Asked if he envisions US troops firing on anyone in the groups of
migrants, Trump told reporters at the White House: “I hope not. I hope
not — but it’s the military.”

“I hope there won’t be that,” Trump said, but added that anybody
throwing rocks or stones at the military service members will be
considered to be using a firearm, “because there’s not much difference
when you get hit in the face with a rock.”

that one has the potential to age real poorly, good god

A lot of the inflammatory rhetoric about the migrant caravans is clearly war drums for the election run-up, but I think this had to be off-the-cuff lunacy, because the US debates around gun control and police aggression are already heated enough without lobbing “a rock is basically the same as a rifle” into play.

Someone definitely needs to do the gun-control angle with this and argue that banning all guns is a reasonable limit under the second amendment because people can always throw rocks for home defense (so long as they don’t use some sort of aftermarket kit to allow them to throw multiple rocks in rapid succession).

paint it black and it’s an assault rock

And if you hit somebody with it that’s assault with a deadly weapon.

Wait, I meant of course, “Boo Trump!”

Now, I get to criticize Trump because, As Has Been Established Before, I don’t think governments have any legitimacy, I’m not just into “open borders,” I’m into “borders aren’t real.” Trump is a shitpail.

But he’s a shitpail because he’s doing what you want him to do! If you’re not into open borders, Trump is doing what you want him to do. You’re either into “open borders” or you’re into “using as much force, up to and including lethal, as is necessary to prevent unwanted entry.” There’s no mid-point where you’re into closed borders but not into preventing people from crossing.

This is pretty clearly untrue, unless you think the status quo ante was open borders.  “You can cross without getting killed, but we’ll keep returning you to the other side of the border no matter how many times you try” may not be a smart policy, but it’s a perfectly coherent policy.

Of course, if the main concern was keeping economic migrants out, then one could also ignore the border entirely and actually enforce the e-verify system so they could come in but they couldn’t work.

Yeah I’m surprised to see @shieldfoss, who generally strikes me as a smart person, give a take that’s so blatantly wrong. There are all sorts of laws which are not enforced with using as much force, up to and including lethal, as necessary to ensure compliance in all situations (I would estimate that this is roughly 100% of all laws)

All laws are, in extremis, backed by a willinges to escalate to lethal violence. Obviously that doesn’t need to happen every time, but the INS man you send to enforce your border desires doesn’t carry a gun as a fashion statement.

Again, to me it sounds like you’re saying something that contradicts how laws generally are used. Laws are designed to deter and encourage behaviour with the understanding that they will not always be followed. Maybe this is a standard for which laws should exist that makes sense to libertarian-minded people (and hey, maybe it makes sense in certain cases to move in that direction, selective enforcement is a huge inequality issue, but let’s not get into that), but it’s emphatically *NOT* the standard used by any existing government that I’m familiar with. No one is writing speed limits thinking that it makes sense to kill someone over speeding. The way that I conceptualize the current argument is as part of a larger argument over whether crossing borders illegally should be treated as closer in severity to, say, speeding or, say, murder. 

No one is writing speed limits thinking that it makes sense to kill someone over speeding.

It’s endemic to law – if they catch you, they will hurt you, and if you resist their evil, they will hurt you worse, until you are unable to resist any more. That is the implicit promise of all laws.

The failure to consider the use of force in enforcing – hey, there’s that word! – speed limits is a problem with the lawmaker’s imagination. It’s not a fact about speed limits.

The way this conversation typically goes is, I ask “what happens if I disagree and resist,” then you say what the natural consequence is, and then I ask “what happens if I disagree and resist,” and then, and after a few iterations, you say “then they kill you.” Because it is more important to them that we cannot even conceive of resistance than it is for them to be good, or just, or moral. They will absolutely kill you to reinforce their right to impose on you.

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