In the midst of this latest attempt to persuade Americans to do nothing about their gun problem, I was struck by someone asking:
“Explain exactly HOW you intend to get America's numerous owners of guns to surrender their arms should the qualifiers for ownership be chsnged, without riots or causing civil war?”
And that got me thinking.
How do I intend for it to happen? Exactly the way it happened in Australia, for the most part — or indeed the way Americans generally actually *do* respect laws when they change, and are willing to comply with them even when things which were previously legal become illegal (from CFC-spewing fridges to the previous assault-weapons bans).
But what about the cold-dead-hand crowd? What about the people who the authorities know are outright determined to violate the law? What do I think should happen?
What do I want?
I want the Feds to treat them with all the grace and dignity they use when they swoop in on a brown-skinned man stockpiling fertilizer.
I want them to see the world respond to them not as American patriot martyrs, but as new names on the short list of ratbags headed by the Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh.
I want peoples’ alarm to focus on what those nuts were planning to use all these guns for.
I want law-and-order conservatives to respond to their shrieks of mistreatment with the same disdain they use for guys arrested for drug possession, undocumented immigration, or anything else that actually is against the law. I want the same “you see you have to recognize there are limits to your rights” attitude that’s taken towards the *other* Amendments taken towards the second.
In short, I want these criminals to be treated the way America treats other such criminals. That ought to be punishment enough.
Plus, I want their inevitable protests, about how persecuted they are cause the government won’t let them own every last kind of murder machine, to be responded to with the same attitude given to Black Lives Matter. The same chorus of “Why can’t they protest non-violently? But not by taking a knee for the anthem, that’s just direspectful.”
If they do start a fight? I want to see their quick, decisive defeat. Because there’s no way it ends with them winning, any more than it ended that way for any other mass shooter who opened fire on cops.
I want them to realise, that for all their macho fantasies about another civil war which parts of America have been nurturing for all this time since the South first failed to rise again, most of America will *not* stand with them on this. That if they open fire on American police, American soldiers, America will see them as criminals. As terrorists.
I want them to realise that their whole Second Amendment fairytale, imagining an armed rebellion overthrowing the single greatest military machine ever built using its own cast-off second-tier weapons — that an amateur militia could win against a *nuclear state* if it actually decided to crush them — has been a comforting fantasy security blanket from the word go.
I want them to realise that if America ever *does* go tyrannical, fighting them that way would be a lost cause from the word go, so they’d better start working on other ways of protecting peoples’ rights.
And if they do start shooting?
If they do decide that they can’t respect law, and democracy, and the overwhelming popular calls for tighter gun laws, and want to take it out on the Feds like terrorists?
Then at least I’ll know that the rounds from their AR-15s are being directed at trained soldiers, who know how to react and handle the situation — rather than at office-workers and nightclubbers and schoolkids, who have been the targets in their war on sanity for too fucking long.