The inner city versus suburbia – this time with guns

I’ve mentioned before that I hear things from correspondents in law enforcement and other interesting occupations.  I also have a network of friends and prior associates who keep me informed about what’s happening in their areas from time to time.  I’m sensing a growing groundswell of anger and frustration at the seemingly out-of-control screeching mobs of progressive righteousness, and increasing determination that they won’t be allowed to impose their shenanigans outside the city centers and inner-city areas that they’ve so far dominated.  Mr. and Mrs. Average American are getting fed up, and are more and more willing to do something about it.

For a start, more and more ordinary Americans are moving away from areas where they can’t be sure that law and order will be enforced.  They want a stable environment in which to raise their kids, and if they can’t get it where they are now, they’ll move to where it’s available.  As the Wall Street Journal put it:

America’s cities are indeed a wonder—built quickly from nearly nothing across a vast continent into a unique story of social and economic success. We may now be on the cusp of a great reordering of the nation’s population as many people decide it is time to separate themselves and their families from the social, political and moral turbulence of this country’s large urban areas … People with all sorts of political beliefs are going to get out because they are watching city after city reach a tipping point of social disorder and political disorganization.

In two recent, overlooked articles, demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution reports that the well-noted migration into large metropolitan areas that occurred from 2010 to 2015—predicting “the decade of the city”—has in fact reversed sharply in the past five years.

Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington are all leaking people. Meanwhile the presumably disdained suburbs and exurbs, distant from these city centers, are gaining residents.

Then came the pandemic and the protests of 2020.

. . .

Urban dwellers are resilient, but these simultaneous events have forced people to face a hard reality. In just three months it has become clear that modern urban progressivism is politically incompetent and intellectually incoherent … The message being sent is that progressive governance is, at best, ambivalent about maintaining civil order. The net result of the past three months has been a sense in many cities of irresolvable chaos, stress and threat.

I think many younger, often liberal families would stick it out if they thought there was anything resembling a coherent strategy to address this mess—the new health threat, the homeless, the rising crime, the filth, the increasingly weird school curriculums. But there is no strategy.

There’s more at the link.

We’re seeing this in more and more cities.  Families are fleeing to dormitory communities around the cities (sometimes completely separate from them, such as small towns ten or twenty miles away), leaving behind the decaying, crumbling infrastructure that can no longer meet their needs.  They’re being replaced by less educated, less affluent residents who are more often than not dependent on government handouts to survive.  Instead of being centers of productivity for the city, generating rates and taxes and producing more than they consume, those areas are now centers of consumption, demanding more city funds and support than they can produce.  Needless to say, attempts by cities to increase rates and taxes to fund this additional demand merely drive out even more people, who resent being asked to pay for such entitlement and social support programs.  They’re voting with their wallets, and their feet.

What I’m also seeing – and what I think the mainstream media is carefully, deliberately ignoring – is a growing determination, by those who leave such problems behind, to stop such troubles from following them to their new homes.  I’ve been watching this carefully.  Law enforcement contacts in several cities have noted that they don’t have to patrol more distant suburbs or nearby small towns very much, because the people there “look after their own”.  Anyone causing trouble is likely to be stopped by residents before the police arrive – and sometimes stopped rather hard, too.  As a result, gang-bangers and opportunistic criminals have learned to look elsewhere for an easy score, often targeting those who’ve moved into the city core, who are less organized and less willing to stand up for themselves.

As Jack Kerwick notes:

Thousands, even tens of thousands, have taken to the streets, many leaving destruction in their wake. But, on average, millions, at least as many as 15 million [gun owners], have had background checks conducted on them this year.

. . .

Again, millions and millions of Americans, many of whom would not have purchased firearms otherwise, are assuming responsibility for their own protection upon witnessing mass lawlessness in city streets.

Gun stocks have soared exponentially. No politicians, no Black Lives Matter, no Antifa—nobody is going to stop Americans from defending what’s theirs from predators. No one.

Again, more at the link.

Some people are taking it even further.  I know of several individuals, in five cities, who’ve carefully measured the ranges from their property to potential trouble points nearby, and possess rifles capable of “reaching out and touching someone” at those distances, if necessary.  One has built a front-yard “tree house” for his kids – with ladders that are sized and strengthened for adult weights, and a flat area on top of the “tree house” that provides a useful platform for a man with a rifle, and a clear view down his suburban street in both directions.  You might say he’s preparing to be a suburban Roof Korean – and I daresay he’s far from alone.

Others have formed local support groups, so that if trouble arises they’ll provide mutual backup as and when necessary.  If a member goes out of town for some reason, their houses – and, if necessary, their families – are watched to ensure their safety.  Members who’ve had training in weapons use (military, law enforcement and private) are passing that on to others in the group during prearranged sessions at shooting ranges.  Those who don’t have adequate weapons are being taught what’s worth having, and assisted to buy them.  I’ve heard of one group that is said to have sent representatives to a gun show held in a location where restrictions on private gun and ammo sales and purchases were less stringent.  They’re said to have spent a fair amount of money on weapons and ammunition, all of which were “off-paper” cash transactions.

I’m not a member of any such group.  Nevertheless, if I, a relatively insignificant blogger and simple retired pastor, know of a few people and groups like that, how many more are there?  I was rather surprised at how many friends wanted to upgrade their rifles to a more practical defensive configuration recently (something I wrote about here, as well as writing a three part series on the considerations involved).  I suspect the “silent majority” is getting bigger, and more frustrated, and better organized, with every new inner-city crime spree or left-wing riot or fatuous progressive demand.

So far, the “silent majority” seems to have focused on securing its own back yard, and trying to ignore (or at least steer clear of) the festivities in inner cities and similar areas.  However, cause enough ruckus for long enough, and someone’s going to retaliate – particularly if the police are seen to be helpless, or hamstrung by corrupt, politically correct city administrators.  If that happens, the acronym will be TOCB (Take Our Country Back) – and I suspect the reaction won’t be nearly as restrained as it’s been so far.  People are already openly writing and speculating about it.  For example:

As the left-wing ancestors of the current rioters used to say back in the 1960’s, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”.



  1. I had a brief conversation with one next-door neighbor. Based on his response, I think he and I need to talk more… and seek out possible allies in the area.

  2. First things first, the so called “silent majority” is in fact a vocal minority. This is a conservative mantra that boils down to a coping mechanism for trying to deal with political realities like the 2008 presidential election, 2012 reelection, etc. Conservatism is not and never has been a majority in the United States. Once we can accept this fact, we can realize that there are many common positions with various smaller parties or affiliations like ‘Constitutionalists’, libertarians and the like. Many of these splintered off of the republicans because the republicans don’t live up to their creed.

    The party of smaller government has 100% of the time grown the size of government.

    Second, there is nothing good that comes out of “urban flight” The residences these refugees leave are simply filled with newly minted urbanites, and the former urbanites find the closest burb that fits their requirements, bringing their politics with them. The first things they do are whine about people allowed to shoot off fireworks, complain about the neighbor’s rooster and how some free range goat ate all the shrubbery around the house. Once in a while, we feel bad engouh for the fish out of water to tell them it wasn’t a goat, it was a herd of deer.

    So the transplants to suburbia effectively dilute the politics of the region significantly, while the urban center retains its lock on the “give me free stuff” crowd, typically associated with the democrat party. This becomes noticeable at the first or 2nd town or county council meeting where angry former urbanites show up to complain. This is a harbinger.

    Meanwhile, the urban center continues to lurch further and further into totalitarianism, the hallmark of both political parties and the end game of both. The only difference between them is the strategy by which they hope to achieve their end game. The democrat plan is smarter – disarm, enact control, enforce control. Obviously, that isn’t good for the citizenry. Inner city dwellers would do well to have a go bag, and anything needed to exfil quickly by vehicle and be ready to abandon the vehicle at a moment’s notice because it may not be available. Mobs are kinetic, unpredictable and not a positive thing for folks who “don’t belong”. Even if these folks are on good terms with their neighbors, mob agitators aren’t locals and they will convince the urbanites to turn on those who “don’t belong”. Salem is a good example of how this can happen. Now, the mob is simply looking for excuses to be aggrieved and for those who aren’t a part of the “aggrieved” class, you’d better stay far away.

  3. I'm skeptical at claims of urban growth; the big cities have been shrinking for decades. Not only have they lost overall population, but the population they have gained is, as you point out, lower income or effectively no income.
    Businesses have been leaving cities due to regulations, taxes, and crime… Unfortunately LOTS more people have to leave before the cities lose their power over the states they are in.

    In your opinion Peter, what can those of us in rural areas do to abate the effect of further strife? I think the best avenues are to be be well stocked on necessities to weather shortages and be prepared for "community monitoring" when local police get pulled towards areas of unrest.
    I remember an article during protests in St. Louis a couple years ago that noted at that time you could drive across the state without seeing a state cop, when normally you would see several – he checked the news and the state cops had been pulled into St Louis, leaving the rest of the state bare.

  4. As the cities watch their tax base erode, they will furnish less services, more will leave, and only two types of people will remain: those with extreme wealth, and those learning to live in anarchy.

    The Wild West was similar, but law eventually was demanded by the citizens. Whether that happens this chapter remains to be seen.

  5. As an addendum to Heywood's remarks it should be noted that the current uptick in departures from the urbs is largely enabled by the recent tech-based ease with which work can be performed at home. But.. who controls that tech?

  6. Reviewing this and prior postes regarding prepareness added
    to the two story lines of how it might be. Then we take all
    the combined news and sift hard for the real stories.

    The shit and what it may be is sobering.

    ITs hard to preapere for what may be and for how long. The resourceful have an advantage. Those that know how to do
    every day things ike make a chair and table, make a radio
    work, they have the skills that are the currancy of survival

    As to the uban areas the law will reassemble and it intitally
    will be very harsh, door to door and OK Corral harsh, as
    civility resumes if only because incivility carries high
    risks, the police may stand down to actually investigating

    Nothing good will emerge save for there will be fewer people
    and maybe those that can will spread as in move out.

    Why fewer people, stupidity, crime, and Covid kills.


  7. There's nothing about urban rioting, and rioters, that can't be adequately sorted out by suitable application of .22LR.
    First to kneecaps, and, if they're slow learners, secondly to temporal lobes.

    People shot in the head never riot a third time, and as 4chan has shown repeatedly, anyone anywhere can be run to ground on the internet in about a week's time.

    Things are going to transition from defensive to offensive in short order if the current monkey business doesn't cease and desist, because based on all available evidence, decent folks are reaching their tolerance limit, and after that, Committees of Vigilance cease to be merely historical curiosities.

    Just one disgruntled ex-cop tied up our most populous state for a week.

    Three guys who can keep their mouths shut can undo an awful lot of the current mischief, and as soon as a few small groups of same figure that out, it's going to become an ongoing thing, and the anarcho-communist herd is going to start getting culled with a literal vengeance.

    It's no fun to riot and run amok when you start ending up dead in a month or less, and enthusiasm for that line of activity will wane rather rapidly once there's an actual consequence to such dystopian sociopathy.

  8. I've made range cards for every house I've lived in for the past 25 years. Useful tool, learn how.

    Pro tip: If your AO has deciduous trees you need cards for Nov-April and May-Oct. Don't forget to note obstacles to vision and projectile penetration, and travel paths (out to in) need documentation. Also useful to note how you can best approach those obstacles and observe (by visual and kinetic means) those pathways. Don't forget the pathways that are useful to you (escape, flanking, reinforcement, resupply, etc.).

    Obstacles and pathways, even those not on your own property, can be carefully, gently and discretely "adjusted" to provide greater benefit. Just remember to whom you're trying to provide the benefit.

    FYI, OPSEC is a real thing.

    Do not go looking for trouble, it'll find you when it wants to, just be sure you have a plan – a workable and tested plan – for dealing with it when it does that includes enough options to maintain flexibility. Those plans probably should have an offensive component, just in case it's needed. Remember it ain't what you think they're planning, it's what their capabilities are.

    Heed Aesop's point about smaller calibers. Study some anatomy, supporting joints are particular useful for immobilization and, in some circumstances, immobilizing can be a very useful first step. Remember "immobilized" is not "out of the fight."

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