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News & Editorials

Not in My Father's Day

by Charlie McMillion

September 19, 2001

One very difficult question I've yet to hear asked about the tragic events of September 11 is how, in three out of four cases, a few men armed with only box-cutters and threats managed to commandeer aircraft despite being outnumbered at least ten to one. While it is very difficult to speculate about the details of what happened on each flight, the essence of the problem is clear: we have, to a great extent, become a pacifist society. A sheepish society where individuals are told to depend on "professionals" for protection, instead of making our own safety, and the safety of those around us -- a personal responsibility.

Had small groups of men attempted such an act in my father's day, I believe they would have been in for a rude surprise. Men knew how to fight back then. How to stand up for themselves. And I'm not talking about men with prior military experience. I'm talking about the everyday man on the street. The contrast with our generation, and with what we are teaching our children, is stark.

We cower in the closet and dial 911. My father went to the closet and got the 357. We teach our kids to never fight back. My father got a few guys together and kicked the crap out of the town bully once and for all. While the terrorists of the future are being taught from an early age how to be dedicated warriors willing to die for a cause, we are dragging our kids out of school in handcuffs for drawing pictures of soldiers with guns or for pointing pieces of chicken at each other.

This situation does not bode well for the future of this nation. It is very similar to what happened in war-weary France after WW I. The French threw away their arms and turned toward pacifism. While the French schoolboys were clinging to their mother's skirts, the German boys were being taught how to be warriors. The images of German tanks rolling into Paris during WW II show the results.

Plato said, correctly, that only the dead have seen the end of war. We had better accept it and prepare future generations for it.

God bless the brave men on United Flight 93. God help this nation.


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Those, who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people. Aristotle, as quoted by John Trenchard and Water Moyle, An Argument Shewing, That a Standing Army Is Inconsistent with a Free Government, and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy [London, 1697].

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