Justin Case writes:
If you have an IP-enabled security camera, you can download some free, open-source software from GitHub and boom—you have a fully functional automated license plate reader, reports ArsTechnica .
Matt Hill, OpenALPR's founder, told Ars technica "I'm a big privacy advocate... now you've got LPR just in the hands of the government, which isn't a good thing."
Will "they" like it when "we" have a crowdsourced database of where and when congressmen, judges and cops go throughout their work day?
Does this level the playing field? Open yet another can of worms? Both?
You miss my point rather completely, sir.
Which is that the government really doesn't care if you have your long guns and/or hand guns, or even some military style MP5s, AR-15s and the like.
Should we get to the point where we have a significant number of mutinous (for *whatever* reason) military personnel, the government may well have an issue. Especially since local and state guys will likely go off the reservation long before the regular military.
All that said, no one is going to take your precious gun(s) away Frojack. Just relax. Sleep with it tonight. Caress it lovingly and call it by name. It will help.
TFA isn't even about guns. It's about the ridiculous idea that we could somehow use crowdsourcing to "get back at" those who are spying on us.
In any case, we can try to limit the amount of mass surveillance being used against us. Personally, I think we should start with our town/county/city councils and convince those folks (you know, our neighbors) that cameras everywhere and license plate readers are useful in certain circumstances, but often just trample on our rights. Once we get some local legislation limiting the use of such stuff, as well as some sane retention and disclosure standards, we can move outward from there.
Fantasy is really powerful, and is pretty much always better than reality. That said, I recommend against raising a militia and storming the statehouse or the White House or mostly anywhere else. As your mother should have (and likely tried) taught you, "use your words, Frojack!"
People who argue against gun ownership in the United States often make the point you are, that even an AR-15 doesn't matter so much against a military that can drop daisy cutters (or whatever much more powerful armament). But you and they ought to pause and reflect how much difficulty the US military has had in defeating similarly armed adversaries in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria. And those are in places where most of the American military and public don't much care if you have to kill 100 innocent children to get 1 bad guy.
Now consider an American military that is tasked with suppressing a rebellious citizenry in its own country. Is a fighter pilot from Des Moines, Iowa really going to be willing to strafe his own neighborhood? What bomber crew will obey orders to carpet bomb suburban Philadelphia? Maybe some would, but not most. Given too many of those orders, and the images of American children lying dead and dismembered in the street because some asshole in Washington DC ordered it, and most American generals would turn those guns on the politicians and the bankers that control them in a hot hurry.
There are other considerations, too, like angry patriots seizing those bases and warehouses full of big, bad weapons and destroying lines of supply for that military and all the other things that go along with guerilla warfare, but you get the picture.
It does matter very much that American citizens have guns.
If the soldiers and police had that much of a conscience why would you need guns to resist them?
Wouldn't killing unarmed people weigh more on your conscience than killing someone pointing a gun at you or your group/tribe members?
Because it's far far far easier to pressure people into arresting innocent civilians than it is to kill them. If the innocent and oppressed don't have weapons, you can use "less-than-lethal" weapons to arrest them. If you have a family locked in their house, you just bash in the front door. If instead they are armed with handguns and rifles, now it's not so simple. Now the cops have to decide if it's really worth murdering the whole family over a stupid/selfish/immoral law.
You seem to think people will have an inate view of what's right. It won't work like that. The government knows propaganda -- they have to do it well to get into government in the first place, it's evolution, survival of the fittest.
The average american will believe what the government needs them to believe, which means that when the government comes for $GROUP the rest of the country will believe that's the right move. The government may even put up a show of being reluctant, just before they put 70,000 Americans in concentration camps.
How did an armed population go then when it came to defending the constitution?
How you get from there to patriots storming government facilities is beyond me.
What's more, just off the top of my head, I came up with five places where the government suppressed armed citizenry without those folks' neighbors providing any support. Waco [wikipedia.org], Ruby Ridge [wikipedia.org], Attica [wikipedia.org], Watts [google.com] and Little Rock [wikipedia.org].
You can call people sheep or cowards or blind to the truth, but in fact, most folks in the United States (unlike places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) believe in our system of government.
Yes, our rights are being curtailed. Yes, our government representatives seem to be wallowing in filthy lucre from those who wish to twist our nation to its own ends. But at the end of the day, the vast majority of Americans believe in and support our constitutional republic.
As Churchill (at least it is most often attributed to him) succinctly put it, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."
I'm not an apologist for government and corporate intrusions into our privacy, nor am I sanguine (see what I did there?) about the prospects for fixing things in the near term.
However, AFAICT we're very far away from any sort of widespread civil insurrection in the U.S. and aside from the epidemic of local/state police murdering unarmed people, the government isn't engaged in (despite the paranoid Jade Helm [wikipedia.org] fantasies) in using the military to suppress dissent or anything else in the U.S.
In fact, aside from the (I believe) unconstitutional "constitution free zones" around border crossings, ports and airports, the Posse Comitatus Act [wikipedia.org] is not being broken.
If you think I'm wrong, please provide me with some evidence. N.B., hysterical ramblings from the blogosphere or talk radio aren't evidence.
Now consider an American military that is tasked with suppressing a rebellious citizenry in its own country. Is a fighter pilot from Des Moines, Iowa really going to be willing to strafe his own neighborhood? What bomber crew will obey orders to carpet bomb suburban Philadelphia? Maybe some would, but not most.
Those that would, would quickly find themselves at the receiving end of incoming from soldiers that could actually REMEMBER their oath.