Liberty or Laws?
… jealously guard our Liberties
Outpost of Freedom
August 11, 2014
Who will fire the first shot? Who can fire the first shot? Contemplation of these questions causes me to recall a situation, many years ago, when I was first confronted with the thought of aiming, squeezing, and taking the life of another human being. It is not difficult to recall that memory, as it is one that will stay with me the rest of my life; that thought and that first time that I did aim, squeeze and fire.
The thought first occurred as we began the second leg of a flight from California to Hawaii, and then on to Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Saigon, Vietnam. Our short stop in Hawaii was about long enough to get a Scotch and Water, and then re-board. We snuck our drinks onto the charter commercial aircraft, took off, and headed southwest, into a combat zone.
Shortly after we settled in at flying altitude, I finished my drink and began thinking of the adventure that awaited me. Through training and my previous two years in the Army, I had relived the adventures of war, as presented by the prolific black & white movies of action during World War II. However, it struck me that I was not going into training; rather, I was going to put that training into action. I would surely find myself, at some point, faced with the necessity of aiming and squeezing. Would I be up to such a task, when that time came?
My religious beliefs never distinguished between murder and killing, so there was a moral dilemma, which, for the first time in my life, I had to seriously contemplate. Could I do what I had surely been called upon to do?
As I reflected upon the moral consequences, I realized that back there, behind me, throughout the country, there was a government, representing the people of the United States, which had, by issuing my orders into combat, taken the burden of the moral responsibility from of me. My job was to do for my country what it had asked me to do.
Months later, even though there had been some long range exchanges of rifle fire, and some mortar attacks on our base, I did find myself with a clear view of the enemy. I was in the back seat of a Bird Dog. We were flying low over a Viet Cong transfer point at the “Horseshoe” of the Mekong River. My M-14, being as long as it was, was tucked behind me. The pilot, however, handed me his M-16. As I raised the barrel, I could see the one that I had in my sights running, rapidly, for cover. We were flying at treetop, with nearly full flaps, and I was probably not more than 60 meters from him. His hat flew off as he ran, and I could see the expression on his face, which I judged to be fear. This didn’t distract me, as I fired off about ten rounds. One of them struck him in the leg. His partner, ahead, apparently responded to his call, turned and grabbed him and helped him into some bushes, in the attempt to cover their location. The pilot then turned back to the location where they had sought cover, and laid a 2.75″ HE (High Explosive) rocket into the bushes.
As we flew back to base, I thought about what had happened, and I knew that I was able to do what is probably the most difficult single obstacle in combat, taking a human life for the first time. That thought, however, was not passing. No, it remains with me, and will do so until I have become the dust that those two Viet Cong became, because of our action.
Many records available demonstrate the difficulty in “fresh” soldiers being willing to aim and squeeze. They will often fire over the head of the enemy, doing their job, but doing so in such a way as to “protect” their moral values. Those records include from the Revolutionary War to the present, though nowadays, the Army uses electronic games, similar to “Doom”, to train the soldier to overcome that moral objection. They fire, and a very human looking figure reacts in a very natural manner, with the blood squirting or misting, just as in real life, to condition the trainee to accept that taking another life is nothing more than a game. However, for most, the moral stigma still attaches itself to our conscience.
So, who will fire the first shot, when that event that will spark the inevitable confrontation between a people wishing to be free, and a government which continues to encroach upon their Liberties?
In a previous article (He Who Leads the Charge), I address the consequence that will fall to many of us, as we take upon ourselves the task bestowed upon us by the Founders — to retain our form of government for “ourselves and our Posterity“. While we are at it, let’s look at another well-known phrase from our Founding, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Those phrases have historical significance, though we have some newer phrases that most are familiar with, such as, “… from my cold, dead hands“, “… one bullet at a time“, etc. Now, those last two are purely rhetorical, as they serve no purpose other than bluster on the part of the speaker. However, many in the patriot community often express the first two. The question is, when they are expressed, is it rhetorical, or is it sincere? If the former, then clearly you are not prepared to face the challenge that lies before us, nor have you seriously contemplated that challenge.
Let’s look at some more rhetoric, “They will soon declare martial law. We cannot do anything because if we do, they will declare martial law.” Isn’t that rhetoric a bit oxymoronic?
It is clearly evident that the law enforcement in this country is rapidly becoming militarized. Should we await the completion of the militarization before we act?
Perhaps we should heed the words of Patrick Henry, when he said, “The war is inevitable – and let it come!! I repeat it, sir, let it come! ”
If we are to retain our birthright, Liberty, the object of the sacrifices of those who gave us this once great nation, it will come at a cost. Of that, we can be assured.
One thing is certain in combat. Once the action begins, those who have resolved themselves to the necessity of taking lives have taken the necessary action. Others, regardless of the moral hesitation, when the necessity has passed beyond rhetoric and into reality, will eventually follow. If they don’t catch on, they will probably be killed. The idea, quite simply, is to KILL him before he kills you. It will be the truly courageous — the heroes of our future history — who fire those first shots, with a clear understanding of the necessity of doing so.
Our choice, our actions, our future, depend upon whether we agree to obey the laws that currently protect the government and criminalize our actions, or to obey our conscience, and jealously guard our Liberties, an obligation imposed by the Founders and memorialized by our Founding Documents.