I expect that anybody who checks this site weekly will have something worth reading, but in any case, I hope that more of you will let me know your thoughts on the material presented here.
I am humbled that so many have come to visit. Thank you for taking your precious time to come and read what I have to say. As you will see, I do not post on a regular basis, but as the mood and the moment are right. A friend of mine asked me today how long it took to get an article out, and I told him that sometimes the articles almost wrote themselves, and I spend just a few hours to write one article. Other times it takes months to get things where I want them. I cannot, therefore, promise regular posts, but I strive to make my articles worthy of the subject, and your time.
I expect that anybody who checks this site weekly will have something worth reading, but in any case, I hope that more of you will let me know your thoughts on the material presented here.
Those who have read my commentary on other blogs have seen this before, but I think it bears repeating. We are engaged, first and foremost, in a war of ideas. I would like to ask those who have little but contempt for the world of ideas to take a few minutes, read what I have to say, and ponder a bit before rendering judgment. Given the sorry state of the various disciplines which make up the world of ideas, (philosophy, morals, and ethics among them) I cannot blame those who, when faced with the stark perils posed by the insanity of those presently in authority, say "We don't have time for any of that theoretical crap! We need to DO SOMETHING!"
Well, yes, we do. We each need to do something, (probably many things!) but each one of us must be sure that what we do is not the WRONG thing. We need to recognize that it was the abandonment of the world of ideas to the statists that has led us to this pass, and we must now retake the philosophical ground that was abandoned early in the twentieth century. We must, each one of us, if we are to stand and not yield even unto death, understand the values that we defend, and we must understand why any compromise of those values, of the basic principles of freedom, is the kiss of evil which corrupts and destroys all who accept it. It is in this understanding that you will gain the strength you will need to stand up for the Light.
Those who stand for the Light stand for the Rights of Man; life, liberty and property. Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion or it's absence. Freedom to be left alone. Real equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. Those are some of the values that I stand for, am willing to kill for, and if needs be to die for. Without the means to defend these values, my resistance means little, which is why I shall remain an uncompromising advocate for the right of free people to own and carry weapons.
Those who oppose us say that they stand for the rights of the collective, for equality of outcome, but what history teaches is that this is a blind, a con, a cover for the idea that most of humanity must be ruled by an elite. After all, somebody has to run things, they say. (Really? I do pretty well on my own, thank you!) The conflict is between individual rights and no rights, between a civilized society and barbarous tribal savagery, between free trade and freeloading, between the recognition of and respect for values and the denial that values exist. Between makers and takers. This conflict of ideas is an old, old war; it dates to Aristotle and beyond, back into the mists of time, and we fight yet another battle in that war now.
I could not possibly summarize the history of philosophy in any reasonable time even if I were competent enough or foolish enough to attempt it, but I can commend to your attention two books which I think most people who come here will find of great value in the days that lie ahead: "Philosophy, Who needs it?" by Ayn Rand, and "the Ominous Parallels" by Leonard Peikoff, Rand's heir. The first book is an answer to the question posed by the title, and the second is a brilliant exposition of how we have gotten into the mess we are in.
I doubt that any of you, gentle readers, would dream of walking towards a battle, riding toward the sounds of gunfire, without having good weapons and plenty of ammunition. Nor should you walk into the middle of this war of ideas without weapons and ammunition fit for the purpose. If we win the war of ideas, we cannot lose the other war, regardless of the odds we face on the ground. Conversely, if we lose the war of ideas, no matter how well we shoot, or how many we are, we will be doomed to repeat this battle over and over again, just as we are doing now. Load your moral magazines now.
Ideological marksmanship 101- Ask yourselves these questions:
"What is the purpose of government?"
"Where does the government derive its power?"
"If my government fails of its purpose, and abuses its power, what should I do about it?"
And yes, this WILL be on your test. There will be NO curve; pass/fail.
Good luck to all of you who serve the Light.
It is rare for those who commit evil acts to acknowledge that their actions are evil, even to themselves. Very often the evil-doer will justify his actions to himself and others by claiming some over-riding superior purpose or moral imperative which supposedly outweighs the 'disadvantages' of the evil act, or by altering his perception of his target, or both. Historically, when action against a particular group is envisioned, (for the greater good of course,) that group is often depersonalized or demonized prior to action being taken. After all, if the subjects of your depredations aren't human, then whatever happens to them is their own fault, isn't it? (Well, NO, but that is a subject for another time.) In any case, such moral inversions are common among those who commit evil acts.
Some of those who wield authority in these presently united States have engaged in exactly this sort of psychopathic behavior. Characterization of those who respect the Constitution and the rights of the individual as 'bitter clingers,' 'extremists' or even 'terrrorists' are an effort to depersonalize those who oppose the present stampede towards collectivist totalitarianism. But those who presently wield authority have a problem. Not only are most of those who oppose them armed, and resolutely intent on retaining their arms, but the government does not know who they are or what weapons they possess. Not only that, but most of those who support the push towards victim disarmament are unarmed, and an unknown number of police and military members would probably fight on the side of the Constitutionalists.
Opposing the totalitarian thugs are over 100 million gun owners in the various united States, owning hundreds of millions of guns, including up to as many as half a million or more 'illegal' unregistered machine guns. Of those people, at least half appear utterly determined to retain their arms, and their rights, whatever the cost. It is impossible for those presently in authority to clamp down hard enough quickly enough on enough of these people to be certain that they could prevail in a civil war. Unless they knew who owned the guns, and especially who owned arms of military utility. That allows all sorts of incremental pressure to be put onto such persons, one by one, rather like the way a pack of hyenas extracts their prey from the herd. Over time, if they knew who the gun-owners were, the authorities could marginalize, harrass and penalize gun owners for their 'unacceptable individualism,' just as the Mayor of Chicago is attempting to do with firearms manufacturers.
This is where the insidious evil of registration comes in. The present Feinstein bill, if passed, will ignite an extremely bloody civil war which would likely end with the Constitutionalists winning the day, and the Marxists losing most if not all of the 'progress' that they have made during the last 100 years. Rather than start a fight that they know they are probably going to lose, it appears that the approach may be to try to establish 'back-door' registration of both guns and owners by requiring universal background checks for ALL sales of firearms, including all private sales.
The honeyed voice of the tyrant will ask "Well, what is wrong with that? Do we want deranged individuals buying weapons from 'private dealers?' Why won't you people be reasonable?"
The answer is simple- "NO! We have tolerated too many infringements already. It is utterly unreasonable for you to ask me to surrender any more of my rights because of the utterly predictable result of your insane policy of disarming the victims." What is wrong with this completely unreasonable idea is that criminals will not obey the law, and those who we most wish to disarm will not be disarmed. The insanity of expecting the deranged or the criminal to play by the rules has been repeatedly demonstrated, and the dangers of allowing the government to know who has the guns has as well.
One of my inlaws who has since passed on, not Jewish but married to a Jew, some years ago became extremely upset by her discovery of the information available on the Internet. She had apparently found out that there are various publishers who sell books on all sorts of topics, including explosives manufacture, how to make machine guns and flamethrowers, and all sorts of other topics involving applied violence. She fumed, "It's absurd! Nobody needs that sort of information! That simply shouldn't be allowed!" I calmly said "Really? Why don't you tell the Jews in Warsaw that?" "Warsaw?" she replied, puzzled, "I've been to Warsaw, and there aren't any Jews in Warsaw!" At that point, her Jewish husband leaned over towards her and very quietly said, "Dear, you had better quit while you are behind."
(Warsaw in 1939 had the largest Jewish community in Europe, about 375,000 Jews out of 1.3 million or 30% of the population. There are in fact a few hundred registered Jews in Warsaw today. Virtually all of the former Jewish inhabitants were murdered by the Nazis during WW2 or emigrated to Israel or the United States afterwards. Warsaw was the site of one of the most famous episodes of Jewish resistance to the Nazis during the Holocaust, the Warsaw Uprising. Fewer than a hundred Jews resisted the Wehrmacht, SS and Gestapo for over a month.)
The point of this little vignette is that the German weapons control laws did not disarm the Jews on Kristalnacht (November 9th and 10th, 1938, which was the start of the Nazi attempt to exterminate European Jewry.) The disarmament of the Jews began many years before, with 'reasonable' registration and licensing laws, which got less and less reasonable over time. Once disarmed, it became safe to blame the Jews, for the Germans knew that they had no arms. They had the records, the registration, and they took the Jew's guns. The rest, as they say, is history.
Time after time, history tells us that registration is followed by confiscation, and once disarmed, by extermination. It has happened dozens of times in the last century alone. THIS is the calculus of genocide, and it is pretty simple.
Even a six year old can integrate that calculus problem, and it is to protect our persons and our rights, and those of all such six year olds and all the rest of us out there, that the gun owners of these united States remain opposed to ANY further infringements on our individual rights. When the honeyed voice of the tyrant asks us to 'be reasonable!' we remember the calculus of genocide and we say NO.
NO private sale 'background check' AKA Federal gun registration.
NO enabling of confiscation.
NO complicity in atrocity.
We remember the calculus of genocide and we say that not only will we not give up our weapons, we will NOT register them, or ourselves. Anyone who stands for the insidious evil of registration stands for mass murder, for that is what history and the calculus of genocide teach us.
Remembering the Holocaust, we say, "NEVER AGAIN!"
Nunc Pro Tunc: The Coming Day of Burn Barrels and Blessings Permalink
This is a standing invitation to my fellow Americans: If congress ever enacts a law mandating the registration and/or a production ban of detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles then you are hereby invited to the town square of your local community. There, burn barrels will be set up and we will publicly burn Form 4473s, FFL Bound Books, state and local registration records, and the sales receipts for every firearm in the United States. On that same day, FFL holders and public officials holding electronic firearms records will simultaneously erase those records, permanently and irretrievably. (Using special file erasure software such as Blancco, X-Ways, and Stellar Wipe, or though the physical destruction of disk drives.)
Spontaneous Gatherings, Spontaneous Combustion
This burn barrel day--likely to be held the day after the President signs any new draconian legislation--will include speeches, public prayers, and the blessing of those who have gathered by ministers, rabbis, and priests.
The core of the activities on that day will be stalwart public defiance of any new unconstitutional law(s), the open and notorious destruction of records that might be used to enslave us, and vocal public affirmations of solidarity of free men and women, in the face of tyranny. This will be a defining moment for America--a line drawn in the sand. We will forthrightly declare that we will not obey any unconstitutional law and that we will treat it dismissively, as if it had never been enacted -- nunc pro tunc. We will pledge ourselves to the defense of liberty, both individually and collectively. We will vow that if ever called to jury duty, we will nullify any unconstitutional laws, vacating the charges against the accused, in accordance with our long-standing right as jurors. (See: www.FIJA.org.)
The Law is On Our Side
We will publicly re-affirm some long standing precepts of American jurisprudence, to wit:
"The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it's enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.
Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it...
A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby.
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it." - 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256
Recognizing the many sad lessons of civilian disarmament and subsequent genocides in the 20th Century, we will make bold and forthright statement: Never Again! We will not submit to the unlawful decrees of tyrants. We will not meekly go their jails and internment camps. We will fight for our liberty, to our dying breath.
Come Armed, Come Masked
I recommend that all adults who publicly assemble at these burn barrel events do so armed, as is our right. And those who come armed should also wear masks, to protect themselves from malicious prosecution. I plan to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, but you can wear a bandana, face muffler, or the face mask of your choice. Joining you, also wearing masks, will be many mayors, sheriffs and their deputies, chiefs of police and their officers, town council members, clergy, and people of all walks of life. We vastly outnumber the tyrants. The tyrants deserve nothing but our scorn and derision. Their fate is already sealed.
After this fateful day has come and gone, FFL holders and public officials will be able to recount: "I had no choice. My records were taken by men with guns who were wearing masks!" (So they'll have no excuse if they don't cooperate with this nationwide display of civil disobedience.)
God Bless The Republic. Down with Tyrants. We Will Prevail!
- James Wesley, Rawles - January 28, 2013
Note: Permission to reprint or re-post this piece in full by any method (printed or electronically) is granted by the author (James Wesley, Rawles), as a long as it is not altered in any way and it is reproduced in full.
On January 19th, I went to the rally at Senator Joe Manchin's office in Martinsburg along with about 400 or so other West Virginians. We expressed ourselves emphatically at that rally, and I have followed up with an email to Senator Manchin expressing my deep concern with his apparent willingness to sell out his constituents. I doubt it will do any good, but I did it.
I also wanted Senator Rockefeller to know my thoughts, so here is my email to him, verbatim:
"Dear Senator Rockefeller:
As you know, the individual right to own and carry weapons of military utility is protected by the Constitution. And as you also know, this right is being assaulted. In the past, the anti-freedom forces would push to infringe our rights, and gun owners would compromise, giving up our freedoms bit by bit. However, the day of compromise has passed. There are a large number of your fellow West Virginians who are well aware of the 'divide and conquer' tactics being used to push further infringements of that right, and we are not having any further part of that.
My friends and neighbors and I wanted you to know that we will not be divided, we will not be distracted, and we will not be disarmed. We will not debate this issue and we will not compromise. We will not tolerate any further infringements upon our constitutionally protected individual right to buy, sell, own and carry weapons of any sort, especially those weapons of military utility and their accoutrement, ammunition, and accessories. History has taught us what lies at the end of that road, and we are not going there.
Please keep in mind that the last American Revolution started with an ill-advised attempt to disarm Americans. Please, don't let this Administration start another such war. Only the Chinese or another communist would want to see such a dreadful tragedy unfold; certainly all patriotic Americans would not want to see that happen, but please fix this firmly in your mind, and pass this on to the present Administration: A significant percentage of American gun owners WILL NOT BE DISARMED. You have rendered great service to your state and the American people in the past, Senator, but your place in history would be secure if your statesmanship could derail this tyrannical push for unConstitutional infringements of our rights. A great many West Virginians would cheer such an accomplishment.
I would be happy to explain why there is no legal, moral, practical, ethical or Constitutional basis for any further infringement on this most important of all civil rights should you or one of your staffers wish to discuss it further; please let me know.
Respectfully etc. etc."
I do not know whether this will help or not, but as long as words might help, I will keep talking, in the hope that rationality will prevail. I will also keep my skills polished, in the event that insanity prevails! I suggest that each of you, gentle readers, do the same.
All over these united States yesterday, 19 January 2013, history was made. As with most historical events, little attention was paid, and that is a pity, for there were some remarkable occurrences, events which deserve more scrutiny. "Gun control," more properly known as victim disarmament, has been much discussed and debated, and it is now clear that there is no practical, moral, legal or Constitutional justification for stripping the rights of the law-abiding to own and carry weapons, but this is not news. What changed yesterday was that in many states all over the country tens of thousands of Americans exercised their Constitutionally recognized rights of free speech and free assembly to remind those presently exercising authority of their absolute right, recognized by the Constitution, to own and carry weapons. Moreover, many of them expressed their unwillingness for any further compromise on this matter. THAT was historic.
In so doing, these people, who come from all walks of life, and from many different ethnic groups, demonstrated that they are heir to a very old intellectual tradition. Here's a little background:
Ancient Greece, now known as the "cradle of Liberty", was comprised 2500 years ago of a number of small city-states, some small, some larger, with a wide variety of different styles and types of government. They quarreled constantly among themselves, for arable land and exploitable resources were as scarce then as now, and human nature has not changed. Just as now, most of the Greek polities disliked being tyrannically ruled, and in the 6th century BC, they rebelled against the Persians. Darius, King of Persia, attempted to reconquer the Greeks, but failed. In 480 BC, his son Xerxes, having spent several years assembling his army, marched on Greece.
The Greeks, quarrelsome as ever, knowing the Persians had amassed a huge army variously estimated at between 100,000 and over a million men, mostly cavalry, could not at first agree on who should command the Greek Resistance or how to organize it. Leonidas, one of the two elected kings of Sparta, together with his personal bodyguard of 300 picked men and a few thousand other Greek warriors marched to Thermopylae ( The Hot Gates,) a pass between mountains and the sea. The Hot Gates were a choke point where the Persian invasion force could not employ cavalry, and there he rebuilt the stone wall across the pass and waited for the Persian Army to arrive about 200,000 to 300,000 strong.
When they did, Xerxes sent his heralds to the Greeks, and offered the Greeks land, money and their lives if they would lay down their arms and surrender, hoping to buy the subservience of the Greeks. Leonidas' response to the call to disarm was brief- "Molon Labe!" "Come and take them!" After failing to persuade the Greek blocking force to withdraw, the Persian army attacked. The Greek force inflicted horrific casualties on the Persians, to the point that the Persian officers had to whip their troops forward. On the third day of battle, Xerxes found another route across the mountains, and sent his Immortals to attack the Greeks from the rear.
All of the Greek defenders were killed to a man; the Persians are believed to have suffered from 20 to 40 thousand killed. But Leonidas' bravery and willingness to die for his cause inspired the Greeks, and Xerxes failed to conquer Greece as a result. It is because of Leonidas and the Three Hundred that we know of the concepts of individual freedom and personal liberty, concepts defended time and again through the ages.
Time and again, history shows us examples of the spirit of freedom, of those who understand that liberty must be defended even in the face of overwhelming odds, even at the price of their own lives. Horatius at the bridge, the triumph of Welsh longbowman at Crecy, and the 70 Englishmen who stood on Lexington green in 1775 and refused to disarm, who defied their own government and fired the shot heard round the world, are all examples. The Texas War of independence, started when a tyrant tried to strip away the right of the people to own and carry weapons, is another. So is the Battle of Athens Tennessee, where American GIs used military arms to overthrow a corrupt local government and restore Liberty. There are many, many more.
There are other examples from history, too. History tells us what happens to those who have disarmed. From the dawn of time to the time of Leonidas, to the Romans, through the Dark Ages, and even up to today, the fate of disarmed people has not changed. Technology has changed, but human nature has not. Tyranny and oppression feed on the helpless, and the savage and the brute revel in the horror that they can create when their victims are disarmed. Whether one considers wholesale slaughter as demonstrated by the Holocaust, or retail slaughter as seen in the atrocities of Newtown, Columbine and all the other recent mass shootings, these events are all testimony to what happens to the disarmed.
During the twentieth century alone, over 170,000,000 disarmed people were murdered by their own governments. Russians, Poles, Germans, Chinese, Cambodians, Laotians. Armenians, and many others died, defenseless, at the hands of their own government. In every case, these genocides were preceded by disarmament of the victims.
Those are some of the lessons of history, and yesterday, thousands of people demonstrated that they KNOW these lessons, will defy tyranny and will defend their rights. Leonidas died at Thermopylae, but his words have lived on for over 2500 years, and these words were spoken again just yesterday.
"COME AND TAKE THEM!"
Those who presently exercise authority should heed these words from their people, and consider some other lessons history offers.
The Irish Republican Army fought the British to a standstill, and ultimately to a political victory, with fewer than two hundred active members out of a population of over 50 million. This equates to 1200 people in the entire USA. This on an island, with no Bill of Rights restriction on the police power, more police per capita than the USA, a long history of a disarmed populace and few arms in the hands of the people, no ability to train in even basic shooting techniques, and the IRA having a generally disliked Marxist philosophy. Contrast that to the USA, which has somewhere over 350 million legal firearms in private hands, over 100 million gunowners, many of whom shoot regularly and competitively outshoot police and military personnel, and a Constitutional recognition of the right to own and carry weapons. If only ten percent of the gunowners of this country are willing to violently defy a disarmament order, this would be twelve times the number of all law enforcement combined.
Then there is the old American tradition of shooting the leaders of our enemies. During the Revolution, the British were particularly distressed that the Americans, many of them veterans of the French and Indian Wars, had the temerity to specifically target officers first. Many units preferred to hide among the trees and rocks, shoot the officers and NCOs, and then run away and hide, to repeat this activity all over again. This was also true during the first War between the States, and is still true today. US doctrine since the revolution has emphasized targeting the enemy's leaders. There are a great many retired scout snipers and other veterans who took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, who know these lessons from history and have experience in Vietnam, Irag, Afghanistan and other hotspots around the world in targeting the enemy leadership. Bill Clinton recognized this lesson and applied it, when he directed the targeting of media outlets and personalities who supported the Serbians during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.
The last American civil war cost somewhere in excess of 600,000 combatant dead, out of a total population of around 30 million. Wounded were about 5 times as many. The same percentage would mean today over 6 million combatant dead and 30 million wounded. This assumes that a civil war fought today would be as restrained as the last one, which is a considerable assumption. Given the vast differences in culture, religion, and philosophy between different factions in this country, not to mention improvements in technology and the fragility of the infrastructure, a civil war in this day and age could result in thirty million dead, possibly more, depending on how quickly the FreeFor won.
Those who presently exercise power in this country had better ponder these lessons, for there are many who stand for liberty who know them well. No rational person wants to see another civil war, but if attention is not paid to these lessons of history and the voices of the people, we will be doomed to be another undying lesson to history. Gunowners in this country have been smeared and scapegoated for the criminal insanity of both the deranged and the politicians of this country, and they have had enough. No matter what the cost, knowing the lessons of history a significant fraction of US gunowners will not be disarmed, and will not tolerate any further infringement of our right to own and carry weapons.
In response to the beguiling words of the would-be Xerxes asking them to yield up their weapons, they speak ancient words which ring down through 25 centuries, the words of Leonidas, King of the Spartans-
"COME AND TAKE THEM!"
A grouchy middle aged engineer and amateur historian, blessed with a love of freedom and a plethora of opinions.
Permission to excerpt or repost is granted, provided that the excerpt or repost includes a link to the original post, with attribution.
Email to Historian at MG58MG (at symbol) Yahoo (dot) com
Liberty Hollow's suggested reading list:
"Philosophy, who needs it?"
"Looking out for #1"
"The True Believer"
"the Rights of Man"
"The Ominous Parallels"
Finance and Economics-
"Economics in one lesson"
"Whatever happened to Penny Candy?"
"the Wealth of Nations"
"The Clipper Ship Strategy"
Liberty oriented Fiction-
"Time Enough for Love"
"A Planet for Texans"
"The Ecologic Envoy"
"the Framing of the Constitution of the United States"
"Hologram of Liberty"
"The Creature from Jekyll Island"