A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Civil Disobedience’ tag

Gun Owners in Washington Planning Act of Mass Civil Disobedience

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During the election i594 passed in Washington, which requires all gun transfers to be performed through a federally licensed dealer. As you can guess gun owners are pissed. After all, what parent wants to pay a middle man just so they can give their child his or her inheritance to them? Who wants to pay a middle man just to get permission to sell a firearm to a friend? It’s a stupid law, it’s unenforceable, and it appears that Washington’s gun owners are planning to give their rulers a rightfully deserved gigantic middle finger:

Tens of thousands of Connecticut gun owners chose to become overnight felons rather than comply with that state’s new gun registration law. The defiance spurred the Hartford Courant editorial board to impotently sputter about rounding up the scofflaws.

New York’s similar registration law suffers such low compliance that state officials won’t even reveal how many people have abide by the measure—a desperate secrecy ploy that the New York State Committee on Open Government says thumbs its nose at the law itself.

Now Washington state residents pissed of about i594, a ballot measure inflicting background check requirements on even private transactions, plan an exercise in mass disobedience next month.

According to the event’s Facebook page they plan to gather en masse at the Washington State Capital and exchange firearms without involving any middle men. Since only federally licensed dealers can access the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to perform a background check these transfers will be in violation of the law.

I’m a big fan of civil disobedience because it shows how impotent the state is. Assuming half of the 6,100 people (as of this writing) marked as going show up it will be impossible for law enforcement agents to arrest them all. Even if they did manage to round them all up they probably wouldn’t have enough cages to keep them in. The state’s power is predatory in nature. It attempts to isolate individuals and attack them. But when it faces masses of people it must either back down or use violence on all of them, which quickly erases its legitimacy in the eyes of many.

This even will, in all probability, also cause many gun control loons to reveal their true faces. I’m sure social media outlets will be jam packed with comments by anti-gunners who claim to want peace demanding the police execute these unruly gun owners. Nothing brings out an anti-gunner’s violence nature like disobedient gun owners. I look forward to reading their rants for the LULZ.

What Anarchy Looks Like

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People often mistaken anarchy with roaming gangs of Molotov cocktail throwing angst-filled teens. It’s a cute vision that statists can tell their children during bedtime stories to scare them into compliance but the reality of anarchy is quite different. Anarchy, when you boil everything down, is the opposition of hierarchy. We anarchists don’t like rulers. So what happens when people finally begin to ignore those who claim a right to rule? Acts of civil disobedience:

Park authorities have issued citations for 21 tourists and visitors who entered Grand Canyon National Park after the government shutdown started. And in response — and in the face of the furlough of other workers — the park has bolstered its security team to monitor the land around the clock.

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Despite the shutdown and the closure of the park, Mr. Wright said law enforcement will patrol the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Meanwhile, most park workers outside of the security and law enforcement section have been furloughed.

Isn’t it funny how the state has the money to pay thugs to issue citations during this “shutdown”? More to the point, these are the kinds of acts you can expect during a time when people finally begin opposing their rulers. Violence isn’t the inevitable outcome. Most people, after becoming dissatisfied with their rulers, simply go about their business as always. Usually the rulers bring armed thuggery into the equation because violence is all they know but, in general, most people act just as peaceful when they no longer acknowledge their rulers as when they do.

Johnny Cannabis Seed

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Repeat after me, prohibitions never work. The simpler the thing being prohibited is to do or create the more miserably the prohibition will fail. Cannabis, being a weed, is very easy to grow and therefore the prohibition against growing, using, and selling cannabis was doomed to fail. Supporters of cannabis legalization in Gottingen, Germany demonstrated the futility of banning the weed:

Cannabis plants are sprouting up all over a German town after pro-marijuana supporters planted tens of thousands of seeds last month.

Supporters of the group A Few Autonomous Flower Children spread several kilograms of seeds around the university town of Gottingen last month.

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Scores of the plants have sprouted all over the town this week to the fury of the local police and council.

A website shows dozens of photos of the cannabis plants blooming in public parks, allotments, gardens and window boxes all over town – with some even growing outside the local police station.

Police have been ripping out the illegal plants on sight but the sheer number of blossoming plants became noticeable in the past week.

The act of planting cannabis seeds throughout a territory has been a form of civil disobedience discussed by many but executed so effectively by few. Hopefully the success experienced by A Few Autonomous Flower Children will encourage individuals in other cities to perform similar facts. Nothing would demonstrate the futility of cannabis prohibitions so succinctly as millions of plants growing in every major city. If nothing else, such actions sap resources from the state by forcing it to redirect police resources from writing citations and shooting dogs to ripping up cannabis plants. The more time the police waste ripping up weeds the less time they have to cause actual harm to people.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 23rd, 2013 at 10:30 am

Breaking the Law, It’s More Valuable than Most People Realize

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One of the most annoying claims I hear people make is, “I’m a law abiding citizen!” No, you’re not, nobody is. In fact everybody in the United States, on average, commits three felonies a day. Considering there are approximately 27,000 pages of federal statutes it shouldn’t surprise anybody that obeying the law is impossible.

When I discuss civil disobedience and agorism as an alternative to politics the most common rebuttal I hear is that both are illegal. What critics often fail to realize is that those methods are illegal by design. Breaking the law is critical if one wants to change society:

What’s often overlooked, however, is that these legal victories would probably not have been possible without the ability to break the law.

The state of Minnesota, for instance, legalized same-sex marriage this year, but sodomy laws had effectively made homosexuality itself completely illegal in that state until 2001. Likewise, before the recent changes making marijuana legal for personal use in WA and CO, it was obviously not legal for personal use.

Imagine if there were an alternate dystopian reality where law enforcement was 100% effective, such that any potential law offenders knew they would be immediately identified, apprehended, and jailed. If perfect law enforcement had been a reality in MN, CO, and WA since their founding in the 1850s, it seems quite unlikely that these recent changes would have ever come to pass. How could people have decided that marijuana should be legal, if nobody had ever used it? How could states decide that same sex marriage should be permitted, if nobody had ever seen or participated in a same sex relationship?

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The more fundamental problem, however, is that living in an existing social structure creates a specific set of desires and motivations in a way that merely talking about other social structures never can. The world we live in influences not just what we think, but how we think, in a way that a discourse about other ideas isn’t able to. Any teenager can tell you that life’s most meaningful experiences aren’t the ones you necessarily desired, but the ones that actually transformed your very sense of what you desire.

We can only desire based on what we know. It is our present experience of what we are and are not able to do that largely determines our sense for what is possible. This is why same sex relationships, in violation of sodomy laws, were a necessary precondition for the legalization of same sex marriage. This is also why those maintaining positions of power will always encourage the freedom to talk about ideas, but never to act.

Why would anybody advocate for legalizing homosexuality if they didn’t partake in it or know somebody who partook in it? The same goes for cannabis, strong cryptography, and standard capacity magazines. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

The whole point of civil disobedience is to partake in an illegal activity to raise awareness of its prohibition, demonstrate that there are people who derive enjoyment from the prohibited act, and demonstrate that the prohibited act’s practice isn’t harmful to others. Cannabis would have almost certainly remained illegal in Colorado and Washington if it wasn’t for disobedient individuals demonstrating that smoking the plant is enjoyable to many and harmless to everybody else. The same goes for homosexuality. It took individuals participating in same-sex relationships to demonstrate that same-sex relationships are enjoyable to many and harmless to everybody else.

Agorism, in my opinion, is, in part, meant to demonstrate that a functioning society is possible without the state. The only way to demonstrate such a thing is to participate in actions outside of the rules established by the state. Commerce, being the area of our lives the state attempts to control the most, is a prime candidate for demonstration purposes. When you think about it, almost everything we do in our lives is made possible through commerce. The simple act of eating food is made possible, for most people in the United States, by farmers selling their goods to wholesalers, who hire truckers to haul food to trains, which haul the food to barges, which transport the food to a packaging plant, which packages up the food and gives it to more truckers, who transport the food to distribution centers, which put the food on their trucks, which transport the food to grocery stores, which sell the food to consumers.

The state claims that each and ever step along that path must be tightly regulated in order to ensure consumer safety. Agorists can prove the state wrong by providing food, transportation, or packaging outside of the state’s regulations. Doing so in a manner that satisfies customers’ demands demonstrates the viability of commerce that isn’t tightly regulated by the state.

Just as you have to break eggs to make omelets you also have to break laws to make societal changes.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 18th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Adam Kokesh Arrested Again

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Adam Kokesh is an interesting man. First he calls for an armed march on Washington DC, then he cancels it, then he went anyways. While he was rather inconsistent about the entire march I must admit that he has brass balls for venturing into the city of the damned with a gun in defiance of the law. Not surprisingly, he was arrested:

Police searched the Northern Virginia home of libertarian activist Adam Kokesh Tuesday evening and took him into custody, according to a news release posted on Kokesh’s Web site.

Kokesh, a former Marine, was held overnight at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, charged with possession of schedule I and II drugs while in possession of a firearm, said Lt. Steve Elbert, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. No additional details were immediately available.

The search warrant was served by U.S. Park Police, a federal agency that is responsible for policing Freedom Plaza, the concrete park on Pennsylvania Avenue NW where in a video Kokesh appears to load a shotgun, in violation of D.C. gun laws.

Kokesh’s arrest demonstrates that rules are for thee, not for me. When David Gregory illegally possessed a standard capacity AR-15 magazine on national television he go off scot free because he was promoting the statist agenda. Meanwhile Adam Kokesh illegally possessed a shotgun and was arrested because he wasn’t promoting the statist agenda.

What Kokesh’s arrest really demonstrates is how arbitrarily laws are enforced in Washington DC. If you’re being an obedience serf you can get away with breaking the law but if you’re being a disobedience rabble-rouser you will be kidnapped and locked in a cage.

Civil Disobedience is Beautiful

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I have to hand it to Colorado gun owners, they aren’t going quietly into the night. Magpul was giving away magazines and gun owners decided to hold a magazine swap at the Colorado Capital:

DENVER – Gun rights advocates held an ammunition magazine swap at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday to defy a new state law.

During the “Magazine Swap at the Capitol,” activists urged people from Colorado and surrounding areas to buy, sell and swap magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

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More than 50 people attended the protest event at the Capitol with many passing ammunition magazines around a circle of people.

Civil disobedience is a wonderful thing. From what I can find it appears that no arrests were made during the event, which really goes to show just how toothless the new prohibition is. More swaps like this should be held and people from surrounding states that can still purchase standard capacity magazines should attend in droves.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 3rd, 2013 at 10:30 am

Gun Rights Advocacy I Can Get Behind

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Longtime readers of this blog know that I’ve given up on the political means to defend gun rights. The state has too many reasons to disarm the people to be reliable upon to uphold the right to keep and bear arms. Instead of begging politicians to carve out a few exceptions in their plan to leave the people defenseless I advocate the people perform acts of civil disobedience. When the Colorado politicians passed several restrictive gun control measures, including a prohibition against standard capacity magazines, I advocated the people of Colorado to start manufacturing standard capacity magazines and buying them from surrounding states. As it turns out, I’m not the only person following this line of thinking:

At least two formal events have popped up on Facebook that are encouraging Colorado gun owners to engage in civil disobedience and break the recent law that prohibits the sale or transfer of gun magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds.

The events encourage participants from Colorado and other surrounding states to buy, sell and swap magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds in disobedience of the law.

Actions like this stand a far better chance of rendering Colorado’s magazine ban irrelevant than any political activism. First, buying standard capacity magazines from another state means you’ll have standard capacity magazines immediately whereas relying on political activism means you may not have standard capacity magazines for years or ever. Second, thumbing your nose at the law demonstrates how impotent the state really is. The state may catch one or two people to make an example out of but, as with any law, the state will be unable to catch a vast majority of offenders. Demonstrating the state’s impotency is the best way to encourage more people to ignore its decrees.

As they say, Rosa Parks didn’t vote her way to the front of the bus. In the same way gun owners aren’t going to vote their way to more freedom. When you want freedom you must take it.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 19th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Kokesh’s Armed March in Washington DC

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A couple of people have asked me about my thoughts on Adam Kokesh’s planned march in Washington DC. What makes the march worthy of conversation is that it will involve individuals marching with loaded rifles in spite of Washington DC’s prohibition against such activities.

If it was anybody but Kokesh was organizing the march I would expect an convenient excuse to cancel the event to be made shortly before it was scheduled to begin. While I’m not the biggest Adam Kokesh fan due to his abrasive nature he has proven himself willing to spit in the face of the law, which makes this event a real possibility in my mind. With that said, it sounds like the event does have a cop out, Kokesh mentions that there needs to be 1,000 participants for the event to occur. This makes sense since acts of civil disobedience require a mass of people large enough to discourage the police from moving in on the crowd.

If the event actually occurs and there are enough participants to discourage the police from interfering I think this march will go down without incident. History demonstrates that mass acts of civil disobedience, if uninterrupted by agents of the state, usually go down peacefully. However I question whether or not the event will be allowed to occur. Who’s to say that Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) won’t arrest the primary organizers of this event a few days before it’s scheduled to begin? The FBI has a history of pulling such stunts. If the FBI doesn’t pull such shenanigans and the event does occur I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more agent provocateurs were inserted into the group specifically to cause trouble. Again such tactics aren’t unprecedented. It will be important for the organizers of this event to warn participants to immediately disassociate themselves with anybody in the crowd trying to instigate violence and to actively intervene in attempted acts of violence. There are many ways for this event to be prevented from happening or twisted into something ugly if it does happen but that’s a potential risk of any acts of mass civil disobedience.

Many gun rights activists have expressed concern about the image that this kind of event could create but that’s not really a concern of mine. No matter what we do as gun owners the advocates of gun control will hate us. In the eyes of the most zealous and outspoken gun control advocates we’re vicious monsters who want nothing more than to murder every wholesome person in the world. If a bunch of gun owners perform an armed march on Washington DC the gun control advocates will scream bloody murder. If gun owners don’t perform an armed march on Washington DC the gun control advocates will still scream bloody murder. We can’t win with them so we shouldn’t worry ourselves with what they think.

I’ve also heard several gun rights activists express the fact that it will only takes one person to do something stupid for this event to turn into a bloodbath. To that I can only ask, do we really believe what we preach about gun rights? Do we not believe that an armed society is a polite society? Do we not believe that an increased presence of armed individuals increases the cost of performing violent and therefore discourages such behavior? I do believe those things and therefore am not very concerned about one of our own doing something stupid, at least not stupid enough to start a firefight. The agent provocateur risk springs to mind when fellow gun rights activists mention the risk of one of our own doing something stupid but that risk can also be mitigated as I explained above.

I have no issue with the idea of the event itself. I’m a proponent of civil disobedience because it’s the only tactic that has proven to be effective at enacting meaningful political change in this country. If the march happens it will send a powerful and simple message to anybody watching: we the people are not afraid of the state. The point of civil disobedience is to demonstrate to observers that the state’s laws are meaningless unless people are willing to obey them. An armed march on Washington DC may be the act necessary to demonstrate the state’s inability to regulate firearms or it may not. Either way it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this event. I wish the participants the best of luck and encourage them to follow examples set by previous mass civil disobedience events by remaining entirely nonviolent.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 9th, 2013 at 11:00 am

Posted in Gun Rights

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The Need for Civil Disobedience

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Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has written up a post discussing what he believes is the best strategy to restore gun rights to the entirety of the United States. It’s an interesting read but I feel as though he left out a major point:

In nearly all other civil rights struggles in this country, it’s been a combination of Congress and the Courts acting to preserve liberties. The early Civil Rights Acts, authorized by Congress’ powers under the 14th Amendment, were intended to protect the rights of newly freed Blacks during Reconstruction. There have even been government agencies created for the protection of civil rights. Even today, under Congress’s enforcement powers found in the 15th Amendment, the Voting Rights Act provides for extensive federal oversight over state election matters and over state redistricting in states with a history of discriminatory behavior. There is ample precedent for Congressional involvement in the protection of civil liberties. I would propose that when the political environment improves for us, our focus ought to be on a comprehensive bill that restores Second Amendment rights to all Americans.

What precede those events? What has preceded every advancement cheered by civil liberty activists? Civil disobedience. The labor movement, civil rights movement, and gay rights movement all started off as massive acts of disobedience.

There is a reason all of those movements began as acts of civil disobedience, it’s the only effective strategy to gain or regain liberties under a state. As an entity that exists solely off of expropriated wealth, the state has a vested interest in increasing its power over the general population. Reducing the state’s power can only be achieved in one way, rendering it irrelevant. The state knows this, which is why civil disobedience has proven an effective strategy historically. Civil disobedience accomplishes two things: it allows the immediate exercise of desired liberties and it sows seeds of doubt in the minds of the general populace. One of those things directly leads to the other. By immediately exercising desired liberties it can be demonstrated that those liberties are not dangerous to the general populace. Fear is the state’s primary weapon and it uses it to gather popular support. During each of the above mentioned movements the state produced propaganda aimed at convincing the general populace that those movements were dangerous to society. When the propaganda was demonstrated to be false the general populace began supporting, or at least caring little one way or the other, about the movements.

It was upon that swing of popular opinion that the state realized it needed to begin damage control. Great swaths of the population no longer viewed the state’s power to regulate those liberties as legitimate and if the state didn’t perform damage control the population would soon begin to question the legitimacy of other state powers. What’s the best way to control such damage? Make people believe they control the state.

The only reason the state grants civil liberties is to convince the general population that they have some say in how the government works. When people began turning against the state’s implemented restrictions against blacks the state turned and passed legislation to undo its previous damage. By doing so the general populace became convinced that they controlled the actions of the state and the state way able to maintain its legitimacy.

If those of us in the gun rights community want to remove the state’s restrictions against gun ownership we need to start by performing acts of civil disobedience. The only way to win this fight is to demonstrate how ineffective the state’s power is. Until we have accomplished that no amount of begging, pleading, or petitioning is going to accomplish anything of value. Sure, we may gain an absolutely minor victory here or there but we’ll lose in the long run. The time for begging masters for scraps from the liberty table is over, if we want to feast on freedom we must ignore those masters, sit down at the table, and eat our fill.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 5th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Colorado Falls

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I don’t think anybody was surprised to hear that John Hickenlooper signed the asinine Colorado gun control bill:

The governor of Colorado signed bills Wednesday that put sweeping new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance.

The bills thrust Colorado into the national spotlight as a potential test of how far the country might be willing to go with new gun restrictions after the horror of mass killings at an Aurora movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

The approval by Gov. John Hickenlooper came exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot at the theater, and the day after the executive director of the state Corrections Department was shot and killed at his home.

The bills require background checks for private and online gun sales and ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

I’ve read several blogs urging Colorado gun owners to start tooling up for the 2014 election. Don’t worry, I’m not going to waste your time urging you to beg politicians next year to restore some of your liberties. I do want to see denizens of Colorado tooling up, just not for politics. Once again I’m going to bring up what I’m calling Plan B, the decentralized production of verboten firearms and accessories. But there is something those of us living outside of Colorado can do for those suffering under that state’s regime, get verboten products into their hands. Magpul has been trying their best to flood the Colorado market with standard capacity magazines but their operation doesn’t have to stop just because they’re leaving the state. Those of us living outside of Colorado can still put standard capacity magazines into the hands of Colorado gun owners and we should.

Yes, I’m urging gun owners to break the law. Just because some dude wearing a suit and sitting behind a fancy desk in a large marble building says something is a law doesn’t mean it’s just. When the state makes an unjust decree it is right to actively disobey it. If you’re living in Colorado don’t waste your time begging politicians for freedom, even if they grant it to you you’ll face the threat of future politicians taking it away. Instead render their power irrelevant, let them know you will not obey them, let them know that the people no longer view their decrees as legitimate. The only way you’ll gain freedom is if you take it.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am