Gun Laws & Legislation

The Effort To Subarm America

Guns and Gear Contributor
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By Alan Korwin,

subarmed, adj. a point between disarmed and fully armed.

To a careful observer, the ongoing effort to subarm Americans is increasingly obvious. It’s a cooperative project involving government, private hoplophobic (gun-fearing) anti-rights groups, and a compliant poorly informed “news” media that has become a lapdog, not a watchdog.

The whole point of being armed is to be properly armed, to create the balance of power the Second Amendment intends and makes possible. Balance of power. You heard that phrase in school if you’re old enough. It used to be important. It still is. Subarming the public upsets this critical balance.

The right to keep and bear arms serves many purposes, from providing duck to saving children, as anyone in the gun debate has heard to death. The role of the public’s arms in preserving peace and freedom however is the Second Amendment’s quintessential one. It is only by force or the ability to use force that our society’s enemies — people who would take what is ours and hunt us down individually or as a nation — are prevented from doing so. I don’t like that sentence but I can’t deny its truth. I’d prefer utopian pacifism, but force is what keeps us safe and free. That’s been true since biblical times.

Col. Jeff Cooper, “the father of the modern technique of shooting,” put it best in his book, The Principles of Personal Defense, when he said: “Some people prey upon other people. Whether we like it or not, this is one of the facts of life… the peril of physical assault does exist, and it exists everywhere and at all times.”

That applies, distressingly, to all enemies, foreign… and domestic. Too many Americans today are unaware how this works. It is only by the potential force of an armed body politic that government here has been kept at bay, and our high relative freedom has been maintained — a condition so world famous and effective it has been drawing people like a superconducting magnet from around the world for centuries.

As firearm parity between our policing forces and the public slips however, freedom slips, because that critical balance slips away. And in a headlong quest for increased power, those in government power, working with misguided anti-rights zealots and the fears of hoplophobes, they have been incrementally subarming the public, finding that disarmament is a too-tough hill to climb. By working to reduce all aspects of civilian arms, subarmament is succeeding where disarmament stalled.

Here’s Where Freedom Slipped

The major turning point came with the so-called Firearm Owner’s Protection Act in 1986. We didn’t know it at the time, because the ornaments hung on that tree distracted us. Abuse by local authorities had gotten so extreme Congress had to act — people were being arrested in droves for merely traveling with firearms, for simple legal possession, nothing more. Cops were just obeying orders from their gun-hating masters. Who says cops won’t obey infringing laws? Have a gun? Go to jail.

We were now protected federally, sorta, from arrest for transporting legal firearms from one place to another — if they were unloaded in the trunk, where they did you absolutely no good if you needed them. You couldn’t bear arms, as the Second Amendment supposedly guaranteed, but you could transport them. Hooray for our side. And that was the bait.

Up until then, what cops had, we had. We went hand-in-hand from matchlocks to flintlocks, muzzleloaders to cartridge guns, smooth bore to rifled barrels, bolt action to auto-loaders… and that’s where the roads diverged.

In 1986 our betters in government decided people could have all the machine guns they wanted, as long as they worked for government. If you were just a citizen, the commerce in these products was closed for you. Oh, you were “allowed” to keep whatever you already owned on the cutoff date, a couple hundred thousand total (suddenly astronomically priced collector items). There was no easy way around that, because the Fourth Amendment required compensation if agents tried to confiscate your property. You might actually use your weapons if jackboots attempted that.

From that point on, officials of every description started stockpiling full autos, by the millions, while you Joe Q. Public could proudly keep and bear only your single shot guns like AR-15s that looked like badass guns. But you were hopelessly subarmed and freedom went right downhill, now facing 80,000 full-auto SWAT raids yearly. And they want your one-pull-of-the-trigger guns too.

Subarming Takes Many Forms

Normal capacity magazines are part of it. Police want double-stack magazines for their pistols because they’re safer. When you’re in a firefight, more ammo means more safety. Subarming the public with infringed capacity magazines is a danger no cop would ever accept.

Recently, one federal agency exercising controls over firearms, called BATFE, proposed banning a certain type of popular ammo, “green ammo,” by deciding it was suddenly too dangerous. If this group of unelected bureaucrats gets away with subarming Americans by limiting them to ammo that isn’t dangerous enough, all is lost.

The very idea of ammunition that can’t accomplish its designed purpose or isn’t very good, that’s almost better than disarmament, because it slips under the public’s awareness, a dastardly tactic. An agency that even pretends to have such power is a threat to freedom. You can’t ban ammo because it’s dangerous! Ammo is supposed to be dangerous. Deadly dangerous.

BATFE Seeks One-Way Gunfire: Against You

The core of BATFE’s argument is that this brand of ammo is suddenly armor piercing. Something about a ban on armor-piercing ammunition I don’t understand. See if you follow me here.

It’s illegal to fire any bullet at a cop — or at anyone! — intending to do harm without cause, right? You rot in jail until your old for that — or are put to death. So is it worse to use a green bullet than a regular one? No, of course not. It is murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, or any of a dozen deadly serious crimes all at once.

Does the violation change if the victim is wearing a T-shirt? No difference. Well, what if the person is wearing body armor?

Aha. With armor-piercing ammo, your gun remains lethal. But with plain ammo your gun is no longer lethal. It’s almost as if you don’t have a gun at all (“You only think you’re armed if the other guy is wearing body armor.” –from The Cartridge Family Band). You have been effectively disarmed, versus the state, if BATFE gets its way (without an act of Congress, I should add). The balance of power shifts again: State 1, People zero.

This is the secret sauce behind the BATFE proposal that no one wants to speak about in public. The BATFE proposal about certain types of ammo (that they claim is armor piercing) would make the state invulnerable and shift the balance of power the Second Amendment is supposed to provide. They can shoot you, but you can’t shoot them (their proposed ban only bans you, just like the machinegun ban). It’s the same as disarming the public, without having to disarm the public, a thoroughly villainous scheme.

Oh that’s so far fetched. Their proposal is for only one type of ammo, you can still buy body armor yourself (in most places, still), who cares if 3,000 armored SWAT raids in 1980 is 80,000 today and growing, BATFE wouldn’t expand the list of dangerous ammo if they somehow got the power to ban the green stuff, which was stalled (but not foreclosed). That’s just paranoid delusion (like expecting “BITS” — blood in the streets — every time a CCW law passes, which never occurs).

Yes, the illogic is legendary, yet strangely compelling when you look closely. The balance of power between the people and the state will have been completely broken if BATFE gets the brand new power they seek. “You can have your guns, as long as they don’t work.” This is something democrats have been developing for a while, with lock-up-your-guns schemes.

The nefarious activities at BATFE are legendary. These are the people who smuggled thousands of guns to Mexican drug lords. Now, on their own, they seek to ban reliable ammo to the public. And no one there suffers any consequences. They want you subarmed and outgunned.

Subarmament policies must be recognized for what they are, infringements on Second Amendment rights to keep arms and to bear arms, and rejected categorically as violations of American freedom. The perpetrators of such proposals need to be removed from power and face punishment for denial of civil rights and violation of oath of office.


Alan Korwin is the author of 14 books, 10 of them on gun law, and has been invited twice to observe oral argument in gun cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Reach him at http:/, where he is the publisher of Bloomfield Press.