Scott St. Clair: To Arms, To Arms, And This Means You!

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After the Boston Marathon bombing gun control should be swept from the table and replaced with a serious national conversation on the duty of Americans to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and their communities.

guns st clair 7The irony of a terrorist in Boston, the cradle of American liberty and the original home of the Minutemen, shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Our country was founded in response to shouts of “To arms, to arms,” and not much has changed from that day to this.

Like their colonial ancestors and for themselves and their communities, citizens must be armed and ready to act at a moment’s notice, not hunkered down in fear in their basements wishing they hadn’t voted for politicians who stripped them of the means to defend themselves.

Until now, the gun debate has centered on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. But with every right comes a duty, and in “the new normal,” the post-Boston cliché de jour, that duty is to take up arms where local authorities can’t or won’t get the job done.  No mere words – you fight fire with fire, not with anti-fire rhetoric.

 We’ve just seen the first successful terrorist attack – a low-tech and seemingly unpreventable effort by two disaffected guns st clair 6Muslim-inspired brothers — on American soil since 9/11 (Nidal Hasan’s mass slaughter at Fort Hood, TX is still stupidly classified as “workplace violence”). Daily we hear of expected riots in the streets of America from pundits on the left and the right that bring to mind the Korean shop owners during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles who took to their rooftops with military-style rifles to defend their property and their lives. 

Sandy Hook and Aurora, CO evidenced the folly of so-called “gun-free zones” and what happens when only those bent on death and destruction are armed. Never again.

Local police are hammered by budget cuts that cripple their ability to protect citizens. In many cities, people pay taxes for police protection they don’t get so they’re forced to pay for private security, a fact not unique to one town – see here, here and here. The stress on cops in Chicago is so great that one recently was driven to commit suicide.

The police repeatedly tell us that they can’t protect us against predators and home invaders — between the time you call 911 and they arrive, you’re on your own.

There’s even an argument that can be made that local police – beat cops on the street, not political cops who do and say what they’re told – would welcome the help since they’re not crazy about current efforts to disarm the citizenry.

guns st clair 5On the federal level, The Department of Homeland Security is buying up every bullet and armored vehicle in sight for reasons known only to them – they won’t let Congress know why – but it must be in anticipation of large-scale civil unrest.  Heck, DHS has more ammo than the army!

With the declining ability or willingness of government to put public safety and protection first on the list of spending priorities citizens must organize their own self-protection. We have the ability to do it, history is in our favor and the legal mechanism exists, so why not?

Here’s how: Expand the existing unorganized militia of the United States to include all otherwise qualified (no felons, illegal aliens, legitimate conscientious objectors, etc.) men and women between the ages of 16 and 70 and provide that they shall be armed with handguns and rifles and trained in the use of them at their own expense.  Unless you’re specifically out, you’re in with no exemption because you don’t like guns or find minimal regimentation distasteful — we’re talking duty here.

It’s not like this is new – I floated a similar idea over a year ago on the theory that if the government can tell you to buy health insurance it can tell you to buy a firearm. And a number of American communities already mandate gun ownership, admittedly mostly small ones in the South.

I’ll bet most folks didn’t know that federal law says that all men between 17 and 45 who are U.S. citizens or who have declared their intent to become one are automatically members of the militia. So why not expand it in terms of age and gender? We’re not talking about sending people into combat, so age isn’t a consideration. If an armed 70-year-old can defend two teenage girls from a robbery, then he can be in the militia.

Since women are now allowed to take front-line combat assignments, they can stand shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of guns st clair 4their neighborhoods too.

Objections that mandatory inclusion in the militia is unconstitutional are trumped by court rulings upholding the constitutionality of the draft.  And of course, the concept of a citizen militia predates the founding of the republic.

 It was an armed citizenry – a self-appointed posse — that confronted Jesse James and his gang when they tried to rob a bank in Northfield, MN in 1876.  

The Constitution authorizes it. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual Americans to keep and bear arms irrespective of membership in a militia. In what are called the “enumerated powers” of Congress raising, arming, training and setting the rules for a militia is specifically mentioned. If you mandate militia membership, then the legs are cut right out from under those who argue that gun rights are contingent upon being in a militia.

In fact, the original Second Amendment notion of a “well-regulated militia” writ large is what I’m talking about.  There’s more plain-language constitutional authority for this proposal than there is for the whole lot of specious gun-control guns st clair 3measures getting kicked around at the state and federal levels.

It’s inconvenient or you don’t have time or you have plans or what about work or whatever are details you can work around. On December 8, 1941, hundreds of thousands of American men reordered their priorities and made their way to enlist to defend their country.

As in colonial times, each member of the militia will provide her own hand gun and rifle from a list developed by experts in the field drawn from law enforcement and the military. I favor the H&K P30 semiguns st clair 2-automatic handgun because it’s fully operational for both right and left-handed (me) shooters.  That I already own one factors in too.  Figure to spend $800 – 900 for a P30.

Other models at other price points may prove more suitable for other shooters – there’s a near infinite variety of them.

gun st clair 2As for a rifle, just as early American colonists and pioneers kept “Old Betsy” above the fireplace, militia members will have today’s version—something on the order of a Bushmaster Carbon 15 Carbine, with a MSRP of under $950 – locked securely in the gun safe.

Training is readily available all throughout the country. Expect to pay $1,000 on up for a week-long session each for hand guns and rifles, and anticipate three or four additional weeks, part how-to and safety and part tactical in nature. You’ll learn not only how to fire your guns, but how to safely fire them in tandem with others when called upon to serve.

Standardizing types and calibers of allowable firearms will lead to volume cost savings, and maybe a tax credit for weapons and training will cushion the blow. Whatever the tab, it pales in comparison to what we’re learning will be the real cost of Obamacare.

The diligent and conscientious citizen will independently practice and study to show herself approved. The Internet is chock full of information about gunslearn the truth about so-called “assault rifles” – and ammunition.  That will give them a leg up on some in Congress who want to legislate counter-productive restrictions on gun rights while remaining ignorant about their basic nature.

 Speaking of ignorance, because knowledge is power and the more we know of something the less we’re  afraid of it, look for the opposition to guns and gun control generally to drop like a rock even more than it has after heretofore non gun owners become accustomed to and comfortable with their weapons.

guns st clair 1Aside from being mugged by reality, nothing like practice and experience turns a gun-hating liberal into a gun-loving liberal. And wouldn’t it be amusing to see Jim Carrey on YouTube at the range taking target practice with his rifle preparing him to serve the community in which he lives rather than slime a gun-rights supporter who is dead and can’t respond?

When Thomas Jefferson was president, he said in an 1808 message to Congress, “For a people who are free and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.”

The more there are threats to our peace and liberty, the more citizens must be fight back against them. Boston showed how at risk we are since the police can’t be everywhere at once and who knows when someone will burst into your home with mayhem in mind?

It’s a two-pronged threat since equally threatening are politicians who are always on the prowl for new ways to control the people and make them more subservient and docile. They can be held at bay for a time, but they’re always lurking about. The Second Amendment was also meant to give them pause, so an armed nation ought to do the trick.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46, when the people are armed, there’s a barrier against an encroaching government, a freedom unique to Americans that no other people on earth at the time had. One freedom the Constitution secured to them was “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” 

Your right to defend self, family and property AND the increasingly obvious duty we all have to participate in the defense of community call for strong action. Misguided and counter-productive efforts to disarm the populace no longer make sense. They must stop now and be replaced by an armed and trained citizen militia – “well regulated” in the true sense – ready to answer the call and determined to get the job done.

This means you.

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