Planned 2nd Amendment Utopia

It’s one of the ironies of American history that the capitalists who created America’s industrial economy were often uncomfortable with some of the effects of capitalism itself. One of the most common methods of reducing the “creative destruction” was the creation of planned communities, where the industrialist controlled not just the factory but the development of the surrounding community. From Lowell, Massachusetts to Hershey, Pennsylvania, these were attempts to preserve some ideal of civic life or to give back something to the area.

The champion industrialist of planned communities was Henry Ford, who created many like Kingsford and Pequaming, Michigan and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. This all culminated in his massive undertaking in Brazil, Fordlândia.

Now there’s a new sort of planned industrial community, and this doesn’t look like the kind you want nearby. From the Seattle Times:

Survivalist group eyes Northern Idaho acreage

The Citadel, which arose on the Internet, envisions a walled and armed community in the mountains.

The plan calls for a fortified castle and firearms museum in addition to typical city features like a bank, jail and library. The complex would have 3,500 to 7,000 families on about 2,000 to 3,000 acres in Benewah County south of Coeur d’Alene, according to the website.


At the center of the development is a firearms-manufacturing company, III Arms, that would employ residents and raise money to help fund the Citadel. The company was incorporated in Idaho in August, its headquarters listed in Gaithersburg, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C…

III Percent — seemingly a reference to the “three percenter” militia movement — and Citadel Land Development were created in Idaho last month, according to state records.

I imagine this as the setting for a new Bioshock game. The main character is exploring a bullet-riddled wasteland, occasionally passing a decapitated statue of James Madison or Jefferson and the tattered remains of the Stars and Bars. What happened here? Some alien virus? Zombie apocalypse? Did a secret government drug experiment drive everyone crazy?

And then you’ll stumble across a copy of the Citadel Patriot Agreement, with clauses like, “Every able-bodied Patriot aged 13 and older governed by this Agreement shall annually demonstrate proficiency with the rifle of his/her choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 100 yards with open sights at the Citadel range,” and “Every able-bodied Patriot of age within the Citadel will maintain one AR15 variant in 5.56mm NATO, at least 5 magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.”

Oh, THAT’S what happened.

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  • trj

    Mandatory gun ownership. So much for that whole “freedom” thing they constantly go on about.

  • UrsaMinor

    It will be truly fascinating to see what the gun homicide rate will be in this planned community if it gets built, not to mention the rate of accidental shootings there compared to the national average. I’m also interested in what the community’s reaction will be to the first gun massacre that happens on their turf, especially so if it’s an inside job committed by one of their own Well-Trained Good Guys With Guns who ultimately turns out to be psychologically unstable. There’s the rub: unless you are willing to become an intrusive police state that constantly monitors all of its citizens for psychological health and institute draconian measures to keep guns out of the hands of those who don’t pass the test in a community absolutely bristling with firearms, you have real ticking time bomb. And if you do take all these precautions, can your citizens be said to be free? Will people accept constant government monitoring of their personal lives as the price of gun ownership? On the flip side, what amount of gun homicide in an unmonitored community would they be willing to tolerate as the price of freedom?

    National statistics show very clearly that the best way to become a victim of gun violence in the U.S. is to own or carry a gun. I’m pretty sure that if the detailed figures were available, we’d find distinct classes of gun owners with distinct rates of susceptibility to gun violence, but Congress has made sure that the figures are not available by suppressing funds for collecting the data.

    My guess? “Casual” gun owners who acquire a gun for personal protection (but nothing else) are probably victims of gun violence more often than “serious” gun owners who hunt or do regular shooting on the target range for recreation. But it’s only a guess until real data are available.

  • kessy_athena

    My guess would be that the outside world wouldn’t hear about a gun massacre, and the *reported* rates of gun homicide and accidental shootings will be zero. You don’t expect a little thing like facts to get in the way of folks with that mindset, do you?

  • Yoav

    A community which everyone is armed and submerged in paranoia about how they’re (the UN, the government, black people, commies, the gayz and so on and so on) coming for you, and that I’m sure will have some version of a stand your ground law, you’re going to have a lot of Jordan Russell Davis and Treyvon Martin.

    • Custador

      Madness… Nosey idiot initiates a conflict, then escalates it by pulling a gun and shooting at a car full of unarmed teenagers. I can’t help thinking that nosey idiot wanted an excuse to pull his weapon and be a Hollywood HeroTM – I also think that the fact he chose a car full of black kids to do it to is not a coincidence. And that is why gun owners need to be vetted, including for beliefs pertaining to race, gender and sexuality. Xenophobes should not have firearms.

  • Jaimie

    Well, at least all the paranoids would be in one place. That’s all well and good. But they would probably bring their families with them, who would be innocent victims to their delusions.

    • vasaroti

      My sentiments, exactly. I worry mostly about the environmental damage this clutch of boneheads would do.

  • Michael

    If this community is built and goes as planned (which is a huge “if”), I suspect the accident rate wouldn’t be as high as you might expect. It sounds like there would be a strong emphasis on gun training (if not so much on gun safety), so by number of rounds fired, there should be extremely few accidents. Though since a tremendous amount of rounds would be fired per capita, the accident rate per capita might still be very high. But that’s just the risk associated with gun use.

    I imagine the violent crime rate wouldn’t be too high either, simply because the presence of guns alone isn’t a huge motivator behind crime. It is a very small, homogenous, and tightly-controlled community, with little real poverty, so one would expect low violent crime rates (especially robbery). Murder rates may stay high though, given the large number of guns.

    But the key is that this is an experiment that has not been tried in a very long time, so we can’t know for sure how it will turn out. The one thing we do know is that it will not be in any sense indicative of how a large society is affected by the availability of guns.

    • DanD

      I agree that the rate of accidental shootings will probably be low. I have serious concerns about the number of deliberate “not our kind” lost tourist shootings.

    • JK

      Canada and Switzerland have a high per capita number of guns, but the crime rate is not higher than anywhere else. IIRC the social divide, especially with lots of poor ppl, is more relevant to high crime rate than guns per capita.

  • FO

    I for one would be genuinely curious to see how would this work out, bag of popcorn at hand.
    Anti-gun shill as I am, I honestly can’t predict what will happen, it would definitely be an interesting social experiment.
    Yes, right now I can think about it in enough abstract terms that it doesn’t trigger my compassion.

    (Still, in the age of artillery, I wonder how their “fortification” will protect them from the government… -_-)

    • vasaroti

      One daisy cutter should take care of it.

    • JK

      The fortification (in case of bunkers and such) can’t be big enough to cover their resources (food, water) as well. The could be sieged into surrender easily.

      If it was like a big Fort it would be open to access from above, so drones (artillery is so outdated today ;-)) could easily force them to surrender too.

  • TrickQuestion

    A boombox, well hidden, that plays the sounds of gunfire randomly every few days would be an ideal gift for this community.

    • FO

      Would they notice it under the real gunfire noise?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Why don’t they just move to Somalia?

  • evodevo

    Their problem will be domestic violence…. the personality type that would be attracted to this place will have higher than normal rates of it. Should be an interesting experiment !!!