“Don’t trust anybody.”
It is a phrase barely ever spoken, but almost always intended by those seeking power. You can’t trust anyone around you because of what they might do. Everyone could be a mass murderer. Everyone could be a thief. Everyone could be out to take advantage of you/backstab you.
Everyone except them, of course. If we just give those seeking control of our lives what they want, not only will we be “safer” but all of the aforementioned fears will be taken care of. All we have to do, is surrender virtually everything to them.
In other words, fear your neighbor, but trust your rulers.
It goes without saying that this isn’t something that is widely accepted. In fact, over the last few years, government power grabs have been actively resisted, exposed, and in some cases forced to shut down. From the IRS scandal, to the scrapped plan to put FCC “monitors” in American newsrooms, there has never been a bigger resistance to the Federal government than there is now.
Outside of Federal agencies getting roasted, attempts at gun control have failed spectacularly since we met last year for Blowback: Resurgence. Gun sales continue to have extreme momentum, only recently pulling back from last year’s summer that pro-gun readers would rather not be reminded about.
Most recently, however, this resistance to government control has emerged in the form of fighting against the so-called Common Core public education standards. Many see it as the Federal government trying to directly control local school ciriculum with sub-par standards and convoluted methods. While Lady Liberty has taken to this topic to the point where my coverage is meager, it would be remiss to not discuss it at least to some degree. (Besides which, she basically asked me to do so on Twitter regardless.)
That isn’t to say that the “fear your neighbor” propaganda hasn’t worked. The general reaction to a positive news stories is “there actually are good people.” The trouble being that it’s ridiculously easy to counter that. Blowback has always focused on the larger picture; the survivalist movement, the patriot movement, self-reliance, etc.. This year will continue that, but will also attempt to break through that. In my mind, the ultimate way to do this is to show what happened during Winter Storm Leon.
1.) Baseline. As far as firearms as concerned, virtually everything from Resurgence to the end of 2013 has been covered in Midnight Run: Optimism. Going over all of that seems a bit redundant (especially for those of you who lived through the ammo shortages). This year’s Blowback will cover everything from that point forward. The Bundy fight, the rise of the militia movement, the idea of an armed revolt, and the broader idea of what it means to be a Citizen will all be covered.
I have no problem entertaining the idea of an armed revolt. I’ve been hearing enough about it to jump into it for Blowback.
2.) Education. Honestly, it would be a lot easier to say “go read Lady Liberty’s blog” and then just break for lunch. A.P. Dillon’s coverage has been relentless, and her coverage of the fight against Common Core is second to none. But, both at her request on Twitter AND because it is an important topic, we should at least address the topic. (But seriously, if you are looking for top-notch coverage of this fight, I readily admit that I am not the one to be following. She is.)
Also, I will endeavor to get through this topic without Pink Floyd references.
First off, Common Core is, in theory anyway, a group of educational standards produced by the Federal government. It goes in tandem with the “one-size-fits-all” standardized testing that has been so popular if ineffective lately. The issue is that, in many cases, the methods of teaching Common Core perscribes are outright baffling to most people.
The almost-robotic nature of the standards and methods Common Core used led to one particularly awesome speech by a high school student in Knox County, TN. TheBlaze reports:
“The president essentially bribed states into implementation via ‘Race to the Top,’ offering $4.35 billion taxpayer dollars to participating states, $500 million of which went to Tennessee,” Young said. “And much like No Child Left Behind, the program promises national testing and a one-size-fits-all education, because hey, it worked so well the first time.”
“If nothing else, these standards are a glowing conflict of interest and they lack the research they allegedly received,” he added.
Young also argued that Common Core standards display a “mistrust of teachers,” a line that prompted applause from the audience.
The battle against Common Core exploded when Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced that he intended to get his state out of Common Core, even if the Legislature refused to. This has led to a lawsuit pending between the Governor and the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Meanwhile, back in March Indiana became the first state to completely can using the standards. Georgia adopted the standards back in 2012, although there has been relatively minor attempts at barring it.
Finally, we tap into some of Lady Liberty’s coverage. In Oklahoma a bill to repeal Common Core was signed into law is now facing a lawsuit by the state’s Board of Education. (Similar to the lawsuit against Jindal in Louisiana. Are you still with me?) The lawsuit alleges that repealing the standards gives too much power to the state Legislature.
Also heartening are polls showing a dramatic reduction in support for Common Core. I will say this however, the only poll that will really matter in regards to Common Core aren’t for another five months.
Thanks once again to Lady Liberty for her relentless coverage of Common Core.
2.) Revolt: Overview. The idea of secession has been in the news off and on pretty much since the 2012 midterms. It is an upgrade of the “if he wins I’m leaving the country” stuff we’ve grown used to (or in my case, tired of) since the 2000 elections and probably before that.
I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in the (depending on your viewpoint concerning or motivating) uptick in traffic regarding armed revolt in the United States. There is a lot to cover in this section.
First off, however, I would like to thank a Twitter user for helping out here. Former Marine SSgt. Richard Davis and I have had numerous discussions on this topic both on Twitter and via private messages. He, and many others I have spoken to, seem almost convinced that some kind of armed revolt is on the horizon. One of their main focal points? The Bundy case. So let’s start there, while ignoring the racial freakshow CNN wanted to make of it.
3.) Revolt: Bundy. As discussed back in Midnight Run: Signal, Youtuber TheRealTripppleB has an excellent recap of events on the Bundy case. The reason it is relevant in Blowback is because a lot of people believe the collision between armed Federal agents and armed civilians is a sign of things to come. (The fact that it spawned a meme about a 2nd American Revolution and an more than a few iconic images doesn’t help either.)
The madness came to a head when Nevada’s governor and a Senator slammed the Federal government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy. Governor Brian Sandoval said that “no cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.”
As is well-known by now, the Feds backed off without a shot being fired. Afterwards, many Western states began efforts to take land back from the Federal government. (Nevada is roughly 84.5% Federal-owned land.)
Many see it as the start of something big. The rise of the militia movement, in many respects.
4.) Militias: Ground Rules. Back in the now world-famous Midnight Run: Debt update, I noted shortly after introducing a piece by Al-Jazeera America that the genetic fallacy has no place in the Midnight Run. The “genetic fallacy” is saying that something is irrelevant not because it isn’t true but because of where it comes from. I did this because I have been criticized in the past for using Al-Jazeera which, while a solid source for information, comes from a largely anti-American viewpoint to hear people (largely conservatives) say it. The fact that it was valid information, well-written, and relevant was apparently not enough to make “because it’s Al-Jazeera” a non-factor.
I’m bringing this up to inform you straight out that I don’t care. The concepts of armed revolt, indeed of citizen militias, is not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, it requires using sources that are regarded as extreme. Zero Hedge will make an appearance in a bit, for example.
5.) Militias: Overview. Let’s get something taken care of straight away. The phrase “well-regulated militia” in the Second Amendment does not indicate that the Founders wanted a Federally-regulated army, nor does it preclude civilian ownership of firearms. That first half of the Amendment is a statement of rationale, a “prefatory clause” that states the purpose of the Amendment without limiting the rights recognized by the Amendment. This was made clear in D.C. v. Heller it has been signified by the words of the Founders themselves (including George Mason’s quote stating that a militia is “the whole of the people”). There is also a fantastic article on Bearing Arms about the meaning of “well-regulated.” Basically, the Founders wanted the citizenry to be well-armed and well-trained in the use of those arms.
I would also like to recommend the book The Founders’ Second Amendment by Stephen P. Hallbrook. (Full disclosure: I am not with any sort of Amazon affiliate program and make no money off of any purchase that you decide to make after clicking that link.)
The first half of the Amendment states that the People should be well-armed and well-trained.
The second half of the Amendment states that the Government should stay out of the People’s way in achieving that objective.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”
“the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
That is the definition and the wording of the Second Amendment, and it is that definition we are sticking with for the rest of Blowback.
6.) Militias: Modern Use. Depending on who you ask, the rise of citizen militias either leads to “insurrectionism” (a term generally used by people who are already anti-gun and have decided to stop using the term “fetishist” for a few moments) or a much more orderly and restricted Federal government. A column from March in USA Today (I never said we’d use exclusively fringe websites) suggests that the absence of citizen militias has led to more intrusive law enforcement, arguing that if a well-regulated militia IS needed and we don’t have one, we are either “insecure, unfree, or possibly both.”
Bearing Arms takes this idea a bit further in an article that asks flat-out “can a rebirth of the Militia system head off the threat of government violence.”
7.) Militias: Action. But what, exactly, would militias be fighting against? Milwaulkee County Sheriff David A. Clarke believes that, if gun confiscation laws pass, it could lead to a “Second American Revolution. (Note that meme from the Bundy case, once again.) Some sites have taken it a step further, arguing that a civil war/revolution is, as Zero Hedge put it in June, “now inevitable.”
8.) Fear. Let me close Blowback by returning to the atmosphere of paranoia I discussed in the opening. On both the local and national level, many people believe that gun crime has never been higher. As a recent survey shows, constant reports of violence, fraud, and other crimes have helped feed into a society where people don’t trust each other much anymore. This distrust is dangerous to the country as a whole. The AP elaborates:
A society where it’s easier to compromise or make a deal. Where people are willing to work with those who are different from them for the common good. Where trust appears to promote economic growth.
Distrust, on the other hand, seems to encourage corruption. At the least, it diverts energy to counting change, drawing up 100-page legal contracts and building gated communities.
There’s one issue; almost all of it is based largely on media perception. Nowhere is this clearer than in a recent Pew survey that showed, despite the decrease in gun crime, that people believe it is actually worse.
But even that is breaking. Personally, I hold the non-stop reports of Good Samaritans that came out of Winter Storm Leon. In addition, Leon also gave rise to a crowdsourced map on social media set up to help people in need. The map, part of a project called “SnowedOutAtlanta”, allowed people to offer shelter, assist stranded motorists, and even allowed people to pin their location before their cell phone battery ran out.
While there is probably a survivalism case study in there, my point is this. If the world as depicted day-in and day-out by the media were true….none of that would happen. Sound odd? Let me put it in another way. People posted their GPS locations on a map open to everybody.
Moving northward, there is what Guns Save Lives referred to as the Detroit Revolution. GSL says the name describes an uptick in self-defense stories coming out of the city. The surge in self-defense stories was praised by the the city’s police chief. According to BizPac Review, the Chief say that he thinks the citizens of Detroit arming themselves is a “deterrent” to crime, adding “good Americans with [concealed pistol licenses] translates into crime reduction too.”
The surge in self-defense stories, the increasing distrust of the Federal government, and the rise of the survivalist/voluntarist movements all point to the same thing. Far from being “lost” or “finished”, the country is getting back to basics and rebuilding. People are starting to once again take their safety into their own hands, we’re seeing a revolt against Federal attempts to take control of education away from the local level, and yes, we are starting to see the monopoly on force break apart.
This is not distinctly American in modern times, as Reason Magazine pointed out in February, people around the world have taken to resisting government overreach. The action in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Thailand are all about people feeling like the government they are supposed to control is instead controlling them. With a recent Princeton study declaring our government to be essentially an oligarchy, and with the aforementioned attempts by the government to increase its control, it is only a matter of time before we see something snap back here in the US.
Will it be an armed revolt? Possibly. But we will see a resurgence regardless, and it will be like nothing we’ve seen before.
Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.