RE: Guns as antibodies in the body politic [82 lines; essay; medium heat, but abstract, no

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RE: Guns as antibodies in the body politic [82 lines; essay; medium heat, but abstract, not directed at anyone specific] I've been reading about some aspects of the mammalian immune system recently. In particular, how the body deals with malignant invasions like gram negative disease bacteria. One important dynamic consists of antibody molecules gravitating towards the threatening cells, after which the cells bearing these markers are more easily identified and attacked by the defensive cells (macrophages and neutrophils). It occurs to me that weapons sometimes play a similar role in regard to unusual groups in our society. The more dangerous and malignant groups have a differential attraction for weaponry and paranoia. There is an undeniable tendency for these groups to eventually be destroyed, one way or another; ATF may be one of the macrophages (engulf and destroy). At the same time, other unusual groups (even some wackier than those described above) who are less dangerous have less tendency to accumulate armaments; this doesn't mean that they have no weapons at all, just that they don't go zonkers about it. And they *don't* tend to be destroyed by armed intervention from the ATF, etc! Of the estimated several thousand "cults" around the country, the ATF has focussed only on a tiny fraction who are gun nuts, allegedly to the degree of collecting illegal weapons (or so a judge thought credible). In the Waco case, whether or not there were illegal weapons, their response to the warrant demonstrated exactly the malignancy which always gets destroyed. What lessons have we learned from the events at Waco? Well, there are many lessons, but in particular there are two major strains: some people and groups will believe that Waco proves the government is so dangerous, that they must prepare themselves for a similar armed confrontation with law enforcement,they must invest in lots of weapons and training and paranoia and all that. Will anybody be surprised if some of these groups manage to bring onto themselves just what they are manifesting energy around? Some of *them* will;others will just feel that they have proven their case. These cells are actively collecting "antibodies", tho they don't realize it. The paranoid path is self-reinforcing - when you realize that your legal weapons are just not going to stand up to law enforcement, you will be sorely tempted to get automatic weapons or explosives to even the odds a bit; then you really make yourselves a target. You will never accumulate enough to alleviate your paranoia (the more you get, the more reason for MORE fear of the government), nor to win the resulting shoot-out; there's no good ending to this path. Note though that even without illegal weapons, if you arm to fight law enforcement, you WILL draw its attention, and they WILL come in heavily armed to serve any warrant of any sort, weapons related or not. The heavy handed warrant serving is tied to your expected violent response, NOT to the nature of the warrant itself - you can be shot dead after a minor traffic offense - IF you pull a gun on the cop. Some people get this; some don't, and will say that someone was killed for running a red light, outrageous! The other type of lessons: other people and groups will look at all the strange but not weapons-oriented groups living undisturbed by the feds, and then at Waco, and draw some intelligent conclusions for their lessons. Which of these "lessons" is more survival oriented? Misraelia suggested that Camp Gaia could consider itself a possible target. There are two ways to handle this: make themselves into less of a target, or make themselves into a certain target by becoming a BD-like armed compound. I have faith that the responsible parties will move in the former direction,dealing with rational fears rationally, rather than with paranoia. By the way, I will state again: going the low profile direction does not mean that a group can have NO weapons (many, many groups have a few weapons without any problem). It means they don't start arming themselves for a firefight with law enforcement. You don't need a million rounds of ammunition and scores of semi-automatic rifles to hunt rabbits (sorry Thumper), or to protect yourself from burglars; this distinction is often easy for the macrophages to make. In this message, I'm not talking about "how things should be", I'm talking about "how things are" in virtually all large human societies. Waco notwithstanding, the US is one of the slowest to respond - in any other developed country (and most undeveloped ones), the arming of the BDs would have attracted the macrophages of the body politic even earlier than in Waco. In more than a few, tanks would have been used *as tanks*, not as disarmed passive moving shields. We are taking an overview, not concentrating on legal details. It is a non-survival trait to step in front of a moving car, whether or not the law says you have the right of way. Collecting antibodies *in preparation for a shootout with law enforcement* is just as non-survival oriented. Neither you nor I can change either of these in the short run, we can only demostrate whether we are intelligent enough to recognize it or not - and by "intelligent" I refer more to concepts of natural selection than to IQ tests. FO

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