Recent works such as What you’ll see in the rebellion and Something funny happened on the way to the tyranny have brought many fresh new eyes to this outpost on the Internet. We are a nation on the cusp of repeating history.
Anyone familiar with an accurate telling of the political truths leading up to the events of mid-April, 1775 in small towns and villages west of Boston knows that while the Colonials and their British masters were at loggerheads for the better part of a decade over a number of issues including taxation and liberty, the immediate and proximate trigger of the first American Revolutionary war was an attempt by General Thomas Gage to disarm the Colonists.
Yes, the American Revolution was triggered by a gun control raid that was met with force by the American people.
The Colonials—they would have been uncomfortable thinking of themselves as anything but British prior to early 1775—were a spirited, raucous bunch. They worked hard, and were civically-minded, deeply concerned about the welfare of their fellow citizens, and jealously guarded their liberties. David Hackett Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride is a historical touchstone for those of us involved in the Appleseed Project, because Fischer goes well beyond just the few hours of Revere’s historic ride, to explain in depth the culture behind it.
Anyone could have ridden through the countryside yelling, “the Regulars are about!” and been dismissed as a crank or a drunk.
What made “Revere’s ride” special was that he wasn’t just a man. He was many men and women in a deeply interconnected network linked by the a common cause of Liberty.
Fiercely dependent and interdependent upon one another, the Colonials had been through three wars within the the preceding decades, and had devised a system of church bells, dispatch riders, signal fires and musket volleys to warn the countryside of danger. This was perfected after earlier raids during the Powder Alarm.
Paul Revere and the other dispatch riders that April morning were cogs in a communications machine that had 14,000 militiamen marching towards the Concord Road before the sun rose on April 19, 1775.
Six hours. 14,000 men.
I want you to think about that for a moment.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. How many people could we turn out, if we found out tonight at midnight, about a threat to liberty so dire that it must be met. How many people could you get to show up with you?
We all know the ‘get out the word’ advantages we have – iPhones, landline phones, payphones, laptops, netbooks, desktops, tablets, pagers, email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the World Wide Web, radio and Youtube channels.
How many of you could get 10,000 to show up?
How many of you could get 1,000?
OK, let’s make it real easy. How many of you could get 100 to show up? How many of you could get 10?
How do you measure the value of liberty to a society?
Do you measure it by the number of people who are willing to show up to defend it?
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The “National Guard and the Naval Militia” are one part of our Republic’s militia, formally identified in 10 USC § 311 (b) (1) as the “organized militia.”
You and I and others not formally part of the National Guard or Naval Militia or on active duty military are codified in 10 USC § 311 (b) (2) as the”unorganized militia.”
We are the militia.
Those of us between the ages of 17-45 are bound by law. Those of us below or older than that range are bound by duty, honor, heritage, loyalty and love. There is no middle ground, and few legitimate (mental and physical health, criminal history) excuses.
If the National Guard are today’s Minutemen, we are the larger backbone of that militia, drawn to serve our nation much as Jason Russell, Samuel Whittemore, David Lamson, Mother Batherick, and “death on a pale horse” himself, Hezekiah Wyman, were that first day patriotism called them to war to defend their families, communities, and way of life from those who would enslave them to a disconnected, arrogant tyrant.
The very AR-15 that despots in Illinois, New York, and Washington, D.C. would force you to surrender is the preferred militia weapon of our time, above all others. Charged by the standard 30-round magazine commonly used by all branches of our armed forces and reserves, it is the firearm of contemporary military utility due to the similarity is has with the selective-fire M-4 Carbine and M-16 rifles of our nation’s standing military, sharing many common parts, ammunition, and magazines.
That the AR-15 is the single most protected firearm under the clear intention of the Founding Fathers for citizens to be armed with weapons of military utility is not up for debate or discussion. By function and role, it is the firearm of the American Patriot and militiaman.
Any attempt to strip the American citizen of the AR-15 or similar firearms is an attack on the very fabric of our Republic, an affront to the clear intent of the Founders, an assault on the plain meaning of the Constitution, and an attempted rape of Liberty.
At a moment of historical urgency very similar to what we currently face, a delegation of Patriots met in St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, on March 23, 1775, less than a month before Gage sent out his troops that fateful April morning.
One of the speakers that day was a man whose rousing oration is regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, said near the beginning of his talk:
This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.
We have trod this path before. We know where it leads, having watched it both overseas and at home.
Today, federal agents and agencies arm themselves with weapons of war and hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition not to combat an outside threat, but to oppress this nation’s citizens, as the would-be elites, long lost to the common man and imagining themselves superior, set about removing “Liberty’s teeth;” the last and greatest obstacle to imposing their well-intentioned tyranny where everyone is entitled to a “fair share” of what they are willing to let us have. It is a path for destruction and genocide, led by a man mentored by a zealot that fantasized about eradicating tens of millions of Americans.
If you love your country, if you love your freedom, if you love your children, you have no choice but to act.
Pray for peace, protest with passion, and prepare yourself for war.
The fine gentleman from Virginia cited above had made the same grim determination before arriving in Richmond.
Mr. Henry concluded his speech:
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
When shall we be stronger indeed, if we give up the implements of freedom without contest? There can be no peace when tyrants order Americans to bow down and surrender.
They, and they alone must withdraw… or else the choice is made.