(Are you sure? A military comprised primarily of sons, daughters, brothers and sisters of gun owning families.)
It is time for Americans to start thinking seriously about the possibility that their sons and daughters may be put in the untenable position going house-to-house, confiscating firearms and ammunition from their friends and family? What will they do?
Throughout the military – the kids, grandkids, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and friends of veterans and gun enthusiasts are likely weighing the possibilities of such an order and just how far they personally would be willing to go in carrying out something that would rip the very fabric of this nation apart and go against everything they’ve sworn to protect. In thinking the unthinkable, certainly they must be questioning the end game and who are the real good guys. Especially, when they see this President fail to pay homage to the recent death of the greatest American Sniper in history, Chris Kyle. When they see this Commander in Chief fail to engage while our Ambassador in Benghazi and former Navy Seals are in the fight of their lives, wouldn’t a reasonable soldier reevaluate Obama’s fidelity to the code – we leave no one behind. When Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security Report labels returning Veterans and Tea Party people as potential terrorists, one has to ask what the heck is going on. When they see towns putting in place plans for confiscation of firearms from the “unruly” during emergency, when veterans are receiving letters deeming them incompetent to own firearms without due process – aren’t those in service wondering if they themselves will be the ones seen as threats, will they be the “unruly” that towns are talking about?
Will soldiers look closely if they are ordered to search American families’ homes? Will most intentionally not see the old double barrel shotgun in the closet of another soldier’s father or grandfather? Will they speak quietly to local veterans and relatives telling them where they might search next? Will enough refuse, making it impossible for those like Hagel, Kerry, Brennan and certain military brass to fully weaken America and her future? The veterans I know understand that the Second Amendment is in fact the keystone of the Constitution and without it – all the others would be put in jeopardy (if not now, then surely in a disarmed future). The Founders certainly understood this, why can’t Obama and his friends?
I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know the time is close when each of us will need to choose our paths. It may not be today, but I can see it coming just over the horizon.
Will a young soldier choose Obama and their personal career over the Constitution, over the freedom of their families and their families’ families, over the sacrifices of veterans in whose boots each soldier now walks; over the ability of their own wives, daughters and sons to defend themselves; and over the ability (in an increasingly dangerous world) of ordinary Americans to stand against tyranny? What choices will local Sheriffs, FBI agents, ATF agents, local police make? What do you think?
If you are on the ‘progressive’ left, what do you think? Are you sure? Really?
Let’s look at a few demographics that might cause you on the left to reassess your certainty.
In 2001, a survey was completed by Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in North Carolina of the 50 states, DC and Territories asking people nationwide if there are any guns in their homes. The percentage of people having guns in their homes ranged from 59.7% in Wyoming to 3.8% in Washington, D.C. with an average in the 50 states (plus DC) of 37.6%. Even though this poll is somewhat dated, it’s sufficiently accurate for purpose of this article (if anything the percentage of gun owners in many states is rising now).
The military also tracks statistics regarding its forces. In 2010, the available pool of 18-24 years old enlistees was 29,004,915 and the number of actual recruits was 156,289 – just .005% (half of one percent). Additionally, they calculate the numbers of recruits coming from the various states in terms of the number available in relationship to the number of recruits actually provided. For example: The state pulling the most weight compared to the others was Florida (+2.30%) by providing 7.50% of military recruits even though they have available only 5.20% of the nation’s 18 to 24 year olds. (Note: comparing Florida’s recruiting numbers with its gun numbers is interesting because the gun percentage has been negatively effected, skewed downward, by the massive number of retirees in Florida with no guns.) The state puling the least weight compared to the others was – wait for it – New York. NY had 6.6% of the nations’ available 18 to 24 year olds but provided only 4.10% of the nation’s recruits for a net contribution of minus -2.5%. New York is not contributing its ‘fair share’.
The regional numbers gives us a sense who’s doing their fair share (in terms of slacking or pulling their weight) providing for the defense of the nation:
- NORTHEAST REGION had 18.2% of the available pool of recruits but provided only 12.7% of recruits giving a contribution number of –5.5%.
- NORTH CENTRAL REGION had 23.3% of the available pool of recruits but provided only 20.2% of recruits giving a contribution number of –2.1%.
- SOUTH REGION had 35.8% of the available pool of recruits but provided only 43.4% of recruits giving a contribution number of +7.6%.
- WEST REGION had 23.7% of the available pool of recruits but provided only 23.6% of recruits giving a contribution number of -.1%. (This group would have been a net positive contribution region but for the presence of California’s minus 1.6%.)
[22 of 50 states did not provide a percentage of actual recruits equal to or greater than their percentage of available 18 to 25 year olds]
Now let’s look at how the above numbers relate to the percentage of guns in homes in each state. The 22 states plus DC with a net negative contribution to the nation’s defense had an average of 31.26% of their households having guns. The 27 states having a net positive contribution to the nation’s defense had an average of 42.07% of households having guns.
The 10 states (plus DC) with the lowest percentage of guns in households had 33% of the national pool of available 18-24 year olds and only provided 25.02% of recruits. They had an average of 16.45% of households having guns. Slackers.
The 10 states with the highest percentage of guns in households had 9% of the national pool of available 18-24 year olds and provided 10.81% of the nations recruits. They had an average of 52% of their households having guns. Oorah!
Conclusions to be drawn from the above percentages are that states with the lowest number of households having guns are the biggest slackers when it comes to the nation’s defense and states with the highest percentage of guns in their households make the biggest contribution to the nation’s defense.
I’m not knocking the recruits from the above states that failed to provide their ‘fair share’ of recruits. I honor them, like I do all veterans. It’s not their fault where they live. But how much do you want to bet these recruits from slacker states overwhelming came from the families having guns in their households?
My brothers and I all have guns; we’ve had guns since we were very young. I used to take my shotgun to the middle school I attended and keep it in my locker so I could shoot a few squirrels after the school day. No big deal. I’m the youngest of four boys and every one of us joined the military because our father served in WWII (he was in General Patton’s 3rd Army, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was a guard at the Nuremberg War Trials). I can say without doubt it mattered a lot to me that my dad served; and I would suspect that that still matters to those who serve that some of their family members also served. When I served, most of the men and women in our P-3 squadron had family who had served before them. I think it is safe to assume that prior military service of family members is a common trait of today’s soldier (by their fruit you will recognize them).
Additionally, military families are much more likely to have guns in their households than civilian families; and thus it stands to reason, that families who have family members who have served are also more likely to have guns. (Guns are fun – whether for hunting, target shooting, competition events for men, women, boys and girls, gay, lesbian, LGBT, etc. – and guns are necessary for self-defense and unfortunately for keeping the politicians from slipping over the line into tyranny.)
Regretfully for today’s young people, (according to a 2009 Gallup Poll) “Veteran status is just slightly above 10% for men under age 35, rises slightly among men between 35 and 54, and then begins to rise sharply among men 55 years of age or older”. In 2009, only about 7% of men 18-24 years old and 2% of women the same age were either veterans or on active duty. Men 80-84 years old in 2009 (WWII service), 74% were veterans. This decline in reported veteran/active duty status correlates perfectly to the end of the draft in 1973 (Vietnam war ended in 1975). However, given that every man and woman currently serving are volunteers (about 1,350,000 in 2006), I would expect that most of these soldiers come from families with brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, or grandfathers who served; and as such, are from families who are more likely to have guns.
How about political party affiliation, the military and guns?
Gallup reported that 34% of veterans and those on active duty (2009) identified as Republicans, 29% identified as Democrats (coming from gun families I bet), and 33% as Independents. An interesting tidbit in the 2009 Gallup Poll, is that the number veterans of the WWII generation identifying as Republicans was only 2 percentage points greater than non-veterans identifying as Republicans, which indicates to me that almost everyone knew WHY they were fighting (both parties knew).
[From visiting military forums from time to time, I get a sense that the number of military identifying as Independents and Libertarians is growing.]
However, I have two polls for you to consider, one from 2008 showed that McCain had support of 68% of the military and the other in 2012 showed that Romney had support of 66%. So let’s just say that the Republican candidate (or the not Democrat candidate) is likely to get over 60% of military support. Unfortunately, many times it appears (for some mysterious reason) difficult to get ballots to our overseas military in a timely manner (40% of 2012 Connecticut military ballots were never received).
Regarding guns in homes and Party identification, the NYT (can’t believe I’m citing the NYT) had an interesting article this past December. The article broke down the likelihood of having guns in voters’ households by various factors such as Party, race, gender, region, population density, etc. based upon 2008 exit polling. Overall, in 2008, 42% of all voters had guns in their households. However, only 31% of Democrats had guns in their households in 2008 and that number has been decreasing for the past 40 years. Republicans had a respectable 56% of their voter households having guns. So we have a military that consistently votes Republican, military families more likely than civilians to have guns, gun states provide more than their ‘fair share’ of military recruits and Republican families more likely to have guns. All good. (Unfortunately, the exit polling reflected in the article did not provide info for Independents, etc. It does cite a survey indicating about 30% of Independents, 50% of Republicans, and 22% of Democrats had guns in 2010.) Given the current Obama assault on the Second Amendment, I would expect that the number of Republican, Libertarian and Independent gun owners is increasing, sales certainly are.
Obama evidently won the firearms salesman of the year in New Hampshire gun store.
[If we could only get Democrats to start enjoying gun activities more, maybe we could bridge the partisan divide.]
From the same poll, let’s look at race and guns in American households. The article indicates that 37% of white Democrat voters have guns in their households and 55% of white Republicans; 28% of Hispanic Democrats and 32% of Hispanic Republicans voters have guns in their households; 5% of Asian Democrats have guns in their households and 22% of Asian Republicans; and 17% of Black Democrat voters have guns in their households and 41% of Black Republicans have guns. Again Republicans (probably mostly conservatives and independents, as opposed to establishment GOP) of every ethnic group have a much greater likelihood of having guns in their homes. I would suggest a substantial majority of those from every ethnic group serving likely come from families that have guns in their households.
I’m encouraged by the percentage of Black voters having guns in their homes. Recently, many Americans have been reintroduced to the fact that historically gun control has been about black people control and that the NRA was founded by religious leaders who wanted to protect freed slaves from the KKK. In fact, recently the NRA introduced a young black man, Colion Noir, as a new contributor. Mr. Noir apparently has a remarkable ability to present the issues concerning gun control in an easily understandable manner (he also has a nice Facebook page).
In 2010, the breakdown according to race and gender of the military’s Active Component Enlistment was basically 69.2% White (72% of male recruits are White, 57.9% of female recruits are White), 18.2% Black (15.8% of male recruits are Black, 27.9% of female recruits are Black), 15.7% Hispanic and 80.3% non-Hispanic (a bit confusing because numbers don’t add up – maybe some recruits are reporting multiple ethic backgrounds – like Sen. Elizabeth Warren saying she’s Native American when she’s not). Women make up 14% of today’s Active Component of Enlistment in the military (18-44 year olds).
Women gun owners are rising fast in their numbers. Seventy Three percent of gun dealers said the number of women buying guns has increased in 2011. There’s also been a 51.5% increase in the number of women participating in target shooting from 2001 to 2011, just over 5 million women. The number of women owning firearms has jumped too – from 13% in 2005 to 23% in 2013. Excellent!
So what does this mean? It means that the vast majority of military would have to disarm members of their own families, or their friends’ families if Obama gives the order to confiscate the firearms owned by law abiding Americans.
Would they? I don’t know. I hope not, given that their allegiance is supposedly to the Constitution and not Obama. I can’t believe that our military would go in lock step to implement such an order.
Would they sabotage Obama, Holder and Napolitano’s efforts? I don’t know. I think that’s possible, maybe ever probable.
I do hope that those in the military are seriously considering their options. Maybe they will follow the lead of Obama’s union buddies and organize a massive sit-down strike or a massive resignation based upon a reasonable belief that the order is unlawful and in violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Who knows? Maybe a few in the JAG Corps are privately preparing (at least thinking though the procedures, arguments and process) a possible legal action challenging the lawfulness of such an order to the Federal Courts.
I do believe that it won’t be pretty.
Don’t the Occupy Wall Street types realize that they too will have their guns taken? Don’t they realize the really rich they hate will probably always have access to guns? It could be a reason why some legislators are turning to the ideas of having expensive liability insurance for gun owners and high taxes on ammo. Poor and middle class people couldn’t afford to own or enjoy guns – leaving only government people, criminals and the well off having guns.
So what do I think gun owners might be thinking about these days?
I suppose some urban gun owners (where confiscation would likely first occur) are thinking about moving some of their guns to rural friends or family (maybe to family living in the south or Texas). Probably, some rural people are starting to hide a few of their weapons here and there. A few are probably buying guns that can’t be traced to them personally. People might be acquiring an old, broken gun or two, from friends or family to have something available to turn over if there’s an unlawful search by the powers that be (giving local law enforcement a reason to move on to the next house). A few people may be exploring the new reality of printing guns with 3D printers. Many, many people are buying up ammo and ordering new guns. People are buying guns in other states. I expect that many returning veterans and civilians thinking about talking to their doctors about some emotional issue, like a mild depression, are reconsidering it out of fear their doctor will rat them out and keep them from owning guns. Many people have joined the NRA, many are now networking, tens of thousands are protesting.
We all need to do what we can! Gun people need to get to know and support their local sheriff, talk to those in the military, talk to veterans, find attorneys who will represent those who are arrested for refusing to turn over firearms, support lawsuits against new gun laws, get involved in your community, get organizations to set up shooting competitions in their town for young people, get your kids involved in shooting competitions, call elected officials, and work to get those with a gun control fetish thrown out of office. We can’t allow the nanny state progressives to succeed in painting gun ownership and sport as anything other than something everyone should want to take part in (except those with serious mental illness; and no, having a sad day every once in a while is not a mental illness).
I pray confiscation doesn’t happen, but people in both the military and civilian worlds need to be prepared for the worst and decide how they will manage to hold to their principles. It could be that if millions of Americans (civilian and military) are prepared to be arrested for their right to keep firearms (taking a page from Martin Luther King), the government’s efforts would fall apart. However, if our military does prove itself to be willing to confiscate law abiding American citizens guns, then maybe we don’t deserve our freedoms – and all the sacrifices of all veterans who have come and gone before will have been for naught.