Recently a couple of things happened that brought my attention to the ongoing issue and argument over whether We the People should work within the system to preserve Liberty or whether it may become necessary to take up arms in open rebellion against the current government in order to assure that Liberty does not perish.
One of the things was an interview I did on behalf of the New Jersey Coalition for Self Defense on WNYC radio with Brian Lehrer on Monday, April 19th. The discussion was about the number and types of events scheduled that day around the country by many groups concerned about Liberty and about the ongoing encroachment on our rights by our current government. The NJCSD comes at this issue from the self-defense point of view, orienting our efforts around the right to defend our selves, our families, our homes and our way of life from the onslaught of individuals, groups and governmental pressure. The show, however, was intent upon focusing on "militias" and "threats of violence" by "gun nuts" massing "arsenals" with the intention of "armed rebellion" against the American government. Among the things brought up were WACO, Oklahoma City and similar events of recent and not so recent years. In the end, the show clearly tried to characterize those of us who are fighting to defend Liberty as enemies of the state and a danger to the general population.
The other thing that happened was the visits paid to New Jersey legislators by members of the NJCSD board and by officers of the New Jersey Association of Realtors (of which I am a member) to work toward getting the cooperation and/or support of those legislators for action that the NJCSD and NJAR support in their own areas of concern. Perhaps the process was stated best by one of the NJAR officers, who said in a recent issue of the organization magazine that cooperation of the legislators is gained by giving them support in their efforts and during their elections and that by giving that support the organization gains access and influence with the legislator.
Well, there is the choice, isn’t it? On the one hand we have to find a way to convince someone in power that it is to their advantage to do something for us and we must generally do that by giving that person in power something they want from us. Nowhere in this process does the concept of what is right or just necessarily come into the equation, although it is not always absent from the minds and intentions of every person in power. There ARE some good people in government who want to do the right thing and try to see justice done. But is seems that most in government (elected or not) are more concerned about getting and holding power than about serving the people or preserving the rights and liberties of the American citizens.
So, it comes down to this: Violence should be the last choice of an intelligent person, but must remain a choice that can be made if no alternative remains that will preserve the minimally acceptable conditions for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And if there is, at long last, no alternative left for those of us who love Liberty and who will not live as serfs or bondsmen to a privileged class, then there will come a time when it is both necessary and righteous to take up arms and do violence to restore government to its proper place and role. As it says in the Declaration of Independence, “… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” … and … “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” If such a government cannot be removed by peaceful and orderly means, then it must be removed by whatever means necessary. God forbid that day shall ever come.
The Founders didn’t make that phrase a part of the foundation of our government because they wanted to be poetic. They meant it and they meant for ALL of us to enjoy them. So certainly we should do all we can to work within the system we have in order to make the system work fairly and justly. And just as certainly, few of us are actually doing that. We don’t run for office, we don’t write letters and make phone calls, we don’t turn out for meetings … hell, we barely even pay attention to what is going on in the halls of government until it bites us in our personal selfish little asses. It’s also certain with little observation and thought that those in power are not much interested in doing what is right and just and fair … they are interested in protecting their power base, preserving their own cozy little privileged situation and they will aid, assist, encourage, cooperate with and pay off anybody that will help them do that while simultaneously inhibiting, discouraging, limiting, denigrating, demeaning and outright damaging or destroying those who don’t support their personal quest for power.
So TAKE NOTICE ye citizens and politicians!!!! If citizens WILL NOT use the means at hand to peacefully and effectively control their government and/or if politicians WILL NOT allow those peaceful methods to be effectively used to control the government then there must necessarily come a time when it is no longer possible for violence to be avoided and that government WILL BE ABOLISHED.
The United States of America was conceived in revolution and constituted as a society that would continue in PEACEFUL REVOLUTION into the indefinite future through the mechanism of a government so constituted that good men, if they would choose to do so, could avoid the corruption that greed and the lust for power inevitably create. That same conception put into place the principles of personal Liberty and the inalienable rights to which we are all entitled. Men, once in possession of Liberty and their inalienable rights are loath to surrender them and inevitably will revolt rather than live as the subjects of other men.
So the right thing to do is to do both things. To do all we personally can to use the peaceful tools the Founders gave us for controlling our government. ALL WE PERSONALLY CAN. ALL OF US. Only then can we justify even remotely entertaining the alternative of the use of force. But to be able to use force if needed, we must be prepared to do so. So each citizen should prepare for that eventuality by obtaining arms and ammunition and by training to be able to effectively use them … for self defense against burglars, intruders, terrorists, vandals, against anyone who means us harm, against all enemies, foreign or domestic. By preparing for the ultimate alternative, we re-create the balance of power envisioned by the Founders in the 2nd Amendment – that all citizens should keep and bear arms and by so doing demonstrate to those who would seek to deprive us of our Liberty and rights that the power remains in the hands of We the People, to use – if we must – to protect Liberty and our rights. This is our own “cold war”, like the one that America waged against the Communist threat and which we ultimately won when Communism crumbled. If we become and remain strong enough to assure that those in power will know that they cannot go too far without suffering the response of a righteous American people, then we may never have to use that strength or even openly threaten to use it.
Is this insurrection? Is this sedition? In the United States of America the answer must be NO. This is patriotism and love of country. This is what our Founders intended. A wise and prudent government will not see this as a threat, but as a guarantee of the continuation of the United States of America and all that our Founders suffered to make possible for us and for posterity.