Armed and Dangerous
A few days ago I stopped by the local gun store to replace some ammunition expended in a training course. The first thing I noticed was a prominently displayed poster of the Firearms Salesman of the Year. The “salesman” was Barack Obama.
You have to laugh at the irony – the most extreme anti-gun administration in U.S. history is causing a run on guns. Sales of firearms and ammunition have leaped to unprecedented levels since the November 2008 election. One proprietor in South Carolina told me that “panic buyers” had bought 60 rifles of various actions and calibers in one week. High-quality rifles and handguns are still available, but prices have increased by 40% to 100%, depending on the firearm. Special orders, like the M1A or FAL main battle rifles, come with six-month delivery times. As for ammunition, industry data show that last December alone, buyers snapped up 1.5 billion rounds. That’s billion with a B, an incredible statistic. Common caliber ammo remains in short supply, and prices are roughly twice what they were a year ago.
This extraordinary national phenomenon shows that people are “voting with their feet.” They’re rushing to buy guns and ammo because of the perceived threat to gun ownership. It’s the strongest possible vote of “no confidence” in the government. In other words, the very fact that the Regime wants us disarmed confirms the necessity to be armed.
“Panic buyers” (and those of us who didn’t wait for the 2008 election to arm ourselves) understand that the Democrats in the Senate will have a super-majority once the Minnesota clown Al Franken is seated (Al Franken!), and with Senator Arlen Specter now a Democrat. This means the Democratic majority will be able to block a filibuster We can just imagine the outcome when the odious Chuck Schumer has a free hand at writing gun legislation for the Senate. And the House of Reprehensibles? Gun-owners took notice of Liar of the House Nancy Pelosi’s recent appearance on ABC's Good Morning America. She said that while the Supreme Court’s Heller decision may protect the individual right to own guns, "We want them registered." Registration has of course always been the precursor to confiscation.
Congressional leaders piously claim they aren’t attacking the Second Amendment. However, the proposed gun laws on the table tell a different story. It’s clear the Empire aims to disarm us incrementally. Here are a few examples of their “one-slice-at-a-time” approach.
On the docket is a renewal of the “assault weapons ban,” along with various national registration, licensing, and firearms database measures. Some Congresscreatures want to close the private sales “loophole,” prohibiting any exchange of a gun outside the Federally regulated process, which includes the standard background check even if you want to bequeath your heirloom shotgun to your son. One of the worst proposals would allow the Attorney General to deprive anyone he deems a domestic security threat of the right to bear arms – someone you like and me, no doubt. He could do this on his own authority and without due process. President Obama has signed an inter-American treaty on the illicit trafficking and manufacture of firearms. If ratified by the Senate, it would subject us to language so broad that it could conceivably outlaw re-loading of ammunition or adding optics and accessories to an existing weapon.
In the circumstances, and despite the Heller case, why should we trust Congress to observe the Second Amendment, since it fails to observe any other part of the Constitution? Why should we believe the Obama Administration’s promises to respect our right to bear arms? With anti-gun Marxist despots in office like Attorney General Eric Holder and Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emmanuel (not to mention the President himself), one would have to be a rare species of fool to believe them.
In December 2008, the First Southern National Congress passed a Remonstrance and Petition for a Redress of Grievances on the subject of arms and self-defense. In keeping with the principles of the Founders, our resolution noted that “Free people do not ask permission to keep and bear arms. Further, a government truly of, by, and for the People should have no reason to fear a population thus equipped.” And we petitioned the Federal Government to cease or rescind all its unconstitutional attempts to restrict the God-given right to bear arms. (Read the full Remonstrance).
You may feel you need a weapon to defend against a criminal attack; and to be sure, such encounters are happening more frequently, especially as the economic meltdown makes people desperate. But still, the odds of being robbed or attacked by a criminal remain statistically remote. However, it’s 100 % statistically certain that you’ll be robbed by the Federal Government, and on a much grander scale. It’s happening even as you read this article. Trillions in bailouts and stimulus packages are going to fatten the offshore accounts of the Wall Street and corporate oligarchs whose greed ignited the meltdown in the first place. You’re being plundered by onerous taxation. Debasing the currency through inflation by the Federal Reserve steadily (and stealthily) expropriates your wealth and savings. The whole system of government financing and entitlements is fraudulent, a Ponzi scheme of gargantuan proportions that makes Bernie Madoff’s seem trivial in comparison.
Having gotten away so easily with their financial crimes, the Feds are growing bolder and progressing to a more sinister kind of tyranny; for example, criminalizing dissent, officially classifying the kind of folks reading this newsletter as domestic terrorists, and arresting and incarcerating Americans on dubious or trumped-up charges.
I give you the chilling example of David Olofson, an Army veteran and exemplary citizen, accused by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms of violating Federal law and now serving time in prison. His crime? He was successfully prosecuted for “illegally transferring a machinegun.” He lent his semi-automatic AR-15 rifle to a friend, and it malfunctioned and fired three rounds automatically with one pull of the trigger. There was clearly no mens rea (criminal intent) and no real “transfer,” and the rifle was certainly no “machinegun.” However, by tinkering with the flawed AR-15, refusing to allow Olofson’s defense to examine it, and engaging in other “legal” methods worthy of a court in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, the government managed to convince the twelve jurors that the innocent David Olofson was guilty. The BATF got the example they wanted, but at the cost of one of the most blatant injustices ever to occur in Federal court. If it can happen to David Olofson, it can happen to you, to me, to anybody.
The subtext to today’s gun-buying spree is this: it’s beginning to dawn on millions of Americans that the Federal Government is nothing more than a criminal gang on a mass scale, pursuing all manner of theft, fraud, assault, outrage, abuse, and usurpation, but under the color of law. If this trend continues, and there’s absolutely no reason to believe it won’t, then it’s just a matter of time until we’ll be forced to defend ourselves from the criminal aggression of the state. We have the same right – and I would add, moral duty – to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from the criminal depredations of the state as we have to defend against street thugs who break in to rob, rape, and murder. When the state consistently violates the law and behaves in a criminal manner, it forfeits our allegiance and our obedience.
However, confronting the central state is not something to consider lightly. Rank tyranny may clarify the political and moral issues, but the practical and prudential issues are far less clear, even to us Southerners who have always been a combative and well-armed people. We must treat this question responsibly and not succumb – not yet, at any rate – to romantic notions about running around in the woods in camouflage with our guns. It appears that armed defense against the state can’t be avoided. But, when we’re forced to act, it must be truly in self-defense. It must be under the authority of and on behalf of the commonwealth. Our response must be moral and lawful, rooted in the God-given right of restraining evil and in accord with traditional Christian precepts governing the community’s collective, organized use of force.
Moreover, hard as it may be, we must wait for the Regime to initiate hostilities. In many ways it already has, but my sense is that the time is not yet ripe for armed self-defense. We must hold fast to this posture even if it means forfeiting a temporary tactical advantage. We must also face the likelihood that someone must suffer first under that first blow, to be the willing or unwilling sacrifice. Hotheads and militants, abundant among us Southerners, may disagree. But we must not allow the Regime to provoke or maneuver us prematurely into acts of violence, which would play into their hands. Holding back and choosing the proper time and circumstances will confer greater moral and strategic advantages in the long run. The forces of freedom will need every possible advantage against the armed might of the Empire when the dread day comes.
The grapes of wrath are ripening and will soon be ready for harvest. We need to be pondering these questions now, both in our own consciences, and in public forums like this one. Every decent and responsible Southerner needs to decide now what we’re going to do in the event of nationwide prohibition, when we’re suddenly made criminals with the stroke of the pen if we don’t turn in our newly banned weapons. Likewise with registration. If we allow our weapons to be registered we may as well get ready to turn them in. But I urge that under no circumstances, and despite all government threats, manipulations, reassurances, lies, and blandishments, should we comply with any law requiring firearms registration and licensing, or authorizing their confiscation.
As long as we’re armed, we at least have a fighting chance to limit the criminal excesses of the state and retain a degree of freedom. But once we allow ourselves to be disarmed, whether from cowardice or folly, we put ourselves totally in the power of our declared mortal enemies, and frankly will deserve whatever happens to us. Each of us needs to develop a mindset that defense against criminal aggression, including that of the state, is not only a legal right but a moral duty. And we must begin to think about these things now, before the storm breaks and dire decisions are forced upon us. When the SWAT team comes bursting through the door at 3:00 AM, it will be too late to begin asking ourselves what we’re going to do.
Finally, arming ourselves is good, but it’s not enough. We must become Riflemen, not just gun-owners. That means we have to train. And keep training. And get in the best possible physical shape. Then we must stand ready, for “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Thomas Moore was the founding Chairman of the Southern National Congress and served through 2011.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?