Anyone who is acquainted with contemporary politics is aware of the gun control debate in America. For better or for worse, it currently looms large in politics. Both sides of the aisle are weighing in on how to make the country a safer place, though they have come to much different solutions. Leftists are launching a no-holds-barred assault on the 2nd Amendmentand will deal it as much damage as possible if given half a chance. Tragically, conservatives are split in their response. One camp, which sometimes includes the president, waffles on the 2nd Amendment whenever the pressure is on, while another stands firm for liberty.

The purely American political circus that is the presidential election is ramping up by the week. 2nd Amendment issues, while not the most popular campaign plank for either side, have a very far reach. When one speaks of liberty, the right to keep and bear arms is one of the most fundamental freedoms that can be cited. America is anomalous on the world stage for our freedom regarding this and that is something worth protecting. Gun control policies are largely ineffective in the way of reducing violence. In fact, the only thing that it excels in is restricting liberty on a large scale. For this reason, 2nd Amendment issues are truly paramount in value. The right to keep and bear arms is as fundamental and inalienable as the right of speech or religion. When the left demands to castrate the former right, the conservatives who seek to preserve the values of the American Revolution must not back down.

Make no mistake; this is not right wing fear mongering. Radical leftists have taken their zeal to destroy freedom to a level rarely seen. Case in point, Congressman Eric Swalwell demanded a national gun buyback program on twitter. With this point alone, nothing is unusual, as that point is often made by leftists. What he said next though was shocking. Responding to a tweet from Infowars reporter, Joe Biggs, saying that a program like that would cause resistance, Swalwell wrote,

“And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”

-Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell

There is no shame in re-reading the tweet a time or two to ensure that the reader’s initial interpretation was accurate. A Democratic congressman threatened nuclear annihilation against a prospective revolt by gun owners against power mad Washington. How does one even respond to this?

Foremost, it should be obvious to anyone and everyone that using chemical, biological or nuclear weaponry against a government’s own citizenry is inexcusable. Conduct like this is not the realm of civilized, liberal nations like America. This is the exclusive domain of dictatorial hell states. Perhaps Swalwell should be reminded of the chemical attack on Kurdish civilians at Halabja. Five thousand were killed (mostly women and children), and the man who ordered the attack, General Ali Hassan al-Majid, was given not 1, but 4, death sentences, and was hanged. Saddam himself was also hanged for his atrocities. This is the appropriate response given when chemical, biological or nuclear weapons are used against one’s own civilians. Crimes of that degree must be punished severely and in Iraq, justice was indeed served in the case of Halabja. Swalwell was not proposing using mustard gas or Sarin, he was talking about nuclear weapons. The crime against the American people and against humanity as a whole for something so evil and barbaric would outweigh everything done by Saddam by a factor of 100. The sheer horror that he calmly contemplated is unthinkable. One could only pray that Britain, France, and the rest of the world’s friends of freedom would come to the rescue of the American people with weapons loaded if such an atrocity were committed by our own government.

For all due diligence, Swalwell may not even be correct in his assumption that the US government could suppress a determined revolt by millions of gun owners. Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London, wrote a wide-ranging and enlightening book on strategy in 2013, appropriately called Strategy a History. In it, he wrote extensively about guerrilla warfare. He draws on the campaigns of T. E. Lawrence against the Turks in which his Arab Revolt forces did heavy damage on the Palestine front in the First World War. Lawrence (the soldier, not the book’s author) quipped that “to make war upon a rebellion is messy and slow –like trying to eat soup with a knife.” The author then goes on to trace the development of the revolutionary Maoists in China before the Second Sino-Japanese war until their victory in 1949. Mao showed that rebellions can survive virtually anything. Revolutionary forces, when they fail to win in the cities, can retreat to the countryside and survive for a long period of time as Mao did, which will allow ample time to regroup. Lawrence (the writer, not the solider) called guerilla warfare a “strategy of exhaustion,” where a smaller force fights a much more powerful one with the weapons of attrition. Guerilla warfare is not about winning conventionally as Swalwell seems to think, but, rather, about winning on the grounds that it becomes too painful for the occupying force to continue. It is not about the decisive battle and regular troops; it is about outlasting the opponent. The Vietcong against the Americans, the Spanish insurgents against Napoleon, the Mujahedeen against the Soviets, and the American militiamen against the British hammer home the fact that a small force can exhaust a much larger one.

This is just a thought exercise about why nuclear weapons could not even be used against the kind of rebellion that Swalwell speaks of. It simply wouldn’t work because guerrillas do not hold the ground, they strike and retreat. Using weapons as powerful as that on small bands of revolutionaries in the mountains and forests is idiotic on so many levels. This is not endorsement in any way, shape, or form for revolutionary conduct or violence against the state –it is merely an outlay of the tactics and strategy of revolutionaries through history and why they show that it is not at all certain that even the might of the US military could defeat a nationwide rebellion. Interpreting the history of revolution and finding a clear pattern that small forces can defeat large forces is no more incendiary or criminal than interpreting the history of astronomy and predicting that tomorrow the sun will rise.

Blind and borderline dangerous fervor like Swalwell’s is what America faces. He is not a nonentity in the leftist movement either –in fact he dropped out of the 2020 presidential race just a month ago. Swalwell will not be president in 2020, but the spirit of animosity towards the 2nd Amendment lives on among the other leftist contenders.

The left is resolute in their convictions on the 2nd Amendment. So resolute are they that one of them proposed nuclear annihilation of rebellious gun owners. Conservatives must adopt their stalwart demeanor and entrench themselves on this issue. Radicals like Swalwell unapologetically fight against this sacred freedom, so why should the conservatives not return the favor? As a broad strategy for 2020, Trump and the GOP need to fight over gun control. Not every hill is Little Round Top, whose capture or defense can change everything, but every once in a while, there is a time to make a stand and not apologize for its bluntness. The 2nd Amendment is one of these places. Liberty is on the line and conservatives must fight over gun control like it is Verdun. (For those who wish to misinterpret this, fighting in this paragraph refers to things like voting, winning person to person debates, and traditional activism -not literal violence).

Conservatives have solutions to gun violence just like leftists do. Concealed carry laws, broken windows policing, filling the cracks in the background check system without new laws, and the like are real solutions. The right will be less effective in the national conversation if they cannot propose their own plans to answer the leftist designs. It is time for these ideas to take center stage as the right wing gun violence plan. Leftists have their plan which relies on heavy-handed, freedom-reducing means such as bans on certain elements of firearms, more red tape on acquiring them, among others. All too often, the GOP is seen as the party that doesn’t have a solution, but doesn’t want the leftist solution either. That may work with committed conservatives who loathe the left’s plan, but it will not work as well with the moderates who are less ideological. To capture the moderate demographic, there needs to be action on the part of conservatives, but it must be well thought out action that will not hinder liberty and will actually get the job done. Action needs to be more than just digging in to defend the 2nd Amendment; it also has to include a pro-freedom answer to gun violence. 2020 is fast approaching and the right needs to have a plan to give to the voters and then they must carry it out.

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