Of Supremacy And Arms
This column is a combination of two separate items. The first part is a short revision of something I just came up with in regards to the stupidest part of the stupidest political discussion in modern history. The second part is short fiction(!) that I’ve been sitting on for a while and which underwent numerous revisions for … reasons. If one tries hard enough, one can make any two issues compatible. Or not, your choice.
White Supremacy? Really?
Something caught my eye while I skimmed through last week’s pointless “debate” between Tweets and Mike Wallace’s son. Russia(!), the Hoax, and … White supremacy? DHS is “officially” worried about the threat, but then again, we know what DHS is, who runs it, and whom it was created to serve.
It’s not White supremacists burning, looting, and destroying [insert any American city].
It’s not White supremacists committing 56% of all murders.
It’s not White supremacists transferring ever more power from the criminal government in DC to a criminal government abroad.
It’s not White supremacists behind all of America’s idiotic wars in the Middle East.
It’s not White supremacists telling us what music we can’t listen to.
It’s not White supremacists demanding we dishonor our God and rename our parks to suit their fickle whims.
There is a ton of supremacy on display in this dying country, none of it “White” in nature. But, I will condemn it. I hereby condemn all anti-Christian, anti-White, anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-civilizational supremacy! It is becoming harder to just “stand back” and “stand by.” Yet, ever in high trust and good faith, we do, and we will until we do not.
To that end, Dr. Ironsides has a colorful story of the semi-direct action variety that he relays, for no apparent purpose, at a wedding. Let’s check-in, shall we?
Up In Arms
A Tom Ironsides Tale
A Wedding Reception, More or Less Present Day, Kind of Late…
Having finally corralled his brother, his nephews, and his son, Tom fired up a Diamond Crown Maximus, savoring the smooth, full-flavored Corona smoke for a moment. Larry, Larry’s oldest boy, Larry, Jr., and Trey followed suit. Trey slipped Bert a beer wrapped up in a cloth napkin.
‘A toast,’ Tom said, without the slightest hint of gesture, ‘to Mister and Misses … Todd…’
‘To your daughter and son-in-law, Tom.’ Larry added with a faint tip of his cigar.
‘And to BEER!’ Bert exclaimed a little too loudly.
‘Shuddup, idiot…’ Trey growled as he kicked his young cousin’s shin.
‘So, uncle Tommy,’ Lawrence, Jr. said, ‘Now, do we hear about the clandestine armament methods of the…’
‘Ah, yes!’ Tom said, settling back in his chair. ‘Hang on a second…’
They waited until a group of chattering young women in rather suggestive dresses – all carefully if quietly studied by the younger men – made their noisy way back towards the center of the fun. The men again alone, Tom began,
‘So. This is just a story, true enough, but totally not suggestive of any recommendation. In the preface, I note that there are plenty of these – these stores scattered around the country. Mind you, just about every town has at least one Guard Armory. Not that that matters. Okay, it was around Christmas back in…’
A Kaolinite Quarry in Georgia, Sunday, December 26, 2010, 0745 Hours…
Immediately after the last drone landed on the F350’s hood, it was picked up and stowed by a trainee. Having commanded complete radio silence, Tom had a junior officer flag the team to move out. One by one, a short line of trucks turned North onto US 221. In his mirror, Tom observed the spotter jump in the bed of the last vehicle in the convoy. He accelerated to the speed limit.
‘If this goes south?’ the younger officer to Tom’s left asked.
‘Then, I’ll really wish…’
The Reception, Again, One Minute Later…
‘No. Hang on. Before that, juzz bufforp. Sorbrey.’ Tom held his cigar in his mouth while pouring a round of Ben Nevis’s MacDonalds Ten Year Single Malt. ‘Burthf… pff… Birch sent this bottle from his Scott’s vaca. From the highest peak to the lowest fen! Mmmm. Nice. No. It was just before, the part I’m almost comfortable with reciting. Gotta tell this in a grand jury-friendly manner. Ahem, it was…’
Hickory, NC, Friday, December 24, 2010, 1025 Hours…
Tom drove the bucket truck down the ramp off I-40, with the other vehicles following. A few loops later, his small convoy was parked in the truck and camper section of the lot at Cracker Barrel. Out in the cold air, Tom lit a cigar and motioned the entire team together under the shade of a large tree.
‘Alright, boys. A quick tutorial before Sunday’s main event.’
‘Are we going in to eat?’ asked a trainee.
‘No, son. Bathroom break, yes. Eating … well maybe. But, first a story.’
‘Is it about why we didn’t fly straight to Augusta?’ asked a young agent, newly transferred into the SAD.
‘Children, please!’ Tom puffed. ‘My mission, my methods. If I’m wasting another Christmas playing Goddamn Army C-I-D!, of all idiotic things, then I’ll make a road trip out of it. Easy to get the trucks if we’re already in them. Anyway,
‘Gordon, like Jackson, Lejune, et cetera, is a bigger job. Not impossible, you’ll see, but a little more … complicated. What we need is a little training exercise before the real exercise. Something easy – so easy a meth-head could pull it off. And, mind you, this is just a story, from the news – you can look it up – really happened. Not like we’re about to head north, just as soon as we get Larson his pancakes in a damned minute, immediately upon leaving this place, to a mile up the road and repeat it or anything…
‘Every town. Any town in America. Ten thousand people or more and there’s at least one Guard Armory. Small arms. Vehicles. Supplies. Usually a gen back but in decent order. Ready to go, so to speak. For the taking. And, that’s just what this fool down in South Carolina did.’
‘That the druggie that broke into the Armory and made off with the M-16s?’ Larson questioned.
‘The very one! Anyone can read about it. Army Times. J.D. Simkins’s article. The dude’s name was Brad, uh… Brandon. Brandon Shane Polston. Army National Guard Post in Lancaster, South Carolina. Thanksgiving of 2017.’
Larson thought he knew the calendar: ‘Wait. Isn’t that anachronistic? 2017, I mean? It’s just…’
‘Interrupt me again!’ Tom barked, moving into the younger man’s face, imparting a generous quantity of smoke. ‘And, I’ll have your ass up in public relations, lying to school kids, old people, and Congress-Critters!’ Larson coughed then remained otherwise quiet and attentive.
‘The Armories are physically, logistically almost all identical. Flat brick building. Set just off the road. Semi-residential or light industrial areas. Parking lot. Grass yard. Chain-link fence. The one down in Lancaster was, is no different.
‘So, Brad or whoever was walking passed the building and noticed a low spot in the fence. With nothing better to do, he hopped it. A short time later, he found a door that opened straight into the secure weapons storage. He was evidently the only soul in the building, so he just helped himself. Got some M-16s. A SAW or two. M-203. Et cetera. Nice little haul. I assume they had a shopping cart for his convenience.
‘Still totally alone and completely un-surveilled – no guards, no cameras, nothing – Bradley made his way outside. He stashed the arms and came back with a car and two idiot friends. They loaded up and went off to see the local deal-ah for some quick cash or a hit or God-knows-what. Would’ve got away scot-free but for a broken taillight and an observant local cop.
‘Ha! And, later, when the detectives toured the Armory, they also found it unlocked, unguarded, and open for business. Dollar to a grenade launcher it’s in the exact same shape as I speak. The one right up the street here too. The moral is: make sure your equipment is in good order. Traffic laws and so forth. Any questions?’
‘Didn’t the same thing happen at Gordon around the same time?’ Agent Tindal asked.
‘It did. Let’s not get into dates and confuse young Larson. But… Old uniform, an expired ID, and a smile, and they’ll help you load your car full. But, that was the up-front small-arms depot. The big one is in the pine woods off of 221. No fences, cameras, gates there. Only two, four, possibly six MPs on a holiday weekend. Wishing they were anywhere else doing anything else. The telephone company truck ruse… And, it’s much bigger. Bigger items. Hence, the trucks and the forklift. Trucks with working tail lights!’
‘Not even a chain-link? With a lock?’ Larson unwisely put in.
‘Nope, time-traveler.’ Tom smirked. ‘They only reserve those for going around MIM-104 batteries. Those, one can sometimes find – otherwise unguarded – in remote areas overlooking nuclear plants and other high-value assets. Hmmm. Bolt-cutters… Shame we don’t have a flatbed with a big tarp or just a semi-tractor. Maybe some Raytheon codes. Ah, well. And, hey, my new tag-a-long wingman, Freddie D, can tell you about some concerns the Air Force has – or should have – about the wings at Barksdale and Minot. You’se kids can go shopping again after I retire.’
‘Grab n’ go. We turn this stuff over to real C-I-D, or…’ someone began to ask.
‘I was thinking black budget counter arms. For the enemies of our ene… Well, we’ll see. Yeah. A country breakfast is starting to sound good, now. Checkers, anyone?’
The Reception, Even Later…
Tom continued to hit the bottle and the tobacco, regaling his audience with operational details. The more he drank, the harder it was to follow (or believe) everything he was slurring. Big Larry casually tapped away at his phone, finally exclaiming: ‘Holy Shit! It’s true. Just looked up those stories, those articles. Anyone of them is like a how-to guide for anyone with even a room-temperature IQ. This kind of thing really happens? And, doesn’t require a paramilitary strike-team to pull off?’
‘No. Of course not. Literally, any druggie or loon can arm up, easily, and for free. Let ‘em ban the B-guns. The good stuff will always be around. Especially, if or when other things start happening. You’ll see. How do you think the martial underdog arms up initially?’
‘Kind of makes me feel silly about burying that vault you sent up.’ Larry, Jr. said.
‘Nah. Always have a backup for the backup.’ Tom rejoined. ‘Like this bottle. Dammit, but Birch should have sent two!’
‘Well,’ Said Trey, standing up. ‘I’m going to go see if Romona is still giggling about catching the bouquet.’
‘Careful, boy,’ Larry admonished. ‘That’s a really dangerous business.’
Tom laughed and then turned away and spoke to no-one in particular, almost like he was giving a public service announcement right through digital paper to some unseen reader:
‘Friends, what you’ve just heard is two things. One, it’s plain, old-fashioned fiction about some family men at a wedding party. Two, it was just some old news stories about very real events that have already really happened, multiple times, and as reported in the government’s pet media. It’s like what Aquinas wrote: Unjust law is no law at all. Despite the examples, there is no lesson to learn here. Except, maybe, that’s it is always a good idea to check your taillights, along with your oil level, and tire pressure. Safe motoring. I’m Tom Ironsides, and I approve this ninety-two-proof whisky.’
Terrorist attacks bring out the strangest behaviors and thoughts. Some years back, America was attacked by some few savages from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Those “men” passed through Germany and England, settling in America. All the while they received financial backing and material support from all the aforementioned nations. So, in response, the United States attacked Afghanistan and then Iraq.
Similar nonsense (minus the war drive) is unfolding following the Parliament attack yesterday. People seem astounded that any terrorist, any person really, can easily Google how to use a car as a weapon of mass destruction.
Guides to mounting a car terror attack were available on Google and Twitter last night.
The vile manuals were online despite widespread warnings that UK jihadists use them for training.
Fanatics are urged to deploy large vehicles as ‘tools of war’ before going on a stabbing rampage – the template for Wednesday’s atrocity in Westminster. Boris Johnson accused social media websites of inciting terrorism.
The vile manuals were online despite widespread warnings that UK jihadists use them for training
The vile manuals were online despite widespread warnings that UK jihadists use them for training
And Google’s YouTube video platform was found to be raking in money from conspiracy theories saying the London outrage was a hoax.
I cannot be the only man on Earth not surprised by this – the attack that is. ISIS has been telling its followers to perform car and knife (and whatever other weapon is handy) attacks for years. And they’ve been doing it. Ohio State anyone? Nice? Christmas Market?
The belated reaction to the existence of these manuals is surprising.
Don’t Do This! Daily Mail.
And who needs a manual to understand the principle anyhow? It’s a simple strategy: 1) Put the car on the sidewalk, where the people are; 2) press the accelerator. Confused old people have done it for years.
Becoming indignant about the cars and trucks is like blaming the guns after someone is shot. Tools are tools are tools. Almost any object can be weaponized. The more powerful it is, the more damage it can do.
What’s the solution? Ban cars? Trucks? Kitchen knives? That’s certainly what the hoplophobes propose for guns. *Note: it was a gun that stopped the rampage yesterday, BTW.*
The problem isn’t cars and knives and guns in Europe. Nor trucks, trains, airplanes, baseball bats, billy clubs, bricks, gasoline, or any other potential weapon. The problem is the (almost typed a curse word here) terrorists!
Objects + Terrorists = Civilization Open to Attack.
Civilization – Terrorists = Civilization with Objects.
Only a federal judge or the average SJW idiot could find this hard to understand.
Hussein Obama reminds us it’s “troubled individuals” and “powerful weapons”, not terrorism:
It will be interesting to see who is arrested and what role they played in the massacre. More interesting if this finally galvanizes the nation against the unfolding jihad. Most interesting if appropriate measures are taken to counter it.
“A well regulated pantry, being necessary to the security of a free school, the right of the children to keep and bear canned corn shall not be infringed.” I write a good bit about the Second Amendment. Now I have re-written the text entirely. It’s now compatible with the 21st Century. For the children and all.
An Alabama middle school (junior high) principal wants to arm students with canned food goods so as to deter terrorism. I’m not making this up: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/01/14/schools-plan-to-empower-students-in-intruder-scenario-slammed-as-dangerous-stupid-wow/.
Starting immediately intruders or other “would-be evildoer(s)” will be pelted with canned corn and beans.
(Blaze article image.)
The school admits this plan may seem odd – “We realize this may seem odd…” “Principal Priscella Holley and assistant principal Donna Bell added in the letter that ‘the canned food item would give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves.'” Blaze article, supra.
The school apparently has a program called ALICE – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. It’s like sheltering in place with can goods. An added benefit is that during a prolonged lockdown these canned weapons could also, theoretically, serve as food. As the old Woody Guthrie song goes – “You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant (excepting education)….”
Some ultra-liberal types have already come out against the plan: “‘WOW. The level of stupidity in this is astronomically high,’ one individual wrote.” Blaze. “’This is probably the most dangerous and stupid thing I’ve ever heard an educator say,’ wrote another individual.” Id.
In all seriousness, school shooting and violence are serious topics. Self-defense is serious business too. In a way, this might be a step in the right direction. Any person held helpless and hostage by criminals has a God-given right to deter violence and injury (even in a school). My question is this: wouldn’t a few handguns in the right, trained hands serve as a more effective deterrent? You don’t see many cops armed with food.
Other important policy issues are raised by this proposal. Will there be a size limit on these cans? A No. 10 can, being much heavier and potentially more damaging, might be considered a weapon of mass destruction. If the cans are intentionally predetermined to be weapons, would they not run afoul of the school’s anti-weapons/anti-defense policy? Kids these days are arrested for simply drawing pictures of weapons or merely saying words like “gun.” Would a canned corn armed student or teacher be subject to arrest or discipline?
The Brady folks might lobby for a waiting period for the purchase canned food hereafter. What about lid-locks. Would a concealed can permit be in order? Some more sensible people might rightly argue that only the police or the military need canned goods. The Founders never imagined food used as a weapon. Would a box containing ten or twelve cans be considered a “high-capacity” food?
These and other ideas need to be explored. Please, no canned responses here.
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In my last column in this series I ended by reviewing some of the ancient British customs regarding arms and defense. This article concerns those more readily available but still usually uncited English legal traditions dating to several hundred years before the American Revolution. Again, as with purely ancient intellectuals, those who preserved and lived this period of history regarded the rights of defense, self-preservation, and, necessarily, arms to be the stuff of natural law. They regarded these rights as to defense from criminals, defense against foreign threats, and, particularly, as to thwarting domestic tyranny.
This common law tradition was already set in writing in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries with the Assize of Arms (1181) and the Magna Carta (Great Charter, 1215). In 1285 the Statute of Winchester mandates that all citizens provide arms, according to their respective abilities, for militia usage. Through this period and until the seventeenth century, England had little in the way of a professional military or police force. Citizens were expected to do their part in order to fulfill both roles. This meant that the people were expected (required even) to keep and, at times, bears their own arms.
Two calamitous events during the seventeenth century dramatically effected the legal tradition: the Civil War of 1642 and the Glorious Revolution in 1688. While the former is often painted as a power struggle and the latter a religious conflict, both were concerned foremost with who would control the power of the Crown. In 1689, these and other events, lead to the English Bill of Rights. The Bill was fully known as “An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown;” in light of the recent religious (power) struggles it was riddled with references to Protestants and Catholics, which I will disregard here as unnecessary.
Very similar in nature to the American Declaration of Independence, the Bill lists a litany of charges against the late King James, II. Among these were the following: “[R]aising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law;” and “[C]ausing several good subjects … to be disarmed … contrary to law.”
Accordingly, the Lords assembled at Westminster declared certain rights and liberties as inviolable. Two of these addressed the above problems: “That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;” and “That the subjects … may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.”
(English Bill of Rights. Google.)
The Reader will recall that standing armies were a feared tool of tyranny during and after the American Revolution and also as far back as the days of the Roman Republic. The presumed method for national defense (against all agents of evil) was a heavily armed citizenry which could assemble as needed in the form of a militia. The seventeenth century also saw increased professionalism and modernization within the English militia. This, in turn, partly gave way to the ensuing establishment of a permanent “Redcoat” army as the Kingdom gradually assumed the role of a major world Empire.
As we well know, part of that Empire was based here, in North America, in the territory which eventually became the United States. Those earliest parts (colonies) were first established at Jamestown in 1607 and at Plymouth in 1620. These had been preceded by the lost/abandoned colonies of Popham (Maine) in 1607 and Roanoke in 1585.
Jamestown was the site of numerous battles and all out wars fought between the English and the native indians (Chesapeake). It was the birthplace of the modern state of Virginia. In 1691 Plymouth Colony merged with The Massachusetts Bay Colony in what is now modern Massachusetts, all being part of the greater Dominion of New England.
Plymouth, from the very start was a model citizen militia society. While a few students today are still aware of the Pilgrims and their Atlantic crossing aboard the Mayflower, fewer still are knowledgable as to the martial force necessary to carve out the new world. The Mayflower’s first stop was at Provincetown Harbor in November of 1620. Desiring a better location, and to take advantage of the hospitable New England winter, they later removed to Plymouth at the end of December. Most remained aboard ship while a team of men worked during the day to raise a village from the ground. Twenty armed men were left ashore every night to prevent marauding. These men were average citizens who provided their own weapons; 911 was not an available option.
Early relations with the local indians were mixed at best. As more and more colonists arrived the indians perceived the impending loss of their lands and many became hostile. Myles Standish was a trained military officer and was placed in charge of security in the new colony. Many view him as somewhat of a hot head. At any rate he was forced to organize militias from among Englishmen in order to repel attacks by natives. “Major” wars erupted in 1637 and 1675. Each time the militia was sent forth to battle, not any group of regular troops. It was by the force of common people bearing arms that America was crafted from the central-eastern part of the continent.
(Early Militia. Google.)
Regular military units were called in during the next century first to assist and bolster the militias against common enemies (the French) and, later, to do battle with the militia. This latter action contributed greatly to the Founders’ desire for a continued militia force instead of a full-time army in young America. The early Americans were also governed in their views by the pre-existing English law and several legal commentators.
Perhaps the greatest commentator of his time regarding natural defense, along with natural law and the civil laws of England in general was Sir. William Blackstone (1723 -1780). Blackstone was an attorney and politician who published from 1765 – 1769 the Commentaries on the Laws of England, a classic still refered to and cited by the law.
Blackstone’s commentary on defense and other matters, generally, has resonance even today. He famously wrote: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.” In modern, fading America, the forces of anti-self-defense gun control stupidly prefer to disarm any and all persons, leaving them to suffer whatever fate criminals have in store for them, than to see a tiny minority of deranged persons have the possibility of committing crimes. All the more stupid is the abundant evidence that such an approach leads only to suffering innocents concurrent with rampant criminal behavior. Defiance of natural law is as successful as defiance of gravity or physics.
Chapter One, Book One of Blackstone’s treatise is entitled: On the ABSOLUTE Rights of Individuals (emphasis added). The final absolute right of individuals set forth therein is “that of having arms for their defense.” Blackstone called this right “a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”
Blackstone went into further detail, describing the various remedies available to the people in cases of tyranny: first, use of the courts; second, petitions to the King and to Parliament; and finally, when all else fails, having and using their arms to repel tyranny.
At last we draw near to that time when the American colonists repelled the tyranny of the mother country. In my next segment I will discuss the traditions regarding defense and arms in America before the introduction of the Second Amendment. As with their ancient predecessors, these traditions echoe still in our modern world.
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This is the first in a new series, an expansion of my both my Natural Law column and Second Amendment and related columns. Here, I briefly examine the ancient and eternal theories behind the basic rights which gave rise to the doctrine enshrined in the Second Amendment.
Legal practitioners and law and political science scholars, along with the general public, many politicians, and the media, often make the common mistake of looking only to the text of the Constitution (State or federal) or recent court cases in order to gain perspective into the meaning and/or application of the Second Amendment (and related State protections). While government protection of our rights is vital (the only reason for government), rights do not come from government.
My examination here is theoretic in nature and, thus, seeks out existential sources which provide both definition and supporting argumentative and empirical evidence which are fixed throughout history and across all geographic areas. Of course, as my ultimate view is towards the American experience, I will pay closer attention to sources from Western civilization.
The Bible is replete with approval of self-defense. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8. This would seem to encompass the responsibility to keep one’s family safe to the extent possible. “If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” Exodus 22:2-3. This provision is the basis for the common-law doctrine against burglary, originally extended to night-time attacks. The matter of daylight adds an interesting perspective. Again, this passage addresses a thief, not a would-be murderer of rapist. It is divine commentary on the value of human life over mere possessions when an opportunity exists to examine the intent of a criminal. While it is not a prohibition against using force to deter a thief, the provision indicates the Lord’s wish that force not exceed the attendant circumstantial need.
Paul continues this theme of limited aggression in Romans 12:19: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'” Again, God does not seem opposed to immediate use of force to deter violence but, once danger has passed, he commands that we leave judgment to him. This is backed by the Old Testament: “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” Proverbs 20:22. Again, for Christians, after the fact of a crime, the matter is God’s to handle. This is the basis for a general prohibition against vigilante justice.
In Romans 13, often mis-cited as a justification for any and all government action being divine, Paul extolls the virtues of political agencies instituted in God’s Name. When such an entity exists, then it has God’s authority to pursue prosecution of criminal matters. I refuse to accept that this concept applies to all governments – I doubt God approved of Hitler’s action, for instance. Rev. Chuck Baldwin, http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/, has extensively commented on this subject – http://www.romans13truth.com/.
Jesus Christ, himself, tacitly endorsed armed defense: “And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” Luke 22:36. I say “tacitly” because of the caveats Jesus placed on the use of force, essentially limiting it to only urgent circumstances. Christ urged us to “turn the other cheek” when possible. Matthew 5:39. He also admonished Peter to sheath his sword while repairing the injure Peter had inflicted with his sword. John 18:11. Jesus, while defending the 10 Commandments, issued an 11th: “love one another.” John 13:34. The Son’s words places strict constraints on the Father’s allowance of the use of force. It does not foreclose the concept.
(The ultimate Defender. Google.)
Jesus only once resorted to the use of force, personally. When He discovered the money-changers (the banksters of their time) abusing the Holiness of the Temple, Jesus violently drove them away. John 2:15. This underscores the possibility of defense as an immediate solution, without resort to formal authority or the eventual actions of the Lord. The Church has formally detailed both the right to such defense as well as the moral duty of such action in need. “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (“CCC”): 2265 (emphasis added)(see also CCC: 1909).
The Church also commands dignity be afforded to the human body, generally: “This dignity entails the demand that he should treat with respect his own body, but also the body of every other person, especially the suffering” CCC: 1004. While this backs the general prohibition against unlawfully harming others, it also reminds the Believer to respect even his enemy and attempt to limit his forcible response to criminal activity as far as possible to minimize harm.
“… [I]n the case of legitimate defence, in which the right to protect one’s own life and the duty not to harm someone else’s life are difficult to reconcile in practice. Certainly, the intrinsic value of life and the duty to love oneself no less than others are the basis of a true right to self-defence. The demanding commandment of love of neighbour, set forth in the Old Testament and confirmed by Jesus, itself presupposes love of oneself as the basis of comparison: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mk 12:31). Consequently, no one can renounce the right to self-defence out of lack of love for life or for self.” Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangeliun Vitae (The Gospel of Life), 1995.
The eminent scholar, David Kopel, has documented the general agreement among Eastern Religions along these ideas. In his review of Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism, Kopel explodes common myths that these religions do not allow for proper use of self-defense. David B. Kopel. “Self-Defense in Asian Religions” Liberty Law Review 2 (2007): 79, 80-81 (http://works.bepress.com/david_kopel/20).
Kopel’s expose is excellent. He also touches on the Eastern version of Baldwin’s critique of Romans 13: “Although Confucianism, like most other religions, has been used by tyrants to claim that revolution is immoral, Confucius himself ordered a revolution against an oppressive regime.” Id, at 163. Only the “religion” of the State would decree that the government is above the Natural Law.
Commenting on Exudus 2, above, Saint Thomas Aquinas said, “it is much more lawful to defend one’s life than one’s house. Therefore neither is a man guilty of murder if he kills another in defense of his own life.” Aquinas, Summa Theologica.
“If a man, in self-defense, uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repel force with moderation his defense will be lawful, because according to the jurists, ‘it is lawful to repel force by force, provided one does not exceed the limits of a blameless defense.’ Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense in order to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s life than of another’s.” Id.
Plato noted that when one acts in true self-defense, taken as a natural right, one may actually do the criminal perpetrator (in addition to the victim and society) a service: if the criminal survives, he may reflect on his wrongdoing positively. Plato, The Republic, The Problem of Justice. Plato’s great student, Aristotle, agreed. Aristotle noted that a true case of self-defense is not necessarily a voluntary action. Thus, any suffering from the act of defense may be attributed to the aggressor and not the defender. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.
The possession of weapons and their defensive usage, though regulated, was allowed in both the Roman Republic and the Empire. “We grant to all persons the unrestricted power to defend themselves, so that it is proper to subject anyone, whether a private person or a solider … to immediate punishment in accordance with the authority granted to all [up to, and including, death, if warranted].” Codex Justinianus 3.27.1. The Romans regarded the right to use weaponry in defense as implicit to the right itself.
The mighty Cicero opined: “There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.” Cicero, “In Defence of Titus Annus Milo,” Selected Speeches of Cicero, Michael Grant translation, 1969. Again, the esteemed David Kopel gives excellent analysis to this ancient Natural Law position in The Sword and the Tome, America’s 1st Freedom, NRA, 2009.
Cicero’s titanic predecessor, the black-robed Cato, made an interesting analogy along the lines of Jesus’s act of retribution noted above (as noted by Cicero himself): Cato was asked by an ambitious Roman, “What is the most profitable about property?” Cato answered, “To raise cattle with great success.” The young man then asked, “What is the second most profitable?” Cato answered, “Raising cattle with moderate success.” The inquirer pressed again, “The third most profitable?” “Raising cattle with little success.” Finally, the young man cut to his presupposed profession, “How about money-lending?” Cato answered (somewhat in advance of Jesus), “How about murder?” Cicero, On Duties.
I by no means equate money-lending or banking with murder but it appears the subject was considered by multiple ancient sources. It seems the evil of the banksters in as eternal as natural law. Defense against the predation of this wicked class may be something to consider.
Later political theorists expounded the virtue and necessity of self-defense. John Locke described self-defense as the first among Natural Rights. Locke, Second Essay on Civil Government. Hobbes concurred in this assertion, regardless of the state of any society. Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651. Even the craven and generally useless United Nations begrudgingly attempted to acknowledge this fundamental truth: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, U.N. General Assembly, Article 12, December 10, 1948.
In the earliest American tradition, we find acknowledgment of the Natural Law (before the adoption of the Second Amendment). The Declaration of Independence (1776) begins: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” (Emphasis added). The Declaration then enumerates the crimes of King George, among them many of which might be defended against under the doctrine explained herein.
(In case of emergency only. Google.)
Again, self-defense is a God-given, eternal right. It is also a duty, one to be exercised only in dire need and with a grave sense of responsibility. As with all matters of Natural Law, man-made legislation must attempt as closely as humanly possible to approximate the divine purposes of the Law. In the next installment of this series, I intend to examine more ancient legislation regarding weapons and self-defense, specifically Roman Law.