Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A "Back to the Future" idea

The number of stories lately where unarmed citizens are rounded up and killed has reached critical mass. Terrorists feed on innocent victims, causing harm to those who cannot fight back. This isn't news - such activities have occurred for tens of thousands of years. All those good folks who "ain't gonna study war no more" are fine, until the guy next door who has a different idea smashes into them with all the force he can bear. It's human nature, and to ignore it is the height of stupidity - and perfidy.

We had a similar situation early in our history. Early settlers were in danger, not just from local Indian tribes, but from the unscrupulous of every stripe. These people used a rifle or a pistol not just for putting food on the table, but to defend against any and all comers whose behavior was incompatible to peace and prosperity of the individual.

Governments throughout the world demand that citizens give up the right of individual self-defense for the privilege of being protected by the State. Yet the State hasn't been able to defend even one group from a determined attack by a well-armed terrorist cell. We've seen that fail over and over and over. We can no longer accept the continuation of a failed policy. It's time to change, and to go back to a time when safety and protection was not only the right of the individual, but the only policy that worked consistently.

If thirty parents, teachers, even older students, at Belsan had been armed, would the terrorists have even TRIED to take over the school? Could they have been successful? How many lives would have been saved? If even two teachers had been carrying personal weapons at Columbine, would the two children who had no problem smuggling them into the school been able to terrorize the entire student body, killing where they chose, and unconcerned about being stopped? Would any hijacker even dare to attack an aircraft full of people with openly displayed weapons?

Terrorists strike because they have an opportunity to cow an unarmed population. The simple answer would seem to be - arm the population, and make life terribly insecure for the terrorists. There are some problems with everyone going around armed to the teeth - there's the problem that someone will be killed or wounded by accident, that some hothead will shoot another person simply out of anger, or that, in defending our property, innocent people could be killed hundreds or thousands of feet away. These are not serious enough problems to force us to drop the suggestion, but do require some technical consideration to solve.

First and foremost, not everyone should be allowed to carry a weapon. There are people who are mentally or emotionally unstable enough that they are unable to accept the responsibility of 'packing heat'. Anyone willing to go armed in our society must have the ability to accept the responsibility of their behavior. Weapons training would be a MUST for an armed individual - when to use a weapon, when to refrain, and how to use whatever weapon we have safely. That's a matter of education and training, and most people with an IQ high enough to allow them to drive an automobile - one of the fiercest and deadliest "weapons" in our society - could be so trained. We would need some very well-conceived laws on how to judge that a person who has used a weapon did so in good faith, and how to deal with those who haven't. We would need laws to require gun manufacturers to create weapons that were both effective, safe to use, and capable of being disabled, so they could be stored safely in a home with small children - the most curious creatures of all humanity. At the same time, that disabling mechanism must be able to be undone quickly, to allow all but instant use, while still being difficult for anyone under the age of ten to do. Again, it's just a matter of technology, and we can overcome that problem once we recognize it and put our mind to it.

One major problem is going to be to overcome the 80 years of socialist conditioning against individual firearms. We will need school programs, televised training information, and a return to the ideology that we - the ordinary guy in the street - are the first line of defense against another terrorist strike. There are far too many people with a vested interest in ending personal firearms ownership, including many of our "first providers". Overcoming that hurdle will be the hardest of all. It will take courage, dedication, and years of hard work to rebut the lies of those who want the American people to be sheep, watched over by the wolf of big government.

We will also have to become accustomed once more to the sight of firearms hanging from belts, slung across shoulders, and nestling under armpits, of women whose purse contains a small pistol just as naturally as it contains her car keys and personal identification. Most of us are adult enough to make that transition, and those that can't may be the ones we need to judge unfit to be armed.

There may be alternatives - perhaps crossbows, longbows, cudgels, dart pistols, and who knows what else may be proven to be effective additions to the mix of conventional firearms, especially in urban environments. There may also be additional fallout from re-arming society - I would expect violent crime to drop drastically, and personal courtesy to make a strong comeback (are you willing to call someone a bunch of unflattering names, knowing there's a strong possibility that individual carries a deadly weapon with him?). There will be problems, and violations of whatever rules are put in place, but within a very short time - a year or two - those problems will be solved, and the society at large will continue to move forward as it always has.

One other aspect of an armed society may be the re-development of individual militias, each loyal to the Federal and State Constitutions, but learning to train together to increase their capability of defending not only themselves, but their children, their neighbors, and their local businesses. At the same time, with just a minimum of direction from the Federal and State governments, these people can learn to be even safer, even more careful, with the awesome power they would possess.

There are almost three hundred million people in the United States, and some two hundred million firearms. If half the people were armed - conspicuously, openly, and heavily - no terrorist group, no rogue state, no band of criminals, no group of mentally deranged individuals, could hope to succeed with any type of armed attack against any segment of our population. That would be the ultimate defense, not only of American lives, but of the lives of all free men, wherever they live.


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