you ready for Civil Disobedience?
On December 1, 1955 after a
long and tiring day at work, Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat on a bus
to a white man simply because she was black.
This courageous act of defiance caused her arrest for violation of the
city of Montgomery, Alabama “Jim Crow” laws.
Her actions gave much needed momentum to the civil rights movement.
The ensuing 381-day bus boycott eventually led to a Supreme Court
decision that everyone already knew--discrimination in public transportation is
unconstitutional. It shouldn’t
have taken one unpretentious black lady to bring it to everyone’s attention!
In February 1960, the
“Greensboro four,” looking for more than the fare served at the Woolworth
lunch counter started the “sit in” movement for the civil rights of blacks
in the south. These four students,
trembling in fear of repercussion from the police and other patrons, obstructed
the wheels of prejudice and injustice with their own bodies.
These heroes of the civil
rights movement, along with many others -- through the application of nonviolent
protests -- broke the pattern of racially segregated public facilities and
“If a man hasn’t discovered something
to die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
Luther King Jr.
America is historically
familiar with the concept of civil disobedience.
The beginning of our country was founded on our disobedience to the laws
and rule of a tyrant King. By
definition, civil disobedience means: “nonviolent
opposition to a government policy or law by refusing to obey these laws on
grounds of conscience.” Even
though mass civil disobedience to our laws has been conspicuously absent from
our social and political scene lately, this does not negate a need for it.
To the contrary, read on!
“We must be the change we wish to
We, as firearm owners, need
to define under what circumstances civil disobedience can be justified and
applied to recover our rights. If
we look to the non-democratic societies, such as in Eastern Europe, civil
disobedience has been used quite effectively to institute political change.
The labor movement organized by Lech Welesa in Poland led to sweeping
reforms that have dramatically altered their political landscape.
Remember, it was civil disobedience that motivated citizens of East and
West Berlin to tear down the most dramatic and enduring symbol of government
sponsored tyranny, The Berlin Wall.
“Power concedes nothing without a
demand. It never did, and it never will.”
Can we expect citizens of the
United States to make the same sacrifices made by others, in other countries?
We live in a time of abundance, and at the same time a time of
dependency! We are dependent on
what government largess we are able to acquire by selling our votes to the
highest bidder -- one who will later turn against us.
We are abundant in our incomes and in our material trappings, and many
among us have become willing accomplices to our own economic bondage. We have our comfort, and some are unwilling to lay it on the
line for something as fleeting and intangible as liberty and freedom.
I fear that there is little time left for negotiation.
And the non-believers in freedom and liberty have systematically blocked
from us the other means that exist to recover our rights.
grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to defend it!”
Thoreau, Gandhi and Martin
Luther King Jr. did not believe that civil disobedience to an unjust law was
anarchy. They believed that their obedience to a higher law was
paramount to laws of man. In the
United States that higher law is our Constitution!
So you can see that the
persons who choose to engage in civil disobedience are actually expressing a
higher respect for the law. Harriet
Tubman, a criminal in her day, would be judged much differently today for her
disobedience to the Fugitive Slave laws of the mid-nineteenth century.
“All laws which are repugnant to the
Constitution are null and void.”
v. Madison (1803)
To make our situation worse,
since the early 1980’s America has been engaged in what they call a “Drug
War”. Make no mistake, this is a war!
This war has everything a war needs; An objective; A General, soldiers,
money; a battlefield and of course, lets not forget the victims of war.
Since 1990, Congress has been appropriating money for the “drug war”
and has even ordered the Pentagon to share military intelligence and arms to the
drug warriors. To further erode the
rights and protections of citizens, Congress amended the Posse Comitatus Act to
allow the military a more active role in law enforcement activities. Subsequent actions by Congress have loosened the restrictions
on the military even more.
This so-called drug war has
created a proliferation of a federal police force.
And this has led to rampant civil and human rights violations—all in
the name of the law!
“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by
the endurance of those they oppose.”
In 1996 President Bill
Clinton appointed Army General Barry McCaffrey as the Director of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy. General
McCaffrey has been a good candidate to continue the government policy of the
militarization of our domestic police forces.
There is a severe lack of knowledge and understanding of this fact among
Americans. In fact, the
proliferation of television “Cop” shows is assisting in this
“acceptance” of our “warrior police force”.
How often in one of these shows do you see police officers dressed like
soldiers with Kevlar helmets, body armor and fully automatic weapons busting
some "criminal" for a petty "drug offense" where there is no
victim in the "crime"? Are
you getting the picture?
“The thing that will destroy us is
politics without principles.”
In the last five years the
Department of Defense gave police departments over 1.2 million pieces of
military hardware, including grenade launchers and armored personnel carriers.
At this time, in cities with populations over 50,000, nearly 90 percent
of those cities have a paramilitary police unit. In cities with populations under 50,000, 70 percent of those
cities have these units.* The
Pentagon is funding the training and the arming of these paramilitary SWAT
offices. Training is provided by
active duty Army Rangers and Navy SEALS! I
don’t know about you, but I have some concern about local police officers with
the mindset of a soldier. One is
duty bound to serve and protect, the other to kill without conscience to achieve
an objective, regardless of how "the enemy" feels about the
"laws" being enforced.
be fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans."
These changes to the mission
of our police are due in part to this misguided and dangerous war against some
drugs. We all know that the
friendly BATF was expanded after the repeal of the prohibition of alcohol.
After the repeal of prohibition all those soon to be out of work federal
agents needed a mission, so Congress passed the National Firearms Act in 1934.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 continued to bolster federal control of the
firearms industry. The drug war created a new breed of federal and local officers
to combat these new “threats” to our domestic security. The government is
using a non-existent or limited crisis to place more restrictions on our
liberties, or eliminate them entirely. With
each new draconian gun law comes more federal police and more money appropriated
to arm them.
a struggle, there can be no progress.”
Since 1968, federal BATF
agents have had a field day at our expense.
The abuses are too numerous to mention.
However, it is appropriate to mention that there have been confiscations
of “spud guns” as destructive devices, murders, destruction and seizure of
personal property, cover-up of crimes committed by agents, and planting of
“evidence” to make an arrest. All
of this has been and still is conducted without fear of prosecution!
At the end of the day, “officer friendly” is standing in the
smoldering embers of our Constitution claiming the “Eichmann Defense” by
saying “I was only following orders”! That didn’t work in Nuremberg and it shouldn’t work
For the life of me I do not
understand why a seemingly good police officer will follow plainly illegal
orders that cause the unwarranted destruction of life and property.
The police who will follow any order are nothing more than tools of
oppression. In the end, I predict
that they will also pay a high price for their actions in the coming resistance
to government sponsored oppression.
Don’t you agree that they
should at least be on the side of an honorable cause?
“We must never forget that everything
Hitler did was legal.”
Luther King Jr.
Our community police
departments are becoming willing accessories to these unlawful acts because of
the support they receive from various federal agencies -- not to mention, their
share of federal seizures from the “asset forfeiture laws”. There is a lot of incentive for a local police department to
participate in these activities. These
government policies are creating a standing army within our communities, an act
feared by our Founding Fathers. Don’t
get me wrong; I am not against a duly organized and legitimate constabulary.
There is a place for the police in our society and I support the sincere
efforts and sacrifices of our men and women in blue, as long as their duties are
conducted under the legitimate laws of the land.
free man shall ever be disbarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear
arms, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Now back to civil
disobedience! Recently the State of California has enacted several
draconian firearm laws, including confiscation.
Many patriot firearm owners have refused to comply with these illegal
laws, at risk of a felony conviction. These
citizens should not be judged harshly by others for their defiance of these
unjust and illegal laws.
They understand, and have not
abandoned the principles of individual liberty and freedom.
The action of these citizens is called “Civil Disobedience”, and we
should all express our gratitude to them for their courage. This could be the beginning of our movement!
However, there are too many armchair patriots who are waiting for the
“feds” to come down the street with bullhorns ordering citizens to “bring
out your guns” before they take a proactive stand.
Folks, when that day comes, it is already too late!
laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we transgress them at
For the purpose of
illustration, I am including the non-violent dictum of Rev. Martin Luther King
Jr. You are welcome to use the advice as you see fit to your own
will take direct action against injustice without waiting for other agencies
will not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices.
will do this peacefully, openly, cheerfully because our aim is to persuade.
adopt the means of non-violence because our end is a community at peace with
will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to
persuade with our acts.
will always be willing to talk and seek a fair compromise, but we are always
ready to suffer when necessary and even risk our lives to become witnesses to
the truth as we see it.
There is so much that can be
done! Instead of civil disobedience, I prefer the term “Civil Resistance”. First of all, let all your elected representatives know that
you will never register or give up your firearms, that you will not obey illegal
firearm laws. Then stick to it!
corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws!"
Some ideas for activism
These are a few of the things
you can accomplish on a daily basis without disturbing your lifestyle, but can
have positive impact on legislation. Depending
on your imagination and creativity, you can add more.
Write letters to the Editor
of your daily newspaper. Especially
in response to a damaging article about firearms.
Educate yourself on the
issues. Arm yourself with the facts to refute the outrageous claims
made by the anti-rights crowd.
Get involved with the
activities of a pro-gun organization, but don’t expect them to do all the work
without your assistance.
Resolve to call or write your
representatives at least once a week expressing your views.
Start or circulate a
Confront the media on their
misinterpretation of the facts.
And, most importantly, set
your mind on a firm foundation of commitment to be and remain a free individual.
sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it
nothing can succeed."
Activism leads to a positive
change; apathy leads to the continued loss of rights and liberties.
If only a small fraction of the firearm owners in the U. S. became active
in preserving their rights, we could permanently change the current anti-rights
We, as firearm owners, need
to become the so-called “800 pound gorilla”.
We must claim respect for our passion and our exuberance toward
Do everything within your
power to hamstring those who wish to deny you your God-given rights.
Flood the offices of your elected officials with letters expressing your
views, and insist that they honor their oath
of office. Gandhi used the religious beliefs and the sense of honor of the
British to win independence for India. The
British became victims of their own conscience. Our foes have no conscience or
principles for us to rely upon. All
we have is our own resolve and our resistance to further capitulation with the
extremists who are denying us our safety and security.
And they are the “extremists”!
What is the difference between the homophobic and racist extremists who
murdered Mathew Sheppard and James Byrd, and the government-paid extremists that
murdered Carl Ray Wilson in his sleep recently in Arkansas?
defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and
Ideas for Civil Resistance
Why would you comply with
state sanctioned “concealed carry laws” when you already have the right to
carry a firearm. The only reason
CCW laws exist in the first place is so we don’t offend anyone by open carry. We need to start offending a few people!
With as many firearm owners
as there are cell phone subscribers (about 100 million each) we can make the
firearm as common as the ubiquitous cell phone.
Think about that when you see someone on the road with a cell phone or
the dozens you see in a shopping mall.
Do your civic duty by serving
on a Jury. Educate yourself about
the rights and duties of a juror. You
have the sole power to nullify an illegal or unconstitutional law.
When a jury finds a defendant not guilty where the defendant did in fact
violate the law, it nullifies the law in that case. Repeated nullification of an unjust law makes it
unenforceable in future cases and will eventually lead to a repeal of that law.
Juries repeatedly nullified prosecutions under the prohibition laws. That
is the primary reason that the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed.
Let's create a future that is equally bleak for our senseless firearms
laws. Does it make sense for any
citizen to be jailed for the constitutionally protected act of “possession of a firearm”?
(Prosecution for violent actions
with a firearm is another matter.)
not enough jails, not enough policemen and not enough courts to enforce a law
not supported by the people.”
Without raising one fist in
anger against an unjust and illegal law, one juror can stop governmental abuse
and oppression. If this
responsibility is not exercised by juries, trial by jury becomes trial by
government! Jury nullification is part of our “checks and balances”
system and is not a violation of the rule of law, because it is the rule
This is true even though it
contradicts instructions from a biased and politically appointed judge and
“The law itself is on trial quite as
much as the cause which is to be decided.”
F. Stone U.S. supreme Court, 1941
How far can we expect the
abuses against our right to keep and bear arms to continue, before we stand up
and take a stand and say NO MORE! How
many more stories do we need to hear and read about?
How many more blatantly illegal “Lautenberg” amendments need to be
foisted on us?
law is not to be respected merely because it is the law, but only because it is
right and just. If unjust laws
exist, civil disobedience is an effective way to oppose and
Any talk about civil
disobedience must include a disclaimer on the risks for your actions.
Group or individual
disobedience could cover such crimes as:
Inciting a riot
Plus a myriad of other state
and local laws that could include violations of firearm laws.
The penalties for these
crimes will vary from one jurisdiction to another.
If you decide to (and I hope you do) participate in civil resistance to
our unfair and unjust firearm laws and enforcement, please check with your
particular state and local laws and learn what your rights are in case you and
the law find yourselves at cross purposes.
More serious crimes could
cross over into federal jurisdictions. To
wit; In 1970, congress passed The Organized Crime Act and The
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. (RICO)
Penalties under the RICO statutes are more severe and preferred by
prosecutors because of the stiffer penalties and higher damage awards.
I bring up RICO because it is
important for anyone considering civil disobedience and political protest. Primarily because it brings groups with opposing views,
political agendas and interests into a position to file claims under the RICO
statutes. Left wing liberal groups
love the RICO laws and use them frequently to silence their opponents.
We can use those same laws
Originally, RICO was used as
a tool to prosecute organized crime. However,
it has been perverted into a method to squash free speech and free assembly
protections. The bright side to
RICO is that the Supreme Court will probably rule that RICO cannot be used
against protections guaranteed by the Constitution.
With this information I hope
to have inspired you to become more involved in protecting our rights and
stopping continued assaults on these rights.
Never forget the goal of our enemies -- total domestic disarmament.
Think about the persons whom I have quoted in this article and the
sacrifices they made for their cause. Remember,
they eventually prevailed. We can
first they came for the Communist, and I didn’t speak up, because I was not a
Communist. Then they came for the
Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionist, and I didn’t speak up, because I
wasn’t a trade unionist. Then
they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Martin Niemoller (Nazi victim)
study by Professors Peter Kraska and Victor Kappeler at the Eastern Kentucky
University School of Police Studies