Police state? Irma and the Virgin Islands

By Nathan Barton

The first screaming news stories appeared yesterday.  The governor of the US Virgin Islands was sending out the National Guard to grab all the weapons and ammo that his Islands’ residents have, as part of the preparations for Cat 5+ Hurricane Irma. Even the mainstream media was reporting this confiscation, although no doubt with glee.

This morning, thanks to Tom Knapp, there is a  lot more light on the subject, and it might not be quite what the conservative (NOT libertarian) alternative media is screaming.  Tom, in Freedom Net Daily, posted the story from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has ordered the territory’s national guard to begin seizing guns and ammunition from citizens in preparation for Hurricane Irma’s landfall. In an executive order signed Monday, Gov. Kenneth Mapp instructed Adjutant General Deborah Howell ‘to take whatever actions she considers necessary to carry out the assigned mission’ of maintaining and restoring public order. The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission,’ the governor said in the order. The order went into effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.”

Mama’s Note: The “bold” section above is mine. The idea of government enforcers going around confiscating ANYTHING is abhorrent. For any reason. I don’t believe for a moment this would be voluntary, or even friendly. That’s stretching credibility much too far. The word in that order to SEIZE things seems to back that up.

As Tom pointed out: “Sounds more like a “commandeering resources” order than a “make sure civilians don’t have guns” order. But hopefully any attempts at executing the order will result in morgue occupancy limit problems.”

Well, not quite that bad – if the agreement to give the National Guard what it REALLY needs is mutual and voluntary on both parts.  Knowing a good many serving and retired National Guard troops, I suspect that will be the case.

“George, how’s it going? Lose any windows?  Look, I know you have that box of dynamite down in the storage shed. You always do keep some around.  We need that to blow up that wad of driftwood that is blocking the storm drain over on Elmsmore.  Can I get it from you?  I’ll give you a voucher, and supposedly the government will pay you for it, or replace it.  But you know how stupid they can be sometimes. But we really need that stuff, and your detcord.”

“Yeah, Billy, I guess so.  Come on down and help me pull it out.  At least the roof didn’t cave in when the wind hit, but everything is soaked in there.  We’ll get it out, though.  Its in that waterproof footlocker.  Here, put your field gear and your helmet there on the table. Say, you look like you could use some coffee…”

Anyway, military people – especially National Guardsmen know better than most how stupid politicians are, and what kind of things can go wrong – and what is needed in a time of emergency.  And unlike many people fear, Guardsmen and Reservists – and even Active Duty personnel – are NOT going to robotically carry of the orders of whoever sits in the Statehouse, the Territorial Capitol, or DC.  I suspect that a lot more “civilian” cops are likely to have that  mindset than actual State or Federal military personnel.

So, this kind of “get what you need” order isn’t a sign of a galloping police state. As long as people are using some common sense AND people are prepared to resist when needed.

Mama’s Note: Dream on, Nathan. If the “National Guard” honestly doesn’t have enough guns and ammo, that’s NOT the problem of people facing a major disaster. No amount of sweet talk would convince me to hand over mine.

The danger is that we take the friendly attitude and the stupidity of politicians and those in power for granted.  And that we let the police state grow (as it has been) without being checked.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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4 Responses to Police state? Irma and the Virgin Islands

  1. Obviously I don’t agree that the National Guard has any right to go around taking anything it “needs” to do its job (see “anarchist, Tom Knapp is”).

    My point was merely that the order is not, as portrayed in some venues, an order to go around with the intent of disarming civilians as such. It was an order sanctioning official looting on the basis of state “need.” Both bad things, but not the same thing from an RKBA perspective.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      A difference without a distinction, far as I’m concerned. They eventually accomplish the same things. I would venture to say that actual self defense against these official looters would be dealt with severely. That’s enough of a RKBA infringement right there. The “intent” of this order is hardly relevant to that.


  2. Dave Kristopeit says:

    I agree with Mama on this one Nathan. The word used was “Seize” not borrow. It does not matter if they were commandeering resources or disarming civilians, it is still an order. A freeman can’t be ordered.


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