The US is gripped by yet another mass shooting….or two….or three. Its now so regular its hardly news. However what exasperates the President, is the total unwillingness of the GOP to do anything. As Pier’s Morgan commented he can’t bring a Kinder Surprise toy into the country (or a Haggis, or Cadbury’s chocolate) on grounds of “safety“…yet you can buy a AR-15 in Walmart no problem!
While the gun nuts will point to anecdotal situations where guns supposedly led to a mass shooting being prevented, the hard data points to the fact that on 92% of occasions gun owners were confronted by an attacker they failed to protect themselves. This I would note, matches analysis from the military which has shown that a majority of Green troops in combat for the first time will not shoot to kill. Gun owners are in fact more likely to turn the gun on themselves or their family than on an armed intruder .
And we’re assuming that our shooter will be chivalrous enough to engage in tactics that put him at an obvious disadvantage. In other words if a shooter know’s he’ll face armed opposition he’s likely to change tactics, such as shooting from long range, or being sure to take out the armed guards first. So this idea that the solution to a “bad guy” with a gun is a “good guy” with a gun, only applies if the bad guy is kind enough to wear a black hat, doesn’t sneak up on the other guy unaware and challenges him to a fair duel, in a public street, in which the “good guy” is actually prepared and ready to kill if necessary. The reality is that the states with the most lax gun laws have the highest rates of gun deaths.
Indeed we have such ridiculous comments as those coming out of GOP candidate Ben Carson, suggesting than the Holocaust won’t have happened if the Jews had guns. This is actually an old myth that has been refuted before. The reality is that the nazi’s actually relaxed gun laws (although they did ban Jews from owning them). The main victims of the Holocaust in Poland, quite few of them actually owned guns (as would be common in many rural areas at that time). However they had the good sense not to use them against the nazi’s as they understood what would happen if they did. And when Jews did fight back, such as during the Warsaw uprising the response from the nazi state was brutal.
The reality is that this NRA idea that they need guns under the bed to keep them safe from “the government” ignores military reality. The fact is that inevitably any confrontation between a militia of NRA members, with their AR-15’s, against a professional army, is going to be a very short and generally one sided battle. I mean how exactly do they plan on stopping an M1-Abram’s battle tank with an AR-15? Or a helicopter gunship? Or laser guided smart bombs? Or artillery shells? Or nukes?
You can count on one hand the number of times a small group of “rebels” has actually defeated a major army. And often this was due to other factors at play that limited the government from bring its full force to bear. Or where the rebels were getting outside help. For example in the Vietnam war, the US won every major battle of significance. The reason why they left was because the reasons for going into war were less than honest (and once the public worked that out, they insisted on withdrawal) and that the rebels were being armed by the Soviets.
1776 will commence again….or not!
Indeed, ironically enough, 1776 and the US war of independence is another example. The reality of this war was that only 1/3 of the loyalist forces in the US were actual “red coats”. The rest were loyalist militia, German mercenary’s or native Americans. Only a small fraction of the British army was brought to bear on the rebellious colonies, because the British were too busy fighting their enemies in Europe, notably the French.
Yet despite this fact, the reality is that the British still managed to win almost every major battle of significance, until the latter stages (when the French began directly intervening). While Americans may celebrate certain battles, raising them to almost mythical status, the reality is that most of these victories were mere minor skirmishes, the results of which were often reversed by the British shortly there after, once they brought up sufficient forces. Bunker Hill or the crossing of the Delaware being good examples. The victory in Yorktown, that ultimately brought the British to the table, only came about because of substantial help from the French. Had the French taken a more neutral line (which given recent behaviour of the US, would probably have been a good idea), the British would still be running the US to this day.
And least we forget, there is a world of a difference between weapons technology in the 18th century and today. In those days amateur soldiers could stand some chance against a professional army, but these days its very different. And naturally the 2nd amendment was written at a time when guns were single fire weapons, accurate to only a very close distance that took a minute to reload. If we were to be completely true to the 2nd amendment, I’d argue that means gun ownership should be limited to 18th century muskets and they must be a member of a “well organised militia“.
And while romantic notions would like to say that the rebel alliance can take on the evil empire, the military reality is that the army with the most firepower tends to win.