On guns and self-protection

One of the things that baffled me as a child was the way in which the Jews passively walked into the gas chambers.  My parents explained to me that Jews were not warriors.  Outside of Israel, Jews still aren’t warriors.  Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that’s stupid:

You can’t fight a rifle or a shotgun with a stick, or a whistle, or good intentions. Only armed guards are at all capable of stopping an attack. American Jews — and this is broad generalization here — are queasy around weapons. This queasiness is rooted in our urban and suburban existence. But one of the lessons of the Holocaust to me — I said this in my book, Prisoners, to some criticism — is that it is more difficult to kill an armed Jew than an unarmed Jew.

That last point can be generalized:  “it is more difficult to kill an armed person than an unarmed person.”  The fact is that, armed or not, most people aren’t killers.  The other fact is that most killers are armed.  In other words, whether or not more people carry weapons, it’s only the killers who will kill — but at least we’ll be able to defend ourselves.

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  • suek

    “…whether or not more people[are] carrying weapons, it’s only the killers who will kill — but at least we’ll be able to defend ourselves.”

    Exactly.

  • Danny Lemieux

    So, does that mean that we will finally see you go out to the range and get qualified, Book?

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    One of the gentlemen I met at my conservative parties is a gun expert and has been getting requests for lessons from many of the women at these parties. He’s planning on putting together a class and, my kids’ schedule allowing me, I’ll be there.

  • Dennis Elliott

    Book,

    Take the kids. They’ll love it.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I concur with Dennis. Let us know how it goes.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Those parties just go to show…conservative women rock!

  • Zhombre

    Go for it, Book. Learn to shoot. The Second Amendment was included merely to round out to ten; it has substance; it’s another imperative of liberty, perhaps its sine qua non. I think it is one of the unspoken resentments of Israel, that IDF are Jews who kick butt instead of being victims. Look at David Mamet, an intellectual, a writer, a man of words, of ideas, yet he studies martial arts and makes movies about gentiles of action, as in Spartan, or the television series, The Unit; and now repudiates his past as a “brain dead liberal.” I know too many Jews whose Judaism seems vestigial if not moribund, in a spiritual sense, and who indulge in reflexive, reactionary liberalism and disdain for Christian church goers like Sarah Palin, or Carrie Prejean.

  • Zhombre

    That should read, The Second Amendment was NOT included merely to round out to ten …

    Sorry about that. Proofreading helps.

  • Oldflyer

    Well, the fact is that guns in private hands are not likely to stop action by any government, large or small. They have too much fire-power. The best the Jews could have done against the Brown Shirts would have been to take a few with them and maybe insure a quicker, more dignified end for themselves.

    On the other hand there seems to be an increasing number of home invasions in our area, which is suburban/rural; and would be considered peaceful by most standards. I know that the Sheriff would be 5 to 10 minutes away; if we had a chance to call. Our pistols are seconds from us.

    I grew up around guns. We didn’t have one in the house for over 30 years until my wife asked for one after the kids were gone and I was traveling. Now we like having them in the house.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Well, the fact is that guns in private hands are not likely to stop action by any government, large or small.

    Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq has disproven that cachet.

    It is not solely about arms and it is not solely about will. It is the intersection, the nexus, of both.

    But the relationship is not coincidental nor interrelated only in a consequential fashion. In point of fact, the will to fight is directly dependent upon the supply of arms, as the surrender of South Vietnamese forces attested to when they ran out of ammo and munitions. And yet, arms without will has no particular effect. In point of fact, the more protection one has in terms of other people with arms, the more complacent one becomes. Illusions and fantasies about not needing weapons then becomes a popular myth to indulge in if only because the weapons safeguarding people’s lives are out of sight, out of mind.

    As seen in Britain, once a population is disarmed, they lose not just the training to fight but the will to fight as well. They lose the virtues of courage, because they are forced into the habit of co-dependence and not independence. They are forced to rely upon their sugar daddy, the all powerful police or government. they have been trained, not to be free men or women, but to be cogs and slaves. And a slave does not suddenly get the idea that he should be free, for many slaves come to love the security of their prison and fear the outside world of “liberty”.

    but at least we’ll be able to defend ourselves.

    The Left believes that you have no need to defend yourself. Your life is not your own. It is for the state or the “community” to decide whether your life is more valuable than the societal inconvenience of firearms. And if there truly is a need to defend yourself from crime, the Left promises that the government will take care of things. All you need do is trust in government and more importantly obey its power by affirming its authority over your life. Once affirmed, it isn’t going away any time soon.

    People like Obama or other Democrats and Leftists have been protected their entire life from the real world. They don’t see any particular reason why their charmed life shouldn’t extend to everybody in America. They don’t see a reason because they didn’t care to find one. In reality, people are not protected from violence, especially not when those like Obama start removing the protections that such people have in favor of Obama’s vision of a Perfect Society. And yet Obama and the Left is protected from the consequences of their actions, much as terrorists and criminals are protected by the United States law. It is the lesser evil. But people never talk about the lesser evil in this context. They always say the rule of law, as if it is always composed of good things. But that’s not how the world works. That’s not how the atomic bombs were used. That’s not how any hard decisions were ever made.

  • Charles Martel

    Well, the fact is that guns in private hands are not likely to stop action by any government, large or small.”

    In the U.S., where there are tens of millions of arms in the hands of people who tolerate, but don’t particularly like governments, I’m not all sure that any government, large or small, would have an easy time suppressing a determined group.

    Look at the inability of the Los Angeles Police Department to dislodge the armed gangs that infest that city. The thugs that the LAPD is afraid to confront do not have one-tenth the training or discipline of their armed citizen peers, many of whom are also former military.

    If the anti-Semitism that Obama is quietly fanning ever did reach the point where government or quasi-government squads were running around seeking out Jews, they’d have to contend with millions of Christians who’d be very willing to defend their Jewish neighbors with firearms.

  • Oldflyer

    You guys are kidding yourselves.

    VietNam and Afghanistan were 3rd/4th world governments with little to no control over the countryside. In Afghanistan, at least, there were strong tribal organization and private armies under the command of Chiefs or Warlords dating back centuries. There was also significant external support in both instances.

    Don’t try it in a modern state. Ask the IRA how easy it is to challenge a modern army/police infratstructure. They made life miserablent, but after decades and countless deaths they are more marginalized than ever. In the U.S., the government would be all over you before you got organized. They have proven that ability many times. Not that that is a bad thing.

    With respect to gangs, it is a lack of will; not lack of firepower or capability. If the country were really serious about eliminating gangs, they would be history. We don’t really try. Same with controlling the border; which by the way would be a big step toward reducing the gang problem.

    Keep your gun for self-protection. So far we can still control the government at the ballot box.

  • SADIE

    One of the things that baffled me as a child was the way in which the Jews passively walked into the gas chambers. My parents explained to me that Jews were not warriors. Outside of Israel, Jews still aren’t warriors.

    I was also bewildered as a child, but came to realize that many of the victims were women, children and the elderly. Since the men were separated from the women and children, I think a good part of the ‘passive’ state was actual shock and disbelief or possibly just feeling numb and helpless from the overwhelming odds. There were of course, handfuls of Jews who survived in the woods and small enclaves and the earnest attempt in the Warsaw Ghetto, but in the end they were out manned and out gunned for sure.

    You can be sure that synagogues in Europe and S. America do have armed guards and have for many years and they do not hire outside agencies to protect them, if you get my drift.

    I grew up in a Jewish home that always had guns. I admit, this was not the usual, nor were we allowed to know where my father kept them, but we knew they were in the house for our protection. I remember by Dad teaching me as a young teen how to use a very powerful BB gun, so that I felt at least comfortable holding the weapon in my hands and firing it. After my Dad passed away, it was left to me to help my mother not only find them all, but to remove them from the house. I kept only one, since most of them were to heavy for me to handle comfortably. All of this to suggest, that if you ever decide to be a gun owner, choose one that is comfortable in weight and size for a woman.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    You guys are kidding yourselves.

    The force of arms intersecting with the will to fight does not “kid” people about the military realities born of such factors.

  • Danny Lemieux

    It is not that a well-armed populace would “win” against a dictatorial government, Oldflyer…you are right, it wouldn’t… it is that the cost to the government of using force against its own people would rise.

    The U.S. military oath is to protect the Constitution, not the government…every soldier knows this and (we hope and expect) would refuse to unleash violence against the population. The military and national guard are made up of armed citizens, too, and I am not sure that they would individually be willing to pull the trigger on their own. An armed populace (not just a sliver of a minority, such as the IRA) is at least in a position to make a powerful statement of opposition to the government around which others can coalesce.

    Consider Waco. Yes, the Branch Davidians were wrong. They were a radical fringe minority. However, they resisted a government military operation that was unlawful and that operation appalled most Americans. In the end, their forced suppression (along with the death of many children) by the Clintonistas became such a disgrace for the Clinton government that it was no longer in a position to try anything similar against other Americans. Waco became an accusatory finger pointed directly at the government by its people.

    So, yes…in an armed confrontation between the military and the populace, the government could “win” by pure fire-power alone. But an armed populace willing and able to resist oppression also signals to the government that the cost would be very high, including the destruction of its own legitimacy.

    I think that YM puts it very eloquently by describing armed resistance as an intersection of power, ability and will. Should it ever come to that in our country (which, for the record, I don’t believe), I know that I would die if I were to resist. I would hope, however, that I have the will to die as a free man rather than to survive as a slave. My guns provide me with that option.

  • Mike Devx

    Oldflyer #12
    >> You guys are kidding yourselves.

    When I think of tyrannies existing across a scale that ranges from soft to hard, the harder the tyranny, the more I think that Oldflyer is correct. Yet it is also true that every tyranny always seeks to disarm its people… so I would ask Oldflyer: why do they always seek to disarm their people, if the guns didn’t matter at all?

    It may simply be psychological: A disarmed people are psychological sheep. An armed populace tend to see themselves as free, and they are just more resistant to the whole range of coercive techniques, whether by government, mob, riot, predator or criminal gang.

  • SADIE

    “The military and national guard are made up of armed citizens, too, and I am not sure that they would individually be willing to pull the trigger on their own.”

    Kent State, 1970

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings

    During a press conference, Governor Rhodes called the protesters un-American and referred to the protesters as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. “They’re worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes,” Rhodes said. “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.”

    What struck me after reading this was a similar type of rhetoric was used regarding the Tea Parties.

    Almost 40 years later, it really does not matter if you are on the left or right or center of issues. The government will not tolerate any threat to its policies.

    In the words of Mel Brooks, History of the World: It’s good to be the king.

  • Mike Devx

    Wasn’t there a conspiracy of silence surrounding the concentration camps? There were rumors, of course… but there was no free press. There was knowledge of work camps with very difficult conditions, and rising intolerance and oppression… but death camps?

    Add to that the belief that Europe was civilized, and the Jews in Europe were perhaps naive and trusting that within civilization, slaughter and genocide simply could not happen. Perhaps the example of Turkey and the Armenians could have served… but it would have been easy to dismiss Turkey as “backwards” compared to Europe. The Jews knew they were in for oppression, but I believe few thought they were in for slaughter and genocide. They simply believed they could survive the oppression, as they had throughout history.

    I think Nazi Germany was the first modern technological genocide machine; perhaps it remains the *only* modern technological genocide machine in human history. (Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot scarcely qualify as “modern”, for all their effectiveness at genocide.) One could be forgiven in 1938 for believing that “it couldn’t happen here”. With the example of Nazi Germany in our past, however, one could no longer be forgiven for believing that.

  • Danny Lemieux

    SADIE, Kent State is a good example: the Kent State protesters were a small fringe group, unarmed with firearms but dangerous (with bottles and molotov cocktails) that attacked (provoked) the police, fire department and National Guard. The radical Left in that ere did not have popular support and was actively encouraging the destruction of the country. The situation at Kent State was that of a very dangerous riot by radicals.

    Nonetheless, the shootings by the National Guard outraged the citizenry and eventually contributed to Nixon’s demise. And, given that (according to the Wikipedia entry) the National Guard shot into a large crowd of students 67 times and killed or wounded 13 students, I posit (as does the Wikipedia entry) that most of the Guardsmen were not shooting to kill. Also, what tempered the citizenry’s reaction to Kent State was that there was no evidence that the “State” had ordered the shootings.

    I suggest that the reaction would have been very different had the government willfully used the military to enforce its power over a group (or groups) that enjoyed popular support by U.S. citizens.

  • SADIE

    “I suggest that the reaction would have been very different had the government willfully used the military to enforce its power over a group (or groups) that enjoyed popular support by U.S. citizens.”

    Danny, I am getting older and it may be that my memory is not as sharp, but I believe in 1970 that the active and vocal objectors were growing beyond just student demonstrators. The discourse was growing ugly and contemptuous and was reaching beyond campus life.

    Kent State was the nail in the coffin (literally and figuratively) to activists. Any subsequent demonstrations were muted in comparison.

    In the end..Kent State built a gymnasium over the area where students were shot. The choice of location sent a clear message.

    Fast forward…2009.
    The mindset of some of those radicals went into education and politics.

  • Danny Lemieux

    SADIE, we agree! They run the country now.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    During a press conference, Governor Rhodes called the protesters un-American and referred to the protesters as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. “They’re worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes,” Rhodes said. “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.”

    The communist agitators and terrorists at Kent State were exactly as Governor Rhodes described them as.

    The fact that two claims can be made, whereas in the former it is true and in the latter it is false, does not mean anything except that claims are tools. It is the intent and responsibility of the user to decide to what purpose the tools will be used for: the light or the dark.

    To make the point about the protesters and bystanders at Kent clear, you must first witness the fact that the Communist agent provocateurs deliberately and with foresight and pre-planning set out to cause civilian deaths. It is no more and no less than what Hizbollah, Hamas, and AQ do when they use civilian shields. They must have their heap of bodies in order to make their political point, which is only the precursor to the utter ever lasting de-legitimatizing of American politics, life, philosophy, history, and virtues.

    The Left have never forgotten that such tactics of theirs have worked. As the agitators grew older, they morphed into Ayers. Now they change the system from within by using calls to Patriotism, Compassion, Self-sacrifice, and all the other lies used to consolidate power by stripping it from those at the bottom.

    If you want to understand how these work in the geo-political and historical scale, all you need do is to read Neo’s post here. Link

    None of these tactics are new. I have learned about them whether modern, Ancient Times, Medieval Times, or the American Colonial times. They are not new, but people act like they are new and that’s not a good thing, except to the propagandists.

    perhaps it remains the *only* modern technological genocide machine in human history.

    You forget Planned Parenthood. It’s planned, alright, but not for that.

  • BrianE

    The mayor of Kent, Leroy Satrom, declared a state of emergency on May 2. He requested that Governor James A. Rhodes send the Ohio National Guard to Kent to help maintain order. Rhodes agreed, and the National Guard members began to arrive the evening of May 2. As the soldiers arrived, they found the Reserve Officer Training Corps building at Kent State University in flames. It is unclear who set the building on fire. It may have been anti-war protestors, but it also could have been someone seeking to have the protestors blamed. Interestingly, Kent State officials had already boarded up the ROTC building and were planning to raze it. Protestors were celebrating the buildings destruction as fire fighters arrived. The protestors, which included both students and non students, jeered the fire fighters and even sliced the hoses that the fire fighters were using to extinguish the flames. National Guard members arrived to reestablish order and resorted to tear gas to disperse the protestors.

    On May 3, approximately one thousand National Guard soldiers were on the Kent State campus. Tensions remained high, and Governor Rhodes further escalated them by accusing the protestors of being un-American. He proclaimed, “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.” Some Kent State students assisted local businesses and the city in cleaning up damage from the previous night’s activities, but other students and non students continued to hold protests, further exacerbating the situation. The National Guard continued to break up these demonstrations, including threatening students with bayonets.

    On May 4, a Monday, classes resumed at Kent State. Anti-war protestors scheduled a rally for noon at the campus. University officials attempted to ban the gathering but proved unsuccessful in their efforts. As the protest began, National Guard members fired tear gas at the demonstrators. Due to wind, the tear gas proved ineffective. Some of the protestors threw the canisters, along with rocks, back at the soldiers. Some of the demonstrators yelled slogans, such as “Pigs off campus!”, at the soldiers.

    Eventually seventy-seven guardsmen advanced on the protestors with armed rifles and bayonets. Protestors continued to throw things at the soldiers. Twenty-nine of the soldiers, purportedly fearing for their lives, eventually opened fire. The gunfire lasted just thirteen seconds, although some witnesses contended that it lasted more than one minute. The troops fired a total of sixty-seven shots. When the firing ended, nine students lay wounded, and four other students had been killed. Two of the students who died actually had not participated in the protests.

    These shootings helped convince Americans that the anti-war protestors were not just hippies, drug addicts, or promoters of free love. They also included middle and upper-class people, as well as educated Americans. Rather than causing a decline in protests, the Kent State Shootings actually escalated protests. Many colleges and universities across the United States cancelled classes and actually closed their doors for the remainder of the academic year in fear of violent protests erupting on their campuses. In 1970, The Ohio State University dismissed its Spring Quarter classes in early May rather than in June because of protests at this institution. Other Ohio institutions followed suit. Kent State University immediately closed with the shootings on May 4, and did not offer classes again for six weeks, when the summer term began.

    The various protests drew to an end as President Richard Nixon, who served from 1969-1974, began to withdraw American soldiers from North and South Vietnam. With the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, which basically ended American involvement in the Vietnam War, the protests drew to a formal close. Still, the Kent State Shootings continue to reverberate through American society and culture. An example of this is Neil Young’s song, “Ohio,” which commemorated the shootings.

    http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1595

    Just a couple of small points. As I remember it, protests continue around the country after 1970, and I don’t think Kent State had any impact on Nixon since he was overwhelmingly re-elected in ’72.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Ask the IRA how easy it is to challenge a modern army/police infratstructure.

    With all due respect to the IRA and their fiendishly crafted anti-tampering fail safes for their bombs, they were the Irish, they were not American. Americans, are on average, far in excess of most organization’s fighting power, on a per man basis. (Or even per woman)

    The Irish have been dominated by the British main land, England so to speak, for more than just “a few decades”. Their society does not have the basic fundamental structure to create a military caste to fight a Total War to the death. And if they aren’t willing to fight to the death, to see all that they have ever loved destroyed rather than knee before their enemies as either loyal subjects or so called “equal members”, then do they truly deserve independence (if we exclude their capacity for independence entirely)? The point is, most people don’t want independence born from liberty and freedom. They want prosperity, economic safety, and security for themselves and their posterity. They don’t want the ability to “choose” between starving or being prosperous. They want the choice of Being Prosperous. There’s a difference. Provide them that and they will have no real reason to fight. Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Clausewitz, and other generals and statesmen and warriors throughout history have already known this. It is about time that modern individuals began to as well.

    Against this historical backdrop of human nature, firearms or lack of firearms would normally be irrelevant. Except they are not. Modern Western nations have this erroneous idea that weapons (basically tools that go boom and make killing people easier than hacking em apart with a muscle powered instrument) are what makes people “deadly” or “able to fight”. This idea has translated, erroneously, to their cultural template as well to the point that members of the Western civilization think that all you need to win a fight is to have the superior corollation of forces on your side.

    That’s not entirely true. While there is a quality to quantity all on its own, quality and quantity exists as mutual sides of the same coin. With no quality, quantity equals zero effect. With no quantity, you can have Godlike quality and it would still equal zero effect. They are not mutually exclusive, they are mutually inclusive. The same relationship exists with the abundance of firearms and munitions intersecting with what motivates governments or their oppressed cogs to fight or steal or kill or die.

    VietNam and Afghanistan were 3rd/4th world governments with little to no control over the countryside.

    People kid themselves, because it will kill themselves, when they think that these aspects of war or motivations from a government’s perspective are the decisive and deciding factor of certain pivotal points in war or peace.

    For example, it doesn’t matter whether a place is third world or not. It doesn’t matter how much control a government has over the country side. What matters is the military potential and actual fighting capability of either side. This is a tactical, strategic, and logistical analysis. It cannot be restricted to one excuse or another about this or that. The best strategy for war is not to limit oneself to one strength or weakness, but to diversify one’s vision so that it encompassse all things, small and large, weak and strong, personal and impersonal, material and manpower wise.

    With the necessary military potential, you can take control of the country from a government. With the necessary training and actualization of military potential, a government can take back that same country from the terrorists slash guerrillas.

    What this means is that it doesn’t matter who controls the country. What matters is who can take it back or who can hold it. It doesn’t matter who has more firepower or not. All that matters is who is going to win with the firepower he has got? Nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if you have a spear and the other guy has hovertanks shooting miniature nukes at 5 miles, with Kinetic Strikes from orbit. The normal, as in the incorrect, perspective would be “how is the guy with a spear going to win against the preponderance of firepower we have?” The experienced, as in the correct, perspective would be, “how do you think we are going to beat a man who is willing to fight with a spear against what we got?”

    Now human beings are weak and our determinations and wills change from time to time, from generation to generation, from peace and plenty to war and havoc. This is natural. This is what makes war chaotic. This is what makes war into an Art and not a science. You can count up as many beans and food and ammo for your logistics as you want, using advanced calculus equations, but the battle will be decided by men, not numbers of weapons or ammo.

    Even in Vietnam, it was men who cut off their ammunition supply. Men like Ted Kennedy. And we should not forget such aspects by placing too much of an importance on the Force of Arms and the Superiority of Numbers.

    With respect to gangs, it is a lack of will; not lack of firepower or capability.

    Will is part of capability. And firepower requires will, for the will decides whether a man will pull the trigger or not. Training can bypass some of this, but it still requires will for a man to fight or join up in the first place.

    To separate these aspects into concretized and static boxes is to ignore the chaotic and human components of warfare. That’s not a good thing all in all.

    In the U.S., the government would be all over you before you got organized. They have proven that ability many times.

    Americans have proven that we are at least 10 times better at anything AL Qaeda has ever cooked up. This includes insurgency. American soldiers left behind in the Phillippines demonstrated this quite aptly when they applied Mao’s manual to the Japanese occupation forces. They did a better job than any half cocked Ayers or Alinsky ever could have. And if they lacked ultimate survivability, it was because they cared for the local population and thus did not have the ruthlessness of a Mao to purge anybody they suspected of disloyalty.

    There is no “proof” in war except in the killing or the dying. Nothing is certain or guaranteed in warfare. This isn’t an interest rate on a mortage, even. This is not a savings account. There is no “ability” except what can get results and the government has not demonstrated an “ability” until they actually do it. This is the divide between reality and “training”. People train to do what they plan to do in reality, but they haven’t demonstrated any ability yet until they actually get it done. And the better the training, the closer they will be to doing what they would be doing in a real situation.

    Btw, Watergate has already demonstrated that the FBI is no “proof” against internal bloodless coups. One of AQ’s severe limitations is that they cannot infiltrate and subvert the FBI, only the political branches such as State. This put us on an equal footing on 9/11 ,for the US had no inside info on AQ either. But that changed. For AQ, however, they didn’t have any more access to the FBI or internal American security apparatuses (like the Defense Apartment) than before 9/11. People that were pro Islam in the Defense Apartment, were still there, and the people that weren’t, well they didn’t get eliminated either. It was a status quo, so to speak.

    Keep your gun for self-protection. So far we can still control the government at the ballot box.

    Your original arguments are not valid. But even if they were, what this has to do with those two sentences, I cannot imagine.

    . Yet it is also true that every tyranny always seeks to disarm its people… so I would ask Oldflyer: why do they always seek to disarm their people, if the guns didn’t matter at all?

    Tyrannies exist by controlling power and the more power it controls, the more ruthless and insane it can become. So by necessity, a hard tyranny has less to fear from internal rebellion because the population already has been disarmed, so they don’t need to do it again.

    The hoarding and redistribution of power from the bottom to the top, is so old that it is extremely boring to describe it. It is so predictable in this sense that it hasn’t changed ever since man discovered fire. And yet, people are still unfamiliar with it. They are not intimately familiar with it. How can a democracy make informed choices when their citizens are uninformed?

  • SADIE

    Ymarsakar:

    If you ever decide to run for public office, please let me know so I know where to register.

  • suek

    Ummmm….

    Sadie???

    My husband constantly reminds me that negotiation and compromise are necessary components of government….

    Somehow, I’m not really certain that those are two of Ymar’s strongest assets…

    Though I’d certainly want him on my side! (because I’m not so great at compromise either!)

  • SADIE

    suek

    government….(in the singular, you husband may well be right), but I was thinking more about governments in the plural and in this case, we both want him on our side.

    On the other hand, I am great at compromise, as long as I can have it my way :-)

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    Charles Martel:

    “If the anti-Semitism that Obama is quietly fanning ever did reach the point where government or quasi-government squads were running around seeking out Jews, they’d have to contend with millions of Christians who’d be very willing to defend their Jewish neighbors with firearms.”

    I can only say, I would hope so; but I fear most of the Christian (and other) neighbors in areas with a sizable Jewish (or other minority) population are like so many in urban areas – mindless sheep who “don’t believe in guns.” Or they would be opportunists who would reap the aftermath – take the relocation of Japanese-Americans during WWII as an example. While it was a very different situation (we were at war, etc.), very few protested that action; and certainly not with armed resistance. Most people were just passive about it.

    Sadie:

    “I was also bewildered as a child, but came to realize that many of the victims were women, children and the elderly. Since the men were separated from the women and children, I think a good part of the ‘passive’ state was actual shock and disbelief or possibly just feeling numb and helpless from the overwhelming odds. “

    I think you may have hit the nail on the head here. That is something that I have wondered about too; But didn’t put “two and two” together until you just stated it. Yes, the families were split up and maybe that was why so many did not resist; they would be afraid of endangering their loved ones whom they hoped would survive elsewhere. However, if the families were going to their death together I’ll bet there would have been more resistance.

    There was something else involved, and certainly more powerful, that you also mentioned – “shock and disbelief.” I recently read a book called “the Unthinkable” by Amanda Ripley. I would really recommend reading it. The author interviewed dozens of people who survived disasters and other such life-shattering events. In her book she explains how panic is not the most common reaction; rather a “Bambi in the headlights” (my words, not hers) reaction is more common. The reason being that one’s mind is not believing what one’s senses are telling it. Not having experienced such events most of us do not have the mental experience to recognize it for the disaster that it is; our minds take too long to “digest” what is happening. This is one reason Police, Firemen, EMTs, military, etc. train, and train, and train until something becomes “second nature” to them.

    In reading about the shooting at Virginia Tech where a 70+ year-old professor held the door while he ushered his students out the window, I thought “something’s wrong with this picture.” I felt it should be the 20-year old students helping the elderly professor out the window while holding the door.

    But after reading “The Unthinkable” and knowing that the professor was a Holocaust survivor himself it made sense that the professor would react as he did and the students would not. With his life experiences, specifically witnessing firsthand the Holocaust, his mind did not need to go through the “unthinkable” phase before realizing what was going on. The students, on the other hand, were all still in that “state of shock or disbelief.”

    Book;

    So, yes, being armed helps; but being armed and fully trained to expect the unexpected helps even more.

  • SADIE

    “The reason being that one’s mind is not believing what one’s senses are telling it. Not having experienced such events most of us do not have the mental experience to recognize it for the disaster that it is; our minds take too long to “digest” what is happening. This is one reason Police, Firemen, EMTs, military, etc. train, and train, and train until something becomes “second nature” to them.”

    Charles

    I would call it emotional novacaine training for the professionals. I had witnessed a terrible terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the 90’s and spoke with one of the medics the next day, who was struggling with the aftermath. He had, of course, jumped into help the wounded and dying but the trauma on his face the next day looked like the firemen in the days and daze post September 11.

    Personal life experiences make us react quite differently. The professor’s response was quick and I add protective of the young students and I bet a throw back to the time when he was 20 and trying to survive without someone to hold a door open for him.

    “If the anti-Semitism that Obama is quietly fanning ever did reach the point where government or quasi-government squads were running around seeking out Jews, they’d have to contend with millions of Christians who’d be very willing to defend their Jewish neighbors with firearms.”

    Let’s hope it never comes to this, although I know historically there is always the chance. It is a matter of when really. There are plenty of us, Jews and non Jews, who have a living memory of a relative or a friend who served in WWII or who died as a result. We are 65 years past WWII now and in another generation or so, the ‘voices of memories’ will be gone.

    Our current history will just become an engine search eventually without any emotion.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    On the other hand, I am great at compromise, as long as I can have it my way

    Ah, the heart of the true negotiator and diplomat.

    I believe in diplomacy. I believe that the right hand of death and vengeance goes hand in hand with the left hand of compromise and deal making.

  • Mike Devx

    Ymar #30:
    >> I believe in diplomacy. I believe that the right hand of death and vengeance goes hand in hand with the left hand of compromise and deal making.

    Is it worth adding that, for a nation to pursue its interests, diplomacy without military threat is completely meaningless… however, military threat without diplomacy remains effective?

    In other words, isn’t a strong military – and the belief on the part of others that you’re willing to use it – the necessary underpinning that allows a moral nation to actually engage in diplomacy?

  • suek

    >>In other words, isn’t a strong military – and the belief on the part of others that you’re willing to use it – the necessary underpinning that allows a moral nation to actually engage in diplomacy?>>

    Moral or immoral – no difference. That’s why North Korea and Iran want nuclear weapons. It’s equivalent to giving an 8 yr old gun – assuming he knows how to use it. 8, 18 or 80 – that gun is a great equalizer, as long as the person is able and willing to use it.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    So long as war costs so much in terms of treasure and blood, talking will always be easier. Which is why those who seek to de-prioritize warfare by avoiding it on the basis that it costs too much, necessarily lowers the cost of warfare in the consideration of others. Such people promote more bloodshed and less talk, because why would someone go to the prolonged efforts of diplomacy when they can win total dominion through military force?

    It is only the threat of losing it all that deters people from engaging in war. There is no reason for diplomacy to exist if warfare is an effective and cost effective road to your goals.

    These considerations are the same for ending a war as for starting one.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    And it is why the Left are always the ones to first help start a war and the last ones to ever help in ending one.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    however, military threat without diplomacy remains effective?

    It remains effective only up to a point. Eventually you will want there to be a peace, even if it is the peace of the dead or the peace of a conquered province.

    But it is generally accepted that with a preponderance of military superiority and especially supremacy, that you can dictate whatever terms you wish to.