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Pick Up A Rifle And You Change Instantly From A Subject To A Citizen

Arm youself with a quality rifle - it's your duty as a citizen.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC, was a wise man. Simple and direct, he coalesced and developed the modern theories and practices of firearms handling and usage. Very accomplished, he helped develop the Bren Ten 10mm pistol of Miami Vice fame, and founded the Gunsite Academy, the pioneer of modern firearms training schools. He was also a very quotable gentleman…

A favorite of mine is, (of course!):

“Pick Up A Rifle And You Change Instantly From A Subject To A Citizen” - Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC - 1920-2006


Freedom Isn’t Something The Government Grants You

Every year, noted think tank The Cato Institute publishes the Human Freedom Index. We’re never at the top, by the way. It factors in the overall level of freedom in a nation at a given moment. It also factors in crime and poverty, and so on. However, worth nothing is that the HFI is only a snapshot, something journalists conveniently ignore. 2019’s top dog isn’t going to be 2020’s winner, and so on.

However, worth considering is that the HFI only considers the raw level of freedom, not the intracacies. If one looks closely at the report, one will see that the 14 other nations above the United States all have a massive (proportionate to their size) bureaucratic and legalistic complex. The laws in place grant freedom to their people, but they don’t acknowledge it in any meaningful way. New Zealand allows LGBTQ folk to marry, for example, but it’s really only at the pleasure of the government - it’s not an acknowledgement of their inherent right to do so. In other words, the NZ government could flip from it’s current “kumbaya” state to a reactionary fundamentalist regime, and, boom, no more gay marriage.

And there isn’t much that the New Zelanders could do about it. Yes, they have guns, but the government down there has a fair idea of who has what. Prior to any brash action of suppressing the people, the first thing they will do is attempt to confiscate the civilian inventory.

So, their freedom exists at the pleasure of the Crown - the government, basically. The report doesn’t dive to the level if whether the people can guarantee their freedom.

Governments Change, Rights Do Not

We are born with the inherent right to self defense by any means we deem necessary. Governments around that world recognize or suppress the right to varying degrees through legislation, social conditioning, and outright violence. Yes, each and every law out there is backed up by a death threat. “Do this, or else!” is the mantra of the statist.

Now I’m not arguing for no laws, just a simplification - the “basic law” should be “Don’t hurt people unless they hurt you first and don’t take their stuff”.
Beyond that it’s all just oppression and profiteering.

However, the United States is unique in that our founding document acknowledges several inherent rights - the right to keep and bear arms, the right to speak our minds, the right to privacy, and so forth. Other countries have so-called Bills of Rights, but they are rife with explicit exemptions. For example, Mexico’s Article 10 claims to acknowledge the people’s right to keep and bear arms, but the same paragraph explicitly grants the government power to regulate that right, turning it into a privilege.

Our rights don’t change, even if governments do. Our founding fathers realized that, and codified and acknowledged those rights as a bulwark against the fleeting nature of electoral cycles and governments. Essentially our government changes every 4 to 8 years. Other nations, even more frequently, for the better or for the worse.

Venezuela was a prime example. The 1980s and early 1990s were amongst the most prosperous they had seen in modern history, due to the oil boom. The government was corrupt, sure, but no more so than any other government in South America. The right to keep and bear arms wasn’t acknowledged by the government, but getting a gun legally wasn’t too difficult, and if you were willing to flout the law, enforcement was lax at best. However, the Chavistas changed that. They explicitly banned the private ownership of firearms, except for the Party faithful, and enforcement was frequent and brutal. The people lacked the means to fight back - especially since the military was and still is mostly loyal to the Chavistas.

The recent internal conflicts exemplified the bravery of the Venezuelan people, but they are currently outmatched and outgunned by the government. It’s a struggle at best. They are subjects, sadly.

And so are the people on those nations that rank higher than us on the Human Freedom Index.

In the social democracies of Europe, they are usually only a decade or two away from totalitarianism, and there isn’t much the residents of those nations could do about it. Less than a century ago, most were hard dictatorships, or under the control of a hard dictatorship. It took a war, ironically at the cost of many American lives, to get them some semblance of freedom.

In those nations, most legal firearms are registered, and the illegal ones are buried and not immediately accessible. Owners of said weapons have to be very careful about bringing them out from hiding. Again, the so-called citizens of Europe are subjects at best. They traded a monarchy for a soft dictatorship. One only need to look to the police forces of those nations. Most are armed to American levels, and some still maintain a gendarmerie, which is to say a branch of the military with an explicit jurisdiction in civil law enforcement. If it’s such a peaceful and stable nation, why is the military given powers of domestic law enforcement?

Grant it, such trends exist in the United States. Our law enforcment agencies are routinely equipped with military equipment, and the National Guard can be called up for domestic fighting if needed. It’s only that way because we let it happen, not because the government was initially set up that way.

We can fight back. We have 423 million (or more) privately-owned firearms in our inventory.

Americans Can Resist - All The Way Up The Ladder

Real resistance means being able to back it up with force if needed. Whatever your opinion is of President Trump, the resistance to his presidency can be regarded as laughable at best. They call him a Nazi, while at the same time voting for people who wish to (at least at a faste rate than a lot of Republicans) suppress the right to keep and bear arms. Let’s just say Trump gets home tonight after doing the lap around the Daytona Speedway in The Beast, hops on Twitter, and decides someone like Alyssa Milano or Charlotte Clymer is annoying and irritating. Well, they are - but let’s just say President Trump got some bad news on the way home and he’s in an unheard-of pissy mood. He could order that both of them be conveniently “disappeared” - and there’s not a damn thing either of them would, or could do about it. They’re not armed, and in the case of Milano, her private security isn’t much of a match for squad of armed alphabet boys. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

Boogaloo politics and numbers are ugly, after all.

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Clymer and Milano are subjects, at best. They can’t effectively fight back if the government really wants them out of the way. No phone call, no letter, no nothing. They could be whisked away to a black site and the matter would fade away after a time.

In a hypothetical government-gone-really-bad future, where the soapbox, ballot box, and jury box options have been exhausted, the armed citizen has the final option - the ammo box.

Sure, they can exercise “Irish Democracy” where they conduct themselves peacably and morally, despite any laws, but at some point the government may come for them.

An armed citizen can resist. They may lose, but they will go down fighting. And the armed citizen who resists an immoral action by his or her government makes a lot of noise in the process. Neighbors will wonder about the barrage of gunfire, the noise, the ambulances, the bodies, and so forth. It’s hard to keep an armed citizen quiet, even if the government goes “police state”. Their death, if it happens, won’t be easily dismissed or unanswered. Armed citizens tend to hang out with other armed citizens. It could be the spark that starts the big ice dome and fry cook competition, even.

A citizen loaths to exercise that final option, sure, but he or she will if they must.

Be a citizen. Do the memory of Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper proud.

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