On American Civil War
These thoughts are in response to Chris Donahue’s “Guns Will Not Save Us From Tyranny,” part of a civil debate within the Carolina Political Review community.
Donahue has a point that the “military industrial complex” may side with a tyrannical government for profit, but several groups within that field would not. For example, Magpul Industries, a producer of rifle magazines and accessories, moved its business from Colorado when the state legislature there banned the civilian purchase of standard capacity AR-15 magazines. Magpul also distributed free 30-round magazines to citizens in a stunt called the Boulder Airlift. A Green Mountain Airlift was just orchestrated in the last week of March to assist in rallying Vermont gun owners facing restrictions of their rights. In the case of the NRA, brought up by Donahue, it is first silly to consider them the mouthpiece of the firearms industry. A cursory glance at a list of interest groups would tell you that the National Shooting Sports Foundation is the manufacturer’s alliance, and the NRA makes its money from dues and donations as a mass-member organization. If pro-gun America seceded from regular society, the NRA would cease to exist behind enemy lines.
Neither Donahue or I can claim to be completely right about the length to which the government would continue a civil war. He makes a good point that Bashar al-Assad has been just fine with gassing citizens and destroying cities to maintain grip on Syria. I don’t think a second American Civil War would include the use of nuclear or chemical weapons, as Donahue suggests. The United States is valuable because of its resources and productive capabilities. Destroying large swaths of it would leave the winner with nothing but a wasteland. And again, the objective of an unconventional native force like the militia would be to turn the citizenry against the occupying force and harass its forces until territorial control is uneconomical.
Donahue is right that a tyrannical government would use propaganda to exploit social cleavages or hoodwink the population into not fighting it. That said, social media, HAM radio, and good old word of mouth would be enough to go around the government information blockade. If resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Europe had access to outside information in the 1940’s, they would in the future. A second civil war would of course be terrible for the social fabric of our country and lead to mass chaos in which different bands of people would be fighting each other or the government for a variety of reasons. I think the ultimate result of the war could be an invasion from a “coalition of the willing” abroad. Forces from Russia, China, NATO, and possibly American forces overseas would be called upon to secure the U.S. I fear that the nations of the world would not give much respect to traditional American freedoms in their occupation and rebuilding attempt.
My original issue with Ethan Peike’s piece “You Can’t Outgun the Government” was a technical one. I disagreed with his view that gun owners would be unable to win a fight against a tyrannical federal government. I believe that American liberty is defended by both the ballot box and the cartridge box, though the latter should only be used in the most extreme of circumstances. It is every man and woman’s duty to ensure that our government never oversteps its bounds. This makes voting, protest, and responsible gun ownership essential aspects of citizenship.