During the latter stages of the Rhodesian Bush war, in the late 1970's a particularly salient tactical point was demonstrated to those with eyes to see. Embattled Rhodesia, fighting for its very life and ostracized by virtually the entire world, quietly adopted a policy change for its armed forces. As a result, the selector switches on thousands of FN-FAL rifles were deliberately switched from the full-auto mode to semi-automatic as a matter of standard procedure. The reason was the shortage of ammunition brought about by international sanction efforts. The effects were startling in that nothing changed as far as battle outcome in spite of a better-armed and equipped enemy in increasingly superior numbers penetrating Rhodesia from three fronts. The communist-trained and supplied terrorist maintained the full auto mode with their AK-47s right up until the end. When the final battles came, the outnumbered and out-gunned Rhodesians had never lost a single encounter; rather, their demise came at the negotiation table-which is a point for deep reflection.
What this proves is that semi-auto fire is a match for full-auto in the hands of determined and committed personnel fighting for home and hearth. As we stand today with the threat of legislation banning the possession and/or manufacture of semiautomatic weapons, we had best pause and consider this carefully. And a ban of so called assault rifles today will become a ban on your Remington 1100 tomorrow-bet on it. The Second Amendment has been dealt numerous and severe infractions in multiple, localized instances over the past half-century. But never before has it faced the broad onslaught we now see. The avowed goal of those in our very government is to strip us of our rights under the Second Amendment. Should this occur, however, it will ultimately be our fault, not theirs. The reason for this is the Second Amendment. As an American in the middle of my fourth decade in this life I, like many others, look around in utter shock and dismay at the rapid unraveling of our culture. I've managed to get to this point in life without running afoul of our laws even once. I am not associated with or an adherent to any group espousing supremacist views, Nor do I advocate the violent overthrow of the government... not at this point in time. I will confess to holding numerous politically incorrect attitudes, however.
I've been fortunate to be able to live abroad in several countries, which has given me a good deal of perspective from which to speak, But, I speak as an American whose family has been in this country since before the revolution. Now I look at the fast-approaching tomorrow when I may be legislated a criminal for what is my legal right today. This is because I own a couple of semi-automatic weapons. One of them was bequeathed to me by my late father and was purchased by him in the middle 1920's-insidious weaponry indeed! Yet I face the possibility that I could wake up one day and be a felon unless I immediately turn in these weapons. This is something I will not do.
Those words are not written lightly or without the awareness that someone will read them that I would rather not have reading them. Nevertheless I am compelled to write this, under my own name, because I cannot, in good conscience, keep quiet on the issue. Should such legislation pass in this country, I do expect the possibility that I might not live for any great period of time there after. For at that point I will bear arms against the so-called government of that day. I will do so if I have to do it alone and I will do it for several very good and legal reasons.
It is legal, now, for me to write and for this to be published because we have a First Amendment. We have that because some vestiges of the Constitution are still intact. Right behind our freedom of speech and freedom of religion our forefathers placed a second pillar of this republic, the right to bear arms. In many ways it has supported and still does support the rest. I'll not go into a long discourse about the legal basis for our Second Amendment rights. That's been done by better legal minds than mine and is readily available to the inquiring mind. I'll suffice to say that, in the succinct words of a bumper sticker, "the Second Amendment ain't about duck hunting." What it is about is our culture, our country and our whole way of life I'll not give that up without a fight.
The late Christian theologian Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer once made a statement that has stuck with me for many years: "If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the Living God." The thrust of what Dr. Schaeffer has said here is as relevant to the secular as it is to the Christian audience he addressed. In a nutshell, if you don't have a defensible bottom line, you've just make the government your personal god. The context of the discourse from which this quote was taken was the rule of law in our culture. In the American expression of western culture the rule of law is embodied in the Constitution of the United States, of which the Second Amendment is an integral part. To an American, then, this is our relevant bottom line, from a secular governmental perspective. In the words of the Constitution itself, Article VI, Section 2: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance, thereof...shall be the supreme law of the land."
The Second Amendment is a part of this Constitution and is not in the authority of Congress to alter save by an amending process as submitted to the states. No 51-49 vote can legally supersede it. All powers in our Constitution are delegated at three levels: Federal, State and the People. This is where our Second Amendment rights lay, with the people. Very simply, Congress would be breaking the supreme law if it infringed on our Second Amendment rights. It does not have that legal power and never has. Neither do the courts. Banning semi-autos is a clear infringement in the same way I would handle it when encountered in the form of some dirtball on the street. I'm not in the habit of handing over my guns to any criminal, regardless of title or elected office.
This too is an American attitude older than our Republic, It was essentially a British gun-grabbing attempt that ignited our Revolution. The lessons of Lexington and the conviction of Concord are sorely needed in out time. The Declaration of Independence has a lot to say about the reasons to dispose of government. And none of them are to be taken lightly. In this writer's opinion we are far beyond the of tyranny, which the minds of Jefferson, Washington, and Madison decided was their bottom line. If we are not now on the verge of a similar point, with similar actions presenting themselves as strong possibilities, then we have tacitly declared Jefferson and company criminals, and their subsequent government illegitimate. But history has shown this is decidedly not the case; the greatest experimentation in government has not been a complete failure. We've just let our elected government and its bureaucracies slip from the "chains" that Mr. Jefferson knew were the proper abode for all government.
It is not time to scrap our Constitution, it is time to reinstate it as the lawful rule in this country. That is best done with the Constitution itself.
Either we take the preamble of our Constitution seriously or we submit to the illegitimate and illegal actions of our elected officials as god in our lives. Our forefathers gave us a great gift:
The Founders are gone, but what they gave us is still alive enough to save the "blessings of Liberty" if we've the courage to use it. It is to this point that I write these words and sign them with the intent of pledging my "life, fortune and sacred honor". Are there any other free Americans left who will do likewise?
There are those who will honestly question the need to draw such a line at this point. In rebuttal to that I'll point to the example of Rhodesia and the great concern of our founders over standing armies with the need to have an equally armed Militia. We cannot hope to prevail against a tyrannical government armed with fully automatic weapons when we are reduced to bolt actions or worse. We can prevail with our semi's, and they know it - from behind every tree and rock, in a wholly American expression of "don't tread on me." You see, it is not street crime driving the anti-gunners, it is the complete disarmament of the American populace. If they've taken our semi's, they'll eventually get the rest without risk. Do I know what I'm suggesting here? Yes, I do.
I am speaking of the specter of civil war while adamantly hoping it can be avoided. It is true that one shot could ignite a civil war under such a scenario but if so, as a Lexington, it would be a "shot heard round the world". Because if it were to occur our goal ought to be the reinstitution of the Constitution and the rule of law in our unraveling society. Further, it should be taken to the doors of those instigating such illegal acts that might precipitate a civil war; their vote for such a bill will mean they are to be put on trial for treason and conspiracy to violate our civil rights. This would include the president who signs it and perhaps the newspaper columnist and broadcast media who rail for its passage.
In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, whose mother incidentally was an American, "Still if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
To those who would consider burying their semi's in the backyard, I suggest a careful consideration of these words. We are nearly at a critical crossroads in the course of this nation. What we bequeath to our children (our posterity) should be no less than what was given us, the chance to live as free men and women. Will you act when this critical moment arrives, or bow at the feet of your newfound god-feet that would soon be found to be wearing jackboots when they come to kick in your unprotected do or?
Transcribed by Vic Dura (Victor.Dura@pcohio.com), Rogersville, Alabama, USA