Guns, Dems, Civil War
I was reading your articles and many updates to how and why a second Civil War could come to the US and felt like you were missing the most likely scenario. Then I read how you wrote that you are more of a 1st Amendment supporter and think some conservatives are too focussed on the 2nd. This perception of yours may be causing you to discount what I think is the likeliest route to a 2nd Civil War.This is the path that I see:Biden wins the Presidency and the Democrats take the Senate and keep the House. The federal government then follows up on Biden’s statement that the most popular rifles in the US should be illegal. They remove then remove the protections on gun manufacturers so that even if a gun manufacturer did nothing wrong, the manufacturer would still be required to pay for any damage that gun caused. This would bankrupt all gun manufacturers. [Note: Biden’s platform calls for removing protections on gun manufacturers. — RD]The US has something like 8 million miles of roads and highways, 140,000 miles of railroad track and 160,000 miles of electric power lines. No government can defend all of that. If Biden wins and semi-automatic rifles are banned, then the “Resistance” will likely begin with individual attacks on shipping. It would not take a large percent of gun owners to shut down the economy of the US. Puncture enough fuel tanks on semi and locomotives and most shipping stops. Hit a few key long distance transmission power lines and the blackouts will be extensive.Since no government can defend that many miles of infrastructure, especially since most of those miles are in red areas with county police likely sympathetic to the shooters, house by house gun confiscation would be the only remaining option to a federal government trying to control the damage. This is what would trigger many states to secede and likely cause mutiny in much of the armed forces.I live in the rural part of VA. Democrats took over total control of VA government this past session. They proposed many bills to curtail the civil rights of gun owners. The response at the county level in rural areas was tremendous. More people came out to these county government meetings than had ever happened before. Your writing implies you either disagree with this or that you are unaware of this response. My county, a fairly crunchy and granola rural county voted to be a gun sanctuary county for the state and not enforce state laws that restricted civil rights related to guns.While I hope this does not happen as it will cause untold suffering, deaths, and loss, I am preparing for this to happen. My family has purchased guns for the first time, we obtained training and we are stocking up on ammunition. We are preparing more food stores and learning to save our own vegetable seeds.
Disbelieving war makes it inevitable. People will always disbelieve that we could come to blows, until we do. Delegates at the “Democracy” party convention in Charleston, in the summer of 1860, were still in denial of the coming fury. No one dares imagine another civil war playing out like the last, when two grimly determined American armies fought each other to the death in bloody pitched battles. It is unlikely that a third American civil war will embrace 18th and 19th century military dynamics. Antique Anglo-American society—organized around community “mustering”—was culturally equipped to fight civil wars. Today’s screen-absorbed Millennials are not. So what?
But the historical consequences of a non-military American civil war would be just as severe as any struggle settled by battle and blood. For example, the map of a divided America today suggests that division into functioning state and local sovereignties—with autonomy over kinship, identity, and way of life issues—might be the result of this non-bloody war. This could even represent de facto national partition—without de jure secession, achieved through a gradual process of accretive state and local nullification.
So what would a non-military civil war look like? Could it be non-violent? Americans are certainly not lovers, but they do not seem really to be fighters either. A possible path to kinship disengagement—a separation without de jure divorce—would here likely follow a crisis, a confrontation, and some shocking, spasmodic violence, horrifyingly amplified on social media. Passions at this point would pull back, but investment in separation would not. What might eventuate would be a national sorting out, a de facto kinship separation in which Blue and Red regions would go—and govern—their own ways, while still maintaining the surface fiction of a titular “United States.” This was, after all, the arrangement America came to after 20 years of civil war (1857-1877). This time, however, there will be no succeeding conciliation (as was achieved in the 1890s). Culturally, this United States will be, from the moment of agreement, two entirely separate sensibilities, peoples, and politics.
FYI, re your blog post “Guns, Dems, Civil War”, I’ve acquired a semi-automatic mini pistol (Sig Sauer P365) and had my first session with a private trainer at a target range this afternoon. At the end of the month, I’ll attend his class for qualifying for the Michigan concealed pistol license (CPL). When I obtain it, I’ll start “packing heat”.
Until this afternoon, I hadn’t fired a weapon since leaving the Army in 1969 and debated with myself for the last couple of years whether or not I should get a CPL and carry a pistol. The riots around the country this summer, as well as my concerns with safety in my neighborhood (where I have been mugged and where there are often break-ins), finally prompted me to take action. My wife reluctantly went along.
I’m getting more than a few e-mails and messages like this. A friend e-mailed today to say that he had just joined the NRA. He forwarded to me the “congratulations” message he received confirming his membership, and added:
Amazing. I hated them only 8 months ago.
Times are changing.