I'm getting more and more concerned about the buildup of partisan anger and determination on both sides of the political aisle over the situation in Virginia. As you probably know, the Democratic Party took the governorship and both houses of the State assembly in last year's elections. They take office on January 20th. They've already promised a raft of politically correct legislation, including gun registration and/or confiscation, overturning local zoning regulations, and others. Don Surber offers an acerbic overview of them.
It's noteworthy that the Democratic majority came from just a few counties in Virginia, most of them dominated by workers from Washington D.C. who live in them. The rest of the state did not vote Democrat. Native Virginia voters were outnumbered by bureaucratic immigrants - and the former resent it deeply.
As a result of the hurricane of leftist legislation proposed by incoming Democrats, over 90% of Virginia's counties have now declared themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries', and refused to enforce new gun registration and/or confiscation measures if they are passed. In response, prospective members of the incoming administration have uttered threats to use the National Guard to forcibly confiscate weapons, bypassing and/or overriding local law enforcement agencies and officials. I've noticed a lot of comment on left-wing and progressive Web sites urging the new administration to do precisely that, and more, to "show the gun nuts who's boss" (as one individual put it).
On the other hand, activists on the right wing are either predicting civil war, or urging people to prepare for it, or in other ways increasing the temperature and pressure. Three examples:
- Eyes on Virginia 2020 – Here’s what to expect
- Virginia: Let’s get down to the heart of the Issue
- The 2020 Virginia Showdown
Based on my experience of civil conflict and civil war in several parts of Africa, I'd say the third of those articles, by former SEAL Matt Bracken, is the most plausible scenario (although I hope and pray it's not a likely scenario).
The thing is, most of those writing and pontificating about this have no idea what a civil war looks like. I've seen four during my lifetime: South Africa (civil unrest dragging on for years, and undoubtedly classifiable as civil war in certain areas at certain times), Liberia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe (the latter both before and after white rule). The chaos, bloodshed and anarchy left in the wake of the violence was simply mind-boggling, literally not believable to almost everyone who was not there to experience it for themselves. I dread the possibility of that coming to these United States.
For those who argue that it didn't get that bad during the last Civil War here, and wouldn't do so today, I can only say: look at America's inner cities. Many of them are now dysfunctional, crime-ridden, gang-infested ghettoes. What makes you think they wouldn't break out and try to take over other areas, or at least loot them, using the distraction of civil conflict for cover? What makes you think that in an environment where cities can't get the power, food and water they need to survive, the millions upon millions of people who now live in them (a far greater proportion of the US population than during the first Civil War) won't turn on each other to take what they need by force?
That's why I'm cynically amused by urban "preppers" who say they'll hunker down in their houses and defend their stash of food, guns and ammo against all comers. I have news for them. Sooner or later, "all comers" will grind them down. I've seen it at first hand. (Also, see Selco's memoir of civil war in Sarajevo. I'm here to tell you, the man's got it right, and speaks from experience. I can hear the ring of truth in his words, because I've BTDT elsewhere.)
It worries me more than words can say that we've got people not merely casually tossing around the idea of civil war, but actively trying to foment it, on both sides of the political aisle. We need to take a collective deep breath and back away from the brink. This can too easily develop into a flashpoint that will take an awful lot more to stop than it will to start something.
None of us will be immune from being caught up in it. It won't be possible for most of us to "sit this one out" when our neighbors are actively hunting for enemies, real or imagined. "If you're not for us, you're against us!" will be the mantra. Again, I've seen that before . . . and I've seen the dead bodies of those who wanted only to live in peace, but who were not allowed to do so by those around them. God forbid that should come to our shores again! One "Bleeding Kansas" was more than enough. We don't need it in the other 49 states as well!
"But", I hear some readers ask, "what happens if one or the other side won't take a deep breath and back off?" In that case, dear readers, we're neck-deep in the dwang, and sinking fast. There does come a time when there's no other option but to take a stand. I just hope and pray we can avoid that, if at all possible, to allow men and women of goodwill on both sides to work out a mutually acceptable way forward.
Can that happen? Will that happen? Your guess is as good as mine.