View Full Version : Feds always win, so says author

05-03-2007, 5:38 AM
Interesting, actually hasn't taken a lesson from some of the fights governments have gotten into with foreign countries. Including our own. Not to mention we have done such a bang up job of beating the drug war. Obviously its a forgone conclusion if the people had to fight a tyrannical government. The feds would win.


In a shoot-out, the feds always win
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Huntsville Times

When events like the Virginia Tech massacre occur, The Times and other newspapers quickly become forums for people who favor stronger gun-control laws and those who oppose such measures, or who think that we have already gone too far in the direction.

The division is so wide that the only common ground you can find is probably in the O.K. Corral. Different folks have incredibly strong opinions both ways.

I don't expect this issue to be resolved in my lifetime. Nothing I can contribute to the general discussion will change anyone's mind one way or the other. I hereby - well, at least for the moment - remove myself from the overall debate.

Except for one side matter.

That's one that occasionally creeps into the letters of some who fervently interpret the Second Amendment as an absolute, unbridled guarantee that you can own all the firearms you want and any kind that's manufactured.

This argument says that keeping firearms is necessary to ensure that the public can resist government oppression should such arise. In other words, unless you can shoot back at the feds, you can't be free.

That's a nice, John Wayne-type view of the world. But it's wrong. It's not just debatably wrong. It's factually wrong.

And the reason it is wrong is this: The government has and will always have more firepower than you, you and your neighbors, you and your like-minded friends or you and anybody you can conscript to your way of thinking.

You simply can't arm yourself adequately against a government that is rotten and needs to be overturned. Your best defense is the ballot box, not a pillbox.

That is why it is so scary to see events occur like the one in Collinsville last week. In case you missed it, six folks were charged with caching an alarming amount of weapons. These included scores of grenades, thousands of rounds of ammunition, 70 improvised explosive devices, two silencers and a submachine gun. Oh, and 100 marijuana plants. Go figure.

These people have been arrested, not convicted, so let's allow the courts to decide whether they are guilty.

But it strikes me that you have these kinds of weapons for one of two reasons:

You plan to use them to harm people.

You plan to use them to defend yourself.

Undoubtedly, you can harm a great many people with this kind of firepower. And if your aim is to use it against the government, well, that in itself is against the law.

What you can't do with these weapons is defend yourself successfully, in the long run, against the government. It has tanks. It has bombs (see Philadelphia on May 14, 1985, when the city bombed an entire block occupied by a group that didn't like the government). It has airplanes. It has nuclear weapons, for goodness sake.

You can't beat 'em.

You'd be foolish to try.

So let's take that argument off the table. I don't presume to say that by doing so we will be able to reach a consensus or a compromise or whatever about how we should or shouldn't control firearms in modern society.

I'm just saying that shooting it out with the government is like the exhibition team versus the Harlem Globetrotters as far as who is going to win.

Only a lot more bloody.

David Prather's e-mail: david.prather@htimes.com; telephone: 532-4357

05-03-2007, 5:47 AM
"The highest number to which a standing army can be carried in any country does not exceed one hundredth part of the souls, or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This portion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Besides the advantage of being armed, it forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would surely shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors."

-- James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/James.Madison.Quote.C88A

05-03-2007, 5:56 AM




Seems he also got the date wrong, it was the 13th. And this wasn't a military action, it was a police action that went horribly wrong.

Have a great Kenpo day


05-03-2007, 6:00 AM
So wait if regular old firearms don't do so good against a standing army then why isn't Iraq secure?

Apparently you don't need armor and air power to fight battles and stay in the fight. :rolleyes:

M. Sage
05-03-2007, 6:13 AM
The government ALWAYS wins?


The above is a perfect example of why the Second Amendment exists.

05-03-2007, 6:16 AM
So wait if regular old firearms don't do so good against a standing army then why isn't Iraq secure?

Apparently you don't need armor and air power to fight battles and stay in the fight.


I don't think you'd have to dig too deeply in 20th century history to find examples of people armed with regular old firearms making life very miserable for large, well-equipped gov't forces.

05-03-2007, 6:49 AM
So, we aparently can arm ourselves enough to fend off the government?

Those damn Iraqis seem to be doing a pretty good job....

05-03-2007, 9:42 AM
If the Founding Fathers had thought this way, we'd be the largest British colony on the planet.

05-03-2007, 9:45 AM
So, we aparently can arm ourselves enough to fend off the government?

Those damn Iraqis seem to be doing a pretty good job....

Only because we're too nice.

05-03-2007, 9:49 AM
And if your aim is to use it against the government, well, that in itself is against the law.

Ummm, it's not against the law. That's pretty much why the 2nd is there.

05-03-2007, 10:11 AM
Only because we're too nice.

Which actually argues against the article, too. We're "too nice" (Bill's terms, not mine) to the Iraqis. How do you think soldiers are going to perform against people who look, talk, and act like them? You think a soldier is going to call in artillery fire in the neighborhood where his mom lives? As many have said before, any massive civil battles in the US aren't going to be fought between disorganized militias and the regular army, they're going to bet fought between the regular army that tows the line and the regular army that mutinies. 200 million armed citizens certainly aren't going to make it easy for the gov't troops, though.

Neil McCauley
05-03-2007, 10:11 AM
Guess he's never heard of guerilla warfare.

05-03-2007, 10:26 AM
It has nuclear weapons, for goodness sake. is he suggesting that the government may use nukes against civilian population? C'mon this is why we have problems in Iraq, in Vietnam, it's why Hitler skipped Switzerland...and as for bombing a home in Phili...I think this is the type of government we may want to protect ourselves against. My .02

05-03-2007, 11:59 PM
I wrote him a nice letter. We'll see if he responds with anything beyond, "Thank you for your comment."

Mr. Prather,

Thank you for your article, "In a shoot-out, the feds always win". However, I wonder if you have been paying attention to the news, lately.

In Iraq, a force of insurgents without tanks, helicopters or nuclear weapons is doing a pretty decent job of fighting a force that has all of those weapons. The same is happening in Chechnya. In the '80s, a smaller underequipped force did a darn decent job of fighting off the Soviets who had all of the military hardware and nukes. You might also recall the lessons of Vietnam and Algeria. You might also want to consider the many colonial states that threw off their masters in the aftermath of WWII. Of course, the Battle of Athens, Tennessee also gives lie to your assertions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens , http://www.constitution.org/mil/tn/batathen_press.htm , http://www.jpfo.org/athens.htm

All in all, these experiences show that a lightly armed motivated force can defeat a more heavily armed force at times.

Your assertions promote the idea that if government becomes corrupt, despotic and intolerable, that the people should just "lie back and enjoy it" because fighting back is hopeless.

I beg to differ.

San Francisco

05-04-2007, 7:37 PM
This article was VERY thoroughly fisked by Mike Vanderboegh


Long, but excellent read.

05-05-2007, 3:04 PM
This guy cannot count! lets see 500,000 soldiers and 300 million armed citizens? guess who wins! My block alone could turn out more armed people than the entire shift at our police department!