Tuesday, June 19, 2018

How long would it take for the police to confiscate every gun in America

It's a trick question, of course - a Trillion dollar "War on Drugs" has led to illegal narcotics for sale on every street corner and an epidemic of overdose deaths.  But let's do a thought experiment here.  The left loves their fantasies of rounding up all the guns, so just how long would that take?

A few months back I ran the numbers and the answer is 3 years.  And that was with all sorts of assumptions about how gun owners would just chill out the whole time.  Whatevez, bro.

Eric Raymond comments on a new article that made the same calculation, and came up with a pretty similar number to what I derived (hey, the numbers are the numbers).  But he did some calculation on the expected rate of violent resistance.  The numbers are pretty stark:
There’s a different way to slice these numbers. Applying the 3:1 force ratio military planners like to assume, this means the number of violently resistant gun owners – people willing to shoot a doorknocker rather than watch their country sink into tyranny – needs to be about 249000.
Is this a plausible number?
This is an interesting approach to the problem - take current military doctrine and calculate backwards to see if you have a plausible input.
The NRA has about 5.2 million members. That’s about 1 in 20 NRA members.
According to the General Social Survey in 2013, about 1 in 4 Americans owned guns. That’s 79 million gun owners, and probably an undercount because gun owners are chronically suspicious of the intention behind such questions. But we’ll go with it as an assumption that’s best-case for the doorknockers.
That means that in order to stop attempted gun confiscations dead on a purely force-on-force level, only one in 317 American gun owners needs to remember that our first American Revolution began as spontaneous popular resistance to a gun-confiscation order.
That's 0.3% of American gun owners.  That's ten times less than the Threepers talk about.

The comments are pretty interesting, with a bunch of Europeans telling people that this is no big deal (Whatevez, bro), and getting hammered pretty hard for it.


Richard said...

.3% is 1/10 of 3%, not 10 times less ( a concept that has no meaning).

Rick C said...

"a bunch of Europeans telling people that this is no big deal (Whatevez, bro), and getting hammered pretty hard for it."

So, your typical ESR comment section.

Rickvid in Seattle said...

Seems like some static analysis. The attrition would start at a certain number, then the calculation assumes that original number remains static as attrition occurs. In reality, the number o resisters would fluctuate as some would chicken out and others join up.

Any way you look at it, it would be pretty deadly.

Jerry said...

The big assumption is that there is no effective or organized resistance. The problem is that our technological society is not very robust. We've seen what happens when the grid goes down for a couple days. What if it's down for 3 months. Most major cities would collapse into anarchy and it won't be the rosy Utopia promised by the intellectual idiots. It was be nasty, brutish and deadly.

Richard Jennings said...

They'd never finish. The last time the authorities tried that, they were met with violent resistance, and the war was on! England lost a bunch of colonies when it was over.

SiGraybeard said...

The first gun owners to be raided would be caught off guard. Once the word got around, however, I'm afraid it would turn to a level of ugliness the world has never seen.

Think the Rawandan genocide, the Hutus killing off all the Tutsis, and crank it up a few notches.

Will said...

I would wonder how long the local cop shop would remain functional to any degree. Once the raids become public knowledge, survival of gun owners, and the Republic, would seem to hinge on eliminating the entire force. How do you tell the gun grabbers from other uniformed officers? You can't, so you don't bother, they all become targets.

Frankly, the smartest thing badge-toters could do is for THEM to remove any bureaucrat/politician that gives the order to seize guns. They would be a HELL of a lot safer to do that bit of minor house-cleaning. It will get very messy otherwise, as you can be sure it will not remain a narrow battlefield. Tit-for-tat will quickly drag in families and other peripheral entities. Other areas of concern will be added to the mix, and you get SiG's result, which is the death of the nation.

Will Ford said...


Eric Wilner said...

Another thing to ponder:
The safest time to confiscate a cache of guns is when there's no one around to defend it.
There'd surely be anonymous tip lines for reporting households with guns, suspected buried caches (perhaps on public land), suspicious items being put in rented storage lockers, etc.
So, booby traps. Lots of them.
And we can assume that some of those setting up traps will have read Bujuold's Diplomatic Immunity or otherwise have come up with ideas for truly nasty sorts of payloads, even without having access to Cetagandan-level biotech.

Borepatch said...

SiGraybeard, I think you're exactly right.

Will this was the discussion in the article I linked to. The author doesn't think that the police would be able to maintain force superiority.

Will Ford, to ask the question is to answer it. ;-)

Eric, or use anonymous tips to lure a group into an ambush. If things turn nasty then they will turn really nasty.

Eric Wilner said...

And yet another consideration:
Under the new rules, families of government employees are fair game ("Anti"fa vs. ICE agents, this week).
Which, come to think of it, might also be the old rules when going after a sufficiently nasty gang. But now it applies to routine law enforcement.
So, by the Left's rules, not only do cops have to worry about going home to their families, they have to worry about having families to go home to.
I don't think I like the new rules. But the way things are going, the whole concept of "law enforcement" may be a quaint notion in a few years, making mass confiscation (of anything) even less plausible.