Often I have wondered what will happen, how I will react, when the government finally decides that I have something that they want, or that I have done something wrong by speaking freely, or that they just plain want me out of the way. I think back to that day in Florida, shortly after I returned from Waco when I was arrested on a bench warrant. The warrant was issued because the judge said that I failed to appear. I had attempted to get a continuance while in Waco. The state had been granted a continuance before then, but I was denied. I had no idea that the warrant had been issued. Then, early one morning there was a phone call. I answered to silence and sensed something. Just a few minutes later I glanced up from my desk and saw two black uniforms as the double glass door burst open. I had a pistol just inches from my right hand, and glanced at it as I stood up. The officers, who were both aiming their automatic pistols at my head, said "hands up." I complied, and as I moved toward them they failed to see the pistol. I was arrested and taken to jail. Ironically, the issue was a misdemeanor, which is still not resolved, and the damage to the door greatly exceeded the maximum fine.
So, why do I bring this up? Well, I suppose that, as I think back on that incident (rather frequently, I might add), I wonder if my decision was the right one. Should I have stood firm and defended my right? Will I do the same when the next effort to arrest me comes? Must we judge the significance of the issue before that decision can be made? Must that judgment be made at the time the incident occurs? At what point will our mindset be such that we recognize the significance of the cause and the need for "deadly force"?
I have, as I"m sure we all have, heard the bravado talk of how we all intend to deal with the situation when it arises. I know, too, that the thought of squeezing the trigger on a human being is a very hard squeeze. I remember how, for me, even after over two years of conditioning by the Army, and the knowledge that the combat situation warranted the action, both legally and morally, the act itself was a difficult one to execute. And even how, after doing so before, I still think of the requirements that must be met before a man of faith can take such action.
Let"s look at past events. According to a letter purported to be from Gordon Kahl, he, and others with him, stood ready, but refused to fire until the second shot had hit Yuri Kahl. Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris and Sammy Weaver, all refrained from firing until they were fired upon by the U.S. Marshals, and their allies. In Waco there is little doubt that the Branch Davidians fired only after a fusillade of bullets had been sent to take their lives.
Why is it that we must fire last? This thought leaves us bound, by moral principles, to subject ourselves to arrest, where no shots are fired, or to death, if the attacker"s accuracy is above their current average. What is required for us to develop the mindset that is necessary to wage this battle to come with the practical "functionability" necessary to fight, and win, against the oppressor?
More recently, two patriots who fled Florida from government court convictions, fled only after realizing that to die resisting arrest would serve little useful purpose. Just a few months later they faced a confrontation with a law enforcement officer who was willing to deny them their Liberty. The result is that they are making their sacrifice for the cause. If justice does prevail, they will again be free and walking amongst us. The court record will send a message to all law enforcement officers that there is a limit to their authority, as there is a limit to the authority of the Congress in denying our liberty. George and Lynda have begun the battle that we all have anticipated, the battle for the resurrection of the Constitution. Will we let their sacrifice be complete, should justice fail?
The process that we need to begin to impose upon ourselves is a conditioning process that is a necessity for a man of moral conviction to conduct himself in a moral manner. It is not merely a matter of saying that we will, when the time comes, do the job that is necessary. If this were the case it would be equally easy to submit, when that time comes, saying that it is a different circumstance than what existed in the scenario that we had developed in our minds. We might excuse our actions, or lack thereof, by saying that it is God"s will that the circumstances changed, and that we felt compelled to submit. This sort of action presents the wrong model for those that are watching, and listening, and heeding our actions. This serves, as the old adage goes, as nothing more than a bad example. If God has called upon us to change our plans, then that will be known before the situation arises. To plea that at the last minute circumstances changed is to excuse our actions rather than to have a just reason for the actions. One reason might be that we were caught off guard and unable to properly respond, which would warrant, if we were not arrested, taking the battle to the next level, as have George and Lynda. Another just reason, for many might be that they have fought long and hard and are tiring of the battle. Another reason might be that the "battle plan" does not call for confrontation on the part of a particular person. These proclamations warrant a predisposition. If this is your position, so state now. If your position is one (as most of us express it to be) of physical resistance to tyranny, then so state your position, and so live, or die, by that position. Do not let false bravado create yet another bad example for the rest of us.
There are many who have fought long and hard. They will be able to serve in many capacities in the struggle yet to come. Let them now so state their position. When I was in Vietnam, I realized that there was a man on point. There was another man back in the states stuffing "C" rations in a box. Both were equally necessary to conduct the "war" that was going on. The actions of one did not take away from, but rather added to the probability of the actions of the first to succeed in his task. The same is true today. There are many that are more suited to support the activities of others than to conduct those activities themselves. They will be as necessary as any other as the battle lines are drawn, and crossed. Food, shelter, refuge, supplies, comfort, encouragement, finance, prayers and faith are among what they will have to offer. Those that choose, on the other hand, to fight the battles will realize, in short order, the necessity of having that support when it is needed. The important aspect is that we need to make the determination NOW as to what role we, each of us, will take, at least for the time being.
This does not preclude a change in the future, based upon change in circumstance, change in mindset, or any other cause for change. Changes, however, should be acts of conscience based upon practicality rather than reactions to immediate circumstance. Each and every one of us should strive to be a proper role model in the capacity that we have chosen to present ourselves. We need to stand firm in that role while we present ourselves in that manner. If that role is confrontational, then we must recognize that tomorrow may not come, and our service may result in our passage from the battle to our final rest. We must realize that the chance to say goodbye to friends and loved ones may have passed, and that our service will be "that last full measure of devotion."
Patrick Henry told us, 16 months before the Declaration and just a month prior to Lexington, what to anticipate, and how to understand the reality of the situation. We might learn, today, from his words:
"Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation - the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array if its purpose be not to force us to submission?
" We have petitioned - we have remonstrated - we have supplicated - we have prostrated ourselves ... Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, ... There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we Love pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
"They tell us, sir, that we are weak - unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shah have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we posses are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, ... If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged, their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!!!
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
We must recognize the enemy. We must understand who the enemy is; We must understand the threat posed by the enemy; We must realize the degree of threat to our freedom and Liberty because of the enemy; and, finally, we must realize that the enemy is to be dealt with as he would deal with us.
Our future is dependent not on bravado, rather on sincerity. Our commitment must be such that reliance by others is not wasted, nor dangerous. Integrity has got to become our greatest precept.
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