I am becoming convinced that the biggest motivation for the real gun cultists, the ones who stockpile dozens of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition, is the fear of civilization collapse and anarchy. The NRA does its best to feed this fear, to frighten people into resisting any gun regulation. We have all heard about the preppers and survivalists who are getting ready for total social collapse.
What I fear is that could become a self fulfilling prophecy.
History shows that the alternative to a civilized rule of law is feudal warlords. In such a situation, the only freedom would be the freedom of the warlords themselves, when they are not warring on each other. It is clear that a civilized rule of law offers far greater safety, a chance at prosperity, and a chance for freedom if the rule of law is set up on a democratic basis.
But such a civilization depends on cooperative action to maintain it. The preppers could do far more for their safety, prosperity, and freedom if they supported all of society. But they do not support efforts to make our society work better. Instead they support the craziest of the conservatives, trying their best to paralyze the government and dismantle anything goes beyond might makes right. I suspect some of them almost hope that society does collapse because they fantasize themselves as warlords that would arise out of anarchy. I also suspect that some do not want a society that tolerates different religions, races, or cultures and social collapse would give them the opportunity to end such toleration.
Why should we worry if a small minority of preppers are willing to let society collapse? I think most people in our country don not realize that the modern Republican party and the conservative movement is really a feudal movement. The preppers are just the leading edge of the social feudal movement. The Koch brothers and their supporters are the corporate feudal wing of the movement. The end result would be private, unaccountable power, whether its some warlord with more guns, or a plutocrat with more wealth, and a mass of people with no power just struggling to survive. Such a situation is all too common in history. The majority of the country must realize the nature of the conservative movement so that it can be repudiated convincely in both Federal and state government.