A good friend at work yesterday asked me, “Why do you think you need an Assault rifle anyway?” Here’s what I had to say. “Do you understand morals? Principles of right and wrong behavior, right? Do you understand ethics? A system of moral principles, right and wrong, good and bad, right? If you can morally and ethically answer my questions about what Barak Obama and our government is doing to fundamentally change the United States of America, I will tell you why it is My Right and Yours to need and own an Assault Rifle, Leave the 2nd Amendment ALONE and now its Militia Time. Do you think its right for our government to have a $16 trillion deficit and growing? Do you understand how this debt will affect your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren? Do you think its fair that you must live within your means and budget wisely but our President and government are on a never-ending spending spree with your hard-earned paid taxes? Do you think its right for the President and media to blame entrepreneurs and demonizing them for their success? Do you think its right for the Presidents to lie to pass his new tax reform which he said would only tax the top 1% but actually hurts you and me? Do you really think you are “Free”? What about the (I cannot stand the name of this because by no means is it) Patriot Act. Do you know that you, your car; your house can be searched all in the name of the Patriot Act? What about NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act)? Do you understand our government needs no warrant to detain, hold indefinitely without trial or due process, deny access to legal counseling or admission of bail? Do you know what the Executive Order 13603 by Barak Obama entails? Do you know how many regulations have been posted in the last 90 days? What about the EPA, FDA, BATF… ? I could go on and on and on. DO YOU REALLY EXPECT ME TO TRUST MY GOVERNMENT?
2nd Amendment – A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
James Madison – a founding father
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
George Washington – a founding father
“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
Second Amendment: Do Militias Matter Today?
By Wes Walker / 11 January 2013
The role of gun ownership has always been emotionally charged, but Sandy Hook’s news has again heightened the rhetoric. This debate has spilled over and has become international.
Anti-gun lobbyists consider the Second Amendment antiquated, asking what militias could protect us from today. The pro-gun side answers: “Tyrants”, citing King George III, Hitler’s Germany, or another event so seemingly distant that the argument seems academic. Even some who want stricter controls might concede the home-defense argument. But they would never want Joe Public armed with the sorts of guns carried by soldiers and police. Are militias relevant today?
Do you think it strange that citizens might be called to grab their gun, and rush to the defense of their community or region against some threat? Why is it strange? Small towns do the same thing with volunteer fire departments. Bankers, plumbers, or gym teachers, all become firemen when there’s a fire raging. You can’t wait for experts to put out the fire, everybody gets involved. That same principle describes a militia.
The relevant Amendment reads: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
This week, I stumbled on a modern, local parallel to this principle. A judge was complaining about a Provincial police force refusing to administer a court order. Reading further, I saw the connection.
Now, I need to proceed carefully. The example I’m citing is complex, and explosive. I could not possibly give the nuanced description that fairness would require. Others can debate who is right and wrong in the issue itself, I am only presenting a modern example of one effective application of the principles the Amendment defends.
Remember the taunt, “You and what army?” That’s a defiant reply given when someone tries to force his will on you. It is also the response to tyranny embedded in the Second Amendment. A lone man could shoot a prowler in defense of his family. But this other use requires a group standing together, bearing arms against a threat — its own government, if need be — in mutual defense.
Today, not every group sees government as benign. For historical reasons, some doubt their motives and promises, old agreements remain disputed, and past wrongs color present-day relations.
That’s why some Canadian Aboriginal groups have chosen to provide for their own protection. This is seen in periodic shows of force defying government edicts. Roads or railways are blockaded. (This was the case with Judge David Brown’s injunction for Ontario Police to remove a railway barricade — which police ignored.) We have had crises with names like Oka, or Caledonia, in which protesters make it clear they are prepared to use force to achieve their aims.
The Caledonia case is interesting. In 2006, protesters from Six Nations disputed the legality of an 1840’s transaction relating to land now being developed. Protesters camped on the disputed land. Injunctions were filed, but they didn’t move. Next were roadblocks, burning tires, injuries to local homeowners — some were life-threatening — and damage to both public and private property on and around the affected land. The Provincial government proved itself unwilling and/or unable to protect the property and safety of private citizens impacted by the dispute.
Unable to resolve the matter, the Province paid tens of millions in damages to the property owners/developers, millions more to the local businesses and residents, not to mention payouts to Dana Chatwell and Dave Brown (Google their story) and others. In 2013, this matter is still not resolved, yet is largely forgotten by the public.
Obviously, there are underlying grievances, precedents, racial tensions, et cetera, beyond the scope of this brief description of the events to consider. But on a basic level, we see how one group that began what they would consider a peaceful protest calling attention to what they considered their lawful rights. Because they rejected court rulings against them as non-binding and invalid (it’s complicated), they used strength of numbers, and sometimes physical force, to defy them.
Ethical considerations and treatment of innocent civilians aside, this tactic was sufficiently effective that law enforcement did not — could not — force compliance on Six Nations protesters.
Contrast that to the disorganized, unarmed citizens of Caledonia, including but not limited to Dave Brown (arrested for “trespassing” on his own land), and “The Caledonia 8” (arrested without charge for wanting to walk down a street with a protest sign in August 2012). Locals even tried forming a militia (in 2009) to protect the interests their law enforcement wouldn’t, but this was unsuccessful.
This is obviously an imperfect analogy to militias — especially because militias would typically defend their community, rather than displacing their neighbors. But strictly as a deterrent to the government use of force, this example of a group willing and able to defend its interests forced government officials to change their tactics. Locals allege that government and law enforcement began using “kid gloves” in their dealings with Six Nations, but not with other Caledonians.
Suppose we find ourselves facing a government flagrantly abusing police powers over its citizens. Which of these groups will sleep soundly at night?
The moral of the story is this: Armed citizens are able to protect their rights, whether or not their governments acknowledge them.
Image: The Battle of Vincennes in the American Revolutionary War (February 23 – February 25, 1779); source: http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/ihb/resources/ sackville.html; author: Frederick Coffay Yohn (1875–1933); public domain