I am a well regulated militia
Every American adult of sound mind should own a rifle. It should be an assault rifle. An assault rifle in your home is a reminder to the yourself and the outside world that you are a warrior. It is a reminder that you intend to defend your life, liberty and property with lethal force when necessary. It is an awesome responsibility that others want to take away from you as part of a larger strategy to change the culture from one of independence and individuality to one of dependence and fear. In a culture where only authorities, criminals and from time to time insane members of either the ruling power structure or the criminal classes have access to solid, reliable firearms, it is easier to obtain compliance (at least on the surface) and harder to start a revolution. Revolutions, though, are healthy, and the ruling classes should always live at least slightly in fear of them. After all, what keeps the ruling class in check?
The personal firearm is symbolic of the freedom of the individual human being to defend him or herself from aggressors. That does not mean those defined by the law as criminals. The right to carry firearms, and use them in self-defense, is one worth fighting for, whether the fight is waged with words or with bullets. I do not say these things lightly. Thomas Jefferson is oft quoted for saying, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The less often quoted following sentence is, “It is its natural manure.” All references to Congress aside, this is serious business. The very idea that it is appropriate to punish the collective for the sins of the individual is rooted in the worst kind of group think, and always ends poorly. It’s sort of the reverse of the famous “blanket party” scene from the movie Full Metal Jacket. In that movie, the group punishes Private Pyle, who later goes mad and kills his drill instructor, then himself. In our modern scenario, Private Pyle is (insert name of insane shooter here). Since (insert name of insane shooter here) is usually dead after the incident, we are allowing the drill instructor to punish everyone who survives for the sins of the dead Private Pyle, when what we should be doing is realizing that the drill instructor (insert Congress here) is largely to blame for many of the cultural woes that have spawned conditions ripe for and rife with troubled madmen whom we largely ignore and marginalize until they finally self-destruct. Since we have created large crops of reliable victims for them to mow down, they naturally go somewhere poorly defended and expel their rage. Instead of focusing on the underlying cause of mental illness we focus on access to weapons. Instead of worrying about how and why we’ve created large magic pockets of space where children and peaceful people congregate and no sane, rational adults are legally allowed to carry guns unless they are also career agents of the state, we agonize over how these psychos got their hands om guns, and worry that it is just too easy to get a gun in this country. Then we allow our weak, fear-mongering leaders to propose the solution that is best for our weak, fear-mongering leaders, which is to make it harder for everyone, not just insane people, to get access to guns.
When mentally ill people have access to weapons, the solution is not to make it harder for sane people, specifically legal adults of sound mind, to gain access to guns and bullets. Unfortunately, the same thinking that pervades attempts to regulate private citizen access to weaponry pervades the rigid, increasingly inflexible and incomprehensible minds that manage our military. You cannot carry a weapon without special authority on military installations. This is the mindset that allowed the Fort Hood shooter to do as much damage as he did. It is an improper mindset that is obsessed with regulating individual behavior while largely ignoring pre-existing and resultant mental health issues. The military does an excellent job of churning out career bureaucrats these days. It has a harder time producing real warriors. They are a tiny subclass of the whole. That is because there is an active, concerted effort by the federal government and those who hold power at the federal and state levels to kill the idea that individual warriors make a culture great. Sparta is not what our leaders want us to be. Many, if not most, would prefer citizen compliance to independent thinking and strident calls for liberty, rights and other tiresome frivolities.
In most cases, a soldier in or out of uniform is expressly prohibited from carrying a firearm in the United States, at least on or around federal installations, which is where soldiers spend most of their time. In most cases, lawful citizens are prohibited from defending themselves with firearms in or around government institutions and other sacred cows, such as schools. To me, this indicates that governments have more to fear from lawful citizens with a warrior mentality than they do from insane people and murderers. In point of fact, every insane person and murderer who illegally uses a firearm appears to be strengthening the thinking that no individuals should have access to firearms just in case another person goes insane or decides to commit murder. This is an effective strategy if you do not care about freedom. This is also an effective strategy if you do not care about individual rights or that old tattered thing called the Constitution.
The shooting rampages you hear the most about are the ones that are not met with defensive fire by individual warriors. In places where individual warriors can still go about their business, the insane and the murderous are put down quickly when they lash out randomly. In places where only a specialized, heavily regulated sub-culture of authorized responders are available to handle psychos with guns, it takes longer to stop killing sprees. There are two ways you can go with your response – take away more weapons from sane people, which either redirects the form of insanity when it manifests, or merely amplifies the slaughter when it happens. When you train people to be victims, don’t be surprised when they become victims. The British think they have the answer, but you are more than twice as likely to be assaulted in London as you are in Houston. You are also much more likely to be raped. Maybe that has something to do with the warrior spirit, in which firearms play a vital role in the 21st century.
The other path a culture can chose is the one that abhors force and fraud and meets it head on with defensive force. For me, that is the clear choice. I celebrate the culture that reaffirms the individual right to defend one’s life, liberty and property with an assault rifle. I would take it further. If you attack my life, liberty or property I will defend myself with a bazooka, a tank or a nuclear weapon, depending on the availability, propriety and feasibility of any of those choices. I reserve the right to take up arms using any weapons I chose, at the time of my choosing, and without advance warning if I deem it so necessary. This is my warrior spirit.
I’m not a praying man, but if I hear you praying for a good band of brothers and sisters willing to fight for every sane human’s individual right to self-defense, I’ll take a knee and join you with all sincerity. It is unfortunate that we, as a society, spend so much on pills to fix the broken minds among us while fostering a culture that breaks those minds to begin with. Where were the great minds in government when Seung-Hui Cho was acting out? There was plenty of warning before he picked up his guns, but no help from the people who want to take them away from everyone else after the fact. Who was helping Adam Lanza deal with whatever demons chattered in his head? Why do so many of these sick children act out in places that should be teaching them how to be responsible adults? And why do we act like their expressions of rage, pain and insanity are ultimately the fault of every gun owner who wasn’t there on their day of infamy? We’re not even willing to have an honest conversation about the problem.
The problem is the culture. The problem is the slow, purposeful attack on the spirit of self-defense and independence that once gave the U.S. a reputation for being a place where anyone could become someone, if they only had a little daring, a little drive and a little bit of the warrior spirit. All you warriors watch out. They pretend they just want common-sense gun laws when what they really want is to shackle your warrior spirit until it finally dies, alone and unnoticed. If they come for my guns, I’ll try to move out of their path. If they keep coming, though, at some point, I’ll have to fight. I hope enough of you will join me to make it count.
All the other rights you hold dear ultimately come out of your ability to defend your life, liberty and property from human predators. The most expedient tool for doing that is not a hunting rifle, it’s an assault rifle. If it strikes fear in the heart of a bureaucrat, you must be doing something right, my warrior friend. Let’s all work to improve the culture while refusing to cede our gun rights any further than we already have allowed. If we are governed by consent, then perhaps it’s time to think about why we continue to consent to attacks on our culture of self-defense.
Remind Congress that they are only there by our consent, and that our warrior spirit is alive and well. Perhaps it is time for a further re-examination of the bonds that bind us all together.