Who’d-a thunk Kevin Spacey would go from ogling Mina Suvari to crushing democracy in The Land of the Free as a corporate overlord? Wait, that kinda makes sense. “Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society,” the wikipedia hive mind opines. In these days of NSA spying and police militarization, plenty of Americans see their country heading that way. And so people flock to movies and video games where individuals fight for individual freedom. Is this fear of tyranny driving gun sales? If it is, is that a bad thing, a treasonous thing, as gun control advocates suggest? After all, President Obama assured us the government is us.

99 Responses to Question of the Day: Is Dystopia Driving Gun Sales?

    • Owning Guns != Cherishing Freedom

      Based on personal observation (so take it for what it’s worth), your typical gun owner is as pro-liberty as your typical ACLU member.

      In other words, not very much, except when citing the Constitution is convenient to advance an agenda.

      • Actually no, what you perceive couldn’t be farther from the truth. I live in the deep south and me all my friends are fervent gun owners, and very pro constitutionalists. FOR EVERBODY, and EVERY RIGHT, the 1st-27th. The majority of gun owners will fight for the 1st, regardless of color or religion, just a fervently as the second. You have a very misperceived notion of the People of the Gun. We don’t have an agenda, hidden or otherwise, we want what we’ve always been fighting for since the revolution. A free and open society where you have the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, without the Government breathing down your back, and for everyone, Man, Woman, Child, Black, White. Latino, Asian, Native, and yes, even Arab. Shocked?

        • Shocked?

          No, because

          1) I’ve heard this all before, and

          2) I don’t believe you, any more than I believe that speech when it comes from the ACLU.

        • So hey anonymous, what’s the point you’re trying to make? Do you also troll the ACLU blogs accusing them of disingenuousness? I get it, you don’t believe anybody. OK…and? I think you should understand something. Nobody cares.

        • @ “Anonymous”- Heard this all before? Really? Where? When? and by Who? And what did they do that convinced you that I am a bloodthirsty, racist, domestic terrorist, redneck? Ok, yes I am a redneck. But hey, lets cut the crap, the rest of them words are where your trying to go right? Don’t sugar coat it. You incorrectly believe that all us Pro 2A people are evil baby killing racists, because you’ve been brought up that way, or simply watch way to much CNN. If you’d lose the bigotry, and actually get to know some of us, I think you’d find that your bigoted views are extremely incorrect, and the real enemy here is fear, and ignorance. And Mike Bloomberg.

        • Reply to anonymous,

          “1) I’ve heard this all before, and”

          Good point, we all have. It makes the concept not surprising however it doesn’t really fit. To distill it to some simple “proof” of justification or negation is too small a scope.

          Certainly there would be a influence but there were plenty of gun owners before our current dystopia. I would argue that if we had a perfect “utopia” there would be equality, respect, meaning in life, minimal “government” and no gun control laws. To focus on guns, there would be no necessity for gun control laws because people would use them safely, and responsibly even if there was no immediate need for self defense or whatever. Guns are merely a tool, useful for hunting to recreation. The are mechanically and historically fascinating. They are part of scientific, social and political history and will continue to be. As such there would still be ownership of guns, use of guns and study and manufacture of guns.

          “2) I don’t believe you, any more than I believe that speech when it comes from the ACLU.”

          Just curious, what are your specific gripes against the ACLU, don’t get me wrong, I have my own but just want to compare notes.

        • Just curious, what are your specific gripes against the ACLU, don’t get me wrong, I have my own but just want to compare notes.

          CT Resident,

          Aside from their obvious failure to support the 2nd amendment, they are basically a leftist special interest group masquerading as a civil liberties group; much like gun-owners claiming to “fight for freedom”. There’s nothing wrong with being a left-wing or right-wing special interest group, but I’m tired of them lying about what they are. They are not a “civil liberties” group. Their most honest statement came from (then) ACLU President Nadine Strossen in the October 1994 issue of Reason magazine:

          I don’t want to dwell on constitutional analysis, because our view has never been that civil liberties are necessarily coextensive with constitutional rights. Conversely, I guess the fact that something is mentioned in the Constitution doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a fundamental civil liberty.

          – Nadine Strossen
          Life, Liberty, and the ACLU

          See also the reader letters from the Janaury 1995 issue. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. Or that before the ubiquity of the internet, people actually wrote and mailed letters to publications.

          I’m all for the idea of unenumerated rights; e.g., unlimited abortion on demand, gay marriage, unrestricted illegal immigration (this list does not constitute an endorsement). Consider a Ven Diagram with two sets: “civil liberties” and “rights explicitly mentioned in the constitution”. “Rights explicitly mentioned in the constitution” is a sub-set of “civil liberties”. Instead, they exclude some constitutional rights — in the interview, the topic was gun ownership — because guns are icky, or something.

          The latest straw was last year, when I received the following ACLU e-mail shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings:

          From: Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Action
          Date: Thursday, Apr 25, 2013
          Subject: 95% of Americans Agree

          Let your senators know that the vast majority of Americans are calling for a more just and humane immigration system.

          We are all greatly saddened by the tragedy of the Boston bombings, from the loss of life and physical injuries to the emotional toll it has taken on the nation.

          That’s why it’s so troubling that some people are trying to draw a link between the tragedy in Boston and the issue of immigration reform. As members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have said, that is false and counterproductive.

          We cannot afford to condemn groups based on their skin color, ethnicity, immigration status, national origin, ideology or religion; nor can we allow fear or prejudice to derail the potential offered by the historic immigration reform bill released last week in the Senate.

          Before the Brothers Tsarnaev were suspects, the folks at CNN, MSNBC, et al., engaged in the usual game of blaming tax protestors, gun owners, Tea Party members, and anyone else they don’t like, under the scary monikers of “Right Wing”, “Patrtiot”, and “Militia” groups. Yet for some reason, I never received an e-mail from the ACLU stating that

          That’s why it’s so troubling that some people are trying to draw a link between the tragedy in Boston and conservative groups

          nor, after the Sandy Hook shootings,

          That’s why it’s so troubling that some people are trying to draw a link between the tragedy in Newton and law abiding gun owners.

          Believe me, I checked my e-mail spam filters.

          In the late 1990s, it was things like their schizophrenic regarding public funding: specifically, abortion and school vouchers. When it came to abortion, their position was that a failure to fund it was a denial of the right. When it came to school vouchers, their position was that it was “tyranny” (their word, or maybe it was “tyrannical”) to force taxpayers to pay for something they may disagree with. And yes, I repeatedly criticized them for this hypocrisy the ACLU message boards. (Do they still have those on their web site? I miss the early days of the web).

          If abortion was as restricted as gun rights, the ACLU would be urging their members to take up arms * and riot in the streets. (* The result would be “total protonic reversal”: “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”)

          Speaking of abortion: While I have no problem with somebody being pro-abortion, the ACLU’s views are so extreme — such as their position that an adult male should be allowed to take a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion — and cultist — urging their members to celebrate “abortion appreciation day” — that it is creepy.

          And the tone of the ACLU e-mail alerts has always seemed partisan. When a Republican was president from 2001 – 2009, they seemed to take a “the barbarians are at the gate” approach, blaming the right-wing, Republicans, and mentioning Bush by name. Whenever a Democrat is in power, the tone is more neutral, without naming a specific political party. I don’t know if anyone ever did a quantitative study about that, but that’s the way it seemed to me.

          As somebody said a long time ago, “America needs a civil liberties union. It’s too bad that we don’t have one.” I’m sure that if I think about it some more, I can come up with more reasons. I have several decades of material to work with, but it’s been a long time since I thought about this in any detail. I hope I’ve at least partially answered your question.

          – anonymous

      • I disagree. Take an average person who is kinda generally pro-freedom in a vague way, but doesn’t think about it too much. Now that person decides to get a concealed carry permit. not for love of the 2nd Amendment, but because he lives or works in a sketchy part of town. After jumping through all the hoops necessary to get the permit and acquire a firearm, and then learn about all the places he can’t carry it, it’s very likely he will have gained a whole new appreciation for how bloated and intrusive government is. That’s bound to make most people more pro-freedom.

      • Its alright guys, see his post below, he thinks “The Onion” is a real news site.

      • If the gun owner in question takes the 2nd as seriously as the founders did, and he ought to do, facts on the ground will pretty much keep any other freedom people care about safe as well. A properly interpreted 2nd, would leave the government little leeway to to otherwise.

        The average ACLU’er on the other hand, is more than happy to have a government who lets him say (some of, more than his neighbor is allowed to) what he likes to say; simply because they say they will, and their TV spokesman say they are really nice guys compared to the guys before them. Not because there is much he could do about it if they decided to “change their mind.” (A politician????)

        There is a big, big difference there. I do share some concern that even many self proclaimed 2nd supporters have fallen so far down the progressive indoctrination hole, that even they have forgotten that the 2nd is there specifically to put hard limits, on what the now presumed divine trinity of publicly funded indoctrination, democraciiii and “the rule of law” can get away with doing.

      • I have to disagree with You anonymous. In February of 2013, local Young Republicans held a gun rights rally in Huntsville, AL. Held at the civic center, featuring our congressman, several state reps, and local speakers. The crowd of 1,700 made it largest political rally in Huntsville’s history.
        I think the average gun owner is waking up and getting involved.

  1. Well it certainly is true that sales surge every time the current occupant of the White House opens his mouth about the subject. But I wouldn’t say they are driving gun sales. Boosting? Sure. Hell… I might even go so far as to say they’re SUPER CHARGING gun sales. But I’m not comfortable saying that they’re the drive behind all gun sales. People would be buying new guns anyway.

  2. In one word? Eeyup.

    In many words? Yes, but for a myriad of reasons to me. People like me, the younger generation, are growing up in the internet age where the truth cannot be hidden. We see that there are lies and conspiracies. We know that bad things can and will happen. I for one looked at history and saw things like Munich and Beslan and thought ‘Holy Sh!t’. Factor in other pop culture things like ‘The Walking Deas’ and such (Fallout was my trigger, pun intended) to prepare and be armed for a bleak, unhappy future.

    • “People like me, the younger generation, are growing up in the internet age where the truth cannot be hidden.”

      This is the key that so many of the “old guard” wildly underestimate. Why did so many people travel to Nevada to oppose the Bureau of Land Management? First and foremost because they actually knew that something was happening. Second, because they were able to learn details about what was happening and why it was happening which motivated them to act. Both of those factors were only possible because of the Internet. That event would never have happened 30 years ago.

      • As you may note it did not happen at Waco, though there were weeks available to act, no one knew what was going on. They knew BIG SHIT was going on, but had no idea what.

    • Yes! Fallout! That’s about what its going to be like. I just hope we get pipboys by then. And maybe power armor, the military is working on it.

    • From my ‘Old Guard’ perch, the ‘Internet Generation’ could not tell truth if it bit them in the ass and pronounced it by yelling in their ear!

      My generation had morals and knew the difference between right and wrong. A man’s word was his bond.

      “Don’t mess with old men…they’ll just shoot you….”

      Now, if you don’t mind…that intro is one hell of a cool one!

      • Which generation was that? The one that hated “niggers” and wanted them out of white schools? Or the one after that, that harped about how long haired hippies are destroying the moral fabric of society? Or the one after that, which fought a long and hard war to keep sodomy laws on the books?

        You guys are all such paragons of freedom.

  3. It seems obvious that it is driving gun sales. Think back 20 or 30 years at what the covers of gun magazines looked like,mostly hunting arms or nostalgia single action revolvers. Today they look like the prop list for “Blackhawk Down”. Is that bad or treasonous? In general I don’t think so. It does seem odd that both 2A people and antis both seem to think of the US as a more violent place and time than the 80s or 90s.Certainly mistrust of government or tyranny is a big force. It always makes me laugh to think that when I began to think in those terms, the right wing was the monster, now you guys think it’s the left.maybe the real bogey man is somewhere else.

  4. when you see tha accelerated loss of free speech , college students and professors demanding prohibition on speech questioning global warming . the Irs openly persecute “disent” . The mainstream media is in lockstep with the ruling part. there is clear cause for concern. the banking crisis in 2008 may have been solved, but it may also have only postponed the problem . the caos in ukrane that allowed putin to act is an extention of the same economic mess in europe.
    there is always a possibility that if it gets worse here, someone in some part of government will try to take advantage of the situation here.
    I live in the detroit area, so I see clearly and constantly the diffrence between the current state of affairs and how things are presented on the media. there are 92 million working age people not in the workforce. after their unemplyment benefits run out they are no longer counted as unemployed . the media gleefuly reports ” unemployment down! ” . Both prties seem completely out of touch with the american people.

    I have faith and hope that thinge aill improve, and the electroral process will be effective in chasening the washington insiders into reigning in the loss of freedom and unresponsiveness to the economic problems .

    those less optimistic tham me may look at the situation and worry. When they worry, they may decide that they need to take some precations in case things none of us want happen.

    real estate in metropolitan areas is not rising in price, but in michigan , “cottages” in more remot areas are selling like hotcakes.

    • You don’t “solve” a banking crisis by handing even more power and resources to the same people and institutions that created the so called crisis in the first place.

      The West’s banking crisis, is caused by having a financial sector that contributes somewhere between 1 and negative 10 percent to growth every year, yet pockets 50% of the remunerations, by having institutions of government rob others on their behalf. While ,in addition, overwhelmingly influencing to whom the remaining remuneration goes, by their almost complete control over fund flows.

      There is no way to “solve” that crisis that does not include a shrinking of the financial sector by 90% relatively speaking. Which noone has doe so far. Hence, crisis not solved, but rather made even worse.

  5. Well, it’s certainly driving video game plots. How else is a series that jumped the shark a few releases ago supposed to engage jaded gamers and squeeze money out of the franchise one more time? Bigger, badder, futury…. Bleah, whatever. I may go for it just for Kevin Spacey–he may be the most entertaining role in a video game since Michael Ironsides appeared in Command & Conquer. 🙂

  6. If concerns about a future Dystopia is driving guns sales — than that simply means that gun owners are far more rational, have a better grasp of history and a better intuitive sense of risk than others.

    People who are thinking clearly — are concerned about SYSTEMIC risk.

    • and being concerned in that regard is doubleplusgood! but it also shows we may eventually be guilty of thoughtcrime eventually and cling to our guns and pickups or some such nonsense. can’t remember (and don’t care to) the exact wording of the quote.

      ha ha, see what I did there Emmanuel Goldstein?

  7. 12% unemployment (17% at the peak)** will do that to a country. Never before seen unemployment (except the great depression) brings all kinds of bad politics and strange reactions… like the rise of the Jobbik party in Hungary and the Golden Dawn Party in Greece.

    Marc Faber, Peter Schiff, and a number of others have been predicting hyperinflation in the US for a while now.

    Not that I lend credence to these theories, but it should not be so surprising to see an upswing in interest in survivalist skills, gold, and distopianism in general at a time of high unemployment, when traditionally mass unemployment on a great depression scale has been addressed with… wars.

    And, yes, distopianism drives (in part) gun sales. Along with potential gun bans.

    ** http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=zzQ

    • We’ve also had a few distopian dry runs lately.

      Loot at Katrina.

      Look at Sandy, with looters going house to house in wrecked neighborhoods within NYC itself. Think about it – NYC had looters and arson within days of losing power. In suburban Connecticut, neighborhoods had no power for two weeks and had no problems with law enforcement. Of course, we’re pretty well armed out here and tend to know and like our neighbors.

  8. Nothing imaginary about the world we live in. Anyone paying attention can see what’s going on in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey ETC. Bleak? Yeah.,

  9. Sure is for allot of people. I’ve always been into the gun world and ever since 9/11 its gone from mainly hunting/sport world to being completely dominated for defense/SHTF scenario. People want military oriented firearms, for a reason.

  10. Back in the day, Art Bell used to call it “the quickening”.
    Interesting term.
    Maybe as a collective mind, we see a coming global socio-economic collapse such as we’ve never seen before, and people are realizing they are under-prepared.

    Maybe it’s people waking up to a .gov that is just becoming way too intrusive and want a ‘pacifier’ to sooth the anxiety created by that intrusiveness.

    Personally, I don’t see millions of people suddenly becoming collectors of firearms.

    Maybe a combination of a lot of these reasons/ideas coupled with the toilet paper joke.
    Years ago, Johnny Carson joked that there was a terrible toilet paper shortage. The next day, there was a run on toilet paper that created a shortage.

    All of these moms and mayors telling us how bad and evil guns are, coupled with obeyme’s push for gun control maybe caused a bump in gun buys. Which necessitated a surge in ammo purchasing, which started a shortage.
    The shortage causing a mini panic, which caused even more buying because “I’ve got to have one before they are all gone or banned” sort of thinking.

    Me?
    I just like to shoot.
    A lot.

  11. I think the writing is on the wall that this happy life of relative peace that we enjoy is coming to an end–and sooner rather than later. Our society has peaked and, much like multiple great civilizations before it, is about to fall. The question is not “will we fall” but “how fast” and “how hard”. More and more people are realizing this one inevitable truth.

    The truth is that a dystopian future like the one predicted in so many novels is about to come true. The truth is that we have passed the point of no return and even if we got a clean sweep of Congress with pro-freedom, pro-liberty people who were smart about spending and all the rest, it’s too late. We’re going off that cliff.

    So be ready.

  12. It’s driving me, that’s for true. Every day finds a new horror somewhere across the land. Quickening, indeed.

  13. The dystopian nightmare is the main driver behind prepping, and guns are a small part of prepping. For the rest of us, guns are what they’ve always been and little has changed, except that we are more aware, energized and pissed off because the G is trying to take them away.

  14. It’s what I’ve said in the past; If people really wanted freedom; we wouldn’t have so much of our world history based on a relatively few psychopaths with weapons of war; (most governments), controlling 95% of the rest of the population. America is unique in that we actually have had individual freedom; for a while at least; now that freedom is under overt attack by those same tyrannical forces.

    As for the rest of the premise; yeah. I think a dystopian view is driving a lot of the gun sales; otherwise we wouldn’t have the premiere ammo for survival situations; (.22lr) the hardest ammo to get. Anyone watching the world economy and the price of gold, silver and commodities knows we are in one of the most precarious economic instability in recorded history, and what is birthed historically by a world wide economic instability is world wide war.

  15. I don’t really understand how anyone thinks that they, with small arms, would ever be able to survive a truly massive apocalyptic scenario involving opposition that has heavy armor and stand-off weapons.

    Unless they think things actually do work like in Call of Duty where they get to respawn and make ridiculously long shots with a carbine.

    • I guess you aren’t aware of the Finns in the Winter War of 1940 when the Soviets took it in the groin. What about the Viet Mihn or the Viet Cong? There are plenty of ways to skin a cat. Armor can also be a liability when you need mass quantities of fuel.

      • You also have to exit the armor for various purposes aside from refueling/rearming. Given that you are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of armed and pissed off people who are no strangers to the arms they carry, that makes the life of an armored vehicle or tank approximately the amount of time it takes to burn one tank of fuel, after which the armor is useless because the crew is dead. Tanks are most useful for fighting tanks, fighting huge numbers of armed enemies, they are worthless. And pray tell why you would use a carbine instead of a .50 BMG sniper rifle? Oh, and after killing the crew, guess what?! Now you have a TANK!

        • unfortunately with little to no fuel. but very well spoken, and accurate. let’s also not forget the uselessness of tanks in narrow cityscapes. literally asking for a hurtin’, especially if the surrounding thousands of angry people contain a large amount of educated and experienced folks with the formal training….

          just saying.

    • Well Paul, your premise is not backed by fact or history; a revolution always begins with small arms by a people willing to stand up to the “legal government” backed by a well equipped military. Then those revolutionaries gather the bigger weapons, infrastructure and supplies to continue the struggle.

      Our own successful revolution against the one of the greatest military powers of the time; Frances revolution a short time later; Switzerland’s revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, The Cuban revolution, Vietnams fight against the U.S, The Rwandan rebels, the Arab Spring, various revolutions in central and South America, The Afghans fight against the Russian invasion. The list goes on and on of successful revolutions against the much better armed and equipped military of the “legal” government or against the invaders of a “better equipped” military force.

      Of course; the government that is installed is usually more tyrannical and murderous than what was replaced; but it doesn’t take away from the fact that is was a “successful” revolution against a better equipped “legal government”.

      .

    • Actually, the insurgents always win as long as they do not engage their more powerful enemy in toe to toe, set piece battles.

      IEDs, booby traps and other stealthy, low tech weapons are weapons of the weak and they wreak havoc among the strong. Vietnam and Afghanistan prove the point. We had all the high tech, powerful toys, but we were still beaten.

      Our military never lost a battle in either war, but it lost the war between the battles every single time. Read Sun Tzu and his plagarist, Mao. Then you won’t be so damn smug.

      • As I’ve said and written before, in an American insurgency, the insurgents don’t have to actually win any battles, they just have to cause enough trouble to force the military to over-react and use enough force to make the majority of American officers and men revolt or walk away. It’s relatively easy to kill the “other” – it’s a lot hard to kill your own countrymen. Sure the ATF and a few other agencies can find enough men who can “otherize” small groups of Americans, but can you convince a Marine battalion to “otherize’ an entire midwestern town?

    • Well history has proved the exact opposite. I can’t actually recall a time when a serious insurgent group was soundly defeated. It seems to me that almost always, the insurgencies win, time and time again. The only time I can think of the insurgents “losing”, is when the opposition government “makes a deal”, with the insurgency. And in cutting a deal, they didn’t really “lose”.

      • Shining Path and the Tamil Tigers are only two I can think of right now.

        Oh yeah, the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine were soundly defeated with back-stab by the Red Army. I wonder if history will rhyme this time?

    • Tanks etc. don’t drive themselves. And the oppressors are not some undifferentiated single organism. It’s not “us” in totality, versus “them” in totality. The world’s not some childish sports or video game with two sides, clear rules and some guys who are all “hero” while other all “:bad”. Tings are much more fluid. In fact, a much better model is to assume everyone is in it for themselves, and is opportunistic in the extreme. If every single American reflexively took careful aim and fired at everyone working for the police, the police force would quickly run into recruitment trouble. And if that’s not enough, the people can always up the ante by broadening their scope to killing all the cops’ family, kids and relatives as well. At some point, it’s just no longer worth it to be on the oppressors side. Just ask some of the former cops who have switched side in the Latin American narco “wars.”

      There is also the complication that no government has ever done anything productive, ever. So simply nuking “the people” isn’t really going to do it for them either. INstead, they are forced to capture us alive, and find a way to force us to work hard enough to fund the oppressive machine they require to stay in control. That has been quite easy as long as they were able to control all channels of information, from “schools” (more like indoctrination camps) to the media. But once that stranglehold breaks, which it is in the process of doing, they will be forced to rely on more direct forms of coercion.

      Which ought to trigger even the most well indoctrinated to reconsider whether the scumbags are really “the good guys”, as they claim to be.

      Formally, people will only be worth governing/oppressing/enslaving as long as the benefit they bring the oppressors/government/slaveholders outweighs the cost of enslaving them. Which leads to a two pronged strategy for getting rid oft the scum:

      1. Don’t be a rewarding slave to keep, by shifting as much activity to the grey, untaxed underground economy as possible (use bitcoins, cash, barter, under the table payments etc.). And Relocate as much productive activity to low tax areas as possible (regulatory arbitrage)

      2. Be expensive to control. Use as many “services” as you can get away with, aka bleed the beast. If you can weasel your way to welfare payments, do so. If Obama and sycophants force you to pay for shitty health insurance, live at your doctors office until you get prescriptions for subsidizwed expensive meds that cost the insurers in bed with the oppressors more than they take in. Be maximally intransigent and use the court system for all it’s worth. In general, be a pain ion the rear to get to do anything. Of course, leaving IEDs laying around would certainly up your cost game considerably, but advising people to do illegal things on the internet, is probably illegal. So I can’t do that.

      The only surefire way to avoid being governed/enslaved, is to be more expensive to oppress,/enslave/govern than what any wannabe oppressor can hope to get out of you. If you cannot do that, you are leaving a pot of gold on the table, for anyone willing to take it. Which history has shown is not such a wise idea for those who cherish freedom.

    • Yours is the perspective of the elites.

      Only the stupid will go up against armor – or even the US military dismounted. And, more to the point, why would I want to go toe-to-toe with the guys in the uniformed services? They’re some of my best drinking buddies and customers. I’d rather buy them a beer and a dry set of socks than get into a fight with them.

      Here’s a massive clue: Revolutions and civil wars aren’t played according to Marquis of Queensbury rules. They’re dirty, savage and personal; deeply, deeply personal. When real revolutions get going, military forces quickly become hampered by the lack of adherence to nice, orderly rules. Go back and study the American Revolution – I mean really study it. When you study it closely, you see that the Brits were going to lose – you could see it early on, especially in the south. At that time, Britain was the world’s superpower. No one else came close. They had logistics and manpower of the likes of which no one else had, on any continent. They lost because of a million little actions where they thought “Oh, they’d never do that” and lo, someone did that.

      On the flip side, go study what happened to the men who signed the Declaration. As I said, revolutions and civil wars are deeply personal.

      In a for-real revolution or civil war (it is often difficult to see where one starts and the other ends), the smarter-than-average-bear types will target the politicians, their political donors, their families, their children, their private schools. Don’t give me that high-minded crap about kids being off-limits. In revolutions and civil wars, they’re not. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the American Revolution, French Revolution, Russian Revolution, or a dozen sordid little wars in Africa or South America.

      Toss in the even smarter types going after the faceless bureaucrats, functionaries, their families, children and homes… and the government quickly falls apart, simply because when an order is given, there is no one on the job to carry it out. Everything I’ve just listed are very soft targets.

      Here’s where the modern plot changes from the past: After the politicians are sufficiently scared, it’s time to take down the mouthpieces – the “journalists” and such who are the bootlickers and fluffers for the elites. These are the softest targets of all, and the most easily cowed. You need them to stay alive long enough to report on the terrible, terrible atrocities of the oh-so-smart political hacks and their donors being zapped, but you want them gone before you start taking down the infrastructure, so the blackouts and disruptions come as a surprise.

      Next up: Infrastructure. Take down the infrastructures that supply electrical power, water, sewage/drainage, natural gas/fuel/heat to urban areas, and the dazzling urbanites that inhabit these pro-government enclaves will quickly open a rear front action – without any encouragement, payment or orders. They’re simply opportunists, who can be depended upon to use any disruption in the order of things to their advantage.

      Lastly: Bankers. Don’t bother with the actual banks or their vaults. Take down the bankers, their families and functionaries. Bankers prop up governments. Once the bankers are gone, the political hacks that are left can’t re-start a government, especially with our level of debt.

      Notice how I’ve not laid out any confrontation with either the donut-munchers or the military? Yet as the political class scurries to safety (most likely off-shore) and the infrastructure grinds the economy down to mere subsistence, suddenly public employees have to ponder “how am I going to get paid? What if I don’t get paid? What if I get paid and the checks bounce? What if there aren’t functioning banks to turn my direct deposit into money I can spend for food?”

      The military would likely stay on the job, because they’re professionals and have a esprit de corps. The cops wouldn’t. Most cops and civil servants will disappear like a fart in a windstorm as soon as the checks start to bounce.

      For those of us who studied Katrina very closely, it is very apparent how thin the veneer of civilization really is and just how incompetent the government is. Katrina wasn’t a civil insurrection – the press liked to blow it up into something approaching Lord of the Flies, but the truth was closer to this: Katrina caused infrastructure to fail, which pulled the rug out from under the civil order. The press blew it up into something it wasn’t, and the political class believed them, due to lack of their own information. The political class wasn’t prepared to make effective and rapid decisions (Governor Blanco showed quite well why most women are nearly useless in logistical emergencies) and the government’s actions showed just how stupid and banal the police and political class are.

      • “Go back and study the American Revolution – I mean really study it.”

        Absolutely. Studying the history in the Southern Theater is extremely important.

        The history in the Southern Theater is very rich. The study of Daniel Morgan alone would constitute a veritable doctoral thesis in small unit guerilla warfare, mostly learned from the Cherokees. And Marion also serves as an excellent archetype Revolutionary leader.

        In 1780, Cornwallis dispatched Major James Wemyss specifically to hunt down Francis Marion. Marion had effectively disrupted the British supply line from the port cities of Charleston and Savannah in series of hit and run guerilla actions. Wemyss sought to fulfill his orders by terrorizing the countryside, burning houses and churches and killing livestock. His attacks on the people of South Carolina culminated in the murder of a man named Adam Cusack in present day Greeleyville.

        Though Wemyss’s onslaught did cause Marion to temporarily disband his forces, this was not uncommon for Marion’s troops who were mostly local farmers anyway. The make-up of his “troops” was very fluid…men coming and going as they could. When Marion reformed and reorganized, he had a greater number of volunteers than he had ever had before.

        Francis Marion when on to conduct one of the single most effective prolonged campaigns of the entire war, though he never attempted to slug it out in single “toe-to-toe” actions against the British. Even some of the Continental generals were suspicious of how effective Marion’s tactics could be. The weakening of the supply line from Charleston played an important role also in Daniel Morgan’s defeat of the British at King’s Mountain, the battle considered by a many historians to be the turning point of the entire Revolutionary War.

        Except for perhaps the Battle of Camden, the British never got to really fight a large battle of the type they were accustomed in the Southern Theater. The war in North Carolina after King’s Mountain was mostly running skirmishes of varying size and the Continentals let the British chase them all over essentially two States (North and South Carolina).

        The British gained a Pyrrhic victory at Guilford’s Courthouse, but never recovered enough to engage the Southern skirmishers. This was precisely why Cornwallis was looking for respite and resupply of men and materiel at Yorktown, because by April 1781, Marion and his forces had completely cut communications to Charleston via defeats at Fort Balfour and the seige of Fort Watson. Cornwallis was essentially choking on the size of an Army that could not be resupplied from the major southern ports.

        Francis Marion can be considered the Father of American Special Forces and the US Army Rangers trace their lineage to him.

        Who says revolutionaries can’t stand against organized Armies?

      • “Most cops and civil servants will disappear like a fart in a windstorm as soon as the checks start to bounce.”

        That or they will turn into predators demanding tribute and holding entire communities hostage.

        Things can go totally sideways if the PMC operations with loyalty to no one except their families and their business install themselves as the new rulers, taking their protection money *directly* from the taxpayer. Hello again, feudalism.

        In short, revolutions and insurrections almost-always suck and it’s usually the biggest thugs who are left in charge. The American Revolution lucked out with enlightened leadership with longstanding ties and a a sense of ownership in their communities.

        The all-out scenario it could well bring on a new Dark Age. Dystopia indeed.

  16. crushing democracy in The Land of the Free as a corporate overlord

    It’s impossible for corporations to have too much power. If only government would get out of the way, corporations would simply be benevolent engines of innovation and job creation. Reason magazine, Ayn Rand, and Oleg Volk tell me so.

    The Onion, on the other hand, has a different take:

    Point/Counterpoint May 17, 2000

    The Future Will Be A Totalitarian Government Dystopia
    by Timothy Geist

    vs

    The Future Will Be A Privatized Corporate Dystopia
    by Trent Schlictmann

    • Big Business, Big Labor and Big Gov are all very dangerous overlords and tyrants if unchecked.

      • Big Government LOVES Big Business. Big Business is easy to regulate, it’s always willing to trade favors, it’s good at collecting taxes and imposing regulations on behalf of government and it throws off plenty of cash to grease the wheels of Big Government. Big Government doesn’t care for small businesses – they’re messey, anarchic, and they don’t bribe well.

        • Actually, Big Business loves, (yes, I said it) loves, loves, loves regulation.

          Regulation is a barrier to entry for small players.

          Here’s how regulation works for big business: A new regulation comes out. The legal and accounting department deal with it, and the business goes on. Big businesses have entire departments ready to deal with regulation(s). They help write the regulations to their favor, BTW.

          Here’s how a regulation works on a small business: the owners have to study the regulation. They sometimes can’t figure it out. They might have to hire a lawyer or accountant to deal with it. They lose sleep, money and time dealing with the regulation. Every hour spent dealing with the paperwork is an hour the business owners aren’t spending on building their business.

          And that’s why big business loves regulations.

        • If anyone doubts the validity of DG’s point here, just look at the effects of HIPAA on small practices.

          Maintaining compliance to federal regulations takes money and manpower a lot of small shops (in all fields) just cannot afford.

        • Actually, Big Business loves, (yes, I said it) loves, loves, loves regulation.

          I used to repeat that same talking point. But it’s wrong. Business will support regulation that supports their interests, and oppose regulation that opposes their interests. Nothing more, nothing less.

          That’s why the telecom industry is opposed to net neutrality (a government regulation).

          That’s why the energy industry is opposed to the requirement to release the ingredients of their frackling fluids.

          That’s why creditors have been seeking exemptions from the FDCPA (a government regulation).

          That’s why the real estate industry fought the FHA’s regulation of transfer fees.

          That’s why many industries seek exemption from the 7th Amendment.

          Your blanket statement “big business loves regulation” is as demonstrably wrong as “big business hates regulation”.

          Question 1: Do you believe that, in the absence of regulations, corporations will simply behave as benevolent entities, creating jobs, wealth, and all sorts of good stuff?

          Question 2: Do you support the elimination of “corporate personhood”, which is a government regulation, one that allows owners and executives to externalize the costs of their incompetence and malfeasance onto others?

          Like our intellectual forerunners, the classical liberals, we should have always been attacking corporations and monopolies as perversions of free markets. Corporations are government-created statuses that prevent the owners and managers from being liable and financially accountable for actions taken on behalf of the corportion. Adam Smith hated corporations as unaccountable and inefficient, and saw them as government market distortions. We should too.

          – Nick Wilson 10/21/2008
          Libertarian Reform Caucus

        • Q1: No. However, when one removes the regulatory capture by many large corporations, natural competition will be able to exert better influences over stupid activity in the market.

          Q2: The “corporate personhood” is a mythology invented by the American left in the aftermath of the Citizens United case. To answer this question honestly required unpacking the mythology that the left has invented.

          Corporations are allowed to donate to political causes, the same as any other group or association of people are, whether they be unions, political “action groups,” non-profits, etc. That is what the SCOTUS held in said case. Your other points about externalizing costs shows you don’t understand actual corporate accounting.

          In my ideal world, political contributions would be allowed from only natural persons who are eligible to vote in the election in question. ie, if we’re talking about people giving to political campaigns in Kansas (eg), then only people who are eligible to vote in Kansas would be allowed to donate to candidates or campaigns on the ballot in Kansas. No groups or associations would be allowed to donate, whether they are unions, corporations (C, S or LLC) or some 501(c)(x) group, because none of these groups have the right to vote, only the members of said groups have that right.

          Further, I would want to restrict the campaign funding such that no one from outside Kansas would be allowed to donate. Again, you would need to be eligible to vote in said election in order to donate. All donations would have to be reported, no matter how small, and I’d want there to be a limit of $10K per person per candidate or issue per campaign cycle.

          This would go quite a long ways at removing tainted money from elections in the US.

        • I hope you enjoy getting paid in scrip, because you’re going to need it to buy goods at the company store. Nor did I didn’t ask you about campaign finance, but about the status of corporations as a legal entity.

  17. I think there’s some other elements to it:

    one, everybody with a CNC machine and a dick to bang the programming into it is making some sort of AR and associated accessories. technology and material wealth (metals, not money) allow so much more customization in one’s toys than was ever really available before, especially at the price point it is now. sure, the video games may have something to do with it, but it’s really a reflection of the times too; revolver sales and lever guns spiked during the golden age of westerns, WWII weaponry is and has been popular with a certain set forever, etc. we also have the ability to buy all of this stuff from the convenience of our homes via the web now, which makes it even easier, even if the exchange itself is not.

    two, people like personalizing their stuff. cars, barbies, guns, no matter what. there are two overtly American weapons that allow that with relative ease: the 1911 and the AR. the 1911 is intimidating to many shooters. the AR is fun, comparatively inexpensive, light recoiling, and just FUN for everyone. that alone is a driving sale pitch, video games and dystopia aside.

    three, the interwebs allow the common man (and woman) to very easily find out so much more information than they would have asked before. they learn more about gun laws without having to talk to that psycho right wing nutjob behind the gun counter, but they also know better than to take the outright word of their patchouli soaked pothead hippie pink commie neighbor.

    at first it may have been the common “we are one” feeling post 9/11 that spiked it, then it was strengthened by the pervasive culture of hating terrorists, further by the dystopian futures presented to them as the wars abroad were winding down, further still by retarded politicians and kneejerk reactions, and further still by the aggregate years of all the stuff I just mentioned. the ability to easily find out knowledge on one’s own, to see documented evidence of governmental and societal over-reach, and wealth of parts and ability to buy is responsible for the surges. the dystopia only drives the type bought, not the buying itself.

    those of us who loved guns before the surges love them still, and have different tastes than the gun neophytes for the most part. not better or worse, just different.

  18. Is fear of tyranny driving gun sales? I hope so, along with those who just want to exercise their Second Amendment guaranteed rights, or those who enjoy an addictive past time, or every day common defense, or __________________. I am glad it is. I wish every sound-minded citizen owned arms and purposed to make sure they store them, use them, and carry them safely, as well as become proficient at the operation and accuracy of their chosen arm.

  19. Has anybody watched The Winter Soldier? It had a pretty good message concerning un-monitored federal agencies. The only problem I have with it, and indeed all superhero movies, is that the ordinary civilian’s job is to run around screaming until Mr. Special Powers comes and saves them. Oh, and Captain America was missing his 1911.

    • According to currently omnipresent progressive droneology, a civilian’s only role is to once every few years pick between Obama who will pay his mortgage, and Boosh, who will keep him safe. And then, he should go back to grabbing his ankles, happy and content that whichever one of the two above “won” this time, promises to go gentler on him than he will on “those other” guys.

  20. Barry called for a civilian force stronger than the U.S. Military back in 2007. His favorite character is Mao. He was mentored by Frank Davis. He talked about attending communist seminars in school to “clear his head.” If it walks like a duck and all that.

    • It was pretty clear at the time that the “civilian force” he envisioned was to be his personal army, superior to the national army.

    • Proof needed.

      Really. I’ve never seen that statement actually supported by hard evidence. If there is proof — a video or an interview transcript or something like that — I want to see it. If there’s proof, we NEED to see it.

  21. I think Dystopian concerns are definitely a significant factor driving many People of the Gun to tool up. I don’t see that as treasonous at all. In fact I would go so far as to consider it patriotic. It is a good thing when most good people are well armed, have plenty of ammunition, and the means to sustain their families in the face of adversity — whether that adversity is the aftermath of a hurricane, sustained civil unrest due to an awful economy, or actual war with another nation.

    When the people are strong and prepared, they can make wise, prudent decisions. When the people are weak and vulnerable, they are often forced to make desperate decisions that they will later regret.

  22. A firearm is an inanimate object, it is the mentality of it’s holder that determines it’s usage

  23. aside from some of my ‘nam friends who aren’t interested in ar’s, all of the soldiers who’ve come back from wherever since ‘nam are of course most familiar with that platform. i think the soldiers my age and up to the kids just bellying up drive alot of the sales.
    two years ago my ffl commented on black rifles. other than my purchase at the time (which happened to be black) i was unfamiliar with the term. ar’s were for sure driving his sales.
    my kid thinks wood stocked stuff is cool, but not as cool as video game futuristic space monster slayer stuff. he would prefer something assaulty lookin’.
    the proliferation of .22 cal. versions of bigger stuff accounts for a lot (including some shortages…) as well. can i get a barrett .50 in .22? yeah i know. just wait for that p938 conversion barrel and be happy.

  24. I’m one step ahead of you.

    I’m going to teach young men how to make guns – from nearly nothing. No CNC machine, no prints, nothing.

    It can be done. You just need to excise the phrase “CNC machined from billet” from your thinking.

  25. Resistance against tyranny is part of what makes us Americans. Buying and manufacturing weapons and ammunition is a bulwark against the day they may have to be used against those who trade in ‘serve and protect’ for ‘rule and subjugate’; it will be for our own good, of course, as this is always the way of tyrants.
    On a completely different note, I just about peed myself when I saw the video. Kevin Spacey always makes for an excellent villain; “Swimming with Sharks” is an excellent example of this.

  26. Concerning the prospects of a revolution,
    All of the commenters above are supposing that fairly large numbers of people will rise up and fight. Will that really happen? During the Bundy controversy, the question of “on which hill will we stand?” was discussed. Is there going to be a single incident horrible enough to rouse the people to action? In countries with successful insurgencies, such as Afghanistan or Vietnam, those fighting have had a much harder life. Compared to them, we are “soft”. I don’t know if many Americans will leave their comfortable life, take up their rifle, and follow the cause of liberty.

    • During the American Revolution, less than one-third of the population of the Colonies at that time supported Revolution. Much less than that one-third actually took up arms. Quite a few loyalists had to pick up and leave for Canada (or hie back to the old sod) as the war progressed and it became more and more apparent that the British weren’t going to get the sort of win that would allow things to resume the pre-1776 status.

      • But are we the same type of people that inhabited the colonies in the 18th century? I believe we have changed, and not for the better. Will even 0.001% of the population support us physically?

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