• Michael McMahon


Updated: 16 hours ago

While I disagreed with the irregulars, I tried to go along with their argument by taking it to an extreme in order to work out the consistency of their own viewpoint and internal logic. It requires a truly unique individual to first think of the idea and then to launch a scathing criticism of that same idea! I know there were a lot of controversies and violent atrocities carried out during the Civil War and I’m not trying to downplay it. I just felt that the actions of the irregulars seemed futile with respect to their undemocratic ambitions and lack of military size. Anyone paying attention in second year history about the Renaissance will remember the word “quixotic”! https://irishpolitics.online/threads/munster-republic.879/

Junior cert history is quite amusing. It begins with chapters on Celtic Ireland and passes by Christopher Columbus and the French Revolution. There’s 3 pages on WW1 and races through 10 pages on WW2 as if there’s a build-up of suspense leading to the 100 page discussion on the Irish War of Independence, the Civil War and then the Troubles. This chronology is as if the Spanish conquistadors and the Renaissance were just background information that’s needed to understand the 1916 Easter Rising! Even without any good people, evil individuals will eventually come up against people just like themselves. So it’d be in their own interest not to perpetuate evil. If the world only had evil people then all of their victims would by definition be equivalently evil. In terms of the theological problem of evil this solution is still unsatisfactory because evil can be hyperbolically vengeful. Or conversely a lot of individuals can disproportionately escape much punishment. It might seem random but it does show the scales aren’t tipped in favour of evil people as a whole.

https://debatepolitics.com/threads/no-honour-among-thieves.353882/ It’s a theme that was gruesomely and hyperbolically at play in a horror movie where the evil people eventually started killing each other:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bqlnnh6KeDc I was at my cousin’s house in County Offaly as a young child when everyone decided to rent a movie. Believe it or not we somehow came back with this one. I watched the beginning and then quickly left the room. (Just in case anyone was wondering about where my problems all began!)


I’m stating the obvious when I condemn all evil violence from any individual who committed terrorist attacks; be they a member of the IRA or from a unionist background. As you can tell from my previous threads I think a mutual collective ignorance about general gun control, self-defence and minority rights exacerbated the Troubles. It seemed to have created a downward spiral effect. I’ll preface the link below by saying if an unarmed civilian is killed by a terrorist with a gun, that is first and foremost a gun control issue. It’s clearly also a sectarian problem but that shouldn’t distract us from the primary dilemma of weapons and guns. Security-wise it’s really and truly moot whether Northern Ireland stays in the UK or joins a United Ireland. Nationalists should have rights for military and police representation in the UK in the same way Unionists would in a multicultural United Ireland. The only people who are being allowed to make fun of the Catholic Church are fellow Irish people; anyone else doing so shall be viewed as sectarian! Although I’m noncommittal on any other Northern Ireland political or cultural issues and view myself as an eccentric!

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At least I don’t think anyone will ever wax lyrical in that way about Northern Ireland!

(I don’t want it to sound like I’m trying to bully Northern Ireland; I’m merely offering advice! It’s just that some of us weren’t born in the 16th century during the European wars of Religion! I know I’m not from Northern Ireland so it’s not really for me to comment on. Nevertheless I think any discussion about its future needs to emphasise real, solid policies and not just geography. For example if the building of Stormont was uprooted and changed location to county Louth then that would technically be a United Ireland even if they implemented the exact same economic regulations and security policies.)

I solved some of Northern Ireland’s problems during lunch(!):

When Protestants or Catholics really become radicalised Christians(!):

By the way there’s nothing inherently insulting about the word non-Christian. After all there’s plenty of virtuous non-Christian Hindus and Buddhist! So if someone states that they’re Catholic or Protestant then they can be held to account by their own stated beliefs. I received a complaint about that in the past even though there isn’t anything ethnic in nature about those terms. Obviously people who are secure in the consistency of their beliefs and actions won’t feel offended if it was questioned. There’s obviously no such thing as a “Catholic” IRA or “Protestant” UVF.

I’m afraid you’ve sometimes got to insult both sides to put the situation in context!

“In 2015, EJI researchers released a report documenting more than 4,400 lynchings that took place between 1877 and 1950. The new study, titled Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence After the Civil War, brings the overall death toll between 1865 and 1950 to nearly 6,500.”


While America had a lot of racism in the past, we cannot forget that it’s a country of over 300 million people from a huge number of races. Therefore it’s policies and history are still informative for other troubled regions. Remember that the population of Northern Ireland is under 2 million with little more than 2 ethnicities so the per capita casualties were much higher in Northern Ireland.

“US President Joe Biden's White House voices concern over Belfast disorder”

- Yes, forget the the Taliban, the Cold War or nuclear terrorism. Sure Northern Ireland is deserving of it’s very own White House response! In all seriousness the Troubles somehow inflicted more casualties than the 9/11 terror attacks. It may have been a “low-intensity conflict” in any individual day but that can be misleading as it stretched on for decades. The American Revolution already occured hundreds of years ago (having included both Catholic and Protestant Americans!). They say that America has its problems but I reserve the right to counterbalance worldviews as I see fit! Their message is that the state exists out of convenience and that people are fundamentally individuals. Sadly that message seems to have been lost in Northern Ireland. You could write a thesis about it but really it’s as simple as that. I’m not a “troublemaker”! There’s plenty of multiracial countries in the world so there was never anything inevitable about the conflict.

(Mel Gibson: individuals aren’t owned by a state; the state is owned by us individuals!)

Mind you we don’t want to get too American or else we’ll all be hearing gangsta rap about the North East Coast:

(We could all be tempted to do some hyper-masculine smoking videos on certain societal issues. Although the risk is the smoke will become addictive after that one video!)


I don’t agree with some of what he said about the 2nd Amendment. I don’t think guns would’ve prevented all historical terrorism. I don’t know what the exact motives were for ill-intentioned individuals in the conflict. In fact a lot of past rhetoric appears grossly far removed from matters of pure civilian self-defence. Surprisingly there appears to have been very little discussion of real self-defence laws in the 30 year period despite it being cited as an implicit justification by both sides in the conflict. In fact the discussion appears to have went in the opposite direction where either a continued union with Britain or a new United Ireland were both expected to have an apolitical army. It’s hypocritical for anyone to have justified the existence of armed terrorist groups to defend a minority while supporting blind faith in their own preferred country enforcing gun control for whoever was the opposing side. I can’t help but think the question of a union with England or an amalgamation with Ireland is fundamentally centred around who controls the military when really it should be irrelevant if both sides were equally represented. This implies the terrorists had a lot of corrupt territorial motives (Q.E.D.!). If people used self-defence to justify violence then instead of simply rejecting their argument we can try to go along with it to see if one can use their reasoning to beat them at their own game. (Magic spell from a wand) Reductio ad absurdum! So I’m not saying we should just legalise guns.

Historical terror attacks were never initiated out of any fear of being either unarmed or disarmed. Thus even had everyone been armed as the man suggested in the video there likely still would have been violent incidents because self-defence policy was never the root cause. In theory if everyone were armed but just never used the weapon and shot only if fired upon then the weapons wouldn’t have caused any violence. That argument failed because there were sinister crimes motivated by political issues and power struggles unrelated to concrete self-defence.

Anyway in the video he does manage to explain the potential problems that could arise with “collectivised security” in general. As per my minority rights thread, I actually really do agree with gun control. That’s always the preferred option. But the implementation of gun control must always be both methodical and pragmatic: in general if there’s a situation where armed threats are an unavoidable risk in a fragile society then I’m afraid some degree of self-defence weaponry such as non-lethal ammunition might be temporarily necessary for ordinary civilians.

If lots of internal terrorist groups cannot be disarmed then sadly we might need to compromise on elements of gun control to prevent a huge imbalance of power against unarmed civilians. If all else fails, we can do as the Americans do! Something like a small airgun pistol would give a civilian a greater chance of escaping from an armed threat. Unfortunately it’s still possible to be ambushed by such devices but nowhere near to the extent of damage that a real gun could inflict. So it’s not a good solution at all but rather a last resort if gun control is failing. It goes without saying that any self-defence policy would have to apply equally to both unionist and nationalist civilians. If that fails there might be other backup plans. Financing private security guards for instance. Or else having a shared police jurisdiction where PSNI detectives would be allowed to make arrests in Ireland in return for allowing garda investigators to operate in Northern Ireland in order to prevent miscommunication. For example I fail to see how the gardai could have done a full examination into the Dublin-Monaghan bombing without being allowed to carry out and oversee significant cross-border investigation. It’s well established for there to be open international detectives from multiple countries in the event of terrorist attacks. In any conflict the intentional killing of a non-threatening and unarmed civilian simply because they belong to the opposing side isn’t so much a sectarian attack as it is a racist attack. Sectarian is a milder word that might be used in the context of football hooliganism.

I think there needed to be a greater emphasis on individualism in Northern Ireland. Belfast could perhaps be seen as more of a multiracial libertarian city similar to somewhere like Boston in America. I agree that people are always individuals first and foremost. But disarming individual civilians can be justified because they have democratic representation in the armed forces.

Unfortunately the basic security and police requirements of unarmed nationalist and unionist civilians against the threat of armed paramilitaries were politically badly neglected throughout that horrific conflict in my opinion. The police disarmed people without commensurately protecting them or fully investigating crimes committed against them. If you ever say anything controversial, some academic language will deter any hotheaded people from reading it through! I’ll write this as clinically as I can! Unarmed people under armed threat require armed security that’s both evenly recruited and vetted. The political class failed to adequately provide this.

There was a lot of negligence where unarmed civilians were abandoned. Given that gun control was being widely flouted by terrorists, self-defence policy could really have been reassessed. It’s like a net out at sea to stop sharks but there’s a hole and sharks get in. Then the net will backfire and stop the sharks from leaving. Likewise once there’s a huge supply of illegal guns in circulation then it’s too late to aim for perfect gun control. Instead a spectrum of force needs to be explored to best minimise the damage. I’ve mentioned various options above.

I know gated communities for example can create problems like the exclusion of pedestrians and the right of way for members of the public. In third world countries they may carry risks of discriminatory behaviour. But if there were lots of dangerous terrorists roaming around then as a last resort having armed vetted security outside residential areas isn’t too unreasonable given the dire situation. Although it’s not a comprehensive solution in the same way that not everyone can have their own bodyguard.

There may have been a lot of complicated issues at play. But this aspect of equal security appears to have been ignored. Instead corrupt paramilitaries were allowed to fill a power vacuum in the guise of self-defence. As far as I can tell the problem was treated as historical, ethnic and insoluble instead of properly viewing it as a simple self-defence issue. Personally I couldn’t care less about the economic and cultural issues in Northern Ireland and my only concern is that there’s no repeat of security threats.

Politicians in England and Ireland tolerated people expressing hateful Catholic/Protestant tensions that are nonexistent anywhere else internationally and only had their source hundreds of years ago in the European Wars of Religion. Under no circumstances should threats of violence be tolerated. The initial justifications given for deadly indiscriminate violence on both sides were sometimes baseless or exaggerated. There were better alternatives. For example something like gerrymandering warranted protest but not revolution. Terror attacks justify a period of jail for the perpetrators but never vigilante terrorism against random civilians. Miscarriages of justice can emphasise the need to call for more democratic oversight of the court system rather than extrajudicial revenge. Just like gun control there doesn’t appear to have been much debate around jail sentence consistency. In my opinion far more progress would have been made had people focused their efforts on achieving simple, tangible policies like self-defence laws, court fairness and police representation instead of all-out regime change.

After that it was an escalating “tit-for-tat” such that the excuses for violence became self-referential. Both sides claimed to be simply defending themselves and no one wanted to view themselves as the aggressor. It was eventually way out of proportion to the simple grievances mentioned at the beginning. For instance it’d have been futile for a Jewish civilian to perhaps have intentionally attacked an unarmed German civilian during the Holocaust. I don’t know what the exact ethics of that hypothetical example would be given that the Nazis were carrying out a genocide of millions of people. How much leeway can be granted for self-defence against such an extreme crime? My point is the sheer contrast between the Holocaust and Northern Ireland underscores how wickedly immoral it’d be to even contemplate targeting civilians.

Territorial disputes can only happen when people start subscribing to collectivism instead of individualism. At the end of the day you’re a free person who’s responsible for ensuring your own self-defence and representation in the police and armed forces. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I didn’t want to be over-assertive but there appears to have been a lot of mismanagement in the past. Thankfully the situation now is obviously peaceful and friendly. The miserable weather worsened the situation. I tried to be impartial in my assessment even if a few disagree. I’m not trying to open old wounds but we have to learn from history to prevent similar incidents ever reoccurring in future. The worry I have reading past incidents are two-fold: firstly self-defence laws were insufficient in preventing victims which was then exacerbated by an inconsistent court system.

(I know that it wasn’t just projectile guns and that there were also threats of deadly explosives. That brings up other issues. It highlights the non-defensive and offensive nature of the attacks. I don’t know anything about counterinsurgency but perhaps could there have been more frequent preemptive search warrants at all suspected premises before the devices were made?)

We need to start preparing for debates on Northern Ireland’s future:

In fact while I was in secondary school I sometimes used to go to lunch with my Orthodox Serbian friend who in turn had a ginger Protestant friend. We were a bit of an oddball group. We never actually discussed any ecumenical matters even though we happened to have come from the 3 churches!


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