Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vanderboegh: Deacon

by Mike Vanderboegh

(Another chapter from "Absolved", an upcoming novella)

Then what shall we call ourselves
And still keep our right to be a man
For the time has surely come
For us to take our stand.

The man that asked the question threw out an idea:
Let's call ourselves the Deacons and never have no fear,
They will think we are from the church
Which has never done much
And gee, to our surprise
It really worked.

-- Song, "Deacons for Defense and Justice," Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick, quoted in The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement, by Lance Hill, 2004, p. 16

3 February 1965: Bogalusa, Louisiana - The Skirmish at Andrey's Cafe

He was back in Korea, cold, scared and mad as hell when somewhere in the distance, at the edges of his consciousness, a phone rang.

Bobby Williams, third shift maintenance man at the Crown-Zellerbach paper plant, wasn't due to get up for another three hours. He groaned and rolled over, burying his head deeper into the pillow.

It kept ringing.

A thought penetrated the haze. Where was Lucy?

"Crap," Bobby muttered, and threw the covers back and sat up.

The phone stopped.

"Figures," he sighed.

He could hear Lucille talking, her voice rising, but couldn't make out the words. Sitting on the side of the bed in his underwear, he rubbed his eyes and then ran his right hand back and forth over the close cropped hair on his head, trying to lose the grogginess. He looked at the clock on the nightstand.


He'd never get back to sleep now. Might as well get up.

As he did, his wife threw open the door and blurted out, "Bobby! Joe Baker says those two white boys from CORE is getting beat to death by the Klan down in front of Andrey's. He says meet him at Aunt Sylvie's right behind there as soon as you can."

She paused, and then in fear for her husband moaned aloud, "Oh, Bobby."

Bobby Williams was awake instantly. They had planned for this, him and Joe and some of the men from the plant.

"Get my rifle and my clips from the front closet," he ordered and set about throwing on his clothes. They were dirty from the night before, draped over the chipped wooden chair in the corner.

If'n I die in 'em, t'won't matter one way or t'other if they're clean or dirty, he thought.

He yelled after his wife through the open door, "And get me a glass of water!"

Thirsty, he remembered with a tight smile. Combat always did make me thirsty.

In about as much time as it takes to tell, Bobby Williams met his wife at the front door. His Garand leaned against the doorframe. Lucy stood there, as beautiful as the day he married her despite the two daughters she'd borne him and a third child almost here any day now and everything else in a hate-filled world gone crazy. His glass of of water was in her left hand and the bandoleer marked ".30 Caliber M-2 Ball" in her right.

Their eyes met.

Lord, she had pretty eyes. It was her eyes that first drew him to her, that afternoon at the church picnic that seemed like an eternity ago now. At this instant, tears were forming in them.

Bobby took the glass from her hand, tenderly, and gulped down the water. Then, words failing him, he hugged Lucy tight for a long moment, her swollen belly pressing against him. He released her, took the bandoleer from her hand and slung it over his head so it dangled on his right side.

Then he grabbed the rifle and ran out the front door.

Behind him, Lucille Wiliiams began to sob.

A historian would later write that "the eatery was a tiny matchbox of a building, little more than a single room 15 by 15 feet." But just right now, it was a battlefield in a war.

And the first shots had already been fired.

Bill Yates and Steve Miller were two white activists of the Congress of Racial Equality, come to Bogalusa that day to meet with local black labor officials down at the Negro Union Hall. When they left the Hall to drive back to New Orleans in Miller's car, they noticed a shadowing vehicle full of white guys. As it happened, and it was no coincidence, the car held five stalwarts of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. They were there to teach these two "nigger lovers" a lesson about meddling in things that weren't any concern of theirs.

The two unarmed civil rights activists, knowing that if they continued on out of town along the narrow two-lane highway that ran between Bogalusa and New Orleans they would be easy pickings, pulled into Andrey's to use the pay phone to call for help.

Yates, the older man, leaped out of the car and hit the ground running, making for the front door. The Klan vehicle pulled in front of Miller's blocking the path. Shots rang out, though no one was hit, and one of the Kluxers threw brick at Miller's car.

The Klansmen leaped out and ran down Yates before he could get inside the cafe. Throwing him to the ground, they began to dance on him a bit. The Kluxers toyed with him, giving him a broken hand and severe internal injuries, before he escaped and staggered into the front door of Andrey's. Miller backed his car out of the roadblock and then on around the back of the cafe, parked it and joined his injured friend inside.

As Yates held his sides and groaned, Miller peeked out the door and saw four more carloads of Klansmen join the first and slowly drive up, down and around the cafe, "circling their prey," as one historian later put it.

They were trying to work their courage up for another go at it.

Miller began to feed coins into the pay phone, calling everybody he knew. Local white telephone operators refused to put through calls to the black community, so Miller called his mother long distance in San Francisco, who in turn called other civil rights activists who in their turn called the FBI and the Louisiana state attorney general and the media.

"Remember Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney?" Miller asked a UPI reporter on the phone. "Well you're talking to the next ones right here. We're about to get it."

But Miller, understandly panicked, was exaggerating the situation. He was wrong for two reasons.

First, the Klan had a problem. Surprised by the dash into Andrey's parking lot, they had jumped the CORE activists at the edge of Bogalusa's Negro community. This wasn't some lonely road with no witnesses. Although the streets had emptied when the shots were fired, there were any number of witnesses peeking out from windows and doorways.

In addition, some of these men, the leaders, were well-known in the black community. They knew that. Even so, the Klan had reigned around Bogalusa for almost a hundred years. They owned the local police, the Sheriff, and other politicians.

But still, their courage, if you can call it that in such cravenly human specimens, failed them. Too stupid to carry out their original plan correctly, too scared to finish the job and too proud to just call it a day and drive away, they waited. They waited until something very strange happened -- that second thing I was talking about.

It was something almost unprecedented in the Klan's experience heretofore. Something they'd talked a lot about, but had never, in their secret heart of hearts, ever thought would happen.

And that something was the Deacons for Defense and Justice.


The paper plant workers watched from concealment (not cover, Bobby recognized ruefully) at the back of Aunt Sylvie's as the Klan cars paraded up and down in front of Andrey's Cafe and then stop for a palaver as the Kluxers discussed what to do. They watched the Klan and Aunt Sylvie watched them from her back window, unbelievingly.

"Black mens with guns, Lord have mercy," she worried.

The men were all blown from the exertion of their various runs to get to the rendezvous. Sweating profusely despite the cool February weather, Joe Baker wheezed air in and out of his tortured lungs and complained, "Damn, I'm too old for this shit."

Bobby Williams smiled at him, "I been telling you you gotta quit smoking. It just kills your wind."

Baker, a short, lean man with skin the color of coffee with cream, just wheezed and spat, looking back sourly at Bobby, who was ten years younger, twice his size and three times blacker.

Bobby took stock one last time. One Garand, an M-1 Carbine, two lever-action .30-30 deer rifles, a twelve gauge pump shotgun and the .45 automatic that Joe Baker had brought back from the Pacific twenty years ago. Aside from Bobby and Bill Waverly, the guy with the carbine, they had maybe twenty rounds apiece, no more. Bill only had a fifteen round mag for back up and a thirty round banana mag in the weapon. Forty five rounds. Bobby had eight in the Garand and forty-eight in the bandoleer.

That was it. Plus the lever-actions and the shotgun would be slow in reloading.

Thin, real thin. Well, he'd fought Chinks with less. And these mostly-fat crackers ain't nearly as tough as Chinks.

He smiled, as much to give his men courage as anything. Bobby decided.

"Alright, we'll do this one at a time. I'll go first, then you Joe, then the rest of you. The ones behind will cover the one crossing. The next to last man covers the last man from the backdoor, got it? Bill, you got the carbine and plenty of firepower so you come last. We're puttin' all of us into that little shack, I know, but reinforcements are on the way and I want to make a good show."

He swallowed hard. Thirsty again, his mouth was dry as dust.

"Don't start anything. But if they start shootin', shoot to kill."

Bobby paused, looking at them in their faces, each in turn. They'd talked about this, but they'd never practiced it. Still, every man was a veteran of some war. The Army or Marines had trained them, and trained them well.

Bobby grunted softly. Well, it would just have to do.

"You with me?"

"Yeah," the other men, led by Joe, muttered their assent, some of them just nodding.

Yeah, they were determined.

This Klan shit ends here.


Bobby looked again. No time like the present. He leaped up and sprinted with his Garand held at high port in front of him across the danger space, and came to rest with his back to Andrey's back door.

Out front, Joe Carl Thornton saw him.

"Hollingsworth!" he yelled to one of the Klan leaders, "I just saw a nigger with a gun run into the back! Shit! There goes another one!"

Another Kluxer from down the block yelled, "Hell, there's a bunch of 'em!"

The Kluxers who had guns raised them, but hesitated, uncertain about what to do as most of them couldn't see what was happening. Autie Shingler, whose only weapon was a baseball bat, looked down at the Louisville Slugger stupidly and shuddered. He didn't want to die in no shootout with no niggers this day or any other.

Delos Williams, another Klan leader and no relation to Bobby, yelled out the pertinent question, "How many of 'em?"

"Hell," yelled the second man, almost plaintively, "I don't know. Mebbe six or seven, mebbe a dozen!"

"Goddam!" Hollingsworth spat. "Goddam!"

Niggers with guns. This shit was serious. Gotta get the cops in here to run 'em off.

"Joe Carl," he ordered, "Get on that police radio and tell 'em we need some deputies to run off these coons!"

Niggers with guns.

That was a different deal altogether.

Shit, Hollingsworth thought. Even if the cops talk 'em into leaving, they'll take them two pointy-headed Yankee agitators with 'em. I guess the fun's over for today.

Even so, the Klan stayed as the afternoon started to fade toward darkness.

But the Kluxers now peered behind them into the deepening gloom, and wondered, "How many of these black bastards with guns are there?"

And another thought followed that swiftly, "Am I in their sights right now?"

Even as the other men followed him across, Bobby Williams opened the back door at Andrey's and walked in past the cook, who took one look at the leveled M-1 rifle in the maintenance man's hands and grinned.

He'd been ready to use his sawed off shotgun if the Kluxers had come into his place, but now he was off the hook. The Deacons were here.

Miller saw Bobby out of the corner of his eye and just about dropped the phone. He knew they'd been guarded by armed men a couple of nights before when the Sheriff started floating a rumor that a white lynch mob was coming to hang him and Yates, and he recognized Bobby as one of the men who had been there. A feeling of total relief flooded through him. They would not die alone this day, beaten to a pulp even as their non-violent beliefs forbade them to fight back. These men would protect him. It wasn't until later that he realized how hypocritical he was. One thing for sure, Miller thought, these guys know the drill.

After a glance around the room, Bobby eased over to the front door, taking in the enemy's dispositions with a series of peeks. His men silently arrayed themselves at each door and window, covering the streets outside and each other. These guys have been there before, thought Miller.

The white boy was still frightened though, and after realizing that help had arrived but the Klan wasn't going anywhere, he began feeding nickels in the payphone again. He couldn't get a dial tone and he panicked.

"They cut off the phones! They cut off the phones!" he shouted, looking at Booby and the other men.

"Son," said one, "you got to put a nickel in there first."

Miller looked down. The white boy fished another nickel out of his pocket, tried it and got a dial tone. Sheepishly, he went back to calling the outside world.

"Reinforcements are here," called Bill Waverly from the back, and three more men entered. Bobby wasn't having any of that. There were too many men in here already.

"Look," he said quietly, reasonably, "there's too many folks in here already and we need y'all to watch the perimeter and cover us from out there."

"Well, where do you want us?" one asked.

"C'mon," said Bobby, "I'll show you where to stand."

This next part was a little dicey, Bobby knew. He didn't want the Klan to think they were pulling out, so he decided to ignore them.

He turned to the newcomers.

"Now follow me nice and slow and DON'T get ahead of me. Don't bunch up, but don't run, walk," he commanded.

The three newbies looked at each other and then nodded in unison.

Nervous as he was about what he was about to do, Bobby almost laughed. He shook his head.

"All, right," he commanded, "follow me."

Returning the hold on his weapon to high port, Bobby Williams stepped out into the late afternoon and strolled back to the Aunt Sylvie's place. His reinforcements likewise gripped their weapons and followed like a gaggle of baby ducks, two steps behind the man in front.

"Damn!" said a Kluxer to his buddy who was off to the side enough to see the procession, "Look at that shit."

When he made the concealment at the edge of Aunt Sylvie's place, he began to breathe again. One by one, the newbies joined him, out of sight now from the Kluxers. He looked around.

"OK," he pointed, "you, over by that shed, you by the old jalopy over there and you," pointing to the man with another carbine, "you stay right here. Keep a three-sixty look out. Don't let nobody sneak up on you or on us. If anybody comes to firebomb the cafe, you kill 'em, you understand?"

They all nodded.

"You," he pointed to the man with the carbine.


"You know how to use that thing?"

"Yeah, I was in Korea later than you, but I was there. You ever hear of a place called Pork Chop Hill?"

"Yeah," grinned Bobby, "I heard of it."

He paused, looking down at the man's belt. "How many mags you got?"

"Six, one in the carbine and four in here." He slapped the olive drab canvas case on his belt. "And one more in my pocket. All thirties. Hardbacks. They'll work."

"OK," Bobby conceded with a grin, "you'll do. You be my squad leader out here. Anybody else shows up, you put 'em where they can cover over there," he pointed, "and over there," pointing over on the other side. "Don't let 'em get too far spread out but don't bunch 'em up either. I want you as a base of fire we can fall back on if it gets too hot up there," pointing at Andrey's Cafe.

He looked at his new corporal. "What's your name?"


"OK, Demmings, I'm countin' on you."

"Right, we ain't goin' anywhere."

"You best not, or you'll have a helluva lot more than the Klan to worry about," Bobby said with a glower and then spoiled it by grinning.

Demmings grinned back.

"We'll be here."

"Oh, yeah, one more thing. Can I have that extra mag you've got in your pocket? I got a man in there with a carbine who's a little light on ammo."

Demmings hestitated, then agreed.

"Sure," he said, handing the thirty rounder over, "Iffen you get killed, I'll just get it back from the Coroner afterward."

Bobby snorted. He'll do, he thought. And then he did something even harder than the first walk over.

He walked back.

He stood to his full six feet two inches, slung his Garand like he was on the parade ground, and marched, yes marched, slowly back to Andrey's. Head erect, eyes straight, focused on a spot just about the back door. His old DI would have been proud. "Damn," said the Kluxer, "Look at that uppity nigger. LOOK at him."

None of the Kluxers who saw him as much as raised a muzzle. They were flabbergasted. THIS had NEVER happened before. It was beyond their experience. And it scared the excremental bejeezus out of each and every one of them.

Inside, the Deacons welcomed Bobby back in with a whoop and a holler.

"Damn, boy!" exclaimed Joe Baker, "that was as cool as a cucumber in the deep shade. You damn near BEGGED them crackers to shoot you!"

Bobby grinned, and then turned serious.

"Get back on your windows and keep watch!"

But secretly, deep in his gut, he smiled. The crackers were cowards. If they wouldn't shoot at him when he paraded like a tom turkey at a shoot, they wouldn't when he could shoot back at them from cover. This was going to be all right. It wasn't over. But unless somebody really screwed this up by doing something stupid, it was going to be all right.

As if to prove Bobby Williams right, by the time it got good and dark the frustrated Klan took counsel of their fears and drove off. But no one knew whether they had left any stay-behinds out there or not.

The Deacons kept watch, from Andrey's, the lights turned down low.

Maybe now is a good time to just let the history books tell it like it was:

Eventually FBI Special Agent Frank Sass in New Orleans reached Miller on the pay phone in Andrey's. The Klan caravan circling the block had melted away at sunset, but it was still unsafe for Miller and Yates to leave the cafe. Agent Sass told Miller not to leave until Sass could come to Bogalusa and talk to local authorities.

Miller retorted that the agent should not delay calling the Bogalusa officials; he and Yates needed protection immediately, and they had already notified the media. "The whole world is watching," Miller warned.

As the resident agent for Bogalusa, Sass was familiar with the recent civil rights activities there. He soon arrived at Andrey's but balked at entering the building. "Steven Miller, come on out," yelled the agent in his distinctive southern drawl. One of the black guards cautioned Miller that the cafe door was illuminated by a light, making Miller a clear target if he ventured outside. "Don't go out there and silhouette yourself, boy," warned the man.

So Miller told Sass to come in if he wanted to talk. The FBI agent opened the door and took a few steps inside. He was not prepared for the scene confronting him: the tiny restaurant was packed with black men armed with rifles and shotguns.

"His mouth dropped a foot," remembered Miller with some amusement. "He literally couldn't talk for several minutes. He just stood there stunned." -- The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement, by Lance Hill, 2004, p. 98


Sass left to go arrange for protection to get Yates to a hospital but Sass . . . left without making any promises, saying only that he would speak with the state police. The black guards waited a few hours for him to arrange protection, but when the agent failed to return they decided to move the CORE men to the home of Bob and Jackie Hicks. They concealed them in the back seat of a car and transported them in an armed convoy to the Hicks' house. When they arrived, Yates and Miller were greeted by a second defense force, scattered in trees, behind bushes and inside the house.

It was imperative to get Yates to a hospital so his injuries could be treated, but the local hospital was out of the question. By 10:30 PM CORE's regional office had arranged for a state police escort for Yates and Miller. Four patrol cars soon arrived at the Hicks' home. The ranking patrolman walked to the door. "He came in, took about four steps into the room, and saw all these guys with guns and his mouth fell open and he was rooted to the spot," said Miller. "He was just dumbfounded."

The armed guards relished the moment. -- Ibid., pp. 98-99.


By then, Bobby Williams had handed off his Garand and bandoleer to another volunteer, caught a ride to his house, and hugged his wife again before rushing off to the Crown-Zellerbach plant. He still had a shift to work, and he did it in the same dirty clothes he'd worn for two days.

Three days later, Lucy Williams presented Bobby with his third child, a boy. They named him Robert E. Williams, Jr.

In the fullness of time, he would become the first black Attorney General of the state of Alabama.

But that is another story.

(Author's afterward: The chapter you have just read is properly described as "faction." There really was a "skirmish" at Andrey's Cafe on 3 February 1965. The events proceeded just as described. If I have taken some liberties with the names and precise actions of the men who would later form the Deacon for Defense and Justice chapter of Bogalusa, Louisiana, I have, like Alan Eckhart in his "Wilderness" series of novels, merely given a best guess at dialogue to situations that are otherwise well-documented.

At this remove, we do not know exactly the names of those men first to the Cafe. Many more have claimed to be than could have fit in the tiny building. I have taken the liberty of inserting my fictional character Bobby Williams into this historical moment. Miller later reported that the men "moved with military precision."

Bobby Williams is not such an outlandish guess from Miller's account. I would heartily recommend that anyone seeking the facts of the incident, or of the remarkable history of the Deacons themselves, should consult Lance Hill's history. It is an incredible story, and one that provides lessons even for today. -- MBV)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Never Ever Talk to the Police - Part II

The second half of the law lecture posted the other day, also courtesy of Maggie's Farm.

Watch it.

Remember it.

Do it.

Tempus fugit.

Vanderboegh: A Handgun Against An Army - Ten Years After

A Handgun Against An Army -- Ten Years After
Mike Vanderboegh
29 July 2008

"Bravo! Well said Sir! More truer words have rarely been spoken. You inspire and embolden us to protect and defend our rights. Please do not let your voice be silenced." -- "Anonymous" reaction to "What Good Can A Handgun Do Against an Army?" 2006.

Almost a decade ago now, I penned "A Letter From Hagood's Crossroads, Alabama," subtitled "What Good Can a Handgun Do Against an Army?"

Over the years it has proven to be the single most popular piece I have ever written. To this day, I get emails and snail mails from folks who have stumbled across it for the first time, thanking me for writing it. It is a humbling experience for a scribbler such as myself to realize that he has struck a chord in his audience -- humbling and gratifying.

Still, I have always meant to rework "Handgun" to correct some of the minor errors and irritating flaws that always occur whenever you whip out a topical opinion piece, as I did this one. For example, one of the things that always bothered me was that I was forced to paraphrase Hopper explaining the facts of life to his marauding gang of ATF/biker/bandido grasshoppers in "A Bug's Life." In the re-issue below, I correct that. Indeed, thanks to technological advances in the intervening years, I am now able to give you the YouTube link so you can HEAR Hopper's presentation of the dialectic of tyranny yourself with just a click of the mouse.


Another area requiring work was the wolf-sheep metaphor, which if I had just hewed to the wisdom of my grandpa imparted to me years ago would have more properly been (as I have corrected it below) a wolf-sheep-sheepdog metaphor. Don't ask me why I did it that way the first time. I wrote it, as most of my pieces back then and since, at one sitting in the wee hours of the morning.

And equally importantly, without the steadying hand of a good editor. (Here, I tip my hat to my friend David Codrea.)

In truth, for something that has been so well received for so long, at the time I gave it no more thought or care than any of the other many things I wrote during the Era of the Clintonista-Militia Cold War. Yet it is "Handgun" that has, apparently, stood the test of time. I will explore why I think this is in the afterword to this reissue.

For now, let me present again, with slight updated revision, "What Good Can A Handgun Do Against an Army?," with many thanks to my friends -- Peter at Western Rifle Shooters Association and Chris at Mindful Musings -- for the firm nudge prompting me to do so. -- MBV

"What Good Can A Handgun Do Against an Army?"

A friend of mine forwarded me a question a friend of his had posed:

"If/when our Federal Government comes to pilfer, pillage, plunder our property and destroy our lives, what good can a handgun do against an army with advanced weaponry, tanks, missiles, planes, or whatever else they might have at their disposal to achieve their nefarious goals? (I'm not being facetious: I accept the possibility that what happened in Germany, or similar, could happen here; I'm just not sure that the potential good from an armed citizenry in such a situation outweighs the day-to-day problems caused by masses of idiots who own guns.)"

If I may, I'd like to try to answer that question. I certainly do not think the writer facetious for asking it. The subject is a serious one to which I have given much research and considerable thought. I believe that upon the answer to this question depends the future of our Constitutional republic, our liberty and perhaps our lives.

My friend Aaron Zelman, one of the founders of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership told me once:

"If every Jewish and anti-nazi family in Germany had owned a Mauser rifle and twenty rounds of ammunition AND THE WILL TO USE IT (emphasis supplied - MBV), Adolf Hitler would be a little-known footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic."

Note well that phrase: "and the will to use it," for the simply-stated question, "What good can a handgun do against an army?", is in fact a complex one and must be answered at length and carefully.

It is a military question.

It is also a political question.

But above all it is a moral question which strikes to the heart of what makes men free, and what makes them slaves.

First, let's answer the military question.

Most military questions have both a strategic and a tactical component. Let's first consider the tactical.

A friend of mine owns an instructive piece of history. It is a small, crude pistol, made out of sheet-metal stampings by the U.S. during World War II. While it fits in the palm of your hand and is a slowly-operated, single-shot arm, it's powerful .45 caliber projectile will kill a man with brutal efficiency. With a short, smooth-bore barrel it can reliably kill only at point blank ranges, so its use requires the will (brave or foolhardy) to get in close before firing. It is less a soldier's weapon than an assassin's tool. The U.S. manufactured them by the millions during the war, not for our own forces but rather to be air-dropped behind German lines to resistance units in occupied Europe and Asia. They cost exactly two dollars and ten cents to make.

Crude and slow (the fired case had to be knocked out of the breech by means of a little wooden dowel, a fresh round procured from the storage area in the grip and then manually reloaded and cocked. It was so wildly inaccurate it couldn't hit the broad side of a French barn at 50 meters, but to the Resistance man or woman who had no firearm it still looked pretty darn good.

The theory and practice of it was this: First, you approach a German sentry with your little pistol hidden in your coat pocket and, with Academy-award sincerity, ask him for a light for your cigarette (or the time the train leaves for Paris, or if he wants to buy some non-army-issue food or a half- hour with your "sister"). When he smiles and casts a nervous glance down the street to see where his Sergeant is, you blow his brains out with your first and only shot, then take his rifle and ammunition. Your next few minutes are occupied with "getting out of Dodge," for such critters generally go around in packs. After that (assuming you evade your late benefactor's friends) you keep the rifle and hand your little pistol to a fellow Resistance fighter so he can go get his own rifle.

Or, maybe, you then use your rifle to get a submachine gun from the Sergeant when he comes running. Perhaps you get very lucky and pickup a light machine gun, two boxes of ammunition and a haversack of hand grenades. With two of the grenades and the expenditure of a half-a-box of ammunition at a hasty roadblock the next night, you and your friends get a truck full of arms and ammunition. (Some of the cargo is sticky with "Boche" blood, but you don't mind, not terribly.)

Pretty soon you've got the best armed little maquis unit in your part of France, all from that cheap little pistol and the guts to use it. (One wonders if the current political elite's opposition to so-called "Saturday Night Specials" doesn't come from some adopted racial memory of previous failed tyrants. For even cheap little pistols are a threat to oppressive regimes.)

They called the pistol the "Liberator." Not a bad name, all in all.

Now let's consider the strategic aspect of the question, "What good can a handgun do against an army....?" We have seen that even a poor pistol can make a great deal of difference to the military career and postwar plans of one enemy soldier.

That's tactical.

But consider what a million pistols, or a hundred million pistols (which may approach the actual number of handguns in the U.S. today), can mean to the military planner who seeks to carry out operations against a populace so armed.

Mention "Afghanistan" or "Chechnya" to a member of the current Russian military hierarchy and watch them shudder at the bloody memories. Then you begin to get the idea that modern munitions, air superiority and overwhelming, precision-guided violence still are not enough to make victory certain when the targets are not sitting Christmas-present fashion out in the middle of the desert.

I forget the name of the Senator who observed famously, "You know, a million here and a million there, and pretty soon you're talking about serious money." Consider that there are at least as many firearms-- handguns, rifles and shotguns-- as there are citizens of the United States. Consider that in 1997 there were more than 14 million Americans who bought licenses to hunt deer in the country. 14 million– that's a number greater than the largest five professional armies in the world combined. Consider also that those deer hunters are not only armed, but they own items of military utility-- everything from camouflage clothing to infrared "game finders", Global Positioning System devices and night vision scopes.

Consider also that quite a few of these hunters are military veterans. Just as moving around in the woods and stalking game are second nature, military operations are no mystery to them, especially those who were on the receiving end of guerrilla war in Southeast Asia (or nowadays, Iraq and Afghanistan).

Indeed, such men, aged though they may be, are more psychologically prepared for the exigencies of civil war (for this is what we are talking about) than their younger active-duty brother-soldiers whose only military experience involved neatly defined enemies and fronts in the Grand Campaign against Saddam. (Of course, since I wrote these words, an entirely new generation of citizen soldiers have been manufactured in the twin crucibles of Iraq and Afghanistan, my own son among them.)

And not since 1861-1865 has the American military attempted to wage a war athwart its own logistical tail. Nor indeed has it ever had to use modern conventional munitions on the Main Streets of its own hometowns and through its' relatives backyards. Nor has it tested the obedience of soldiers who took a very different oath with orders to kill their "rebellious" neighbors, but that touches on the political aspect of the question.

But forget the psychological and political for a moment, and consider just the numbers. To paraphrase the Senator, "A million pistols here, a million rifles there, pretty soon you're talking serious firepower." No one, repeat, no one, will conquer America, from within or without, until its citizenry is disarmed. We remain, as a British officer had reason to complain at the start of our Revolution, "a people numerous and armed."

The Second Amendment is a political issue today only because of the military reality that underlies it. Politicians who fear the people seek to disarm them. People who fear their government's intentions refuse to be disarmed.

The Founders understood this.

So, too, does every tyrant who ever lived.

Liberty-loving Americans forget it at their peril.

Until they do, American gunowners in the aggregate represent a strategic military fact and an impediment to foreign tyranny. They also represent the greatest political challenge to home-grown would-be tyrants. If the people cannot be forcibly disarmed against their will, then they must be persuaded to give up their arms voluntarily. This is the siren song of "gun control," which is to say "government control of all firearms," although few self-respecting gun-grabbers are quite so bold as to phrase it so honestly.

Joseph Stalin, when informed after World War II that the Pope disapproved of Russian troops occupying Trieste, turned to his advisors and asked, "The Pope? The Pope? How many divisions does he have?"

Dictators are unmoved by moral suasion.

Fortunately, our Founders saw the wisdom of backing the First Amendment up with the Second. The "divisions" of the Army of American Constitutional Liberty get into their cars and drive to work in this country every day to jobs that are hardly military in nature. Most of them are unmindful of the service they provide. Their arms depots may be found in innumerable closets, gunracks and gunsafes. They have no appointed officers, nor will they need any until they are mobilized by events.

Such guardians of our liberty perform this service merely by existing. And although they may be an ever-diminishing minority within their own country, as gun ownership is demonized and discouraged by the ruling elites, still they are as yet more than enough to perform their vital task. And if they are unaware of the impediment they present to their would-be rulers, their would-be rulers are painfully aware of these "divisions of liberty," as evidenced by their incessant calls for individual disarmament. They understand moral versus military force just as clearly as Stalin, but they would not be so indelicate as to quote him.

The Roman Republic failed because they could not successfully answer the question, "Who Shall Guard the Guards?"

The Founders of this Republic answered that question with both the First and Second Amendments.

Like Stalin, the Clintonistas and other holders of the Imperial Presidency could care less what common folk say about them, but the concept of the armed citizenry as guarantors of their own liberties sets their teeth on edge and disturbs their statist sleep.

Governments, some great men once avowed, derive their legitimacy from "the consent of the governed." In the country that these men founded, it should not be required to remind anyone that the people do not obtain their natural, God-given liberties by "the consent of the Government." Yet in this century, our once great constitutional republic has been so profaned in the pursuit of power and social engineering by corrupt leaders as to be unrecognizable to the Founders. And in large measure we have ourselves to blame because at each crucial step along the way the usurpers of our liberties have obtained the consent of a majority of the governed to do what they have done, often in the name of "democracy"-- a political system rejected by the Founders.

Another good friend of mine gave the best description of pure democracy I have ever heard. "Democracy," he concluded, "is three wolves and a sheep sitting down to vote on what to have for dinner." The rights of the sheep in this system are by no means guaranteed.

This is why God in His wisdom, and the Founders in their sagacity, made sheepdogs.

Now it is true that our present wolf-like, would-be rulers do not as yet seek to eat that sheep. They still cast a nervous collective eye toward the sheepdogs among the flock. They are, however, most desirous that the sheep be shorn of taxes, and if possible and when necessary, be reminded of their rightful place in society as "good citizen sheep" whose safety from the big bad wolves outside their barn doors is only guaranteed by the omni-presence in the barn of the "good wolves" of the government.



American Voters, er, ah, Sheep

Indeed, they do not present themselves as wolves at all, but rather these lupines parade around in sheepdog's clothing -- the sheepdog being an ancient and honorable vocation accepted by the sheep as a necessary burden for their safety -- and they yip and yowl insistently in off-key falsetto about the welfare of the flock and the necessity to surrender liberty and property "for the children", er, ah, I mean "the lambs." In order to ensure future generations of compliant sheep, they are careful to educate the lambs in the way of "political correctness," tutoring them in the totalitarian faiths that "it takes a barnyard to raise a lamb" and "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Indeed, these wolves could only achieve what they have by convincing the flock (and most of the real sheepdogs) that they are protectors of the flock with its best interests at heart.

But here's the problem for these wolves parading as sheepdogs.

There are not enough of them to eat as well they please just yet without having their meal rudely interrupted.

True, they are outnumbered by the sheep, but they care not. Sheep, after all, are sheep. "If God had not wanted them shorn, He would not have made them sheep," the bandit leader Caldera tells Yul Brynner in "The Magnificent Seven."

What wolves DO care about is the threat posed to them by the real sheepdogs who the Founders of the flock with great foresight placed between the wolves of government and the flock of the people and charged with its protection -- the sheepdogs who these wolves merely pretend to be.

Real sheepdogs of course have no appetite for the lives and liberties of the sheep. They exist, they live for, they relish in, their role as the true guardians of the flock. Ready in an instant to lay down their lives for the defense of the helpless, they operate always within the Founders' carefully drawn borders, faithfully and honorably. Indeed, the concept of honor is most often found only in sheepdogs, for the sheep have no need of it in the day-to-day wandering of the flock and, as for the wolves, it gets in the way of their appetites. And these sheepdogs, the smarter, more perceptive ones among them, are infinitely suspicious of the lupine-mandarin class who continually try to overstep the boundaries the Founders of the flock set.

Every now and then, the appetite of the wolves is for an instant revealed too nakedly. Some tough old independent-minded ram refuses to be shorn, for example, and tries to remind the flock that they once decided affairs themselves -- they and the sheepdogs -- according to the rule of law of their ancestors and the Founders of the flock, and without the help of their "betters." When that happens, the fangs become apparent and the conspicuously unwilling are shunned, cowed, driven off or (occasionally) killed. This always happens when the real sheepdogs are looking the other way, or are mesmerized by some lupine excuse.

Sadly, over time the majority of the flock -- including many of the sheepdogs -- have learned over time not to resist the Lupine-Mandarin class which herds it. Their Founders, who were sheepdogs one and all, would have long ago chased off such usurpers. Any present members of the flock who think like that are denounced as antediluvian or mentally deranged.

Yet, the sheepdogs still stand ready and so the wolves must be gradual in their predations. Most of the sheepdogs are, after all, watching the perimeter of the Founders' grazing fields for threats from without, or are preoccupied with forays to foreign fields where other sheep are being victimized by other wolves. They are close, these wolves, into converting many sheepdogs into cooperating with their schemes. And there are some of the more alert sheepdogs that the lupines would like to punish, but they dare not-- for their teeth are every bit as long as their "betters."

Indeed, this is the reason the wolves haven't eaten many sheep in generations. To the wolves' chagrin, the honest sheepdogs are armed and they outnumber the wolves by a considerable margin. For now the wolves are content to watch the numbers of these honest sheepdogs diminish, as they are no longer fashionable in polite society. (Indeed, they are considered by the literati to be an anachronism best forgotten and such sheepdogs are dismissed by the Mandarins as "Tooth Nuts" or "Right Leg Fanatics".)

When the number of the sheepdogs fall below a level that wolves can feel safe to do so, the throats of the remaining guardians of the flock will be torn out and the eating of the sheep will begin. The wolves are patient, and proceed by infinitesimal degrees like the slowly-boiling frog. It took them generations to lull the sheep and the sheepdogs into accepting them as rulers instead of elected representatives. If it takes another generation or two to complete the process, the wolves can wait.

This is our "Animal Farm," without apology to George Orwell.

Even so, the truth is that one man with a pistol CAN defeat an army, given a righteous cause for which to fight, enough determination to risk death for that cause, and enough brains, luck and friends to win the struggle. This is true in war but also in politics, and it is not necessary to be a Prussian militarist to see it. The dirty little secret of today's ruling elite -- as represented by the Clintonistas, the "compassionate conservative" Bushies and the even scarier potential for tyranny embodied by the spell-binding Obama -- is that they want people of conscience and principle to be divided in as many ways as possible ("wedge issues" the consultants call them) so that they may be more easily manipulated. No issue of race, religion, class or economics is left unexploited.

Lost in the din of jostling special interests are the few voices who point out that if we refuse to be divided from what truly unites us as a people, we cannot be defeated on the large issues of principle, faith, the constitutional republic and the rule of law. More importantly, woe and ridicule will be heaped upon anyone who points out that like the blustering Wizard of Oz, the federal tax and regulation machine is not as omniscient, omnipotent or fearsome as they would have us believe. Like the Wizard, they fan the scary flames higher and shout, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

For the truth is, they are frightened that we will find out how pitifully few they are compared to the mass of the citizenry they seek to frighten into compliance with their tax collections, property seizures and bureaucratic, unconstitutional power-shifting.

I strongly recommend everyone see the movie "A Bug's Life". Simple truths may often be found sheltering beneath unlikely overhangs, there protected by the pelting storm of lies that soak us everyday. "A Bug's Life", a children's movie of all things, is just such a place.

"A Bug's Life," 1998.

The plot revolves around an ant hill on an unnamed island, where the ants placate predatory grasshoppers by offering them each year one-half of the food they gather (sounds a lot like the IRS, right?). Driven to desperation by the insatiable tax demands of the large, fearsome grasshoppers, one enterprising ant goes abroad seeking bug mercenaries who will return with him and defend the anthill when the grasshoppers return. (If this sounds a lot like an animated "Magnificent Seven", you're right.)

Kevin Spacey as
Special Agent "Hopper,"
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Seeds
in "A Bug's Life"

The grasshoppers (who roar about like some biker gang or perhaps the ATF in black helicopters, take your pick) are, at one point in the movie, lounging around in a bug cantina down in Mexico, living off the bounty of the land. The harvested seeds they eat are dispensed one at a time from an upturned bar bottle. Three grasshoppers suggest to their leader, a menacing fellow named "Hopper" (whose voice characterization by Kevin Spacey is suitably evil personified), that they should forget about the poor ants on the island. Here, they say, we can live off the fat of the land, why worry about some upstart ants?

Hopper turns on them instantly. He manipulates the dispenser on the mouth of the bottle, and the seed strikes one of the dissenters in the chest, falling to the floor. "Did that hurt,?" Hopper asks. "No," says the dissenter derisively. "How about this one?" as he does it again. "Are you kiddin'?" says the gang member. "Well . . . HOW ABOUT THIS?!?" Hopper knocks the cap off the bottle and its entire contents rush out, inundating and crushing the three dissenters. Hopper then explains the facts of the tyrant's world to his gang:

Hopper: You let one ant stand up to us, then they all might stand up! Those puny little ants outnumber us a hundred to one and if they ever figure that out there goes our way of life! It's not about food, it's about keeping those ants in line. That's why we're going back! Does anybody else wanna stay?
[grasshoppers shocked - all the grasshoppers "rev up" their wings]
Molt: [motioning a fellow grasshopper] He's quite the motivational speaker, isn't he?
Hopper: Let's ride!

You can watch Hopper's explanation on YouTube right here:

Of course it comes as no surprise that in the end the ants figure out that they outnumber the grasshoppers a hundred to one, and when they do they free themselves in an instant.

Would that liberty-loving Americans were as smart as animated ants.

Courage to stand against tyranny, fortunately, is not only found on videotape or DVD. Courage flowers from the heart, from the twin roots of deeply-held principle and faith in God. There are American heroes living today who have not yet performed the deeds of principled courage that future history books will record. They have not yet had to stand in the gap, to plug it with their own fragile bodies and lives against the evil that portends. Not yet have they been required to pledge "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor."

Yet they will have to.

I believe with all my heart the lesson that history teaches: That each and every generation of Americans is given, along with the liberty and opportunity that is their heritage, the duty to defend America against the tyrannies of their day. Our father's father's fathers fought this same fight. Our mother's mother's mothers fought it as well. From the Revolution through the world wars, from the Cold War through to Iraq and Afghanistan, they fought to secure their liberty and safetyand those of the defenseless people of the world) in conflicts great and small, within and without.

They stood faithful to the oath that our Founders gave us: To bear true faith and allegiance-- not to a man; not to the land; not to a political party, but to an idea. That idea is liberty, God-given, inalienable liberty as codified in the Constitution of the United States. We swear, as did they, an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And throughout the years they paid in blood and treasure the terrible price of that oath.

That was their day.

This is ours.

The clouds we can see on the horizon may be a simple rain or a vast hurricane, but there is a storm coming. Make no mistake.

Lincoln said that this nation cannot long exist half slave and half free. I say, if I may humbly paraphrase, that this nation cannot long exist one-third slave, one-third uncommitted, and one-third free. The slavery today is of the mind and soul not the body, but it is slavery without a doubt that Mandarin class, most recently embodied by Barack Obama, is pushing.

It is slavery to worship our nominally-elected representatives as our rulers instead of requiring their trustworthiness as our servants. It is slavery of the mind and soul that demands that God-given rights that our Forefathers secured with their blood and sacrifice be traded for false security of a nanny-state which will tend to our "legitimate needs" as they are perceived by that government.

It is slavery to worship humanism as religion and slavery to deny life and liberty to unborn Americans. As people of faith in God, whatever our denomination, we are in bondage to a plantation system that steals our money, erases our history -- supplanting it with sanitized and politicized "correctness" -- denies our children a real public education, denies them even the mention of God in school and denies, in fact, the very existence of God.

So finally we are faced with, and we must return to, the moral component of the question: "What good can a handgun do against an army?"

The answer is "Nothing," or "Everything."

The outcome depends upon the mind and heart and soul of the man or woman who holds it.

One may also ask, "What good can a sling in the hands of a boy do against a marauding giant?" If your cause is just and righteous much can be done, not only if you are willing to risk the consequences of failure and to bear the burdens of eternal vigilance.

A friend of mine gave me a plaque once. Upon it is written these words by Winston Churchill, a man who knew much about fighting tyranny:

"Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

The Spartans at Thermopolae knew this. The fighting Jews of Masada knew this, when every man, woman and child died rather than submit to Roman tyranny. The Texans who died at the Alamo knew this. The frozen patriots of Valley Forge knew this. The "expendable men" of Bataan and Corregidor knew this. If there is one lesson of Hitlerism and the Holocaust, it is that free men, if they wish to remain free, must resist would-be tyrants at the first opportunity and at every opportunity. Remember that whether they come as conquerors or elected officials, the men who secretly wish to be your murderers must first convince you that you must accept them as your masters. Free men and women must not wait until they are "selected," divided and herded into Warsaw Ghettos, there to finally fight desperately, almost without weapons, and die outnumbered.

The tyrant must be met at the door when he appears. At your door, or mine, wherever he shows his bloody appetite. He must be met by the pistol which can defeat an army. He must be met at every door, for in truth we outnumber him and his henchmen.

It matters not whether they call themselves Communists or Nazis or something else. It matters not what flag they fly, nor what uniform they wear. It matters not what excuses they give for stealing your liberty, your property or your life. "By their works ye shall know them." The time is late. Those who once had trouble reading the hour on their watches have no trouble seeing by the glare of the fire at Waco. Few of us realized at the time that the Constitution was burning right along with the Davidians.

Now we know better.

We have had the advantage of that horrible illumination for more than fifteen years now-- fifteen years in which the rule of law and the battered old parchment of our beloved Constitution have been smashed, shredded and besmirched by the Clintonistas. In this process they have been aided and abetted by the cowardly incompetence and venal avarice of the Republican party. They have forgotten Daniel Webster's warning: "Miracles do not cluster. Hold on to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands-- what has happened once in six thousand years may never happen again. Hold on to your Constitution, for if the American Constitution shall fail there will be anarchy throughout the world."

Yet being able to see what has happened has not helped us reverse, or even slow, the process. The sad fact is that we will have to resign ourselves to the prospect of having to maintain our principles and our liberty in the face of becoming a disenfranchised minority within our own country.

The middle third of the populace, it seems, will continue to waffle in favor of the enemies of the Constitution until their comfort level with the economy is endangered. They've got theirs, Jack.

The Republicans, who we thought could represent our interests and protect the Constitution and the rule of law, have been demonstrated to be political eunuchs, or worse. Alan Keyes was dead right when he characterized the 1996 election as one between "the lawless Democrats and the gutless Republicans." Nothing has happened in the years since to contradict that analysis. The major parties, as Pat Buchanan observed, "are two wings of the same bird of prey." The spectacular political failures of our current leaders are unrivaled in our history unless you recall the unprincipled jockeying for position and tragi-comedy of misunderstanding and miscommunication which lead to our first Civil War.

And make no mistake, it is civil war which may be the most horrible corollary of the Law of Unintended Consequences as it applies to the Clintonista-Bush-Obama Imperial Presidencies and their shared appetite for the destruction of the rule of law. Because such people have no cause for which they are willing to die (all morality being relativistic to them, and all principles compromisable), they cannot fathom the motives or behavior of people who believe that there are some principles worth fighting and dying for. Out of such failures of understanding come wars. Particularly because although such elitists would not risk their own necks in a fight, they have no compunction about ordering others in their pay to fight for them.

It is not the deaths of others, but their own deaths, that they fear.

As a Christian, I cannot fear my own death, but rather I am commanded by my God to live in such a way as to make my death a homecoming. That this makes me incomprehensible and threatening to those who wish to be my masters is something I can do little about. I would suggest to them that they not poke their godless, tyrannical noses down my alley. As the coiled rattlesnake flag of the Revolution bluntly stated: "Don't Tread on Me!" Or, as our state motto here in Alabama declares: "We Dare Defend Our Rights."

But can a handgun defeat an army? Yes. It remains to be seen whether the struggle of our generation against the tyrants of our day in the first decade of the 21st Century will bring a restoration of liberty and the rule of law or a dark and bloody descent into chaos and slavery.

If it is to be the former, I will meet you at the new Yorktown.

If it is to be the latter, I will meet you at Masada.

But I will not be a slave.

And I know that whether we succeed or fail, if we should fall along the way our graves will one day be visited by other free Americans, thanking us that we did not forget that, with the help of Almighty God, in the hands of a free man a handgun CAN defeat a tyrant's army.

Ten Years After

So why has "Handgun" apparently stood the test of time? It is not without its critics, you know. One fellow called it "bloodthirsty," another "paranoid." Yet another said it was "over-wrought, over-drawn and over the top." It does seem to some, even today in the disturbing light of the Olofson case, as "too combative," and "too scary to contemplate." In this it is not unlike any of the other many pieces I have written, some of which have even been labeled "seditious." "Handgun" certainly disturbs just as many people as it inspires. Does that say more about the writing, or the reader?

There are, it seems, many folks in the "Second Amendment community," whatever that is, who dislike my "absolutist" positions. These "pragmatists" say that they share my goals but not my methods, thinking apparently that tyranny can be deterred by the force of persuasion alone. I wish it were so, but it isn't. Not even a sloppy reading of our own history, let alone that of the world, could lead anyone but the most credulous or unrealistically optimistic among us to believe such a proposition.

As a good friend commented in an email to me upon the most recent contretemps occasioned by another of my "cold dead hands" letters:

The final question, at least to me, for the "politicals" (my preferred term, as I think the so-called radicals are FAR more pragmatic than the "democracy is both effective and safe!" crowd) is as follows:

"What do you guys plan to do if your approach demonstrably fails, either by the passage of AWB II, more Katrina/Iowa-style confiscations, or some other indicia that the political path is not yielding the intended results?"

The real answer for many is "we plan to redefine the objective to maximize our sporting uses of what we are allowed to keep."

Ain't no talking to folks like that....let their shackles rest heavy on them.

Sadly, he is no doubt correct.

With such "friends," to quote Don Rickles, "who needs enemas?"

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty."

~II Corinthians 3:17~

Yet there are just as many, perhaps more, to whom "Handgun" still speaks, as one recent fan wrote me, "to our souls." I have sometimes felt that I have been too shy about my faith. Others, godless heathen libertarians no doubt (insert smiley face here), say I'm TOO religious.

But I think when I sincerely invoke, "the help of Almighty God," many, many more people who are not concerned or embarrassed by such sentiments are uplifted thereby. They recognize, as do I, that just as the Founders could not have pulled off the Revolution alone, we are not going to restore our Republic without the help of God's power. And so my references to that Higher Power which guides and informs our lives resonates with "gunnies" who are perhaps too "simple and unsophisticated" too be embarrassed by them.

The skeptical libertarians who ARE now made nervous by them will nevertheless one day be grateful to have such folks as allies in the great battle of our time.

And it will be a battle.

And it is coming, closer now than it was ten years ago.

Perhaps that is why "Handgun" still finds eager readers, because they understand this.

And they want to gird themselves spiritually before the fight.

If by reminding them that a handgun can defeat a tyrant's army I have helped prepare them for what's ahead, I am thankful to my God that He granted me the discernment to see it and the talent to communicate it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Never Ever Talk to the Police - Part I

Thanks to Maggie's Farm comes this lecture from law professor James Duane on what you should do when questioned by the police or Federal agents.

Watch the whole thing.

Then live that advice, and be smarter than Senator Ted Stevens.

No kidding.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Volk on Freedom

Oleg has a message for folks who think calm words and reassurances re peaceful intent will keep the statists at bay.

The hard truth is that nothing short of tyranny's eternal cure is going to stop the anti-gun totalitarians.

I didn't get into last week's brouhaha as I was on the road, except to comment at The Smallest Minority:

To those "reasonable gun owners" dampening their knickers over Vanderboegh's writings, I'd say:

'Want it'?


Anyone who wants violent revolution when there are other viable alternatives has gotta be out of their minds.

But what if - just perchance - there's been a revolution already going on for at least 75 years?

A revolution dedicated to the proposition that all men (other than the nomenklatura, of course) shall be rendered equal - by force if necessary, but more likely by the drip-by-drip of Gramscian/Fabian socialist incrementalism.

What if those revolutionaries have already captured 100% of the government elementary and high schools, 95% of the institutions of higher education, 2/3 or better of the state and federal legislatures, > 85% of the state and federal judicial seats, and 95%+ of the mainstream media outlets?

What if these collectivists, in their revolutionary zeal to extirpate individualism wherever found, were able to capture the White House and both Houses of Congress, and shortly thereafter reassert the so-called "liberal majority" on SCOTUS?

Having done so, what if the federal revolutionary collectivists planned, along with their local and state minions, to impose European-style state socialism buttressed with a technological security surveillance apparatus synthesizing data from both public and private sources on each citizen of the former Republic?

Would those citizens then, in the faint final glimmers of liberty's twilight, be morally and ethically justified in saying publicly:

When you come to arrest and imprison me and my friends, I will evade and then kill

- you who have been sent

- you agency management types who sent them

- you political bosses and functionaries who established and funded the agencies responsible for the arrests

- you media types who have called for the "end to gun violence"

- you
Judendienstordnung "reasonable gun owners" who thought it would be best to "police our own"?

Would it be time then to dare to publicly utter the words "back the f**k off"?

Or might that just "scare people"?

There are today in this country hundreds of thousands of men, women, and young folks who will not be enslaved - even at the price of their lives.

Those are the 3%.

They are real.

And they will fight.



Soft warriors believe that political action and education will stop the transnational socialist push against private arms ownership.

That belief assumes that meaningful political action at the ballot box is possible.

Ask the Irish, French, and Dutch how well that approach worked in defeating the tranzis' European Constitution.

Not very well, from this writer's OP.

The current conflict between individualism and collectivism in this country is not going to end without widespread violence, unless the collectivists relinquish their goal of controlling every aspect of their subjects' lives.

Think that's going to happen?

If you do, I have two speeches from the past four months for you to read - one delivered in Boston and one delivered in Berlin.

The statists think they can win at an acceptable cost.

The "peace at any price" gun owners in this country, like their peers in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, are correctly cited by the tranzis as proof of their hypothesis.

And thus, the day of reckoning moves closer.

Lesson for the day:

Predators prey.

That's what they do.

And freedom fighters fight.

Sic semper tyrannis.


Living in an Imperial World: "We interrupt regular programming to announce that the United States of America has defaulted …"

Satyajit Das, author of Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives, is one of the world's foremost experts on derivatives and other complex financial issues.

Last week, he wrote a two-part column (Part 1 and Part 2) which begins:

On 30 October 1938, the American Radio Drama series Mercury Theatre aired "The War of the Worlds", directed by Orson Welles. Adapted from H.G. Welles’ novel, the first half of the broadcast was scripted as a series of dramatic news bulletins of a Martian invasion. Listeners who had missed or ignored the opening credits assumed that the invasion was real. People fled their homes in panic. Phone calls swamped police.

Today the financial equivalent of this broadcast would be the announcement: "we interrupt regular programming to announce that the United States of America has defaulted on its debt!"

Default entails failure to honour contractual obligations; in the case of debt, non-payment of interest or principal payments due to the lender. The financial impact of default is the loss suffered by the lender.

Lenders to the United States government have suffered significant losses .The losses have not been from non-payment but because repayments have been in a constantly debased currency – the dollar.

Assume a Japanese investor bought 30 year US Treasury bond in 1985 when the US$/ yen exchange rate was US$1 = Yen 250. Based on a current exchange rate of US$1 = Yen 105, the investor has lost 58% of the investment. The investor can take comfort that at the low of US$1=Yen 84, the investor would have lost 66%. European investors who bought US government bonds in recent years would have also suffered significant losses. Based on the highest US$/ Euro exchange rate (Euro1 = US$ 0.85) and the current trading levels (Euro1 = US$ 1.56), the investor would have lost (up to) 46%.

Given that in a typical sovereign default the investor loses 50% to 80% of the value of the investment, the losses suffered are not far short of default. Despite "strong dollar" official policies, a case can be made that the US is in the process of defaulting on its obligations via a systematic devaluation of its currency. The problems of the US are evident in a number of other indicators...

Take the time to read and digest both columns.

Then help others in your circle to understand what is coming so that they can help with food storage, among other things.

Tempus fugit.

WRSA Grid-Down Medical Course - Everett, WA - September 12-14

Field Expedient Medical Care for Outdoorsmen in Austere Environments

This two-day (16 hour) course of instruction will prepare the motivated outdoorsman to treat life-threatening and function-threatening medical conditions in the wilderness without access to classical EMS and medical resources.

The working hypothesis of this program is an injury or illness sustained by a family or work group remote from medical resources by distance, time, or availability (grid-down) over a short to intermediate interval.

Designed by a retired Emergency Physician with 35 years of Trauma, EMS/ Rescue, and instructional experience, the methods and techniques taught are derived from over 10 years of front-line trauma care in an urban gangland zone and over 35 years of medical practice in environments as diverse as remote underground in caves (delayed evacuation to surface of 20 hrs), on the side of remote hills (48 hr bivouac in “whiteout” conditions), and at sea. The trauma concepts are compatible and consistent with the current military method of Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

Topics Include:
• The priority of medical care/stabilization in the survival skill set
• Triage: When to use the resources at hand, to benefit the most individuals, and preserve the “team” capability
• The “Priorities” of care for the single victim vs. the “Survivability” of the single victim in remote (time/distance/accessibility) austere environment
• The Major (Medical) Life Threats: Function and Management
• Anatomy of the life-sustaining systems of the human body
• Cover and concealment: high-threat extraction concepts
• The Big Three Survivable Life Threats-Airway control issues, pneumothorax/tension pneumothorax, and external hemorrhage
• Advanced airway techniques for the average sportsman/citizen, with expanded scope knowledge: Nasal Airways, cricothyrotomy
• Basic and Advanced Treatment of Thoracic Wounds- Stopping the air leak, and/or venting the pressure
• Basic and Advanced External Hemorrhage control- Direct pressure, mechanized direct pressure, hemostatic agents, pressure point use behind cover, tourniquets
• The science, and fairy tale, of fluid resuscitation
• Monitoring the head injured patient
• Stabilization of fractures and splinting for functional use
• Definitive wound care: Cleansing, Debriding, Closing
• The Team “Debilitators”: infection, vomiting/diarrhea/field sanitation, dehydration, toothache, soft tissue injuries, hyperthermia, and hypothermia
• Dealing with burns or cold induced wounds (frostbite, frostnip, etc.)
• Current therapy of envenomations: snakes, spiders, bees
• Pre-Pack Pharmacy: What you want to have before venturing into the outback
• Teammates with pre-existing disease: how not to make it worse
• The “Jericho Scenario”: Protection, Decontamination, and Treatment for chemical and biological agents

NOTE: This NON-CERTIFICATION course is presented for YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. All personnel take NO RESPONSIBILITY for your use of this information in a real-life situation.

When: September 12-14, 2008 (attendance at course presentations on the evening of 9/12 is highly recommended)

Where: Training Room, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management building, 3509 109th Street SW, Everett, WA 98204

Map: Click here

How Much: $325/person; $25 discount for team members

More info: westernshooters@gmail.com

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Your Next President and His Plans

As delivered this past week in Berlin by the presumptive People's World President for Life, per the Wall Street Journal:

“A World That Stands as One”

Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen — a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.
I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.

The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father — my grandfather — was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.
At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning — his dream — required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life. That is why I’m here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life. Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof. On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain, and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade.

This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin. The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin. And that’s when the airlift began — when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city’s mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. “There is only one possibility,” he said. “For us to stand together united until this battle is won…The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world: now do your duty…People of the world, look at Berlin!”

People of the world — look at Berlin! Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle. Look at Berlin, where the determination of a people met the generosity of the Marshall Plan and created a German miracle; where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security.

Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.

People of the world — look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.

Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall — a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope — walls came tumbling down around the world. From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history. The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers — dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya. Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all. In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. That is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. And if we’re honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny. In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe’s role in our security and our future. Both views miss the truth — that Europeans today are bearing new burdens and taking more responsibility in critical parts of the world; and that just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe. Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more — not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid. So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

That is why America cannot turn inward. That is why Europe cannot turn inward. America has no better partner than Europe. Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads, and people to assemble where we stand today. And this is the moment when our nations — and all nations — must summon that spirit anew.

This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope. This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.

This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom. It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.

This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century — in this city of all cities — we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent. This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all. This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close. This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Let us resolve that all nations — including my own — will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere. This is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one. And this is the moment when we must give hope to those left behind in a globalized world. We must remember that the Cold War born in this city was not a battle for land or treasure. Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children. And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds; love and loyalty and trust — not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here — what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” in Darfur?

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don’t look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived — at great cost and great sacrifice — to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom — indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us — what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America’s shores — is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.

These are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of these aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of these aspirations that all free people — everywhere — became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation — our generation — must make our mark on the world.

People of Berlin — and people of the world — the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.

Tempus fugit.