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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vanderboegh: A Handgun Against An Army - Ten Years After

Mike Vanderboegh
29 July 2008

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 firearms," although few self-respecting gun-grabbers are 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 and other holders of the Imperial Presidency 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.

This is why God in His wisdom, and the Founders in their sagacity, made sheepdogs.

Now it is true that our present wolf-like, would-be rulers do not as yet seek to eat that sheep. They still cast a nervous collective eye toward the sheepdogs among the flock. 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.

Wolf
Sheepdog

American Voters, er, ah, Sheep

Indeed, they do not present themselves as wolves at all, but rather these lupines parade around in sheepdog's clothing -- the sheepdog being an ancient and honorable vocation accepted by the sheep as a necessary burden for their safety -- and they yip and yowl insistently in off-key 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." Indeed, these wolves could only achieve what they have by convincing the flock (and most of the real sheepdogs) that they are protectors of the flock with its best interests at heart.

But here's the problem for these wolves parading as sheepdogs.

There are not enough of them to eat as well they please just yet without having their meal rudely interrupted.

True, they are outnumbered by the sheep, but they care not. Sheep, after all, are sheep. "If God had not wanted them shorn, He would not have made them sheep," the bandit leader Caldera tells Yul Brynner in "The Magnificent Seven."

What wolves DO care about is the threat posed to them by the real sheepdogs who the Founders of the flock with great foresight placed between the wolves of government and the flock of the people and charged with its protection -- the sheepdogs who these wolves merely pretend to be.

Real sheepdogs of course have no appetite for the lives and liberties of the sheep. They exist, they live for, they relish in, their role as the true guardians of the flock. Ready in an instant to lay down their lives for the defense of the helpless, they operate always within the Founders' carefully drawn borders, faithfully and honorably. Indeed, the concept of honor is most often found only in sheepdogs, for the sheep have no need of it in the day-to-day wandering of the flock and, as for the wolves, it gets in the way of their appetites. And these sheepdogs, the smarter, more perceptive ones among them, are infinitely suspicious of the lupine-mandarin class who continually try to overstep the boundaries the Founders of the flock set.

Every now and then, the appetite of the wolves is for an instant revealed too nakedly. Some tough old independent-minded ram refuses to be shorn, for example, and tries to remind the flock that they once decided affairs themselves -- they and the sheepdogs -- according to the rule of law of their ancestors and the Founders of the flock, 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. This always happens when the real sheepdogs are looking the other way, or are mesmerized by some lupine excuse.

Sadly, over time the majority of the flock -- including many of the sheepdogs -- have learned over time not to resist the Lupine-Mandarin class which herds it. Their Founders, who were sheepdogs one and all, 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.

Yet, the sheepdogs still stand ready and so the wolves must be gradual in their predations. Most of the sheepdogs are, after all, watching the perimeter of the Founders' grazing fields for threats from without, or are preoccupied with forays to foreign fields where other sheep are being victimized by other wolves. They are close, these wolves, into converting many sheepdogs into cooperating with their schemes. And there are some of the more alert sheepdogs that 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 many sheep in generations. To the wolves' chagrin, the honest sheepdogs are armed and they outnumber the wolves by a considerable margin. For now the wolves are content to watch the numbers of these honest sheepdogs diminish, as they are no longer fashionable in polite society. (Indeed, they are considered by the literati to be an anachronism best forgotten and such sheepdogs are dismissed by the Mandarins as "Tooth Nuts" or "Right Leg Fanatics".)

When the number of the sheepdogs fall below a level that wolves can feel safe to do so, the throats of the remaining guardians of the flock will be torn out and the eating of the sheep will begin. The wolves are patient, and proceed by infinitesimal degrees like the slowly-boiling frog. It took them generations to lull the sheep and the sheepdogs into accepting them as rulers instead of elected representatives. If it takes another generation or two to complete the process, the wolves can wait.

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