After reading yesterday's article, long-time reader pdwalker commented thus:
As for telling the sheriff "no", it's going to come down to one of three things:
1/ The sheriff says "I agree" and goes home.
2/ They won't give you the chance to say no, with a full out assault on your home, killing your dogs and generally shooting the place up in the middle of the night
3/ or if it is just the sheriff alone, they will come back in force.
Who is prepared to make a stand against that? Are you prepared to sacrifice your family for your principles? Most people have too much to lose to make that sacrifice.
Older, single men? Maybe. Men with families to support? Very few, if any.
And that's what the powers that be depend on. Things have to get a whole lot worse before people will be willing to take action. And by the time it does, it may be too late.
Which is, indeed, the threat we would face if Leviathan were to attempt the confiscation of all private arms. In the face of such overwhelming force, an individual resistor would stand little chance of escaping with his life, let alone his liberty or his firearms.
There is a countermeasure. Like most tactics, it's neither perfect nor costless. But it would substantially improve the citizenry's chances of prevailing against the State. However, it will require us to do something many Americans, especially in the high-density population zones along the coasts, have neglected to do and will find somewhat distasteful.
The keys to successfully resisting an assault whose exact timing cannot be known well in advance are:
- A continuous state of readiness;
- The ability to mobilize swiftly;
- The ability to inflict unacceptable punishment on the invader;
- The willingness to endure a few "false alarms;"
- An adequately broad defensive front.
Most of that should go without saying. Yet it must be said, because of the preparations it implies:
- There must be a way to detect the onset of the assault far enough ahead to mobilize;
- Mobilization must not incur excessive costs upon the persons involved;
- Everyone must come to the front line ready to shoot to kill;
- Erroneous mobilizations must not evoke the "boy who cried wolf" effect;
- The defense must be a community effort.
None of those conditions are easily met, but in my estimation, the hardest of them will be #5, because of the ongoing atomization of American society.
Do you know your neighbors?
Do you know their capabilities and state of readiness?
Are you and they sufficiently in agreement on the right to keep and bear arms? Would you trust them to "have your back" in the event of an assault by lawless "law enforcement?"
Would they trust you in equal measure?
If the answers to all five questions are satisfactory, you have a chance -- not a guarantee -- of assembling a community defense against such an assault: an ad hoc platoon that would mobilize to protect any one of its members who came under attack.
As I said at the outset, there would be costs. Some members would need to acquire additional firepower or training. A degree of vigilance would be required that many persons on a typical suburban block would resent and resist. The "boy who cried wolf" effect must not be neglected; such a platoon could lose commitment and cohesion by a sufficient number of false alarms -- and "a sufficient number" could be as low as one or two.
More, the enemy, broadly conceived, could not help but be aware of the formation of such platoons. It would marshal its non-violent forces to defame and degrade them. Those involved in such an undertaking would need to anticipate such slanders and be prepared to endure them.
I'm not talking about a militia here, at least not of the sort that's been caricatured in the media. I'm describing a small, geographically concentrated defensive force. Its participants know and trust one another personally, by virtue of proximity. They agree sufficiently about their rights as individuals, the threats looming over them, and the importance of defending them. And they're willing to spend a few bucks, and lose a few hours' sleep now and then, to ensure that they will be defended.
Now we get to the upside to forming such a platoon:
- It countervails the ongoing tendency toward social atomization and the isolation of individuals from their neighbors;
- It directly fosters several virtues, including the sense of responsibility to oneself and the comprehension of the need for mutual aid in times of crisis.
- It puts the political enemies of our rights on notice that we cannot be talked out of them.
- It puts concern, at the very least, into the myrmidons of the State that their efforts to disarm us might occasion the shedding of blood -- theirs.
- Each such platoon that forms has an encouraging effect upon others.
Would such a platoon constitute a perfect defense? Of course not. The State might send overwhelming force against such a community. Indeed, though it seems absurd, the possibility of an armored assault, against which small arms of the sort private citizens normally possess would be impotent, cannot be discounted. But at that point there would be open war between the people and the State; factors well beyond the ones that pertain today would come into consideration.
But it's today with which we must be concerned...today.
Such an undertaking is not for the weak-willed or lily-livered. It requires effort and courage. Many Americans lack a sufficiency of both. But not all of us -- and for the rest, there's never been a better time to acquire them.
No man starts out as a paragon of dedication or courage. As Aristotle has told us, we acquire virtue by behaving virtuously: by doing the difficult, expensive, painful things we'd rather not do; by accepting short-term costs and pains for the long-term gains and satisfactions they promise. There's never been a better time, or a more important subject, over which to exert oneself.