argue about war with the people vs the state tend to think like the British did in the colonies or the soviets in Afghanistan or the Americans in Vietnam: that war is tactical instead of political, and that the two sides will line up in front of each other and have a “fair” fight. Instead, the reality of the guerrilla fighter is they choose the time, place, and target.

    I think two recent examples prove Howe correct. Take a look at how one mediocre cop in LA shut down and terrified an entire police department – to the point that the “well trained” lapd shot out a truck of a young Hispanic woman while looking for a 300 lb black man – luckily, as usual they missed with all their shots so no one was hurt. The entire department was scared and it basically tied everyone up until dorner was found.

    In Boston, two kids managed to literally have an entire city shut down with armored vehicles and who knows how many cops on the scene pointing weapons at civilians. Despite this, the cops playing commandos still missed the one terrorist alive – a homeowner discovered him in his boat. When the cops arrived, they fired off hundreds of rounds – and as usual, hit everything but the unresisting and unarmed target, including putting a number of holes in nearby houses.

    My point with these two stories? That one obese mediocre cop and two kids managed to tie up entire giant urban police departments who acted alone with no support. I can’t imagine how badly it would have gone for the cops had some additional people been working with them and set up ambushes to the sitting duck Barney fifes playing commando. Now extend this principle to hundreds of thousands or even millions who do more than just attack govt agents, but also cut off supplies for stations, attack the homes of govt agents, etc as Paul Howe references.

    And all of this is done with the assumption that 100 percent of the govt would stay on the side of the govt in such a gun confiscation attempt. And knowing many people in the military and cops, that is a laughable and absurd proposition. Not to mention all of the vets who are far better trained on tactics and calm under fire than the Barney fife types out there who are radically pro gun.

    Lastly, I will close with this quote by Col Jeff Cooper, who came up with many of the tactics used by police and military still to this day for gun fighting: “The politicians don’t care about people killing each other with rifles. What scares them about seeing civilians with AR15s and AK47s is imagining them being used against them one day!”

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    • Replies: @Ino
    The small Provisional Irish Republican Army managed to continue a war in a heavily policed, militarized, surveilled, area the size of CT for 30 years while their enemy, the UK government, enjoyed every advantage.
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  15. Trumped says:

    It always amuses me when someone from an almost all white commonwealth nation like the Aussie above brags about their gun bans and then blames gun related crimes on minorities and immigrants.

    Just who exactly do you think is doing the gun crime in America? Here is one of many, many examples. A recent study in Chicago found that the non fatal gun violence rates were around 1 per 100k people among whites, 28 per 100k among Hispanics, and 112 per 100k among blacks!

    Without getting into possible reasons for that, it just always amazes me that the Aussie and British fascist gun banners think that their situation is in any way comparable to ours. And then when violence is referenced or brought up there, it is always some minority or immigrant that is blamed.

    Come take a look at america, where virtually all of the shootings and murder with firearms – now at 20 year lows – take place among Mexican illegal immigrants and inner city blacks who are typically fighting over illegal drug turf. Yeah, if we banned all the white people from having guns in America I am sure that the same minorities who are fighting over the already illlegal drug trade will stop killing each other and it will be just as effective as the war on guns.

    In fact, I still remember in the late 90s when states were thinking about adopting conceal carry laws and all the same gun prohibitionists like the Aussie above shouted and screamed that if people were allowed to carry pistols the murder rate would skyrocket. Instead, we have seen the exact opposite – and the gun control movement in America permanently discredited and laughed at for being so wrong. Sarah Brady even had to rename her group, and the media pretend they never said such things. Even Benito Bloomberg has to at least pretend he respects the second amendment and lie about his real goals these days.

    It is also why states that have huge levels of firearms in them and are almost all white states have extremely low levels of murder like New Hampshire and Vermont, while areas like DC and Chicago that banned private firearm ownership for decades have astronomical crime. Bloomberg only brought NYC murder rates down because he racially profiled and targeted all non white and Asians for random frisking – something that is a blatant assault on civil liberties, but was able to get away with because he is a liberal.

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  16. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    One other point: doesn’t anyone else find it funny that the gun control advocates use almost the exact same argument and tactics as those who assault civil liberties, push for a continued drug war, and cncourage war abroad?

    1. The bills must be passed after a tragedy and high period of emotion – we can’t have people think logically about this

    2. The bills are rushed through with as lite debate as possible

    3. The DC media is in favor of all of them

    4. Lines about how “times have changed” or the “constitution is out of date” are used quite a bit – along with dismissing anyone who actually quotes the constitution or the founders on the subject

    5. Many references to “the children”

    6. Ignoring of actual statistics and relying instead on playing to the emotion of highly charged and biased media reports

    7. “Public safety” trumps everything else – and “no right is absolute ” and “we respect the constitution, but….”

    All of the above reminds me of the political justification for the war on drugs, the patriot act, the ndaa, drone strikes on civilians, and gun prohibition. Luckily, a lot of the same people make the exact same arguments on those issues – Obama, Feinstein, difk durbin, biden, pelosi, Romney, Peter king, David forum, etc

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  17. rod1963 says:

    Giraldi

    You wouldn’t be complaining about guns and law abiding citizens owning them if you weren’t offended by us proles owning them and clearly you are upset when you see law abiding citizens doing a open carry.

    It doesn’t offend me in the last to see open carry. Heck I’m old enough to remember a time in California when we have gun racks in pick ups and guns in them. People weren’t afraid of them either not to mention we didn’t have a tenth of the problems we do today thanks to liberalism.

    As for the 2nd Amendment. What don’t you understand Mr. Giraldi. We as human beings have a god given or natural right to self-defense and preservation and if we use a semi-auto rifle or hi cap Glock to do it, what business is of yours? None.

    Guns are like tourniquets, you may never need one, but if you do, you better have one.

    We don’t need your sanction or that of the state to do so nor do we need to beg for one of your overpaid and pampered nasty little men with machine guns to come to our aid when by the time they arrive all they can do is provide a rape kit or body bag.

    Yeah that’s how about how much worth the police are when seconds counts and they are minutes away.

    As for a armed rebellion against the government that is dead serious business. Lots of people will die and the country can be wrecked for good by it. This is why sane people don’t call for it, it’s the last option on the table that no one except the insane and Progressives/Communists look forward to.

    But here’s a great article that deals with how hurt your buddies on the government teat should that day come.

    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/01/dear-mr-security-agent-cautionary-essay.html

    As to the child deaths via guns. Well that a Leftist soap box made out of the corpses of children to yank at the heartstrings of the misinformed. More kids die in swimming pools every year than school shootings. You don’t see gun grabbers filling in pools do you? No.

    It’s all about contro and ideologyl with them.

    The fact is school shootings is a new phenomenon, it didn’t happen in earlier eras where guns were much easier and cheaper to get. In the 40′s and 60′s in rural areas it wasn’t uncommon for schools to have shooting clubs or kids take their guns to school to go hunting afterwards.

    Imagine that, young boys with impulse control and being able to know right from wrong carrying guns. And today just wearing a NRA tee shirt to school will get you suspended, the same with drawing a gun or thinking about one.

    Now the mass shootings of today aren’t driven by guns, they’re just a symptom of the state and liberal beliefs that drugging little white boys to the gills with powerful psychotropics because they can’t adjust to factory style schooling is the proper thing to do. Then the state and it’s agents instill in them a totally self-indulgent anything goes value system that puts self-gratification and ego worship at the forefront.

    Really what did you think was going to happen when you pump little boys full of dangerous drugs that even the manufacturer of them has stated they aren’t for children and filled their mind with the shit pushed in school and TV?

    Well some of them will turn into Frankenstein and go on a rampage.

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  18. “To my mind there is something very unhealthy about the current demands for unlimited “open carry”

    This phenomenon is not very hard to understand. The people have had all of their other freedoms stolen one by one. So, they distract themselves by going overboard with this. It makes them feel good to think that they are still free in some respect when they are in reality not. It’s a nice diversion.

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  19. Anyone who thinks that threatened or real violence is going to lead to liberty domestically is under just the same delusion as a government that thinks armed violence overseas is going to spread democracy, freedom, peace and safety. It doesn’t work, either abroad or at home, whether government-sponsored or individual vigilantism. Phil Giraldi is right – these folks obsessed with maximum personal firepower are doing nothing to reform the government’s abuses of power, which can’t be redressed by violent confrontation in any case.
    It is gross hypocrisy, however, and self-serving, for elites to covet their own weapons of mass destruction, while tsk-tsking at the same gun fetish by the proles they rule.

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  20. “Homicide rates have dropped for a number of reasons but there is no statistical correlation with the availability of assault rifles”

    There is a statistical correlation. Homicide rates have dropped as gun ownership has soared. That’s a statistical correlation. Now, you could argue, correctly, that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

    “and there is no actual evidence that I know of that having weapons in the hands of numerous civilians has actually reduced the crime rate”

    There is significantly less evidence that I know of that having weapons in the hands of numerous civilians has actually increased the crime rate. In fact the opposite is the case. If you want to make a persuasive argument for tougher gun control then you need to come up with something better than “guns lead to murder”, because that notion is unproven at best.

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  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Federalist 46, i mentioned blacks. You have to read between the lines.

    “For the most part, city dwellers and suburbanites are not that violent. For the little violence that does occur, the police are there to handle it. But America does have a problem. It has a significant fraction of its population that is not adapted to city or suburban living. Unz’s knows what i’m talking about because he wrote a pretty good article about it. Any talk of gun politics in the US is foolish if it ignores this element.”

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-and-crime-in-america/

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  22. Trumped says:

    Anon,

    So you advocate banning firearms from the people who aren’t committing the crimes in hopes that the people who do will stop fighting over drugs that are already illegal? What exactly is your proposal and how do you intend to accomplish this? Following Lincoln’s plan and shipping all the blacks to Africa and Haiti?

    Leaving aside that the constitution says you are wrong and could never do this, it would be a miserable failure just like the gun bans in DC and Chicago for decades. All that would result would be a giant increase in crime on a now disarmed white population.

    Let’s send over all of our illegal immigrants and blacks from the inner city and see how proud you Aussies still are of your gun bans then! You would be begging for a second amendment within a month or two.

    By the way, I can tell you don’t have much actual experience with America if you think the police are here to handle violence. I know someone who defended a home invasion attempt with a firearm and it took the police over twenty minutes to arrive – she would be dead if we had followed your policies. this is actually fairly common throughout the vast majority of the nation aka flyover country, where cops often take a great deal of time to respond bc they are too busy doing drug busts to do anything about real crimes.

    Police also have zero legal responsibility to help citizens, as the Supreme Court has ruled multiple times. By the way, on the question of banning all handguns like you advocate, around 75 percent of the public opposes such a measure according to gallup, and probably even more would oppose a ban on everything – so good luck with that.

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  23. What you are completely missing the mentality of gun ownership and a society of gun ownership. I suspect you have never been around guns or spent a long time in a community in which is it’s normal (even expected) that people own guns. It subtlety changes your attitude toward your responsibility for your own security and your obligations to your neighbors.

    The idea of living some place where no one owns guns is repugnant to me. It would living like a sheep.

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  24. Missing in Mr. Giraldi’s article and in this comments discussion is any exploration of a central factor in many if not most gun massacre murders: violent media product, which, perhaps more than any other influence, shapes Americans’ attitudes about violence, gun violence in particular.

    Based on news reports, since 2011 just five gun massacre shooters who have been identified in news reports as obsessed with violent media product, have killed some 129 innocent victims. Four of these, Mohammed Merah (2012, France, 7 dead), Anders Breivik (2011, Norway, 77 dead), Adam Lanza (2012, Connecticut, USA, 26 dead) and Aaron Alexis (Washington, DC, USA, 13 dead) are reported to have been obsessed with and trained for their shootings with one particular first-person-shooter video game, Call of Duty. Elliot Rodger (2014, California, USA, 6 dead), who by his on report was obsesses with violent video games from adolesence was obsessed with a violent video game called World of Warcraft, which was also a favorite of the Washington Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis. Rodger may or may not have also used Call of Duty games. News reports about Breivik’s and Merah’s violent rampages strongly suggest that, as a factor in gun massacres, violent media product is not only an American problem but, rather, one that knows no national boundaries. Indeed, some countries ban some violent video games on the basis of violent content. Two countries (Switzerland and Venezuela, a study in contrasts) ban all violent video games. The USA bans no violent video games on the basis of violent content.

    The best readily available overview of the relevant social science research, a policy paper by created by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2009 provides persuasive evidence that violent media product is, in fact, a causative factor in increased aggression and desensitization to violence in society, and that violent media product is especially harmful to children. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/5/1495.full

    The entertainment industry shelters behind the First Amendment in order to pump enormously lucrative, violent, socially-destabilizing media product into American popular culture with criminal abandon. Likewise, the NRA more an gun manufacturers lobby than a gun owners lobby, shelters behind the Second Amendment in order to market, almost without meaningful restrictions, the semi-automatic weapons preferred by video game addict mass murderers. The leaders of these two industries have a symbiotic relationship and exercise wildly inordinate influence over our elected representatives in Washington, DC and in state capitals.

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  25. Trumped says:

    Jeff button,

    I completely agree. The mindset of allowing the government to have a monopoly on violence is something that subjects think, not citizens. Gee, it is almost as if the Founders thought about how other nations did not trust the people with arms, and were able to spread tyranny as a result. The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, agreed with you in Federalist 46:

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments,to which the people are attached, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

    Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes.

    But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.”

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  26. Federalist 46,

    The military’s capability has grown exponentially since Madison wrote that. Civilians aren’t going to have F-35s and tanks parked in their backyard. There is such a disparity in military technology between civilians and the government now that any fight would be one sided. Why should civilians with pee shooters scare powerful tyrants who have access to modern military equipment? Guns can be used for defending ones home from intruders or hunting, but they aren’t going to defend against tyranny.

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  27. Trumped says:

    I already specifically responded to the standard argument above. But to paraphrase, you are thinking in terms of direct “fair” conflict instead of 4GW. The british in the colonies, the soviets in afghan, and the americans in vietnam and currently in afghanistan – where “pee shooters” seem to be doing pretty well against advanced american technology – all thought the same way as you. You are also making the same mistake as the american military who bragged about winning all of the battles in vietnam – wars are not tactical, they are political in nature.

    Also, the problem that those who side with the government have is they think that guerilla war is about winning. It isn’t about winning, but just making things so ugly for the other side that they lose the will to fight – just as Vietnam did to america, afghan is currently doing to america, afghan did to the soviets, and the southern colonies in particular did to the British.

    Do you feel the american govt could just go in and crush dissent by going door to door and confiscating firearms, as pretty much everyone with your view does? Here is an actual expert on such things, Delta Force member made famous from his experience in Black Hawk Down on how the government would be crushed if it tried such a thing:

    http://blog.wilsoncombat.com/paul-howe/2nd-amendment-and-the-kool-aid-drinkers-by-paul-howe/

    Check it out if you – if you read between the lines, what he says is very much a terrifying prospect for would be tyrants in government as long as citizens are armed.

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  28. Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the American colonies are totally different from modern American proles who cannot take care of themselves. Those people survived on their own while modern Americans are about as helpless as the people in the “Brave New World.” If things became serious I think the US would lay siege, cut everything they can to isolate and starve the population, and use whatever was at their disposal including drone strikes and robots. Most Americans would probably surrender if their local Walmart ran out of food. If they manage to go to a grocery store they would still need to have access to an unfrozen bank account. They are dependent on the system and they cry when there is talk about a nearby military base closing. It would be interesting if otherwise poor areas bit the hand that fed them. The interstate system provides easy access to most parts of the country. The freer the people, the more their road system looks like spaghetti because it is much harder for the rulers to get to them. Authoritarian regimes like easy access to get troops into areas.

    They don’t need to take the guns when they can slowly boil the frog like they are doing. Also American rebellions have been repeatedly defeated by the US government including the Whiskey Rebellion, the Confederacy, and the Coal miners of Blair Mountain (they surrendered). Native Americans didn’t stand a chance either.

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  29. Trumped says:

    Did you read the Paul Howe article? And do you think the American govt could confiscate arms going door to door? A delta force guy who has fought against guerrillas is about as good an opinion as possible on the subject.

    As far as your points about rebellions that have been put down – what they all had in common was an attempt to fight in a traditional sense. If two armies meet and fight in a traditional manner and one is vastly superior, the superior army will obviously win.

    But when guerrilla style tactics were used – like the colonies in the South after they seceded from British rule – then things change dramatically. The only exception to this was the Indians, but they actually help make the point for me – they were largely disarmed and did not have the ability to shoot back, and they were wildly outnumbered. The colonies, the afghans, the Vietnamese all suffered crushing defeat after defeat in battle – and yet all of them forced the other side to lose their will to keep fighting bc war is political, not tactical.

    Tet was a major military defeat for the Vietnamese, but a political humiliation for the US. Ditto with the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia. The military objective was achieved, but it resulted in America pulling out bc of political reasons. What do you think reaction will be when video makes it online of innocent Americans being droned to death?

    As far as today’s society, you are right that most people are lazy and worthless. But even in colonial days, around a 1/3 supported fighting the British and a fraction of that did the actual fighting – probably in the single digits of the population. There are millions of military vets who are either combat vets or trained. Even assuming everyone in the military and police went along – which is not even close to being accurate – with attacking the people, the govt would still be outnumbered. Also, Compared to the Vietnamese and afghans, Americans are much, much better trained on military tactics and have light years better skill with firearms – it is not even close. Remember, there are who knows how many millions of vets who know govt tactics on fighting guerrillas already.

    Lastly, the point about govts using drones is very relevant to the Paul Howe blog entry. Where will the drone fly out of? How will the base get supplies? How are they sure things like power and water will remain online? What neighborhood does the drone operator live in? Where does his family live? How will the govt agents protect their houses and families who live off base?

    The gigantic disadvantage of a military living in the same area it is conquering is that the same tactics they use can easily be used against them at times and places the people pick. How can that be defended? A fatass mediocre cop terrified and tied up the entire lapd after he went after them, and two skinny kids literally had an entire city shut down with martial law and hundreds of cops and tanks looking for them – imagine what a few million vets and good civilian marksmen would do?

    In CT, a police officer shared your views and joked about how he would take guns and kick down doors for fun if he was ever given the order. When it was publicized on the Internet, the result was the cop getting around the clock protection from other cops and his chief admitted that the guy and the whole dept was terrified of being a target – hammers don’t usually like being turned into nails – and they begged the gun rights people to forgive the guy after they apologized.

    They were scared bc they had no idea how many, what time, or what location a possible attack could come from. Magnify that by a few million, throw in Internet video of innocent people being slaughtered via drone to piss off millions more people, and then you have a nasty and bloody war the government could never win.

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  30. ” Actual instances of an armed civilian preventing a shooting are so few as to be statistically insignificant ”

    Mass shootings of children at schools are “statistically insignificant ” compared to “children” killing each other in vibrant urban gang war zones.

    If you really want to bend the Constitution to make a significant dent in such shootings, why not start with the 4th amm. and sweep the neighborhoods clean of those thugs and their guns? Chicago would be a good start.

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  31. Phil, you and I were both raised in New Jersey. Perhaps we might be more accepting of the culture beyond the Delaware. It worker for a long time.

    I now live in Pennsylvania, right across the river from Trenton, capitol of the Peoples Republic of New Jersey. Everyone on my side of the river is armed to the teeth, yet very little shooting. Trenton NJ has some of the most restrictive anti-second amendment laws in the country. They just celebrated their 26th gun homicide.

    We both know that guns aren’t the driving force behind so called gun crime.

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  32. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Just because there hasn’t been a confrontation yet doesn’t mean there won’t be. Didn’t things get a bit close recently in Nevada? The overwhelming superiority of the state armamentarium doesn’t dictate an outcome, it dictates tactics. When economic collapse descends, and it will, the utilitarian calculations that prevent open rebellion now will cease to add up. In all events, lots and lots of guns and ammo in private hands is crucial due to the critically low, and rapidly declining, ratio of the population disposed by temperament or intelligence to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the preservation of ordered liberty. That ratio is dark, ugly, useless, and growing.

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  33. The authors of the Second Amendment meant well. They could have no sense of how mentally disturbed 21st century Americans could be. How devoid of morality or ethics. How ignorant of their own history and the history of the world. How decadent. How drugged and boozed up. How unreliable and undisciplined.

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  34. map says:

    If the government really did not find private gun ownership a threat to its rule, then why is it so hell bent on banning private ownership of guns? If the strategic and tactical advantages swung in the government’s favor, then why is private gun ownership such a concern?

    No, the government wants to ban gun ownership because it wants to do bad things to you that could otherwise not be done if one is heavily armed.

    Remember, the purpose of government oppression is to convert the populace and its property to a resource to be used by The Powers That Be. The basic requirement for that kind of oppression is boots-on-the-ground. You need armed soldiers to do oppression properly because soldiers are surgical. Crew-based weapons like tanks and drones are not. They are binary. There is the threat of being destroyed and then…there is being destroyed. A crew-based weapon is not going to go door-to-door extracting families from their homes, separating them, confiscating their property, etc.

    The whole point of private ownership of even military-grade small arms is to raise the cost of such boots-on-the-ground operations to the point where no one will do it.

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  35. map says:

    Girardi wrote,

    “Sebastian – Homicide rates have dropped for a number of reasons but there is no statistical correlation with the availability of assault rifles and there is no actual evidence that I know of that having weapons in the hands of numerous civilians has actually reduced the crime rate.”

    But there is no statistical correlation that availability of assault rifles or having weapons in numerous hands causes any increases in murders either. Why ban weapons when the evidence proving causation simply does not exist?

    All that can be said for certain is that there are no instances where massive availability of weapons has led to increase in the murder rate. So, why then, ban guns.

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  36. Ino says:

    Mr Giraldi, I’ve gotten an impression that in spite of your military service and former CIA employment, that your knowledge about firearms is limited. I’m not sure if anyone’s addressed it yet ( the comments don’t seem to load for me using the show comments button) but what was given away was what is legally, in some jurisdictions, referred to as an assault weapon, not an assault rifle, a real assault rifle being defined under US law as a machine gun. It’s not an uncommon mistake, the term being misused by both proponents and opponents of firearms ownership, however for accuracy I thought you may want to know. I’ll also point out assault weapons are no more, and many even arguably less, dangerous than common semi automatic hunting weapons and that detachable box magazine fed semi automatic firearms go back to the 1800′s.

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  37. Ino says:
    @Trumped
    http://blog.wilsoncombat.com/paul-howe/2nd-amendment-and-the-kool-aid-drinkers-by-paul-howe/

    As far as the old cliche Giraldi repeated above about "the people would have no chance against thr government" line, they also tend to be the types to think that the govt could go door to door and simply take all firearms away. Check out the link above, where former Delta Force and Black Hawk Down vet Paul Howe completely disagrees - and this is from someone who knows all too well about the state fighting the populace and is an expert on tactics and weapons.

    If you read between the lines, it is also pretty clear he is referencing a 4GW plan that the people would do on their own spontaneously. The people like Giraldi who argue about war with the people vs the state tend to think like the British did in the colonies or the soviets in Afghanistan or the Americans in Vietnam: that war is tactical instead of political, and that the two sides will line up in front of each other and have a "fair" fight. Instead, the reality of the guerrilla fighter is they choose the time, place, and target.

    I think two recent examples prove Howe correct. Take a look at how one mediocre cop in LA shut down and terrified an entire police department - to the point that the "well trained" lapd shot out a truck of a young Hispanic woman while looking for a 300 lb black man - luckily, as usual they missed with all their shots so no one was hurt. The entire department was scared and it basically tied everyone up until dorner was found.

    In Boston, two kids managed to literally have an entire city shut down with armored vehicles and who knows how many cops on the scene pointing weapons at civilians. Despite this, the cops playing commandos still missed the one terrorist alive - a homeowner discovered him in his boat. When the cops arrived, they fired off hundreds of rounds - and as usual, hit everything but the unresisting and unarmed target, including putting a number of holes in nearby houses.

    My point with these two stories? That one obese mediocre cop and two kids managed to tie up entire giant urban police departments who acted alone with no support. I can't imagine how badly it would have gone for the cops had some additional people been working with them and set up ambushes to the sitting duck Barney fifes playing commando. Now extend this principle to hundreds of thousands or even millions who do more than just attack govt agents, but also cut off supplies for stations, attack the homes of govt agents, etc as Paul Howe references.

    And all of this is done with the assumption that 100 percent of the govt would stay on the side of the govt in such a gun confiscation attempt. And knowing many people in the military and cops, that is a laughable and absurd proposition. Not to mention all of the vets who are far better trained on tactics and calm under fire than the Barney fife types out there who are radically pro gun.

    Lastly, I will close with this quote by Col Jeff Cooper, who came up with many of the tactics used by police and military still to this day for gun fighting: "The politicians don't care about people killing each other with rifles. What scares them about seeing civilians with AR15s and AK47s is imagining them being used against them one day!"

    The small Provisional Irish Republican Army managed to continue a war in a heavily policed, militarized, surveilled, area the size of CT for 30 years while their enemy, the UK government, enjoyed every advantage.

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