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Is a second Civil War in America possible?

I wrote about Orson Scott Card’s new novel “Empire” and commented on how this book has confounded the far left. The premise of the book is a second American Civil War between the Blue States and the Red States.

Is there an issue that could spark a shooting Civil War between Blue State America and Red State America?

I see only one issue that could ignite the country and that would be a mandatory federal government issued disarmament of the American citizen. This has happened in some degree in England and to a lesser degree in Australia.

Astute readers will note that in both England and Australia it is not total disarmament. Rifles, shotguns, and “antique handguns” are allowed to some degree in England and to a greater degree in Australia. The great concern is the “slippery slope” argument.

Should the Supreme Court strike down the Second Amendment as antiquated via the logic that “well regulated militias” are no longer a viable legal construct and that the militia component of the Second Amendment is the primary clause, then local communities could enact legislation to prohibit handguns and certain types of long arms if not all firearms. This could serve as a catalyst to dramatically polarize Blue State and Red State America.

Would Blue State America cheer such a Supreme Court ruling striking down the Second Amendment? A ruling is one thing, the day the law comes to the door of Red State America to confiscate certain if not all firearms is another matter.

Would Red State America turn in their firearms ammo first and create a shooting Civil War? The right to self defense is considered in almost all societies as sacrosanct. How could any court rule in a way that would put citizens at the mercy of criminals that have no regard for the rule of law?

30 Responses to “Is a second Civil War in America possible?”

  1. Dave Duringer Says:

    Yes, I think it’s possible. (Yes, I’m already on the list due to MM activity, etc.) The tenor of public debate is changing markedly. I would never advocate it, and I think advocating it is immoral due to the low likelihood of success, but if one started and had a reasonable chance of succeeding I would have to side with good.

  2. tgirsch Says:

    I think you’re more likely to see a nonviolent split in that case, than a shooting war. Let’s face it, most of the blue states wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if Montana and Wyoming seceded, much less start a war over it.

    Plus, the pro-gun people have all the guns. 🙂

    Of course, notwithstanding Texas and maybe Florida, the nation that resulted from the “red state” split would have a shitty tax base, and would go bankrupt nearly as quickly as an independet Quebec.

  3. tgirsch Says:

    Oh, and if Kevin constitutes the “far left,” then I shudder to think where you put people like Hugo Chavez…

  4. kevin Says:

    1) Dude, if I am the far left, then you are so far right that you couldn’t see reality with the Hubble. Let me let you in on a little secret: capitalists cannot, by definition, be considered far left. So unless and until I start writing about turning over the means fo production to the workers collective, you shoudl really not refer to me or people like me as far left. it’s faintly ridiculous.

    2) Umm, no the left has been mocking the book’s awful prose and ridiculous plotting. This book is a perfect example of what happens when an author refuses to be edited. We aren’t confounded, we are amused. I’m a lit geek, so I thought it interesting that so many people were surprised at the flowering of some of Card’s tendencies that I think have been present since the begining of his career.

    If you want right wing polemics, stick with Dam Simmons — at least he can write. Or even Clancy. He, too, needs an editor nowadays, but when his characters aren’t spouting bad Ayn Rand-isms at each other his plots are fun.

    3) No, no shooting war. The country didn’t come to full scale civil war over the end of segregation, and that was a much more tightly held belief than gun rights. At worst, you would see the kind of low level guerilla warfare and harrasement that charecterized that era.

    4)Your premise is weird. Localites can already band weapons – -and many of them already have. So your

  5. kevin Says:

    Ack. Stupid return key.

    4) Your premise is weird. Localites can already ban weapons — and many of them already have. So your thought that “then local communities could enact legislation to prohibit handguns and certain types of long arms if not all firearms. This could serve as a catalyst to dramatically polarize Blue State and Red State America.” is already present, and I notice a distinct lack of civil war.

  6. Phelps Says:

    tgirsch, here’s the problem. The Domino Effect is alive and well, and no one on the Federal side could abide a secession by Wyoming and Montana. As soon as they go, and nothing happens, both Dakotas and Utah go. When nothing happens to them, Texas, Mississippi go, and Rural California starts making noises about a dividing line between them and the coastline…

  7. Kevin Baker Says:

    The legislation would have to be federal, not state or local. (We already have state and local, and it didn’t cause a civil war.) Even then, no. No civil war over gun confiscation.

    But there would be a lot more Marvin Heemeyers. For a while.

    And I’d probably be one of them.

    Face it: gun owners are primarily individualists, not joiners. And, as Billy Beck likes to point out, no matter how much we proclaim respect for the Constitution, we hardly share a common philosophy to unify around. If we did, we’d to the “won’t pay taxes” civil disobedience that he keeps preaching, and we’d be doing it already.

    As I keep saying, Claire Wolfe is wrong. It’s well past the time to shoot ’em. The time to do that is before they acquire much power. Shooting ’em now won’t put them back in line, it will only make them squeeze harder.

    The ones that are left, that is. Though most will survive. It’s the poor cops and other LEOs that will take the brunt of the reaction, not the ones at fault.

  8. #9 Says:

    Kevin, have a glass of wine and read the post again. The government would be the Blue State in the proposed scenario. The court would make the ruling and the local police and/or National Guard would confiscate the weapons.

    What Red State locales have experienced firearm confiscation? I don’t know of any. The premise of Civil War in the question depends on the confiscation of firearms by the State. Will you suggest a don’t ask don’t tell solution? Someone will.

    As to the question of how far left you are I have no idea. As to how far left Mr. Chavez is I have no idea. Farther than you? I would think so.

    As far as to the question of how far right I am it can be easily answered by reading my posts and comments. Are people who support and defend the Constitution so far right that they “couldn’t see reality with the Hubble [telescope]? I think that is a dubious and specious claim.

  9. tgirsch Says:

    #9:

    Hey, you’re the one who characterized Kevin as “the far left” (in your previous post). Does this mean you’re retracting that characterization?

    Phelps:

    Again, with the exception of Texas and Florida, nobody in the blue states would care much about the states that seceded. And for those in rural California or other such “blue state red-staters,” once a few red states seceded, they’d have a place to go where people shared common ideals, rather than trying to gather support in a state largely stacked against them. Think “free state project.”

  10. SayUncle Says:

    Localites can already ban weapons

    Yes, unconstitutionally. well depending on the weapon, of course.

  11. #9 Says:

    tgirsch, I based the “far left” comment on this quote from Kevin in his post, “That defensiveness is well shown when Kevin writes, “Leftists, in the world of Limbaugh and Coulter and Malkin, are vile things: anti-Military, closed-minded, smug, superior, elitist, anti-American, violent, incapable of reasoned though, practically traitors.”

    Which Kevin followed with, “Leftists, in Empire, are vile things: anti-Military, closed-minded, smug, superior, elitist, anti-American, violent, incapable of reasoned though, actually traitors. America, in the world of Limbaugh and Coulter and Malkin, is always right (even when it acts as an Empire it’s not really acting as an Empire) and its correct course of action is always to show the world who is boss.”

    It sounded closed-minded, smug, and absolutist to me. I suppose your mileage may vary. I only know Kevin from his writing and you know him better than I. Perhaps I should extend the olive branch and say what, left of left of center? I have read Kevin for some time and he is farther left than many. How far left is that? I don’t know. I chose far left because I did not feel the description extreme left was appropriate.

    Does America always have to show the world who is the boss?

  12. Kristopher Says:

    There is the other option ….

    States get to define what constitutes a state militia or police force. Montana has already made all state residents LEOs with respect to the fed’s “safe schools” act.

    Actually … I would like to see the blue states secede … there might be some conflict over where the new boundaries get drawn, however. As for tax base … Blue City merchants will suddenly find themselves paying tariffs to sell to their old customers … heh.

  13. GunGeek Says:

    I certainly can’t take credit for this thought, but when one talks about city/county/state police, National Guard, regular armed forces, etc being the ones doing the confiscating they must also consider what percentage of those agents will actually go through with it, especially if there are any kind of odds of their getting shot for trying.

    Will they just go through the motions, only taking them away from those that would have brought them down to the station voluntarily anyway?

    I was living near San Francisco when they banned handguns back in 1982. Estimates were that residents of the city owned somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 to 200,000 handguns. The number actually turned in was something like 20. It was a small enough number that they melted them down and made them into a medallion to be presented to the Pope since he had been shot by a handgun. Personally, I think the gift to the Pope was more so that Dianne Feinstein could take 70 of her closest advisors and employees on a city paid trip to Rome.

    Most of the guns turned in were from little old widows who were turning in their late husband’s handguns that they never had any intention of ever firing anyway. I’m sure that put a substantial dent in crime.

    Point is, if people are going to ignore a ban en masse, and the people being tasked with enforcing the ban tend to be gun loving people that believe in the 2nd Amendment and who aren’t particularly fond of the prospect of getting shot, just how well will the whole thing go over?

    It will end up being one of those laws that are not enforced unless someone gets caught with a gun and then they’ll take away that one and any others that they can find at his house. One person at a time, when they are in a situation where they are not as able to defend themselves against government agents and where the agents won’t be actively coming after their guns.

  14. Michael Says:

    I really don’t think so. Now Revolution, yes. If some how some way the goverment banned guns or repealled the Second Amendment. Yeah, I think that 2 million armed citizens would be burning Washington D.C. down to the ground. And yes I will all most likely be one of them. But I doubt that something like that will happen in my time.

  15. chris Says:

    “Of course, notwithstanding Texas and maybe Florida, the nation that resulted from the “red state” split would have a shitty tax base, and would go bankrupt nearly as quickly as an independet Quebec. ”

    This may be true, but the red state would intentionally thin the scope of government-provided services.

    I think that taxation, government programs government wealth redistribution, and racial/ethnic divides would be more likely causes of a national schism or civil war.

    If it happened, though, our porous Southern border problem would immediately be remedied.

    I suspect that the Internal Revenue Code would be a lot thinner for the new red state nation.

    As the red states drastically cut government programs and taxes, the noncontributing citizens would, invariably, migrate to the Northern blue states, which would instinctively raise their taxes.

    The result would, of course, be a similar migration of productive, hard-working Northerners blue state residents to the red states.

    The blue states would also instinctively retain 230 years of Constitutional jurisprudence (think, Kelo, University of Michigan affirmative action decisions, commerce clause case law which holds that a farmer’s production of crops for his family’s consumption constitutes interstate commerce), while the red states adopt the Constitution in toto and its courts interpret it in accordance with its original intent.

    Unions, PETA, the ACLU and the American Bar Association would be the movers and shakers in the blue states, while the NRA and the Federalist Society would bear considerable clout in the red states.

    Blue state shopping would consist of Macy’s. Sacks Fifth Avenue and Ralph Lauren, while red state shopping would include Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain and copious amounts of camo.

    Blue state entertainment would include pretty much everyone that you usually see on the Entertainment Channel (think the Dixie Chicks and Courtney Love), while red state entertainment would include most of the people who routinely perform on CMT (think Toby Keith and Bocephus).

    Blue state sports would include hockey, the NBA and baseball, while red state sports would include NASCAR.

    College football and the NFL would be “shared” sports.

    Colt, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory and Ruger would relocate to Tennessee.

    What I am failing to see in all this is the downside for the red states.

  16. gattsuru Says:

    Tgirsch –

    I think you’re underestimating exactly how much interstate commerce effects liberal meccas. For starters, you’d end up needing to import nearly all your food goods, even more automotive tech, and even some electricity.

    Yes, red states take a lot of subsidies, but they’re also essential for the blue state life style.

  17. Xrlq Says:

    Oh, and if Kevin constitutes the “far left,” then I shudder to think where you put people like Hugo Chavez…

    In the context of American politics, off the political spectrum completely. If you have to be Hugo Chavez to count as the far left, or Attila the Hun to count as the far right, then the phrases far + anything have no useful meaning.

  18. trainer Says:

    I remember an essay several years ago discussing how guns would be removed from the population if the constitution was subverted. It was fairly simple, but took time. They started with ending all gun sales, and giving amnesty periods to turn in weapons. Guns found for any reason during home searches were confiscated. Children were taught in school how bad guns were and to turn in their parents. The media was a constant drum beat of anti-gun info and highlighted every time a gun accidentally killed a child, while ignoring stories where guns were used to prevent crime. Any gun used in self-defense was taken as well as all guns in the home. No information was ever put out about anyone who defended his home to the end. Everyone who owned a gun was automatically a criminal. The frog got boiled.

    It seems to me that a lot of that is happening now.

    I could easily see secession start. Who’s going to stop them? The Red States have all the military types, and the Blue States aren’t going to shed their precious blue blood to bring anyone back into the union. There would be economic warfare surely, but a lot would depend on what states went out. And economic warfare works both ways.

    The lack of a tax base for Free America might not be too bad. I expect there would be less government anyway…and a lot of movement across the line to even out the population. Free American gets all the productive, individualistic, entrepreneurial types, and Liberal America gets the elites and a whole piss pot full of welfare queens.

  19. kevin Says:

    “It sounded closed-minded, smug, and absolutist to me. I suppose your mileage may vary. I only know Kevin from his writing and you know him better than I. Perhaps I should extend the olive branch and say what, left of left of center? I have read Kevin for some time and he is farther left than many. How far left is that? I don’t know. I chose far left because I did not feel the description extreme left was appropriate.”

    You may have missed this, since I forgot it originally an ae it in later, but there are links backing up my observation. I am not being closed mined and smug, I am simply repeating what they say themselves. If you have a problem with that, I would suggest that you take it up with them. And I stand by my description of the characters in Empire. They are obsessed with demonstrating the perfidy of leftists. As you failed to mention, I provided evidence for my contentions. You chose to ignore that evidence. Not, I would suggest, the actions one who accuses others of being closed minded an smug should take…

    “The lack of a tax base for Free America might not be too bad. I expect there would be less government anyway…and a lot of movement across the line to even out the population. Free American gets all the productive, individualistic, entrepreneurial types, and Liberal America gets the elites and a whole piss pot full of welfare queens.”

    That would be convincing if most of the engines of commerce in this country were in Blue States ….

    Here is the thing: you already have the model for the Red state government you want: low taxes, almost no interference with business, no social welfare to speak of. Except that Russia is a basket case. As was Chile, for that matter. You cannot build a modern economy without the appropriate infrastructure — including infrastructure to protect people — an the migration patterns in this country prove that creative, entrepreneurial people want to live in open, tolerant places, places.

  20. R. Neal Says:

    What’s up with the “turn in your ammo first” meme I’ve seen here a few times? Can someone explain that? I don’t get it. I’m a little slow sometimes.

  21. Xrlq Says:

    I’ve always assumed it was a not so clever way to say “shoot the fudgers.”

  22. Kevin Baker Says:

    R. Neal:

    “Turning in your ammo first” means “through the muzzle end of the firearm in question.”

  23. JRD Says:

    So after reading this post and comments, I jumped over to leanleft to see for myself if Kevin should be classified as ‘far-left.” I read his post and comments on Jeanne Kirkpatrick and a couple of others. Based on those posts, I don’t see how anyone could call him anything BUT far-left. Hateful, smug, condescending, arrogant – yup, all there.

  24. gattsuru Says:

    Kevin, is that why manufacting capability has driven so extremely from ‘open’ (to ideas liberals like), tolerant (to ideas liberals like) places like France and the United Kingdom to the United States, and since then partly to China?

    Oh, wait, I guess that’s just evidence that being ruled by unions and socialists might not be a great idea.

    Well, let’s try population. Wait, no, the 2000 Census showed the populations of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles growing significantly slower (4-9 percentage points of difference) than the American average.

    You can wave around tax receipts all you want, but all they show is that the cost of living (and as a result ‘progressive’ taxes) is higher in liberal meccas.

  25. #9 Says:

    You may have missed this, since I forgot it originally an ae it in later, but there are links backing up my observation. I am not being closed mined and smug, I am simply repeating what they say themselves. If you have a problem with that, I would suggest that you take it up with them. And I stand by my description of the characters in Empire. They are obsessed with demonstrating the perfidy of leftists. As you failed to mention, I provided evidence for my contentions. You chose to ignore that evidence. Not, I would suggest, the actions one who accuses others of being closed minded an smug should take…

    Of course I missed it since it was not in the original post. That post was on November 30th. I did however just read the new hyperlinks. But all you did was hyperlink three links to Media Matters which was founded by David Brock. How does that change what you wrote?

    You are entitled to your opinion about the book “Empire” but you suggest that Conservatives have a low regard for the left which is an absolute statement that you do not cite meaningful references for. If that is your opinion then fine. The whole Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin canard is specious.

    By the way, the Jeanne Kirkpatrick post was written by KTK, who is an ethicist, not by Kevin. I am a little surprised an ethicist would write, “She was not stupid, which is the only good thing that can be said for her. My first thought on hearing the news was to recall the old joke about a bus full of lawyers going over a cliff with one seat empty . . . “. The phrase “far left” pales in comparison to the eulogy for Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

  26. Vivictius Says:

    Well, in a split up I think cali would have a bit of a problem since most all its water comes from red states…

  27. Kristopher Says:

    They would have even more of a problem if the split goes by county.

    A few Socialist islands in a sea of Red.

  28. JRD Says:

    My mistake. My apologies to Kevin.

  29. #9 Says:

    Kevin, did you read more than two chapters of Empire?

  30. Diamondback Says:

    I don’t think it would ever come to a shooting war, but I do believe that gun rights will end up becoming a State decided issue. California will eventually ban guns for everyone except police and military as will NY.

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