We hear this lie way too often, and sadly we see some people base their future plans on the lie. Don’t fall for this trap.
So, what is the lie? Go to any gun rights forum and you’ll see it in its purest form. In the context of gun rights, its purest form is someone asserting, not as a joke but as an apparent truth ‘they’ll take my gun from me only when they pry it from my dead fingers’.
But the lie exists, sometimes in obvious form and sometimes in more subtle form, in many different contexts, not just gun rights. The prepping version of this lie is ‘I’ll never let them take my preps from me’. In its broadest form, it is any person claiming that they will take extreme action to oppose anything they disagree with.
There’s a corollary to the lie as well, which is even more deceptive and dangerous. The corollary takes the form of ‘I know (members of some official/government/law enforcement/military group) and they’d never agree to (do some unconstitutional act).’
The prepping version of this corollary is ‘The local police would never agree to an illegal/unconstitutional order to come and seize my stores.’
We have two words to offer to the bold brave blowhards who claim they’d die rather than relinquish their firearms, who claim they’ll shoot it out rather than surrender. New Orleans. There’s a huge number of ‘good old boys’ living in the New Orleans area, and exactly how many of them refused to allow the police to seize their weapons after Hurricane Katrina? Exactly zero. None. Zip. De nada. They meekly surrendered their guns like the sheep they truly are.
Or, to put it in another context, how about all the gun owners in states that place restrictions on gun ownership already. How many of those people have made brave (perhaps ‘foolhardy’ is a better term) fights to the death over their claimed rights? None.
If they are told they are not allowed ‘assault rifles’ they meekly comply. If they are told they can’t have magazines with more than ten rounds, they meekly comply. If they’re told they need to get a firearm owner’s certificate and permission to buy a firearm – yes, again they meekly comply. But then, after having meekly complied with all these restrictions, they tell us that if someone tries to take their firearms from them, they’ll fight to the finish! Apparently they don’t realize their firearms rights have already been largely taken from them.
And as for the corollary (that decent right-thinking police would refuse to comply with illegal/unconstitutional orders), again, two words. New Orleans. How many police and county sheriff deputies refused to seize people’s weapons, often at gunpoint, even from friends and neighbors? Again, zero.
For the preppers making similar statements, how many preppers openly defy laws restricting how much fuel they can store in a residence? None that we know of. Sure, some preppers might discreetly choose to ignore some restrictions, but how many do so openly and are keen to fight to the death over that issue? None (and just as well – we have a bad enough a public image already!).
Furthermore, and bearing in mind the billions of bullets that the Department of Homeland Security is amassing, if/when the authorities come to seize your preps or guns or whatever, who is to say they’ll need to rely on the help of the local police?
How big is the DHS? The short answer is they are the third largest Cabinet department (after DoD and Veterans Affairs). They employ about a quarter million people and have a budget of more than $100 billion (the DHS budget requires more than $300 from every man woman and child in the country, every year), but the question is the wrong question.
The better question is ‘how big is the entire government security/enforcement apparatus? The DHS is only the most visible part of the growing government security and control organization. This Sept 2010 article by the Washington Post (surprisingly critical for a left of center publication) says that some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence, in about 10,000 locations around the US. The WaPo article can’t even guess at the total headcount of all these organizations and private contractor companies.
To put those 10,000 locations into context, there are 50 states and 3,143 counties in the US. That means that each state averages 200 different locations with shadowy security type structures in place and people employed by them; or, if you prefer, an average of 3 locations in every county.
And that was back in 2010. You have to believe the numbers have grown still further in the almost three years since then.
Here’s one more version of the enormous lie. This one diffuses out the claim a bit – ‘The people in our area would never allow (whatever) to happen; they’re too conservative’.
That is a harder claim to ridicule, of course, which is why it is often made. But if you hear that claim being made, go have a look at the election results from the area that is supposedly ‘too conservative’. Okay, so maybe they elected a Republican congressman/senator/whatever, but by what size of majority? If you look at conservative states that are touted as ‘the American Redoubt’, did you know that in 2008, Montana almost gave its electoral college votes to Obama rather than McCain? McCain had only 2.5% more votes supporting him than Obama. How conservative is that?
If we drill down to county level results, some of the ‘best’ areas of Idaho and Montana for preppers have surprisingly large Democratic bases – as much as one in three people votes Democrat, even when faced with such stark choices as between (in 2012) Obama and Romney. Sure, some counties are more overwhelmingly Republican, but some counties are strongly Democrat too.
So if you have one-third voting Democrat, and at least half of the other two-thirds being only weakly Republican, our question becomes ‘just how conservative is your area, really?’.
For example, the small city of Troy in MT, which you’d hope would be ultra-conservative, has a city ordinance banning firearms from city parks. This is in a state touted as being one of the most ardent supporters of the Second Amendment (where in the Second Amendment does it say ‘except in city parks’?). Indeed, not only does this show a surprisingly anti-gun sentiment in Troy, but it also points out the regrettable lack in Montana of a comprehensive state level pre-emption statute forbidding all county, city and town gun laws in addition to the state laws.
What Is Our Point?
Okay, so we’ve roamed around the topic fairly broadly here. What are we actually trying to say?
Simply this : If you take comfort in the claims by other people that if/when something unconscionable occurs, they will resist such things all the way to the use of deadly force, and even at risk of personal injury or death, you are mistaken. And if you take comfort in the claims by other people that bad things could never happen because either it is unconstitutional or because good honest Americans would refuse to enforce the provision, you are again mistaken.
If you think that bad things could never be imposed on the American people because we, the people, would oppose such things, and because the Americans directed to impose such bad things on us would refuse to do so, you are very very mistaken.
The ugly reality is that we are already increasingly constrained by laws that many people would consider unconstitutional, particularly as regards the first, second, and fourth amendments. The ugly reality is that whenever people have been confronted by armed police demanding they acquiesce and allow their property to be searched without a warrant or due cause (ie after the Boston bombing) or demanding they surrender their firearms (ie after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans) everyone has uniformly acquiesced.
We are already much closer to a police state than we realize, and our constitutional rights have been massively constrained. How did weaponless friendly Andy Griffith morph into police in tactical gear with body armor and fully auto weapons, and with head masks obscuring their identity and making them all the more impersonal and unaccountable?
How did a world where firearms training was often offered at schools morph into a world where a child drawing a picture of a gun gets suspended and ‘counselled’ (some might say ‘brainwashed’)?
Where in the Fourth Amendment does it say ‘except if within 100 miles of the border or an international airport’ (which includes much of the American Redoubt, and indeed, nearly all of the populated country in general)? This is how the Fourth Amendment reads – a clear statement that has become almost unrecognizably distorted :
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
You need to realize that bad things could and might happen, and if they do, there is unlikely to be any popular uprising against such bad things, and that the authorities will be able to enforce such things with overwhelming force.
Our founding fathers would not recognize the America of today.