Guns

Myanmar Protests Show an AR-15 Will Protect a Lot More Freedom than a Slingshot

If small arms can’t defeat a modern military, why are the people of Myanmar so determined to fight for freedom?

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What good is an AR-15 against an oppressive government armed with tanks and bombers? That's the question gun owners often get asked, as if the destructive power of the modern state is a mic-drop argument against private weapons ownership. That might be a bit more convincing if resistance fighters didn't repeatedly go up against well-armed troops with whatever weapons they can make or scavenge in hopes of gaining breathing room and forcing change. Sometimes, they even win, and their chances would undoubtedly be better if they had better tools at hand to begin with.

"Every day, when Ko Win Kyaw goes out to demonstrate against the Myanmar military, he carries his slingshot and a supply of rocks as ammunition," Richard C. Paddock reported for The New York Times on April 17. "What began as peaceful protests after the Feb. 1 coup rapidly grew into a resistance movement, with citizens defending themselves using slingshots, homemade air guns, old hunting rifles and firebombs."

Despite endorsement for resistance efforts from the pro-democracy shadow government facing off against the ruling junta, Reuters emphasized that a loosely organized group "[a]rmed with a few hunting guns made by village blacksmiths, catapults, some airguns and Molotov cocktails … were no match for forces hardened by decades of conflict and equipped with combat weapons."

But, despite the paucity of their arms and training, the fighters gave government forces a day-long battle. They had to turn, at least for the time being, to makeshift weapons because the regime spent years trying to keep the population disarmed so that it wouldn't have to face serious resistance.

"In Myanmar, civilians are not allowed to possess any firearms," notes the University of Sydney's GunPolicy.org.

"There were gun licenses issued under the [totalitarian Burma Socialist Program Party, or BSPP] government starting from 1977 but only to those who were fully-fledged party members and serving on duty in BSPP," according to The Irrawaddy, which covers news in the region. "But after the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, [the military] revoked gun licenses and recalled guns."

Denied legal access to guns by a brutal government that feared resistance, the people of Myanmar are still willing to fight, but must scrounge the tools for doing so where they can be found.

"We have no choice but to arm ourselves," one activist told the U.K.'s Sunday Times.

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong found themselves in a similar situation when China moved to crush the liberties of the semi-autonomous region.

"Hong Kong protesters shot bows and arrows and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded university campus on Sunday, as police charged and charged again, firing tear gas and blue liquid from water cannon after fiery clashes overnight," CNBC reported in 2019. "Parts of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus looked more like a fortress with barricades and black-clad protesters manning the ramparts with improvised weapons-like bricks, crates of fire bombs, and bows and arrows at the ready."

Civilian firearms ownership isn't entirely banned in Hong Kong, but it is severely restricted and rules were tightened in 1999, after the handover of the territory by Britain to China. Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters clearly understand their disadvantage, since at least some have waved signs reading, "We need the 2nd Amendment."

But Hong Kong residents don't have legal protections for their right to bear arms, and the pro-democracy movement has faltered under the weight of government force. Headlines now focus on the jailing of activists rather than street protests. Maybe that's support for the argument that resistance is futile against the modern state.

"[I]t would be a short war my friend," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) snorted in 2018 to a critic promising to defy gun restrictions. "The government has nukes," he added, raising the prospect of U.S. forces incinerating all of Phoenix or Houston to suppress guerrillas intermingled with the population.

Domestic atomic warfare seems unlikely, though, given that the U.S. never nuked Afghanistan despite two decades of continuing conflict. Nor did the rest of America's modern arsenal ultimately prevail against insurgents largely armed with variants of the AK-47, Russia's counterpart to the AR-15.

"There has been no cease-fire agreement and high levels of insurgent and extremist violence continued in Afghanistan this quarter despite repeated pleas from senior U.S. and international officials to reduce violence in an effort to advance the peace process," the Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's 50th quarterly report to Congress noted earlier this year.

"We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan — hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal and expecting a different result," President Joe Biden conceded on April 14, as he announced an end to America's role in the country.

This isn't to say the Taliban are a sympathetic bunch. Their brutality and authoritarianism make them anything but freedom fighters. But they proved their effectiveness, at great cost, against a modern military force. Pro-democracy forces in Myanmar, Hong Kong, and elsewhere might hope for similar hope of success (though they'd no doubt want a shorter, less-bloody conflict). Their chances would certainly be improved with access to weapons like the AR-15.

True, the United States isn't Myanmar, nor is any part of it under the thumb of something like China's totalitarian regime. But just months ago Rep. Eric "the government has nukes" Swalwell insisted that "democracy is under assault" from departing President Donald Trump. Last year, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted his opponent "further threatens the future of our democracy." They clearly believe—with considerable evidence, though their faction shares blame—that America's political system isn't as secure as we like to pretend, and that it risks falling into authoritarian hands.

Just in case their fears come true, people worried that authoritarianism will come to America might want to learn from pro-democracy activists elsewhere. That requires treating efforts at civilian disarmament as even more reason to keep the tools for self-defense close to hand.

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  1. “The government has nukes,” he added, raising the prospect of U.S. forces incinerating all of Phoenix or Houston to suppress guerrillas intermingled with the population.

    Well, maybe Houston, but surely not Austin – – – – – – – –

    1. Swallowell has been too busy doing the bang-bang with Fang Fang.

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    2. If we are going to nuke US Cities, the top three priority targets in order from highest to lowest priority are: DC, Detroit, LA.

      1. Neutron devices. They dont do much infrastructure damage

        Or just wait till Liberal Progressive policies do it for us.

        5…4…3…2…

        1. They dont do much infrastructure damage.
          So what? According to SleepyJoe, it’s all crumbling anyway.

        2. So the barricades around the Capitol might withstand a blast?

      2. Just think of all the economic stimulus that will be created rebuilding these cities. Everyone will be rich!

      3. After leaving their government job and sitting in traffic on the beltway for a few hours trying to get home, most government workers would welcome being incinerated.

      4. Chicago too

      5. I thought, just based on appearances, Detroit had already been nuked.

    3. take Houston … please.

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  2. Fear that authoritarianism ‘will come’ to America?

    Will come?

    I think we crossed that rubicon a while back. Where we are heading now seems to be someplace out of the imagination of last century’s dystopian novelists imaginations.

    1. ..nay, nay. Those Dystopian futures all hinge on a dis-armed Population.

      Wes aint disarmed. AFT (Commie Traitors) estimates (note, “estimates”):

      430 MILLION guns in private hands
      20 BILLION round of ammo

      Come and get it MF’ers.

      I worked with a Gun Dealer a while back (during the Obama Regime). Ammo shortages. I called Wolf. “Can we buy direct?”

      Mr Wolf replied “Sure can, HALF A MILLION ROUNDS MINIMUM Dealer purchase requirement- buy all you want”

      Dealers were chronically out of Wolf Ammo.

      Yeah, 20 billion sounds about right.

      Now, theres a gun behind every blade of Grass in the US.

      And its gonna stay that way, Joe.

      1. ” AFT (Commie Traitors)”

        While the American Federation of Teachers is indeed run by commies, I think you mean the ATF.

        1. It could be a reference to Biden’s blunder when he called the ATF the “AFT” recently.

      2. Assuming those ATF estimates are correct, that’s less than 50 rounds per firearm. Going to be a fairly short shootout…

    2. So where are the guns?

      Where were the guns when black men were being lynched with the connivance of the local police?

      Where were the guns when over 100,000 Japanese Americans were interned in WW2 in gross violation of their constitutional rights?

      Where are the guns today when police confiscate property from innocent people without due process?

      In the history of America since 1900 I have only found one instance (the Battle of Athens) where citizens used firearms to fight for their constitutional rights and won. Every other group that has attempted armed resistance against the US government has simply been besieged and either arrested or shot, except for the one in Philadelphia that was bombed from the air.

      And the Battle of Athens is hardly a good example: the rebels were recently demobbed GIs from WW2 who started by looting guns from the nearby National Guard armory; they won because they were experienced and disciplined fighters who knew how to take and hold a town, not because they owned their own guns.

      If you want a picture of the Second American Revolution, don’t look at Afghanistan, look at Syria. During the Arab Spring there were lots of groups. Some were bleeding-heart liberals who wanted democracy and civil rights. They didn’t last long. The people with the staying power were the religious fundamentalists who wanted to replace a nasty dictatorship with a religious theocracy. They lost, but only after flattening pretty much every city in the country.

      You imagine thousands of angry patriots presenting a unified front against an evil government. The reality would be thousands of angry patriots fighting amongst themselves over whether the new country is going to be a libertarian paradise, a socialist paradise, a christian theocracy, an apartheid republic ruled by white men, or an apartheid republic ruled by black men.

      Don’t worry about getting guns to these people; the Chinese and Russians will be happy to send plenty.

  3. America has been at war in Afghanistan for 20 years.
    And we have lost.
    Even if we stayed another 20 years, the Afghan government would fall 2 months after we leave.
    We have rules of engagement there that include night raids of homes, bombing, artillery, aerial observation and drone strikes.
    A bunch of goat herders without a single plane, tank or artillery piece have withstood everything the U.S. military can throw at them short of tactical nukes.
    It shows that an insurgency here in continental USA would also likely win.

    1. good point, I have also thought of this.

    2. EXACTLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Note, all the “lost causes” (NV, NK, Assghanistan) have NOT been US Wars, they have been UN CONFLICTS were were not Allowed to win, Korea for specifics.

      AHem.. they are Wars of UN Convenience to establish Communism.

      Since we gave control of our Military to the UN in 1949 (Yale U Avalon Project docs) weve been on the crappy end of the stick

    3. Afghanistan is the graveyard of armies.
      No different either, this time.
      Why people continue to enlist in a corrupted and immoral military run by corrupted and immoral people is beyond reason.

      1. “Why people continue to enlist in a corrupted and immoral military run by corrupted and immoral people is beyond reason.”

        Silly Rabbit, its MONEY, HONEY.

        You that clueless?

        Cant get a job? Join the Army (regardless of what country)

        Thats what drove Hitlers Nazi Regime. Economic collapse (such as in teh US now) is a prime mover for total support by the Gimme-ment, including “jobs for killing people”

        Surely youre being facetious…. I hope ; )

    4. But, they hate us for our freedoms…

      1. And by “they”, you mean the “progressives”?

  4. Domestic atomic warfare seems unlikely, though, given that the U.S. never nuked Afghanistan despite two decades of continuing conflict.

    To be fair, over there we didn’t face white supremacist militias.

    1. It would be tough to get all the Afghan tribes into one spot. You would probably have to bait the tribal leaders with a herd of young “Dancing Boys”.

  5. good point, I have also thought of this.

  6. “…made by village blacksmiths”

    Gotta ban those home-mades, for sure.

  7. We should be aware that if the civilians of Myanmar were to arm themselves to the point where they can defeat the military, it will require reviving the heroin trade. It was heroin that financed the private army of Khun Sa a few decades back. Also say goodbye to teak and other rare and valuable timber that will appear on the black market to be exchanged for arms.

    Weaponry is the strong point of the military. A better strategy would be for the broad populace to act in concert to weaken the morale of the military, and foment internal squabbles and doubts. Attacking the military with weapons is only playing to their strengths.

    1. And its the heroin that continues to force Americans to bleed and die in Afghanistan.
      One has to wonder, how many of those in congress and the Pentagram have become very wealthy from this?
      The Spice must flow!

    2. That was a lot of twisting and rationalizing to just say “no it isnt”

      Nice Leftist disarmament meme. FAIL

      Thats an outright lie about attacking the military.

      Who said attacking the military is the only option?

      Attack the Leaders. Thats the goal of all Revolutions.

      1. The leaders are utterly replaceable. The army’s weak point is the lowly soldier who has friends and family among the people of Myanmar.

      2. unlike Hong Kong where the mainland can bring in unlimited numbers of soldiers it would be hard for the Hong Kongers to rebel. Myanamar the soldiers do not have a home across a bay to go to, their homes are among those they are trying to oppress and when the oppressed know where the soldiers families live it makes for a different outcome. Same rings true of other countries Mexico is a prime example the cartels are running the elections and killing politician and police left and right as we write

        1. also the guns being used by teh Cartels to kill in Mexico are illegal there. how that happens i don’t understand how they can use an illegal gun

    3. “A better strategy would be for the broad populace to act in concert to weaken the morale of the military, and foment internal squabbles and doubts.”

      You don’t think attacking the military with slings and arrows and getting away with it would go a long ways towards ” weaken the morale of the military, and foment internal squabbles and doubts”?

      1. He’s not very bright.

      2. It doesn’t appear to have so far. If you doubt the broad populace of Myanmar has the gumption to weaken the morale of the military, then the Afghan option might be possible where insurgents infiltrated the quisling military and would suddenly go on a shooting spree, which seems an excellent way to sow distrust and destroy cohesion within the ranks.

        Given that one side in the conflict has all the weapons and the other none, It seems the best strategy would be to take this into account and turn it to advantage. Jiujitsu style.

        1. My solution: just change everything for the better and win.

          Step 1: change everyone’s mind peacefully and instantly, especially the military and government.

          What they’ve tried so far hasn’t worked.

          1. The military is the government. That’s what happens when there is a military coup d’etat as there was in Myanmar last February.

  8. “A better strategy would be for the broad populace to act in concert to weaken the morale of the military, and foment internal squabbles and doubts.”

    That would actually be funny were it not so fucking sad.

    1. “That would actually be funny were it not so fucking sad.”

      Funny, fucking sad and successful, as it was in neighboring India under the leadership of Gandhi. Granted the British imperialists were not the Myanmar military, but they were no slouches when it came to shooting down unarmed protestors, either.

  9. “What good is an AR-15 against an oppressive government armed with tanks and bombers? ”

    Sniping. Asymmetrical warfare. Its basically un stoppable.

    I just heard a man talking yesterday about shooting his AR 15 at 600 YARD targets. MAybe its one hit out of 20. 30 round mag. Cant hear it coming.

    This is advanced Whack a Mole. THey have to stick their heads up out of that tank some time, and its easy pickins… Even a sling shot is deadly at close range.

    An AR is quite effective at stopping APCs if you know where to put a round. Drivetrain. Shoot holes in the differential gear cases.

    Low level harassment is quite effective. Red Dawn and all that.

    Dictator or not, authority ultimately comes from the People. 100,000 rise up in the streets and security forces can only mow down a couple hundred, then they are the corpses. They know that.

    1. “Sniping. Asymmetrical warfare. Its basically un stoppable.”

      But the citizens of Myanmar don’t have AR-15s. A sniper armed with a sling shot is eminently stoppable.

      1. The north Vietnamese did considerable damage with sharp sticks.

      2. “A sniper armed with a sling shot is eminently stoppable.”

        Right, much better that they be armed with “foment[ing] internal squabbles and doubts.”

        What the hell are you arguing anyway? It sounds like passive resistance. Ghandi prevailed in India because he and his followers were opposing an external force that was subject to world wide public opinion. When faced with a foe that has no such scruples or restraint, lying down in the way will just get you run over by a tank.

        Do us all a favor and try it some time.

        1. “When faced with a foe that has no such scruples or restraint, lying down in the way will just get you run over by a tank. ”

          Attacking a tank with a non existent AR-15 won’t get you any further.

          What’s a ghandi, by the way?

          1. Gandhi. asshole.

    2. I just heard a man talking yesterday about shooting his AR 15 at 600 YARD targets. MAybe its one hit out of 20. 30 round mag.

      Shooting 500 yard bullseye targets has been a regular thing in the military for decades. They are much more effective than 1 in 20 rounds. The bulls are large but any young Marine will be able to keep all 20 on the paper easily.
      The newer uppers like the Mk12 and other Special Purpose Rife (SPR) can hit 600 yard targets all day long. Headshots at 400 are fairly easy. They make rounds that are extremely accurate.
      At that distance though, you will not always knock people down with that round. They are fantastic at 400m and closer which is good for urban areas. Any further and you will have to step up to .308, .300 win mag, or .338 Lapua.

      1. The first Mad Minute record was set by Sergeant Major Jesse Wallingford in 1908, scoring 36 hits on a 48-inch target at 300 yards.

        That is 36 hits in 60 seconds with a bolt action, standard issue (not accurized) rifle starting with a half full magazine (5 out of 10 rounds).

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

      2. “The newer uppers like the Mk12 and other Special Purpose Rife (SPR)”

        Have to get one of those

    3. The simple answer is simply, “Then why does the army have ARs?”

      It’s like all the defense industrialists trying to raise simultaneous conflicting panics to spend more on the military:

      * The Chinese have supersonic long range carrier-killer missiles and we don’t!

      * The Chinese are building bigger and better carriers!

      Well shit buddy. Either they think their supersonic carrier-killing missiles are no good, or they think their carriers are immune to our missiles, or they are playing 47 dimensional chess to trick us into building useless supersonic carrier-killing missiles, or they are tricking us into building more $10B carriers which they know they can sink.

      1. 1.You start out with teh long range missiles to soften the target and take out major defensive weapons.
        2. then you need the carriers for protection of your landing forces

        Standard practice since cannons were invented

      2. “The Chinese are building bigger and better carriers!”

        There are two things in the ocean; US submarines, and targets.
        – US Navy

    4. How long has the US military been in Afghanistan? What are they up against? AK-47’s? Toyotas? Improvised explosive devices?

      1. The military phase of Aghanistan took place way back in 2001 for a month or so. It was a rout. The Taleban went running off to Pakistan and a new regime in Kabul was installed. From then on it’s been occupation and counter insurgency. It’s an entirely different mission than overcoming an enemy in military confrontation.

    5. A more realistic take:

      https://xkcd.com/652/

  10. As long as the regime in Washington, D.C. continues to provide military hardware to the regime in Myanmar, the military junta will remain in power.
    No matter how many innocent people are tossed into prison simply for the crime of speaking out nor how many will die fighting this ruthless military dictatorship, Washington will continue to provide the weapons.
    Here, we face another possible dictatorship from within the White House and congress now controlled by Marxist democRats. They control the White House and congress and are busy attempting to erase the Second Amendment along with the First. It will be the Marxist democRats who will bring tyranny to America. They will erase the Bill of Rights and burn the Constitution. They want total power and utter authority over everyone. They and the technocrats who decide who can speak freely and who can’t.
    That’s when the SHTF and you’d better be prepared for what’s coming.
    Civil war is coming to America.

  11. Those who keep making the claim that a rifle can’t beat artillery, or tanks, or worse, always misunderstand asymmetric tactics. In that situation would the enemy attack the higher strength company in a direct assault, or infiltrate and attack their families. Why do you think antifablm go to homes of police, or mayors, and attempt to terrify them with a “protest”. Know your enemy.

  12. It’s a red herring. You don’t have to be good enough to beat the army. You just have to be good enough that the government is forced to call the army out.

    At that point, the government has played its last card. It’s out of the politicians’ hands and into the hands of the officers. If they refuse to fire on the mob, or worse yet join them, it’s game over. This is how things played out in France (twice), in Mexico, and in several miscellaneous Latin American countries. Which is why the proggies are working very hard to stack and indoctrinate the officer corps.

    1. There was a military coup d’etat in Myanmar last February. The government is the military. And vice versa mutatis mutandis.

      1. Why don’t you tell that to Louis VIII?

  13. But, despite the paucity of their arms and training, the fighters gave government forces a day-long battle. They had to turn, at least for the time being, to makeshift weapons because the regime spent years trying to keep the population disarmed so that it wouldn’t have to face serious resistance.

    “In Myanmar, civilians are not allowed to possess any firearms,” notes the University of Sydney’s GunPolicy.org.

    Is it me, or did you just unwittingly make an argument that gun confiscation is perfectly fine because if we’re attacked by the state, we can effectively retaliate with sling-shots?

    1. “because if we’re attacked by the state, we can effectively retaliate with sling-shots?”

      And milk shakes. Nothing scares a fascist more than the idea of being hit by a milkshake.

  14. “True, the United States isn’t Myanmar”

    Yet.

    “They (Democrats)clearly believe—with considerable evidence, though their faction shares blame—that America’s political system isn’t as secure as we like to pretend, and that it risks falling into authoritarian hands.”

    And that’s their end goal.

  15. slingshots may be life threatening, use it very wisely.

  16. With the politics in D C now days where the availability of weapons will be greatly restricted or completely outlawed we can see the future of the US playing out before our eyes. What is happening in Myanmar and other totalitarians governments such as Cuba and Venezuela where weapons were taken by force form its citizens so that these same citizens could not oppose the government. That is what we have to look forward to here in the States also if these progressive/liberals have their way in this matter.

  17. Whenever I hear this logic posited. I ask how well the most powerful and advanced military that has ever existed in the history of the world did against Afghanis who many don’t even have running water.

    1. Left every time, after a variable number of years.

      The attacker has to conquer, the defender need only survive.
      Unless the country attacking Afghanistan is there to destroy the entire population and occupy the country, they are wasting their time and treasure. Those guys know how to fight for freedom.
      (why occupy Afghanistan when poppies can be grown in many places?)

      Excavations of prehistoric sites suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago.
      Alexander the Great and his Macedonian forces arrived in Afghanistan in 330 BC after defeating Darius III of Persia a year earlier in the Battle of Gaugamela.
      Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

  18. On my first deployment to the Middle East I had an argument with a liberal ( one of the few you’ll find in uniform) on the subject of gun control.

    He said the US army has tanks and drones, you’re not going to fight them off with assault rifle.

    I said the Iraqis were doing a pretty good job.

    He was silent after that.

    1. Ask a Kurd

  19. At the risk of giving the democrats ideas about common sense sling control, slings were weapons of war long before gunpowder. They could outrange bows up until the compound bow was invented. They were cheap to manufacture, light to transport, and ammunition could be ‘locally sourced’.

  20. From “The Slingshot Forum”

    – Slingshots are not considered weapons under UK law, but carrying a slingshot may be punished under the “Prevention of Crime Act 1953”. – Bows and crossbows are legal to purchase, manufacture and possess for private use in one’s home but their transport is subject to the same regulations as that of live firearms.

    Looks like that issue has already been addressed in the mother country

  21. I am part of the me to movement. Got me two AR’s.

  22. This is why we have millions of AR-15s in private hands in this country? So that “the people” can be armed with them when it becomes necessary for another “1776!”? What is really more likely to occur in the United States:

    a) The federal government gets so out of control that an insurrection of ordinary people armed with semi-automatic rifles is the only viable solution.
    b) Radical militia groups and individuals assault government facilities to kidnap and murder politicians they don’t like, people decide that losing in court for two decades is just more evidence that the government is out of control, so they take it upon themselves to gather in mass to point guns at federal officers that come to enforce those court orders, and demented individuals use semi-auto rifles with 30+ round capacity magazines to mow down as many innocent people as possible?

    Out of these, which has actually happened or was planned to occur in the past few decades? Is this likely to change in the foreseeable future?

    I saw a good political cartoon that illustrates things recently. “2nd Amendment Scoreboard” – on the scoreboard was an empty column headed with “Tyrants overthrown”, and a column with “co-workers, friends, family, neighbors, children murdered” that was completely full of tick marks, with a guy adding more to it.

    When governments or the military of 3rd world countries oppress their citizens, it is tragic, and we can certainly sympathize and hope that their people find a way to resist and free themselves. Violently, if necessary. But we had our revolution a long time ago. Keeping our republic is best accomplished with peaceful means. A “2nd Amendment solution” would only be necessary after decades of failure to uphold our rights with those peaceful means. You are all basically arguing that we need to live with the consequences of having more guns in private hands than people just in case we fail to keep our rights the better and more effective way. Besides being a poor argument to begin with, it is hard to take it seriously from the side that has done the most to damage the institutions that would protect our freedom in recent years.

    1. Somebody grab the Midol.

  23. Quantitative analysis of the historical data over the last 120 years indicates that nonviolent civil resistance movements to overturn dictatorships prevail more often than armed movements–almost 2 times more often. Nonviolent resistance is the libertarian weapon against tyranny.

  24. Tuccille ignores the fundamental insight of libertarian political theory that all governmental power depends on the voluntary obedience of the people, and therefore when a sufficiently large portion of the people withdraw their support, government must collapse. Tyrannical governments want people to resist with violence, because violence is the strength of government. People who resist tyranny with nonviolent resistance attack government at its weakest point. So let’s hope that the Myanmar protestors are clever enough to stay with nonviolent resistance.

  25. quote
    ” Their chances would certainly be improved with access to weapons like the AR-15.”
    this is nonsense. The AR 15 platform is considered an “assault weapon” by several states, and onerous laws and restrictions apply even though they are semi-automatic and fire a puny little ruond not even considered deadly enough to be lawful to use for hunting deer, let alnoe anything larger.

    ON the other hand, the AK platform includes a number of variants that are full automatic fire. THAT is what is needed, and in places like Myanmar they’d be not that difficult to come by, as long as one had the required funds. Millions of full automatic and select fire AK’s are lying about all over the world in out of the way places…. not the major countries. They are stilll being manufactured in massive quantities, many of them being smuggled into Australia and parts of Ondinesia and Philippines.

    The AR platform available here in the US is a semiautomatic rifle. It is falsely demonsied and hated by those who wish us slaves. Those trying to take them (Beto comes to mind) away from the restof us would like the public to believe they are super dangeours, fully automatic fire, “high powered”, But reality is somewhat different. Only in movies and cartoons can Batman fly, or AR 15 rifles fire fully automatic bursts. They are lying to you. Stop believeing them.
    I will agree, howeve,r that even an AR 15 wiuth a box fullof ten round capacity magazines would be heaven sent to the people fighting for their freeom inMyanmar, and other such places.

    May God have mercy on us that WE do not end up where Myanmarians are now, using surgical rubber tubing to fling bricks and Molotovs, . and wrist rockets to chuck stones.
    If enough people do not wake up and start standing against the tyranny, this WILL happen here.

    Perhaps we could start by simply ripping the masks off our faces and having them into the dustbin. THAT is the most egregious evidence of tyranny we are facing now. End that, maybe they will think we now have a spine. Or something else more signficant.

  26. Yes, they need better arms in Myanmar; and we need to keep ours, because government is and always has and will be the greatest single threat to individuals. They and we also need to keep in mind that government has a huge advantage in focusing massive force in a single or a very few places and times – meeting it there and then is meeting it on its own terms to its huge advantage. Individuals may only be able to offer limited resistance force, but they can focus it in practically an unlimited number of places and times – about the only advantage of big government is that it offers practically an unlimited number of targets to resist in practically an unlimited number of places and times. You may only live next door to the pet murdering dogcatcher, but someone lives next door to the dissident murdering state police director.

    “Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: ‘You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?’ The soldier replied: ‘We will shoot twice and go home.'”

    Maybe, they should shoot twice and not even leave home in Myanmar; and, maybe, we should be prepared to do the same. Not only just in case it gets bad enough to justify so doing; but because being so prepared so improves the terms of the relationship between individuals and government; that it is never likely to get bad enough.

  27. I’m in the UK, and from here this whole conversation looks weird.

    Gun ownership here was basically outlawed in 1996 after the Dunblane Massacre (we figured one school shooting was one too many). There are still a few target pistols around, and shotguns and single-shot hunting rifles are authorized on a case-by-case basis for farmers and game keepers. But the vast majority of UK citizens just don’t see the point.

    The UK is still roughly as democratic and free as the US. We can argue the toss about whether your civil forfeiture is better or worse than our hate-speech ban, and whether having every policeman go armed is better or worse for civil rights than having them mostly unarmed (tazers and truncheons excepted). But there is no getting away from the fact that banning guns in the UK was not the first step down the road to a military dictatorship, and there seems no reason to think that the USA would be any different. I should add that the Democratic party would be considered centre-right over here, and the Republicans would be somewhere alongside the loons in the UK Indepedence Party. So it’s not because we are less socialist.

    Here in the UK guns are outlawed, but outlaws don’t generally carry guns. There are always a few idiots who think that carrying makes them Da Man, but they don’t last long. The only time when armed police *will* come after you and take you down *hard* is when they think you are carrying. If you survive being arrested you will spend a decade in prison just for the gun, never mind what you were doing with it. So any criminal with an ounce of common sense stays well away from guns.

    So we don’t need guns for “self defence”, and we don’t need them to overthrow the government. Neither do you.

  28. The historical data for comparing violent revolutions and nonviolent revolutions shows that nonviolent resistance protects a lot more freedom than does an AR-15.

  29. Sounds like the government won anyway.

  30. No, the government has been losing. Most of the country has been shut down by the general strike. Even most of the government bureaucrats are on strike. But if the protesters become violent, they will lose. That’s what the government wants. Libertarians should understand this–that governments lose their power when the people withdraw their consent.

  31. “That requires treating efforts at civilian disarmament as even more reason to keep the tools for self-defense close to hand.”

    That’s insurrectionist rhetoric. I’m sure you are on the Post Offices watchlist already.
    https://www.salon.com/2021/04/21/is-the-post-office-spying-on-you-usps-covert-operations-may-monitor-social-media-posts/

  32. despite their nuclear assurances Democrats are demonstrably quite paranoid about any actual right-wing civil uprising (e.g. national panic over four hours of not-quite-trespassing during a vote fraud protest in which only protesters died) but that probably just reflects the fact the lifeblood of high-density deep blue districts are basic necessities usually produced in rural, low-density deep red districts (food, fuel, etc)

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