Back in April 2007, I wrote this guest editorial for David Codrea's War on Guns blog. Given all the recent calls for firearm confiscation, repeal of the 2nd Amendment and other proposed violations of the Law of Unintended Consequences, a friend suggested that I should reprint it.
"Kill All They Send..."
The Modest Proposal of "Homer Simpson's Dumber Brother" for Gun Confiscation & A Modest Counter-Proposal
By Mike Vanderboegh
Homer Simpson's Dumber Brother Daniel.
"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms." — Robert Heinlein
"Hell, let's just start shooting the bastards. Let's get this crap over with while I'm still young enough to march in the victory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue." -- An American gun owner, overheard in a Birmingham, Alabama, gun store, 27 April 2007.
Career Foreign Service Officer and former Ambassador Daniel H. Simpson, now slumming in retirement as a member of the Toledo Blade & Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's editorial board, has a modest proposal entitled "The Disarming of America." Unlike Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" for the Irish poor to alleviate their hunger by eating their children, I think Ambassador Dan is really serious about his. A snippet:
"The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for 'carrying.'"-- The Toledo Blade, Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"In Timor Veritas"?
Not surprisingly the gun rights community has evinced more than a little anger at this brazen proposal for their disarmament and enslavement. David Codrea, whose War On Guns blogspot I greatly admire, has referred to Ambassador Dan as "Homer Simpson's Dumber Brother." Certainly Dan Simpson, if he is serious, has got to be one stupid human being not to anticipate the unintended consequences of his declaration, which plays into the worst fears and direst predictions of American gun rights advocates since the 1968 Gun Control Act. Yet, since the DC gun law was struck down by the Federal Appeals Court, the hoplophobes have become more open in their demands: we hear less about "reasonable restrictions" and much more about repealing the Second Amendment. Heck, even here in Alabama we've had a proposal (House Bill 600) to register every semi-automatic rifle, pistol and shotgun in private hands in the state. Of course it doesn't have a snowball's chance of being passed, but. . . then why introduce it?
The Romans used to say "In vino veritas", or, "In wine there is truth." But these folks are not, as near as we can tell, drunk. Perhaps what we are dealing with is "In timor veritas"-- In fear there is truth. Cops have been known to inadvertently scare suspects so much that they blurted out their own unintended confessions and perhaps that is what is going on here. The gun grabbers are nervous. The Virginia Tech massacre was supposed to strengthen their legislative hand, yet it is the gunnies who seem the stronger for it now. We didn't react the old timorous NRA way as they expected us to. Those of us who share the traditional American values of the Founder's republic-- faith, responsibility, opportunity and armed defense of liberty-- have finally been pushed to the point that they've made us fighting mad. We've been pushed to the point where it is WE who are beginning to push back. And with their calls for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, the gun control crowd is risking not just a push but a punch in the nose.
They look at the massacre and see the need for more regulation, registration and confiscation. We look at the dead innocents, deliberately disarmed and made easy targets in a carefully crafted, firearm-free environment, and blame their big liberal lies and unintended idiocies for the body count. "Gun Free School Zone" is a lie every bit as much as "Arbeit Macht Frei" and every bit as deadly. We see these bright young kids and talented professors who were killed without a hope of self defense, who were killed, indeed, by liberalism itself, and we blame the butchers with immaculate hands who cleared the way for the killer and made it all possible. Yet it is WE, the law-abiding and self-reliant, who are blamed by THEM, the servile toadies of collectivism. Our rising anger is in fact a measure of how close we are coming to a final break in this country between our two competing visions of America. Indeed, if Homer Simpson's dumber brother is serious, the opening shots of this impending civil war cannot be that far away.
One Ping Only (Please Deposit 50 Cents)
Captain Ramius: "Re-verify our range to target... one ping only."Capt. Vasili Borodin: "Captain, I - I - I just..."Captain Ramius: "Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please."Capt. Vasili Borodin: "Aye, Captain.""The Hunt for Red October," 1990
But let us assume that, for the sake of argument and illustration, Ambassador Dan's proposal is serious. Let us assume that he is presenting us with a fictional fascist future backdrop that we may play like a video game. Let us believe for the moment in the literal word of former Foreign Service Officer Daniel H. Simpson's proposal yet conjure up our own modest fictional counter-proposal. Like Captain Ramius in "The Hunt for Red October," Ambassador Dan has given us a ping. Let us then give him one ping back. These pings (his and ours) may be warnings, threats of imminent attack, pleas for understanding, or attempts at communication across the gulf of a vast, dense ocean which prevents any other way of determining real meaning. But in any case let us play a game, starting with the scenario he has given us:
"The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building."
Our modest counter-proposal posits the following:\
1. Like the American Revolution, one third of populace will side with the King, one third with the opposition and one third will blow with the wind and take what comes. Of the resistant third, less than a third of those will risk anything to give form to their beliefs, thus only about ten or so percent of the population, roughly 30 million citizens, will actively support the folks who will engage Dan's "special squads". (You know the Nazis called their special squads "Einsatzgruppen.") In the Revolution, the active combatants, Continentals and militia, only amounted to 3% of the population. That would be about 10 million anti-confiscation guerrillas. Alternatively, we could use 10% of American gun owners as a good rule of thumb, and that would be just 8.5 million. But let's make it even tougher on ourselves. Let us say for the sake of argument that as a result of liberal media propaganda and the cumulative deleterious effect of liberal government schools, just one percent of American gun owners would fall into the "cold dead hands" category: that's a mere 850 thousand. These would be the hard core-- the men and women who know how to kill at range, and who, with their scoped .30-06 deer rifles can out-range and out-shoot the M16 rifles and 9mm submachine guns of Dan's American Einsatzgruppen.
2. Unlike the American Revolution, the civil war will reflect the coarsening of the rules of war and will look more like Iraq or Bosnia. The war would certainly extend to those whose direct and support it-- civilian or not-- as they are primary targets, far more so than the foot soldiers of Ambassador Dan's Einsatzgruppen. Bill Clinton extended our own rules of war in the Kosovo intervention to include the news media and other propagandists as legitimate targets. Under these rules, Ambassador Dan and his anti-gun ilk would all be dead men. But, this is just a hypothetical word representation of a video game of Simpson's fictional fascist future, so they need not be afraid just yet.
3. The war would not end until one vision of America or the other won. It would be war to the knife and knife to the hilt. The 850,000 traditional Americans would be determined to take as many of the Einsatzgruppen, their commanders and controllers with them as possible. And it would be far greater than a one-to-one ratio. The fanaticism that the liberals have always imputed to us, would in the event, become real and deadly. If Ambassador Dan's future fascists do win, it will be a Pyrrhic victory that would, for destruction and casualties, dwarf all of America's wars put together. Which, if you think of it, is a funny way to have a "safe" society.
"Kill all they send..."
Viet Minh Sergeant: "Do we take prisoners?"Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An: "No. Kill all they send... and they will stop coming."-- The Opening Scene of "We Were Soldiers"
What would be the casualties? God alone knows, but they would be horrific. How would the government prosecute such a policy with their own police and military honeycombed with potential "traitors"? Poorly, I suspect. How many of those soldiers and policemen that Ambassador Dan is counting on to disarm us would, in the event, turn their weapons on the "National Command Authority"? More than enough to make success for his future fascists problematic. And not even during the previous civil war of 1861-1865 did an American army attempt operations with armed opponents astride and within its own logistical tail. And it would be a WAR, make no mistake, not the sanitary "police action" of the scenario of Homer's dumber brother. And how would the big bad boys of the ATF and FBI fare against committed freedom fighters? Even well-paid federal police bureaucrats just want to live until retirement. How long do you think they would last when team after team of them are shot down like dogs in the street, garroted in their sleep, poisoned in their mess halls, or found with their throats slit in guardposts, restrooms and bordellos? We will kill all you send, Ambassador Dan, until they stop coming.
"Bzzzzt. Boink. Beep. Game over. Please deposit 50 cents."
So, thus ends the intellectual, hypothetical exercise posed by this mandarin class former Foreign Service professional turned newspaper expositor of tyrannical schemes. Let us disclaim that no treasonous, gun-grabbing editorialists were harmed in the crafting of this fictional counter-proposal. But of course, if he's SERIOUS. . . . ;-)