Gandhi and The Dalai Lama Are Not Opposed to Guns → Washingtons Blog
Gandhi and The Dalai Lama Are Not Opposed to Guns - Washingtons Blog

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gandhi and The Dalai Lama Are Not Opposed to Guns


I was raised to be against guns. My parents hated guns, and believed that they only lead to crime and to accidental shootings.

Sure, I knew that the Constitution includes a right to bear arms, but I believed that it was no longer relevant and only applied to a previous era when there were "well-regulated militias". I was also taught that the government would protect us, and that private gun ownership was the danger. guns,

And I have long been deeply influenced by leading voices for non-violence, such as Gandhi and King. And I still hope that their non-violent methods prevail.

What the Founding Fathers Said About Guns

A little research showed me that the Second Amendment had more to do with freedom than historical militias. Here's what the Founding Fathers actually said about arms:

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1764

What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn't.
-- Ben Franklin

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
--Thomas Paine

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
-- George Washington

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.
--Patrick Henry.

Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
-- Patrick Henry, 3 Elliot, Debates at 386.

The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
--Samuel Adams, debates & Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87.

The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…
--James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).

(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
--James Madison.

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government...
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28) .

The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
--Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-B.

To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.
-- George Mason

The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
--Noah Webster, “An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787) in Pamplets on the Constitution of the United States (P.Ford, 1888)

[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or the state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People.
-- Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

What Gandhi and the Dalai Lama Say

Digging a little deeper, I was suprised to learn that two of the best-known promoters of nonviolence in history were not opposed to guns. Specifically, Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his book, An Autobiography (page 446):

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest ... if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity.

And as quoted in the Seattle Times, May 15, 2001, the Dalai Lama said:
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg.
How Useful is a Gun Against Tyranny When the Government Has Bigger Weapons?

Of course, the usefulness of a gun as a defense against tyranny depends partly on the types of arms possessed by the government. Indeed, as I think though it, I now realize that this is why the statements of the Founding Fathers about guns did not resonate with me when I was younger.

As George Orwell - author of 1984 - pointed out in the Tribune (October 19, 1945), the effectiveness of arms in preventing tyranny partly depends on whether the average citizen can afford the current weapon of choice possessed by the government:
The connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon--so long as there is no answer to it--gives claws to the weak.

The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans--even Tibetans--could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success. But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one ...The one thing that might reverse it is the discovery of a weapon--or, to put it more broadly, of a method of fighting--not dependent on huge concentrations of industrial plant.

Some argue that violence simply won't work in this era:

Violence will achieve nothing, but will provide them with an excuse to crack down. The violent overthrow of government by the masses simply isn't possible in this day and age, nor is it desirable. Our strength lies in our solidarity and our ability to bring the machine to a screeching halt. When we resort to violence, we have compromised our strength and made ourselves weak.
On the other hand, one anonymous writer argues:
[Violence is not required. But] if armed revolution were required, I have no doubts that it would be succesful. The reason: everyone knows the primary targets of the corrupt class. No amount of sophisticated weaponry will defend them.
Still others argue that resistance cannot work unless and until someone (1) invents a powerful weapon which people can buy cheaply or build themselves or (2) organizes millions of people to act at the same time.

Will It Turn Into A Revolution?

President John F. Kennedy said:
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
I am convinced that it is morally wrong to offensively use violence so long as there are any means whatsoever of preventing fascism through nonviolent means.

Many experts say that the economic meltdown could create unrest. But are there currently peaceful means available to prevent tyranny and lawlessness?

Some - including an essay in the progressive/liberal magazine Utne Reader - argue that non-violence by itself and without the threat of violence has never worked, and claimed that those who think that the non-violent resistance of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Nelson Mandela was the decisive factor in their victories are ignorant. Others argue that this is a complete misreading of history.

Some argue that violence is wholly unnecessary because fascists in a technological society are highly vulnerable to non-violent acts.

Some people - including me - believe that the only way to get the government to start serving the needs of the people is massive protests, strikes and boycotts. But others believe that it is impossible to organize large protests, strikes or boycotts because the American people are in some combination of apathy, fear, laziness, greed or ignorance.

I hope and pray that we can have change - with government serving the people instead of just the giant banks, insurance companies and defense contractors - by nonviolent means.

I hope and pray that those in government do not act in a lawless manner, but instead follow the Constitution and the rule of law, and start honoring the social contract with the American people.

Note 1: I strongly believe that safety training is essential. Keep weapons away from kids, and lock up the bullets SEPARATELY so children can't find them. It is also easy to hang weapons above arm-reach of youngsters. Please be safe.

Note 2: Before assuming that I am a right-wing racist, please note that I voted for Obama and was very happy that an African-American was elected president. See this.

28 comments:

  1. The solution suggested by John Ross in his great book 'Unintended Consequences' is excellent. His book changed my view of the relationship between the state and the people.

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  2. Wonderful write up, great work.
    Small typo I noticed if you want to fix it, but

    Im sure we all are reading through it.
    "..thanks, battleships..."

    I think you mean ...tanks, battleships...

    (Under George Orwell highlights)

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  3. I don't think guns can help us. One writer says that guns could be successful because we know the targets. I completely disagree. The PTB don't live in my neighborhood. They are behind closed gates, protected, out of country and in undisclosed locations. Guns cannot touch them.

    Orwell is absolutely right in that a weapon's ability to protect us is directly related to its ability to make the ruling class respond to us. Right now I am reading about the common people in the years leading up to the Revolution. They didn't even use guns. They used their unity, their anger, and the knowledge that they were right to assert that the class abusing them had no right to do so. (The parallels to today and the degree that it was economic unfairness feeding the anger is interesting.)

    We could get this done, and we could use protests and general strikes along with boycotts and elections to do it. Those who do not think enough will join the fight -- well, some of them don't want the idea to take root -- don't understand that even the Revolution took time to develop. Or think about the civil rights movement. The anger and demand for change was building and building until set alight by a spark -- Emit Till. We, too, will have our spark if we prepare the ground.

    Another advantage of other revolutions has been geography. If we had a square in front of el president's house, perhaps we would have already prevailed. But we have a big country.

    The weapons now are perceptions, words and electronic counting of votes. Television is propaganda. In a pinch, another 9-11 or another war emergency puts most of the population back into docility.

    One thing I think should be added to the plans is that we should call out our representatives every chance we get on the way the sell us out. They should no longer be able to get away with claiming that their vote would NEVER be influenced by anything as crass as money! We need to stop letting them tell us and themselves such lies.

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  4. What to make of this strange post.

    Let's make an analogy between guns & pens. Between weapons & writing instruments.

    We know "Truth shall set us free" but just plain writing is useless. Shall we make an analogy between old vs: new media?

    Guns, guns, guns. What a stupid argument. Now the argument is for cheap guns. Still stupid.

    Good writing beats bad writing.

    With weapons, good tactics beat bad tactics. The actual instruments used are not important. Lots of Sherman tanks with inexperienced crews beat fewer Panzers with experienced, but exhausted crews.

    I hate idiotic Second Amendment arguments. The "right" of the people to keep & bear arms is understood by the Preamble, which says, "We the People". There is only one People, there is only one definition of People, and it's not "citizen". It's "state". As in Alabama. The right of New Jersey to have its own private army, independent of Washington, able to attack Pennsylvania - or the Isle of Man - is enshrined in the Constitution.

    But even 200 years ago, the very people who wrote the words were trying to have it both ways. Now there are fifty million idiots who think if they have guns, that they're safe from police raids. There is no evidence whatever to support this illusion & a lot of dead gun nuts indicating the contrary.

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  5. Guns aren't the only way.

    Obstruct!

    Don't buy anything.

    Every time you see someone looking at a parcel of real estate, go out of your way -and tell them what it's really worth.

    If you hear of someone thinking about buying a new car, dissuade them. Explain to them the -target- they'll become if they buy that new Hummer or Maserati. Everyone will charge you more, -for everything- -if you are driving around in that -thing-.

    Really- nothing in our society is worth anything at this point. Everything has about the value of an Eighteenth Century Chippendale Highboy in the third-floor attic of a wood-frame building that is fully-engulfed in fire.

    You'd better just leave that -thing- behind and get the heck out. It's not like it's going to be worth hanging onto it -until the fire is over.

    And anyone who is foolish enough to be putting money in paper, -bonds, stocks or even deeds-, -well good for you, Donald Trump.

    Don't say you were NOT warned.

    Nothing in a burning building is worth anything, if you can't get it outside the building with yourself intact.

    There is a bit of master-propaganda going on in the news, some of it built around the subtle deceit that the Chinese economy is doing gangbusters. Sure it is...

    Believe me, folks. The Chinese have been seduced into the same stimulus-musical-chairs game the US has been playing at.

    It ain't gonna work in China -and- it ain't gonna work here either.

    And the two-billion Chinese people -who know how to engage in revolution- are watching this Western game very closely. They are growing less convinced of any possible -good outcome- they might participate in every day. They'll tell you.

    These guys at the top are just trying to fool everyone a little while longer.

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  6. Guns work because complex weapon systems require flourishing economies and logistic chains that are very easy to break.

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  7. Regardless of anyones interpretation of the second amendment, I believe without arms, we already would be completely enslaved to the Industries that control the government.

    Economic slavery has about ran its course, and revolution is indeed coming one way or another.

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  8. What a crap article. If you do your part right then you won't have to worry about the bullets being with the weapons. What you gonna tell Mr Jack Boot when he comes to take you to the camp? "Oh wait a minute old chap, let me load up first?"

    If we are supposedly smart enough to do the research then you'd know wishes put in one hand and crap in the other always leads to crap winning out. Dissing the militia, although it was supported in your own damn quotes, and talking about the wonders of non violence accomplish nothing. Certainly didn't stop the healthcare bill now did it? And pray tell what stopped them from mass vaccinating us for the swine flu? Could it be all the people who were ready to blow them away by force if necessary, or the people whining no with their little signs? It was show of force that solved that problem.

    When it comes right down to it as Mark Koernke has said before, "You can't talk to a backed up toilet." You either support the work that needs to be done or you don't. Enough of this backsliding and wishy washy crap!

    Mark Koernke - seek him!

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  9. The dilema we face is a daunting one. Our democracy has been hijacked by a coterie of powerful lobbies in league with a very substantial body of corrupt, purchasable politicians and a servile media. These bacteria have destoyed our economy, rifled the public treasury, and seeded the world with war, torture and other violence. The claims, nay, even the reality, of the two extant political factions serve only to mask the putrefaction at the core of both. In truth, we have a unified system in which the out-of-power element functions solely to channel public outrage into a black hole. Our elections have become meaningless, and the possibility of parliamentary remedies utterly out of the question. The ruling class stands not with but over against the people, indeed it considers itself at war with them. What can be done to restore our democracy?

    Short of massive public demonstrations and economy paralysing strikes there can and will be no improvement in this situation. But of the very greatest import in these questions is Wendell Phillips' aphorism: "Revolutions are not made, they come". Authenticity at origin is the most likely guarantor of success. A model, perhaps: The public uprisings in the 1980s that marked Poland's emergence from four decades of totalitarian oppression. As now would we, the Poles then faced a regime perfectly prepared to suppress their asperations with force, but with genuine fortitude they faced it down peacefully and prevailed, its internal rot so substantial that it collapsed of its own weight. I believe we face a not dissimilar condition at the present moment, that one merely would have to kick in the door and the whole festering structure would come tumbling down. From there, a second constitutional convention, and the detention, interrogation and public trial of the malefactors. Next, inter alia, a Ten Year Plan aimed at the reindustrialization of the United States.

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  10. Thoughtful article, thank you. Especially appreciate the quotes from founding fathers. Stay mobile and learn how to make stuff people need.

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  11. I would say that most of the comments are based on the fact that the vast majority of America is still believing what they are told by the major media, or what they learned in the re-education system of the government.
    The People in the preamble means just that. You can argue with people such as Dr. Edwin Vieira, or if he were still alive Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. The state is simply a tool designed by the people to protect their inalienable rights. The state is a fiction, and can only operate as an instrument of the people.
    Is no one here aware of the Hamas - Israel conflict? Is no one here aware of the fact that guerilla warfare is very effective, and usually comes out on top? Is no one here aware that the courts have completely abandoned any pretense of abiding by the rule of law? Half the states in the union have abolished the Grand Jury, which was to be a bulwark against the tyranny of the state.
    No one wants a war. Violence is not the answer, but it is sometimes the only solution.
    The Militia is not something out of the past. It is a mandate on the People to be armed at all times in order to protect the rule of law; Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15&16.

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  12. There never was,is,will be, such a thing as a "Free" disarmed society!!!

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  13. With regards to this

    "Some people - including me - believe that the only way to get the government to start serving the needs of the people is massive protests, strikes and boycotts..."

    Just one of many reasons why manufacturing and production has been shipped over-seas ;o)

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  14. It amazes me that ideologues such as 'Dave of Maryland' insist on taking a single document written in another era and ostensibly analyze it only in light of its own text. The result of this analysis in isolation is often the twisting of the message to conform to their agenda. The writer of the original blog has done an good job of revealing the context of the era by looking for other revelatory writings of the the founding fathers. I find Dave's criticism laughable in light of the clear voices heard in the citations.

    I have a very gifted friend who is nationally recognized in his field (his career involves the analysis and commentary on historical texts) that is fond of saying the following, 'A text, without a context, is a pretext to be able to claim that the text says anything you wish.'

    Maybe in time Dave of the Peoples Republic of Maryland will be ideologically liberated from the madness of neo-liberalism. I doubt that he can be liberated by those people in western Pennsylvania that 'cling stubbornly to their guns and religion' (BHO). It will more likely take some profound experience to make the scales fall from his eyes.

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  15. w.
    it is the using of the weapon, gun, to inflict
    harm or death that is deplorable. given that
    man has free will and guns it is best to affect
    that free will rather than shoot it out with
    the guns. of course if one is intent on using
    weapons to destroy his fellow man and another is
    so minded as to respect the rights of those targeted for destruction then something must be
    done to prevent the slaughter. we seek justice
    and sanity. so it is a question of knowing and
    acting in time. playing god, being man. or playing man and being god.
    but guns are permanent and not playthings and again it is not the gun but the free will that tells its owner to act as if playing god or man.
    for the most part this free will is where we find life and all those other things we are looking for. ?

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  16. I am not really sure if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your great job is clearly identifed. I was wondering if you offer any subscription to your RSS feeds as I would be very interested and can’t find any link to subscribe here. Please come visit my site Business Trade Guide of San Diego California CA when you got time.

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  17. An unloaded gun is a club.

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  18. Certain Truth Was Omitted.January 4, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    First of all I agree with much of what was stated in the article but Mandela was not a peaceful opponent to the South African regime as he was sentenced to prison for his role in a violent bombing campaign & was later found guilty of attempting to violently overthrow the government with the aid of foreign regimes & factions which ended up in a conviction in open court to a life imprisonment in 1964 during the Rivonia Trial. This is why he was often referred to as a terrorist because he turned to violence & killed & injured innocent civilians in the quest to conquer the State of South Africa. None other than Alan Watt [ a frequent guest on the Alex Jones Show ] has publicly stated on the Red Ice radio program that Mandela killed a bus load of children during the early 1960s when he turned to violence. Mandela himself ADMITTED on the Oprah Winfrey Show [ much to her shock ] that he indeed DID commit acts of violence. Therefore one can not put him in the same league as Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

    Canadian politician John McCallum also ADMITTED publicly that Mandela turned to violence [ after being confronted for his obsequious support of Mandela ] but attempted to EXCUSE it with reasoning which would justify ALL governments to be violently overthrown. Furthermore Mandela admitted in his own autobiography that he also signed off on the Church Street Bombing in Pretoria which killed at least 17 people & injured 197 others.

    Furthermore former long time MI6 agent Stephen Dorril exposed Mandela as an MI6 agent himself back in 2000. His predecessor President F W De Klerk [ the man who freed Mandela & abolished the Apartheid laws ] was exposed as an asset of British Intelligence as well. Just be cognizant of the fact that Mandela's apparent conciliatory tone after coming out of prison was just a political calculation aimed at preventing the British created illegal macro STATE from ripping apart. As it almost did by strong Boer & Afrikaner / Zulu separatist movements which were gaining traction up until the convenient Chris Hani murder of 1993. As well as that odd Bophuthatswana fiasco which conveniently destroyed the then strong anti-ANC takeover coalition. Mandela just like many others are just puppets of the force behind British power.

    A CBC documentary on him ADMITTED that he had to cancel his nationalization plans in order to conform to the wishes of the magnates which funded his political organization. While it is not fashionable to call Mandela a tool of the elite: this is precisely what he is & why he was ever promoted [ over much more authentic candidates ] to power in the first place by the global elite. Also bear in mind that he is a royal member of the Thembu clan of the Xhosa people therefore was groomed to be in position of power from day one.

    Not many people appear to be aware that Mandela is just another puppet of the global elite & was recruited from the 1950s to to take a leadership position within an organization so that he could be brought into power in order to prevent an authentic revolution.

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  19. Continuation.

    Quote: [ Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans–even Tibetans–could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success. ]

    The Boer Republics might have been somewhat "backward" nations but one must remember that they were founded by a simple pastoral people who were formed on African soil out of the diverse peoples the Dutch East India Co. dumped at the Cape during the late 17th cent. The Boers were successful at defending their independence during the first Anglo-Boer War in 1881 & were only conquered during the second Anglo-Boer War from 1899 - 1902 due to the deplorable use of concentration camps against the Boer civilians which led to the deaths of close to 50 % of the Boer child population.

    Please bear in mind that the Boers have been under Afrikaner [ of Cape Dutch origin ] domination since the 1930s when the ascending Afrikaner Nationalists broke up Boer organizations & co-opted them in a political context. The Boers are the SMALLER segment of the Caucasian Afrikaans speakers as the Cape Dutch segment is larger & dictates its will over the entire Afrikaner designation. A designation started by the Cape Dutch in a political context during the late 19th cent then later promoted by the British after the Anglo-Boer War [ in which the Cape Dutch fought AGAINST the Boers & on the side of the British ] as part of a plan to destroy the identity of the Boers by lumping them in with the pro British Cape Dutch under the same banner / designation.

    The Boer people are not even of Dutch descent as this was a lie in order to subvert the Boer people as a distinct ethno cultural group from the Cape Dutch Afrikaners as the Boers developed on the Cape frontier & are significantly much more of German [ north western region of modern German State ] / Frisian [ which was deliberately hidden under the Dutch designation ] origin as well as French Huguenot origin. The movie Incivtus even notes numerous French named characters from the leading character of Francois Pienaar [ from Pinard ] played by Matt Damon / to Springbok player André Joubert / to a character named De Villiers etc.

    The British power is therefore still is firm control of South Africa & its & various other Western intelligence agencies are propping up the current corrupt regime in order to maintain the territorial integrity of the State of South Africa & to continue to have easy access to the natural resources of the region.

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  20. Correction. The movie is called Invictus. Just a case of dyslexic spelling.

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  21. I agree with the person quoted in the article that said resorting to violence is counterproductive; the Establishment uses, and even foments/creates such incidents (9/11, Flight 253) as justification for imposing even more draconian security measures. And they have far superior weapons and means of control, are better funded and organized, and these means are institutionalized in the 'elite' culture.

    What the criminal 'elite' seem most afraid of is information, ideas and communications, but they can't stop the increasingly rapid development and spread of related technologies, as the economy and their wealth is tied to it. This is why billions of dollars are invested in manipulating public opinion with misinformation and false arguments.

    So i think, if the People are going to reestablish justice, first there needs to be more education about how to get and share information.

    An armed revolution wouldn't be successful if it wasn't organized- and if enough people can't be organized to run and vote for candidates loyal to the Constitution and committed to the public interest, and to pull their money out of the big banks and corrupt corporate stocks and put it into credit unions, local economies and socially responsible companies, and to start using LETS, how could enough people be organized to violently revolt? And the problem is not the 'government' so much as those powerful and corrupt members of the Establishment that have taken it over, and subverted it and the Constitution for their own selfish, small-minded ends.

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  22. Go protest and strike and rally and when those who view you as means to fund their lives get sick enough they will send men and women with guns to force you to labor for them or die.

    How will respond without the ability to project your own force back?

    This is the simple truth that many find much more comfortable to ignore that to face. Only the credible threat of force behind peaceful protests has ever turned the minds of those who have no qualms using force against others. The bully only knows the fist so in order to communicate one must speak to them in the same language.

    No quote above is more reflective of a universal truth than "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined".

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  23. "I was raised to be against guns."
    I stopped reading after that.

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  24. How is it you list Nelson Mandela as a nonviolent man. He was arrested for and refused to denounce violent acts. Hence the reason he remained imprisoned for so long. The last time I checked the act of "necklacing: putting a gasoline filled tire around your opponent and lighting it on fire", seems sort of a violent act which he would not renounce. How is it revisionist history makes saints out of men like this?

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  25. Dave of Maryland said "The 'right' of the people to keep & bear arms is understood by the Preamble, which says, 'We the People'. There is only one People, there is only one definition of People, and it's not 'citizen'. It's 'state'. As in Alabama."

    If that's so, Dave, then the individual "states" and not "citizens" are protected by the Bill of Rights from illegal searches and seizures, and the "state" has the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. "The people" mentioned in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th Amendments are the same - the group of individual citizens.

    As Jefferson said, one loves to own arms, but wishes never to have to use them. Franklin said there was never a good war, nor a bad peace. And yet both of these men were compelled by their circumstances to support a war against England to preserve the freedoms of their fellow Americans. As the Declaration of Independence states, we should not take up arms against a government for "light and transient causes," but sometimes, at some point, arms are the only answer to government sponsored tyranny. We always hope that peaceful solutions will work (as did most of the Founding Fathers), but we must also always be prepared (and able!) to take up arms if necessary. Hopefully that time will never come, but if history has anything to say about it, it will eventually happen; I only hope that when that day comes, there are men and women willing and able to devote their "lives and their sacred honor" to the defense of liberty.

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  26. Your citation of Gandhi is flawed. That quote is taken completely out of context and skewed with that ellipse.

    That is in no way a valid piece of evidence.

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  27. I'm swiss and guns are more than abundant in switzerland with nearly every male owning an assault rifle. The trick is not to ban guns but to teach responsible and safe use of guns.

    also look at britain that has extremely strict gun laws people just get stabbed a lot more. Crime is related not to abundance of guns but to a variety of social factors.

    One problem i believe that owning a gun is not a right it is a privilege and a responsibility.

    when you own a gun you are responsible for it's proper maintenance, use and storage.

    If every american was trained to use guns like the swiss youth before getting a gun 99% of the accidental shootings in america would not happen.

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  28. I think the Constitution is a old document and we should re-write it for modern times and to appease the people who dont want to abide by it.

    1st get rid of guns and the amendments allowing for them.

    2nd get rid of free speech because having this liberty obviously causes to many problems.

    3rd drop the separation of Church and state because well it is a part of the Constitution and we are changing it, let the Churches have a chance in Government, I mean people have messed everything up for years with the Church being separate maybe they will fix everything for us.

    There I think that should about fix the Constitution and shut up everyone.

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