[In the weeks following the Sandy Hook, statist politicians—never ones to let a crisis go to waste—took dead-aim at the Second Amendment, hoping to use the actions of one mentally ill young man to disarm an entire nation. At that time (New Year's Day, 2013), I wrote the following warning, Of Tyrants and Dangerous Old Men, and posted it to my personal site, which Glenn Reynolds reminded me of today. How well has it held up over the past 22 months?]
Jerrold Nadler is an “average” elected member of Congress. He represents New York’s 8th congressional district, and has been in office for 20 years. He’s seen little of the world outside of New York City and Washington, D.C.. He did little of note with his life before becoming a politician, and has done little while in office, other than picking up a few titular roles by the nature of his long incumbency. He is reliably leftist in his views, using the Constitution as a cudgel when it serves him, and rejecting it when it doesn’t.
He’s utterly an utterly average, representative politician, which is why this statement is so concerning:
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said only the federal government should have “high-capacity” gun magazines and that the “state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence.”
At a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, Nadler gathered with other House Democrats to push for stricter gun control in the wake of last week’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which left 26 dead, including 20 children.
The lawmaker told CNSNews.com that he not only supports prohibiting the future sale of 10-round gun magazines, but he would like to confiscate high-capacity clips already legally possessed by American citizens.
Historically speaking, most nation-states have had monopolies of violence over their subjects. Nadler’s qualifier “legitimate” simply means that politicians view the violence they distribute as being beyond reproach, while viewing the option of resisting government force as not just illegitimate and wrong, but evil.
We could easily spend the rest of the day (and much of the next) merely listing the governments in recorded history that have used that “monopoly of legitimate violence” to oppress their subjects and commit the occasional genocide against their people. We could point out that this precise mindset is one shared among the educated men of Parliament and the British Monarchy in the 1770s towards upstart Colonials in the New World.
Such an opinion was held in the head of General Thomas Gage when he ordered Royal Marines and Regulars rowed across the Charles River in the dead of night on April 19,1775 to conduct gun control raids from Lexington to Concord. A perversely rewritten history taught by liberal academics in schools these days suggests that the cause of the American Revolution was “taxation without representation.” A reading of original sources puts that lie to rest.
The proximate, immediate cause of the first American Revolutionary War was an attempt to capture powder and shot, cannon, and community food stores that supplied not just the organized militia of their day immortalized as the “Minutemen,” but the unorganized militia of those too young, too old, and too female to be part of the organized militia of their day. These were the “alarm listers.”
The youngest of the estimated 14,000 that turned out against the Regulars that April morning and fired shots was just 13 years old. The oldest man to fight that fateful day was an alarm-lister named Samuel Whittemore, a 78-year-old veteran of three American wars in the King’s service.
While Lord Percy’s relief column attempted to link up with Regular forces under attack by colonial militias, Whittemore set up behind a low stone wall near his home and attacked the 47th Regiment of Foot by himself.
Whitemore’s aimed fire did enough damage to the column that an assault was ordered upon his position.
Whittemore is documented to have killed one man from this assaulting force with his musket, then killed one and severely wounded another with horse pistols he’d removed from the body of French officer he’d dispatched decades before. Whittemore was in the act of drawing his ornate French Calvary sabre—again, taken from another French officer who “died suddenly” according to Whittemore, more than 20 years before—when half his face was shot away at point-blank range. Whittemore’s horrified relatives watched from a distance as the nearly 80-year old patriarch of their clan was bayoneted thirteen times by the Redcoats, and left for dead in a pool of his own blood.
When his kin came forward to collect his body, they found that despite having half his left cheek shot away, and pierced by 13 bayonet wounds, Samuel Whittemore was attempting to load his musket to fire again on the rapidly disappearing column of Regulars.
A doctor was summoned, and he reasonably concurred that no one could survive the brutal wounds Samuel Whittemore suffered in his spirited defense of his fellow colonists. The doctor treated his wounds as best the primitive medicine of the day allowed, and sent Whittemore home with his family to die in peace. And yes, Samuel Whittemore did die… 18 years later, on February 3, 1793.
The alarm listers of the unorganized militia—”dangerous old men” as we call them as we teach American heritage at Appleseed events around the nation—are no less important today than they were in the first battle of this young Republic.
Samuel Whittemore was a veteran of three wars and a great-grandfather when he strapped on the most sophisticated weapons technology of his day and went off to war one final time to defend his fellow citizens.
There are many of us too old or infirm for front-line service, and many who have served before and would again, who would without hesitation repay Whittemore’s dedication to his fellow Americans.
It is these citizens whom have purchased the 3 1/2 years supply of standard capacity magazines in less than two weeks, and seemingly bought up every firearm of contemporary military utility made within the past 100+ years.
We are a nation of combat-tested former warriors and untested patriots who have never served, and of active duty servicemen and law enforcement officers who swore an oath to to the Constitution over allegiance to any specific commander or President.
Politicians on both sides in Washington, D.C. are generally very much figures like Representative Jerrold Nadler. They view the government as the United States, not the people. It is how they justify disarming the people to protect themselves. It is how they justify assaults on rights which shall not be infringed upon. They justify tyranny, in hopes of improving their longevity.
The Second Amendment of the United States was never written to protect hunting or target shooting. It was written by men who had just fought a successful armed revolution against the most advanced military of their day, and who wanted to ensure that future generations would be armed with weapons of contemporary military utility in order to stand against the day that once more, tyrants would attempt to consolidate power and lord over the people as their betters.
Our AR-15s, MAC-90s, SKSs, M1 Garands, Mosin-Nagants, Glocks, Colts, and Springfields are implicitly the kind of firearms our Founders want us to have, along with their standard-capacity magazines of 20-30 rounds.
Jerrold Nadler and his fellow would-be tyrants in federal, state, and local governments fear nothing but an armed citizenry, which is why the Founding Fathers wanted us armed against such men, who would establish a “monopoly on legitimate violence” to enslave us.
Any attempt to take the contemporary arms of military utility our Founders wanted us to have, which includes the standard magazines and clips used in these firearms, is an act of tyranny that the Founders would recognize as an event justifying the use of force to retain our freedoms.