MATTHEW BRACKEN is a former Navy SEAL (BUD/S Class 105), a Constitutionalist, and a self-described “freedomista”.  He’s the author of several books, including Enemies Foreign and Domestic.  This is the first part in a series of different author’s thoughts on the next civil war.  Here’s what Bracken sees as a potential scenario for the next American Civil War.


The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights does not “grant” Americans the right to armed self-defense, it simply recognizes and affirms this God-given human right. The Constitution, including the Bill or Rights, is a very succinct document that was written in plain English intended to be fully understandable by ordinary citizens, requiring no interpretation by judges. Article III of the Constitution discusses the responsibilities, powers and limitations of the Judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court is a super-legislature authorized to amend the Bill of Rights by a simple majority vote among its nine lifetime-appointed justices. In fact, Article III Section 2 explicitly grants to Congress the power to regulate which cases the Supreme Court may adjudicate at all. However, in the current political climate, with a toothless Congress abdicating its power to the Executive and Judicial branches, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will be reined in and confined within its Constitutional limits.

My scenario for a second American civil war involves a Hillary Clinton victory in November 2016, followed in 2017 by the appointment of a Supreme Court justice politically to the left of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The Second Amendment will then be gutted using a specious argument such as that the militia has “evolved” into the modern National Guard, meaning that there is no longer a right for private citizens to individually keep or bear arms. Liberal politicians and the collaborating liberal mainstream media will be in full-throated agreement with this false interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Subsequently, some states will ban semi-automatic pistols and rifles capable of taking a detachable magazine, meaning that nearly all semi-automatic firearms will become “illegal” with the stroke of a pen. Firearms confiscation raids against gun collectors and outspoken “Right to Keep and Bear Arms” activists will then take place with the intended purpose being to strike fear into holdouts. But instead of forcing gun owners into compliance, the confiscation raids will be the trigger for a new civil war.  There will be casualties among both citizens and law enforcement as these confiscation raids are increasingly met with armed resistance.

The First Amendment will likewise be gutted, using the argument that the “bitter clingers” who are still advocating the “obsolete” interpretation of the Second Amendment are supporting terrorism when they argue that law enforcement has no valid legal or moral reason to engage in gun confiscation raids. Freedom-oriented writers will declare that the federal government is in breach of contract with the people, because the rogue Supreme Court had no authority to unilaterally nullify key elements of the Bill of Rights.

Millions of Americans who still support the original interpretation of the Second Amendment will consider those who advocate the new interpretation to be traitors and domestic enemies of the Constitution. Writers who argue that the new interpretation of the Second Amendment is invalid, and that citizens are therefore morally justified in opposing the new gun laws by force of arms will be arrested for “inciting violence” and “encouraging terrorism.” Websites which promulgate these views will be banned and shut down.

At that point, with no other options available to oppose the emerging hard tyranny, a guerrilla insurgency will emerge, and some of those responsible for limiting the Bill of Rights will become victims of sniper attacks. Targeted individuals will include national politicians, prominent “journalists” and federal law enforcement personnel who vocally support or even simply enforce the new gun bans. These deadly sniper attacks will typically involve a single shooter firing a single shot from long range. Federal law enforcement will be given the impossible task of predicting who will become the next sniper from among scores of millions of Americans. Gun confiscation raids and arrests for “inciting violence” will escalate, and so will the retaliatory sniper attacks.

The start of Civil War Two will probably be pegged to the assassination of a prominent judge or politician who is held responsible by “constitutional originalists” for invalidating the First and Second Amendments. The new tyranny will not back down in the face of these sniper attacks, but will double down in its efforts to disarm the resistance. Arrests and disappearances of “constitutional extremists” will be countered with even more sniper attacks against key supporters of the new tyranny. Civil War Two could resemble the “Dirty War” in Argentina during the 1970s, with recalcitrant “constitutionalists” becoming the victims of secret government special-action units. It’s difficult to imagine the final outcome of an American “dirty civil war,” but it’s impossible to imagine the forces of tyranny successfully disarming the American people.

It’s well known that Switzerland has never been invaded by a foreign power, largely because of its national policy of providing adult male military reservists with modern battle rifles, which they keep at home for their entire lives. It’s less well understood that Switzerland has also never seen the emergence of a tyranny, and for the same reason: a would-be tyrant would not survive for long in Switzerland. Likewise, would-be tyrants in the United States might have a strong desire to disarm the American people, but any widespread attempts to do so will, at the very least, result in a prolonged and bloody dirty civil war.

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security….”

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