For many decades, citizens in the US who understand the importance of the First Amendment (protecting the right to bear arms) have been suspicious of a natural disaster being used as justification for mass gun confiscation and/or martial law.
It happened once in New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. According to an article titled “A Decade Later, Remember New Orleans … Gun Confiscation Can (And Has) Happened In America”:
“Despite their inability to cope with the resulting mayhem, several days after the storm passed New Orleans officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from city residents. In a September 8, 2005 article, the New York Times described the scene, stating, “Local police officers began confiscating weapons from civilians in preparation for a forced evacuation of the last holdouts still living here… Police officers and federal law enforcement agents scoured the city carrying assault rifles seeking residents who have holed up to avoid forcible eviction.”
As reported by the Washington Post, New Orleans Superintendent P. Edwin Compass made clear, ‘No one will be able to be armed,’ and, ‘Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.’ At the time, NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre noted the nature of the seizures, stating, “In many cases, it was from their homes at gunpoint. There were no receipts given or anything else at a time when there was no 911 response and these citizens were out there on their own protecting their families.””
Now it is finally happening again, in an unexpected way: the US territory of the Virgin Islands was placed into a state of emergency by Donald Trump.
Now, Virgin Islands governor Kenneth Mapp has signed an emergency order to allow the forcible confiscation of citizens’ guns, ammunition, explosives, and other property “the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma,” according to the Daily Caller.
The order was signed on Monday as Hurricane Irma approached, and it is currently about to strike. It is set to pass through today. Irma is now a Category 5 hurricane, with winds striking at 175 miles per hour. The eye of the storm is expected to pass north of the Virgin Islands today, bringing 4- 8 inches of rain and 60 mph winds.
The executive order even allows for the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to forcibly seize private property that they “believe necessary to protect the islands.” That is essentially a de facto military dictatorship.
As if the government were just looking out for people’s wellbeing, the Governor said “This is not an opportunity to go outside and try to have fun with a hurricane. It’s not time to get on a surfboard.”
Who would be “getting on a surfboard” as a hurricane approached? This statement reads as a pathetic justification for utilizing the data from gun registration laws, to visit gun owners house by house and seize their guns, as if they might start shooting each other at random because of the hurricane.
It seems that Donald Trump would be a strategically viable choice for a president who would keep gun owners docile, and keep outrage from sparking in the event of US gun confiscation: because his personality appeals to a demographic of people who own guns, unfortunately.
There are masses and masses of good-hearted gun owners in the US who do not support Donald Trump, yet there is undeniably a presence of gun owners who do support him, and therefore those people might be less defensive and outraged about the event if it were to happen.
And what role does President Trump and the US federal government have to do with this decision in this US territory that they govern? Is this not an example of gun confiscation and martial law in the US?
If this happened with little reaction again, it would start to cement a precedent where the American people are okay with gun confiscation in the event of a natural disaster, because it happened before with little incident. That would mean that the people’s vulnerability is so high, the US could impose martial law and do whatever it wanted on an unarmed population with no ability for them to resist it: from mass mandatory vaccination to outright holocaust type scenarios.
For perspective on just how many times gun confiscation has resulted in the slaughter of a population, see this documentary.
Hopefully people will pay attention, and realize the same thing can and will happen in the US (again, and on a larger scale).
(Image credit: dvidshub)