Did you know that You, yes You, are in the middle of a fierce battle right now? The tragic massacre in Newtown, CT was the opening event of what I’m going to name “The Newtown Gun Control Battle of 2012-2013.” Every battle is named for the location of the battle and like all others, this battle is being fought in many domains, yet it started at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. I wouldn’t know how else to name it.
So how are you involved, you ask? Every battle has two opponents who fight for some objective. There are also enablers and people who get caught in the crossfire. Everyone in the United States is either a combatant, enabler, support, or will somehow be affected by this battle. At this point you have a choice of which one to be.
Let’s take a strategic look at how this battle is shaping up so we can make some projections.
Most citizens in the U.S. are disgusted and saddened by the horrific loss of life of our children and teachers, so this is the common ground for everybody. It’s a starting point.
That’s where the similarities end, however, and the conflict picks up. Gun Control Advocates look at this tragedy and say, “If we didn’t have guns, this wouldn’t happen!” The ideal of a world without guns (and violence) shines as a primary objective for Gun Control Advocates. This is their goal, and to be honest, it’s not unlike the opposition’s ultimate objective.
Gun Owners and Constitutionalists are the primary opponents to gun control. They look at the tragedy and say, “If only some of the teachers were armed, they could have stopped it!” There are variants to the argument, like armed guards, etc. They look at the situation and say that deterrence and denial are the primary methods to stop an attack like this and having (and maintaining) the ability and legal right to carry arms and/or shoot the attacker is their objective.
Both sides don’t want this type of event to happen again, but have very, very different concepts on how to accomplish this; hence the battle, which is my focus of this writing (not the merits of the arguments).
Any battle starts with what is known as “Preparation of the Battlefield” and there is a strong science and methodology to it. Some of it is in Intelligence and some in Operations. The goal is to figure out how to win and begin to shape the outcomes.
In this battle, it began the day of the shooting, primarily in the Information Operations realm and the crafting of the narratives. The consistent narrative from Gun Control Advocates is “It’s time to have this conversation!” which is setting the stage as a parent/child type of conversation. Did you ever hear those words from your parents?
The first narrative from Gun Owners was “Why wasn’t someone armed?” There was not a consistent narrative until just a few days ago. Now the narrative has changed to “These are the facts- gun control doesn’t work.”
All of this is posturing for the battle to come, with the goal of enlisting as many warriors as possible. You see, battles can only be fought with force, or power. Narratives, opining, and posturing aside, it takes a physical type of power to win a battle.
For Gun Control Advocates, their goal would be to enact a complete gun ban in the US. Models exist for it in Australia and the UK, so it’s both possible and doable. They may have to settle for some “ground” like an “assault weapons ban” for now though. Battles can only be won with a numerically superior force (lots more people).
For Gun Owners, their “projection of force” would be to maintain Americans ability to purchase and own guns through legal means or threat of non-election of representatives. Since Gun Owners can be considered a “defender” (they are not taking ground, but rather defending it) and currently under assault, they have the difficult job of defending against a very large and powerful force. Attacks will come in the form of congressional bills, executive orders, economic sanctions and leverage, and even cyber attack. As any warfare tactician can tell you, defense against a numerically superior force is very, very difficult. If any of the latest polls are to believed, (the realm of Information Operations Warfare) the Gun Control Advocates have the advantage.
The outcome of this battle won’t be known for a while. Gun Owners are on the defense and Gun Control Advocates have shown patience and the ability to “never let a crisis go to waste” and take ground. Defense is always harder than offense in the long run; especially for warriors who are tired of continuing warfare. The offense has the ability to strike at will which can take its toll on the defenders.
Some of you are tired of hearing about the pro vs. anti-gun rhetoric on social sites, and with good reason; most people do not like conflict. It’s human. The question to ask is: are you willing to accept the battle – because it IS happening – and then to pick a side?
The outcome WILL affect you and your children, no matter who wins.
Randy Kelley is a former SEAL sniper and currently head instructor at the Ready 5 preparedness program (www.ready-five.com)
(Featured Image Courtesy: Herald Sun)