The Peccadilloes of Gun Control Activism

The Peccadilloes of Gun Control Activism

I take a look at the problems with the Parkland sparked gun control movement and hint at a desired alternative to gun control activism.

After literally one of the worst mass shootings in history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Parkland Florida which killed 17 and wounded 17 more the gun “debate” in the US has had a fire lit under it’s stomach. Polls show more people supporting gun control policies and the conservative Florida Governor has signed into law new and more expansive gun control policies. The NRA has seemingly suffered a major PR defeat with many liberals feeling even more emboldened to call out the agency’s lobbying against gun legislation. This is all thanks to a group of the students from Stoneman Douglas who have come out vocally to express their fear of mass shootings and the need to make sure they never happen again. This is quite understandable given that they were subject to, again, literally one of history’s worst mass shootings.

Many are eager to join the chorus of support for the students saying that we need to listen to them and ostensibly endorsing what they are calling for. Recently a “manifesto” was published in the school’s newspaper outlining the policies that the students supposedly support. This brings us to the first issue of the situation.

Many students of the Stoneman Douglas High School have made their voices heard. Claiming to know all of their thoughts on the issue, or that their views can all be collapsed into a program for more gun control legislation is naive at best and disingenuous at worst. What many people over look about the “manifesto” in the Stoneman Douglas newspaper is that it was written by the newspaper; “That’s why the Eagle Eye has come together and proposed these following changes to gun policy. ” , rather than being a commonly authored declaration of all the students, or something similar. The Parkland students undoubtedly have different opinions from person to person and this is not something that has even been close to recognized by the mainstream media’s rhetoric about them.

The biggest problems with the gun control debate that Parkland has sparked go beyond even this basic failure by liberals, democratic politicians, and the media to recognize that the victims of school shootings are not one homogeneous mass with completely unified points of view as such. I will be identifying some outstanding problems that have not been addressed by the recent Parkland gun debate. I will show how the current rhetoric and activism fails to address them and I will point the way to a radical, ant-racist, anti-oppression gun rights movement rather than a liberal gun control movement which the Parkland debate seems to be emboldening at the moment.

The Non-Epidemic

The Parkland movement has conjured up a public discourse about a fake epidemic. People are now under the impression that mass shootings are an extremely common occurrence and that as the March For Our Lives Movement (organisation started by the Parkland movement) says “Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last.” While we can understand why the victims of one of the most brutal school shootings in history might come under the impression that school shootings are a common occurrence (even if we really can’t understand why liberal commentators would) this simply isn’t reality. The amount of mass shootings generally has declined immensely in the last twenty years. The statistics which show this also have a pretty wide ranging threshold for what constitutes a mass shooting, i.e. a shooting of 4, or more people.

As such school shootings are actually extremely rare. This doesn’t mean that the reality of school shootings, especially one as brutal as the one that took place at Stoneman Douglas, is negligible. The fact that children have to live in such an alienated and violent society that mass shootings even happen with any regularity at all is a function of the fact that the kind of society we live in doesn’t provide us with the safe and secure lives we need. It does however, mean that the urgency with which gun control advocates push gun control policies, at least when they appeal to a fake school shooting epidemic, is a manufactured narrative with not much basis in reality.

The Specter of The Mentally Ill

People such as myself with mental illnesses are often used as argumentative tools for liberals when making the gun control case. We are perceived to be unpredictable a-moral crackpots that will snap and go on killing sprees as a result of the most minor offenses. As such in order to keep those damned mentally ill from getting their hands on guns we need universal background checks, mental health screenings, or even as the Parkland “manifesto” proposed to “change privacy laws to allow mental healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement”. This particularly ill-informed and downright offensive snap proposal from the manifesto states it “will allow us to prevent people who are a danger to themselves or to others from purchasing firearms”. As a mentally ill-person I refuse to be categorized as a potential mass shooter and be denied my democratic right to own a fire-arm as a result of said categorization.

The mentally ill are not murders waiting in the wings. We are people, with moral compasses and conscience. Most of us are good people that are just as horrified by the mass shootings as anyone else. Contrary to the narrative painted by gun control advocates we are typically victims of violent crimes rather than perpetrators of them. The police who the Parkland manifesto want to roll back doctor patient confidentiality to give more access to information have a history of killing mentally ill black women in cold blood as Kimberley Crenshaw points out in this lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DW4HLgYPlA&t=35s

This method of gun control argument is a function of the saneist society we live in where people without mental illnesses have power over people with them. People without mental illnesses aren’t subject to the automatic assumption of being amoral violent terrorists. Highlighting another theme of this article, the lack of attention payed to the role of white supremacy in the mainstream gun debate, Muslim people are also often assumed to be amoral violent terrorists as a result of racist demonetization of people from the middle-east and white supremacist mass shooter Dylan Roof actively refused to mount the mental illness defense in court vigorously denying any mental illness. The manifesto claims some link between the Parkland shooting and mental health, yet authorities have yet to establish a motive for the shooting.

The Specter of The NRA

Another typical fixture of arguments for gun control that has found it’s way into the parkland discourse is the looming threat of the NRA’s deep pockets. The NRA is argued to be a lobbying machine that can buy out all the proper people to defeat gun control legislation at any time. This bogyman ignores a couple realities. The NRA spends less lobbying politicians than tobacco and alcohol companies do (both tobacco and alcohol kill more people annually than guns) and the NRA’s real power has never come from lobbying. It’s real power comes from it’s mass base of thousands of affluent white men who own fire-arms ready to use them to defend white power and the status quo against people of color and anyone who challenges the first two. Recently the NRA ran an add saying that citizens need to be armed against the threat of antifa (the anti-fascist movement) and other activists and that the police need to “do their jobs” and quell these groups.

The fear of the NRA as a block to gun control legislation also assumes that gun control legislation is even desirable in the first place. As I shall soon get to, gun control legislation should not be desirable to anyone who wants to change society for the better.

“””Inaction”””

Every time a mass shooting occurs gun control advocates deride the lack of gun control legislation and action to implement it by law makers. The March For Our Lives organization says “March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar”. If only we had some common sense restrictions rather than this free for all, and soon, these catastrophes wouldn’t happen. This ignores that gun control laws in the United States are not a free for all. Some states have lax restrictions, but others have very tight ones. Gun owners even have apps which tell them which states they are legally allowed to have their guns in. Clearly the gun violence in the US isn’t a result of lack of restrictions since they exist in many states.

There is the liberal mating call about closing “gun show loopholes” which means that individuals can buy weapons fairly easy without having to go through the legal whoops such as background checks, supposedly this specifically occurs at gun shows. In actuality gun-show loopholes are not appropriately named because usually individuals who buy guns without having to go through legal whoops are people who buy guns from others online, out of the back of a truck, or on the street rather than at gun shows. As such there is a large black market in guns in the United States.

The Bright Idea of Police In Schools

“Increase funds for school security” is the last item on the Parkland “manifesto”. It states “We believe that schools should be given sufficient funds for school security and resource officers to protect and secure the entire campus”. It’s interesting to see gun control activists take up the “no gun free zones!” talking point of the right. Right wing, NRA style gun nuts have been calling for police, armed guards, and armed teachers in schools since god knows when. I can’t imagine why anyone involved in the Parkland tragedy would want more police in schools. The FBI and the local sheriffs department repeatedly ignored warnings that the perpetrator of the shooting was planning to carry it out.

Police in schools is not an untested theory/hypothesis. Since the Columbine massacre in the 90s police officers have been planted in schools left and right, schools surveyed in the early 2010s had much more school resource officers then schools surveyed in earlier decades. The result of this experiment has unsurprisingly been abysmal. School resource officers have simply furnished the school to prison pipeline. Children have experienced brutality and arrest in schools for simply being disobedient (as most youths will be at some point in their lives). Unsurprisingly children of color are targeted much more than their white peers. The end result is a racist policy that funnels children of color out of schools and into the criminal justice system for doing nothing more than being normal kids.

The idea of police in schools is horrendous on it’s face because police are not the protectors that gun control advocates think they are. The ideology of policing institutions states that the police are a preventative armed service for the protection of communities and the public. Neither the history nor the contemporary reality of the police bare this out. In America specifically the police started out as slave patrols that would apprehend run-away slaves. The police have always been an institution organized to carry out coercion which forces the general population under the thumb of society’s dominant classes. Inviting them into our schools is making our children even more susceptible than they already are to such an oppressive institution.

Concluding Remarks Towards a Leftist, Anti-Oppression Gun Movement For Public Safety

As I have shown the gun control rhetoric that has been picked up by the Parkland movement and discourse mostly just imports the problems with gun control rhetoric in general. In the case of rhetoric about police in schools liberal gun control activism has picked up the reactionary rhetoric of the pro-gun right it despises. The positive aspect of the Parkland movement is that students themselves have stood up against a reality where they are terrorized in mass acts of violence. They are correct to organize themselves for a world where this sort of thing no longer happens. Unfortunately the Parkland movement has since been diluted by democratic politicians, liberal commentators, and even Stoneman Douglas’ own newspaper.

The energy of communities organizing themselves for a better future should not go into initiatives to disarm the oppressed, which is what “gun control” means in the final instance. The only way to make a world with the absolute least violence possible, where violence really becomes an irregularity rather than a regular facet of our culture is for those oppressed by the existing capitalist society (workers, people of color, women, queer people, the mentally ill, ect.) to organize themselves into a common movement for replacing the existing oppressive capitalist society with a free socialist one, a society without police, without mass violence, without alienation, where people live together in cooperation to meet each others’ needs. Part of this movement can and should be oppressed people arming themselves. In every instance where oppressed people have organized such a counter-cultural movement for an alternative society they have had to take up arms to defend their project of social change from the existing coercive institutions (such as the police) and reactionary groups bent on reversing social progress in favor of the status quo (groups mirrored by the modern day NRA). In the working class revolts starting in the 1840s leading up the Paris commune the Paris state twice attempted to disarm workers as Fredrick Engels notes in his preface to Karl Marx’s The Civil War In France:

“the disarming of the workers was the first commandment for the bourgeois at the helm of the state. Hence, after every revolution won by the workers, a new struggle, ending with the defeat of the workers.”

“Therefore, as soon as the bourgeois republicans in control felt something like firm ground under their feet, their first aim was to disarm the workers. This took place by driving them into the insurrection of June 1848 by direct breach of faith, by open defiance and the attempt to banish the unemployed to a distant province. ”

“During the war the Paris workers had confined themselves to demanding the vigorous prosecution of the fight. But now, when peace had come after the capitulation of Paris, now, Thiers, the new head of government, was compelled to realize that the supremacy of the propertied classes — large landowners and capitalists — was in constant danger so long as the workers of Paris had arms in their hands. His first action was to attempt to disarm them. On March 18, he sent troops of the line with orders to rob the National Guard of the artillery belonging to it, which had been constructed during the siege of Paris and had been paid for by public subscription. The attempt failed; Paris mobilized as one man in defence of the guns, and war between Paris and the French government sitting at Versailles was declared. On March 26 the Paris Commune was elected and on March 28 it was proclaimed.”

Bibliography:

https://marchforourlives.com/mission-statement/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2018/mar/23/parkland-students-manifesto-americas-gun-laws

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/03/there-is-no-epidemic-of-mass-school-shootings.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=s3&utm_campaign=sharebutton-b

https://www.vox.com/2015/10/28/9626820/police-school-resource-officers

https://worxintheory.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/origins-of-the-police/

Why the Left-wing Needs a Gun Culture

https://libcom.org/library/gun-control-we-deserve-patrick-blanchfield

Gun Fight, Adam Winkler

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoneman_Douglas_High_School_shooting

Posted By

Ivysyn
Apr 1 2018 21:31

Share


  • In every instance where oppressed people have organized such a counter-cultural movement for an alternative society they have had to take up arms to defend their project of social change

Attached files

Comments

darren p
Apr 2 2018 12:48

Frankly I'm glad I live in a country with better gun control laws the US.

The result of the current gun laws in the US means that the far-right are the most heavily armed anyhow.. They are the ones with the money to buy the guns.

Also, that Engels preface is an argument highlighting the futility of armed street fighting in the modern world and the preference of using suffrage as a means of struggle, if you read it the whole way through.

Mike Harman
Apr 2 2018 12:31
darren p wrote:
Frankly I'm glad I live in a country with better gun control laws the US.

So am I, but that doesn't mean that stricter gun control laws in the US will result in it resembling other countries with (hundreds of millions) less guns, or that campaigning for gun control laws is the most effective way to reduce gun violence.

Ivysyn
Apr 2 2018 14:24

Engels was for electoralism, but he spoke of the disarming of the workers as a reactionary repressive measure by bourgeois republicans, and spoke highly of the commune taking to the streets and overthrowing the state by force. I'm not sure what argument against armed insurrection you imagine Engels to be making.

The right controls guns because they are a dominant force in society, one thus protected by the state which enacts gun control laws. The early gun control laws in European colonies like the US and even European countries like Britain were put in place to disarm slaves and free blacks. I don't how leftists and people of color are suppose to defend themselves against white supremacist groups like the NRA when they are prohibited from owning guns by the government those groups aim to protect.

I don't know what country you are from so I can't speak to your situation, but echoing a comment made by someone else in this thread gun control laws in the US will pretty much never actually get rid of guns. There are more guns than people in the US and we have the highest amount of them per capita. The sheer amount of guns in this country is going to render any gun control legislation completely ineffective in making even a dent in how many guns there are in the US.

Regardless of the country I don't know why anyone would cheer on the disarming of oppressed people and the left unless you really think everyone is safer when the capitalist state owns and controls all arms.

darren p
Apr 2 2018 16:56
Engels wrote:
With this successful utilization of universal suffrage, an entirely new mode of proletarian struggle came into force, and this quickly developed further. It was found that the state institutions, in which the rule of the bourgeoisie is organized, offer still further opportunities for the working class to fight these very state institutions. They took part in elections to individual diets, to municipal councils and to industrial courts; they contested every post against the bourgeoisie in the occupation of which a sufficient part of the proletariat had its say. And so it happened that the bourgeoisie and the government came to be much more afraid of the legal than of the illegal action of the workers' party, of the results of elections than of those of rebellion.

For here, too, the conditions of the struggle had essentially changed. Rebellion in the old style, the street fight with barricades, which up to 1848 gave everywhere the final decision, was to a considerable extent obsolete.

Let us have no illusions about it: a real victory of an insurrection over the military in street fighting, a victory as between two armies, is one of the rarest exceptions
...
The time of surprise attacks, of revolutions carried through by small conscious minorities at the head of unconscious masses, is past. Where it is a question of a complete transformation of the social organization, the masses themselves must also be in it, must themselves already have grasped what is at stake, what they are going in for [with body and soul]. The history of the last fifty years has taught us that. But in order that the masses may understand what is to be done, long, persistent work is required, and it is just this work which we are now pursuing, and with a success which drives the enemy to despair.
...
The irony of world history turns everything upside down. We, the "revolutionaries," the "rebels"—we are thriving far better on legal methods than on illegal methods and revolt. The parties of order, as they call themselves, are perishing under the legal conditions created by themselves.

The struggle for communism isn't a struggle for who has the most guns. If it was they'd be no point even trying.

Are people safer in countries where there is tighter gun control? Yes undeniably.

Ivysyn
Apr 2 2018 19:52

Yea, I've comes across that quote before. It's pretty obvious if you study the social democratic movement and the political prescriptions of Marx and Engels themselves that they both were for electoral action, especially Engels after he witnessed the success of the German socialist party standing in elections. I don't at all agree with Marx and Engels with regard to this because I think electoral politics is a dead end. Regardless, Marx and Engels were also clear that the existing capitalist state machine would have to be smashed outright through the uprising of the masses of people if socialist revolution was to even be a possibility. This as they both recognized requires the forcible overthrow of the existing political institutions, specifically as Engels put it with bayonets and cannons.

I realize that social revolution is not about out-gunning the state and that the state always controls the the lion's share of the weapons. Without insurrection of some kind, however, the social revolution is effectively offered up to the capitalist state and other reactionary forces, Fascists for example, to be quelled in blood, the Paris Commune's end illustrated this fact to many radicals.

I would deny that countries with tighter gun control are safer, pretty vigorously actually.

darren p
Apr 2 2018 20:28
Ivysyn wrote:
I would deny that countries with tighter gun control are safer, pretty vigorously actually.

Of course there is not a strict one to one correlation or direct causal relationship, reality is much more messy than that, but do you think dangerous countries would be made more safe by relaxing gun control?

Mike Harman
Apr 2 2018 20:43
darren p wrote:
do you think dangerous countries would be made more safe by relaxing gun control?

Are there any countries with a major national campaign going on at the moment to do this?

Juan Conatz
Apr 4 2018 12:50

Not a very convincing piece. If anything, it shows how much the firearms industry and gun culture has infected every part of American life, including the basic thought process of some leftists.

In the United States, violent crime involving firearms in general is lower than it was 30 years ago. It's still astonishingly and incredibly high compared to similar countries. In some places, such as Chicago, the murder rate has been climbing and is slowly approaching the insanity of the early to mid 1990s numbers. So just saying that mass shootings are on the decline doesn't really say anything if the place where you live is one of the only places that regularly has mass shootings in the first place!

I don't buy the 'fake school shooting epidemic' thing you're trying to push. I don't think it has ever just been about school shootings. The narrative has always been about mass shootings, including the recent Pulse nightclub shooting and Las Vegas massacre.

It's weird to read a blog on libcom that talks about not only 'democratic rights' ,but in relation to 'own a fire-arm'! Does that mean other places are less free than the United States because you can't personally own an arsenal?

I don't know enough about people with mental illness and gun access, but I do believe just like there are people who are too mentally ill to care for children or even themselves, they are also people who are too mentally ill to have access to weapons which could kill many people.

You're correct about the NRA boogeyman in some ways, but the stuff you go on to say in that section is questionable. You say the NRA's real power 'comes from it’s mass base of thousands of affluent white men who own fire-arms ready to use them to defend white power and the status quo against people of color and anyone who challenges the first two." What? In what world is there a NRA paramilitary that does this? You lost me.

While the NRA may or may not spend more or less than other interests when it comes to lobbying, it also is a mass, membership based organization that can mobilize and direct its members against anything it deems unacceptable. This is basic politics.

Quote:
This ignores that gun control laws in the United States are not a free for all. Some states have lax restrictions, but others have very tight ones. Gun owners even have apps which tell them which states they are legally allowed to have their guns in. Clearly the gun violence in the US isn’t a result of lack of restrictions since they exist in many states

It doesn't take an economist to recognize that if the place you live bans something desirable, but you can drive 20 miles away and that desirable thing is legal, that place 20 miles away is going to eventually supply that desirable thing to people that live where it is banned. That's why Chicago, which had a virtual blanket gun ban, still had a flood of guns in the city. Because the adjacent states have some of the most lax gun control laws in the nation.

I completely agree with you about police in schools. The fantasy about 'the good guy with the gun stopping the bad guy with the gun' has probably never happened in regards to school-stationed law enforcement and an active shooter. They've just been a significant and important factor in the school-to-prison pipeline.

The conclusion of your piece and the subsequent comments you've made reveal that you believe in two things that really inform the rest of your thoughts on this issue.

1) You believe in American exceptionalism.

2) You believe that an anti-capitalist revolution is possible but that gun control legislation similar to comparable countries is not.

Additionally, like a lot of pro-gun leftist stuff I've seen over the last few years, while it talks about the 'proletariat' and the 'oppressed', it has little to say about the everyday type of gun violence in the United States that the proletariat and oppressed actually suffer from and capitalists profit off of, such as armed domestic violence, gang related shootings, suicides, accidental shootings, stray bullets, informal economy attacks, etc.

Croy
Apr 4 2018 20:40
Quote:
Additionally, like a lot of pro-gun leftist stuff I've seen over the last few years, while it talks about the 'proletariat' and the 'oppressed', it has little to say about the everyday type of gun violence in the United States that the proletariat and oppressed actually suffer from and capitalists profit off of, such as armed domestic violence, gang related shootings, suicides, accidental shootings, stray bullets, informal economy attacks, etc.

This. I was really hoping to get to the end of your article without it ultimately falling back on the classic 'BUT WE NEED GUNS FOR THE REVOLUTION'. Yeah, no shit we do, but is that what the working class are using guns for any time soon. Nope. We mostly use them to kill each other at the moment.

That being said, I know precious little about how the various groups of armed revolutionaries in the past actually got armed in the first place. Would love to be filled in and given a history lesson on this. I would be very surprised if most/every instance it was that they had them because the state had legalised it prior.

Gregory A. Butler
Apr 4 2018 23:19

Let's stop it with all the nonsense rhetoric about "gun control is disarming the proletariat"

First of all, most Americans do not own guns - gun ownership has been on the decline in this country for the last 50 years - from 50% of Americans owning guns in the 1960s to barely 25% today.

In the modern US, gun owners fall into four broad categories

- people who own a gun for work (police officers, security guards, armored truck drivers, jewelry store owners etc)

- people who participate in gun sports (hunters, target shooters - this category has been shrinking for decades - hunting is a dying sport in America, and target shooting is in sharp decline - FWIW I myself am a former target shooter)

- criminals

- racist reactionaries hoarding guns for the future race war

You really can't speak of an "armed proletariat" here

We sure as hell don't have any kind of labor militias or workers defense guards

You can speak of gun companies marketing guns to White men as a way of boosting your masculinity and resisting "feminism" and "the homosexual lobby" ..and, of course, "protecting yourself' (from Blacks....that's the dog whistle part of the marketing pitch.

In the event of a revolution in this country, the last two cohorts of gun owners - career criminals and racist suburban White gun nuts - would be the nucleus of the counterrevolution

For that reason, the American left would be wise to support gun control

There's also the small matter of the wildly popular mass movement for gun control that's captured the imagination of the youth of this country....

Khawaga
Apr 5 2018 00:23

For once Gregory hits the nail on the head. Well said, Gregory.

Mike Harman
Apr 5 2018 09:56
Juan Conatz wrote:
You're correct about the NRA boogeyman in some ways, but the stuff you go on to say in that section is questionable. You say the NRA's real power 'comes from it’s mass base of thousands of affluent white men who own fire-arms ready to use them to defend white power and the status quo against people of color and anyone who challenges the first two." What? In what world is there a NRA paramilitary that does this? You lost me.
The Hill wrote:
here were at least 276 militia groups active in the United States last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center — a 37 percent rise over the 202 such groups in 2014.

I don't trust the SPLC's numbers since they count individual branches of a bookstore as separate 'black supremacist' groups, but even 100 militia groups with 30 members each is 3,000 people, which counts as 'thousands'. How many people were at the Bundy ranch?

Juan Conatz wrote:
2) You believe that an anti-capitalist revolution is possible but that gun control legislation similar to comparable countries is not.

I'd apply this to preventing global temperature rises over 2 centigrade and various other issues too.

Juan Conatz
Apr 5 2018 12:22
Mike Harman wrote:
The Hill wrote:
here were at least 276 militia groups active in the United States last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center — a 37 percent rise over the 202 such groups in 2014.

I don't trust the SPLC's numbers since they count individual branches of a bookstore as separate 'black supremacist' groups, but even 100 militia groups with 30 members each is 3,000 people, which counts as 'thousands'. How many people were at the Bundy ranch?

If you or the author of this blogpost are going to make the argument that the NRA is formally linked to far-right militias and this is where they get their real power than you should actually make that argument (with evidence).

The NRA is an industry-supported lobbying group, as well as a membership based organization, that has between 2 and 5 million members depending on who you believe. That makes it one of the largest membership based organizations in the United States. That's where its power lies. It can mobilize large numbers of people to pressure politicians and businesses.

Quote:
I'd apply this to preventing global temperature rises over 2 centigrade and various other issues too.

I would be interested in reading an argument about significant gun control legislation in the U.S. that makes a case for it being impossible. One that doesn't rely on gun lobby myths, borderline "race science" or how Americans are a completely and totally unique subset of human beings. I haven't come across one yet.

Mike Harman
Apr 5 2018 12:48
Juan Conatz wrote:

If you or the author of this blogpost are going to make the argument that the NRA is formally linked to far-right militias and this is where they get their real power than you should actually make that argument (with evidence).

I'm not making that argument, but you asked where the thousands of people in NRA-supporting militias were and they clearly exist.

The industry lobbying group point is a good one though, what I think would be an actual thing communists and anarchists could agree on around gun control regardless of their stance on legislation, is working towards them not being manufactured in the first place. Shut down arms factories, repurpose them etc. Lucas Plan all over again.

Juan Conatz wrote:
I would be interested in reading an argument about significant gun control legislation in the U.S. that makes a case for it being impossible. One that doesn't rely on gun lobby myths, borderline "race science" or how Americans are a completely and totally unique subset of human beings. I haven't come across one yet.

It's not really the gun control legislation itself that I'm skeptical of, it's the enforcement of it - firstly exactly who would be prevented from purchasing weapons vs. those who wouldn't, secondly what happens to the existing weapons.

Similarly, international governments were able to agree to the Kyoto and Paris accords, but that does not mean there is going to be meaningful international state-led action on climate change.

Pennoid
Apr 6 2018 15:06

How has gun control been implemented in communities suffering from gun violence in the past? I know Chicago is a stark and challenging contemporary example, but were there past cities/countries with high incidences of gun violence that have successfully dealt with it? How?

Auld-bod
Apr 8 2018 10:03

Just adding my sixpence worth to the thread.

I’ve read that most/many Generals plan for the next war by learning the mistakes from the past, as if the next will be a re-run of the last. Of course it never is - new technology demands new strategy.

This applies to present day revolutionaries refighting the old failed revolutions.

I’ve just re-read Orwell’s account of the obsolete armament of his militia unit. Stockpiling armaments for the ‘great day’ was never a successful strategy. Weapons age very quickly resulting in their effectiveness decreasing. In the early days of the troubles in Northern Ireland the IRA had success using rooftop snipers after nightfall. I remember this coming to a halt one evening, when the UK army introduced the first night sights and shot dead several snipers.

If the manufacture of guns was heavily restricted, as in the UK, the weapons in circulation would decrease due to lack of new spares, leading to cannibalization. As time passed they would become historical artefacts.

A successful revolution will require methods, tools and weapons on which we can only speculate. Right now, anything will be as useful as keeping a claymore in your thatch.

Edit: from sites to sights.

Redwood
Apr 9 2018 05:27

Why could criminals be the nucleus of the counterrevolution? (im for gun control)

Black Badger
Apr 9 2018 06:28
Quote:
Why could criminals be the nucleus of the counterrevolution?

Generally speaking, criminals are pro-capitalist. Just because they operate outside the law doesn't make them outlaws or rebels.

Serge Forward
Apr 9 2018 10:19

Some interesting points in the blog piece but I'm not convinced. Yes, we can be sceptical of liberal motivations for gun control and it's right to point to the oppressive role of the police and liberals (in the US sense of the word), etc. But we're hardly talking about workers' control of guns in any meaningful collective sense as an alternative. But why would we, when class consciousness and genuine, militant working class organisation is incredibly low in most countries - the US probably more than most?

In context, leftish arguments for gun ownership all sound a bit too individualistic for my liking. Now if America was the sort of place that had a mass, revolutionary working class movement, then this line of argument might have some merit. No such movement exists, far from it, so the argument falls.

And no, I'm not convinced by the manipulations and 'liberal' and statist motivations of the gun control lobby but I do understand it, and kids' and their parents' wishes not to see them get killed at school, at work, at a night club, a music concert or just on the steet by some twat with an assault rifle.

I don't see the blog's reasoning as any less liberal (in the general sense of the word) in that, by implication, it argues to protect current legislation in states with softer gun control law.

Croy
Apr 9 2018 21:15
Black Badger wrote:
Quote:
Why could criminals be the nucleus of the counterrevolution?

Generally speaking, criminals are pro-capitalist. Just because they operate outside the law doesn't make them outlaws or rebels.

hahahahaha what. it's basically like you've been aware that some criminals get super rich and made this conclusion from that with no further thought. a lot of people get into crime because they rightly see wage slavery as a totally shite non deal and the risks of criminality as a risk worth taking. This is not to say taking a random sample of various drug dealers of varying levels of wealth/status would likely resemble a class conscious revolutionary vanguard but yeah, I don't really know where you're getting this idea from.

But to be fair the sheer variety of what is criminal makes talking about 'criminals' as a homogenous group totally pointless, and that's not even taking into account the difference between what is legal and illegal in all of the worlds nation states. I'd like you to clarify what type of criminals you're talking about and what you're basing your assertions off of.

Redwood
Apr 10 2018 06:06
Black Badger wrote:
Quote:
Why could criminals be the nucleus of the counterrevolution?

Generally speaking, criminals are pro-capitalist. Just because they operate outside the law doesn't make them outlaws or rebels.

Ive been a criminal most of my adult life, and would have to disagree here. People at the top of crime rings might have some class awareness and lean pro-capitalism but your average criminal is far from being pro-capitalist. Mostly just trying to scrape by without having to be a wage-slave. Even most drug dealers I know (even the ones who earn a decent living) I would not consider pro-capitalist. Pretty much the only criminals I would consider to be pro-capitalist would be top-tier drug dealers and white collar criminals.

Auld-bod
Apr 17 2018 16:05

The croydonian… April 9:

‘a lot of people get into crime because they rightly see wage slavery as a totally shite non deal and the risks of criminality as a risk worth taking.’

In my limited experience many people who get involved in criminal behaviour drift into it because they cannot join the working class ‘proper’ as the employment on offer is minimal or non-existent. They do not exactly choose to become outlaws, though to gain some self-respect, they join the ‘underground wage slaves’. None of us are ever free of capitalism.

The real problem is that most crime is committed against the working class. Both the legal and illegal form of robbery, with and without violence, coexist in the world. It is a source of wonder to me that many anarchists recognise landlords as social parasites, while often harbouring a sentimental view of the ‘free criminal spirits’, who also prey upon their fellows.

Croy
Apr 24 2018 09:41

I think it's a bit of a misrepresentation of what I said to imply I hold this sentimental view. Obviously a lot of crime is perpetrated against the working class by other members of it. Also fair point with the employment thing, but that varies from place to place. There is also the fact of the lifestyle being glamorised perhaps by their peers and getting sucked into it that way.

There is a balance to be struck though. On the one hand, there's a lot of poverty that tends to manifest into driving people towards crime, but on the other hand I think it's terribly condescending and patronising to speak of people that work in those areas as poor poor victims of society that have no choice ever and get reluctantly forced into it, because it takes away any agency or will on their part.

Anyway, its kind of rich for one to talk about this sort of stuff from an ideological ivory tour if you have never done it, so I'll bow out

Auld-bod
Apr 24 2018 16:10

The croydonian… April 24th 10:40

Sorry, I did not wish to imply you were a ‘sentimentalist’. I was using what you had written to put down my own thoughts.

Regarding people’s choice of ‘life styles’, I suspect as individuals we have a lot less freedom than we’d like to believe. Only by acting together can we hope to wrestle control of our lives (to state the obvious).