This fact boggles some people.
Especially if they're used to having their force done by proxies. Having other people do your forcing for you has a long and powerful history. Violence dynamics-wise, there's not a whole lot of separation between "Civis romanus sum" and "My boyfriend will fuck you up."
Some can spend their entire lives having their force made by proxies. Which really bites them in the ass when their proxies become unreliable or nonexistent. (Exhibit A there would be Mr. and Mrs. Ambulancechaser from St. Louis. Their lawn defense was tactically stupid, morally shaky, but legally sound. The charges against them are pure political theater, and St. Louis is going to be paying them big in the lawsuit if the DA's dumb enough to bring them to trial.)
Last week, the bulk of big box retailers around the country stepped up and said they were requiring customers to wear masks. Absolutely none of them are committing to any security procedures or escalations of any kind to enforce this. Given the total lack of government or insurance support for this, not to mention the fact that none of them pay even managers enough to go that route, I can't say I'm surprised. But nor will I be surprised at any subsequent shitshows.
Then there's Portland.
I've been watching Portland about as much as anyone lately. Though I have been watching the various commentary. The big question being "where are all the 2A folk when people are being snatched off the street by anonymous folks?"
Good question. Although it dovetails with another question surrounding these detainments, which is, "why hasn't one of these snatchings become a shootout yet?"
I have only a guess, but it's an educated one.
Legally, Portland is a "need a permit to possess" city in the middle of a "shall issue" state. Not quite oppression of the legally armed to the level of, say, Chicago to the rest of Illinois. But it does make for an uncomfortable place to be for a 2A supporter.
I've never been to Portland, and my knowledge of its politics is largely limited to the 2A movement. But what I've seen indicates that it's part of a coastal strip running loosely from Berkley to Seattle where the left is at its most militant and aggressive. To the point of claiming those areas as territory similar to gang affiliation.
(No, I'm not calling the left or any variant on it a gang. But if shoe fits...)
Keep going east from Portland and the more you go, the more you run into the rural and heavily armed. Some are simply "leave me and mine" alone types. But some are hardcore far-righters, even white supremacists, who act very much like gangs indeed.
And a fun pastime for gangs is to fuck with each other's territory.
So some of these far-right and white supremacist groups come West into town knowing that they're pissing off the hard-left just by being in their territory. Which over the last five years has led to protests and counter-protests turning into brawls. Rarely fatal and not doing much damage by the time the cops break it up, but not pleasant times at all.
So, presumably there's a population of good and righteous 2A supporters. Why would any of them be in Portland? Where the ctrl-left is as in your face as it gets in this country? Where the left screams about blood on the hands of every 2A supporter with every school shooting? With every mass shooting?
Where up until a few months ago, the "you don't need (insert firearm or accessory here), that's what cops are for!" was the party line?
Where the only remotely like minded individuals are savage-right white supremacists who came out of the mountains to stir shit for their own amusement?
Tell me, what exactly about Portland sounds welcoming to 2A supporters now?
Oh, I'm sure some found like minded individuals out among the "leave me alone" types. But I think the majority just quietly went about their lives, more in the suburbs than in Portland proper, and kept quiet about their politics as such things are.
And that's Portland normally. Portland lately?
The protests, riots, call them what you will, have been going on in Portland for 40 straight days. Over a month of unrest.
People who were 2A before covid? They had their weapons and ammo and they hunkered down back in March. They're staying home if they can, going to work if they must.
Every anti-riot article and essay I've read going back to the 70's emphasizes getting out if you can.
They've all had plenty of warning to go and stay gone.
There might be onesies and twosies who have their individual reasons to stay. But as a political movement?
Rioters have already proven they don't give a shit about locally owned businesses.
The west coast left has already proven they're more than willing to get violent.
Now they've picked a fight with the cops at the local, state, and federal levels; and they expect the 2A community, whose blood they were screaming for six months ago and for over a decade before that, to risk themselves and their families for the privilege of being the violent proxies of the ctrl-left?
What a fascinating premise.