Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Resistance is Futile

I mentioned that I watched the pilot for “Revolution”.  After a couple more episodes, I have given up entirely.  There does not seem to be much on television these days – the main reason I dropped my satellite service and get only the local broadcast channels.  When we travel and I am stuck in the same room with my wife (yes, he did say that), I end up watching really stupid and obviously fake programs like “American Hoggers” or whatever they call it.  My wife watches “Blue Bloods” now that “Monk” is seen only in syndication.  I sometimes watch that with her as Tom Selleck is one of the few American male actors left who doesn’t come off as an idiot, a thug, immensely annoying or metrosexual.  It’s OK.  I like the family-values part of “Blue Bloods”.  Other than that, it’s a pretty typical cop show. 

While we are on the subject, I do also have to acknowledge that the writers of “Revolution” throw in the occasional amusing homage or name-drop.  A couple of the main characters met a group of rebels.  The person they are with does not immediately introduce them so the male protagonist introduces himself and his niece by saying, “I’m Stu Redman.  This is Frannie.”  Later he suggests trying to tunnel their way out of a building the militia has surrounded, saying, “We’re going to ‘shawshank’ our way out of here.” Two Stephen King references in one episode almost won me back over.  There was possibly even a third reference – again to The Stand.  We are shown only the lower limbs of a mysterious and powerful intruder who carries off an older black woman from a house in the middle of a cornfield.  She manages to send out a message before she is taken identifying the intruder as “Randall”.  You may recall that King’s satanic villian was “Randall Flagg”.

I remember some writer saying that, to make money, the best course was to write for people who move their lips while reading.  Most television and most films are aimed at that same demographic – people with a minimal ability to comprehend, those with a short attention span, the easily distracted –

Something shiny went past my window. 

During discussions about gun control, proponents of taking firearms from individual citizens will often mock the idea of resistance against authority.  No civilian needs an assault rifle because it would be ineffective against a modern, first-world military power such as the United States.  The same argument will be used for handguns or hunting rifles depending on the nature of the discussion. 

It is true that, typically, soldiers use their rifles in suppressive fire, to hold an enemy force in position for heavier weapons.  Far more enemy combatants are killed in the “average” encounter by “called in” firepower than by direct rifle fire.  If the United States were to become a combat zone, the rebels would find themselves pursued and attacked by drones, their homes and farms and hideouts struck by smart bombs and missiles from aircraft or by supremely accurate fire from long-range weapons mounted on armored vehicles.  In such encounters, even a fully automatic rifle is little better than a water pistol. 

Despite my dismissal of “Revolution” as uninteresting in terms of entertainment, the show does make at least one positive contribution in that it suggests the disarming of individuals has an ulterior motive.  Denying a person the right to own a firearm makes that person easier to control.  Whether that is always the intent of government officials is beside the point.  It is always the result.  People with effective firearms are a threat to tyrants be those tyrants petty or grandiose, outlawed or endorsed and sanctioned by governments. 

Tyrants are not limited to dictators, emperors and kings.  Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is a tyrant.  The bureaucrats at the EPA are tyrants.  Eric Holder is a tyrant.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are tyrants.  The IRS is a tyrannical agency.  Many SWAT teams are operated by tyrannical police departments authorized and run by tyrannical municipal governments.  I am not advocating that we shoot any of those people, but it is clear why they do not like for their subjects to be armed.  Don’t get me started on the once-great nation of England where you cannot carry a knife on your person, and you are subject to prosecution if you defend yourself in any way from an attacker. 

The bad guys in “Revolution” allow bows, crossbows, and edged weapons for hunting and defense, but they will execute anyone who possesses even a blackpowder weapon.  The rebels acquire a Remington sniper rifle from bad guys via the use of an improvised blackpowder zipgun not that different from the famous single-shot .45 ACP Liberator pistols sent to France in World War II.  One of the rebels then uses the rifle to hold off a unit of the bad militia.  The commanding officer says to one of his men that this is the reason they have outlawed the possession of firearms.  It makes the citizens too hard to keep in line.

There is nothing new under the sun. 

Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.”  But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle, … So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.  And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.  – 1 Samuel 13:19-23

Despots and oppressors have outlawed everything from crossbows to claymores,  BARs to Big Mamas in an attempt to dominate the populace.  This is not for the safety of the subjects but for the safety of the rulers and their minions.  A pistol can get you a rifle.  A rifle can get you a rocket launcher. 

Quite often those gun-grabbing naysayers are of the group who are bad at arithmetic and cannot seem to understand that the government does not have an unlimited amount of resources no matter how much money it prints.  Say that I have a thousand rounds of rifle ammunition worth $300 or $400.  If I expend all of that ammunition and take out only one or two of the oppressors, it is still a fairly cost effective process.  On the other hand, what does it cost to build and send up unmanned drones, to build and buy smart bombs, to take out a couple of rebels with an A-10 strike?  These things are all expensive and limited.  Forget there being a hundred million gun-owners in this country.  What if there is only one percent of the population – three million – or three percent – nine million, willing to fight and die?  How much does it cost to take that many people out?  We will also for the moment ignore the fact that those most likely to resist oppression are the more productive, skilled and intelligent among us, though that would be a huge detriment to the other side’s ability to long maintain its resource advantage. 

God knows that we do not ever want another civil war in this country.  We will endure a lot to avoid the possibility of bloodshed.  We understand all too well that the outcome of such a conflict is largely a lose-lose situation and not entirely unlikely to lead to more egregious oppression rather than restoration of freedom, regardless of the “winner”.  Nevertheless, resistance to tyranny is never futile, and we should never allow ourselves to be disarmed and turned into subjects.  The fact that oppressors would like to convince us that our weapons are useless is sufficient evidence to me that they are not.  Your handgun may not be much use against a tank, but it is still a deterrent to tyrants.  Let them sweat. 


  1. Quantity has a quality all its own. I read an interesting story over at WRSA dated Sept 11th about a failed coup. Not the best writing but an intersting read related to your post. Spoiler: The long-distance shooters save the Republic.

    I suspect going to WRSA will put you on some agency's list, So be forewarned.

  2. I read that. It's pretty interesting.

    Yes, I'm probably on a list. I go over there all the time and not usually via proxy -- I assume using a proxy could put you on a list, too. Those guys and many they link to are pretty radical and, I think, probably wrong about what will be required of them in the future. That said, it's nice to know there are people like Mosby, Arctic Patriot and American Merc out there, just in case I'm wrong.