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Old 01-07-2014, 10:16 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by chicksdigmiatas View Post
The supressor thing is retarded as well. You can make them out of an oil filter or other readily available materials. Restricting these isn't keeping the criminals from getting them.
Just nitpicking here... when you speak of NFA items, you've gotta be careful.

The actual use of an NFA item in a crime is VERY RARE... we're talking low-single-digits yearly, and all of those are illegally possessed.

In fact, the only reference I've found to a legally owned suppressor being used to kill somebody was a cop who shot his wife... JUST ONE INCIDENT EVER.

Additionally, there have been exactly 2 incidents of people being killed by legally owned machine guns... and one was a cop that shot an informant with his personal MAC11 back in the 80's.

Yup... that's it. I'm not gonna delve into SBR/SBS related crimes because they don't really matter... but you heard it... a grand total of 3 incidents ever where a legally owned NFA item was used in a murder.

The numbers for ILLEGALLY possessed hardware (semi-autos illegally converted to full-auto, and home-made suppressors, or stolen items) amount to low single-digits yearly across the country... yup, even though you can make a silencer out of a potato (not kidding), the bad guys just don't bother. And that's not just "used in a murder"... that's all types of crimes, whether it's simple brandishing all the way up to capital.

The anti's would have you believe that machine guns are everywhere and responsible for all the drug murders ever committed, and that every gang-banger is a ninja assassin sneaking silently into houses with silencers and killing kids in their beds. Movies don't help this popular idea and the anti's squeeze every last bit usefulness out of it.

The reality is that good guys don't use their NFA items in crimes, and it's too much trouble for bad guys to bother.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:42 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Just nitpicking here... when you speak of NFA items, you've gotta be careful.

The actual use of an NFA item in a crime is VERY RARE... we're talking low-single-digits yearly, and all of those are illegally possessed.

In fact, the only reference I've found to a legally owned suppressor being used to kill somebody was a cop who shot his wife... JUST ONE INCIDENT EVER.

Additionally, there have been exactly 2 incidents of people being killed by legally owned machine guns... and one was a cop that shot an informant with his personal MAC11 back in the 80's.

Yup... that's it. I'm not gonna delve into SBR/SBS related crimes because they don't really matter... but you heard it... a grand total of 3 incidents ever where a legally owned NFA item was used in a murder.

The numbers for ILLEGALLY possessed hardware (semi-autos illegally converted to full-auto, and home-made suppressors, or stolen items) amount to low single-digits yearly across the country... yup, even though you can make a silencer out of a potato (not kidding), the bad guys just don't bother. And that's not just "used in a murder"... that's all types of crimes, whether it's simple brandishing all the way up to capital.

The anti's would have you believe that machine guns are everywhere and responsible for all the drug murders ever committed, and that every gang-banger is a ninja assassin sneaking silently into houses with silencers and killing kids in their beds. Movies don't help this popular idea and the anti's squeeze every last bit usefulness out of it.

The reality is that good guys don't use their NFA items in crimes, and it's too much trouble for bad guys to bother.
You know, I had never even thought to check. That is an interesting fact. I never thought it was very high.

Truth is, unless you were doing a full frontal assault on some well defended organization, a simple, illegally aquired handgun would be the way to go and easiest to conceal. Perfect for your street corner gangster/drug dealer.

I guess on GTA V where I was mowing down police, cruisers, and the national guard with a machine gun was pretty farfetched huh?

I was mainly stating that if I want to put a supressor on my AR for a hog killing excursion as not to upset the local populace by rocking the near by area with gunshots, or maybe I just don't want to wear ear plugs, I shouldn't be treated like a criminal for such.

Or were you saying that the NFA worked? I got kind of confused there.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:51 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by chicksdigmiatas View Post
Or were you saying that the NFA worked? I got kind of confused there.
Don't confuse the NFA with FOPA.

In 1934, the National Firearms Act started the requirement for registration of machine guns, suppressors, SBR/SBS, and AOW... among other things. $200 was the gong rate for a Tommy-gun, so they arbitrarily assigned that price to get your stamp... essentially doubling the cost of the most commonly used machine gun of the time. The whole thing was in response to the continuing proliferation of organized crime in major cities that came about during prohibition.

FOPA (Firearm Owners Protection Act) of 1986 put an instant cap on the sale of new machine guns. The numbers vary, and the ATF won't tell, but it's estimated that approx 175,000 machine guns were in the hands of civilians at the time, and isn't likely to have changed much.

Did the NFA work? If you assume that the recordkeeping from the time of enactment until present has been accurate, there have been a statistically insignificant number of crimes (including murder) committed with NFA items. We're talking about just 3 where it was the legal owner, and only a few more by illegal possessors. But you can apply that same metric to non-NFA firearms... how many crimes are committed by authorized persons with legally owned/possessed regular firearms?... ie, how many good guys with their own legally owned gun commit crimes with them? The answer is... not many. Almost all gun crimes of any kind are committed with illegally owned/possessed firearms.

Did FOPA work? In 1984, then-ATF Director Stephen E. Higgins testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, that registered NFA firearms aren't likely to be used in crimes, and more specifically that registered machine guns aren't considered a significant law enforcement problem. "In summary," Mr. Higgins concluded, "I would say that the National Firearms Act provides a satisfactory regulatory framework for keeping track of legally obtained weapons possessed by responsible, law-abiding gun owners." He went on to say that he knew of no more than 10 total crimes ever committed by owners of legally owned NFA items, and that some of those were simple administrative errors such as failing to notify the ATF that an owner had changed their state of residence.

In other words... it's impossible that FOPA "worked" because there was no problem to solve. It was a gun grab amendment put in at the last minute that nobody bothered to stop.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:55 AM   #84
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I'm a bit distressed by the fact that this thread seems to be drifting towards a debate over firearms legislation...

At any rate, getting back on topic...


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Originally Posted by chicksdigmiatas View Post
I truly believe that the crux of the situation is the media, and public perception. The media makes the "black scary rifle" out to be the bad guy.
"The Media" certainly plays a role, however I'm not sure that I'd dismiss this so simply as to say that they paint any specific picture per se.

It's been observed that Vietnam was the first "Television War," and that the mere fact that relatively immediate, deeply-integrated television coverage of the front lines existed at all was largely responsible for the shift in public opinion against both the war and the war-fighters, as compared to, say, every single foreign war which had preceded it. The raw, timely nature of "film at eleven" paints a rather starker picture of reality than the rose-colored tint of the conservatively-edited newspaper and newsreel journalism which had been the bastion of war reporting for the preceding century.

In much the same way, we now live in a world of not merely 24/7 live news coverage, but also 24/7 commentary and analysis. Whereas a story like University of Texas / Charles Joseph Whitman (1966) or even San Ysidro, CA / James Huberty (1984) would have merited a few minutes of airtime on the 6-o-clock news and a few columns in the "national" section of the next day's paper, sufficient media resources now exist to shove wall-to-wall coverage (and commentary, and opinion, and editorialism) of Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook into our ears for days on end like so many unwanted dicks. Its inevitable that the perception of such events will be greatly amplified, and so to the call for action in their wake.

Is this the fault of the media? Partially. They are certainly enablers, but the Fourth Estate have always done the same thing; report as much as possible, as rapidly as possible, to the fullest extend of their ability. If you want to lay blame, pin it on companies like Hughes Space and Communications (provider of satellite video services), the Moving Picture Experts Group (developers of video compression techniques), and Bolt Beranek & Newman / the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (creators and funders of the modern Internet.) They're the ones who have made possible this ceaseless barrage of "news".


Still, it's an interesting idea. We (WASPs), are pre-conditioned from birth to fear large, scary black things.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:55 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
If anyone here is legitimately interested in this topic, I do encourage you to read through the first page or two of the "Should you be allowed to own an RPG?" thread. Joe - That thread, read from your perspective, would be as much about the conversation and back-and-forth as it would the content.
I followed it for a while when it was first posted, but it seemed to devolve into silliness rather rapidly. (I mostly blame Braineack.)

I hold that thread in roughly the same regard as "The New Warrior Cop," as mentioned in Post 41 Note 3 of this thread.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:09 AM   #86
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Disclaimer: don't interpret any of what I am about to write as reflective of my opinions or lack thereof pertaining to firearms legislation itself. I am much more interested in dissecting the debate itself, rather than commenting on the supposed core issue. I promise that I will close the loop at the end of the post.


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Originally Posted by TheScaryOne View Post
Does this sound like the words of someone who intended gun rights to be purely for self defense and recreation?
They sound like the words of a man who was a product of his era. As you note, the military landscape was much different then, both domestically and abroad. But times and technologies change, and so must attitudes.

The authors of the US Constitution knew this well, and devoted considerable attention to it. Article III Section 2 grants the authority to the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution under circumstances unforeseen at the time of its authorship and to resolve questions or ambiguities arising from it, and Article V, in its entirety, is dedicated to describing the manner in which the Constitution may be amended, in order to adjust it to keep pace with changing times.

As is always the case in such situations, what actually matters is not what any one individual founder might have said extemporaneously to another, but what is written in the Constitution itself, and the manner in which that writing is interpreted by the highest Court at any given time.


Incidentally, the quote you refer to was taken from a letter penned by Jefferson to William S. Smith, an acquaintance of Jefferson's who fancied himself of Soldier of Fortune and would later raise funds to launch a private mercenary war against Venezuela in 1806. He was subsequently indicted and tried for violating the Neutrality Act of 1794, but escaped sentencing due to some legal sleight-of-hand.

During his trial, Smith claimed that he was acting under the authority of then-president Jefferson, a defense which the court rejected, stating that the President cannot legally authorize a private citizen to do that which is forbidden by the law. (Similar to a soldier's affirmative duty to disobey the unlawful orders of a superior.) Interestingly, Smith's private war was not merely in violation of the Neutrality Act, but of the Constitution itself. Article I, Section 8 specifically enumerates the power to declare war as belonging to the Congress, so if it is true that Jefferson endorsed this action (and a preponderance of sources suggest that Jefferson at least condoned this action privately), he did so in violation of the founding charter of the United States.


Unrelated, but relevant: Jefferson's solo acquisition of Louisiana in 1803 from a desperate France during the Napoleonic wars was also an unconstitutional usurpation of a power vested to the Congress.


I find it difficult to take seriously the opinion of a man so dedicated to the task of undermining the US Constitution, in a matter which is supported principally by that very same document.





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Originally Posted by TheScaryOne View Post
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
And that was true in 1788. At that time, the US Army (officially created in 1784) was but a very small force, dedicated principally to the training of officers whose duty it would be to command the conscripted militia in time of need. The vast majority of the country's military capacity was vested in citizens who would be drafted into service as required, and who were expected to maintain both a fundamental level of combat-readiness and also their own armaments and tactical gear.

Today, something like the National Guard would be a vaguely analogous concept, though they are of course no longer the primary, front-line defense resource, nor are Guardsmen required to supply their own rifles and equipment. In the 21st century, we take for granted the concept of a permanent, professional, full-time standing Army. But no such concept was known in America during the 18th century. And, of course, the mast majority of the citizenry today have absolutely no military training of any sort, rending such comparisons even more tortured.


No, if we assume the present-day configuration of the US military to be a constant, then the notion of a popular uprising against the Federal government becomes somewhat antiquated. At best, we would expect such an insurrection to be quelled by the implementation of marshal law and the establishment of a police state; in the end, it would resemble little more than a typical Oakland riot (or, perhaps, the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion) rather than a Grand Revolution in the Bolshevik style.




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Originally Posted by TheScaryOne View Post
"Many colonists hunted, but few had ever fought in a formal line of battle. Militia training consequently stressed individual marksmanship rather than massed firing at an area, which had been the norm in the Old World."
Rather interestingly, this precise tactic (massed firing into an area) is one of the topics that I mentioned back in post #41, Note 1, when discussing the origin of the AR-15 rifle. During the 1940s and 50s, US Army doctrine shifted away from the marksman theory, and towards a recognition of the fact that massed fire supplied by small-caliber, fully automatic weapons tended to produce greater enemy casualties than the sort of individual marksmanship described by Robert K. Wright in the paper which you are quoting here (ful text).

This, of course, is reflective of changing technology. Prior to the development of lightweight, fully automatic, magazine-fed rifles, such a tactic could not possible have existed beyond the scope of those medieval-era archers and slingers which Wright refers to as the "Old World." But as technology made possible such weapons, military doctrine was adjusted to make the best utilization of them.

So, too, must attitudes towards the role of the citizen in the militia, and the role of the firearm in the life of the citizen.






All this having been said, I'm struggling to piece together a coherent notion of what it is specifically that I am meant to infer from all of this. That one man, speaking from a platform of no official authority whatsoever and commonly acting in direct contradiction to the very document which supporters of unregulated firearms possession cite as their sole authority, has a specific opinion about a controversial topic?

Is this meant to support an unregulated, literalist interpretation of the Second Amendment, or to attack it?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #87
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Sorry Joe, but all that fancy talk doesn't mean **** to the average gun owner. I own guns to protect my family and to tell the gov't they can **** off when I've had enough.

When you start in with all the lawyer crap, debating comma placement and what a "militia" is, you lose all but the top 1% of gun-owners who aren't the ones you need to convince. This is what Metcalf was trying to get at... and the staff at G&A should have known better how it was going to be received.

The anti-gun types don't give a **** about that either, they're not interested in debating anything with you, let alone the actual law, they just want to take all the guns for feel-good reasons.

An intellectual discussion on this forum about the intricacies of the 2A just isn't possible. Nobody here has the vocabulary or legal expertise to do it at more than a superficial level. I've been neck deep in trying to understand every little bit I can about the subject for years, following every court case, every win/loss, and every new law, and unless you're a lawyer with a background in constitutional law, or a very dedicated and educated 2A scholar, you're just flappin' your gums.

I'm sorry Joe, I don't know how to say it kindly... but we're all really too dumb to talk about this like adults.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:53 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by TheScaryOne View Post

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
And that was true in 1788. At that time, the US Army (officially created in 1784) was but a very small force, dedicated principally to the training of officers whose duty it would be to command the conscripted militia in time of need. The vast majority of the country's military capacity was vested in citizens who would be drafted into service as required, and who were expected to maintain both a fundamental level of combat-readiness and also their own armaments and tactical gear.
As far as I am aware, the Militia Act of 1903 is still on the books, which defines a reserve militia comprised of all able bodied men between the ages of 17 and 45. Some background is on Wikipedia


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No, if we assume the present-day configuration of the US military to be a constant, then the notion of a popular uprising against the Federal government becomes somewhat antiquated. At best, we would expect such an insurrection to be quelled by the implementation of marshal law and the establishment of a police state; in the end, it would resemble little more than a typical Oakland riot (or, perhaps, the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion) rather than a Grand Revolution in the Bolshevik style.
That seems a bit simplistic, If it were truly a popular uprising (as in lots of people) and the government did not back down, it would get really ugly. Probably similar to what we see in Syria.



Back to Dick Metcalf, he could not have been totally ignorant to what was going to happen. On some level I suspect he wanted a change in career path and used this incident as a means to enable that. This would also explain why he went and cried to the NY times about it.

I think the reason that many gun owners are sensitive to this sort of thing is because of the actions of prominent people such as Bill Ruger and manufacturers such as S&W or Colt in the early 1990's. Writing astroturf Op-eds is a favorite tactic of anti-gun groups, which also might help to explain why dissent is not tolerated for firearms journalists.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:50 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Davezorz View Post
I think the reason that many gun owners are sensitive to this sort of thing is because of the actions of prominent people such as Bill Ruger and manufacturers such as S&W or Colt in the early 1990's. Writing astroturf Op-eds is a favorite tactic of anti-gun groups, which also might help to explain why dissent is not tolerated for firearms journalists.
There are still gun-people who curse the name of Bill Ruger and refuse to buy their guns... even though he died a decade ago, and Ruger is now a public company who's current CEO is ******* awesome.

For those that don't know, Bill Ruger sold out the entire firearms industy in 1994 when he got the FEDERAL AWB passed (by supporting 10rd mag limits) with a loophole that allowed the MINI-14 to still be sold... making it the only semi-auto rifle that was still legal and allowing Ruger to corner the market for 10 years. Without his help, the anti-forces would not have succeeded. Read about it here: The Gun Zone RKBA -- William B. Ruger, Sr.'s dirty little secret
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:16 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Sorry Joe, but all that fancy talk doesn't mean **** to the average gun owner.
(...)
When you start in with all the lawyer crap, debating comma placement and what a "militia" is, you lose all but the top 1% of gun-owners who aren't the ones you need to convince.
Well, again- I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. In fact, I'm trying really hard to keep this thread free of arguments which are directly for or against firearms regulation.

My real area of interest here is in analyzing the debate which surrounds firearms regulation, and insofar as that is concerned, you make an extremely valid point. I'm not quite convinced that the majority of Americans are "too dumb to talk like adults" (though I won't discount the possibility), but most people who do express a strong opinion on the subject certainly seem to be, at the very least, unwilling to have a rational, adult-level conversation on the matter.


I wonder... if we were to eliminate politicians from the sample, and draw a chart which correlates "strength of pro-gun / anti-gun sentiment" versus some metric such as educational background or IQ...

My thinking here is a sort of parallel to some of the existing studies which have done state-by-state comparisons of the outcome of presidential votes vs. metrics such as the rate of teen pregnancy, the percentage of the population who hold bachelor's degrees, average income, etc. While some of these purported reports have been confirmed as hoaxes, those which are in fact genuine do tend to show a small but consistently observable positive correlation between states which are traditionally "Red" and characteristics such as lower-than-average income, higher-than-average rates of teen pregnancy, and lower-than-average rates of graduation from a 4 year college.

I'd really like to see whether a similar negative trend is exhibited by those who express strong opinions on "gun control" in general, and whether a significant division exists between those who are strongly "anti-gun" vs. those who are strongly "pro-gun."
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Davezorz View Post
As far as I am aware, the Militia Act of 1903 is still on the books, which defines a reserve militia comprised of all able bodied men between the ages of 17 and 45.
It's interesting that you bring this up, as I was just doing some research along similar lines.

The 1903 act is interesting because it actually took away a large degree of the autonomy which had defined the various Militae since the official codification in the immediate post-Confederate era. Specifically, it concentrated command authority at the Federal level, and resulted in the creation of what we now know as the National Guard. The practical effect of this was to improve the organization, training and readiness of the reserve military, and to make obsolete the old concept of the Militia as a loosely-organized bunch of farmers who could be called upon in times of need to shoulder their own rifles against an foreign enemy.

This is unsurprising, as mechanization was beginning to become a factor by the dawn of the 20th century, and advances in technology made obsolete the notion of farm-style muskets as an effective weapon against an organized professional army.


Today, of course, the notion of the "People's Militia" is obsolete for most practical purposes. The Selective Service system which we all had to register with when we turned 18 is a legacy of this concept, however consider the manner in which it is employed. During those wars in which the draft has been utilized, those conscripted have been provided the same formalized Basic Combat Training administered to all recruits in the Regular Army. They are likewise supplied with weapons, tactical equipment and clothing, and operate under the ordinary command structure of the Army.

The same applies to Guardsmen and Reservists, which the obvious exception that these second-line combat forces receive periodic, regular training in peacetime.

This is a far cry from the military landscape which existed during the time of the drafting of the Constitution, in which the "Militia" existed as a separate concept from the US Army (then the Continental Army), and Militiamen, when called to service, were provided with neither training nor arms, but rather were expected to provide all this for themselves.





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Originally Posted by Davezorz View Post
That seems a bit simplistic, If it were truly a popular uprising (as in lots of people) and the government did not back down, it would get really ugly. Probably similar to what we see in Syria.
Simplistic, but not unreasonable.

As I said before, martial law and a police state are probably the best-case outcome for a popular revolt in 21st century America. A determined uprising, against a determined government, would quite likely result in large-scale casualties. Would there be some degree of desertion and refusal to follow orders within the ranks of the Army? Quite possible, though I don't speak from an educated position here.

What would absolutely not occur, however, is the sort of bloodless coup and peaceful transition of power that we saw in the Soviet Union in 1991. That government was already on the verge of collapse, and the Red Army a shadow of its former self. Remember that the popular uprising there occurred on the heels of the August Putsch, in which hard-line elements within the KGB and Communist Party (including the vice president) successfully overthrew the Gorbachev government and seized power. The coup was short-lived and Gorbachev quickly returned to power, but that event had a hugely divisive and de-stabilizing effect within the USSR, weakening the government and throwing the military into chaos.

Had it not been for this event, the December uprising would have failed, and quite probably with civilian casualties on a scale similar to that which you describe above.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #92
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On that subject, consider for a moment just how sensitive the average US citizen has become to the notion of casualties in general. During the World Wars, and to some extent the Korean war, it was readily accepted that casualties, both to friendly military and enemy civilian populations, was simply a necessary burden to endure- the "price of freedom," to appropriate a phrase from Leonard H. Courtney.

In World War II, for instance, total civilian casualties across all involved nations outnumbered military casualties by nearly 3:1. A relatively small number of these are explainable by the German liquidation of large number of undesirables, and a somewhat larger number due to disease and starvation as a consequence of disrupted food and fuel supplies. Quite a large number, however, were killed in Europe and Asia (on both teams) as a consequence of military tactics such as saturation bombing, blitzkrieg, etc.

During the Vietnam war, the civilian deaths ratio fell to 2:1, and just as importantly, the ratio of US to NVA troops killed plummeted to somewhere in the vicinity of 1:10!

In the successive years, these ratios continued to improve as advancements in US tactics and technology made the concept of total war obsolete, and a sort of Pax Americana became the standard global condition. In the first Iraq war, the civilian : military casualty ratio flipped to 1:2, and the allied : enemy ratio remained somewhere in the vicinity of 1:10, though the total number of dead plummeted yet again, as precise infrastructure bombing eliminated much of Iraq's combat capability well prior to the actual ground invasion.

Similar trends continue on and on, to the point where in the present day, US military strategy is tipping in the direction of completely autonomous warfare, in which automated and remotely-guided aircraft and ground vehicles act as a proxy for US pilots and soldiers, with the aim of decreasing US combat fatalities towards zero.

This is understandable, really. I mean, it used to be that a casualty list of 10,000 provoked a teary eye and a sense of national pride. By comparison, a report today of six or ten US soldiers killed is enough to provoke outrage and protest.

How willing do you suspect that populace will be to directly engage in combat operations against its own government, and endure heavy casualties against the withering fire of a well-equipped mechanized infantry?



We are a nation of timid pacifists, not at all unlike internet era e-thugs. Many of us are willing to talk loudly and at great length about patriotism and duty, but relatively few, if the truth were known, would voluntarily answer a call to arms against an unconquerable foe.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:05 PM   #93
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I would like to propose that in a truly "popular uprising", the Department of Defense would publicly and outrightly refuse executive orders to resist the population. Your non-conscript military is a military "of the people", and the culture is very clearly defined such that we (military) exist for the sole purpose of defending the individual rights "of the people".

I expect that something as simple as "law" wouldn't stop the government from attempting to enforce martial law with active duty military, but I would like to point out that if the government were to follow its own laws in such a situation, the only military component that is legally allowed to operate on American soil (barring an unlikely invasion by a foreign military) is the National Guard. A response by the National Guard would even more completely define the phrase "of the people". Your police would be the ones to attempt to enforce blanket marshal law. Your military would shake hands with the population after "curfew" while providing a very small "show of presence" within immediate vicinity of "vulnerable high-value targets" - such as conducting "safety patrols" in the vicinity of hospitals once or twice a night.

The National Guard self-learned a valuable lesson in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina, all guns were ordered to be confiscated. While the top commanders reluctantly agreed, entire units refused to carry out the orders, for it is the duty of every Soldier to refuse an unlawful order; and mass confiscation of privately owned weapons was in no uncertain terms, "unlawful". That defined a pretty significant culture shift in the National Guard - we don't Guard the interests of the state, we Guard the interests of the People.

In a popular uprising, the organizations that you absolutely must worry about are the internal bureaus and the local/state police; Employees of internal government bureaus rely on the governments function in order to maintain their livelihood, and can thereby be grouped into a category of people that self-define as "the ruling class". Local/state police would not be an across-the-board problem, but instead problems would come from individual departments depending on department attitude, feelings of entitlement, and C-LEO decisions.

In fact, I would like to suggest a distinct possiblity that the military would be far more likely to support the people than support the government, in the vast majority of cases by not participating, and in some cases, by either openly defending the population from government oppression, or by overrunning the smaller anti-uprising police establishments.

Last edited by fooger03; 01-08-2014 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:51 PM   #94
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Just to add a bit on what Fooger was stating:

I was active duty Navy for 12 years, and am still in the reserves. Several deployments to the desert alongside Marines, Army, and Air Force personnel, under my belt, and still spend most of my days on the Navy base in Great Lakes.

The notion that the Military would ever take up arms against the American people on behalf of the Government is insane at best. If the Federal Government tried to use the Military to establish martial law, or to quell an uprising it would likely be the last action they take. Military personnel are more fed up with the Government than the average civilian, to the point that I believe that any sort of uprising would come from within the Military before the Civilian population. Granted, there would be a rift, and there would be some who side with the "orders are orders" crew, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who can see through the bullshit. People are just waiting for the "shot heard round the world".

It is well known in the ranks that we support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the Administration. Believe it or not, but that is emphasized these days from many of the top brass. Our senseless conquests, underfunding, overtasking, and lack of support by the current administration has not taken lightly by those in uniform, enlisted and officer, juniors and seniors.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:36 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I'm not quite convinced that the majority of Americans are "too dumb to talk like adults" (though I won't discount the possibility), but most people who do express a strong opinion on the subject certainly seem to be, at the very least, unwilling to have a rational, adult-level conversation on the matter.
Read that as a standalone piece and it serves just as well, in the context of this thread or any other debate or topic of argument.

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How willing do you suspect that populace will be to directly engage in combat operations against its own government, and endure heavy casualties against the withering fire of a well-equipped mechanized infantry?
This was actually addressed well in the previously referenced RPG thread. Somewhere around post #130 - #200 is the meat of the quality conversation. Fooger's comments below, vis a vis the distinction between police and active duty military, are a good recap.

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In a popular uprising, the organizations that you absolutely must worry about are the internal bureaus and the local/state police; Employees of internal government bureaus rely on the governments function in order to maintain their livelihood, and can thereby be grouped into a category of people that self-define as "the ruling class". Local/state police would not be an across-the-board problem, but instead problems would come from individual departments depending on department attitude, feelings of entitlement, and C-LEO decisions.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #96
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This was actually addressed well in the previously referenced RPG thread. Somewhere around post #130 - #200 is the meat of the quality conversation.
I don't recall whether I made it that far into the thread the first time, but the specific post range which you pointed out is interesting.

Specifically, I went back and started re-reading from post #130. The very first sentence there was "His right to due process ended the minute he removed another person's right to due process far as I'm concerned."

I'm not even sure how to respond to that. I can't see how any rational person can genuinely put forth such an argument which completely disregards the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the constitution in order to defend an extremely tortured interpretation of the second.

It's not merely that I disagree, it's that this kind of logic is so far outside of anything which I am capable of processing that I literally can't even formulate a cogent response. Anything which I might say in response to that would probably come out sounding like a joke.


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, (...) nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.


I mean, it's right there in plain English. The constitution specifically guarantees the protection of due process of law even to those who are accused of capital crimes. That such a thing can be so easily dismissed, while in the same breath holding dear a different right enumerated in the same document, is simply incomprehensible to me.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:35 PM   #97
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That portion of posts encapsulates an excellent microcosm of the conversation.

You have me, objectively questioning previously held beliefs. I dig into primary and secondary source data, citing much of it.

You have Mark, adding his often-succinct but cogent points.

You have Sam, adding a combination of well-researched points and some emotional emphasis.

Then, you've got some reasonable input on various relevant sub-topics (like the armed resistance vs conquest subject).

Finally, you have several people spouting off a combination of hyperbole, entrenched positions, knee-jerk reactions based on what they read into a post versus what was actually written, etc. Oh, and Hustler and Braineack.


All topics held in informal forums will contain signal-to-noise. Politically or religiously charged topics on car forums will tend to skew heavier toward the noise.

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Old 01-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #98
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Don't confuse the NFA with FOPA.

In 1934, the National Firearms Act started the requirement for registration of machine guns, suppressors, SBR/SBS, and AOW... among other things. $200 was the gong rate for a Tommy-gun, so they arbitrarily assigned that price to get your stamp... essentially doubling the cost of the most commonly used machine gun of the time. The whole thing was in response to the continuing proliferation of organized crime in major cities that came about during prohibition.

FOPA (Firearm Owners Protection Act) of 1986 put an instant cap on the sale of new machine guns. The numbers vary, and the ATF won't tell, but it's estimated that approx 175,000 machine guns were in the hands of civilians at the time, and isn't likely to have changed much.

Did the NFA work? If you assume that the recordkeeping from the time of enactment until present has been accurate, there have been a statistically insignificant number of crimes (including murder) committed with NFA items. We're talking about just 3 where it was the legal owner, and only a few more by illegal possessors. But you can apply that same metric to non-NFA firearms... how many crimes are committed by authorized persons with legally owned/possessed regular firearms?... ie, how many good guys with their own legally owned gun commit crimes with them? The answer is... not many. Almost all gun crimes of any kind are committed with illegally owned/possessed firearms.

Did FOPA work? In 1984, then-ATF Director Stephen E. Higgins testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, that registered NFA firearms aren't likely to be used in crimes, and more specifically that registered machine guns aren't considered a significant law enforcement problem. "In summary," Mr. Higgins concluded, "I would say that the National Firearms Act provides a satisfactory regulatory framework for keeping track of legally obtained weapons possessed by responsible, law-abiding gun owners." He went on to say that he knew of no more than 10 total crimes ever committed by owners of legally owned NFA items, and that some of those were simple administrative errors such as failing to notify the ATF that an owner had changed their state of residence.

In other words... it's impossible that FOPA "worked" because there was no problem to solve. It was a gun grab amendment put in at the last minute that nobody bothered to stop.
Dude, you know way more about this than I do. I think I have some more reading to do. I need to research more.

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I'm a bit distressed by the fact that this thread seems to be drifting towards a debate over firearms legislation...

At any rate, getting back on topic...


"The Media" certainly plays a role, however I'm not sure that I'd dismiss this so simply as to say that they paint any specific picture per se.

It's been observed that Vietnam was the first "Television War," and that the mere fact that relatively immediate, deeply-integrated television coverage of the front lines existed at all was largely responsible for the shift in public opinion against both the war and the war-fighters, as compared to, say, every single foreign war which had preceded it. The raw, timely nature of "film at eleven" paints a rather starker picture of reality than the rose-colored tint of the conservatively-edited newspaper and newsreel journalism which had been the bastion of war reporting for the preceding century.

In much the same way, we now live in a world of not merely 24/7 live news coverage, but also 24/7 commentary and analysis. Whereas a story like University of Texas / Charles Joseph Whitman (1966) or even San Ysidro, CA / James Huberty (1984) would have merited a few minutes of airtime on the 6-o-clock news and a few columns in the "national" section of the next day's paper, sufficient media resources now exist to shove wall-to-wall coverage (and commentary, and opinion, and editorialism) of Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook into our ears for days on end like so many unwanted dicks. Its inevitable that the perception of such events will be greatly amplified, and so to the call for action in their wake.

Is this the fault of the media? Partially. They are certainly enablers, but the Fourth Estate have always done the same thing; report as much as possible, as rapidly as possible, to the fullest extend of their ability. If you want to lay blame, pin it on companies like Hughes Space and Communications (provider of satellite video services), the Moving Picture Experts Group (developers of video compression techniques), and Bolt Beranek & Newman / the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (creators and funders of the modern Internet.) They're the ones who have made possible this ceaseless barrage of "news".


Still, it's an interesting idea. We (WASPs), are pre-conditioned from birth to fear large, scary black things.
I thought I tried to address that. However, I believe that a story that addresses firearm legislation from a certain state is undoubtedly going to spill over onto the federal level. I believe that Illinois was well within their rights to do what they did. I do believe in states rights as long as they don't circumvent the constitution. I think more things should be handled at the state level. There are certain reasons I choose to live in the state that I do.

Oh, and LOL at your last comment.

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Just to add a bit on what Fooger was stating:

I was active duty Navy for 12 years, and am still in the reserves. Several deployments to the desert alongside Marines, Army, and Air Force personnel, under my belt, and still spend most of my days on the Navy base in Great Lakes.

The notion that the Military would ever take up arms against the American people on behalf of the Government is insane at best. If the Federal Government tried to use the Military to establish martial law, or to quell an uprising it would likely be the last action they take. Military personnel are more fed up with the Government than the average civilian, to the point that I believe that any sort of uprising would come from within the Military before the Civilian population. Granted, there would be a rift, and there would be some who side with the "orders are orders" crew, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who can see through the bullshit. People are just waiting for the "shot heard round the world".

It is well known in the ranks that we support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the Administration. Believe it or not, but that is emphasized these days from many of the top brass. Our senseless conquests, underfunding, overtasking, and lack of support by the current administration has not taken lightly by those in uniform, enlisted and officer, juniors and seniors.
Interesting, as we were having this conversation at work. I won't go into the details, but they all usually go the same. We were discussing how the government would probably use some organisation like DHS or something instead. We love to poke at those guys.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:31 PM   #99
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This is a far cry from the military landscape which existed during the time of the drafting of the Constitution, in which the "Militia" existed as a separate concept from the US Army (then the Continental Army), and Militiamen, when called to service, were provided with neither training nor arms, but rather were expected to provide all this for themselves.
I agree, I just wanted to point out, that as far as the US Code is concerned, there is a rather specific definition as to what the militia is.


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How willing do you suspect that populace will be to directly engage in combat operations against its own government, and endure heavy casualties against the withering fire of a well-equipped mechanized infantry?
I guess it would come down to what is the catalyst for said warfare. Your resolve to fight would be a little bit stronger if your family and friends were being loaded into cattle cars than if you were lashing out over police officers beating someone you don't know.


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Interesting, as we were having this conversation at work. I won't go into the details, but they all usually go the same. We were discussing how the government would probably use some organisation like DHS or something instead. We love to poke at those guys.
I think they would have to use the military. We saw what happened to the LAPD when it was perceived that 1 person was systematically targeting them. Imagine what would happen if it were 10 people, and they weren't utter morons.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:56 PM   #100
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I agree, I just wanted to point out, that as far as the US Code is concerned, there is a rather specific definition as to what the militia is.
Entirely true.

Title 50 of the US Code (War and National Defense) also goes into specific detail about the criminal penalties associated with capture of or interference with a carrier pigeon employed in the service of the US Army; chapter 7 111 to 113.

However, neither carrier pigeons nor militia are relevant in the 21st century.



I don't mean to belittle what you're saying, I'm simply pointing out that the meanings and relevancy of things change over time. Whereas in the 18th Century the Militia was essentially a self-supplied peasant army, the Militia of the 21st century is a professional fighting force distinguished from the Regular Army only by the part-time nature of their service.

For instance, see the 2008 U.S. decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. At the district appeals level, the court stated that "the activities [the 2nd Amendment] protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia." And in electing to hear the case upon petition, the US Supreme that "The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether the following provisions, D.C. Code 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22–4504(a), and 7-2507.02, violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia"

In other words, in the 21st century, the term "The Militia" does NOT describe every able bodied male. Rather, "The Militia" is a discrete organization, in which some men are members and participants and others are not.






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I guess it would come down to what is the catalyst for said warfare. Your resolve to fight would be a little bit stronger if your family and friends were being loaded into cattle cars than if you were lashing out over police officers beating someone you don't know.
And that's precisely why a popular uprising will never happen in the US in the first place.
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