Sharing a well put together look at this gun control fiasco from a distinguished solider I'm proud to call a friend. It is a long read but I promise you'll likely be a better American at the end. Ballot or Bullet Comrades, Let’s take a step (or two) back and look at the whole instead of just the current debate. I promise to make you angry at some point: either at what you read or me. There is a lot rhetoric and hyperbole being slung around. Emotional arguments proliferate, for and against. On this issue, the public can be divided up into these basic groups: 1. Pro 2A – don’t tread on me 2. Anti 2A – you are morally corrupt for liking guns 3. Owns a gun(s) but welcomes ‘reasonable’ restrictions for assorted reasons 4. Doesn’t own a gun, isn’t opposed to guns but thinks there should be various restrictions of firearms control. 5. It doesn’t affect me, who cares: is the mall open yet? 6. Non-Americans Actually, there are only two groups, regardless of where you think you stand on the issue. You are either for your Bill of Rights, you are against them (for whatever reason), or you are too stupid and/or lazy to care (which means you are aiding those opposed to them). The reason is history. Mostly, it is the history of the 2nd Amendment – it really does matter. Second would be the history of man and their governments. History echoes. Take a look at the Romans v Carthaginians, The American Revolution, our Civil War (or any), WW2 era Germany, WW2 era USSR, African conflicts, Khmer Rouge… Governments have disarmed, censured, oppressed and killed a lot of people throughout history. I am not suggesting that there will be genocide in America if there is some new gun control/ban put into effect. But history shows us that the path to a tyrannical government usually begins with disarming its people. The Bill of Rights is a list of innate human rights that we have because we exist. It doesn’t matter what your race, sex, income, intellect, sexual orientation, job, etc. is, you, individually, have these rights. We are all equal. The US has gone to war to secure these rights for us and so others can have the opportunity to have them too. What is interesting is that the Bill of Rights (BOR) doesn’t actually grant them to us. Actually, the BOR’s clearly defines them for us so that we, and the Government knows, and recognize that they exist (naturally) and that these rights cannot be altered or removed. The American Revolution: The Boston Tea Party (Dec 16, 1773) was a political protest and the culmination of years of frustration from the Stamp Act of 1765. What was the Stamp Act about? A British Crown tax program designed to save the British East India Company – a bailout that wasn’t working. Basically, it was about property (unfair taxes) and then after the ‘Coercive Act’ of 1774, it came down to the monopoly on violence and the Government trying to ‘control the Colonists. The Royal Governor of Massachusetts figured out that armed folks are difficult to herd and tried to disarm them. First he tried to take their firearms (June 19th) and when that didn’t work he took their ball and powder (“Powder Alarm”). This action provoked the Colonists further and created sympathy throughout the states… Boston Massacre, shot heard round the world… The whole thing went from a heated political argument over taxes and individual rights to a shooting war because of gun control. The American Revolution was about individual rights, property and the monopoly on violence but don’t forget that the population was divided on these issues. Some fought for independence, others for the crown and some were spectators. From physical, financial and mental oppression, our BOR’s were born and became central to everything. To summarize - a bail out that wasn’t going well, an unfair tax burden, a coercive governance and then gun control with both sides quickly escalating. Again, history tends to echo. Our 2nd Amendment is the right of self-defense directed towards acts of tyranny from our own Government. It is a protection against what was known and what was experienced by our Founding Fathers to secure the immediate and a better future. Remember, we are a Constitutional Republic where the individual’s rights are greater than that of the government. The government exists to serve the individual, not the other way. Our Founding Fathers set up the civility of the ballot but ensured our unalienable rights with bullets via the 2A against the possibility of tyranny. The right to defend yourself shouldn’t have to be explained because it would be considered too obvious – every species has it as an instinct. So, an act of gun control in North America provoked the American Revolution. But gun control formally began here in 1751 – The French Black Code. It was a racist orientated code to suppress the blacks in Louisiana. Similar oppressive policies were instigated by the KKK post Civil War (via southern Democrats) to intimidate and control the freed slaves (Jim Crow is an example). This is the same political party that opposed Civil Rights in the 1960’s and if you are paying attention, the champions of the current anti-gun movement. It’s similar to the founding of Planned Parenthood… If you belong to any minority group in America and are for gun control or a ban I really don’t know what to say. There are arguments using the word “militia” as an excuse for gun control or banning. The National Guard is not a militia. They use collective weapons (paid by tax dollars), hired under a contract, are on a pay schedule; receive Federal funding, given uniforms, retirement, etc. A militia is a group of volunteers that generally provided their own weapons (some of them had their own cannons), bullets, gear, food and transportation the majority of the time. Militias are considered irregular forces and they are usually not well equipped and can be unreliable due to external factors. They fight when they can (or want) and for their own reasons. You had individuals (men, women teenagers and slaves), militias, the Continental Army and the Continental Navy all fighting the Red Coats for independence. In the spirit of brevity, there is more to this but it is not worth explaining irregular militia type forces from a historical or modern perspective. Another fun argument is about “flintlocks.” The irony of this argument is that any anti 2A folks that are using this term to justify any level of gun control are hypocrites. If their 1st Amendment rights have evolved in-conjunction with technology then so has the rest of the BOR’s. Specifically, they are using a computer or a smart phone and the Internet to express their opinion and assemble. If the 2A stops at flintlocks, sabers and cannons, then their 1A stops at printing presses, actual soapboxes and local assemblies. It is a petty and ridiculous argument against owning modern firearms with standard magazine capacities. You don’t need _____ is a very fashionable and convenient statement these days. First off, who are you to decide that for anyone? Secondly, it is my right, as outlined in the 2A: it’s not a privilege. You don’t need a lot of things but you have the opportunity to earn and chose them. Do you think, and have faith, that a government should decide your needs? There are already countries you can move to if this is central to your beliefs. Also, who gets to make the list? I can make one too if you are interested. The ‘need argument’ is all about forcing what you think upon others and violating their natural rights with a perverted since of moral high ground. You can always add to your list once your opposition is unarmed and if the re-education doesn’t stick there are various solutions. History tends to echo. An interesting component when we argue over the 2A here in the US is that it crosses international boundaries. Everyone gets a say… No, actually you don’t. If you aren’t a voting citizen of this country then you should mind your own business – even if you live here or vacation here or have family here or whatever. Your opinions on the issue are interesting and sometimes entertaining but they really don’t matter. You don’t magically get enlightened because you live or have lived outside the boundaries of the USA. The fact that China, a champion of human rights, has publicly called for firearms restrictions upon the US civilian population is telling. Seriously, ***!? Do you agree (or even partially agree) with the leadership of China or with the Founding Fathers of your own country? The Bill of Rights is our heritage and should be a legacy to our children, if not the world. Infringe on just one and you are opening Pandora’s box. There are actually some gun owners that are for more restrictions. To the gun friendly, politically correct crowd – you are actually in the anti 2A group. You are fooling yourselves into thinking that you are being modern or possibly reasonable. The erosion of the 2A is slow but it is deliberate and it effects all the Amendments in our BOR’s. If you can change one, then you can eventually change them all. Freedom to assemble and speak your mind works against those who want to use government to engineer social change; you know, for the greater good. In order to be a victim you only need four things: the perpetrator, the victim, an opportunity and a location. Capitalizing on the murder of those kids and their teachers for the purpose of destroying any portion of the 2A is some serious anti-American stuff. There is no middle ground. This is due, in part to how the left has approached and is executing on the issue. All the information and statistics demonstrate that more gun control or banning does not make it safer for anyone but that doesn’t seem to matter. You are either for the 2A or you are against it now. Riding the fence, being silent/passive or thinking that you are just being reasonable is a vote against the 2A and thus against your BOR’s. The NRA is the political symbol for all that is 2A. Whether you are a member, like the NRA, hate the NRA, agree or not, the NRA is the social symbol for anything firearms related. The left has been very vocal lately about how the ‘NRA people’ should be murdered and how ‘they’ are responsible (I do find it interesting that it is always the oppositions fault for everything). So, like it or not, if you own a firearm the left is speaking to you, however passive and indirect it may seem. They think you are to blame for all the senseless gun violence and that you should be murdered via a gun. Where I live it is called “Terroristic Threatening” and is against the law. Threatening a whole group of people with violence and/or death because of what they believe and what they practice is usually called what? If it were just random people it would be different. The “call” against the NRA/gun owners is coming from individuals but they are affiliated with one particular political group. Maybe gun owners can be made to sew a symbol on there clothing so the ‘enlightened few’ can easily identify them in public? Let’s back up a little bit. Remember during the last Presidential election how the progressive left’s opposition was openly and regularly threatened with death or bodily harm? Remember that these threats are coming from a political party that preaches egalitarianism but is also historically accountable for the oppression of minorities. In the past, some of its members burned crosses and did other things that I don’t care to mention out of sensitivity. Duplicity is grotesque. There are also videos where a peaceful “progressive” rally has members playing with an effigy of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and openly joking about how much they hate him, that he should die and that they want to hang/lynch him. Again all I can say is *** is wrong with these people. Sometimes it is just a random party line kool-aid drinker but there have been instances of higher-ranking party officials and elected politicians saying similar things. Both sides have their nut jobs that make threats, but the level the violent rhetoric this has descended from is what bothers me. This week, the head of the Texas Democratic Convention stated that NRA members and leadership should be murdered. Violent rhetoric from so many levels of an organization gives me pause. None of it should be glossed over or ignored. This is the party that preaches unity and tolerance. Well, that is, unless you have a different view and opinion, then it is death? I know quite a few folks on the left and we talk often. They are very dismissive of the consistent message of violence emanating from their party against the opposition. Well, ok then, I am glad you feel comfortable with your party regardless of what is said but don’t forget that you support that group. I agree to disagree and think that different perspectives are healthy. Heck, usually the parties aren’t that much different it’s just the way they to tend to meet their objectives are different. But I am disturbed with the increasing trend, from the progressive left that perpetrates violence against a different view or group of people. Again, this new hate group is the champion of gun control – it’s for the children… So here is what I don’t understand: the anti-gun, ‘stop the violence’ crowd says that gun owners are evil and that society should violently hold them accountable. Calling for gun violence (actually it is murder) to end gun violence simply because a group is exercising it’s 2nd Amendment is a very sound and logical statement to make, right? You are definitely morally superior to the gun owner’s in your ivory tower of tolerance. So, if I were to take this to it’s logic conclusion then dissent/disagreement with their view equals death. Sounds crazy doesn’t it but it is well documented now and it is slowly escalating. Of course not everyone is actually saying it but by not speaking out against it or working to stop it makes you guilty if you belong. History echoes. Denial and passivity do not work and the outcome, historically, of this path is horrific. I am not a rocket scientist but I don’t think their ban solution will make schools safer or reduce violent crime and there are already ~20,000 gun laws. It would rid them of their opposition though. So, if you can’t realistically kill your opposition how do you disarm and silence them? This isn’t just about guns. Everyone needs to understand that this is a national campaign to discredit the NRA (and all gun owners), polarize voters & distance politicians from the issue. Never let a good tragedy go to waste... By capitalizing on this one issue they can discredit their opposition, dilute/confuse the real issues, divide the moderates, disarm their opposition, destroy a $31 billion annual industry, destroy billions of dollars worth of property, create more dependency and criminalize their opposition if they win. The only word I have to describe it is shameful. If you value your Bill of Rights/freedoms and any part of our American way of life then you need to get involved. For eight years my friends to the left complained about how much they hated the Bush administration and how bad/oppressive the government was: Patriot Act, Gitmo, GWOT, drone strikes, etc. But these days they want more government and the party can do nothing wrong. Nothing has changed for the better (NDAA, more drone strikes, assassination of an American, Gitmo, more US KIA, worse economy, etc) and their blind faith is almost cult like. They have become “enlightened” and are condescending in all things social or political. Having a discussion is impossible because they will immediately turn it into an argument regardless of the history, facts or legal precedence. It is almost as if their politics has become their new religion. History echoes. You might think you are debating the issue but you really aren’t. They view your stance as argumentative, ignorant and old fashioned. You are talking to a wall. The left has a cult like feel to it – if you have ever tried to have a rational, calm discussion with one of them you know exactly what I mean. If not, then just use some facts. This typically results in what I call the leftist seizure (physical, emotional and verbally), deflection of the topic, name-calling, over talking the other person, emotional rallying, etc. I find it all very eerie and somewhat disturbing. They are like clones or robots serving progressive socialist kool-aid. But if you own any firearms you are the boogieman. We should all just trust ‘them’ and disarm. Do you think you had more freedom of speech and religion today or 20 years ago? Happy Holidays… Seriously think about how the politically correct movement has created an atmosphere of fear. It’s a double standard. You have to be sensitive to whatever the convenient political fad is today but it is not reciprocated. The hypocrisy of the PC movement is best demonstrated in how the left deals with Black Conservatives. The Black Conservatives are ruthlessly attacked and every attempt is made by the left to discredit them. Smear campaigns are the norm. If you changed some the words and names around and said or published it towards the left, you would be a bigot or a racist. Identity politics is a form of oppression and racism. When you don’t conform, but belong to the demographic, you are demonized. What are the origins of the PC movement and what political party is at its core? As far as the PC movement and gun control are concerned you see it propagating in what they have arbitrarily defined as “common sense measures,” “high capacity magazines” and “assault weapons.” There is also that ‘if you are pro gun, then you are pro murder’ theme being slung around. It is an attempt to establish the language of the debate and infect the younger generation with the terms. You say it often enough and loud enough it will stick. Why is controlling the language of the debate important - because that’s half of the victory. It puts them in a controlling position anytime the issue is discussed. It is also a creeping movement to get the firearm and ammunition manufacturers liable in civil court. Just think of all that money sitting there if they can get people to believe that the firearm, not the person, is to blame. What political party do most (not all) civil litigators support? I don’t believe in conspiracies, especially government ones, but I do believe in agendas. There is a big difference between an agenda and a desire. The anti gunners seem to be executing an agenda. The 1994 AWB was proven to be ineffective. Well, that’s great but there is another side to that coin. The lack of effectiveness is now the proof they need for even more restrictions or a ban. Combined with the precedence of the 1994 AWB it also gives them a start point. They are treating your firearms as if it were a privilege instead of a right. Think about all 10 Amendments in your Bill of Right’s: How can they be taxed or modified to make it more difficult to have: What if they make a run on ammunition just like the Royal Governor of Massachusetts did in 1774? You can have all the guns you want but good luck buying ammo. Getting a highly restrictive AWB quickly through the Republican controlled house and pass the SCOTUS is a major challenge. Handing down an Executive Order to the DOJ and IRS is easy. Again, think heavily regulated, more paperwork, lengthy delays and a tax penalty on all firearms, parts and components – to make schools safer. They are using the emotions of what happened for political capital. It is an opportunity to further an agenda against your Bill of Rights. We have been here a couple of times before: a bad economy, fighting over taxes, bailouts, and gun control. History echoes but it does not have to repeat. I hope that everyone involved in the debate that has the ability to influence the outcome thinks hard about what our Bill of Rights means to us, and to the world, and will make an educated and a well informed decision. My biggest concern is that some type of draconian or inflammatory action is taken in this debate pursuing some personal or political agenda. This is a sensitive topic for more than 1/3 of the US voting age population and some are hot headed - they are armed and angry at the possibility of any type of ban. When the rhetoric began, the shelves got emptied. There is a climate of foreboding and even fear of what the current administration is going to do to the 2A crowd. I personally think it’s bad for a whole demographic of Americans to be fearful of what their government might do to one of their cherished, legacy rights. I think that the recent mass murder is a convenient excuse to pursue an antigun agenda. When you think about it, the majority of the people who would be negatively affected by a new gun ban probably didn’t vote for this President. It is all just too easy because you don’t need a gun to take a life and from a historical perspective, most murders don’t involve what they call “assault weapons.” The good news, if they ex post facto (retroactive; i.e., no grandfather clause) the current stock of weapons and or ownership it would be unconstitutional as per Article 1, Section 9. I am not a moderate, a republican, a democrat or a libertarian. I could always find some common ground on different issues with all of those groups but I don’t belong to any of them. Now, based on how the left is approaching this issue, combined with history, I have no sympathy for their movement. I am filled with distrust and disgust. The erosion of our rights is slow but it is there. Now is not the time to be wishful or be a spectator. Being emotional and/or reactionary in any decision leads to bad choices. Let’s be logical and thorough as we move forward: detached from the emotional appeal and over reacting. Please get involved by letting all of your elected officials, friends, family, co-workers and enemies know exactly where you stand on your 1st and 2nd Amendment rights. We don’t want to be the last generation to have enjoyed and exercised them, and we don’t want our children to have less of them (in the name of public safety) either.