That isn’t the point of this article. Rather the point of the article is to educate those who think this would be a good idea of the true cost of abandoning the soapbox and the ballot box for the cartridge box, from the point of view of one who has spent a large chunk of his adult life in an area with an active insurgency.
For starters- 40% of the people you know will be dead within the first 90 days. Period. Assuming you have 10 people in your extended family & assuming things kicked off today, 4 of them will be dead by New Years. This is the life of an insurgent- and you will be an insurgent. Should you take up arms, you and your entire family become targets simply for being related to you. Your circle of friends and acquaintances become targets. The Constitutional rights you currently enjoy will evaporate as the government struggles to hold onto power. People you know will be disappeared, never to be heard from again. The percentage will, of course, climb the longer there is an active insurgency.
Bulk transportation will grind to a halt. Rail lines, pipelines & refineries as well as interstate highways will be cut and/or destroyed. There will be a scarcity of fuel available for the use of the everyday populace. Most resources available would be channeled to government forces for their usage with the general population getting a trickle compared to be insurgency levels- with prices rising accordingly. $10.00 per gallon would be the norm. Food supplies will disappear rapidly- look at the impact Hurricane Sandy had- and that was a minor event.
There will also be a massive impact on those not actively involved. Infrastructure will break down, water service and electricity will be almost non-existent. Modern cities will devolve into chaos as food is no longer shipped in and people start to get hungry. Those population dense areas will become no-go zones as will the surrounding suburbs as starving and desperate people look for food they can take. Countries like Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to continue the fight because they are primarily agrarian, the United States is not. Add in the ability of western individuals to consume contaminated/dirty food & water (darn near non-existent) and both you and the general population will be pretty miserable. Famine, drought and starvation would become the new norm.
Medical care would be similarly affected. American doctors are not used to performing under primitive conditions. Our medical infrastructure is dependent on electricity, one of the first things that would be affected. In addition those wanted for participation in the insurgency by the government would be well advised to stay away from urban centers where most hospitals are located. Just as cops today track people down who have been shot during the commission of crimes, the government would do so during an insurgency. Minor injuries will become life threatening under such circumstances. Get a case of cholera or e. coli- you’re dead. Gash your leg on a burned out car- say hello to sepsis and the Reaper. Catch a round in the gut- enjoy a very painful death over the course of a couple days. Disease outbreaks such as dysentery and cholera will become common in urban areas and those suffering chronic illness will be handed a death sentence. The elderly and the very young of course will be the hardest hit.
Basic services like fire departments, police, EMS... even the most mundane like garbage collection will also essentially disappear. In the event of natural disaster like flooding, tornadoes, earthquake and hurricane there would be no help forthcoming. As garbage piles up uncollected, disease vectors such as rats will multiply out of control spreading disease as mentioned above. The dependency on basic services is more of an urban/suburban issues, but this is where the bulk of the population lives and the impact would be catastrophic.
Communications would also become non-existent, at least for one engaged in the insurgency. Satellite and cell phone comms are not secure. Even throwaway cell phones aren’t truly an option as they can be tracked as well. Email is similarly a no-go. Even using something like Tor does not guarantee anonymous and secure comms. In order to communicate, runners would need to be employed with verbal messages memorized, not written. Even al-Qaeda and the various Iraqi insurgent groups realized early on that communicating with each other tended to lead to things in their immediate vicinity going boom.
Then of course there is the consideration of the life you will have to lead. The deep personal impact your choice will have on your psyche and your well being. You will live a life of isolation, associating only with members of your cell. Anyone outside your immediate circle is not to be trusted as they could be a government agent or a snitch. Once society breaks down and the 47% of the population who depend on outside assistance to survive go feral, you will need to become even more isolated as a reasonable well fed individual is a target. You’ll be spending your life looking over your shoulder if you operate in an urban/suburban environment or looking to the sky if you’re operating in rural areas. Everybody and everything becomes a threat. Your stress levels will skyrocket with the attendant toll it takes on your ability to be mission effective.
Perhaps the worst consequence will be the total evaporation of ALL of our rights. Expect random warrantless searches, indefinite detentions of masses of people, no right to own or carry firearms, the press being restricted, suspensions of habeus corpus, renditions to 3rd world countries for interrogation, restrictions on the right to travel… every single bit of the freedoms we enjoy today would be gone. Not in a theoretical sense, not sometime in the future, but the minute the balloon goes up.
As a student of military history along with having been a Counter-Insurgency advisor to the Iraqi military, I am fully aware that no modern insurgency has ever been defeated. From the Israeli insurgency in British controlled Palestine to the various factions still operating in Afghanistan the rule has been proven time and time again. There has however been one hell of a butcher’s bill to pay for all concerned. The questions you should ask yourself is this: “Is the risk and cost worth the reward at this point in time?”
Please do not take this as me saying that the option should never be exercised. I cannot predict the future, but I can predict that our government will continue to amass power to itself. That is what government does by its very nature. Having an armed population is a check against the government pushing too far. There have been times since the founding of our country when American citizens have successfully taken up arms against their government when all other options have failed.
Those 6 last words are key- “When all other options have failed”. Just like a defensive gun use, all other options should have been exercised. Taking up arms against one’s own government WILL lead to untold suffering for all concerned. In my opinion, we still live in a country where both the soap box and the ballot box work and the time to resort to the cartridge box has not yet come.
I also pray constantly that time never arrives, as I have seen the results of doing so first hand.
- Mr. Decker
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.