I see and hear a lot of talk about how a national gun registration and/or confiscation would be the trigger that would spark a second American Revolution, as patriots rise up to resist the jackbooted thugs who are going door-to-door taking away people’s arms.
I have bad news for everyone who’s waiting for national registration or a mass confiscation so they can get their armed rebellion on: a national database of gun owners already exists, and a national confiscation effort will never happen. Ever. Instead, you’ll hand over your firearms peacefully. All of them, even the ones you paid cash for to some random guy on Armslist in the dead of night.
Here’s a look at how it will play out in our not-too-distant future.
The NSA Knows Who You Are and What You Have
Second Amendment supporters have been so focused on this one little corner of the Bill of Rights that they’ve let the Fourth Amendment, which is supposed to protect citizens against unreasonable search and seizure, turn into dead letter.
The surveillance state that got started under Clinton picked up steam under Bush II, and Obama has expanded it even further. The NSA is tracking everyone, all the time, and they’re hooked into Facebook, Google, Amazon, and every other piece of web-based software that you’ve been using to shop for accessories for that AR you paid cash for (which your wife doesn’t even know you have).
If you don’t believe me, go read this article about just how much detailed info one private company, Facebook, has on you, including your web surfing, shopping, and even your driving and walking habits. Now think about the fact that the NSA is even less constrained by the law (and has way more resources) than Facebook and has access not only to Facebook’s detailed profile of you but to profiles created by many other sources, from your credit card company to your health insurance provider.
Oh sure, you may have gotten your hands on a few guns that would be impossible to trace, even by the NSA. Maybe you inherited a long gun from your grandpa, or maybe you met a guy in a gun show parking lot and paid cash and then never Googled anything related to that gun. So here’s a question for you: how many people like you exist, and how many of those type guns are suitable for urban combat against AR-15s with state-of-the-art optics? I know which of my guns are probably totally “in the black,” and I can’t imagine trying to mount an insurgency with any or all of them.
The fact is, most guys who have the kind of hardware suitable for a Civil War 2.0 have been shopping on Gunbroker or Armslist, and/or have filled out FFL paperwork like law-abiding citizens. I seriously doubt there’s enough firepower totally hidden from the NSA to sustain any kind of real rebellion.
So the registration ship has sailed. They know what you have and where to find you. Now, here’s how they’re going to get you to turn it over without a fight.
Hitting You Where It Hurts
When the government outlaws semi-automatic firearms, they won’t send cops or troops door-to-door to take them. No, first they’ll send out letters saying they know what you have, and that you have to turn it over by a given deadline or face a penalty.
It’ll be up to you to prove that you’re clean, and that you’ve handed over everything. They’ll have a list, and if they think you’re still holding, they’ll hit you with asset freezes.
Imagine not being able to get any money out of your bank account or from your credit cards, because your assets are frozen. The federal and state governments already do this if you owe back taxes–a simple letter to your bank, and all of your cards stop working. (Here’s an account from one of our editors of how this actually happened to him.) The bank doesn’t care about you, and they don’t have the interest or resources to find out if the government’s claim against you is bogus. No, they’ll just freeze your assets until you get things sorted with the government and the government tells them to unfreeze it all.
The other thing they’ll do is take your children.
Do you think Child Protective Services is going to let your children live in a house with potentially dangerous firearms? No way. Your kids will get picked up at school and taken into custody, and a social worker will show up at your door with the cops. Only when a thorough search has been conducted and the authorities are completely satisfied that your property is 100% gun-free will they let you see your little ones again. After all, we have to protect the children.
You’re not going to shoot at those cops, either, because then your kids will just end up in the foster system as wards of the state.
Not Nearly Enough for a Revolution
Oh, I’m sure there are folks reading this who are so off-grid that none of the above can touch them. Their guns are totally invisible to the NSA, their assets are all in the form of cash and physically held precious metals, and their kids are home-schooled on a well-guarded ranch.
But is that blessed group big enough to overthrow a determined US government? No, it ain’t.
The measures outlined above–a de facto gun registration database courtesy of the NSA and its private-sector allies, asset freezes for non-compliance, and the threat of CPS visits that hold your children hostage–will be sufficient to take well over 90% of the lawfully held guns out of civilian hands, all without firing a single shot.
The bitter truth is this: there will be no confiscation shock troops for you and your buddies to shoot back at, and we will discover too late that the rights-defenders’ fantasy–of one, crystal-clear moment when it’s time for everyone to rise up as one and take it all back–has been the establishment’s biggest ally and freedom’s deadliest enemy.
Why do you think they’ve let you have guns for this long? Because those guns have given you a false sense of security and kept you from doing something truly dangerous, like mass-organizing to pull all your money out of the big banks and to vote out the incumbents.
So if you’ve sat idly by, fondling your firearms and watching the surveillance state expand while your paycheck shrinks, relying on your gun stash to bail you out when things hit bottom, then the joke’s on you. You’ve already lost the war, and when you hand over your weapons it’ll be the last (and mostly symbolic) step in a process of total subjugation that slipped up and swallowed you while you were distracted with building your gun collection.
You may hate me and everything I’ve said here, but deep down, you know I’m right.
Update: A number of commenters are misreading this article. The headline doesn’t say I’ll hand them them over — it says you will. And yeah, I’m trolling you a bit with the tone of this piece by saying what you “will” and “won’t” do, but it’s because I’m trying to slap you awake. The main point that’s being made is this: if you’re waiting for a door-to-door confiscation, or even a national gun registry, then you’ll be waiting forever. Folks who like to talk about a causus belli will need get more creative in coming up with a “bright line”, because the ones so many of you are waiting for won’t ever appear. If this article has spurred you to think more clearly about what the end of liberty might actually look like, and about what you’ll do under scenarios other than the classic door-to-door confiscation scenario, then it has done its job.
Update 2: I’ll be posting follow-ups to this piece and listing them in the newly created Follow-ups section, below. If you’re interested in keeping up, you can bookmark this page and check back.