That Every Man Be Armed

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 02 Nov 2002 13:00:00 GMT
From kaba:
"Attempting to solve social and moral problems with legislation is like putting deodorant on when you really need a shower." -- Angel Shamaya
"The angels and the devils are definitely within us, not within the machines we use." -- Michael Dertouzos

From birdman:

"Fifty years ago, they taught Latin and Greek in high schools. Today, they teach remedial English in colleges." Who but a fool -- particularly one who had been trained in the government schools -- would think it the essence of socially responsible behavior to continue funding this obscene racket? -- Butler Shaffer
A number of ancient monarchies had a day of celebration known, in some societies, as the "feast of fools." It was customary to select a fool to play the role of king for that day, a ritual that, no doubt, helped to create the illusion that ordinary people were not as distant from the fount of power as they otherwise experienced in their daily lives. The fool "king for a day" could engage in a number of peripheral royal functions and, as long as he didn't try exercising real authority -- such as declaring war on Ruritania, freeing all jailed prisoners, or abolishing taxes -- the charade posed no threat to the established order.

Modern societies employ a variant on the "feast of fools," one that takes place not annually, but every two years: the democratic election. The role of the fool has been collectivized into that of the "electorate," and on election day, foolish people like to pretend that, on this one day at least, they get to make important political decisions; that they run the state. This is a delusion the statists not only tolerate, but insist on promoting, for it helps to hide the real locus of authority in society. This is why Western governments have such an obsession with promoting "democracy" throughout the world: not for the purpose of decentralizing political authority, but to render such power less threatening to men and women who have been bamboozled into thinking they are the state! As with their medieval predecessors, as long as the foolish electorate doesn't get carried away with their sense of power and vote for a proposition that is inimical to the interests of the power structure -- an occasional miscarriage of judgment that is quickly corrected by the courts declaring such a measure "unconstitutional" -- the illusion is happily indulged in by fool and master alike.

I was amused to watch television newscasters reporting on Saddam Hussein's re-election in Iraq, observing that he was unopposed for office. I wonder how many of them have ever entertained the thought that the two-party system in America provides just as predictable an outcome -- for the power structure -- as obtains in one-party systems. The system offers you two candidates -- Tweedledum and Tweedledummer -- along with the illusion that, having such a "choice," you are controlling the governmental structure! The fallacy in such thinking was well-revealed in how quickly virtually all members of both major parties fell into line in support of George Bush's post-9/11 legislative proposals. Foolish people have yet to discover that, no matter who you vote for, the government always gets elected!

-- Butler Schaffer

HeronForge - If Bush Was a Girl - fun with PhotoShop. Bushnev's face pasted onto the bodies of beautiful women. All are clothed, though scantily. Amazing what a difference a truly ugly face makes. [smith2004]

Flashbunny - What Guns Are OK? - an animated exploration of how the Brady Bunch labels every gun imagineable to make it look inappropriate for civilian use. "Gun control isn't about guns... it's about control." [kaba]

Kevin Tuma - Explosive - cartoon commentary on war. Too true to be funny.

Carl Bussjaeger at Doing Freedom! - Point of Honor - I've been meaning to read this for quite a while now, and finally got around to it last night. Glad I did. Science fiction. Justice in a free world. Don't miss the rest of the Freedom's Gremlins issue. [Doing Freedom!]

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries - November 2002: All Hallows - Mount Putin, new firearms models considered unnecessary, .223 not a stopper but the Pentagon for some reason doesn't want to return to the .308, hanging in irons as the punishment for terrorism, proper use of "gunned down", fond memories of Margaret Thatcher, the complications of arming pilots, piracy in the world's disputed waters, why we hunt, the "Broomhandle" Mauser, reiterating the radial deviation test, fill your hollow points with pig fat, the Scout rifle, violent crime in Great Britain, pinning the grip safety on a 1911, do something instead of bitching about government, An Ode to the Rifle.

Generally speaking, journalists and commentators do not choose to educate us about cooking, or motoring, or swimming, or equitation, or flying an airplane, but they seem to be anxious to tell us all about firearms, and furthermore they assume that no one will know anything about firearms unless he has been instructed in the military. Actually military instruction in firearms is pretty rudimentary. Any well educated youth should know more about marksmanship and gunhandling when he enters the service than he is likely to learn after he does so. The notion that our finally apprehended Muhammad (may peace be upon him) had to have been trained in the military before he could use a rifle is an example of this. This mass murderer displayed no particular knowledge or skill in his disgusting rampage, yet a number of journalistic types seems to think that he is some kind of an expert.


"People never lie so much as:
After a hunt,
during a war,
or before an election."



In reflecting sadly upon the Wichita Horror of December 2000, we ponder again upon the disgusting unwillingness of victims to fight back. In this atrocity, two men armed with pistols assaulted, brutalized, abused, and killed four out of five victims, one of whom was left for dead. These actions took place at arm's length! The victims apparently just gave up simply because two goblins happened to have possession of a pistol apiece - and they died. We thought by now that everyone realized that the only acceptable response to the threat of lethal violence is immediate and savage counterattack. If you resist, you just may get killed. If you don't resist, you almost certainly will get killed. It is a tough choice, but there is only one right answer.


"Weapons protect the weak from the strong, not the other way around." The passengers of Flight 93 showed us the way to defend ourselves - they fought back. If every passenger fought back immediately, no terrorist could succeed. If every victim fought back immediately, no criminal could succeed. No one lives forever.

Jeff Snyder at - I No Longer Understand My Country - Mr. Snyder expresses his outrage at the arrest of Eliane Yvonne Marcele Aguillaume for disrobing in an Indiana airport to avoid being groped by sekurity personel. [lew]

This is what it has come to in America: three years for a 56 year old woman stripping to the waist in protest of indefensible behavior. The arrest and laying of formal charges against this woman have outraged and disgusted me more than words can say. I no longer understand my country. I no longer know or understand its people.

Joseph Sobran - Anarchy without Fear - why we should not fear anarchy, but should greatly fear the state. [lew]

That is, the state claims that its commands supersede the moral law. It claims it can add to, and subtract from, the eternal law of God. It never actually says this, but the claim is implicit in its supposed authority. If it has a legitimate, limitless monopoly of force, we all have a limitless duty to obey it. And this, Spooner says, is absurd. It amounts to saying that the state has the right to violate all our rights. Once we grant the principle, we are already slaves of the state.

Conservatives have tried to rein in the state with constitutions confining it to a few specific powers, but these constitutions have never worked for very long. The reason is simple. The state itself "interprets" the constitution in such a way as to broaden its own powers constantly -- or it simply disregards the constitution as soon as it's powerful enough to get away with it.

There is no getting away from it: at bottom, the state is nothing but organized force. Its only abiding rule is this: "Obey, or we will hurt you."


The measure of the state's success is that the word anarchy frightens people, while the word state does not. We are like those African slaves who believe that their master is their benefactor, or those Russians who still believe that Stalin was their guardian.

David Codrea at - Two More on a Match - responses to an RKBA questionnaire from the two candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in Mr. Codrea's California district. The Libertarian, Mark McSpadden gets it right on. The other guy waffles. [kaba]

Ikimulisa Sockwell-Mason and Larry Celona at The New York Post - Deadly Walk Home BugMeNot - a Brooklyn man makes a valiant attempt to defend his wife from two robbers, but dies because he is unarmed but his assailants have guns. Every politician who ever voted for a law making it harder to legally carry a weapon, any weapon, should be tried as an accomplice to this murder. [kaba]

John Whitley at The Age - Let everyone have a gun - a recent shooting at an Australian university was stopped by citizens. This and John Lott's research show that the ready availability of weapons reduces crime. But you knew that. [kaba]

Daniel Pipes - Jihad and the Professors - prompted by the title of a Harvard student's speech, Mr. Pipes investigates the meaning of the word "jihad". [trt-ny]

LAST SPRING, the faculty of Harvard College selected a graduating senior named Zayed Yasin to deliver a speech at the university's commencement exercises in June. When the title of the speech--"My American Jihad"--was announced, it quite naturally aroused questions. Why, it was asked, should Harvard wish to promote the concept of jihad--or "holy war"--just months after thousands of Americans had lost their lives to a jihad carried out by nineteen suicide hijackers acting in the name of Islam? Yasin, a past president of the Harvard Islamic Society, had a ready answer. To connect jihad to warfare, he said, was to misunderstand it. Rather, "in the Muslim tradition, jihad represents a struggle to do the right thing." His own purpose, Yasin added, was to "reclaim the word for its true meaning, which is inner struggle."


IN THE vast majority of premodern cases, then, jihad signified one thing only: armed action versus non-Muslims. In modern times, things have of course become somewhat more complicated, as Islam has undergone contradictory changes resulting from its contact with Western influences. Muslims having to cope with the West have tended to adopt one of three broad approaches: Islamist, reformist, or secularist. For the purposes of this discussion, we may put aside the secularists (such as Kemal Atat?rk), for they reject jihad in its entirety, and instead focus on the Islamists and reformists. Both have fastened on the variant meanings of jihad to develop their own interpretations.


For most Muslims in the world today, these moves away from the old sense of jihad are rather remote. They neither see their own rulers as targets deserving of jihad nor are they ready to become Quakers. Instead, the classic notion of jihad continues to resonate with vast numbers of them, as Alfred Morabia, a foremost French scholar of the topic, noted in 1993:
Offensive, bellicose jihad, the one codified by the specialists and theologians, has not ceased to awaken an echo in the Muslim consciousness, both individual and collective. . . . To be sure, contemporary apologists present a picture of this religious obligation that conforms well to the contemporary norms of human rights, . . . but the people are not convinced by this. . . . The overwhelming majority of Muslims remain under the spiritual sway of a law . . . whose key requirement is the demand, not to speak of the hope, to make the Word of God triumph everywhere in the world.
In brief, jihad in the raw remains a powerful force in the Muslim world, and this goes far to explain the immense appeal of a figure like Osama bin Laden in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001.

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