August 26 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security Year: General Rating: 3
A general returning from the Russian battlefront has overthrown the U.S. government and is calling herself dictator for life. Democracy has been crushed beneath the weight of America’s military engine. In every major city the National Guard has assumed control, weeded out dissenters, and executed former public officials. You, having seen Red Dawn over fifty times, grab a gang of friends and escape into the forest with a vast array of munitions you had stashed in case of such an emergency. Your rebel group sets up camp in a cave where you plan to organize your resistance and hopefully assist in overthrowing the martial government. You post lookouts and spend time working on a sweet patch for your team jackets.
Then an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flies overhead, locates your entire group via infrared sensors and blows you all to Kingdom Come.
This is not a totally implausible future scenario. If military advancements in technology continue to get better, which it will, what hope does armed citizenry have against advanced weapons systems and automated robotic armies?
In a famous essay titled What Good Can a Handgun Do Against an Army? written by Mike Vanderboegh of the Alabama Militia, he decries that although military technology is advancing, a simple pistol can make all the difference. His theory, much like the movie Red Dawn, is that with a pistol you can kill your way to better weaponry. Killing one soldier with a pistol will get you a rifle or “perhaps you get very lucky and pickup a light machine gun, two boxes of ammunition and a haversack of hand grenades.” From there you could use the grenades to attack larger targets which yield even more supplies. A pistol will get you a rifle, a rifle will get you a machine gun, and so on until you eventually start capturing tanks, constantly upgrading your way through the enemy.
But if our future includes robotic armies, how realistic is such a scenario? What good is a captured robot in the hands of a hunter disconnected from the web? What good is hiding in the wilderness when the enemy can employ scout robots or conduct carpet-bombing. I realize that insurgents in Iraq and mountain forces in Afghanistan can put up one heck of a fight — an example of simple technology making a stand against advanced technology — but if you consider that by 2020 an estimated 30% of the military will be robotic, how can we battle that? How can we hope to compete with lasers or super soldiers that can grow bullet-proof exoskeletons? The truth is we can’t do so with guns alone.
The idea that the average citizen, military veteran or not, could stand up to an army of the future seems ridiculous. No matter where you stand in regards to gun control, you have to admit that military technology will soon get to the point where any hope of the average citizen taking up their shotgun in resistance is pointless. The fact is, the 2nd Amendment will soon be so outdated that there really is no point in having it. The argument that a militia could stand up to the military is thrown out the window by future technologies, and with it the argument of owning a gun.
Image: Terence T.S. Tam (Flickr,CC-Attribution)