Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Class warfare? Who has the money to shoot and loot?

Asked by ETpro (34568points) August 20th, 2011

To be successful, warfare requires a budget to buy the guns and ammunition. And if you plan to take money from someone who doesn’t volunteer to give it up, you probably will have to use strong-arm techniques to loot. Again, you need to be armed to defeat resistance.

We hear the charge of class warfare leveled regularly in politics today. Is there class warfare in America? And if there is, who’s got the loot to buy the most guns and ammunition? Who is well armed enough to do more looting?

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20 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Guess you gotta loot the gun stores first, and good luck with that.~

The rich have enacted a lot of laws that make it harder for working class folks to have truly effective defense weapons (like making citizens pay to take part in a constitutional right, or taxing the shit out of ammo), but even with these in place one can get inexpensive firearms with just a bit of saving. Not to mention the fact that firearms aren’t particularly difficult to make for people with a few tools and a bit of mechanical knowledge.

But the basic fact is that the poor, stripped of any decent militant movement since at least the ‘80s and effectively propagandized out of having one, have been disarmed, leaving them open to both criminal and legally sanction thugs. This is particularly true for those on the left, who for some reason have decided the police will protect them, despite historical evidence to the contrary, not to mention the fact that the Supreme Court said the cops have no responsibility to protect citizens.

If this is class warfare, we’re failing our logistical requirements.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Are your guns and ammunition metaphorical? It has never occurred to me to take the term “class warfare” literally…

incendiary_dan's avatar

@dappled_leaves Either way, the fact that the rich basically hoard power to themselves makes any of the sort of class warfare they seem so scared of to be a bit tilted in their favor. We’ve got the numerical advantage, but little to no ability to self-sustain.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

The whole construct is fragile. I think some folks get this, and others lack the perspective to see it.

When enough of those with wealth in a society understand our interdependence, they take care of those with less wealth. Those with less wealth, taken care of and kept participating in the construct by this benevolence, do not form mobs and start a class warfare. The Romans did this very effectively for decades, providing grain to their citizens. This allows a sort of stability, and arts and science flourish in the quiet. Man Progresses.

What the wealthy class in the contemporary western culture forgets now is that their wealth, is in fact, a construct. That the poverty of the greater majority, is in fact, a construct. The wealthy today, believe they deserve it due to their hard work. They have some form of entitlement. Even those born rich have somehow deluded themselves that they have earned it. Those few super wealthy who actually earned their money (I am thinking Gates, Buffet) seem to understand that they have an obligation to take care of those in society with less than they have, that they belong within a larger whole. Those born Rich (I am thinking the Koch Brothers) have a weird sense of entitlement, maybe a perverse need to celebrate free market capitalism born out of the same self hating instinct that makes some closet homosexuals loath themselves, declare gays evil and gay bash.

In true class warfare, the mob always wins. I do not like, however, what happened to western society the last time one truly broke out, circa 450 ad.

jerv's avatar

@incendiary_dan The problem is that, as a Machinist with a little knowledge of gunsmithing, I would quickly wind up rich.

Cruiser's avatar

What @Imadethisupwithnoforethought said. In addition one case of ammo is for the range the other is for just in case! ;)

josie's avatar

Anybody can buy or steal guns and ammo.
The only people who have an inarguable monopoly on their use is the government. And they have lots of money. And they didn’t earn a penny of it.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@jerv Cut me in? I’ll do PR. ;)

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Bread and circuses?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@incendiary_dan in my darker moments, I think representative democracy is a form of bread and circuses. It does, however, occasionally rise to occasion and defeat Hitler or end slavery. A people gets the government they deserve.

Jaxk's avatar

Wow, a real shooting war. At least with the current gun regulations the government knows where everybody lives. They should be able to put it down quickly. Maybe not everyone with a gun but at least the law abiding ones.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Jaxk Although the state I currently live in keeps a list of gun owners (and charges them to be on that list, as I said above), many states don’t, like the one I grew up in. Not that they couldn’t piece it together with a bit of work, though.

Jaxk's avatar


Maybe we should leave this up to the ATF. They do such a good job of tracking weapons.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Jaxk I so rarely type this, but: LOL!

ETpro's avatar

@incendiary_dan Ha! Looting gun shops. I career with short hours and a great early retirement plan. :-)

@dappled_leavesYes, I meant them as figures of speech, not as a literal description of what is generally meant by class warfare. That said, @incendiary_dan brought an interesting viewpoint to the discussion. And since class warfare is essentially what’s going on in Libya right now (Qaddafi and his crony capitalist friends versus everybody else) the literal interpretation has its place. Class warfare caried on long enough always leads to violent revolution.

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Thanks for a very thoughtful response. I ran through a list of the supper rich, the billionaires, and while I don’t know the fascts surrounding how all of them came to their wealth, the ones I do know offit your postulate pretty well. The outliers are mostly among the self made men who feel they made it by brilliance and hard work (probably true) and that they are thus justified to grab more if they can, because that’s part of brilliance and more hard work (probably not ture and in the long term, slef defeating).

@josie Excellent point. Whenever anyone really wants to loot the land, the first thing they try to buy control of is the government. They have guns and ammo simply unavailable to the general public.

@Jaxk Thanks for the ATF reminder. That brings a bit of comfort after this disquiet of reading the answers where this question took a literal turn I hadn’t expected.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Regarding having access to guns and ammo that it’s simply unavailable to the general public, I should remind you that they get those things from people that have the skills to make those things, and even if the normal citizens working in the gun and ammo factories don’t use those skills to oppose the government, plenty of other people also have those skills, and many more could learn them fairly easily if they so desired.
The only exception I can think of is DPU ammo, as depleted uranium is rather hard to come by, but unless you are facing heavy tanks, it isn’t really an issue. But fully automatic weapons, armor-piercing bullets, drones, and many of the other things that the government has would be fairly easy for a group of motivated citizens to make for themselves. I know plenty of people with machine shops in their garage, at least one of whom is a trained gunsmith. The tools and skills they have are not hard to come by. We’ve come a long way since the days of the “zip gun”. Figure, if an Afghan rebel with a bunch of scrap metal and a dentist drill can make an assault rifle, imagine what could be done with one of these !

@Jaxk They can track weapons that came out of a factory and have a serial number, but can they track every piece of metal stock and scrap as well as every metal-working tool? I am fairly certain that after this post, I am on some sort of watchlist, so maybe they will track everybody who knows how to work metal and/or has even a basic working knowledge of firearms.

Jaxk's avatar


WHAT, you wouldn’t stamp and record serial numbers on the weapoms you make. I’m shocked.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Heh. Seriously though, I’m not the one you need to worry about; hard as it may be to believe, I actually have some scruples.

Jaxk's avatar


It’s not you I worry about, it’s the ATF.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Going back to the topic, whether literal or figurative, the point remains that the poor are not the ones with power. We cannot exert much force right now, particularly as individuals, and that’s what militant movements in the past have been about; militancy has always been about exerting force, not strictly (and indeed, rarely) in violent actions. Violence is just sometimes a long lever with which to exert force, and the state sanctioned expression of violence typically protect the rich more than the poor. But even in terms of other forms of force, we see that the rich have the control, or at least disproportionate control. The poor have been duped into increasing dependence, either on the rich or the government.

Force, we don’t got.

@ETpro Whenever anyone really wants to loot the land, the first thing they try to buy control of is the government. They have guns and ammo simply unavailable to the general public

Exactly. I’m in the school of thought that defines the role of governments as legitimizing and facilitating resource extract, primarily by maintaining a monopoly on violence. No wonder I don’t like them. It thus figures to reason that the rich themselves, that is, those at the center of resource extraction (even abstract resources like money) would either influence or set up governments for that purpose.

@jerv I am fairly certain that after this post, I am on some sort of watchlist, so maybe they will track everybody who knows how to work metal and/or has even a basic working knowledge of firearms.

Welcome to the club. We have all the fun toys. :P

ETpro's avatar

@incendiary_dan Ha! Guess I’m on the list two. Calling them out is a no-no. And I’ve run lathes and milling machines in my time. Unfortunately, I don’t have a battery of high-end CSNC mills and lathes in my bag of tricks right now, though. So It’s good to have a few friends like @jerv who do know their stuff and know others who have garage shops.

As @Jaxk rightly noted, the recent blunders at the ATF make the black helicopter set a little less threatening. I think they may be fallible human beings just like you and me.

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