When I read books about the resistance movements in Europe during World War II, I am impressed by the bravery of those who sheltered Jews, led downed allied pilots to safety, and fought in a guerilla warfare style against the Nazi occupation.
I hope that if the U.S. were conquered by an invading army that chose to occupy the country while expanding its reach toward Canada and Mexico, that Americans would be just as brave and just as persistent. Those who are the strongest supporters of the Second Amendment and lax gun control laws often say that one reason citizens should be armed is the possibility of an invasion.
While armed civilians probably could not stop a non-nuclear conventional attack, it’s probable that they could make things very uncomfortable for an occupying force. While I don’t agree with the laws that permit mass ownership of guns, especially those designed for combat troops, I think the suggestion that armed civilians could fight against an occupying force is bogus when it comes to the country’s failure to clamp down on gun crimes. And yet, I still wonder if our proposed bravery would equal that of, say, the French resistance.
I have my doubts. Even so, I don’t want to be around to see these doubts tested under real conditions. Many in the resistance were willing to carry out missions that–even if they succeeded–might mean the loss of everyone in the resistance cell.
I wonder about this because I sense that a fair number of people are unwilling to give up anything–time, money, benefits–in order to support issues that are clearly in the national interest. That is, what would an individual give up to help end racism, mass shootings, climate change, etc? Since progress on these issues is slim to nonexistent, I can only conclude that the answer to such questions is “not much.” I fear the same might be true if a neighbor asked for help in blowing up a bridge used by an occupying army.
Do you ever speculate about such things when you read a nonfiction book or a novel about World War II resistance movements? Perhaps I speculate because, as a writer, I’m used to asking “what if?” about all kinds of things.