Kind of inspired by a thread on the merits (or lack thereof) regarding the separate storage of firearms and ammunition, I’m reminded of a constant theme I see from a subsection of legitimate gun owners in the US- namely, that they own their guns to Defend The US Constitution™.
I have zero problem with people owning firearms for self-defence/home defence, and I’d really prefer that this thread not get sidetracked into yet another “merits of Concealed Carry/Keeping a loaded handgun in the bedside drawer” thread.
What I do find a little… unsettling is the absolute conviction some people have that, should The US Constitution be “threatened” they will immediately take up arms a la Minutemen, and go off to fight the Evildoers.
This is all well and good if we’re talking about an invasion of the Continental US by the Communists or other Bad Guy Du Jour (although one can’t help but wonder if they’ve seen Red Dawn once too often…), which is working on the assumption that the US Armed Forces are still functioning and actively fighting the invaders. In effect, these guys would become partisans, and in that sort of situation, it can work- the Russians, the Yugoslavians, and even the Italians all made extensive use of Partisans at various points, to surprising effectiveness.
Of course, the reality is we’re not likely to see a full-scale invasion of the US anytime soon, and so a lot of this subsection of gun owners appear to have decided that the greatest threat to the US Constitution is their own government- and that’s the unsettling part, at least for me.
Now, I know that US politics are extraordinarily partisan (heh) and complicated- especially to non-US people, and it’s well known I’m no fan of the current Australian Government.
Anyway, the thing is this: Let’s take a hypothetical- the US takes the Australian route, and enacts strict gun laws. The US Supreme Court decides that the “The Right To Bear Arms” only confers the right to own hunting and sporting guns upon normal citizens.
People jump up and down about being made to hand in their semi-autos rifles, short barrel handguns, high capacity magazines, Desert Eagles, and so on- and at this point, the survivalist types are forced to either hand their AR-15s and so on in, bury them, or (according to them) start fighting the authorities, since the US Government has done Evil Things to the US Constitution.
The question (and the debate) really is, “If push came to shove, would all these die-hard Armed Constitutional Defenders actually use their guns to stop the authorities from enforcing the laws?”
Sure, there’ll always be one or two who will try and shoot it out- but really, if The Powers That Be decide that the general populace shouldn’t have so many guns, and the Supreme Court agrees with them, then I’d think your “average” law-abiding gun owner would probably comply (or at least bury the guns and deny ever owning them) until the situation sorted itself out.
I realise that the reality of bringing in such a law is considerably more difficult- maybe even impossible- on a US-wide level, but just put that to one side for a moment.
Would all these people- and they’re a minority of gun owners (the vast, vast majority of whom are law abiding, upstanding citizens)- really put their money where their mouth is (creating untold chaos in the process), or would they knuckle under when the SWAT team arrived, with considerably better equipment than they could ever hope to have?
Your thoughts, on the back of a postcard to the usual place…
Behind the hot water pipes
Third Washroom Along