Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Whose Side Are You On, Boys Part 2: Correlation Of Forces

If, as I concluded in the previous essay, voting will do us little or no good, it would behoove us to prepare for the seemingly inevitable outcome of the tightening of the State's grip: insurrection.

There's already a significant preparationist community. It benefits from a support network composed of suppliers, strategists, tacticians, advisors on personal readiness, and counselors of other kinds. That's what you'd expect among free least, from the fraction determined to remain free. The question of greatest import at this time is whether to be openly associated with it, a decision that could entail either pleasant or unpleasant consequences.

The need to answer the question drives us automatically toward other questions that bear on it:

  1. How visible is "openly associated," and to whom?
  2. Has the political elite already begun to act against those who openly oppose it?
  3. What sorts of preparations would benefit from open involvement in the prepper community?
  4. Would those preparations, if made openly, be likely to draw the ire of the State?
  5. Are those preparations of the more vital or less vital sort?
  6. Are there alternatives that deserve consideration?
  7. Is there a point to any of this?

Some of those questions can be answered unambiguously for the general setting; others will depend on the personal circumstances of him who asks. The picture that needs to be drawn is that of the overall correlation of forces: the aggregate of all positive and negative factors that bear on one's decision to stand against the political elite.

Many commentators have spoken with alarm of the progressive militarization of local and state police forces. The Department of Homeland Security has "generously" provided military-grade equipment to many, perhaps most, police forces. That equipment has become ever more visible on the streets of American neighborhoods. That, plus the sharp increase in SWAT-style and "no-knock" raids on private residences, in many of which private citizens are killed or badly injured, or suffer severe property damage, suggests that even local police forces are moving toward a mindset in which the private citizen is regarded as an enemy, rather than someone to be "protected and served." The vision of the local policeman as Andy Griffith from Mayberry R.F.D. has ceased to bear any relation to reality.

It might not be perfectly obvious why this is happening. It derives from several motivational tributaries: the dynamic of the power-seeker most likely to become a policeman; the emphasis on the possibility of terrorism, which brings with it automatic suspicion of everyone; the unionization of the police; swelling mutual resentment between private citizens and all government employees, owing to the differences in security, status, and legal privileges; and to some extent the mere possession of the military-grade equipment itself.

That's undoubtedly a partial list. Indeed, there might be other factors of even greater import. What cannot be denied is the expanding gulf between law enforcers and private parties. It implies that in any outright confrontation between We the People and our ever more dictatorial political masters, law enforcement will not be on our side.

If, in the event of a citizen uprising, even our local police will be against us, and if they will be equipped to a military standard that no ordinary citizen could equal, whether there's any point at all to openly taking up arms against the ruling class is open to question. However, not all uprisings are open. Some of the most effective ones in recorded history "flew below the radar" so perfectly that the rulers were unsure they were at any risk at all.

There are "quiet rebellions" in progress as we speak. Two such are ongoing in New York and Connecticut, where thousands of private citizens are determinedly resisting draconian laws intended to nullify the Second Amendment.

It's clear that the ruling elites in those states are not pleased. The most recent indication comes from the editorial page of the uber-statist newspaper of Connecticut's capital city, the Hartford Courant:

Connecticut has a gun problem.

It's estimated that perhaps scores of thousands of Connecticut residents failed to register their military-style assault weapons with state police by Dec. 31....

Although willful noncompliance with the law is doubtless a major issue, it's possible that many gun owners are unaware of their obligation to register military-style assault weapons and would do so if given another chance.

But the bottom line is that the state must try to enforce the law. Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law.

A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even much lesser penalties or probation would mar a heretofore clean record and could adversely affect, say, the ability to have a pistol permit.

If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

We will pass swiftly over the fatuitous notion that Connecticut has "a gun problem." Connecticut's real problems are of a political genesis; they have nothing to do with the possession of firearms by Connecticut residents. Connecticut's homicide rate of 3.7 homicides per 100,000 residents puts it squarely in the middle of the fifty states. Considering that Connecticut's firearms laws are relatively restrictive, which correlates strongly with an elevated homicide rate, the state is doing fairly well.

However, the enactment of Connecticut's "anti assault weapon" law has prompted citizen resistance. The owners of such firearms are unwilling to register them, seeing registration as a precursor to confiscation. Given the sentiments expressed in the editorial above, the logic of the thing is clearly with them. The same phenomenon can be observed in New York, which has enacted a similar law.

Citizens who own rifles with significant power, range, and capacity are very seldom involved in crimes. However, they're the force most feared by America's would-be tyrants. If there were an uprising -- say, the descent of thousands of armed Connecticutians upon Hartford's capitol district, with an eye to hauling the governor and legislators out of their offices, then tarring, feathering, and running them out of town on a rail -- those with "assault weapons" would be the most potent part of the force.

Have our political masters begun to fear that such a development is drawing closer? Is it that possibility that has prompted the militarization of our state and local police forces and the legislative attempts to disarm us of the best weapons in our possession?

A visible, angry, and well armed resistance to tyranny is the very best deterrent to power-mongers' ambitions. It always has been and always will be. Tyrants already in power fear nothing else, which is why their highest priority is to disarm their subjects. Failing that, they'll do their best to out-arm those subjects: equipping their law enforcers with the most and best firepower possible. Orienting those forces toward "regime protection" and away from any bond with the private citizen is also part of the formula.

At this time, the correlation of forces is such that whether to join the open resistance is a question that can only be answered individual by individual. There's no question that the State is "better" armed than the citizenry, regardless of which locale we assess. However, the citizenry is more numerous, and more copiously armed. Quantity, as they say, as a quality all its own. In the event of open rebellion, it might well be sufficient.

But we who oppose the predations of the ever-encroaching State have something else on our side: the Supreme Law of the Land:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. [Amendment II, Constitution of the United States]

And as the editors of the Hartford Courant have already stated, when you decide to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

The ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination. -- Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)

Keep your powder dry.


YIH said...

suggests that even local police forces are moving toward a mindset in which the private citizen is regarded as an enemy,
Yes. Two days ago I got a knock on my front door, the man though in 'plain clothes' was wearing a badge and identified himself as a [city] police officer.
He said (pointing to the house next door) ''do you know those people?''. I answered ''No''. ''Have you seen this man?'' (holds up iPhone with mugshot on the screen). ''No''.
That's when things started getting creepy; his tone of voice was obviously getting angry ''Aren't you going to help me?''. Me [calmly] ''I don't know them, I don't associate with them'' (all perfectly true BTW) ''I've never seen the guy you're looking for'' (same). Then he heads back to his (unmarked) SUV.
No ''thank you for your time'', no nothing.
Just thought I'd pass that along. Make of it what you will.

Joseph P. Martino said...

Since you've raised the issue, perhaps you might put in a plug for my book, RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY, which is a primer on how to conduct an armed revolt. Available from Amazon.

If you do, thank you. If not, thank you anyway.

I read your blog daily. Well worth my time.