Reader Mark B. writes:

Practical justifications for the RKBA might usefully be considered across a spectrum of micro to macro perspectives. At the micro level we explain to the individual that she should value the RKBA in defense of her person and that of her immediate family. Toward the macro end, we say we must prepare to guard against the tyranny of a federal government. At the macro end of the spectrum we point out the geo-political danger of genocide or more generally, democide (mass killings by government for any reason including race.) Each of these points on the spectrum is a legitimate focus of debate. Which is most effective? . . .

Some of us emphasize the micro point of individual self-defense. The weakness of this focus is that we invite our audience to think about her personal safety and her personal initiative in actuating her self-defense. Figuratively, we ask her to imagine a gun in her hand and a thug standing in front of her. We propose that she aim and pull the trigger; that she – herself – become a trigger-puller. Too few people are willing to contemplate such a horrifying proposition. Anyone is willing to dial 911 to summon a trigger-puller-in-blue to save her from a dire threat; but to pull the trigger themselves; well, she would rather not think about it.

Others emphasize the intermediate point of threat of tyranny. The advantage here is that we need not ask our individual audience to contemplate herself as the trigger-puller; better her husband. Better still, her neighbor’s husband who will take-up his gun in defense of the liberty of the community. This focus is more palatable. And yet, it’s difficult for so many to take the threat of Federal (or State or municipal) tyranny seriously. An encroachment here, an encroachment there; we have all become more-or-less unconscious of the threat of tyranny from our duly elected governments at all levels. Indeed, among Progressives, tyranny in the pursuit of “progress” is no vice!

We speak least about the macro level threat – geopolitical democide. I suggest here that this may be a strategic oversight.

In the post-WW II, era society encountered a peculiar phenomena for which a novel name or term was required: Holocaust denial; or, in respect of an individual, a Holocaust denier. The phenomena of someone unwilling to acknowledge a particular historical event; viz, the Nazi mass murder of 6 million Jews and 5 million gentiles. Holocaust denial is a term confined to a particular historical event. Generalizing, it is a part of a greater class-of-denial we might call “genocide denial” or “genocide unconsciousness”.

Genocide as a phenomena has not been acknowledged because the evidence is too painful to bear witness and there is nothing to be done about it anyway. Not once has the UN declared a “genocide” since its founding. And rarely has any government in the world mustered the intestinal fortitude to use the term “genocide” to characterize a mass-murder by government.

Today, we are witnessing active genocide – or more precisely, a ‘holy’ war – in Syria and Iraq by ISIS. It has spread to Africa. The present genocide is merely part and parcel of the war of Islamic terrorism of recent decade(s). Very few citizens are vociferous in demanding that America use its military or political power to stop this genocide in progress. Why so few? The evidence is too painful to bear witness; and few of us are willing to commit the resources to do anything about it anyway.

There is still another facet to this denial of active genocide: the “It can’t happen here” reaction. Whatever form of genocide is now occurring somewhere else is perceived to be peculiar to that locality. In Syria and Iraq it’s confined within the age old Sunni vs. Shia rivalry which doesn’t exist here. In Africa, it’s confined within the Islamic vs infidel rivalry which does not exist here. Closer to home, the drug wars in Mexico, Columbia, and elsewhere are confined within inter-cartel rivalry which don’t exist here (on any comparable scale at least).

The “It can’t happen here” denial is a phenomena that needs a name or term that calls attention to itself. I propose ‘democide denial’. To a victim, it matters little that the motivation for mass murder is founded in race, religion, politics, economics or any other cause. Nor does it matter that a mass murder is the deliberate formal act of a tyrannical government, some powerful faction or a conspiracy between the two. We might even imagine a benign government powerless to effectively check a power faction originating within or outside its territory. History – from ancient times to our present day – is replete with instances of mass murder not checked by the government of jurisdiction.

I wonder, here, whether introducing a new term such as ‘democide denial’ could serve to complement our RKBA arguments of self-defense and government tyranny.

To discuss with an individual audience our concern for the current war of Islamic terrorism does not compel her to take-up arms herself; better her husband. Better still, her neighbor’s husband. Given her awareness of current war of Islamic terrorism and the history of genocide, is she absolutely convinced that “It can’t happen here” in Mayberry? Ever? Is she convinced that America’s army and her state’s National Guard will be sufficient to overcome any such threat should it ever come to Mayberry? Recent experience in places like Ferguson or New Orleans is not encouraging; nor is that of any of the riots during the last 40 years of the 20th century. American federal and state governments have been manifestly unsuccessful in resolving the War on Drugs. The Mexican government less successful in controlling its cartels.

We can’t predict when a threat of democidal magnitude might come to Mayberry or the US as a nation. Nor can we predict with any certainty whether it may be motivated by religion, drug profits, food shortages, grid failure, or tax-revenue collection. What we can know – with confidence – is that the only adequate power capable of being brought-to-bear, the instant that it is needed, is the local community itself – a community trained-to-arms.

As an individual audience, you may refrain from arming yourself; you may discourage your husband. Are you willing to deny your neighbor’s husband? Will you take that chance with the security of your children? Or, should the crisis be deferred by another generation, will you take this chance with the security of your grandchildren?

In a political context – vis a vis a mayor or a legislator – we can ask simply, ‘Are you a democide denier?’ In this context, we should be able to force the civilian disarmament crowd into articulating their defense as, ‘It can’t happen here.” Then we can have a useful discussion of the limited number of police, Guardsmen and soldiers compared to the expanse of US territory. The longer the debate endures, the higher will rise the level of voter consciousness. Eventually, we might hope, it will become un-PC to be labeled a ‘democide denier’.

The anti-gunners dismiss our claims of self-defense as petty and our warnings of tyranny as unfounded in the context of our well-established democratic institutions. A warning of future democide in our nation – founded on a deep and current history of genocides (such as the widely acknowledged Holocaust and ISIS) can’t be so easily dismissed.

53 Responses to A Big Picture Justification of the RKBA

  1. Exactly the problem with acronyms. Great if you know what they mean but if you don’t then the whole article is meaningless. It stands for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Hope that helped.

  2. This article is way too long, complicated and convoluted IMO. Can someone simplify it for the rest of us ? Seems more like an intellectual argument and most of us know just how appealing and popular those are.

    • Basically, that we should invoke the Holocaust/etc. as often as possible in order to inflame discussion to the point of shouting with anyone curious enough to discuss the issue with us, since nation-level hyperbole is more readily understandable and relatable than physical threats to one’s personal safety. And that’s why the NRA has lost enormous ground since they started emphasizing firearms for personal defense around the 80’s. /sarc (God, I hate having to explain I’m being sarcastic…)

      Self defense is THE ONLY means of debate with statists, as the State cannot be a threat in their minds (it’d be like saying you need to carry a gun in case your beloved and dutiful spouse ‘snaps’ and comes at you with a butcher knife for no reason and without warning). These days, the typical ‘undecided’ person, if there is such a thing, tends to be fairly statist, looking for group solutions from handsome politicians before expecting personal responsibility. But even those guys, clad in fleece though they may be, understand that a big man can bust them in the head, and that a gun can bust him back. For good.

      The geo-political conclusion of statist gun control philosophy is most useful for getting someone already sympathetic to the cause to become ‘radicalized’ (passionate) and begin working to convert and inform others. A non-immediate, but ever present realization that they have a responsibility to get out of their comfort zone and inform peers at work and around town, take new shooters to the range, defend and promote favorable measures in representative government, and become proper responsible gun owners & proficient shooters. Not unlike the ever-present threat of hell/etc. to incite a bit of morality & evangelism in otherwise ambivalent parishioners.

      • “. . . THE ONLY means of debate with statists, as the State cannot be a threat in their minds . . . . the typical ‘undecided’ person, . . . , tends to be fairly statist, looking for group solutions from handsome politicians before expecting personal responsibility.”

        As two broad-brush strokes, you make good points. Nevertheless, you commit the error of painting with too broad a brush.

        Debating with statists is – from the outset – pointless. I’ll grant that occasionally, one will make a convert; but the yield per unit of effort is too low. It’s like casting seen upon a rocky field. Therefore, while your first point is valid in respect to the state cannot be a threat, it’s invalid to imagine that they can be made to believe that 911 can’t always protect their individual safety.

        There is greater importance in your assertion that the undecided is fairly statist. And yet, he is by definition, undecided. He is still open to considering insights he has yet to recognize or connect into a bigger picture. Simply recalling to his memory the genocides of the 20th century and the 21st century as well will invoke cognitive dissonance with his incompletely-formed confidence in the state.

    • “Seems more like an intellectual argument and most of us know just how appealing and popular those are.”

      If you have the attention span of a gnat, certainly not.

  3. Which more important? Firstly you must take into account the Progressive/liberal extremists are part of the problem as they dismiss macro~micro. This in itself places themselves and the rest of us in harms way for obvious reasons. Sadly for them, in the event of a tyrannical problem or a self-defense issue these people are no more helpful to us than the enemy. Clearly all points are important, however, too much attention on any one will quickly become a weakness. The key is a balanced approach in all areas. Enough to defend self and or family but not much more. To remain informed, follow world issues, keep one’s head out of one’s butt so to speak, yet not focus to the point of losing perspective. Adhering to the 2A, the micro~macro is often a matter of wisdom which explains why many progressives tend to fall in a younger category.

    • Micro: I’m a good person, so the State shall provide for me, the State shall protect me
      Macro: The State is composed of good people like me, so it would never harm me

      It’s one narcissistic circle jerk of conceit and projection, which routinely spawns Frankenstein monsters that destroy their maker

      • Even better, due to them being on the right “side of history” and with their dedication to “progress”, they will be on the “death teams”. Or so they think. They have nothing to fear.

        • “Or so they think. They have nothing to fear.” While this is quite true in one moment, in the next they are panic-struck by the memory of “The Bushes!”, “Nixon”, and even “Reagan”. (It’s not really any single deed – nor even the aggregate of deeds – by any one president. It’s the myth they have spun around these names.

          While they are enjoying the revery of imagining their Utopia with statues of Obama, Clinton and Carter reminding everyone of their founders, mentioning “The Bushes!”, “Nixon”, and “Reagan” will shock their cognitive dissonance. Even if their Utopia is inevitable, its arrival may be delayed by centuries by a string of reactionary forces from the evil-Right! What provision have they made to defend their glorious Revolution in brief moments of social panic when the Reactionaries seise power?

          The strident statist won’t be able to overcome the cognitive dissonance problem. While “The Bushes!”, “Nixon”, and “Reagan” did occur in the past, they can’t occur in the future. These strident statists aren’t worth talking to.

          It’s the undecided or Progressive sympathizers who can still wrestle with the cognitive dissonance problem. Moreover, even the Progressive sympathizers will recognize the risk of their alliance with Islamists. The Islamists are grand allies today in the sense that the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend. However, once the allied Progressives and Islamists concur DC, the Progressives will have to cope with the fact that they are all pacifists while the Islamists are anything but.

  4. Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it . . . Which means it will be repeated. History has shown that humans suck at history. People are too preoccupied w/ other things to even ask “can it happen here”. The futility & banality of human existence is really getting me down and I am only in my thirties.

    • History has shown we’re very good at changing history for contemporary purposes: Lincoln was the defender, then Lincoln was the savior, then a racist, and now most recently homo-sexual –each shift occurring favorable to prevailing political whimsy– when in reality he was closer to a destructive fanatic slavishly (pun) devoted to the “idea” of the Union (which hadn’t existed up to that point) and the South’s diminished place therein. Morality was certainly present –as it is in all geo-political struggles– as a catalyst for conflict, but it was not the prime mover. Maintaining the favorable status quo was the objective (that status being the South dying as an economic force in the nation compared with the North), and the war was nothing more than a power struggle like every other war.

    • Don’t feel too bad at least you figured it out in your 30’s I am still in my 20’s and have already came to the same conclusion so you can already imagine how I feel.

  5. Enjoyed the article. The term “democide denier” is interesting in that it discribes collectively how people are ill equipped coming to terms with the corner of the brain that allows institutional mass murder but then individually dismiss it because it’s impossible to justify.

    I disagree that Democide denier label is a quantifiable term in the quest for RKBA. I contend Lawful Self Defense (LSD) is the identifier that individuals can embrace because it allows the brain room to maneuver…to self preserve and provide actionable resistance. Democide (government genocide) invokes mass submission and perhaps why its prevalent in countries that do not have insitutional civilian gun ownership.

    Frontline explored why governments do little to respond to Genocide but came away with no real solution. Would be interesting to revisit and plug RKBA into the narrative and determine if it’s a bulwark against the last remaining collective evil.

  6. “Indeed, among Progressives, tyranny in the pursuit of ‘progress’ is no vice!”

    It is actually much worse than that. Progressives embrace tyranny because they are either the ones dishing it out or reaping the benefits. Since they believe (mistakenly) that the tyranny will never wreck their lives, they are all in favor of it.

  7. “As an individual audience, you may refrain from arming yourself; you may discourage your husband. Are you willing to deny your neighbor’s husband? Will you take that chance with the security of your children?”

    This is an interesting tactic. I will have to ponder it and try to anticipate whatever lame excuse a gun-grabber will spew.

  8. The tyrannies which the founding fathers feared, and of which they warned us, were not matters of genocide or democide. Rather, our founders lived in the immediate shadow of a British government attempting to monopolize even more of the lucrative manufacturing and trade enterprises. The leaders who essentially launched the revolution, notably John Hancock, saw their profits about to disappear…and so ignited the long-simmering rage of the tradesmen.

    Tyrannies do not generally kill their subjects, but rather impoverish them. Imagine, if you will, that Washington slowly and covertly implements a system by which your children cannot gain admission to a medical or law school unless their parents were were employed by the party in power or were working in the profession. It would take time, but slowly people would notice. They would realize their children were being excluded from, say, medicine. Would this not be reason to rebel if votes alone could not effect change? What if the ‘tyranny’ and those already in the profession preferred the system, and could convince (as they do today) 54% of the population that 1) they were not bright enough or sufficiently trained to enter med school, and 2)the system was otherwise fair to them, the 54%.

    This is a portrait (simplified) of how a tyranny comes increasingly to power. Very rarely is such a tyranny rebelled against effectively, because the disenfranchised usually wait too long: By the time they realize they’ve been had they lack the money and numbers to succeed.

    In the meantime, though, as the disenfranchised or targeted-for-exclusion groups struggle to push back, they need at the very least freedom of speech, assembly, possession of arms, and so forth.

    The future struggles against tyranny will be like most of those in the past. The government’s possession of enormous data capture adds a new twist…but still, tyrannies are usually partial. Overcoming them does not usually ignite all out warfare. It does very often necessitate armed self-protection. Call it “holding off the tyrants with the credible threat of armed rebellion” just as MLK Jr. held off the segregationists by warning LBJ privately of race war: LBJ did not doubt for a second that black America could, would explode into bloodshed if there were no jobs or food or opportunity. (This history from the archives of the U.S., not imagination.)

    So the non-black middle class is essentially not seen as capable or willing to explode into machete-and-rocks wielding street war………but is easily imagined by the left-statists as capably of organizing with firearms to bring an end to some oppressive element introduced by a faction, an administration. And there you have both the reason the 2nd Am. is so important, and by some so feared.

    • I think you have articulated the most important case.

      Consider the alternatives. Ordinary crime. Our society is (historically) relatively free of a real threat from crime. The police and prisons are capable of keeping enough control that crime is a threat only to a few individuals; not to survival of society. Genocide in the US is an extremely low-probability (nevertheless high-consequence) possibility. (Yet, this fact alone makes it difficult to predict.)

      Now, then, the political dimension of your most important case. Our struggle – today – is to influence popular politics to protect and defend the 2A. The sheep are least amenable to the proposition that we need to arm ourselves to protect us from our own sheep-dogs. It is intrinsically true that our own sheep-dogs are only a few generations away from their genetic origins: wolves.

      We are addressing Joe & Jane Sixpack; a couple that is barely getting by, falling deeper into debt. Kids go to public school with no prospect for financing their college educations. If they go to college at all, they will have to borrow and graduate with great debt and poor prospects for a job that will repay the debt. How do we persuade the Sixpack couple that it’s a really good idea to maintain an armed society to be prepared to hold in-check the ever-encroaching government(s) that are wringing the lifeblood out of society?

      I get it; I see the the connections. However, one must have a rich appreciation of history to see how this all works. Only 1/3 of the American population “got it” in the 18th century; 2/3 did NOT get it. This segment of the population sees government(s) as the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz; powerful enough to provide them with everything they need; powerful enough to crush anyone who would dare to oppose them.

      You are certainly correct that creeping tyranny is the most probable threat; but, it is precisely this threat that is most difficult to package and market to the masses. Far more difficult to market than either of the other possibilities (i.e., isolated incidents of crime; or, some cataclysmic event such as a riot, Mexican drug cartels, jihadi attacks, who-knows-what).

  9. Interesting, thought provoking, article. At their core most issues concerning gun ownership all seem to involve perceptions of power in one way or another. Clearly RKBA bestows powers on individuals that many people feel rightfully belong to government or other entities like the police or military. I think one reason people sometimes feel this way is that—like the woman in Sara’s article a bit earlier today, a soldier who was armed, but could not bring herself to shoot a rapist who was intent on doing violence to her—is that they, themselves, not only don’t feel self-empowered but reject the rights of others to empower themselves through gun ownership. I think there’s something akin in their attitudes that is similar to what we can encounter with people who have been too long in co-dependent relationships.

    These people have internalized their dependence on an abuser to the point where they believe their situation is right and just. Despite the pain and anguish they think this is where they belong. And so, faced with the prospect of freedom, they nonetheless return to their abuser or, leaving that one, seek out another. I think people who are anti-gun, who like Sara’s example don’t feel empowered enough to even protect themselves from harm, are at lot like this. They’re made anxious by People Of The Gun. It’s our freedom and our ready acceptance of the power they willingly or unwillingly reject that is so upsetting. And they hate us for that. They hate us because we remind them that we are more free, more powerful, than they are.

  10. It’s normalcy bias. Leftists are typically deeply immature and damaged, mentally and emotionally. One could make a compelling argument that they shouldn’t even be considered adults. When we, as actual adults, bring up the harsh realities and dangers of life, the leftist is simply unable to handle it, so they lash out. It shatters the fantasyland worldview that keeps them able to function semi normally, so they have to ignore it and hate whoever believes it.

    This is what happens when the concept of “equality under the law” is perverted to “total quality.” The former is a beautiful concept and one the framers intended. The latter destroys civilizations.

    • That is what I dealt with in the former slave state I lived in and what one of my friend’s deals with there on a daily basis trying to get out of that hellhole. He can only talk to me about it because his other useful idiot friends dismiss the realities of the world living in their statist bubble whenever he brings it up with him. He has burnt many bridges because of it.

  11. My favourite response from Holocaust Deniers is that Nazi Germany couldn’t commit the transport resources to take the Jews to the death camps.

    They get a real eye opener when they are told the Germans sent 150 trains a day to supply the forces on the Eastern Front. Averaged out, transporting prisoners to the death camps took 3 trains every 2 days, or 1% of the resources already in use. More than manageable during a world war.

    And don’t forget lend-lease trucks transporting Soviet troops allowed Stalin to have whole populations transported into remote exile.

  12. So what if a nation wants to commit genocide. If you personally are not willing to fight your self or talk your son or daughter into fighting it is not America’s business. Do you have any children? Left wing statist and Right wing statist want other people to fight wars they never would. And later they will stab in the back the people they sent to fight.

    The Japanese bombed pearl harbor. Not the Germans. Germany was not Americans enemy. Hitler was a bad guy. So what? And Joe Stalin killed millions of people while Hitler was in jail and before he came to power.

    Mussollni (spelling ) gassed hundreds of thousands in Lybia in the 1920’s and Ethiopia in the 1930’s. And no one complained except black America’s who had no political power. The so called peace movement in the 1930’s was compromised with pro Mussollni, pro Hitler, and pro Stalin factions. Read “Liberal Fascism” by J. Goldberg to learn more.

    I spent nearly half my life in the US military. I have no interest in saving people who are incapable of saving themselves or who are against my way, the American way of life.

    • Chris, I take your point and it is a valid one taken in isolation from other facets of the problem. Were there a riot on my street and I had to guard my house and one, but not both, of my neighbors’ houses I’d have to choose. On one side is a man who has always disparaged my RKBA; on the other side is a woman who has neither taken up arms herself nor disparaged my RKBA. In such a case, I’d choose to guard my house and the woman’s. (An oversimplified case but it serves to illustrate.)

      Imagine a second scenario. My neighbor has a warrior spirit but, alas, has been deprived of arms. Whether due to poverty, government prohibition, or lack of a marketplace for arms. Here, we have willingness but a lack of capacity. I would guard her house as well.

      A third scenario is the neighbor who has no warrior spirit albeit there are ample arms lying in the street. Suppose that she lived in a culture that had no civilian arms whether for poverty, prohibition or lack of arms in a market. (The Rape of Nanking). This one is much harder, close to what you wrote of. This neighbor – too – is “disarmed” in spirit but not through any personal fault.

      My conclusion is that America ought to proselytize – to its own nation and to the world – the merits of an armed citizenry. We should be willing to sell (or donate) small arms and training to defenseless people so that they may – eventually – do for themselves what the US military has so often been called upon to do for them. E.g., had we taught Afghan villagers how to defend their respective villages and seen to it that they had the AKs and ammo to do the job, I suspect that they would have gotten with the program by now. Instead, we spent half our time doing the villagers’ job and the other half trying to create a national Afghani army which would never work in their tribal society.

      • When president Clinton attacked a country called Serbia no one called it illegal because the word “genocide” was used to justify breaking the US constitution. The anti Vietnam war Clinton never asked for a declaration of war, never asked for a use of force as both president Bushes did.

        Serbia never attacked America. (Iraq never attacked America) Clinton ordered the killing of thousands of innocent people. Christian Serbia saved hundreds of downed 8th air force bomber crews. The Yugoslavia Muslims fought with Hitler and formed an SS unit. Even when their SS unit was deactivated they continued to fight and kill for Hitler.

        Now twenty years latter American soldiers are still in the former Yugoslavia. President Bush was directly by reporters if he would continue the American soldier presents in that part of the world and he said yes.

        Because of president Obama you can’t count on a long term commitment from the United States. American soldiers are an army of occupation keeping both sides from killing each other in the former Yugoslavia. Iraq would not have fallen a part if President Obama had kept a large American military force in Iraq like in Japan and Germany and now the former Yugoslavia.

  13. Ughh, so I should tell people the reason I own guns is because the only thing standing between me and democide is my safe full or ARs? I hate this crap, you tell this to pretty much anyone and they think you’re another antigovernment nut job gun owner. Not the picture I want to paint for the non gun owners. I believe in the RKBA because guns are fun! There are lots of different ones with different characteristics and collecting them is fun. Deer jerkey is super tasty. Practicing over and over again with a firearm until you attain mastery in hitting your target repeatably is very satisfying . I like building mechanic things with my hands. Lastly, I’m a highly educated white male who has zero violent tendencies, has not gotten as much as a speeding ticket in the last 10 years, the guns I own will never ever hurt anyone Infringing upon my rights does not make anyone safer. These are some of the things I tell people when they ask why I own guns.

    • “. . . the only thing standing between me and democide is my safe full [of] ARs”.

      No, that’s not quite it. Instead, what I’d say is that history is replete with disasters – both man-made and natural. In recent US history we had Baltimore and Ferguson; Katrina and Sandy. In each case, government forces of order either would-not or could-not defend the neighborhoods. Those civilians who were armed, able and willing stood to fill-in where government failed them.

      As to democide in America; well, not so very long ago Negros living in the South (and in some Northern precincts) were vulnerable to lynching and murder by white segregationists. Often, it was difficult to find a meaningful distinction between the KKK and the local police/sheriff. A reading of the history of Black use-of-arms of the era (in particular, the Deacons for Defense and Justice) played a noteworthy role – together with individuals acting alone – in checking the violence of those in authority against those who were disparaged.

      Set these American instances in the context of decodes and disasters throughout the rest of the world and history; the American instances fit the pattern. This is the big picture.

      The little picture is individual self-defense against criminals or crazies.

      Lastly, one’s hobbies tend to support training-to-arms for the foregoing social-defense purposes. Least important of all is that the gun hobby is benign recreation.

      • JohnF below:

        “If you are trying to convince anti-gunners, you are not only wasting your time, but handing them arguments to use against us by making us seem like we are crazies.”

        Yup.

  14. FWIW, I do believe “it can happen here,” all of it. However, I also believe in this country. Not the government, but the people. In my more than 60 years as an American, I have seen dozens of gloom and doom scenarios, all with great rationales as to why a massive SHTF is about to happen, even though it hasn’t happened before. It’s never happened. So while it’s all possible, I don’t think it’s likely. Small isolated stuff, yes. TEOTWAWKI, no. Besides, as William F. Buckley Jr. once said. “the survivors will not be the lucky ones.”

    Here’s the big problem, though: Any argument you use for anything has to take into account who you are trying to convince and what you are trying to convince them of. If you are trying to convince gun people, you are preaching to the choir. If you are trying to convince anti-gunners, you are not only wasting your time, but handing them arguments to use against us by making us seem like we are crazies.

    The only mass audience worth convincing for the furtherment of gun rights is the huge, uncommitted block of voters who could be persuaded either way. Doomsday scenarios scare them and their fear makes them reject the argument and the gun community loses. It’s human nature. If we want to make progress, I suggest we don’t use those extreme arguments.

    I think self defense is a great argument. I also think the ability to protect the community in the case of localized, temporary SHTF scenarios, is a good argument. I also think sport shooting like IDPA, etc. The masses like sports!

    • “The only mass audience worth convincing for the furtherment of gun rights is the huge, uncommitted block of voters who could be persuaded either way.

      Doomsday scenarios scare them and their fear makes them reject the argument and the gun community loses. It’s human nature. If we want to make progress, I suggest we don’t use those extreme arguments.

      I think self defense is a great argument. I also think the ability to protect the community in the case of localized, temporary SHTF scenarios, is a good argument.”

      On all 3 points I think you are homing-in on the sweet-spot.

      Perhaps we should say something like: ‘I doubt that ISIS will come swarming over the Canadian border or the cartels over the Mexican border. Nevertheless, there have been a few lone-wolf jihadi attacks in the US as well as a number of drug-gang violence incidents tied into international trafficking. And, of course, riots in individual cities from time to time. America is in a much better position to maintain civil order because many civilians keep arms at home and some carry them in their daily routines.”

  15. The “It can’t happen here” denial is a phenomena that needs a name or term that calls attention to itself.

    “It” can’t happen here because there will be good people with guns to stop “it”.

  16. In all my recent conversations with progressive statists, they are firmly entrenched on two positions:
    1) It can’t happen here / our government would never do that.
    2) A private citizen doesn’t have the training necessary to effectively defend themselves or their neighbors.

    We all know that both of these arguments are hogwash, but no logical argument I can muster can budge them one inch from these fallacies. I really don’t see how coining a new term will change the game. The fact is that they have decided deep down that guns are evil and the cause of much suffering in the world. They naively believe that human behavior can be controlled with legislation. They honestly believe that with enough effort, governments can gain control of arms, keep them mostly away from bad people, and only use them in the service of good. They really do believe in utopia: that which is not attainable.

    There may be something to confronting them with the reality of ongoing genocidal nature of human beings, but my expectations are low at this point. To them, the fact that some people are evil is just more evidence that nobody should have easy access to weapons. To their minds, an evil person who can’t get a gun does not pose a threat.

    IMO, most progressive statists will continue to live in their fantasy world despite all evidence to the contrary. One minute they will protest police brutality and demand change, and the next minute they will insist that citizens don’t need arms because our government would never abuse its power. Their belief in a welfare state utopia is so strong that they are incapable of seeing the contradiction in these two positions. All we can do is continue to fight them in court and insist that the Constitution be upheld.

  17. If you use the genocide/state-as-a-bad-actor argument with regards to the right to keep and bear arms, you are automatically labeled a “kook” by the statists and even moderates. It’s why I’ve learned to start with the micro, as the author points out, of the right and need for methods of personal self-defense.

    Especially in an urban area, people usually know someone who has been a victim of assault and violence. And in each instance, the police only show up to take evidence and a report. The police never stop the incident from occurring. The phrase “you are your own first responder” helps. And the best first response is a trained hand with a firearm.

    After you get them on board with that, you can ease them into the macro situations of tyranny and terror attacks. Rare occurrences, sure, but so is a grease fire in your kitchen, and no one flinches about having a fire extinguisher handy.

  18. “A Big Picture Justification of the RKBA” simply put – there is EVIL in the world and we are obligated by the Creator to protect the good from the evil.

  19. I get your argument. 1 issue and 1 point to press more closely.

    Issue: The Japanese Internment. So easily could have been genocidal- from the citizens point of view it was the same. Group rounded up and shipped out for “relocation”. In our case it was relocation and not death/work camps. But how would the average joe know that? So to be applicable we would have had to be willing to take up arms at that point- and I simply can’t see such a thing happening.

    Point to press: Progressives (generally) believe in an oppressive racist government. They think that cops are waging “war against communities of color”. And the last Pew poll shows that black support for gun control has plummeted. THIS is the point to press and related to your main argument. Perhaps with a dash of the “black on black” violence statistics. If the government is failing you at best and oppressing you at worst while you are at heightened risk of crime in general- why would you not go back to the roots of the black civil rights movement where peaceful protest went hand in hand with armed self defense? ( http://www.amazon.com/Negroes-Gun-Black-Tradition-Arms-ebook/dp/B00E2RWQHM )

    I think this is especially important because of the cultural issues. The more responsible gun owners in the african american community- the less the gang members are the go to examples of black gun owners in our cultural consciousness. And that would be a good thing for everyone.

    • In his book Negros with Guns, Robert Williams states he wrote to the NRA for a Rifle club of affiliation and it was granted. At the time the NRA supplied all NRA affiliated rifle clubs with surplus military rifles and sold ammunition to these clubs at a discount.

      The second amendment in action.

  20. People are going to hear “democide” and think homicide of either Democrats or democracy. No one’s going to get it.

    I tend not to play up arguments based on personal or national defense, when talking to the uncommitted about firearms, especially if we’ve just met. You either overcome their “It can’t happen here/to me” resistance, or else you don’t, and by default you come off as paranoid and/or a kook.

    So I tend to frame the issue strictly in terms of one’s rights. Not Constitutional rights, exactly, because people wrongly regard those as malleable and rightly regard them as improvable. I go straight to fundamental human rights and argue there. The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to one’s right to exist, as much so as one’s rights to his own body and to think his own thoughts.

    • “I go straight to fundamental human rights and argue there. The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to one’s right to exist, as much so as one’s rights to his own body and to think his own thoughts.”

      Very interesting insight. So, by way of example, one might ask:

      If some killer threatened your life, or kidnapper threatened your liberty, do you feel you would have any right to defend yourself? Would you feel you had the same human-right as you might have if someone tried to rape you or silence your self-expression of thoughts?

      At that juncture the subject being questioned is free to consider any scenario of life or liberty that she is prepared to contemplate. If street crime comes to mind, that’s fine; if a genocide comes up, that’s equally fine. It’s purely hypothetical; the person considering the question need not discount the question due to a probability calculation.

      The subject has only a few choices:
      – answer yes/no – a right exists/doesn’t exist
      – out-source – the police/Guard/military will save me
      – deflect – change the subject to the children, lead in the environment, etc.

      If the subject says no right exists then one might as well write them off as philosophically unreachable. If the right is admitted to, then one can begin to discuss the extent/limits of that right; e.g., may one bring only one’s fists to a knife-fight?

      If subject out-sources, that leads to a line of inquiry as to the origin of the right/power of the 3’rd party to defend the subject. Is it by divine right of kings? Is it by consent of the governed? How do the governed individually devoid of right accumulate their rights to form a power righteously wielded by the agent of the state?

      If the subject deflects that leads to a question of whether the subject is willing ever to discuss the right of self-preservation.

      • THIS is how to do it. I’m glad I read all the way to the end.

        This pair of comments should be elevated to their own post.

  21. I find it bitterly amusing that the Progs who parrot “it can’t happen here” are the ones who are making it happen here, and the ones who will blindly obey the government without question.

  22. Perhaps the scariest thing I’ve seen recently, is the failure of people in the US to acknowledge persecution and murder of Christians worldwide. That includes in this country. 100,000 a year. One every 10 minutes. That is on the low end of estimates.

    I have a tough time even finding articles on mainstream blogs and news agencies that will even mention the religion of people in stories from the middle east or Africa. We in the US and Europe may live in an irreligious society but the rest of the world doesn’t. Is it to much to ask that that is acknowledged?

  23. It has happened here, it can happen here, and sadly, with the ineptitude of our government, it will probably happen here again. I am always armed in the maximum way I can legally be in every environment, and I do watch for not only criminals, but Islamists and other crazies who just want to cause mayhem.

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