If nothing else, Timothy McVeigh proved that human beings don't need semi-automatic firearms (or any firearms for that matter) to destroy far more lives than Lanza did in Newtown.
I'm going to place some bets on the very near future regarding three things in US politics:
1) Team Obama and the prohibitionists, with or without the approval of Congress, will be successful in outlawing some kind of firearms.
2) The Republicans in Congress will more than likely cave in to some sort of legislation that violates our right to protect ourselves against thugs in the private or government sector. (And if not, Obama will do it through executive order, which is pretty much the norm now in any case, considering that the Bill of Rights makes no difference to gun control fundamentalists, Obama's obedient disciples, or the masses at large.)
3) The Supreme Court will rule that the law does not violate the 2nd Amendment Rights of Americans. And either before or after it makes its ruling, there will be blowback for said legislation once it becomes law.
There are millions of Americans who not only own firearms (I being one of those crazy "nutters" myself), but who culturally identify and affirm themselves as free human beings simply by this qualitative difference to other Americans (for example, in Chicago) and other citizens of different nation-states the world over. That's one of many reasons why it's nothing less than eloquent sophistry to claim that the American Left (in general) is culturally "liberal" and "tolerant". Unless you're using a conceptual stick of "tolerance" measured by Jerry Falwell's standards.
In other words, the coming legislation would be an attack not only on their culture but their identity itself--it is a legislative means to criminalize who they are as human beings.
Whether or not it's worth attacking a minority group's way of life, essentially scape-goating them, for "national security" or "health and safety" entirely misses the point. That debate can be taken up by people like Bill O'Reilly or Rachel Maddow. I'm betting that some--if not many--of these people do not plan on being oppressed by their own government without a fight. A literal one.
McVeigh, contrary to popular myth, decided to blow up the OKC federal building not because he was a lunatic or a racist. He was far from either one of those things. Sane people, including those who work in the highest branches of the American government, murder other human beings everyday. And McVeigh's discontent with the American Empire began during his tour in America's first war of aggression against Iraq. Quite simply, he was ashamed of America's complete lack of restraint as a world super power, and he knew the American military was killing innocent human beings, notably, Iraqi human beings. He saw their deaths firsthand. (It's hard to argue an authentic racist would have such empathy for foreign "brown" people.)
He explained many times in several different interviews with the press that the only content of the Turner Diaries that intrigued him were those pages related to guerrilla warfare tactics, not the racist garbage that outlined its plot.
Here's a brief outline of McViegh's reasoning for his own act of mass destruction:
1) In his eyes, America morphed into a violent, aggressive super-power bent on world dominance over weaker nation-states, exemplifying this role in Operation Desert Storm, killing many innocent civilians, including Iraqi children.
2) In his eyes, America's federal police forces slaughtered hundreds of innocent American civilians in Waco, Texas in 1993, simply because they celebrated a different religion, and no one in the federal government was held accountable to the slaughter, which included children.
3) In his eyes, the federal government wrote a law that many Americans--himself included--believed to be a fundamental attack on the most important right we have: the right to bear (that is, carry) firearms with the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
It was at this point that McVeigh convinced himself that the American government was not only declaring war on the rest of the world, but on its own citizens as well. McVeigh decided to do something about it. That's called blowback.
Despite those who have studied it or not, American history is repeating itself. America today is far more polarized than it was in 1994. Discontent is widespread on both the Left and the Right (and we freak-o libertarian types are pretty much alienated from everyone politically, so I guess that includes us as well). As demonstrated by both the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement, Americans are much more vocal and out in the open about their discontent, if not outright hatred, of the current political order under which they are ruled.
For example, just two years ago, I was visiting some family in a small town up north in my southwest territory. My girlfriend and I were drinking with my cousins at a local dive and listening to a local band jam on the back patio. The hot dog vendor who worked the venue knew one of my cousins; after he closed shop he sat himself down at our table and had a drink with us. He was an older gentleman, maybe in his mid-50s. He said he had always been an entrepreneur, since he was ten years old, and that he once ran several successful businesses, but due to the crash in '08, was completely wiped out and was starting from scratch with his hot dog vending gig. We got to talking politics a little bit. And eventually, after about an hour into it, he said, "Well, it's coming to the point of revolution." I was stunned by such an open admission to revolutionary sympathies. (This guy looked like anything but your stereotypcial radical "extremist". Unless extremists these days resemble bourgeoisie family men.) I replied, "You know, I think we have to stop talking about this now, because as far as I know, you could be an undercover state agent; and as far as you know, I could be the same." He understood what I meant. And that was pretty much the end of it.
You know you're living in strange times when you're careful not to say the wrong thing lest you're entrapped by the secret police.
The social phenomenon of "blowback" has been explained in relation to the 9/11 attacks time and time again by public figures such as Ron Paul and former CIA Bin Laden Chief Michael Scheuer, only to be willfully ignored by the majority of the public and the ruling class in Washington DC. In brief, it's the foreign policy equivalent to the economic law of unintended consequences. There are analogous examples of blowback in the war on drugs, too. For example: sin taxes on tobacco in NYC were supposed to coerce people to stop smoking. Instead, those people just found ways to buy their tobacco cheaply through online sales or across state lines. Blowback.
Another point: the militia movement is larger than its ever been. There are thousands of young "disgruntled" veterans who have returned from pointless military ventures abroad only to wonder what sort of freedom, exactly, it was they were supposedly protecting. Tens of thousands of Americans are still out of work. And hundreds of thousands of Americans just signed online petitions a couple weeks ago asking if their state could peacefully secede from the American Empire.
Of course, there can also be retaliation to blowback. Like when George W. Bush launched two illegal wars on Afghanistan and Iraq (again). That's called escalation.
Were such escalation-like scenarios to be realized within one nation-state, most people call it "civil war".
Get ready, America. I'm betting that things are going to get very, very nasty here in the next couple of years.
There will be blowback. I'll put money on it.