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%22The American Nations%22 courtesy

“For now, the country will remain split on how best to make its citizens safer, with Deep South and its allies bent on deterrence through armament and the threat of capital punishment, and Yankeedom and its allies determined to bring peace through constraints such as gun control. The deadlock will persist until one of these camps modifies its message and policy platform to draw in the swing nations. Only then can that camp seize full control over the levers of federal power—the White House, the House, and a filibuster-proof Senate majority—to force its will on the opposing nations. Until then, expect continuing frustration and division.” – Colin Woodward, Up in Arms [via]

[h/t DrVino]

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    • The rest of Illinois doesn’t even want Chicago. They want it to become a separate state.

    • Sometimes I wonder how great the Deep South would be if the South had won the Civil War. It would probably be like one big Texas.

      But since we didn’t we have to keep fighting endless idiogical battles with those sick Yankees. 😉

    • Iowa is quickly becoming Chicago. Eastern Iowa cities and Des Moines are importing alot of people from Chicago because of the shorter wait list to get housing and benefits. These imports are not adopting Iowa values…Western and parts of southern Iowa are the only real parts of Iowa that is left.

      • Andrew? Is that you? You’re the ONLY dude I know who uses the term “Iowegian”.

        And yeah, a lot of Chicago problems are getting imported to my neck of the woods.

      • That’s mostly the fault of the feds. They came in and told the city of Ames that they weren’t ‘diverse’ enough. Forget there’s people from 120 some countries enrolled at ISU, I guess that doesn’t count. So the city had to run ads in the Chicago papers to recruit welfare sponges to come live off of us instead. Needless to say the crime rate went up.

        • “That’s mostly the fault of the feds. They came in and told the city of Ames that they weren’t ‘diverse’ enough.”


          A Progressive’s first job is to spread the misery around equally.

      • Colin Woodward is definitely a lefty, but his book is fascinating and eerily applicable to almost any political debate you care to imagine. He does realize that WI is not all “Yankeedom”–he actually describes Milwaukee as a Yankee island surrounded by Midlands.

        Midlanders, by the way, are the people Tocqueville described in Democracy in America who “will follow any leader set over them”. Good, salt of the earth people, but completely allergic to politics and therefore vulnerable to anyone who can put on a good enough show of being the duly constituted authorities.

  1. The divide isn’t geographic; it is based on population density: urban vs rural. I’m sure update New Yorkers don’t appreciate being lumped in with NYC “Yankeedom” any more than southern Illinois appreciates being conflated with Chicago.

    • Very much the case, speaking here from upstate.

      And this population density thing is a problem. “Gun Control” is just one symptom of Big government and one facet of this problem. Big government brings economic depression – every time, while individual liberty and freedom brings economic prosperity.

      This is a cycle – prosperity then brings population growth which brings big government. You can see where this is leading.

      We must allow the state those rights and powers that the civil society really needs, and yet preserve individual liberty and freedom at the same time.

      *Exactly* what the constitution we live under was designed to do.

      Gee, if only we could find a way for everyone to follow it properly.

    • Oh, with respect to the looming political battle implied by the QOTD: the ultimate solution is to restore the concepts of federalism and a constitutional republic, by limiting (i.e. capping) the federal political power of City-States. The very existence off these City-States completely obliterates the balance-of-power model that separates our republic from a democracy.

      Now, the devil is in the details on how to make that happen, but unless/until it does, we will continue to devolve from a Republic, and a union of sovereign states, into a mob-rule democracy.

      • It’s easy bring real change: term limits for Congress. A person can serve no more than five terms total in Congress, either house, and no more than two consecutive terms.

      • Easy; free them from the shackles of our Republic. Let them fend for themselves, become insolvent through tyranny & collapse almost immediately, then melt back into the surroundings with their power structures dismantled. Or be so successful we emulate out of jealousy. City-state version of the old Roman banishment scheme (elected politicians were exiled for ten years upon leaving office to prevent them from forming political machines)

        • Who’s going to build the tanks and jets and ships that the rest of you guys are going to need to defend yourself from Chinese, Russians, Muslims, and other boogeymen? Cities are where the industry is (indeed, they often form around industry).

      • >> the ultimate solution is to restore the concepts of federalism and a constitutional republic, by limiting (i.e. capping) the federal political power of City-States.

        You mean, disenfranchising them?

        Because the only reason why they have that power is because they have so many people. You know, one person, one vote. Oh, and no taxation without representation? Put a list of congressional districts in Excel, and see how many representatives in Congress every state gets per dollar of income tax collected by the feds from it. Can you guess which way it would be skewed?

    • “The divide isn’t geographic; it is based on population density: urban vs rural.”

      This. A thousand times, this.

    • A million times this. I take great offence at being lumped in with the anti-gun crowd while living in a Constitutional Carry state and I bet those from Vermont and New Hampshire agree. It’s not a regional thing, its cities vs. country.

      It must take a certain mindset to live in a city, surrounded ass to elbow with other people. I guess living like a sheep makes you think like one.

      • Recently watched this mini series on Netflix from BBC about statistics and math, I can’t recall what it was called and can’t be bothered to look it up. Anyway this show content was mostly driven by this mathematician and for the most part was pretty interesting.

        Anyway in one episode he gets to talking about the tendency of people to congregate into cities and put out this figure that people in the cities make (and I am making the number up also but the basic idea is the same) 40% more money than comparable people who do not live in the city,

        And thus, he concluded, people in the cities are 40% richer for this. Not even the slightest attempt to consider the cost of living, taxation, or any of it in.

        This is the slow thinking of the progressive, they can only think one step into the problem.

        p) I need more money s) Widget corp. pays 40% more over there in Gotham. Profit!!!

        p) guns are used to create violence s) don’t let citizens have guns.

        This is as far as they can go.

        • I lived in Seattle and Chicago for a short time, and I’m here to tell you, making only 40% more in earnings isn’t going to cut it.

          Especially, when you consider “reasonable” housing is in the >300K range in those areas.

        • Ayn Rand referred to that as statists thinking in the “range of the moment.” I do wish she were alive today.

      • “It must take a certain mindset to live in a city, surrounded ass to elbow with other people. I guess living like a sheep makes you think like one.”

        What an absurd statement to make about over half the worlds population. I suggest you travel more.

        • I have traveled, quite extensively, both in the US (admittedly mostly east of the Mississippi) and abroad and I stand by my assertion. It is absolutely NOT absurd. If it were absurd and untrue, then why is it that the Liberal, Left wing, and Socialist view points OVERWHELMINGLY come from cities and suburbs? Why is the sheep mentality so strong in these places but not in rural areas? Why are those that want to take my rights away overwhelmingly concentrated in urban centers when only half of the country lives there? There is obviously something about living like livestock, packed in tight with your neighbors that changes how people think about freedom.

          I understand that a lot of people hate it when someone generalizes, but generalizations (and stereotypes) exist for a reason: because they are generally true…

        • It comes from how they live. In the city everything is provided for you by someone else, frequently the government. If you live in an apartment in a large city, you are (nominally) protected by police, your water is provided by the city, your power is made in some far-off place with maintenance workers always on standby, your transportation is provided by either a taxi or a train, and if something breaks in your apartment then you complain to the apartment manager until someone is brought in to fix it.

          Whereas, in more rural areas if someone breaks into your house the police could be an hour away. You likely have a well. If the power goes out it could be out for days. If you want to go somewhere you are driving yourself, and if something breaks you either are paying someone out of your own pocket to fix it, or you are fixing it yourself.

          This environmentally-imposed self-sufficiency breeds a much different mindset. In the eyes of the rural man, if there is a problem, you fix it. In the eyes of the urban man, if there is a problem, you call someone else to fix it. That is what draws the urban man to the Democrat party, the party of “just let mommy State handle it.”

        • It’s really so far fetched to consider that mankind may have created government in order domesticate himself (or rather, everyone else but himself ;)), like he has every other animal?

        • The absurd part of your comments isn’t that liberalism is associated with urban areas – that much is readily obvious to anyone who ever looked at population density map. It’s rather that liberalism is “sheep mentality”.

    • Look at the map, Southern Illinois is part of Greater Appalachia, not Yankeedom, like Chicago. New Yorkers are Yankees no matter where they live.

    • Exactly. Urban vs Rural. I think liberals like to think of the next civil war too much like the last one, because in their minds it would be “north vs south” again, and just assume the north would win again. What they fail to realize is it’ll be the city states vs the rest of the country, and it will end with them being besieged in their beloved citadels of liberalism.

      • If it did ever come to that, it would be horrendous. The infrastructure to support the tens of millions currently living in America’s cities is incredibly fragile. The telecommunications network for a city could be knocked out by a few guys armed with screwdrivers and a rifle in an afternoon, and any legitimate siege of a city like New York would lead to millions of people dying of thirst, starvation, and disease within two months.

      • The Civil War was urban vs rural – industrial economies of the North, that had no need of slave labor, versus agrarian economies of the South, for which it was the vital component. And it is exactly why the loss was inevitable for the South – industrial societies are better at war because they’re better at developing the technological advantages, and putting them into production.

        In your hypothetical “next civil war”, who exactly will “besiege” those citadels, given that they contain the majority of the country’s population? Who will work on an assembly line 14 hours per day to make guns and bullets to supply the front line – the offended ranchers and farmers? What happens to their ranches and farms in the meantime?

        • Cities lost their good manufacturing industries and trained workers to the suburbs, small towns, and countryside years ago. Cities basically now contain paper pushers, government employees, and welfare sponges.
          Case in point is to look at the Honda Assembly Plant in the middle of nowhere outside Greensburg Indiana and compare that to all the shuttered automotive plants in Indianapolis, such as the International engine plant.

        • Who is going to FEED those millions in the cities? How much food is produced in urban environments?

          Keep thinking it is technology, electricity, telecommunications and crap like that people require to survive and keep thinking anything of real fundamental value comes from cities…keep thinking these things while people that know how to take care of themselves stop providing the real fundamentals…

          • The farmers, of course, under gunpoint. Forcing subjugated people to materially support your war effort has been a staple of human warfare and conquest for as long as we’ve been doing that, and will not stop anytime soon.

            The reverse is also true – the “rural party” would have to force service sector and industry to work for them in a similar manner to win.

        • “The reverse is also true – the “rural party” would have to force service sector and industry to work for them in a similar manner to win.”

          That’s nuts, and shows you don’t understand the rural “mindset” at all.

          Name one necessary service rural people need urbanites to provide for them.

          Here’s a clue: There isn’t one.

          • >> Name one necessary service rural people need urbanites to provide for them. Here’s a clue: There isn’t one.

            In case you haven’t noticed, we have discussing this in the context of a civil war. In which case the essential service is manufacturing all that stuff that you can’t exactly fight a war without – weapons, ammunition, vehicles, fuel, hell, even clothing. Simply put, you need industry to fight a war, and industrial is the opposite of rural (rural areas simply don’t provide the necessary population density to support heavy industry, even when it’s physically located there – you need workers to commute from urban/suburban areas).

            • …rural areas simply don’t provide the necessary population density to support heavy industry, even when it’s physically located there – you need workers to commute from urban/suburban areas…

              I don’t believe this to be even remotely true, or even supported by current industry and demographics.

              • I’m basing my assertion on the well-known historical fact that urbanization is driven by industrialization. Hell, there’s even such a thing as “company town”, for exactly that reason. You’re welcome to disprove it by showing stats pointing out where the typical factory worker in US lives. I would be extremely surprised if that is not suburbs.

              • “Suburban” is not “urban”, and if most factory workers are suburban, that would support my disbelief that they are primarily urban.

                Of “urban”, “suburban”, or “rural” as the classification of industrial workers, I would hazard a guess that “urban” is a distant third.

              • >> “Suburban” is not “urban”

                For the purposes of population density it is, which is why it’s considered urban in pretty much any official designation. Politically and culturally, most suburbs also lean left.

                If your argument is that suburbs shouldn’t count this way for this particular purpose, then you’re effectively saying that it is not actually urban vs rural, but something else.

              • Maybe there are regional differences (the NoVa outskirts of DC being one such example), but in almost all of my experiences, sociopolitically, suburbanites much more closely align with rural than urban. Most of my actual living experience is in Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. It is certainly true in those areas. The suburbs are quite conservative, around a dense, progressive, urban area.

                The county-by-county election results maps tend to support the theory, as well.

                Of course, now there’s urban, sub-urban, ex-urban, and rural. What I consider suburban, you may consider exurban.

        • “Simply put, you need industry to fight a war,”

          Depends on the war.

          Inside the box thinking is too narrow.

          I’m guessing compared to Rome, the Huns were pretty rural and had no “industry.” They seemed to fare okay. Countless similar examples from history.

          There are other solutions to the problems you describe besides “industry.” But it does not bother me if you don’t see them.

          • >> I’m guessing compared to Rome, the Huns were pretty rural and had no “industry.” They seemed to fare okay. Countless similar examples from history.

            Pre-Industrial Revolution examples aren’t particularly relevant to modern state of affairs. And post-Industrial Revolution, I’m not aware of any non-industrialized society successfully conquering an industrialized one, while examples of the opposite abound. Non-industrial societies can resist occupation to some extent by waging guerrilla warfare, but usually require support of outside players to do so for any prolonged duration of time (like Soviets supported Vieg Cong, or Americans supported Afghan mujahideen, or Saudis support ISIS today).

            And as science and technology advances, the gap between industrialized and non-industrialized only grows wider. A good modern example is how US uses drones in the Middle East. Think about the carnage those things alone could unleash if not constrained by extremely restrictive rules of engagement. Then understand that any civil war is total war by definition, and doesn’t have such limitations.

        • “Pre-Industrial Revolution examples aren’t particularly relevant to modern state of affairs.”


          You don’t get to pull ‘rules’ out of your backside on how the real world works. Just because you think something is or will be a certain way does not mean that’s so.

          There are far, far, far more rural and non-industrial people on the planet right now…a situation that is nearly always so. Dispersed cottage industry is a thing…a thing that real self-reliant people can count on.

          Urban, centralized, dare I say “industrial,” thinking as “the one true way” hinges on a series of illusions (lies) designed to create that thinking. It’s all propaganda.

          Every urban center in the US is crumbling both physically, financially and socially. Meanwhile, rural America is consolidating in community and common goals. I don’t hear people of the rural mindset saying “We have to take the cities to get by;” I hear them saying “Let them lie and rot in their own defecation.”

          To think there is anything in “urban” that is desirable is to miscalculate everything that is “rural.” But, keep believing what you want to believe. No skin off my nose…

          • >> There are far, far, far more rural and non-industrial people on the planet right now…a situation that is nearly always so

            You’re plainly wrong on this. Over 50% of the population in the world, and over 80% in US, is urban.

        • It is interesting to see who bets on the city folk and who bets on the country folk. Do we have any bets on how all America`s enemies will respond when they see us defenseless and open for invasion? Like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

    • Agree totally.

      I wish people would STOP lumping VT, NH and ME into the Northeast anti-freedom / anti-gun axis. These three northern states have been EXPANDING gun rights over the last few years and have better gun rights than Texas.

      In 2015 Maine passed Constitutional Carry, expanded concealed carry reciprocity, and approved suppressors for hunting. New Hampshire is actively pursuing Constitutional Carry. Vermont has had it forever.

      However, the fight to defend our gun rights NEVER ends because we are gearing up here in Maine to defeat former NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to impose Universal Background Checks in Maine via the referendum process in 2016.

    • At least they say so. Yet, as soon as the Bloombergites inevitably fail to keep a few of their buildings properly defended and standing upright, nowhere is competition for whom can bend over the furthest in an effort to grant the tax feeders carte blanche to shred every last remaining corner of the Bill of Rights, more feverish than in those more “real” part of virtually every state.

    • There are different aspects to it. Urban vs rural is probably the most prominent one, but it’s clearly not the only one (while urban areas in red states are bluer than the rest of the state, and can even be blue overall, they’re still to the right of urban areas in blue states) – so culture also plays to it. Besides, urban vs rural is itself very much a product of geography – they don’t form randomly, but around geographic features favoring commerce, or in places where natural resource availability favors industry.

    • The divide isn’t geographic; it is based on population density: urban vs rural.
      Probably a lot of the suburbs and small towns and villages are very pro-gun.
      It seems that anti-gun and anti-all rights in general are more based in the urban environments.

  2. A little disingenuous to include VT, NH, ME and 98% of the land mass of NY into the flustercluck that is “Yankeedom.”

    I’d like to see this map expressed county to county. That pro-control color would be mighty hard to pick out.

  3. Dividing the country into regions isn’t an accurate design. Take each state county by county for a more realistic map.
    Using both Kalicommiefornia and New York as an example.
    Its unfortunate the more populous counties don’t represent the entire state. Yet control them.
    Here in Florida you could separate us into 4 different and distinct area of beliefs. Fortunately here the main 3 areas have similar constants. The number 4 area is mixed by population and having brought their cultures with them. They don’t fit in well with the rest of us. They should be their own state and leave the rest if us alone.

    • It works the other way in Florida, thankfully. I live in Miami, and if we didn’t have state pre-emption I’m willing to wager we wouldn’t have shall-issue CWFL down here.

    • It’s not a map of popular opinions. It’s a map of pseudo-nations. A single country doesn’t matter if it’s dominated by all the surrounding countries, and have zero political, economic, or cultural weight in the agglomerate which claims it.

    • And apparently, you don’t read much. Read the book “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodward and it will make more sense to you.

      • It doesn’t discount it – it’s simply not relevant to the point that this map is trying to make (in particular, it’s not claiming that all people in the “nations” act the same).

  4. Whoa whoa whoa! This doesn’t tell the whole story by a long shot. Upstate New York Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine don’t count. Hell, even parts of CT are vastly different than the rest of the state. As an (unfortunate) citizen (slave cough*) of CT, I can tell that unless you are along the Connecticut River or the Coast of Long Island Sound, we are nothing like the morons that run the place. Rural Connecticut (yes that’s a thing) is filled with the good kinds of people believe it or not. It’s just we are outnumbered by the douchebags in the cities.

  5. Not to mention all of Texas is solidly red with the exception of Travis County/Austin. Which, though colored red in this map, is the “blueberry floating in the tomato soup that is Texas”.

    • I dunno about that–South Texas is still the home to a lot of Democrat zombies, both the kind that rise from the dead to vote on Election Day, and the kind that those dead voters elect to the Statehouse and Congress.

    • That political imagery hasn’t been accurate of Texas in more than a generation. As the others mentioned, south Texas, down in the Rio Grande valley and surrounding areas, is heavily Democrat because they’re poor, Hispanic, and illegal alien infused. Those areas always were such, but those areas didn’t always vote with high participation. Now they do.

      Throughout the rest of Texas, it’s not just Austin, but all four major cities including Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio that are Democrat-dominated. Those cities are punching above their weight these days, because their influence is generated by the work of people who live and commute from the conservative suburbs.

      Consider Houston: the only people who live inside Loop 610, the core of the city, are the extremely rich (think former President Bush 41) and the extremely poor (think your typical urban welfare dependents in section 8 housing), with a small sprinkling of twenty and thirty something hipsters. Families, entrepreneurs, and professionals all live in the suburbs and vote Republican. That’s how you get the City of Houston government all Democrat dominated, while Harris County (stretching beyond Houston to include the suburbs) is all Republican dominated. A somewhat similar pattern plays out with the other major Texas cities.

      The divide therefore isn’t just urban vs. rural. It’s more urban vs. the combination of suburbs, rural areas, and small-midsize cities without suburbs.

  6. Texas isn’t Deep South, Appalachian, or Mexico… It’s just Texas.

    Now, it has roots in all those places; many of its founding heroes were from Tennessee, it was also part of Mexico before winning independence, and also, was part of the South during the Civil War.

    • Yes.
      According to some historians, one of the main conditions that shaped our culture here was the fighting on our two hostile borders, Mexico and Comancheria, for so many decades of our formative years.

  7. In 1776 there were 13 colonies, the map represents the same region as 4 stereotypes. The map in this piece is a great example of why the “gun culture is an ignorant culture” stereotype, though largely wrong, has legs. SMHD.

  8. The author’s theory on distinct cultures within the U.S. is sound, but the conclusions he draws as it pertains to guns and violence are incorrect. The dirty truth is, if urban black thug and hispanic gang cultures are withdrawn from the equation, America is extremely peaceful throughout. Rural, majority-white regions with plentiful firearms are very safe places to live, coast to coast. It isn’t the presence of guns that cause trouble.

    • Whenever these guys talk about the more peaceful nations, they never manage to mention the racial and cultural homogeneity that characterizes those nations.

      • Tis true. But also consider that most ciminals are Democrats.

        I think we need common sense non-white Democrat control. They should have to be registered, and you should need a permit if you want to have more than one.

    • >> if urban black thug and hispanic gang cultures are withdrawn from the equation, America is extremely peaceful throughout.

      “But does that mean racial differences might be skewing the homicide data for nations with larger African-American populations? Apparently not. A classic 1993 study by the social psychologist Richard Nisbett, of the University of Michigan, found that homicide rates in small predominantly white cities were three times higher in the South than in New England.”

  9. Chip, of course, got it exactly right. In fairness, for those folks saying, “Hey, upstate NY is not like NYC,” the author did address that fact, and made clear that he was not saying that everybody in his “nations” thought alike. The glaring, gaping hole in his argument vis-à-vis violence is that, for all his yammering about the “culture of violence” in the Deep South, most of those crime statistics he’s decrying originate in [highly-populated] areas under the control of his so-called “peaceful” culture–a point that he fails completely to note and address.

    • It’s a disturbing trend in modern “science.”

      The conclusion will always support the hypothesis, even when the evidence does not.

    • “But does that mean racial differences might be skewing the homicide data for nations with larger African-American populations? Apparently not. A classic 1993 study by the social psychologist Richard Nisbett, of the University of Michigan, found that homicide rates in small predominantly white cities were three times higher in the South than in New England.”

      • Compare the English-American white societies of the South to the German-American societies of the North and see what happens.

  10. ‘The deadlock will persist until one of these camps modifies its message and policy platform to draw in the swing nations.’

    Molon labe. What’s to modify?

  11. Placing South Louisiana in the “new France” area based on political outlook is incorrect. Politically, much of South Louisiana is even more conservative than the traditional south.

    • Again, I am guessing he is referring to the “dominant”, not the “only”, culture in South La. which would be represented by (yes, you guessed it) high population-density New Orleans. More support for Chip.

    • Actually you could put just about the entire interior west including Alaska in the “red” camp. The only exceptions are Denver, Boulder, Aspen, Ft Collins, and from what I hear from friends you can include Missoula Mt in that crowd and Jackson Wyoming. Basically everything else from New Mexico through Idaho and Montana up to Alaska is solid red.

  12. That red doesn’t go up far enough in Ohio All Ohioans know that route 30 is the Ohio Mason Dixon line. All those libtards stay up there where they belong.

    • That doesn’t hold true west of Mansfield. I’d venture to say there’s a healthy amount of red between Toledo & Cleveland. South of Toledo, there’d be a bubble for Bowling Green or perhaps an isthmus stretching to it from Toledo. That’s about it. Maybe the lakefront would be blue too. What surrounds all that? Farming mostly.

        • It depends on how you define pro gun. A few years back, open carrying in a small town potentially cause more hassle than open carrying in larger southwest Ohio towns. Some of that could have been due to ignorance of the law but a good bit of it, I think, was just simply a determination to do things the way that they wanted to as opposed to the legal way.

    • Then you have Athens in the southeast and Yellow Springs outside of Dayton. Fortunately, we got Yellow Springs comfortable with open carry and they even started a cop block group after getting to know us. Athens, I haven’t been back there since grad school but I assume it is just as liberal.

  13. Let not forget one most gun control states of them all California witch ever free gun control state round it like Nevada and Arizona hope well fall in ocean some day if big earthquake ever comes there. After all California been gun control best wet dream come true. What state has embrace more new gun control laws than California pass even more silly ones ever year????

    • Let’s address the big earthquake issue with CA. CA ain’t going to fall into the ocean. What will happen is 35 million refugees will swarm nevada, arizona, washington and points beyond.

      Remember what happened when new orleans residents were driven from there and transplanted to other states after Katrina? On a much grander, even biblical scale.

      A major earthquake in CA will shake the whole country. And not in a good way.

      • Even with out earthquake people from Ca are all ready swarm in Nevada, Arizona, Washington in droves. With some bring there dumb idea of Ca gun control with them.

      • In the immortal words of Steely Dan “California tumbles into the sea, that’ll be the day I go back to Annandale.” Hopefully most if the mother f-ers will die when it happens.

  14. It’s interesting to consider the cultural characteristics of these areas based on the folks who settled here… but isn’t the author just sort of ignoring the last 100 years or so of history? A lot has happened since my ancestors settled in Texas.

    Advances in technology are changing the way we live at an exponential rate. Whatever boundaries you draw between counties, states, or even countries are being erased as people and ideas float freely across.

  15. Entertaining weak sauce at best. The missing “scholarship” about citizens lawfully protecting themselves from criminals per regions notwithstanding. Claiming genetic of populations 150 years ago are somehow responsible for today’s gun rights divide is nonsense.

  16. to force its will on the opposing nations.

    Pretty typical – force everybody else to what they don’t want to do.

    “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas Jefferson

    After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which the majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?Note Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. – Henry David Thoreau

    The founders purposely made the bill of rights extremely difficult to modify. When the legislature ignores them and reinterprets them based on whatever the majority wants its purpose breaks down. Infringement of rights leads to a great deal of conflict. These rights should be interpreted plainly as they were written. Trying to take them away from a well armed population many of whom are very well trained is not a prudent idea and certainly not the best way to reduce “gun violence” if you know what I mean.

  17. Thank you, RF. This exercise has a subtle, but important point to make….the divide between urban and rural population influences. This divide is the entire reason the Electoral College exists.

    The founders knew the cities would likely always have more population that the rural areas of a given colony/state. The constitution allows for majority rule in the states, and an equalization of power in voting for the (then) only national office…President. The concept of the Electoral College is/was to give equal influence to cities and counties. The intended result was/is to ensure the population centers would not control every election for President. Thus, we had four presidential elections where the popular vote pointed to one candidate, but the Electoral College elected a different candidate; worked as designed.

    Why is this important to know? Because there are always efforts to change or abolish the Electoral College. The strength of the non-population centers is reflected in the fact no serious attempt to amend the constitution for purpose of changing the College has happened. And because the founders knew the majority of the voting population might be very wrong, depending on things such as a government buying votes wholesale through giveaway legislation.

    For those who take umbrage at being lumped-in with city folk, it is the nature of the beast. When you live in an area where the political power rests in people who want to control everyone else, you are part of that area/region/state. How easy to think of France, Canada, Bulgaria as socialist (because a few powerful people rule), and insist that one not be included in the same characterizations in this country. The author of the cited study is quite correct, until one or the other political power (pro-gun/anti-gun) secures near-absolute power, the divide will continue. Either accept the realities, or change them via ballots or bullets. Do not expect a quiet surrender from either camp.

    • >> This divide is the entire reason the Electoral College exists.

      The reason why the Electoral College exists is for two reasons. One that you’ve mentioned (well, strictly speaking it’s about balance of power for small vs big states, but naturally more urbanized states are bigger in population). But there was also the other, important enough that it was expanded on in the Federalist Papers:

      “It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. “

      • Yes, correct. But I left that reference out because it is part of the original concept of who was/would be qualified to vote. The characteristics cited for an Elector were also considered the same characteristics required for people to have “the vote” in the first place. In the beginning, the founders did not “franchise” the general population, who were considered not suitable to the proper analysis of politics, nor having a true stake in the outcome, as did merchants, bankers, professors, and other select (but not ordinary) peoples.

  18. I see we are going neo-confederate again. Sorry to inform you that outside of NE and the West Coast the country is united. They are the secessionists

    • I have to agree. Outside of a few city states and other geographically small areas, there would be no reason for the rest of the the US or “flyover country” to split.

    • Civil War between the West, Mid-West, and former Dixie states just is not going to happen.
      Left Coast and BosWash going to war with the rest of the country is more of a possibility.

  19. I could go for some Balkanization about now. Roughly, here’s how I would fragment the country – it is regional, down to county sized boundaries. Let the big cities be their own entity (Chicago, Baltimore, NY, et cetera all on their own – they have to rely on the contiguous large regions to survive). California cities and all of California remain as one though, as their own fragment. Expand the American Redoubt a lot, include Utah. Then there is Texas by itself. The plains states, Colorado, and some of the northern states up to Canada will be its own region to Indiana. The southeast region is composed of states surrounded by the plains, the 95 corridor region (AKA the EU), to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. Then we cut out our favorite region outside of Kalifornia: the 95 corridor from DC to Boston – and a couple hundred miles inland from there. Whatever is left from the 95 corridor in the northeast to mid atlantic becomes a region.

    I can’t see these regions maintaining this original shape though. This is just a rough estimation of a Balkanized America. The reigning cultures, tribes, industries, and militia will refine the map and distribution of resources.

    I’m from upstate NY (defined as anywhere the subway doesn’t go, or if you are from 34th street – Washington Heights is upstate). It is true and goofy that 305 square miles determines what the other 54,000 square miles are doing. Once you leave NYC it’s all woods!

  20. I am not feeling like this guy told us anything we did not already know, but I am feeling deeply offended that he characterized the Deep South and its allies as a “culture of violence” and “Yankeedom” as a “culture of peace”. Both these labels, as applied, are egregiously mistaken and biased.
    Personally, I don’t believe there is a rational fix for this division. There seems to be something about packing millions of humans into small spaces a la NYC, Los Angeles and other densely populated metropolitan areas that creates liberal, progressive insanity among the population. Like those overpopulated rats they studied in labs back in the 1970’s or 1980’s. In both cases a symptom of the dysfunction is to aggressively try to impose one’s will upon every other member of the population.

  21. oops, let me amend my Balkanized America: if a city is embedded in the 95 corridor it does not become independent – the EU wouldn’t like that. Only cities outside of the 95 corridor but embedded in other regions – for example, Portland, Denver, Chicago, Salt Lake City (filled with liberals and hipsters believe it or not), Miami…

  22. Those studies of what happens to rats when they are concentrated too tightly with too much food are important. We are mammals just like them. Too much concentration and too much food yields not only obesity, but self-predation, violence, and as I recall homosexual behavior as well. Just as we see in the large cities. The difference with humans is that we also self select to move to or away from these areas based on our own genetic and, which reinforces the patterns. I would live to see the 95 corridor from roughly NOVA TO Boston and the Left Coast secede. They would have to figure out how to succeed and feed themselves when they have no natural resources, no production of any tangible goods, production only of services than can moved by computer signal.anywhere in the world, and large concentrations of violent undereducated and unemployed third worlders. Unfortunately they wouldn’t wind up linking up with the EU, and then the rest of the continent would really need a barbed wire fence and minefield to keep it all.out.

      • I think that the rest of the US can do without CA better than vice versa. Let’s try it as an experiment.

        • First, let’s cut-off their ground transportation into/out of the state, then see how long they can hold out. Airlift might save a city, but an entire new nation? Besides, more goods travel by truck and rail into Calif, than in all of airlift in the country. And if an earthquake calves the western part of Calif, let them become that most precious of their dreams…an island unto themselves.

  23. If you don’t want to read the book the map is based on, then it can best be explained by this exchange from the movie Ride with the Devil. Yankees, even rural ones are different from rural citizens in Greater Appalachia.

    “Jack Bull Chiles: The foundin’ of that town was truly the beginnin’ of the Yankee invasion.
    Mr. Evans: I’m not speakin’ of numbers, nor even abolitionist trouble makin’. It was the schoolhouse. Before they built their church, even, they built that schoolhouse. And they let in every tailor’s son… and every farmer’s daughter in that country.
    Jack Bull Chiles: Spellin’ won’t help you hold a plow any firmer. Or a gun either.
    Mr. Evans: No, it won’t Mr. Chiles. But my point is merely that they rounded every pup up into that schoolhouse because they fancied that everyone should think and talk the same free-thinkin’ way they do with no regard to station, custom, propriety. And that is why they will win. Because they believe everyone should live and think just like them. And we shall lose because we don’t care one way or another how they live. We just worry about ourselves.
    Jack Bull Chiles: Are you sayin’, sir, that we fight for nothin’?
    Mr. Evans: Far from it, Mr. Chiles. You fight for everything that we ever had, as did my son. It’s just that… we don’t have it anymore.”

    • Not very flattering picture of non-Northeasterners. Are you pro-ignorance? I went through New England schools and saw through their BS, any intelligent person should be able to do the same.

  24. The map puts me in the narrow strip of “Yankeedom” in Ohio. I’m behind enemy lines! Somebody send backup!

  25. Please be kind to the author. He is handicapped by a very serious problem in academia. He really can’t help himself and is doing the best he can. People on TTAG know that the primary historical driver of gun control was racism. This forces people like the author to deal with an irreconcilable problem.

    White people didn’t want non-whites to have guns, so they passed laws intended to make that happen. Fast forward to the 21st Century and you have a strong correlation between non-white (particularly black) population and gun control laws. Normally most academics would wet their pants at the prospect of ‘discovering’ institutional racism. There is a problem though. Racism=Bad, Gun Control=Good. So if gun control is racist, it is bad and must be stopped (preferably by an expensive government program). But all smart people want to ban guns, so calling for an end to gun control would make you an uneducated redneck.

    This makes gun control a Liberal Arts divide-by-zero error. Wanting gun control makes you racist, while wanting to end gun control makes you uneducated. Educated people can’t be racist. This forces a choice – do you want to be educated or racist? In academia it is more important to be smart and force your views on others, than it is to actually do something useful. Thus, the only option for those inside the academic bubble is to ignore the racist origins of gun control and blame it on rural racist white people who believe in some dude called Jesus.

    • Which US political party is best identified with institutional racism? Which US political party is responsible for massive segregation? Which US political party believes whites must tolerate the ignorant,the backward, the poor ? Which US political party believes non-whites cannot help themselves, need special considerations, must depend on the generosity of white people? Which US political party believes these lesser ethnic and population groups will require government assistance in perpetuity because these lesser ethnic and population groups will never be self-sufficient, self-sustaining? Which US political party controls the greatest enclaves of debt, poverty, violence?

  26. This is one of the most thought provoking posts I’ve read in quite a while. I urge all TTAG-ers to read the entire article. The author’s thesis and related conclusions appear to be driven by data collected at the county level. Many of the reader comments provided do not appear to be data driven. If you disagree with a point and can’t back up your alternate point with alternate data, you’re talking out of your ass. You may have a deep emotional attachment to your view but you’re still talking out of your ass; an unfortunate but all too common phenomenon in the modern entertainment over education society.

  27. Civil war breaks out soon, I think alot will die but the rural people (ideals) will win. 20 years from now… Maybe not.

    • Since I’m up here in Yankeedom, if Civil War breaks out, I’ll be a spy and get any info I can to the rest of you.

  28. Minnesota is taking back it’s 2A rights slowly but surely. I doubt most here would feel themselves as part of Yankeedom…

  29. The linked authors writing is interesting. On face value the conclusions seem reasonable. Some of the breakdowns for why violence or lessor violence was historically tied to a certain groups way of life, and how it was transplanted via immigration to certain regions, follows. It also follows that these tendencies, now divorced from their historical roots, continue in these regions without conscious intentional thought.

    Most of these comments are coming from folks that obviously haven’t read the article and it’s too bad.

    As a carrier of firearms and practitioner of these martial arts (shooting, archery etc,), who’s feelings concerning the appropriateness of violent solution in certain contexts is along the lines of the midlands, I find it particularly fascinating that my deep seated feelings could be directly tied to these peoples politics, religions, occupations and experiences.

    What that means for those who’s lives include these feelings concerning the appropriateness of martial solutions to perceived threats and problems is expansive and certainly ripe for exploration and discussion.

  30. He describes stand your ground laws as waiving a “citizen’s duty to try and retreat from a threatening individual before killing the person.” His description presupposes that there is such a duty and that these laws “waive” it, as in granting some kind of special release from a pre-existing duty. Such a duty must have existed for a good reason, right? A waiver of it implies a receding from something established and beneficial.
    There is no such thing as duty to retreat. That’s an artificial legal construct granting prosecutors, judges and juries an excuse to second guess a crime victim’s actions in the face of extreme criminal violence.

    Regarding the post Newtown legislation, he characterizes the outcome as the Senate’s “failure” to pass a bill to “close loopholes” in federal background checks for gun buyers.
    There’s no mention of the Second Amendment and the Senate’s valiant defense of it against the Democrats’ attempt at infringement. He calls it a “failure.” He also ignores the fact that there is no loophole in federal background checks. The same laws apply everywhere and the Newtown killer murdered and stole his way to obtain his firearms, which has nothing to do with background checks.

    His piece does present a few interesting historical tidbits, but save a single short passage, he neglects to address that blacks and the drug trade dominate homicides in this country.
    In that brief glance, he actually describes blacks as having it “worse than whites”, as if they as a group are the victims and not the perpetrators. This isn’t due to anti-racism sensibilities on his part, either. The author is quick to cite another researcher’s work allegedly revealing how violent other ethnicities such as Dutch, French and German were, for having “acculturated to Appalachian norms” of those oh so violent Scots-Irish.

    Throughout the article, the author hints at the virtue of the liberal slave states and sneers at the supposed selfishness of the free conservative states. He labels the free states as distrustful of and detached from government. Yet, it’s the free states which, by his own admission, address criminal violence with a two pronged, cooperative approach of an armed citizenry and government-administered capital punishment.

    Meanwhile, he paints a picture of the slave states as being centers of citizen participation in government as a balance to government overreach, as being a refuge for those persecuted by authorities, and a climate conducive to self-expression and individualism. Yet, it is precisely those states where freedom and the right to self-defense is forever under government attacks. It is those places where society power is concentrated in the hands of the government, to the detriment of the individual.

    This author’s analysis suffers from the same schizophrenia as do the residents themselves of the slave states he discusses. What material facts he doesn’t breezily gloss over, he ignores outright. What ideas he disagrees with, he snidely couches in unflattering terms. This is hardly the stuff of a serious scholar, but rather yet another propaganda hit piece in the war on Individuality.

    • I remember my first time visiting MA from CT, going to the Springfield Armory, how angered my father was by the signs at the MA state line bragging about how unlicensed carry of a handgun meant a mandatory one year sentence. This would have been about 1978 or so back when the laws in CT were much better than those in MA. It’s sad to think how badly things have changed in both states over the passing years. CT in particular used to be one of the freest states, at least in practice, concealed carry was quite common in the ’70’s, when it was completely illegal in most other states.

  31. I don’t understand why California is part of the “Left Coast” when it is clearly part of Mexico, right down to the electorate.

  32. I read a good bit of it. The problem with his analysis is his correlations disappear once you consider county-level data over state level data.

  33. The author doesn’t bother to distinguish between different kinds of violence. An attack by an armed mugger is not at all the same as defense against such an attack by an armed victim. He also ignores that the most violent parts of the country are inner city neighborhoods deep in Yankeedom and the Left Coast.

    In my opinion, the gun argument is just a prominent facet of a centuries old dispute about the relationship between the private individual and society. Is the private individual merely a part of society or is society merely a collection of private individuals each going about his own business?

    Thursday’s attempted assassination of a Philadelphia police officer gave me the idea for a test question. What would you do if you were driving down the street and such an incident unfolded in front of you? Call 911? Get away and keep going? Run over the shooter?

  34. Love the TTAG post title.

    Years ago, I was trying to explain to an anti-gunner that if their side were successful in pushing their agenda all of the way in a short amount of time, that would probably result in a civil war. He told me that the reverse was also true. My response was, “With what? Y’all don’t have any guns.” To this day, he’s no longer a hardcore anti-gunner. 😉

      • I tried to, but instead, he became educated to the fact that he would be helpless. He’s still a progressive but doesn’t support disarmament. Half a loaf is better than no loaf I guess. 😀

        Seriously though, I figured if he actually started carrying, it might wake him all of the way up. He is a very intelligent and educated individual. Unfortunately, he wants to carry but his wife is dead set against it so I don’t think that will ever be.

        Interestingly, I am the only person she ever allows to be armed in their home. I was armed from the first day she met me and we became good friends.

        • Sometimes big battles are one a small skirmish at a time. The important thing is we stay in the fight.

    • It’s okay. I’ll stand in for West Coast, and I’m sure we can find a liberal with an AR in Yankeedom, maybe even a couple. Can’t skip important business like civil war over lack of preparedness of those involved, so we’ll have to make do.

      Please stick to small arms only, though. While I have the requisite head and body armor to deal with shrapnel in the vicinity, it’s highly damaging to the environment – and don’t even get me started on the napalm. Spotted owl habitat is endangered enough as it is. In any case, artillery will have limited efficiency in mountainous terrain of the Cascades that would be my AO, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble.

      The user of copper-only rounds to prevent lead contamination would also be appreciated. If terminal ballistics are a concern, Lehigh has some interesting options that are extremely efficient while also being environmentally-friendly.

      I do reserve the right to engage in so-called “ruses of war” by locating and involving other well-armed liberals from the area (yes, all three of them) without declaring their engagement in advance.

  35. Meh. As someone who is from downstate Illinois and lived in Chicago it IS a completely different country. And I agree with Curtis-the author doesn’t get out much…

  36. It would be interesting to see everything laid out on a linear scale as such (numerical values could be assigned):

    Anarchism ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ Statism

    I think all of this is just a measure of how far a group of people fall on that scale. Urban dwellers tend to be more towards statism while rural dwellers tend to be more towards anarchism. Since rural people tend to be more self reliant, it stands to reason that they would be more likely to reject statism. The opposite is also true. As our nation grew, self-reliance declined and statism grew.

    (Anarchy =/= Chaos and the progressive usurped term anarchist does not mean the same thing.)

    • Rural dwelling doesn’t necessarily trend towards anarchism. Small towns can be ridiculously statist, it’s just that this statism is concentrated on the most local level, while urban areas have more of a hierarchy with higher levels holding most of the power.

      For example, when locals in a small town somewhere in Deep South lynch a black dude for looking at a white woman in the wrong way, that’s an example of, effectively, extreme statism (expressed in the most democratic manner possible) on local level.

      • Oh, I agree with you. I have resided for many years in a rural area with small towns that are very statist on the local level. If you look up my address on Google Maps, you will see the little fiefdoms labeled as cities or towns all around our county. Thankfully, it is very localized and manageable. Perhaps my comment was too generalized.

  37. If I was looking for co-conspirators to help me save America from the evil liberal/progressive/communist (D) I wouldn’t go shopping in ANY part of ‘yankeedumb’ or other parts of known (D). NOT EVEN FROM THOSE I FIND HERE.
    This anti-gun thing is only part of the problem and if you’re from those parts (YOU need to get out more) this is a problem either created or allowed to fester there BY YOU.
    If I was coming to eradicate the problem that you created or allowed, I wouldn’t go picking through the rabble to find and save you as you have shown to potentially be part of the problem, but at least proven to not care to make it my problem.

    If you are from a blue state, you may be part of the problem [PROVE ME WRONG AND GO FIX IT]. If you have a (D) after your name, are a liberal, progressive, or a rino, the problem is part of you, you are permanently damaged, and this thread shows it’ll likely take spectacular violence to eradicate at least this generation of you.

    • >> is thread shows it’ll likely take spectacular violence to eradicate at least this generation of you.

      Come and take it.

  38. In many “Blue” states the populace divides about 52-48. And a great many D’s are pro-gun.

    • “Guns” ain’t the only problem with blue (D) and liberal/progressive/communists. The problems of society don’t come from people being too conservative.

      Build yourselves a new cathedral with cash, your problem is still your catechism.

      • >> The problems of society don’t come from people being too conservative.

        ISIS is a very good example of what happens when people are too conservative.

          • You might want to re-check the dictionary for the definition of “conservative”. Neither of those two things that you’ve listed are a part of it.

            There’s a reason why a clarifying label, “small government conservative”, exists. Because not all conservatives are small government. Indeed, many conservatives love big government, because it lets them push conservative ideas on those who do not want them. ISIS is an extreme example of that approach. They are very big government, for sure, but their government exists solely to promote conservative morality.

              • Contemporary definition does not necessarily include those, either. Most people would say Trump is pretty conservative, but he’s definitely not “small government”. The whole War on Drugs thing was kickstarted by conservatives, and it’s an obvious manifestation of big government. Hell, Reagan was pretty “big government” on matters other than taxes (which is why he unbalanced the budget so much).

                Now granted, I’ve heard people say that all of these aren’t “real conservatives”. But people making such claims are a minority now, and so it’s just their subjective opinion, not broad consensus. If and when big government conservatives disappear completely, the definition might change, but it’s not there yet – not even close.

  39. I could not get through the whole discourse. At some point I thought Nick should tear this apart. My view is the writer pulled statistics and then divided the country to his desired result. I’ll bet someone with a better computer than mine could define a country to totally discount this, shall I say, biased academic’s data.

  40. I have the misfortune of being stuck in the “Yankeedom” zone (Massachusetts), which by the way for those who may not know, is home to Tufts University. What the liberal tool author forgot to include in his glowing list of accolades for this utopian (by his estimate) paradise are EBT cards, free college tuition for illegal aliens and a large population of social justice warriors.

  41. Ok, so I read it. I think it’s a faculty lounge discourse full of glittering generalities. It’s the sort of summation of this country that only a liberal elitist snob like Obama or his fawning acolytes could seriously embrace. I may have missed it, but what region “clings to their God and their guns?

  42. It’s not really about making anyone safer. If it were, leftist states and municipalities would just impose draconian gun laws locally, impose conservative Stop, Question, and Frisk measures, soak up all the illegal guns, and be done with it. Their protestations that nearby regimes with loose gun laws would obviate this is itself obviated by SQF; it doesn’t matter if guns are being smuggled in if the local cops are constantly confiscating illicit weapons.

    No, this is about rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies. Via Anarcho-Tyranny, leftists want to disarm rural and suburban, white, black rifle owners (their law-abiding, right-voting enemies), and let the hood rats (their crime-prone, left-voting friends) keep their guns.

  43. This is why the leftist corporate media goes ape when a non-black non-Muslim mass shooter comes along, but quietly sweeps black violent crime under the rug 24/7/365.

  44. I read this book. The thesis requires a lot of generalizing, which as an amateur historian drove me a bit crazy. Further, the final 1/3 of the book reveals Woodward’s true purpose, divide the country, and give lefty coastal types excuses to feel good about themselves and dismiss conservatives and their ideas. Woodward essentially argues that because the GOP’s power base is now the South, and the South supported slavery, everything the GOP does from here on out is tainted by that sin.

  45. The most likely line in the next potential civil war will be one between Constitutional Conservatives and Socialist Progressives. I don’t see any geographical correlation.

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