Thursday, April 3, 2014

From My Cold Dead Hand

[April 3, 2014: In light of developments in Connecticut and New York, I've reposted the piece below. Those who are ready, willing, and able should consider joining the forces that will assemble this coming Saturday before the Connecticut state capitol. There is no issue more urgent than this one. -- FWP]
[February 2, 2013: The following piece first appeared at the Palace of Reason on April 1, 2001, shortly after the now all-but-forgotten EP-3 incident in the Far East. -- FWP]

It's been awhile since I really reflected on the nature of a free people -- a people determined to remain free, and possessed of the means to do so.

Armament is critical, of course. If your adversary is armed and you aren't, you're in the position of a grasshopper trying to face down a lawn mower. We might make admiring note of your courage in our elegies, but we surely won't be attending your victory parade.

Also, one must be careful not to hand any levers to a potential tyrant. There are a number of things Man requires to survive and flourish: air, food, water, the ability to move about, the ability to communicate with others, heat, fuel, many kinds of knowledge, the cooperation of others with different kinds of knowledge, and so on. Whenever any entity moves to monopolize access to any of these or the other necessities of survival, it's nominated itself Tyrant-In-Embryo. Abort!

But both the above are resultants of a far more critical, indeed, a fundamental requirement of the free man. No one can remain free, no one can ensure the freedom of his descendants, unless he nurtures and transmits to those around him the essential defiance that animates all the other freedom-conserving behaviors.

We see a lot of bumper stickers that run roughly as follows:

They Can Have My Gun
When They Pry It
From My Cold Dead Hand!

I can only applaud the sentiment... if it's genuine. How often is it genuine?

Test yourself, as sincerely as you can. Imagine that tomorrow, without warning, a deputy sheriff were to appear at your door with a clipboard and demand that you surrender your guns to him. Imagine that he knows accurately how many guns you have, and what types they are. (It shouldn't be hard to imagine this, since de-facto owner registration of firearms has been in place for some years now. Why else would you be required to show proof of identity when buying a rifle?) How would you react?

Well? The deputy sheriff is waiting.

I regret to say that most gun owners would resist with at most a question about the legal basis for the sheriff's demand. If he replied with anything even vaguely plausible, they would comply, even though the right to own weapons is recognized by the U.S. Constitution as an absolute, to be infringed by no one.

Why do I say this? Because it's happened. It's here.

After the race troubles of the summers of 1964 and 1965, several major cities, New York prominent among them, imposed unConstitutional new restrictions and requirements on weapons ownership. The residents of those cities went along without significant opposition. To the best of my knowledge, none of the restrictions were ever rolled back, though the supposed dangers they were put in place to forestall (e.g., here in New York, we heard a lot about "urban snipers") failed to materialize.

California, more recently, passed a law forbidding the ownership of an "assault weapon," a category so broadly defined that virtually any semiautomatic rifle would qualify under a liberal interpretation of the standard. The law became effective on January 1, 2000. I have heard no report of any opposition to this patently, blatantly unConstitutional law in the Golden State.

Now, about those bumper stickers...

I'm not saying that it would be easy to refuse that deputy sheriff. I'm not saying there wouldn't be risks. I am saying that unless the will and determination to refuse him are present in a large percentage of the citizenry, the country will lose the liberties that the right of private firearms ownership was intended to safeguard.

Without that ineradicable defiance, that willingness to spit into the face of "authority," firearms are mere trinkets.

Every major gun confiscation known to history has been followed by the erection of a totalitarian regime. It's not as if we didn't have a little history on the matter. When they come for our guns, we'll know what they're about.

Over the past century, liberty has been flensed away from Americans, slice after thin slice. That's the way to subordinate a free people. Get them used to bending the knee and tugging the forelock in little things first, things that don't appear to be relevant to them personally. Get them thinking that only antisocial curmudgeons would raise a fuss over matters as trivial as zoning restrictions, or licensing requirements for hairdressers. Better yet, get them thinking that anyone who would resist these "obviously desirable" new requirements of the law must want to do them harm.

With each slice of lost liberty has gone a little of the defiance that animates a free people. We're closing in on the point of no return, the threshold that, once crossed, will become an impenetrable wall that forbids us a backward step.

In parallel with the loss of personal defiance has gone a slackening of the national will toward foreign enemies. The recent contretemps with the Chinese is an important harbinger of things to come. Few have dared to suggest that, when America puts young men and women into uniforms and weapons into their hands, it's preparing them to risk their lives for some purpose beyond a trade agreement. Few have dared to suggest that a country whose government dares to take Americans hostage, to stake their lives and freedom as counters in a game, has committed an act of war, an act to which a country with dignity could respond in only one way.

We have become comfortable with subordination at home and humiliation abroad.

The red and white stripes wobble and weave. The starry blue field softens and begins to run. The borders dissolve, the colors blend, and soon there is only a uniform dull brown. The color of mud. The color of failure, The color of the loss of hope. And the hand that holds liberty's banner aloft slackens, and fails, and becomes cold.


KG said...

A partial solution is for patriots to start "losing" their guns. By burglary, carelessness, whatever and stashing them.
And buying replacements such as old single-shot .22's.
When the deputy comes for the guns, well, he can have them.

"1951" said...

"Deputy, I realize that you are just doing your job. Neverthelesss, I stand upon my constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Any law infringing upon that right is null and void, and need not be obeyed. I refuse to obey the law you were sent here to enforce. Our conversation is now at an end. Good day."

KG said...

Shortly afterwards, the SWAT team arrives.....

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Where do you draw the line when the deputy shows up? You have a house and family depending on you. Do you draw the line right there and put them at risk? Tough question.

pdwalker said...

shortly after the now all-but-forgotten EP-3 incident in the Far East.

Not forgotten. The local press here reported the pilot's name as "Wong Wei" which makes it very, very, very hard to forget.

As for telling the sheriff "no", it's going to come down to one of three things:

1/ The sheriff says "I agree" and goes home.

2/ They won't give you the chance to say no, with a full out assault on your home, killing your dogs and generally shooting the place up in the middle of the night

3/ or if it is just the sheriff alone, they will come back in force.

Who is prepared to make a stand against that? Are you prepared to sacrifice your family for your principles? Most people have too much to lose to make that sacrifice.

Older, single men? Maybe. Men with families to support? Very few, if any.

And that's what the powers that be depend on. Things have to get a whole lot worse before people will be willing to take action. And by the time it does, it may be too late.

Anonymous said...

If it's time to bury your weapons then it's time to dig them up. If it's time to lose them in a 'boating' mishap then it is time to dry them off. We all have families. How do I want my son to live? As a citizen or a slave? I will not leave him chains as my legacy to him. Let us hope that this rush to buy weapons by the public recently is not just about getting them before some sort of ban kicks in but rather it is men and women waking up to purchase the marks of a free man--arms.

SFG said...

Good points.

Is 'the color of mud' a double entendre, BTW? Remember who else had brown uniforms...

Sergio said...

MainePrepper had a good video on prudence in the face of law enforcement confiscations.

I have to say that I agree.

In the face of an armed confiscation where you (and your family) are caught by surprise, rather than attempt to fight from a losing position, it is better to have your guns taken than lose a Patriot for the cause.

One good man is more important than one hundred good guns.

However, if the hour of history tolls and you be at the ready with your family safely stowed and your weapon properly brandished, by all means make a stand with your men and let the tyrant know loudly and clearly what he may expect from your countrymen henceforth.

Anonymous said...

Build, don't buy

Anonymous said...

When the confiscations start it won't be with the sheriff politely knocking on the door.
It will be a full on no knock SWAT raid, probably in the middle of the night, complete with flash bangs, the door being battered down, and screaming, cursing thugs rushing in and destroying your belongings. If you're very lucky no one will die. You won't be given a chance to cooperate or resist.
If any gun on their list is "lost" or "stolen" you and your family will be taken into the gulag and psychologically, and probably, physically tortured until you tell them what they want to know.
Once they get what they want you'll be sanctioned in some way for a crime of non-cooperation.
You have two choices. Prepare now and fight when the time comes or go ahead and prostrate yourself, surrender your weapons and accept slavery.

lineman said...

How many of you have prepped your house for an invasion...Whether it be by thugs in uniform or just plain thugs...Many times spend money on guns ammo food but we havent spent money on things to deter and prevent armed home invasions....There are many articles out there on how to do it so won't go into that...I will say location will have a lot to do with it...If you are in any states that are tyrannical you have to prep your house like you are behind enemy lines on the battlefield...Do as much as possible to keep your location hidden(Many Books On That Out there on That)...Secure your property as much as possible without drawing attention to it... (Many Books On That Out there on That)...Strengthen Your House to withstand an attack...Make sure your family knows what to do in an event of an attack...Make sure you have a safe room for them and a way to escape in the event of a fire...Make sure you have a cache away from your property so if you have to escape with nothing you still have something to fight with...Also might be a good idea to have some people that are true friends and Patriots nearby to help out in a time of need...This is something we all should be working on...

Curtis said...

None of the responses surprise me. It is always a rehash of 30 years of responses that I have seen over and over again.

And you know what... Here we are. Imagine where we will be. In another 30 years from now, proudly and defiantly proclaiming, "MY GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS!" And there you are, and your children, and your grandchildren, shackled with another 30 years of laws and regulations. 30 years more worth of a serf.

Of course, by this time, your children, under the guidance of the State, are looking at you like some kind of fruitcake. Your grandchildren are turning you in.

How do I know this? Are any of your children lamenting the fact that you can not order that nice 22 out of the Sears catalog? Out of sight, out of mind, and acclimatized.

And imagine where we will be. One little law at a time. One generation at a time. And "they will know nothing else but this new community."

So go look your children right in the eyes and exclaim to them, “Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.”

"If...if...We didn't love freedom enough."

30, 60, 100 years of enough, is obviously, not enough. Well here you are. Imagine where your children will be. Following in YOUR footsteps.

Group hug anyone?

Anonymous said...

I do not think that the deputy will walk to your door with a clipboard and "ask" for your guns. 99% may comply but all cops know that 1% will drill them right through the door. Cops want to live too. As for SWAT / assault on homes? Way to dangerous. Maybe for a few previously tarred "wingnuts" so that the community sighs "good riddance" but this tactic will surely rouse a more vigorous (and prepared) response with each execution. The most likely method is to mail you a notification that you are in violation of Statute XXX and subject to immediate arrest by warrant if you do not comply within x-days. Then 6 months later you are pulled over for a routine traffic stop, you are visited by LE at you place of work, contacted by LE while walking down the street, etc. Out of your home (avoiding nasty 4th amendment issues there) and you are also out of your comfort zone. Few will help a stranger being arrested for what looks like a normal arrest. Probably a dead beat Dad behind on payments, maybe an outstanding DUI warrant, or, if dressed nice, an ... evil thieving banker. People will delude themselves to find a reasonable excuse to not come to the aid of such an individual being arrested.

Bailey said...

I cast my lot with what Curtis said previously. The events of the past fifteen years have been surreal. Never in my life did I think that which has come to pass would actually manifest. We now take for granted things that would have been preternaturally unthinkable a generation ago.
We have been discussing this and arguing about this and making plans in respect of this and deciding what to do about this since I was old enough to worry about those whom the Colonel used to refer to as 'the ninja' reenacting Ruby Ridge continent-wide. And yet, for all the frantic discussions, as Curtis says, here we are. Facing those things we feared would arise.
And we are, in the final analysis, alone.
I never thought it would come to this.
Now my decisions are more about loss mitigation than about planning for victory.
I suspect this makes me a fool.

We are now in the times when the only light left is that which we shine upon each other.

Anonymous said...

Kill the fucking sheriff

Sergio said...

To Bailey and Curtis,

We are obliged to forebear with circumstances until the time when our lives or our arms are intent upon being taken.

12 ohm said...

If LEO is at your door, demanding you turn over your guns, it isn't a line you should be drawing.

Anonymous said...

and when the swat team arrives: the final stand takes place. Your stand might be short, it might not take them long, but they will know they cannot take our liberty with impunity. May hundreds of thousands across this land dedicate themselves to this.

Anonymous said...

A competent and just authority recognizes that the application of force is reserved for the direst of circumstances. Encourage competence and justice. Pray that you are never confronted by force, and if you are, whatever it's source, whatever it's form, mistaken or misdirected as it may be, defend yourself. Plan on it, prepare for it, hope it never happens, and meet the challenge if it does. It's your duty, and it may be your last action. Make it count. Weakness and unpreparedness only encourage tyranny.

Allow me to put it another way. When they came for the first Jew, there was no resistance, because they erred on the side of passivity. When they came for the last Jew, there was no resistance, because they erred on the side of passivity. Both the first and the last figured "maybe if I don't resist, they'll go easy on me". They both went to the oven. It never seems like a conspiracy when they come for YOU. It seems like an isolated incident, where your best option is to go along to get along. For YOU, this may very well be the case. Or not. You won't find out until much later, if ever. But for US, for those who love Liberty, there is only one answer: organized individuality. Each one of us, like it or not, agree with it or not, represents the whole. If one of us accepts their fate passively, they have voted that we ALL accept our fate passively. For those of us who actively and aggressively stand up for Liberty, who prepare for the unexpected and meet it's tyrannical countenance head-on, we have voted actively for freedom, through organized individuality. There are American soldiers buried overseas. They had mothers, and fathers, and wives, and children, and they wanted nothing more than to come home...but for Liberty. They paid the ultimate price. For Liberty, and for America, and for their families, and for *US*. Do we just tuck our tails in now, thank them for their service, and surrender the ideal of Liberty for all eternity?

Pardon me, but FUCK THAT. You go ahead. You surrender. You stand down. I didn't serve in the military, but I'm ready to serve now. I vote for freedom, for the Constitution, for Liberty. YOURS AND MINE. They may never "come" for me. But if they do, they will KNOW it.


pdwalker said...

Nobody want's to be the first.

Instead, owners will be picked off for other minor offenses, one by one until there are not enough left to resist.

That's how I see it.

bubba said...

The deputies, police, ATF, FBI, etc. all will be sent by the politicians; everyone will want to go to their own homes at the end of the day. Once the politicians order the confiscation of their subjects property home won't be the safe haven that they knew it to be.