Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Schlichter takes exactly the wrong lesson from modern American insurgencies

Once again, known chicken-hawk Kurt Schlichter is fantasizing about what it would be like to actually see combat - this time, amid an imaginary resistance movement to an imaginary government gun confiscation program. Most of his ridiculous ideas about how that would play out are easily debunked, as I did a while back, but I thought one point he made in particular deserves some reflection:
There are millions of Americas with guns, many of them veterans who know how to employ them. We would certainly see more Ruby Ridges and Wacos as people took up arms to resist, if not much, much worse. A dedicated effort to forcefully disarm our citizenry would cost lives on both the pro-freedom and pro-fascism sides.
It's true that this sort of conflict would probably end in casualties on both sides - but we don't have to just guess blindly about it! Because in the specific instances Schlichter brings up, a total of 5 government combatants died - as well as 84 combatants fighting against the government.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to point to these instances as a warning against the government. Setting aside political questions about gun regulations, it's fairly clear that Waco and Ruby Ridge did not set encouraging precedents for the prospects of domestic insurgency in the United States. There may very well be compelling arguments in favor of expansive gun rights, but despite what the militant right would have us believe, "or else" is not one of them.