OT: June 1 Washington Times reports NRA support of proposed legialation requiring "background checks for every gun sold at gun shows"

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A report in today's Washington Times (http://www.washtimes.com) shows that the NRA does not object to government limitation of the right to bear arms. The NRA is *proposing legislation* for the sake of eliminating red tape required by the Lautenberg Amendment passed by the Senate last week.

I remember for years the NRA opposed attacks on the Second Amendment as being unfair to hunters.

It was the founder of the Libertarian Party David Nolan who said around 1983, "The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting." Nolan's statement caught on, and refocused the debate on the citizen's right to own the gun for purposes other than sport.

It looks to me like the NRA is showing its true colors today. They don't care about our rights, so long as the gun show operators are not put out of business by burdensome paperwork. The NRA is concerned about the profitability of being in the gun business rather than the right of the citizen to protect himself.

I suggest that those of you who look to the NRA as a leader in this fight are badly mistaken.

If society collapses next year, I suppose it won't matter. I don't think it will, however. I think a Great Depression is much more likely. The federal government limited personal freedoms in the last Great Depression, and I predict it won't hesitate to attempt to do the same if there is another one.

Just as a defendant should not depend upon an incompetent attorney, those who wish to have the ability to defend themselves against thugs should not depend upon the NRA - for anything.

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), June 01, 1999


P.S. I suggest that any proposal to limit ownership of a gun be considered in the light of the First Amendment right to operate a newspaper.

Ask yourself this: Whatever the proposed limitation on the right to bear arms might be, would newspaper owners and their employees agree to the same limitation on the right to own and operate a newspaper?

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), June 01, 1999.

It would appear the NRA is pulling a "Chamberlin" on American arms owners and bearers. I let you figure out who the Nazis are.

I found this snippet from among my browsings quite amusing:

from National Public Radio, received by email 1999-Apr-20, from an interview between a female broadcaster and US Army Lieutenant General Reinwald, about sponsoring a Boy Scout Troop on his military installation:

Interviewer: "So, LTG Reinwald, what are you going to do with these young boys on their adventure holiday?"

LTG Reinwald: "We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting."

Interviewer: "Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?"

LTG Reinwald: "I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the range."

Interviewer: "Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?"

LTG Reinwald: "I don't see how, we will be teaching them proper range discipline before they even touch a firearm."

Interviewer: "But you're equipping them to become violent killers."

LTG Reinwald: "Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?"

[End of the interview]

-- Nathan (nospam@all.com), June 01, 1999.

I really have no reason to think that background checks shouldn't be in place for any gun purchase. I'd prefer they keep guns out of the hands of nut-balls. What I really resent is the fact that all of this "new and improved" legislation is being whipped up as a result of the Littleton tragedy. My father said he knows how that incident could be effectively legislated. Just put a new law on the books that would require all newborn babies from this day forward have thier trigger fingers "snipped" after birth.(that's just a joke, for any of you out there who have no sense of humor...) It's possible the NRA is willing to compromise in order to keep them from doing something any dumber than they've already attempted. Not that anything could! Your theory about thier pocket-books is probably all too true, but they do have to answer to thier membership as well. People in the bread-basket of America are already miffed. People in cattle Country have been "miffed" (to put it VERY lightly) for a looong time now, as it is. Some of those folks won't need the NRA to act as THIER spokesman!

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), June 01, 1999.

re: Littleton & Congress

Sure can't beat legislating in the heat of the moment. That way, a calm, well-reasoned response won't get in the way of revoking our rights.

-- Nathan (nospam@all.com), June 01, 1999.

Oh yes, let's continue to have no background checks at gun shows. Why should a gun show be in any way different than my buying a gun in a shop? Having purchased two guns in the past year I feel GOOD about background checks. Come on folks, if it is regualted in shops than it should be regulated at gun shows also.

Having been to a gun show a few months back, I was shocked by some of the items I saw for sale there. A Franchi Spas-12? AR-15s? Mac-10s? M-16 with "flare launcher"? You really want someone just walking in and have them walk out without a bit of knowledge as to who they are? Real wise folks...real wise.

-- Proud American (gunowner@nonofyourbusiness.com), June 01, 1999.

I wouldn't have a problem if they did a check as I walked in the door and issued me a card that indicated I passed the check, and was therefor enabled to buy. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THE FOLKS THERE HAVE TO CALL ON EACH PURCHASE! Why do the PTB need to know about EACH gun I buy? Unless they want to know what they can expect to find when they ask for them back??


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), June 01, 1999.

PS What was the problem with the SPAS-12, or the sporterized M-16, AR-15?? Would you have a problem with the MAC paintball gun?? C

-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), June 01, 1999.

"I'd prefer they keep guns out of the hands of nut-balls." Me too, but passing legislation that relates to gun purchases assumes that criminals and nut-balls will voluntarily restrict their gun purchases to legislated retail outlets.

I've heard rumors that items like cocaine and marijuana are imported into this country illegally. I suspect but do not know that the people engaging in this activity are just might be doing it for some sort of profit motive and at a considerable mark-up if the reports in the WSJ are right. I vaguely remember something about some country somewhere outlawing beer, wine, and liquor sometime ago. Seems it had a few little "unintended consequences".

Get a grip! If gun control legislation worked WHY is the murder rate going up rather than down over the last 100 years?

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), June 01, 1999.


Welcome to the netherworld of administration! OK, the purpose of a check before each gun purpose is to prevent those who commit felonies (or whatever) from purchasing any additional guns.

Now, we can assume that if someone purchases more than one gun at a show, they could hardly have put a felony on their record between purchases, so a check at the door to cover all purchases would seem to work.

Except this would mean you'd need to wait for a check (up to 15 minutes) at the door. Long lines. Whether you intended to purchase a a gun or not. Not everyone who attends gun shows makes gun purchases, you know.

This would also mean that those barred from gun purchases would also be barred from attending shows. To get around that, there would need to be some form you carry around granting authorization to purchase a gun. Something would need to be done to make *sure* such forms are not transferrable (more delay and paperwork). And the form would have to be validated somehow before each gun purchase. And new laws passed to cover illegal transfers of forms. And more bureaucrats to create and enforce these regulations.

And all of this administrative overhead would apply to *everyone* who attended the show, rather than placing the burden on the small minority who make more than a single gun purchase. Your suggestion would make the entire enterprise *much* slower, and entail new laws and regulations, and involve a *lot* more paperwork. Is this really what you want?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 01, 1999.

Ah, Flint. Sorry about my lack of clarity. i did NOT mean to imply that each person coming in had to be checked. i probably SHOULD have said that I had no problem with a central check point, and issuing a dated, one day only, must match with photo id purchase clearance.

I would really rather NOT, but what ever.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), June 01, 1999.

No background checks please. I went and got my Concealed Weapons Permit in part to allow me to get and go. The down side is Uncle Sam has my fingerprints until I turn 99. The smoke and mirrors of this scam is most criminals don't buy guns. They get them from stolen sources.

With respect to letting people have Black guns (AK's,Ar-15's,Spas etc.), I'm all for it. What kind of situation would we have in Kosovo if every door the Serbs knocked on was answered by a Kosovar with an AK-47,or a 98 Mauser(Bolt action rifle from WWI) for that matter.There would by a different set of circumstances I think.

In the mean time if you are interested in this type of weaponary get it now and don't forget the magazines. At the rate things are going, you'll be burying them shortly.

-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), June 01, 1999.

Yes, Fart on the NRA. But don't hit on them unless you give a positive alternative.

If you are tired of compromising gun groups look for Gun Owners of America, aka, GOA. They are worthy of your membership.

-- Jim the Window Washer (Rational@man.com), June 01, 1999.

If the NRA is supporting "instant" background checks at gunshows, I sure hope that some teeth are put into the other side of issue to force the states and feds to make real, anytime, "instant check" systems a uniform reality.

Right now, if I buy a gun in PA (home), it takes less than fifteen minutes and I'm approved. If I buy in NY (work and major shopping location), their "instant" system takes four hours minimum. It's usually four days for first time buyers. For a PA first-time buy, it took two extra questions for my first purchase. Plus, last I heard, NY was cutting back on their call-in line operating hours to 9 - 5 weekdays, 9-1 on Saturdays and no Sundays or holidays.

That in itself will put gunshows out of business in NY state if background checks are mandated. How many other states have similar "not-so instant check" systems that are not compatible with gunshow purchasing? Having a "transaction clearing" station run by the show promoters may be the most viable solution, if the states will do their part.

How far do some people travel to reach large gunshows? In my case, I've gone clear across PA to attend a collectors show. What about folks in Texas? Would they drive across the state for a large gunshow if they were told to come back again in four days to complete their purchase? Would they wait four hours to complete a purchase?

Remember that most gunshow purchasers go to look and buy if they find something specificly wanted at a price they like. It's not like going to a local gunshop and special ordering a firearm. Rational people may grumble about a five or fifteen minute wait, but "hours or days, and not on weekends" are not rational solutions.

But in a Y2K perspective, I don't see any gunshow check program going into effect before the end of 1999. And if the systems go into the toilet in 2000, any sort of computerized check system will be overcome by events.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), June 01, 1999.

I plucked this nugget off of Free Republic,

Interview with Hitler

Jeff Penrod

Interview with Hitler This month, we were able to catch up with one of the first candidates to throw their hat in for the 2000 presidential race. While we haven't heard much from him over the past few years, he was once a household name across the country.

JP: Well Mr. Hitler, I can't really say it's an honor to speak with you. Many in this country find you thoroughly repugnant. Why have you come out of hiding after all these years?

AH: Please, spare me the theatrics. Yes, I provoked a war and embarked upon a genocidal campaign. But you Americans have little room to criticize. Your nation has had more than its fair share of unprovoked wars, most notably the Spanish-American and the "police action" in Vietnam, not to mention how Woodrow Wilson maneuvered the US into WWI. And as for concentration camps and genocidal campaigns, you need look no farther than Japanese Americans in WWII and the American Indians for similar policies implement by the US. Especially the Apaches, who were the victims of several genocidal campaigns. However, I must say that I admire how your intelligence organization's efficiency in propping up puppet regimes in foreign nations. If I had such an apparatus at my disposal, WWII would not have been necessary.

As for why I have come out hiding, I have been monitoring the US papers very closely, especially the "letters to the editors" features. In all of your major papers, I see letters on a daily basis that square with my political philosophy. The time is ripe for me to return to politics.

JP: So you're running for President... I assume that you are running as an extreme right wing candidate. What has the Republican National Committee said about you running against Neil Bush, Steve Forbes, or whomever else they anoint?

AH: Republican? Don't be ridiculous! While the Republicans support many of my ideas for public subsidies of business, their platform doesn't nearly go far enough. I am running as a Democrat.

JP: You're kidding of course!

AH: No, I am dead serious.

JP: Very well then, I'll ask you some questions that will be sure to show the absurdity of this. First one, what is your position on school choice and vouchers? This is almost a litmus test.

AH: I am opposed to them. State control of the schools is of paramount importance. How else would it be possible to indoctrinate our youth on the needs of the State and Party?

JP: Hmmmmthat's not what I expected. How about volunteerism? Our current President has made this an issue of great importance, and some schools have made voluntary community service mandatory. I'm sure that the cold-hearted Nazis would have nothing to do with this.

AH: Are you kidding? It was a cornerstone of my "Hitler Youth" program. Providing the volunteering was done for, what is the word politically correct  causes. Ha ha! Of course, political correctness changes with the prevailing political climate.

JP: What about funding for the arts? I don't recall that being on the Nazi hit parade.

AH: The Nazi party was a strong supporter of opera and political artwork. Much like the National Endowment for the Arts does in this country.

JP: I can't deny that. How about Health Care? We in America are very conscious of the need for state sponsored health care. I remember all kinds of barbarous medical experiments being performed by the Nazis. Don't even try to tell me that you are in favor of government run health care.

AH: I most certainly am in favor of it! Of course, when you have State run health care, it is necessary to ration the amount of care, or else everyone with a runny nose will be showing up at the clinic. If you treat anyone who wants care, it will pauperize the State! [banging fist on table]. Those experiments were done only to keep down costs! Very much like your Tuskeegee syphilis experiments.

JP: I hate to admit it, but you're right. We did allow medical atrocities like this to occur to members of certain racial groups.

AH: As I was saying before, you have little room to criticize me. As your own President Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country."

JP: [sarcastically] Very nice. What about State run daycare?

AH: We had it in Nazi Germany. It was necessary to increase the national output. It is wasteful to have women at home, where they cannot contribute to the greater glory of the State by paying taxes. In addition, it provides an additional opportunity to indoctrinate our youth.

JP: What about hate crimes

AH: Such as calling someone a Nazi? Ha Ha! Seriously, though, in the Third Reich we punished people for thought crimes, in the very same fashion.

JP: What about affirmative actions? I know that you won't support that!

AH: The Third Reich was one of the biggest supporters of racial quotas in history! Just because you change the group that benefits from race politics doesn't change the fact that you are supporting race politics. But I must admit that I am uncomfortable supporting such policies in America, since I am not in a favored class. However, I'm sure that much political hay can be made from this nonetheless.

JP: One of the big issues the nation's capitol is gun control. The Nazis were really into armament, so I know that at least I'll get you on this question.

AH: Wrong! The Nazi Party strongly supported gun control. In fact if you look at your 1968 Gun Control Act, you can see that it was almost taken line for line from our 1938 Gun Control Law. After all, the State can protect those who merit protection.

JP: Well Mr. Hitler, our time is almost up. It certainly appears that your are a Democrat in good standing. Do you have any further statements?

AH: Yes. I would like to say that I as head of the Nazi Party was staunch supporter of socialism, just like the Democrats are in America. In fact Nazi stands for the National Socialist Party. It does both the Democrats and the Nazis a disservice to compare Republicans to Nazis. While the Republicans support many of our tenets, they don't come anywhere close to the Democrats in subjugating the individual's needs to those of the State. Or Society, or social justice, or whatever you call it these days. But I must admit I am a fan of the Republican's schemes for creating a de facto National ID. "Your papers, please." Ha, ha, ha, ha!

America is only on the verge of reaching its full glory of the Omnipotent State! Keep up the good work! Remember to vote for me in November 2000! Seig heil!

This interview is of course fictitious, and is meant not to cause offense to any that have lost relatives to totalitarianism regimes. It is meant to offend those who have contributed to the nazification of America.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), June 01, 1999.

And if you seriously want to straighten this country out you can start by elcting this man president.

Bob Smith's speech at the New Hampshire Primary Kickoff Dinner


Thank you Chairman Duprey and Chairman Nicholson.

As the senior Senator and Republican leader in this state, on behalf of The people of New Hampshire, I thank each of the Republican candidates for coming here and showing your support for our first in the Nation Primary.

Welcome to the Live Free or Die State.

One of the greatest Governors in our state's history was Mel Thomson, Who has been more than a political mentor, he has been like a father to me. He once told me "You either stand for something, or you stand for nothing." Governor Thomson was right. Isn't that what politics should be about.

I don't have a famous political name, although there are a lot more Smiths in America then there are Bushes, Doles, and Forbeses.

I don't have any pollsters. My beliefs don't come from political consultants or focus groups, they come from my life's experiences.

As a kid who lost his dad at the age of three, raised on a farm by a widowed mother and loving grandparents, where I learned hard work, responsibility, and patriotism. A Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. As a coach, teacher, school board member, and most importantly, as a father and a husband.

I am not a leap year conservative, jumping up out of the weeds every Four years saying "It's Presidential campaign time, here I am, I'm a conservative."

I have been fighting the fight day after day for 15 years in Congress. Fighting for the right to life, the rights of gun owners, strong National defense, sovereignty, and local control of schools.

Some have talked about Clinton's bad judicial appointments to the Supreme Court. But, I was one of only three Senators to vote against both of them. While some candidates talk against partial birth abortion, I wrote the bill, and spoke alone on the Senate floor against this horror.

I might be a new face on the Presidential scene, but I am an old warrior On the battlefield for conservative values. I've backed up my talk with action.

Some say this election is about electing a Republican President. It is not. It is about electing a President and other candidates who will champion principles outlined in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bible, and the Republican Platform.

You see, my fellow Republicans, many in our Party have failed us. They failed us right here in New Hampshire when a Republican legislature passed a broad based tax for the first time in New Hampshire history.

Those Republicans who voted to acquit Bill Clinton in the impeachment Trial failed us.

It was Republican appointments to the US Supreme Court who gave us Roe v. Wade.

Republicans failed us when they voted to give Bill Clinton the authority To conduct a war in the Balkans which was not in the interest of the United States and risk the lives of our men and women in the military.

I wrote the resolution to stop us from going in. I spoke out against This action before we went into Kosovo, and now I feel more strongly than ever that we need to get out and get out quickly before this expands into a Balkan war involving American ground forces.

Republican leaders fail us when they capitulate to Bill Clinton rather than challenging him on principle.

BEING a Republican is not enough. It is about LEADING on the issues we stand for.

We are not getting the job done.

That is why I am travelling all around this nation, every weekend, cramming this six foot six inch frame into coach seats.

I'm a country music Republican, not a country club Republican. No first class, no Lear Jet. It's grassroots campaigning, and I am doing it because I love my country, not because I love to travel.

The people I meet are deeply concerned about our Party, and more importantly, our country.

That's why thousands have joined my nationwide crusade.

This is not a campaign for the faint of heart.

Political leadership is NOT about who gives the best speech,

it's NOT about who has the most money,

It's NOT about who the media thinks is the front runner.

It's NOT about political resumes.


It's about INTEGRITY.

It's about a commitment to principle.

If we don't have bold, courageous leadership, we're going to have more Of the same.

Finally, it's about each one of us joining together to rediscover our compass and our navigational charts. There's nothing wrong with the charts. It's our leaders who have gone in the wrong direction.

Our time in History is God's gift to us. What we do with it is our gift To Him.

As President, I would send Congress a bill protecting the unborn from The moment of fertilization. I introduced the Personhood bill this week in The Senate, and I would sign it as President. 35 million babies lost to abortion lost since 1973 is not worthy of a great nation.

The Whig Party was anti-slavery, but they said "let's put slavery aside And focus on electing more Whigs."

But a loyal Whig Congressman named Abe Lincoln had enough. He saw Slavery as the moral outrage of the day, and when his beloved Whig Party took a walk, he joined a new party based on principle to lead and speak out for its anti-slavery platform.

Many in the Republican Party today say we should "put abortion aside and focus on electing more Republicans." But, the right to life is the moral issue of OUR day, and in honor of Lincoln, we WILL not waver on it.

As President:

I will abolish the Department of Education.

I WOULD have a litmus test for the Supreme Court. My nominees would be pro-life, pro-Constitution. I might even bring back Bork.

I will rid our government of unconstitutional programs, like the National Endowment for the Arts.

I will get the Federal Government off the backs of innocent law- abiding Gun owners.

I will obtain a full accounting of our POWs and MIAs.

I will fully fund our national defense, including a national missile defense.

I will sign no global agreement that sacrifices United States Sovereignty.

I will conduct no military action unless it is in the national security interests of the United States.

No troops will serve under UN command.

And speaking of the UN, let's face it, it is time, on January 21, 2001, I will get us out of the United Nations.

And let me say this, with Mary Jo and Bob Smith in the White House, you'll never have to be ashamed of the White House again. Rather than selling the Lincoln bedroom for $50,000, we will give it to the teacher of the year.

How desperate we are for leadership in this country.

Yogi Berra once said "when you come to a fork in the road, take it." That's how our leader make decisions today.

They take polls to find out what they should think.

Can you imagine Patrick Henry, preparing for his "Give Me Liberty, or Give me Death" speech, turning to his pollster, and saying "this sounds a little harsh. Lets do a poll to see whether they want liberty, or do they want death?"

Wake up America, and lets join together to restore our country to the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

In the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart plays a good Man who goes to Washington believing that America is a good country and deserved good leaders. I agree. And if you elect me, together, we will chart the right course for America.


-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), June 01, 1999.

GA Russell,

It's all knee jerks and opportunists (fascists) at this point. The right wingers never did protect the second, too many elite interests for armed defenders.

Totally agree Nikoli, but you and I both know it ain't gonna happen. It's over. The Eurotrash that has taken this country by storm is rampant. 1984 is just a book, but only a heartbeat away. Our feds current mission seems to be control of caspien resources. When thats done, more chunks of Soviet Union to follow. I hold my breath for the retaliation.

Can anyone else see why Gary North wants the current system to fail?

-- R. Wright (blaklodg@hotmail.com), June 02, 1999.

From Frugals page, everyone needs to read this and repost it on other forums.

WHAT GOOD CAN A HANDGUN DO AGAINST AN ARMY.....? By Mike Vanderboegh 5 December 1998 A friend of mine recently forwarded me a question a friend of his had posed:

"If/when our Federal Government comes to pilfer, pillage, plunder our property and destroy our lives, what good can a handgun do against an army with advanced weaponry, tanks, missiles, planes, or whatever else they might have at their disposal to achieve their nefarious goals? (I'm not being facetious: I accept the possibility that what happened in Germany, or similar, could happen here; I'm just not sure that the potential good from an armed citizenry in such a situation outweighs the day-to-day problems caused by masses of idiots who own guns.)"

If I may, I'd like to try to answer that question. I certainly do not think the writer facetious for asking it. The subject is a serious one that I have given much research and considerable thought to. I believe that upon the answer to this question depends the future of our Constitutional republic, our liberty and perhaps our lives. My friend Aaron Zelman, one of the founders of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, once told me:

"If every Jewish and anti-nazi family in Germany had owned a Mauser rifle and twenty rounds of ammunition AND THE WILL TO USE IT (emphasis supplied, MV), Adolf Hitler would be a little-known footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic."

Note well that phrase: "and the will to use it," for the simply- stated question, "What good can a handgun do against an army?", is in fact a complex one and must be answered at length and carefully. It is a military question. It is also a political question. But above all it is a moral question which strikes to the heart of what makes men free, and what makes them slaves. First, let's answer the military question.

Most military questions have both a strategic and a tactical component. Let's consider the tactical.

A friend of mine owns an instructive piece of history. It is a small, crude pistol, made out of sheet-metal stampings by the U.S. during World War II. While it fits in the palm of your hand and is a slowly- operated, single-shot arm, it's powerful .45 caliber projectile will kill a man with brutal efficiency. With a short, smooth-bore barrel it can reliably kill only at point blank ranges, so its use requires the will (brave or foolhardy) to get in close before firing. It is less a soldier's weapon than an assassin's tool. The U.S. manufactured them by the million during the war, not for our own forces but rather to be air-dropped behind German lines to resistance units in occupied Europe. Crude and slow (the fired case had to be knocked out of the breech by means of a little wooden dowel, a fresh round procured from the storage area in the grip and then manually reloaded and cocked) and so wildly innaccurate it couldn't hit the broad side of a French barn at 50 meters, to the Resistance man or woman who had no firearm it still looked pretty darn good.

The theory and practice of it was this: First, you approach a German sentry with your little pistol hidden in your coat pocket and, with Academy-award sincerity, ask him for a light for your cigarette (or the time the train leaves for Paris, or if he wants to buy some non- army-issue food or a perhaps half-hour with your "sister"). When he smiles and casts a nervous glance down the street to see where his Sergeant is at, you blow his brains out with your first and only shot, then take his rifle and ammunition. Your next few minutes are occupied with "getting out of Dodge," for such critters generally go around in packs. After that (assuming you evade your late benefactor's friends) you keep the rifle and hand your little pistol to a fellow Resistance fighter so they can go get their own rifle.

Or maybe you then use your rifle to get a submachine gun from the Sergeant when he comes running. Perhaps you get very lucky and pickup a light machine gun, two boxes of ammunition and a haversack of hand grenades. With two of the grenades and the expenditure of a half-a- box of ammunition at a hasty roadblock the next night, you and your friends get a truck full of arms and ammunition. (Some of the cargo is sticky with "Boche" blood, but you don't mind terribly.)

Pretty soon you've got the best armed little maquis unit in your part of France, all from that cheap little pistol and the guts to use it. (One wonders if the current political elite's opposition to so-called "Saturday Night Specials" doesn't come from some adopted racial memory of previous failed tyrants. Even cheap little pistols are a threat to oppressive regimes.)

They called the pistol the "Liberator." Not a bad name, all in all.

Now let's consider the strategic aspect of the question, "What good can a handgun do against an army....?" We have seen that even a poor pistol can make a great deal of difference to the military career and postwar plans of one enemy soldier. That's tactical. But consider what a million pistols, or a hundred million pistols (which may approach the actual number of handguns in the U.S. today), can mean to the military planner who seeks to carry out operations against a populace so armed. Mention "Afghanistan" or "Chechnya" to a member of the current Russian military heirarchy and watch them shudder at the bloody memories. Then you begin to get the idea that modern munitions, air superiority and overwhelming, precision-guided violence still are not enough to make victory certain when the targets are not sitting Christmas-present fashion out in the middle of the desert.

I forget the name of the Senator who observed, "You know, a million here and a million there, and pretty soon you're talking about serious money." Consider that there are at least as many firearms-- handguns, rifles and shotguns-- as there are citizens of the United States. Consider that last year there were more than 14 million Americans who bought licenses to hunt deer in the country. 14 million-- that's a number greater than the largest five professional armies in the world combined. Consider also that those deer hunters are not only armed, but they own items of military utility-- everything from camoflage clothing to infrared "game finders", Global Positioning System devices and night vision scopes.

Consider also that quite a few of these hunters are military veterans. Just as moving around in the woods and stalking game are second nature, military operations are no mystery to them, especially those who were on the receiving end of guerrilla war in Southeast Asia. Indeed, such men, aging though they may be, may be more psychologically prepared for the exigencies of civil war (for this is what we are talking about) than their younger active-duty brother- soldiers whose only military experience involved neatly defined enemies and fronts in the Grand Campaign against Saddam. Not since 1861-1865 has the American military attempted to wage a war athwart its own logistical tail (nor indeed has it ever had to use modern conventional munitions on the Main Streets of its own hometowns and through its' relatives backyards, nor has it tested the obedience of soldiers who took a very different oath with orders to kill their "rebellious" neighbors, but that touches on the political aspect of the question).

But forget the psychological and political for a moment, and consider just the numbers. To paraphrase the Senator, "A million pistols here, a million rifles there, pretty soon you're talking serious firepower." No one, repeat, no one, will conquer America, from within or without, until its citizenry are disarmed. We remain, as a British officer had reason to complain at the start of our Revolution, "a people numerous and armed."

The Second Amendment is a political issue today only because of the military reality that underlies it. Politicians who fear the people seek to disarm them. People who fear their government's intentions refuse to be disarmed. The Founders understood this. So, too, does every tyrant who ever lived. Liberty-loving Americans forget it at their peril. Until they do, American gunowners in the aggregate represent a strategic military fact and an impediment to foreign tyranny. They also represent the greatest political challenge to home- grown would-be tyrants. If the people cannot be forcibly disarmed against their will, then they must be persuaded to give up their arms voluntarily. This is the siren song of "gun control," which is to say "government control of all guns," although few self-respecting gun- grabbers such as Charles Schumer would be quite so bold as to phrase it so honestly.

Joseph Stalin, when informed after World War II that the Pope disapproved of Russian troops occupying Trieste, turned to his advisors and asked, "The Pope? The Pope? How many divisions does he have?" Dictators are unmoved by moral suasion. Fortunately, our Founders saw the wisdom of backing the First Amendment up with the Second. The "divisions" of the army of American constitutional liberty get into their cars and drive to work in this country every day to jobs that are hardly military in nature. Most of them are unmindful of the service they provide. Their arms depots may be found in innumerable closets, gunracks and gunsafes. They have no appointed officers, nor will they need any until they are mobilized by events. Such guardians of our liberty perform this service merely by existing. And although they may be an ever-diminishing minority within their own country, as gun ownership is demonized and discouraged by the ruling elites, still they are as yet more than enough to perform their vital task. And if they are unaware of the impediment they present to their would-be rulers, their would-be rulers are painfully aware of these "divisions of liberty", as evidenced by their incessant calls for individual disarmament. They understand moral versus military force just as clearly as Stalin, but they would not be so indelicate as to quote him.

The Roman Republic failed because they could not successfully answer the question, "Who Shall Guard the Guards?" The Founders of this Republic answered that question with both the First and Second Amendments. Like Stalin, the Clintonistas could care less what common folk say about them, but the concept of the armed citizenry as guarantors of their own liberties sets their teeth on edge and disturbs their statist sleep.

Governments, some great men once avowed, derive their legitimacy from "the consent of the governed." In the country that these men founded, it should not be required to remind anyone that the people do not obtain their natural, God-given liberties by "the consent of the Government." Yet in this century, our once great constitutional republic has been so profaned in the pursuit of power and social engineering by corrupt leaders as to be unrecognizable to the Founders. And in large measure we have ourselves to blame because at each crucial step along the way the usurpers of our liberties have obtained the consent of a majority of the governed to do what they have done, often in the name of "democracy"-- a political system rejected by the Founders. Another good friend of mine gave the best description of pure democracy I have ever heard. "Democracy," he concluded, "is three wolves and a sheep sitting down to vote on what to have for dinner." The rights of the sheep in this system are by no means guaranteed.

Now it is true that our present wolf-like, would-be rulers do not as yet seek to eat that sheep and its peaceable wooly cousins (We, the people). They are, however, most desirous that the sheep be shorn of taxes, and if possible and when necessary, be reminded of their rightful place in society as "good citizen sheep" whose safety from the big bad wolves outside their barn doors is only guaranteed by the omni-presence in the barn of the "good wolves" of the government. Indeed, they do not present themselves as wolves at all, but rather these lupines parade around in sheep's clothing, bleating insistently in falsetto about the welfare of the flock and the necessity to surrender liberty and property "for the children", er, ah, I mean "the lambs." In order to ensure future generations of compliant sheep, they are careful to educate the lambs in the way of "political correctness," tutoring them in the totalitarian faiths that "it takes a barnyard to raise a lamb" and "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Every now and then, some tough old independent-minded ram refuses to be shorn and tries to remind the flock that they once decided affairs themselves according to the rule of law of their ancestors, and without the help of their "betters." When that happens, the fangs become apparent and the conspicuously unwilling are shunned, cowed, driven off or (occasionally) killed. But flashing teeth or not, the majority of the flock has learned over time not to resist the Lupine- Mandarin class which herds it. Their Founders, who were fiercely independent rams, would have long ago chased off such usurpers. Any present members of the flock who think like that are denounced as antediluvian or mentally deranged.

There are some of these dissidents the lupines would like to punish, but they dare not-- for their teeth are every bit as long as their "betters." Indeed, this is the reason the wolves haven't eaten any sheep in generations. To the wolves chagrin, this portion of the flock is armed and they outnumber the wolves by a considerable margin. For now the wolves are content are content to watch the numbers of these "armed sheep" diminish, as long teeth are no longer fashionable in polite society. (Indeed, they are considered by the literati to be an anachronism best forgotten and such sheep are dismissed by the Mandarins as "Tooth Nuts" or "Right Leg Fanatics".) When the numbers of armed sheep fall below below a level that the wolves can feel safe to do so, the eating will begin. The wolves are patient, and proceed by infinitesimal degrees like the slowly-boiling frog. It took them generations to lull the sheep into accepting them as rulers instead of elected representatives. If it takes another generation or two of sheep to complete the process, the wolves can wait. This is our "Animal Farm," without apology to George Orwell.

Even so, the truth is that one man with a pistol CAN defeat an army, given a righteous cause to fight for, enough determination to risk death for that cause, and enough brains, luck and friends to win the struggle. This is true in war but also in politics, and it is not necessary to be a Prussian militarist to see it. The dirty little secret of today's ruling elite as represented by the Clintonistas is that they want people of conscience and principle to be divided in as many ways as possible ("wedge issues" the consultants call them) so that they may be more easily manipulated. No issue of race, religion, class or economics is left unexploited. Lost in the din of jostling special interests are the few voices who point out that if we refuse to be divided from what truly unites us as a people, we cannot be defeated on the large issues of principle, faith, the constitutional republic and the rule of law. More importantly, woe and ridicule will be heaped upon anyone who points out that like the blustering Wizard of Oz, the federal tax and regulation machine is not as omniscient, omnipotent or fearsome as they would have us believe. Like the Wizard, they fan the scary flames higher and shout, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

For the truth is, they are frightened that we will find out how pitifully few they are compared to the mass of the citizenry they seek to frighten into compliance with their tax collections, property seizures and bureaucratic, unconstitutional power-shifting. I strongly recommend everyone see the new animated movie "A Bug's Life". Simple truths may often be found sheltering beneath unlikely overhangs, there protected from the pelting storm of lies that soak us everyday. "A Bug's Life", a childrens' movie of all things, is just such a place.

The plot revolves around an ant hill on an unnamed island, where the ants placate predatory grasshoppers by offering them each year one- half of the food they gather (sounds a lot like the IRS, right?). Driven to desperation by the insatiable tax demands of the large, fearsome grasshoppers, one enterprising ant goes abroad seeking bug mercenaries who will return with him and defend the anthill when the grasshoppers return. (If this sounds a lot like an animated "Magnificent Seven", you're right.)

The grasshoppers (who roar about like some biker gang or perhaps the ATF in black helicopters, take your pick) are, at one point in the movie, lounging around in a "bug cantina" down in Mexico, living off the bounty of the land. The harvest seeds they eat are dispensed one at a time from an upturned bar bottle. Two grasshoppers suggest to their leader, a menacing fellow named "Hopper" (whose voice characterization by Kevin Spacey is suitably evil personified), that they should forget about the poor ants on the island. Here, they say, we can live off the fat of the land, why worry about some upstart ants? Hopper turns on them instantly. "Would you like a seed?" he quietly asks one. "Sure," answers the skeptical grasshopper thug. "Would you like one?" Hopper asks the other. "Yeah," says he. Hopper manipulates the spigot on the bar bottle twice, and distributes the seeds to them.

"So, you want to know why we have to go back to the island, do you?" Hopper asks menacingly as the thugs munch on their seeds. "I'll show you why!" he shouts, removing the cap from the bottle entirely with one quick blow. The seeds, no longer restrained by the cap, respond to gravity and rush out all at once, inundating the two grasshoppers and crushing them. Hopper turns to his remaining fellow grasshoppers and shrieks, "That's why!"

I'm paraphrasing from memory here, for I've only seen the movie once. But Hopper then explains, "Don't you remember the upstart ant on that island? They outnumber us a hundred to one. How long do you think we'll last if they ever figure that out?"

"If the ants are not frightened of us," Hopper tells them, "our game is finished. We're finished."

Of course it comes as no surprise that in the end the ants figure that out. Would that liberty-loving Americans were as smart as animated ants.

Courage to stand against tyranny, fortunately, is not only found on videotape. Courage flowers from the heart, from the twin roots of deeply-held principle and faith in God. There are American heroes living today who have not yet performed the deeds of principled courage that future history books will record. They have not yet had to stand in the gap, to plug it with their own fragile bodies and lives against the evil that portends. Not yet have they been required to pledge "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor." Yet they will have to. I believe with all my heart the lesson that history teaches: That each and every generation of Americans is given, along with the liberty and opportunity that is their heritage, the duty to defend America against the tyrannies of their day. Our father's father's fathers fought this same fight. Our mother's mother's mothers fought it as well. From the Revolution through the world wars, from the Cold War through to the Gulf, they fought to secure their liberty in conflicts great and small, within and without.

They stood faithful to the oath that our Founders gave us: To bear true faith and allegiance-- not to a man; not to the land; not to a political party, but to an idea. The idea is liberty, as codified in the Constitution of the United States. We swear, as did they, an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And throughout the years they paid in blood and treasure the terrible price of that oath. That was their day. This is ours. The clouds we can see on the horizon may be a simple rain or a vast hurricane, but there is a storm coming. Make no mistake.

Lincoln said that this nation cannot long exist half slave and half free. I say, if I may humbly paraphrase, that this nation cannot long exist one-third slave, one-third uncommitted, and one-third free. The slavery today is of the mind and soul not the body, but it is slavery without a doubt that the Clintons and their toadies are pushing.

It is slavery to worship our nominally-elected representatives as our rulers instead of requiring their trustworthiness as our servants. It is slavery of the mind and soul that demands that God-given rights that our Forefathers secured with their blood and sacrifice be traded for the false security of a nanny-state which will tend to our "legitimate needs" as they are perceived by that government. It is slavery of a more traditional sort that extorts half of our incomes to pay, like slaves of old, for the privilege of serving and supporting our master's regime.

It is slavery to worship humanism as religion and slavery to deny life and liberty to unborn Americans. As people of faith in God, whatever our denomination, we are in bondage to a plantation system that steals our money; seizes our property; denies our ancient liberties; denies even our very history, supplanting it with sanitized and politicized "correctness"; denies our children a real public education; denies them even the mention of God in school; denies, in fact, the very existence of God.

So finally we are faced with, we must return to, the moral component of the question: "What good can a handgun do against an army?" The answer is "Nothing," or "Everything." The outcome depends upon the mind and heart and soul of the man or woman who holds it. One may also ask, "What good can a sling in the hands of a boy do against a marauding giant?" If your cause is just and righteous much can be done, but only if you are willing to risk the consequences of failure and to bear the burdens of eternal vigilance.

A new friend of mine gave me a plaque the other day. Upon it is written these words by Winston Churchill, a man who knew much about fighting tyranny:

"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 too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

The Spartans at Thermopylae knew this. The fighting Jews of Masada knew this, when every man, woman and child died rather than submit to Roman tyranny. The Texans who died at the Alamo knew this. The frozen patriots of Valley Forge knew this. The "expendable men" of Bataan and Corregidor knew this. If there is one lesson of Hitlerism and the Holocaust, it is that free men, if they wish to remain free, must resist would-be tyrants at the first opportunity and at every opportunity. Remember that whether they the come as conquerors or elected officials, the men who secretly wish to be your murderers must first convince you that you must accept them as your masters. Free men and women must not wait until they are "selected", divided and herded into Warsaw Ghettos, there to finally fight desperately, almost without weapons, and die outnumbered.

The tyrant must be met at the door when he appears. At your door, or mine, wherever he shows his bloody appetite. He must be met by the pistol which can defeat an army. He must be met at every door, for in truth we outnumber him and his henchmen. It matters not whether they call themselves Communists or Nazis or something else. It matters not what flag they fly, nor what uniform they wear. It matters not what excuses they give for stealing your liberty, your property or your life. "By their works ye shall know them."

The time is late. Those who once has trouble reading the hour on their watches have no trouble seeing by the glare of the fire at Waco. Few of us realized at the time that the Constitution was burning right along with the Davidians. Now we know better.

We have had the advantage of that horrible illumination for more than five years now-- five years in which the rule of law and the battered old parchment of our beloved Constitution have been smashed, shredded and besmirched by the Clintonistas. In this process they have been aided and abetted by the cowardly incompetence of the "opposition" Republican leadership, a fact made crystal clear by the Waco hearings. They have forgotten Daniel Webster's warning: "Miracles do not cluster. Hold on to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands-- what has happened once in six thousand years may never happen again. Hold on to your Constitution, for if the American Constitution shall fail there will be anarchy throughout the world."

Yet being able to see what has happened has not helped us reverse, or even slow, the process. The sad fact is that we may have to resign ourselves to the prospect of having to maintain our principles and our liberty in the face of becoming a disenfranchised minority within our own country.

The middle third of the populace, it seems, will continue to waffle in favor of the enemies of the Constitution until their comfort level with the economy is endangered. They've got theirs, Jack. The Republicans, who we thought could represent our interests and protect the Constitution and the rule of law, have been demonstrated to be political eunuchs. Alan Keyes was dead right when he characterized the last election as one between "the lawless Democrats and the gutless Republicans." The spectacular political failures of our current leaders are unrivaled in our history unless you recall the unprincipled jockeying for position and tragi-comedy of misunderstanding and miscommunication which lead to our first Civil War.

And make no mistake, it is civil war which may be the most horrible corollary of the Law of Unintended Consequences as it applies to the Clintonistas and their destruction of the rule of law. Because such people have no cause for which they are willing to die (all morality being relativistic to them, and all principles compromisable), they cannot fathom the motives or behavior of people who believe that there are some principles worth fighting and dying for. Out of such failures of understanding come wars. Particularly because although such elitists would not risk their own necks in a fight, they have no compunction about ordering others in their pay to fight for them. It is not the deaths of others, but their own deaths, that they fear. As a Christian, I cannot fear my own death, but rather I am commanded by my God to live in such a way as to make my death a homecoming. That this makes me incomprehensible and threatening to those who wish to be my masters is something I can do little about. I would suggest to them that they not poke their godless, tyrannical noses down my alley. As the coiled rattlesnake flag of the Revolution bluntly stated: "Don't Tread on Me!" Or, as our state motto here in Alabama says: "We Dare Defend Our Rights."

But can a handgun defeat an army? Yes. It remains to be seen whether the struggle of our generation against the tyrants of our day in the first decade of the 21st Century will bring a restoration of liberty and the rule of law or a dark and bloody descent into chaos and slavery.

If it is to be the former, I will meet you at the new Yorktown. If it is to be the latter, I will meet you at Masada. But I will not be a slave. And I know that whether we succeed or fail, if we should fall along the way, our graves will one day be visited by other free Americans, thanking us that we did not forget that, with help of Almighty God, in the hands of a free man a handgun CAN defeat a tyrant's army.

Mike Vanderboegh P.O. Box 926 Pinson, AL 35126 Mo10Cav@aol.com Copyright 1998.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), June 02, 1999.


I caught this on another thread. I believe this has to be your best post I have ever read.

-- R. Wright (blaklodg@hotmail.com), June 03, 1999.

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