When is Action Required?
Recently, a Minds member I follow asked the question, "what are your guns going to do to prevent voter fraud?" To me, and I might be reading into this some, this basic question asks a larger and more nuanced question I've wrestled with before, namely "When is it justified for a populace to overthrow their governing body with arms?" Showing up at a polling place gun in hand, and demanding that they recount or show the votes fits that pretty neatly, and with so many people out there saying things like, "this is why you shouldn't have given up your guns" we really shoudl delve into it.
I think the first thing we have to do when wrestling with this question of when to take up arms is establish trigger lines. For those uninitiated, a trigger line is an imaginary line on a battlefield where it is understood that should an enemy cross this line, you squeeze the trigger until that enemy leaves or stops moving. Trigger lines act as a control whereby a commander need not give the order to fire, but set the standard by which those under his command can fire. It need not be a physical thing, it can be a situation that can activate the response as well.
Nationally, I don't see a trigger line. There are hard lines that I think every American could get behind, but the softer affronts such as shit laws, or seemingly reasonable edicts <cough> mask wearing <cough> create murky territory that is hard to navigate when discussing the issue of open revolt. What combination of these soft factors add up to a hard line in the sand? How would we know? Would enough realize the problem and be willing to take action? Are all the people who would take action already on a government hit list and be taken out the moment they try and do anything?
There isn't and can't be a black and white answer for most of this, even with the "hard lines" I mentioned earlier. Even supposedly "obvious" moments in history aren't exactly obvious. Not necessarily because the people would question the efficacy and morality of such things, but rather the ones doing those things in the first place aren't going to shout out their actions with a megaphone. Think of any tyrannical state you can imagine. How many of them admit to doing the things they're doing when they're doing them? We still haven't gotten an admission of action out of the CCP about Tienanmen Square, and we can't know for sure what the actual Covid death toll in China was, nor what the state of the Uygur population in China is like. They aren't telling us, and they have an entire digital great wall to prevent the free flow of information in either direction. All this to say how would we, as a populace, even know that something worthy of armed uprising was afoot?
Which leads to another problem- force such as we're discussing isn't going to be an overnight solution to the problem anyway. With an entrenched legal establishment that is reasonably trusted by the vast majority of the populace, is it even possible to get enough movement to effectuate change? If you read Mao's "On Guerilla War" you see that even with a distinct enemy, taking action is hard. Fear, apathy, and maybe even some who believe the very bad thing is better than what it replaced act to hamper action. This in effect pushes any time table back, making the objective sought take far longer than most have the stomach for. It's as inevitable as gravity. Most who would say, "yeah, I'd do that" don't really know what "that" is. And in the Chinese-Japanese war example, there is an obvious out group to fight. same if we look at the Vietnam war or either Afghan war. Yet, in all these cases, force from either side wasn't an end all be all. It was a grinding affair.
All this said, and still there isn't an answer, because I think there never is an answer that will be concrete enough to give us what we want- that trigger line mentioned earlier. Regarding the poll place example at the beginning, how would showing up armed help at all? Likely as not showing up armed at a polling location would make thing far worse. Things would escalate rapidly with armed "patriots" facing down armed police. The end result wouldn't make everyone happy, and likely would just lead to even larger problems.
I've said it in regular conversations, but I think it's worth saying here. The second amendment is like a fire extinguisher. It looks odd, feels weird to those who aren't' used to seeing them in certain settings, but when you need one, it's what you need and nothing else even comes close. The implied threat of civilian ownership of arms, even if it doesn't dissuade a burgeoning tyrannical state from moving, at least slows them down, giving the people time to realize the threat, and start taking action (should the info spread of course, but that's a whole different post). Unlike a fire extinguisher, however, you likely won't know when to use it until after the inciting incident has already happened. You will likely react to something that has already occurred, and that comes with it's own baggage I'll discuss some other time.
Hopefully this helps some muddle through this tough subject. I'll admit that while I think about it, I'm no expert, and I could be missing very important points. As such, feel free to comment with your thoughts on the matter. Note that I'm not advocating for violence, merely trying to wrestle with "when to use violence" on a grand scale. So please, take this into account when you read what I've written.
Battle Specter, out.
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