Stop Wishing for a Revolution


In case you haven’t noticed, the revolution has begun.

This past Sunday, June 8th, two… uh… “patriots” started the revolution that so many long for. These two highly-trained, brave, dedicated defenders of freedom chose to spark this revolution by ambushing two police officers who were tyrannically oppressing slices of pizza at CiCi’s. Our heroic resistance fighters also managed to kill an American citizen who was evilly exercising his 2nd Amendment right to carry a concealed pistol. The revolutionaries then built an impregnable bunker out of Walt-Mart merchandise, because that’s what highly-trained revolutionaries do. And they bravely fought police who were unreasonably trying to restrict their freedom to murder people. By “bravely fought” I mean they shot wildly, missed their targets, then tried and failed to carry out a suicide pact. The male revolutionary was shot by his wife but died from police gunfire. The wife, in an act of cowardice sure to please the founding fathers, shot herself in the head.

Hurray. Viva la Revolution.

Since I started writing about the importance of the 2nd Amendment, I’ve done a lot of reading on pro-2A web sites and blogs. Most of what I’ve seen has been reasonable. Some of it hasn’t. Too often, I’ve seen either veiled hints or threats of revolution, or claims that America desperately needs one.

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“Revolutionary” posters, shirts and bumper stickers now seem to be more popular than ever before. Likewise with novels and nonfiction books about the coming “Second American Revolution”. It would seem that a growing number of people actually do want another revolution. And once that number becomes big enough (as it apparently has), the statistical likelihood of someone carrying out an act to further this revolution increases.

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To a degree, I understand where some of this feeling comes from. I get the belief that the federal government has overstepped its authority. I believe the current administration has shown, especially with the Benghazi and Bowe Bergdahl incidents, that it’s badly disconnected from the public it’s sworn to serve.

I get being upset at the government. But I don’t get this:

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Many people across the political aisle from me think the very possibility of a revolution is ridiculous. They write snarky, snide comments about wannabe revolutionaries. They ask rhetorical questions like, “You think you can fight the government? Then you better have tanks and fighter planes, because you can’t fight a real army with just those stupid assault rifles.” But those snarky, snide commenters are wrong. Unfortunately, a real revolution could happen, and could happen today. I’ve written about how and why American civilians could fight the government with weapons we have now ( As a cop and combat veteran, I know what a well-trained fighter with a rifle can do.

I disagree with the revolutionary rhetoric. But I don’t disagree because I think a revolution isn’t possible. I disagree because I know a revolution is possible. And I know it would suck.

This might be a surprise for the revolutionary crowd, but sometimes war isn’t fun. Especially if it’s happening around your homes and families. I doubt the Iraqis enjoyed having air strikes hit their neighborhoods. I know the Afghans didn’t have a good time cowering in their homes while we fought Taliban just outside.

So, “revolutionaries”, if this wonderful Second American Revolution starts, do you think your homes and families will somehow be exempt from the chaos? Maybe you guys haven’t really thought this through.

A lot of so-called revolutionaries seem to be just about as capable, brave and well-trained as the two morons (I refuse to name them) who launched the pathetically stupid attack in Vegas Sunday. My guess is that those who loudly proclaim “revolution!” are the least capable of actually fighting one. In a real revolution, most of the 400 pound keyboard commandos who think they’re unstoppable anti-government warriors because they take their AR-15 to the range once a year would either die immediately or flee after the first fight. Just like in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’d be the dumb ones who were killed off first.

Yes, I know there are actual fighters out there. I personally know many trained, experienced, brave men who aren’t running their mouths about starting a war, but who would take up arms if they felt there was no choice. They aren’t plotting to shoot random cops or concealed carriers. They don’t plan on committing suicide behind a makeshift barrier of Walt-Mart toilet paper and candy bars. They’re actually not planning anything; they’re living peaceful lives, staying fit and proficient, not presenting a threat to anyone. But if the government crossed the line they’d resist, and resist well. They’d be the real fighters, the guys who would still be there after the aforementioned dumb ones died off.

Those potential real fighters aren’t reason for concern. They’re simply on guard. Every American citizen should be on guard against government overreach. The people to worry about are the stupid fools who think they’re somehow “doing something” by murdering random people. The people to worry about are the ones who desperately wish for a revolution, without knowing or caring about the suffering it would cause the country they claim to love.

I love my country. I love the freedom it stands for. I’ve gone to war twice to defend that freedom. I understand that, if things get far worse than they are now, it may be necessary to fight against our own government. I don’t think we’re anywhere near that point. And I don’t want us to ever get there.

Want to know why?

In Afghanistan I watched an old lady desperately herding children toward a house so they’d be safe from the firefight she knew was about to start. A Taliban fighter shot past her, at me, and missed badly. Snipers in the mountains behind us shot over our heads and hit two Taliban. The old woman’s body language betrayed her terror; she frantically struggled to push the children forward, out of the crossfire, before both sides pulled triggers on scores of weapons. Later, when the fight really did start, helicopters fired machine guns and missiles into woods right behind an Afghan home. Taliban fighters opened fire on a young boy who walked onto the roof (they must have thought he was one of us) and forced him to flee in panic back into the house. A firefight erupted around the house while the family hid inside. In another fight, I watched French soldiers firing anti-tank missiles over a village to hit enemy positions on a mountainside. One missile malfunctioned, went off course and slammed straight into a house. An innocent woman was killed. Later two young girls were killed by indirect fire.

Pardon me if I don’t want that to be my 70-year-old mother, trying desperately to get my children to safety. Pardon me if I don’t want that to be my son, being shot at for no reason. Pardon me for not wanting my backyard to become a battlezone or impact area for an air strike.

And by the way, the houses over there are built to stop bullets. Our houses aren’t.

Every war, no matter when or where, kills civilians. Every revolution leaves innocents caught between opposing forces. And revolutionaries tend to be very casual about the lives of people who they think aren’t revolutionary enough. Throughout history, rebels and revolutionaries have killed their own people for daring to not support the cause. Call me crazy, but I really don’t want to see our civilians trapped in a crossfire and killed by errant bullets, missiles, mortars, or air strikes. I don’t want people who are just trying to survive to be murdered for their neutrality. I don’t care whether those civilians are liberal, conservative, or neither. They’re Americans. They’re the people I’m sworn to defend.

So maybe our aspiring revolutionaries should quit wishing for our people to suffer horrible tragedies. Maybe they should stop imagining themselves as warriors, if in reality they can barely operate a weapon, are so out of shape they can’t run 100 yards, and get all their “training” from YouTube videos. Maybe they should stop seeing themselves like this:

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if they actually look more like this:

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If this wonderful “revolution” will be started, led or fought by the kind of raging, car-stealing, murderous clowns who attacked Vegas last weekend, then screw the revolution and anyone who supports it. Nobody should waste time fantasizing about a civil war where only the bad guys die (no war has ever been that simple or easy). Instead we should just keep working together to achieve peaceful solutions. Because if someone actually loves this country, they shouldn’t want to see it torn apart by war.

Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck, and brave armed citizen Joseph Wilcox, rest in peace.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

62 Responses to “Stop Wishing for a Revolution”

  1. 1 Nathalie Leclercq

    “… And revolutionaries tend to be very casual about the lives of people who they think aren’t revolutionary enough.” Brilliant analysis. Sometimes I think your blog articles are even better than your novels…

    • Thanks Nathalie. Or does that mean my novels suck? 🙂

      • 3 "Greg"

        I think your novels are pretty decent… BUT I am basing that on the first chapter where the army chick meets the French soldier, and also I am catching up with you cop stories from the past several months!

  2. 5 Travis

    Those two POS’s weren’t ‘revolutionaries’. They were meth heads and cowards.
    You are absolutely correct about those that would actually fight if the worst case scenario came about. The ones that don’t wish for one because they’ve actually thought through what it would entail. Mike Vanderboegh has written quite a bit about the subject and his fears are the same as yours.
    If the second American civil war starts, it will be started by the feds. There won’t be another Fort Sumter.
    Thanks for another great article Mr. Hernandez.

    • Travis,

      I held off on calling them meth heads because, although that’s definitely believable, as far as I know it was just one neighbor who said he thought they were always high on meth. They were definitely cowards though. I think their pathetic “last stand” showed that.

      I’ll have to look up Vanderboegh’s work. Thanks for the heads up, and thanks for commenting.

  3. Yes, great advice.

    Missionary Jack C Slaughter Juanchorrey #10 Fracc. Los Alamitos C.P. 99390 Jerez, Zacatecas México Tel. #011-52-494-945-7746


  4. A very good article, pointing out that war is not fun. In addition to that, I’d say that even if one manages to start a revolt, it won’t be run by level-headed people of good intent and understandable grievances they’d like redressed.

    As current example, VICE is doing a nice series called “Russian Roulette” on the Ukraine conflict(s) and, while still biased, it is clear to see that those running the revolution are not the ones who should – but, as everywhere, those willing to grasp as much power as they can.

    • Tierlieb,

      And if anyone ever claims to be surprised that crazies and egomaniacs also rush to the sound of the guns, well, they don’t know human nature or history very well.

      Look at the Cliven Bundy standoff. Yes, some true believers showed up. And they were joined by a bunch of nutjobs and morons including at least one fake Army Ranger and these two ridiculous idiots. A real revolution would draw some truly dedicated and serious people, but it would also attract a legion of clowns and dolts.

  5. 11 Old AF Sarge

    Good article Chris. I get tired of these knuckleheads on the Internet proclaiming how patriotic they are and that the system is broken. Things are messed up but they are nowhere near “start shooting” bad. Personally, I don’t think it will get the far. If it does, it’s because “we the people” fell asleep at the wheel and let the crazies drive the agenda.

    • Sarge,

      I agree, stuff will only get truly bad if we let it. In a sense, the crazies perform a valuable service. They sound warnings well in advance of any real threat of a revolution. I think they’re crying wolf, but at least they’re letting the powers that be know that some people are getting fed up.

  6. 13 Paul

    These people are not revolutionaries. They are murderers. Unfortunately there are people would want these asshats as you call them to represent the pro gun, revolutionary crowd because it fits their agenda. Call them what they are. They don’t speak for the pro-constitutional tea party types who don’t support larger government.

    • Paul,

      Agreed, they’re nothing but murderers. They don’t speak for the Tea Party any more than Jared Loughery speaks for the Democratic Party. I feel the same way about conspiracy theorists; nobody who claims 9/11 or Sandy Hook were government conspiracies represents me in any way, even if we agree on the importance of the 2nd Amendment,

  7. well put sir

  8. 17 Sme

    Why do we give these kind of people the notoriety and publicity? UGH! So sad for the victims….not just the ones they killed, but families (both work-related and nuclear). Give more publicity to the victims and shut these mental cases down – one way or another, I find it hard to believe they would have contributed to society in any way. Your comments are well-said and backed up with excellent, but gruesome examples. Not sure what the answer is to these types of people in our society, but for sure – give them as little publicity before/after as possible.

    • Sme,

      I agree, which is why I refused to use their names. And I won’t print their stupid manifesto. The best thing their memories can do is crawl into a corner and crumble to dust like a dead cockroach.

  9. Batten down your hatches, Chris, and check your spam filters.
    This will get you on a hatemail list from the nutjobber contingent.
    And then the electron-powered heavy tantrums will start.
    Raging common sense and brutal reality usually does that to them…

  10. 21 Rusty

    On point, and well-said, but allow me to offer another perspective.

    Revolutions and civil wars are bad. You know this from firsthand experience, and a study of history or simple look at international news tells the rest of us. Nobody sane wants that to happen here. Yet, every year, the people who make and enforce policy in America push us closer to that line you mention, where violence to protect life and liberty becomes necessary if we’re to continue to call ourselves free people.

    We do all those approved things to slow things down. We vote, we write letters to the editor, we volunteer for campaigns, and yet year by year the noose draws tighter.

    So, some of us rattle the sabre a little to remind the management that there’s an emergency backup plan to peacable society, and it’s nasty, and they really don’t want to go there. We don’t either, but it’s important that our resolve is clear.

    Does it bother people that we talk about revolution? Of course it does. It’s supposed to. People need to be uneasy about this subject. People need to be thinking about what could happen, and what part they might be called upon to play.

    Do we have to make waves now? Well, now is when we can. I would rather talk about pretty much anything other than how to deal with agents provocateur or how to disable an MRAP, but this is information that may someday be useful and the window for disseminating it may not always be open.

    With just a little luck, enough of the right people may be made so uncomfortable that they back off and leave us alone. That’s the best of all possible worlds for most of us.

    And, just so you know…us old fat guys who don’t get enough range time have families we love and liberties we cherish, too. And if my best contribution to freedom turns out to be acting as a mine canary who alerts you guys to imminent danger by getting squashed by the feds for running my mouth, so be it.

    • 22 Travis

      Very well stated, sir.

    • Rusty, thx for the offer but I really don’t need any “canaries” today. I suggest you find another hobby. Try Philately. Or Bingo. They’re less stressful and not likely to make you end up in jail.

      • 24 JimP

        “Rusty, thx for the offer but I really don’t need any “canaries” today. I suggest you find another hobby. Try Philately. Or Bingo. They’re less stressful and not likely to make you end up in jail.”

        When The United States Government starts putting Americans in jail because of something they said, it is no longer a legitimate American government. Either the Constitution means what it says, or it means whatever they tell us it says. If the latter is the case, it can and does mean anything and nothing at all. Did I swear an Oath to support and defend anything and nothing? I surely hope not. If this is the case, we are rudderless and this experiment in self-governance is surely doomed.

    • Rusty,

      I understand your point and intent. My argument isn’t with guys who dread a revolution, it’s with the guys who fantasize about how great one would be. Thanks for your perspective.

  11. 26 Joe in PNG

    One little fact the Pro Revolutionary crowd tends to forget is that the Americal Revolution was the importance of representation. They had no say or voice in the British government.
    This is not true today!! Today, Americans do have a say in who gets elected- you may not like who gets the vote, and fraud does exist- and vote fraud has always existed.

    Another American Revolution would make the French one look like a picnic.

    • Joe,

      Yeah, a revolution here would get real ugly, real quick. Plenty of innocent people would be caught in the middle, just like in Iraq and Afghanistan. It wouldn’t be fun, and ultimately wouldn’t be a guarantee of any change.

      • 28 Joe in PNG

        The history of revolutions in general is not a very happy subject. Much of the time you wind up with a bloody failure (Prague, Budapest, Paris 1871, 1848, ect). Other times you wind up with a worse government than you started with (Russia, China, Cambodia, The French Revolution).

        I’m pretty much convinced 1776 would be an unrepetable fluke.

  12. 29 Rusty

    If it was merely a matter of not liking the election results I would agree with you, but it goes much deeper than that. There are some things that our concept of limited government places beyond the reach of electorates, congresses or courts. This was expressed in a topical way in the first eight amendments in the Bill of Rights, and more generally in the Ninth and Tenth. The federal government is limited to certain narrow fields of activity that we as citizens are obliged to support and defer to, and our individual state constitutions add other responsibilities and duties, but beyond those spheres we are supposed to be at liberty, free to act as we see fit so long as we respect the rights of others to do the same. Our lives and property are inviolate without due process of law.

    In an ideal world, the electorate would wake up and elect bold reformers to sweep away the accumulated tyrannical grunge and restore government to its proper scope and limits and once in a blue moon we actually get a representative who would do so, but the sad ground truth is that there are powerful constituencies around every law, regulation and program, that the System always wins in the end, and that most voters like it that way.

    I follow the peaceable, lawful forms because my belief in the ideal of America requires that of me and demands that I give the other guy the first shot, but unless I and those like me are willing to surrender all that belongs to us by right, I know that shot is coming. It hasn’t come yet, and may not in my lifetime, but I don’t believe we can escape that now.

    • 30 Joe in PNG

      And sadly, much of that is because your friends, family, and neighbors want it. As the great philosopher Pogo said “We have met the enemy, and it is us”. Ponder just how many of today’s government abuses are a result of yesterday’s demand that Something Must Be Done about the threat of Communist/Hippies/Muslims/(fillintheblank).

      And thus, the biggest problem, what to do if the revolution winds up being successful? What do you do with all the people who may vote wrong, or really miss the way things were? Chances are you wind up with the single party tyrannical state you originally fought to prevent.

      • Joe,

        That’s one of the questions I had when I debated a group of what I call “intellectual anarchists” years back. They all insisted government is the problem, there’s no such thing as a real government anyway, it’s just a heavily armed gang, it needs to be overthrown, etc. I would ask, what do you think is going to replace it? Do you think society is going to live by the principles you think are so important, or are people going to act like they always do, and make someone king/president/chief/whatever? Humans will act like humans. They’ll put someone in charge, and the people in charge will then be susceptible to all the temptations and weaknesses that every human being has.

  13. 32 Maya

    Thanks for this article, Chris. It’s a very nuanced look at what many people want to believe are binary, either /or situations. (As in; “You’re either with us or agin’ us”).And it also points out something that I don’t think would-be revolutionaries haven’t really thought through: that life is not a video game in which the enemy is just a collection of pixels that reassemble somewhere else when your AK-47 disassembles them. The “enemy” is not recognizable by the way he dresses (in jalaba) or by the color of his skin (not your color) or by the language he speaks. The “enemy” is your next-door neighbor who happens to not share your belief that revolution is the way, the truth, and the life. In the case of these two, the “enemy” was their own family (sheeple) who did not believe as they did.

    This is the sort of situation that I was thinking of when I commented on a different thread on your blog about the power of words and ideas. The hatred this couple felt for … well, that’s part of the issue, isn’t it? That hatred was so poorly directed that it completely missed the target it was presumably aimed at (the terrorist) and hit innocent bystanders—two policemen and a good guy with a gun). That hatred began with words—hostile words, negative words, accusing words, hateful words—that escalated over time and with repetition and reinforcement by people like Alex Jones, Glenn Beck or other inciters to revolution into action.

    And that is why I’m on a crusade of sorts to try to get people to think about the way they communicate with each other and to think about the words they consume without thinking—words that may pump up their own hostility toward a person, a group, a nation, a family member.

    So, you have my thanks for taking this on and being, as usual, eloquent. You and I may not agree about the qualities of the current administration, but I’d like to think that does not mean we cannot be allies in trying to build a peaceful society in which diversity of thought is a strength not a weakness.

    • Maya,

      I understand your point, but I don’t think the words are the problems. The words are simply manifestations. The problems are the real beliefs behind those words. In a sense, the kind of stupid, revolutionary rhetoric these two bozos spouted was a good thing, because it (should have) showed everyone what dangerous idiots they were. I’d rather see people being honest about what they believe than being “nice” by lying.

      • 34 Maya

        With respect, Chris, your comment indicates you didn’t understand my point. Words aren’t simply manifestations of beliefs—they also help establish, feed and amplify beliefs and emotions. They are part of a cycle of emotional escalation and they are extremely powerful. “I hate” “I love” “I’m sorry” are all powerful, powerful constructs, and when applied to the same situation, will yield very different results.

        I wasn’t talking about the words that the Vegas shooters were spouting, but the words being spammed into the ether online and in print from a wide variety of sources that, as I said above, feed and amplify negativity, paranoia, and hostility in our society by jacking up the emotional intensity of people like the Vegas “revolutionaries”. They were consumers of these words spoken loudly and repeatedly by media pundits that seem to encourage revolution, but who would be shocked as horrified if one actually occurred.

        This isn’t something that happens overnight or in a vacuum. It’s an iterative process that may begin in any number of ways and be built on a variety of beliefs or feelings. But the hateful rhetoric that’s all over the internet and airwaves fuels it and directs it at different targets—the government, a racial group, a religious group, the president, the first lady, immigrants, whomever.

        If someone who hates immigrants says something hateful about immigrants in a public forum, for example, it engenders more hostility. People who feel compassion for immigrants react with anger at rhetoric that dehumanizes them. People who feel anger at immigrants become more angry as a result of having their feelings fueled. At this point in a number of debates, the hostile rhetoric has spiraled out of control.

        We shouldn’t have to “pretend” to be nice. We should be able to find it in ourselves to simply not be hostile or hateful or at least not to pass the hostility and hatred along to other people who may be far less able to control it.

  14. 35 Alex

    Hello , i seen this post on my facebook wall and i came here to read because im kinda bored and the title sounds a bit interesting. Revolution is not the way , mass protests are the peacefull way i think , and when i say mass i mean VASTS amounts of people not 1000 or 5000 , no need for killing or to be killed. I would also want you to know that i piss on US foreign policy, you are very agressive and you are hurting/killing ALOT of innocent people, don’t get mad at me , im talking about the government , not the americans perse , even tho is the americans who go there and there and pull the trigger , or drop the bombs.

    I really like the fact that you want to change the way your government does things and this must be done because ( my oppinion ) :

    1.Countless innocent lifes would be spared , american lifes and from other country.I’m sure that you don’t like sending your kids to war either , and i also think that most of you already realised that no one really is threatening your “national security” , it’s just bussiness and your kids are paying with their lifes so others get fat with riches.

    2.You would stop the risk of uniting pretty much everyone who has also “big guns” from probably annihilate you, because sooner or later someone will say THAT’S ENOUGH and more will join.You should know that it doesn’t feel very good when you are under someone else domination , so stop doing it to others.

    Thanks and i hope u are not offended by what i said.

    • Alex,

      I’m not offended at all, although of course I disagree with some of it. I also don’t know if large demonstrations really change things in America. We had huge anti-war demonstrations, but we still went to war. Here we really change things by voting, which is how I think it should be.

      • 37 Alex

        Then maybe you can vote for stoping to put your hands where it is not your business ? :)) if votes do really matter in US 🙂 just saying …

  15. 38 Don Davis

    Chris: Well said!

  16. Another aspect of touting ‘the revolution’ as the solution for whatever ills the ‘revolutionary’ is incensed about is that it excuses the ‘revolutionary’ from participating in the political process

    30 years ago Defensive Carry was discouraged in most of the U.S. & outright banned in 13 States.

    We didn’t become a country with some kind of Defensive Carry License legislation in every State, (the majority of the laws being shall issue!), by shooting policeman.

    We are here because of the political activism of everyday citizens learning how our political system works, and then using that knowledge to create change.

    It worked too, violent crime is down 40%, the murder rate is half of what is was & non-lethal gun crime is down 2/3s

    • 43 Maya

      The flip side of that coin is contained in a newly released study by the CDC which shows that gun injuries and deaths are significantly lower in states with fairly rigorous gun safety laws and lower gun ownership numbers than in states with loose laws and higher access to guns. Not surprising, I suppose.

      States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates
      (Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

      1 Louisiana 45.6 percent 18.91
      2 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.80
      3 Alaska 60.6 percent 17.41
      4 Wyoming 62.8 percent 16.92
      5 Montana 61.4 percent 16.74

      States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
      (Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

      50 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 3.14
      49 Hawaii 9.7 percent 3.56
      48 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.84
      47 New York 18.1 percent 5.11
      46 New Jersey 11.3 percent 5.46

      The press release on the study is at

      The raw data is at

      Also, violent crime may be down from the US’s previous highs, but the context for this is that our rates of gun violence and gun deaths is literally off the charts compared to other “first world” countries. Whether you feel this is acceptable or not may depend on your relationship with guns and how important a piece of your identity they are. Now, possibly the stress of living in America plays a bigger role in our high level of gun violence than access to guns. Either way, I think we have room for improvement.

      • Um yeah, I’m sorry but I can’t take your crusade seriously when you cite the VPC as a ‘source’ .

        See the VPC is a major source for “This isn’t something that happens overnight or in a vacuum. It’s an iterative process that may begin in any number of ways and be built on a variety of beliefs or feelings. But the (VPC’s) hateful rhetoric that’s all over the internet and airwaves fuels it and directs it at…” people who own and carry guns.

        If you want the real data, look at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, the CDC reports and the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports all of which are easily available from their respective websites.

        The numbers I quoted came directly from the UCR & the BJS

        But if you’ve bought into the propaganda pushed by the VPC & it’s fellow travelers get ready for some major cognitive dissonance

        • 45 Maya

          You assume I’m on a crusade. What crusade do you imagine it is?

          Also what hateful rhetoric has the VPC directed at people who own and carry guns? Please share sources. The VPC report is on the CDC data. The raw data is also at one of the links where you can look at it for yourself. If you’re proposing that the numbers are lies, then I’d ask what makes you think they are.

          The CDC’s numbers echo a 2013 International Health Data report by the Committee on Population, which is an academic organization whose members listed here:

          These are scholars from a variety of universities, not polemicists. Do you have any reason to distrust their data other than that it doesn’t agree with what you believe to be true?

          The CPOP study was a very broad look at injuries, disease and death in word populations, in which gun deaths and injuries was only one category they looked at—in other words, it wasn’t targeted to gun violence. It’s at:

          You can tunnel down through the data to see different breakouts, such as intentional deaths and accidental deaths. (Also, disturbingly high in the US, infant and maternal mortality.) The compilers of the data found the gun violence numbers from the US surprising and unexpected. They suggested that the difference was access. Which makes sense, doesn’t it? If there are more guns easily accessible in a population, then more crime will be committed with guns and more accidents will involve guns simply because there are more guns available to be involved in these incidents.

          There’s no cognitive dissonance involved in the different reports. Yes, the overall crime rate is down—a point I made in my comment that you apparently missed. My question is whether it being downgraded from horrific to 40% less horrific is something to pat ourselves on the back for and move on to a new subject or if we can cut these deaths down even further with an intelligent and rational approach to all the elements that are part of the problem.

          • I assume you’re on a crusade because “…And that is why I’m on a crusade of sorts to try to get people to think about the way they communicate with each other…” you claimed to be on a crusade.

            An example of the VPC duplicity is their youtube video

            _These are scholars from a variety of universities, not polemicists. Do you have any reason to distrust their data other than that it doesn’t agree with what you believe to be true?_

            Specifically to the report you’ve linked to? No I haven’t read it

            Generally, after 2 decades watching sleazy irrational mediapathic propaganda surrounding the ‘gun issue’? Heck Yes!

            Examples of hateful rhetoric?
            Is it hateful to libel the NRA by claiming we would welcome a civil war?

            To be called terrorists?

            To be told we’re just compensating for a small penis? (Even female gun owners?)

            To make a movie designed to destroy the NRA?

            To tell someone like me, who has carried a gun without issue for over 20 years now, that I have the potential to shoot up a school? Really!

            If the gun nutters who judge all gun owners by the actions of the violent criminal few tried to do the same with a skin color, or ethnicity, or gender, or profession, they would rightly be judged as bigots

            & I can continue this all day long…

            …but I’m not your research monkey, so I invite you to make the same effort I did, by going to the FBI website and downloading the spreadsheets they make available for tracking crime

            Then get the CDC Final Death Reports for the last 30 years from the BJS, and do the math yourself

            You’re also going to need to become familiar with the history of Defensive Carry legislation, we didn’t get DCL’s nationwide overnight, it’s been a long drawn out affair to get laws passed in State after State after State

            Ask yourself these questions

            How come the blood bath we were warned would follow Defensive Carry laws never happened?

            As each state has returned to Defensive Carry what has happened to the crime rates in those states?

            Has an increase in the number of guns and gun owners been matched by an increase in crime?

            How often are Deterrence Rifles* used to murder people?

            Is violence in the US distributed evenly among the entire population, or is it confined to a few densely populated areas?

            Is violence in the US distributed evenly among the entire population, or are most offenders and their victims members of violently criminal subcultures?

            Until you can answer these questions you aren’t informed enough to have a valid opinion

            Trying to pick and choose just the data that supports your position is a useless endeavor, you have to look at the whole picture if you want to understand something.

            _They suggested that the difference was access. Which makes sense, doesn’t it?_
            Only superficially, because guns don’t fire themselves.

            Again to claim that I or my friends and family who own and carry guns are potential purveyors of psychotic gun violence is not only demonstrably untrue (in the historical sense), it is extremely offensive!

            *I’ve replaced the essentially meaningless term ‘assault rifle’ with the equally meaningless term ‘deterrence rifle’

          • 47 Maya

            The first link you posted isn’t from the VPC, it’s from a NYT op-ed column—it’s the writer’s personal opinion. You said the hateful rhetoric was from the VPC.

            The NYT blogger does make a rather sarcastic comment, which is obviously counter-productive, but it’s hardly hate-speech. In the rest of the piece, he expresses himself pretty moderately. If we’re going to compare the opinions of individuals, there are opinions of all shades on both sides. I’ve been on the receiving end of some nasty name-calling by gun enthusiasts who assumed I was afraid of guns or that I wanted to take their guns away from them simply because I supported more comprehensive background checks.

            Yes, I did say I was on a crusade to try to change the dialogue and if I could influence that op-ed writer, I’d ask him if his poke at the NRA was his idea of effective communication. Because it read like one more divisive and derisive comment that leads to alienation … like your “I’m not your research monkey” comment. I’m happy to do my own research.

            In the second link, Hillary Clinton does not call NRA members or gun owners or even activists terrorists. The CNN “journalist” frames her remarks up that way (conflict sells ad space), but it’s clear in her own words that she’s speaking to what she calls a “very, very small group” who are terrorizing other citizens by actually threatening or committing violence. “We’re going to have to do a better job protecting the vast majority of our citizens, including our children, from that very, very, very small group that is unfortunately prone to violence and now with automatic weapons can wreak so much more violence than they ever could have before.” She’s talking about the Adam Lanza’s of the world, not you or other NRA members who keep and bear arms safely and sanely.

            The next two links are also not from the VPC, but are the opinions of individual bloggers. They do not seem to represent any official group. They certainly don’t represent me. While I suspect that some gun owners get off on the sense of power they feel when people shy away from them in fear, I’m sure that most don’t. But these are not the majority of gun owners and the people who have a chance of shaping public policy know that. There are extremists and dogmatists in most groups that rally around an issue. I’ve seen actual hate speech and frustration on both sides of this one. Yes, there are people who want to get all guns out of private ownership; they’re on the extreme end of the spectrum. They’re entitled to their opinions, but they aren’t shaping the dialogue, nor do they—at this point in time—have much chance of shaping legislation.

            I’ll say this again: I’ve seen the FBI data. I’m not arguing that those data show that certain types of violent crime have been decreasing leading to an overall decrease since the 90’s. But the situation is more complex than crime simply being up or down, and that is what the CDC and CPOP data gets at. Many gun deaths are not crime-related. They’re suicides and accidental shootings.

            My best friends are gun owners and NRA members. They taught me and my oldest daughter to load, fire, unload, disassemble, clean and reassemble a variety of guns. If all gun owners were like them, our gun deaths—both intentional and accidental would plummet over night. No more three year-olds would shoot a playmate or a parent or a sibling because they found daddy’s gun, loaded and out where they could pick it up and fire it.

            But all gun owners are not them or you. Which leads me to this observation: You are incensed that anyone would think you were dangerous. But when I see a man approaching me with a gun, I don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. This is true whether I am unarmed or armed. Armed or unarmed, if I mistake him for a good guy and he’s not, I could end up dead. Armed, if I mistake him for a bad guy and he’s not he could end up dead. I’d prefer we not have to live like that. And if there are things we can do to keep guns out of the hands of people who are prone to violence or who have mood disorders, if we can hold gun owners to standards for training and safety, then I think it’s worth a calm rational discussion based on all the data.

          • I’ve been hesitant to respond because of the many factual errors in your last comment, compounded by what I hope is merely poor reading comprehension skills.

            If you can’t parse that the first example, referring to the VPC’s brand of insanity, described as a youtube video, and meant as a singular example, is it worth the effort to converse with you?

            Your attempts to spin the reports from major news agencies, the New York Times, CNN, FOX as the work of individual bloggers is as ludicrous as claiming such propaganda doesn’t shape the dialogue or legislation

            If these kinds of mediapathic reports didn’t shape opinion, how the heck do you think the whole notion that we have a ‘gun problem’ got started in the first place?

            Viewing the relevant data is useless if you aren’t asking the right questions.

            Besides the FBI data is only part of the puzzle, you need the data from the BJS if you’re seeking an informed opinion on these issues.

            You also have to know the history of gun control legislation & the history of Defensive Carry legislation, without that data you’ll remain clueless.

            Some of your best friends are gun owners? And some of my best friends are Jews.

            Look humans are messy, careless, and accident prone, but accidental gun deaths have stayed flat, about 650 or so a year for at least the last 2 decades.

            650 is barely a drop in the bucket when compared to all the other interesting ways 2 million plus of us find to do ourselves in annually.

            If you were concerned about accidental death rather than accidental gun death you would be campaigning for safer swing sets, or mandatory swimming survival training for infants

            And suicide is sad but do you know what separates suicidal people from the rest of us? They kill themselves, if they can’t use a gun they’ll use a rope, or poison, or a knife or…I’m not doing the whole laundry list

            Again if you were concerned about suicide instead of gun suicides you would be looking for ways to decrease suicidal ideation. (Hint, making people believe they have no say in their lives is profoundly depressing)

            I’m don’t care if people think I’m dangerous, what I object to is being accused of being EVIL, simply because I own & carry guns.

            Which brings us to your threat assessment skills.
            When you encounter a stranger, whether they are openly armed or not, you don’t know how big a threat they are to you and yours.

            If they attack you, whether they are armed or not, if you are armed then at the very worst have a parity of force. If you are unarmed then you are stuck with ‘might makes right’. You may claim you don’t want to live in such a world, wouldn’t it be worse to die there?

            A calm rational discussion will only be possible once you have all the data. Until you do any such discussion is worthless

        • 49 Maya

          Since I can’t reply to your most recent comment, I’ll do so here.

          I’m perfectly happy to do research. I’ve done a great deal of it. The problem is that the amount of research I’ve done is irrelevant. You have made your own assumptions about what I do or do not know or do or do not understand because we disagree on some points (although even that isn’t certain). Nothing I say is likely to change your opinion about me simply because you view me as having a dissenting opinion.

          At this point, we’re talking past each other and you’ve made assertions that, when I ask you to provide evidence, you simply denigrate me personally.

          The data are not dissonant. They are measures of different things. Let me be clear—my point in saying that my best friends are gun enthusiasts was to disabuse you of the idea that I’m afraid of guns. I’m not.

          Let me disabuse you of further misapprehension: I don’t think you’re evil, and it’s that sort of polarizing rhetoric that makes it impossible to grapple with our overlapping problems—of which access to and attitudes about guns are only a factor.

          If you don’t want to present evidence that the VPC is using hate speech against gun owners, fine. If you want to hold me responsible for the rhetoric of anti-gun polemists, it’s your party. If you don’t want to discuss ways in which we can address gun violence without trampling on anyone’s rights, fine. If you refuse to hear that I’m not arguing the numbers from the UCR and BJS, that’s also fine. It’s not just, but it’s within your rights. You can also attack me personally—that’s your prerogative. I refuse to return the favor.

          You seem well-spoken and intelligent. But you’re not hearing what I’m really saying, so I don’t expect this dialogue will ultimately bear fruit. Sorry about that.

          • 50 K

            Maya, I applaud your level headed handling of this discussion. I do not agree with all of your stance but I complete agree that manner of discourse often (always, in fact) effects the outcome of the discussion. Aggressive or passive aggressive language is not conducive to sharing poins of view. Sadly, many people view disagreements as threatening and respond defensively even when they don’t wish to.

          • For some reason the link I provided to the VPC’s you tube video didn’t take.

            I was going to challenge you to go to the VPC’s youtube video page and watch the videos they host titled “Proof that Concealed Carry permit holders live in a dream world” and then ask how these lies, half-truths, irrelevancies, & standard gun nutter talking points qualified as loving speech.

            With the VPC issue laid to rest I would then invite you to look at the other links with a viewpoint that should now be unbiased in terms of thinking I’ve claimed the links are from the VPC.

            I would follow with asking if you really believe gun owners & gun issues get a fair chance from the MSM & gun nutter politicians?

            But I’ve decided not to.

            Instead I’m going to ask you the following questions

            1) As each state has returned to Defensive Carry what has happened to the crime rates in those states?

            2) Has an increase in the number of guns and gun owners been matched by an increase in violent crime?

            3) Is violence in the US distributed evenly among the entire population, or is it confined to a few densely populated areas?

            4) Is violence in the US distributed evenly among the entire population, or are most offenders and their victims members of violently criminal subcultures?

            If you can answer these then we could have a meaningful discussion, but would we really need to?

        • 52 Maya

          Again, I’m answering attached to your first comment. I’m intrigued by the way you work the personal attacks into your general commentary. Well done … if that’s something you aim to do well.

          Since you view the VPC with such jaundice, let’s eliminate their assessment of the CDC data and look at the text of the report itself, starting with a summary that recapitulates what I’ve been trying to convey:

          “Although violent crime rates have declined in recent years, the U.S. rate of firearm-related deaths is the highest among industrialized countries. In 2010, incidents in the United States involving firearms injured or killed more than 105,000 individuals; there were twice as many nonfatal firearm-related injuries (73,505) than deaths. Nonfatal violence often has significant physical and psychological impacts, including psychological outcomes for those in proximity to individuals who are injured or die from gun violence.”

          I have never disputed the fact that crime rates in general are down in the US. I’ve stated this repeatedly. Regardless, we stil have the highest per capita number of firearm-related injuries and deaths. Also from the report: “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.”

          My question is: Why should this be acceptable or good enough for America?

          Violent crime and gun death and injury are not the same thing. Violent crime can be relatively low, but deaths or injuries from guns can rise and fall in relation to it. The two data sets are not yoked, though they can overlap.

          In states with liberal gun laws and greater access to guns, gun deaths (from all causes, not just violent crime) are significantly higher than in states with tighter laws (including more expansive background checks). There are a number of links to this data from different sources. This is one of them:

          You can check the stats in the Kaiser data against maps of the states where gun laws are relatively liberal, including open or concealed carry, etc.:

          Our society is constantly changing in its attitude toward guns. Though violent crime is falling, a Pew study found that “the vast majority of gun owners say that having a gun makes them feel safer. And far more today than in 1999 cite protection – rather than hunting and other activities – as the main reason for why they own guns” (Pew Research Center, 2013)

          This suggests that while crime is down, but people don’t feel safer.

          Moreover, gun sales spike every time there’s a high profile shooting. What’s bad for the individuals and communities involved is very good for the gun industry. It’s unfortunate, but there it is.

          You ask:

          1) As each state has returned to Defensive Carry what has happened to the crime rates in those states?

          Again, I’m not arguing crime rates. Or even that guns can be used to protect kith and kin or property. If I lived in rural Montana or Texas, I might consider gun ownership prudent. As it is, I have several reasons for not owning guns. It would not be rational for me to insist that because I wouldn’t own a gun no one should. Nor would I suggest that a gun is always the best option for protection, even if you own one. The friend I mentioned who taught me how to handle firearms recently had a young man sexually harass her in her home. What saved her, however, was not a gun. The guns were locked up in well-hidden safe. What saved her was her Great Dane, who apparently offered to eat the guy.

          2) Has an increase in the number of guns and gun owners been matched by an increase in violent crime?

          Again, violent crime is not the issue that I’m raising. It’s access to guns by people not able, for whatever reason, of handling them safely. Or who are willing to use them to settle domestic disputes or express their displeasure at someone else’s behavior. The statistics on American gun deaths and injuries are not in dispute; our rate is significantly higher than any other industrialized nation. This statistic are meaningful independently of the stats for violent crime.

          3) Is violence in the US distributed evenly among the entire population, or is it confined to a few densely populated areas?

          Of course, it’s not evenly distributed. Who suggested that it was? Urban areas have the most gun violence that is gang-related, while most of the accidental deaths—self-inflicted and perpetrated—appear to come from more rural areas of states in which gun ownership (access) is high, and there are relatively liberal laws pertaining to gun ownership. We get shootings here in the California ‘burbs, too. Several in the last year. There’s a memorial shrine under a tree one block from our house because someone with a gun lost his temper with someone outside the local 7-11.

          4) Is violence in the US distributed evenly among the entire population, or are most offenders and their victims members of violently criminal subcultures?

          It’s no surprise that violent criminals come from violent subcultures. I’m not arguing that they don’t. But either are gun-related injuries and deaths limite to those violent subcultures. But, again, the issue is not violent crime. Looking at a collection of weekly reports from across the country, there are significant deaths and injuries that are inflicted by children on other children and even adults, accidental shootings by people who were “playing” with a gun when it went off, and even a handful of cases where someone dropped a gun and it went off. Some of the accident prone and victims are law enforcement officers and military. Then there are the cases like the recent one in which a man barged into the home of his ex-wife’s sister and shot six members of a family, leaving only one child alive. These cases happen all too frequently, but most of them do not make the national news—I think because they DO happen frequently enough that they become normalized.

          I don’t know about you, but I refuse to take these deaths as a normal part of the American landscape. Acceptable amounts of collateral damage. Something we don’t want to talk about for whatever reasons.

          To be frank, I’m more concerned about these deaths because I think they’re preventable and symptomatic of a facet of this issue that looking at crime stats misses: a casual, even careless attitude toward guns, coupled with access (guns left out and loaded in a family room, left in a mother’s purse, etc) is taking a toll on families in states where guns are treated as if they were just a harmless toy. These are the states contributing to the statistics that tell us gun-related injuries and deaths are higher in states that have liberal gun laws.

          I can’t take the attitude that it’s just natural selection cleaning out the gene pool. These are human beings who have broken families because someone was careless with a weapon.

          Access is an issue that begs scrutiny, but also education and basic gun safety. We require people to pass a driving test—either written or behind the wheel at various times to make sure they remember how to handle a car safely. Wouldn’t you agree that, given the power of a gun, similar care should be taken?

  17. 53 wvumounties8

    Excellent article. Agree with you 100%.

  18. 55 Vendetta

    Unrelated, but I just saw word that Kathryn Bigelow is now starting up a Bowe Berghdal film…God, I am going to hate this.

  19. We had a revolution. At least we had an attempted revolution in 1861. American citizens attempted to change the government by force and create a different form.

    “Now the right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppresses by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression…(if) …They are strong enough, by withdraw or by overthrowing it.”

    Theses words were written by U.S. Grant in his “Personal Memoirs Vol 1 chapter 16.

    Grant knew what he was talking about. He had fought a war of independence that failed. Some call it the War of Northen Agression, others call it the Civil War, but in reality it was a failed revolution.

    Any historian, any internet savvy person can find stories of the horror and destruction of the the U.S. Civil War. If we look at the years of rebuilding and the problems resulting from the war, revolution must be the last resort.

    But Grant also address the revolutionaries themselves: “But (they )stake lives, property and every claim for protection given by citizenship.” You can’t hide behind the law when you’re attempting to over throw it. Some thing those advocating revolution today should remember.

    Stay safe……..

    • 58 Vendetta

      I stand by calling it the War of Southern Treason whenever that ridiculous War of Northern Aggression name comes up.

  20. Guys, I apologize for not actively participating in the discussion lately. I’m working on a major writing project, and my daughter just had a baby, so the house is full of kids and chaos. I’ll jump back into the debate as soon as life calms down a bit.

  21. 61 K

    Thank you for posting a thoughtful, informed and level assessment of the modern “revolutionary” trend. I raised a few of the points you’ve made here with a pro-revolutionary recently and was told by that individual that the revolution should start by doing away with people like me. It seems to that many of these people are no different than the extreme liberals they claim to hate.

    (I’m a supporter of the second amendment, have been a sport shooter all my life and until recently always considered myself fairly conservative – but because I don’t advocate tearing down the government by force apparently I’m part of the problem – according to some)

  22. I enjoyed this article. Typically, as a liberal American, I find a lot of ultra-conservative articles and authors to be unreasonable at best. However, the things you discussed made sense. So, let me ask you, as you seem to be fairly level-headed, why is it that when I was under GWB’s tenure in office and the conservative agenda was being pushed hard on to me there was never talk of a revolution or needing one. But, now that the conservative side of the aisle are having our agendas pushed on to them we have to look out for a revolution or “war.” You can’t bite the bullet like we did for 8 years as we watched our values an opinions be tossed aside? And by “you” I mean revolutionists and by “we” I mean all those Americans that had to sit by as we invaded foreign countries in the name of freedom.

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