In The Event Of Legislative Defeat, Next Steps

Wyoming is paving the way:

In fact, under the proposed bill, anyone who tried to enforce a federal gun ban could be charged with a felony. The Wyoming Attorney General’s office would also be permitted to defend any state resident against a federal gun ban.

What worries me is that I hear talk of civil war from otherwise sensible people if much of what is being spoken of comes to pass. I’m a firm believer in the rule of law, and I think actions should have the legitimacy of law, which means acting through state legislatures, and not a bunch of lone wolves shooting it out with the feds. This is still a union of 50 separate sovereigns, and there are further actions that can be taken even if the face of a devastating loss at the federal level.

But all law is ultimately force. Men with guns will be sent to enforce those laws. This isn’t any symbolic Firearms Freedom Act. Wyoming lawmakers here are proposing a law with penalties. Felony penalties. Penalties that will have to be enforced. Like all law enforcement actions, how it plays out depends on how serious the players are. What happens when the Wyoming State Police decide to go enforce this law against other men, men with guns, who think they are also the law? This doesn’t have to escalate to violence, but it could. People underestimate how much of our federal system is built upon willing cooperation. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution doesn’t mean jack if the states are unwilling to enforce federal law, and not willing to allow the feds to enforce it. I fully support this idea as a next step in the event we take a devastating loss. But let us not let it come to that.

58 thoughts on “In The Event Of Legislative Defeat, Next Steps”

    1. I think they do know how much fire they are playing with. And they also know that an “explosion” of that fire works in their favor. My worst fear is that some on their side are as itching for a war as some of the people on our side.

      Of course, that’s just the foil hatter in me.

        1. My general argument to them, although considered to be unproductive, is that they themselves will be fair game and on the “front line” of such a war, which absent Sebastian’s hope for a 1860 model “War Between the States” would be a “dirty” civil war.

          As I said in another thread, if it involves a thousand Ruby Ridges and Wacos reported on the Internet things will get really ugly really fast. Especially since based on prior and current history wives, children and pets will killed and too many on our side would return the favor.

  1. Wouldn’t be the first time in history nobody wants a shooting war but they get it anyway.

    Especially not when we’ve got such a cultural split across this country, between urban and rural. The city dwellers have gotten it in their heads they can dictate to us “slack jawed yokels” how it’s going to be.

    I get the impression they think it’s going to be a repeat of the 1860s all over again. Hate to tell them but the DoD has done several studies that involved complete disruption of infrastructure (like say a civil war where the food and fuel shipments stop) and the cities get really ugly really quick.

    One I recall seeing had 30% urban casualty rates within days. Within weeks it was 80%. JIT delivery schemes for necessities, coupled with a complete lack of preparedness of the average American, make cities death traps.

    1. And to make perfectly clear, I don’t want this in a least. It will be a very miserable experience for everybody. I’m just more and more of the opinion that it’s coming whether we want it or not…

      1. What scares me is the arrogance of the anti-gunners. They are convinced that they could simply pass a ban and that nothing would happen.

        What do you think will happen when a large number of armed individuals feel like the game is fair anymore? That a way of life is under attack? I’m not saying civil war, but something ugly? You had better believe it.

        1. Yeah they make fun of people (check my Twitter feed) about insurrection as if it will never happen. Hello, you are talking about talking about taking guns from people who will refuse to give them up. What do you think will happen?

      2. I’ve been trying like hell to tell my other urbanites just what will happen if you piss off the people who make and bring your food.

        They don’t seem to get the “Just in time” concept. I tell them to look at Sandy and Coney Island.

        I wish I could relocate until this blows over (If). I’m on an island. With 4 ways off. 5 if I take a page from the Cubans.

        The first whiff of trouble I’m evac’ing and living out of tent.

    2. You are way too optimistic. I can think of all sorts of benefits of liberals congregating in cities while people dispersed throughout rural areas are at a disadvantage. Liberals already organize a huge amount of central planning in the cities. Less area to organize, easier to match the basic necessities to the population, the basic sheep mentality.

      Government just has to disable wireless communication and cut the pay phones, and probably shut down a few networks of gasoline delivery and suddenly all those dispersed people cannot communicate or coordinate. Try getting food supplies to all sorts of dispersed people, too.

      1. Ummm, if they do this to the Kulacks in the farming regions, where are they going to get the food to keep the cities fed?

          1. There’s something of a shortage of food in the world right now, and our bulk distribution systems run in the opposite direction. They probably also don’t have the capacity to carry much more than a “grain mush” subsistence diet, well, prior to enough bakeries being built.

            The time scales are also not in the favor of the central government doing this; if they feel the need to do it, one assumes they don’t have much time. But it would take weeks, perhaps months to establish such importation when cities have only days, and countries that don’t like us and sense opportunity while we’re tearing ourselves apart might try to interdict some of it.

            With us focused inwards, well, as David “Spengler” Goldman likes to say, while the cat is away the mice kill each other. Some of that food just wouldn’t be available any more if the Pax Americana ends.

            (I have studied this sort of thing in the context of surviving nuclear war; it’s both easy and hard, but betting on the Federal government to get it right … would be iffy.)

          2. Port cities, maybe. If, as Harold says, they can even find it to import. But could the ports UNLOAD enough grain to make a difference when they’re set up to export US grain?

            As for cities without sea ports — rail and road both run through the countryside.

  2. Sebastian,

    This is a great thing for them to do, and I hope they pass it and back it up, and that other states pass it and back it up.

    This would be the Founders’ preferred method–for local authorities, be they state or as low as the sheriff, to interpose themselves between illegal exercise of power and their people. I hope and pray our state leaders have the balls to do this, but if they shirk their duty or if they help enforce unconstitutional edicts, then the individual is abandoned and left as the only one available to protect his own rights.

    I’ve definitely hear the same talk you have, and I’m afraid the government is playing with matches in a powder magazine.

    1. Think about the problem of defeat in detail; if the Federal government is willing to take on an individual state, declare martial law or whatever.

      Individual states doing this run that risk.

      Sigh, why does this sound like the run-up to the “The War Between the States”?

      1. That would be the risk if only one state like Wyoming stands up. There would need to be several states to make Washington think twice. They still might do it, and we still might see a war between the states, or just an all out destruction of order. The thing is, liberals’ comments to date show that they’re not scared at all of this outcome. They don’t think it’s possible.

        If a state stands up and others follow, that may be enough of a shock to wake them up and make them stop poking people in the eye with talk of confiscations.

        Of course, they may continue their current course of poking the most hot headed in the eye, whether or not the states stand up, and all it will take is one person to snap, pull the modern equivalent of an attack on Fort Sumter (or a statist who thinks they can win pull a false flag equivalent), and then everything goes to hell in a handcart.

        1. Errr, follow the link. While what you say is correct about the more states that do this for real (as Sebastian has pointed out, laws with teeth, not symbolic ones), the more likely it will give the liberals pause (and some were freaking out before Newtown that we’d take up arms to roll back Obama’s achievements…), if they go ahead anyway, defeat in detail is still a real possibility.

          The Fort Sumter scenario is sort of the reverse, where one of these states crosses a line in an offensive response … say, forcibly removing agents of the Federal government from its borders, and then … errr, I guess I should start studying the Civil War, which I only know in outline….

          Of course, studying it for this reason is very much not something I want to do :-(….

          1. When I said that about other states standing up, I guess I didn’t flesh it out. I did mean that they would need laws with teeth, and that they would also need to show the fortitude to say that an attack on one would be dealt with by all.

            If the federal government does attempt to shut Wyoming down, and then move on to the other states that are standing up to it, then the only option is surrender or coordinated resistance with the states bonding together as the colonies did in the War for Independence. Of course, the Confederacy tried the same thing and still lost, so resistance wouldn’t be guaranteed.

            I’m right there with you on not wanting to study the civil war, or any war, for this reason. I hope to God we don’t hit the point of a war between the states, or the even uglier dirty war you referred to earlier in this thread, and which will likely start if the states don’t stand up and the federal government keeps pushing the issue to a confiscation.

            1. One of the key reasons the Confederacy lost was due to the industrial production capabilities of the Union. Have you noticed how many manufacturing companies have moved south of the Mason Dixon line in the past couple of decades?

              If the presidential-vote-by-county results are any indication, the “resisting” areas will also have most of the food. Failure to thrive could change a lot of weak willed minds quickly.

  3. So, does Wyoming have clause in its law to use deadly force in preventing the act of a felony?

    Sheep out there will pass a law like this to allow weed (not that I oppose it) and will do nothing to back up their other rights. Some people you can only get out when it offends their comforts.

  4. There’s an interesting conundrum built into their bill. Semiautomatic short barreled rifles. I notice they don’t exempt NFA items, and building an SBR without paying the tax will get Mr Federales to want to bust you…

  5. In my state (CA), county (LA), and city (LA), it’s pretty much impossible to follow all the gun laws. There are some I chose to break, but in a state that thinks people who invade our borders to not pay taxes are AOK, I don’t feel too bad about it. And I’m not the only one. Somehow we have civilians that shoot 3 Gun and there are plenty of people shooting USPSA open and limited. There are even otherwise totally law abiding people that carry guns here, illegally, even if they do not possess a Mexican CCW (no papers) or an Armenian CCW (your cousin’s passport). Here is my trick: I am 40 year old professional white male who drives nice cars kept in good working order. I do not drink (ever). I do not get sucked into road rage (ever). I do not drive like a psycho, and when I do get a ticket, I treat the cops with respect. I do not hit my wife or get into loud domestic arguments. I’ve even talked to cops I know who said if they were civilians they’d carry guns. Anyway as the rest of the USA becomes a third world fascist regime like CA, get used to selectively following the law. In this state, the leftists/statists have the good guys way outnumbered. Yeah I’d move but my income level and family ties make it hard (like many CA conservatives, I am a native).

    1. I am 40 year old professional white male who drives nice cars kept in good working order. I do not drink (ever). I do not get sucked into road rage (ever). I do not drive like a psycho, and when I do get a ticket, I treat the cops with respect. I do not hit my wife or get into loud domestic arguments.

      Well, there’s your problem. As far as the left concerns you don’t deserve any rights at all.

  6. This is making the rounds…


    Peaceful, non-violent, professional protest in support of our 2nd Amendment rights.

    We’ve had enough.

    January 19th, 2013, at noon. That is next Saturday.

    EVERYBODY come out. Numbers matter.


    Bring your own signs. Dress respectably.

    Spread this info far and wide. All liberty groups, all gun rights groups, all American groups, all your buddies and family.

    1. I think this is a waste of energy in states we’re not being actively attacked in. This energy would be far better directed federally. This feel good shit is going to murder us in the fight that’s coming.

      For most of America, who’s states aren’t amenable to gun control, the time to get the states involved is after we lose the fight at the federal level. Then it’s time for a real push. For now write your state reps, and point to what lawmakers in Wyoming are doing as an example of what you’d like to see in your state.

      1. Sebastian,

        I’d argue that the time is now because hopefully having a state that really intends to stand up like this will cool the heads of the more hotheaded individuals. Otherwise, they’re liable to start some shit while you’re lobbying the state government. Then the feds have all the excuse they need for new legislation and harsh enforcement.

        This is not to say we shouldn’t be involved in lobbying the feds now too. I’ve been calling my local rep, Alexander, and Corker once a week since mid-December. That will become daily calls soon enough (Probably Tuesday with Biden’s suggestions).

        Multitasking is needed to keep the children with matches in DC from blowing us all up.

      2. I don’t understand your problem. There’s a rally for the 19th in the planning for Washington State; I’ll probably go. We are a very gun-friendly place despite the overall liberal tilt caused by Seattle (ahem Jim *cough* McDermitt *cough*.) But because of that liberal tilt, there’s always some state legislator trying to introduce some harmful legislation (dismantling state preemption and instituting a duty to retreat are just two of the latest.) Why shouldn’t we raise a little public ruckus about this?

  7. I’m really am just thinking out loud here, so please, don’t anyone hesitate to jump in and correct me if I misspeak:

    Wasn’t the post-civil-rights Jim Crow situation in the Old South pretty much a case of the states not enforcing federal law, so, the feds came in on their own and made examples of some high-profile segregationist “activists” to get their point across? How many decades after the fact were they still arresting people alleged to have (e.g.) murdered civil rights workers and freedom riders?

    A lot of those grainy old black-and-white newsreels of segregationist crowds rioting are pretty impressive — there certainly was motivation there, at a very personal level — but to my memory of the era, it wasn’t all that long after a few arrests, convictions, and long sentences, before active resistance melted away. And I don’t remember the 82nd (?) Airborne getting all that much resistance while integrating universities.

    1. I’ll forbear telling the Old Story, but I just had a flashback of walking down the middle of a street with 150 – 200 other GIs, going to rumble with another unit that was beating up a couple of our guys (who actually deserved it, but. . .) and, arriving at the venue, turning to see that the 150 – 200 guys had dwindled to — just six of us.

      Anyway, that’s another life experience that made me a little suspicious of bravado, regarding physical confrontations.

  8. My gun lobbyist in Idaho says, “Won’t work: see supremacy clause.”

    Of course one could also say, “Feds can’t do it: see 2nd Amendment.”

    I’m afraid it’s going to boil down to might makes right and the 1860s might be a good model for our future.

  9. Wyoming is not the only state ready to defy the federals. In my home state of South Carolina State Senator Lee Bright has introduced a bill similar to this one. The bill he has introduced is more like the one from Montana which exempts firearms manufactured within state lines.

    1. That’s not defiance, that’s just symbolic. Without criminal penalties, and an authorization to use force if necessary, it’s hollow symbolism. It’s time to drop the “made within state lines” pretext and outright defy the federal government.

  10. Well nullification has both a long history and two examples as recently as the last election. Personally, I think resistance will mostly be of the Canadian style with people simply refusing to co-operate. Then wait and see. First move will be lawsuits. I am sure that Alan Gura can find a test case.

  11. Some more historical perspective on the Benevolence of U.S. Government sponsored gun grabs:

    “Battle of Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation”

    A Lesson to be Learned on the Anniversary of Wounded Knee

    December 29, 2012 marked the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began AFTER the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. When the final round had flown, of the 297 dead or dying, two thirds (200) were women and children.

    Around 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, over half cut down by friendly fire from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms. Twenty members of the 7th Cavalry were deemed “National Heros” and awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of cowardice.

    We do not hear of Wounded Knee today. It is not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little does exist about Wounded Knee is normally the sanitized “Official Government Explanation” or the historically and factually inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre on the movie screen.

    Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.

    Ask any Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise.

    Wounded Knee is the prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to surrender our Right to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we have no right to defend ourselves and our families.

  12. If WY is serious about this, then their next move should be to organize their citizen militia. Have an old-fashioned muster, appoint officers and place units under NG or state police command (or independent) with concrete plans to address potential federal actions. They obviously can’t win a shooting war, but if they make enough noise they may get it through the thick skulls on capitol hill that people aren’t going to have certain things just rammed down their throats.

    1. You’d have to use state law enforcement first. I think if you used militia it would make bloodshed more likely, but you’d have to be ready if the feds are serious, sure. But i think they wouldn’t be serious. For a lot of reasons, I think they’d be happy to settle for bifurcated gun policy. Our violating that as of late is one reason I think they are coming after us. If they are to have guns, they will have them on their terms, not ours.

      1. Well, let me clear that I don’t think the Feds are serious, other than that they are seriously making a big production out of this for some reason – probably to distract attention from the Argentine-like fiscal condition of the federal govt. The occasional Mike Nifong aside, neo-Stalinism is still pretty much confined to the academic ghetto and the media. The rest of vaguely liberal citizenry are just along for the ride. Federal LE in particular (at least outside of BATFE) is probably drinking every night these days and seriously hoping this all blows over before it reaches true stupidity.

        What I think WY could accomplish by the above is to short-circuit the media spin and make the blue state masses realize the size of the fire that’s being played with in their name.

        1. And I still haven’t managed to be clear here. I’m not suggesting Wyoming actually pick a fight with the feds, but engage in Olympic saber-rattling, with a large part of the population visibly out in the streets to prevent it being spun as a parlor trick by a couple of nobody state legislators. You can spin anything, but it would be hard for TV viewers to miss the level of conviction and the implications for what happens if they try to seriously undermine the 2A.

      2. For a lot of reasons, I think they’d be happy to settle for bifurcated gun policy. Our violating that as of late is one reason I think they are coming after us. If they are to have guns, they will have them on their terms, not ours.

        Maybe it’s just too early in the morning, but even upon rereading I can’t figure out what you mean by our violating a bifurcated gun policy.

        1. Heh, it was late at night for me, so probably between lack of sleep between both of us, it doesn’t make much sense. I’ll explain that later. It’s a post floating around in my head.

          1. Ah, do you mean the 42 pro-enough gun states vs. the 8 holdouts, and our mostly successful post Heller and MacDonald attacks on them through the courts?

            Yeah, that will be getting them really upset; add my thesis of a dozen years of pent up frustration while gun control was a 3rd rail of national politics and….

          2. Urk: if so, this plays right into the “War Between the States” meme:

            “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

            I.e. we’re not about to let our brothers and sisters in the 8 very anti-gun states remain in bondage to the whims and mercy of their state and local governments and their tacitly allied criminals (anarcho-tyranny).

      3. How much state law enforcement is currently being supported by Federal funding for weapons, ammunition, training, and equipment under FEMA “outreach” programs. Unfortunately, I think most local law enforcement has been compromised with financial enticements. If a local law enforcement has to choose between not paying their people and “supressing unlawful assemblage”, which do you think they will really choose?

    2. Stacy, and others thinking of utilizing the militia,

      Do not incorporate the militia units into the National Guard structure–use the State Guard (or whatever your state calls it) or a new, state dedicated, organized militia.

      Constitutionally, the militia can’t be forced to fight outside the US. This cause all manner of headaches for those interested in Military Adventurism, so in the early 20th Century, the National Guard was formed to deal with this. Under the present structure, the National Guard members are all dual-enrolled in the State’s organized militia and the federal governments army (or air force). This way, they are legally considered to switch hats and be operating under their federal status when called up to fight outside the US rather than being called up by Congress in their role as militia.

      Any attempt to call up the militia should, therefore, not be put under the Guard’s command structure to avoid federal entanglements and any number of legal challenges meant to divide and disrupt state efforts.

  13. Look, if we have to take the time to fight it out in the states, then it will all be over before anything gets done. The current administration cares not about the states one bit

    And we can’t all move to Wyoming..

    They will be murdering and imprisoning citizens apace, even as they cut off all federal funds to rogue states.

    Unless they are stopped.

    To quote Myself:

    “Freedom begins at the muzzle, and ends at the butt-plate.”

  14. Government isn’t going to harm anyone?

    Fast and Furious. Benghazi.

    Do not underestimate these people. Overestimate. That way you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And alive to be so.

  15. I think one thing to be considered here, is that I don’t think most Americans are committed enough to gun control to fight a civil war over it. All it will take is for the states to push back. I’m betting taking up to the brink once would be enough to get the feds to back off.

  16. Since the Obama administration is ON RECORD stating that only the federal gov’t can enforce federal laws, like immigration, then only the fed’l govt can enforce ANY fed’l law. The states don’t have the authority, even if they have the inclination, to enforce a federal gun ban.

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