Is The Armed Citizen Obsolete?


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lazarus
July 21, 2003, 09:54 PM
IS THE ARMED CITIZEN OBSOLETE?

The modern revisionist historians and anti-gunners amongst the effete liberal class here in the United States latest "interpretation" of the Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is that while guns were perfectly logical in a Colonial times, today they are unnecessary and obsolete. Today we have large, modern and effective police forces (and para military groups?) and other arms of government to keep us safe from the criminals. And more importantly the myth of the Armed Citizen defending his country went out when all the modern high tech weaponry became available to military and government forces. Today, the armed citizen with his rifle is no match for "smart bombs" and F-16's.

This is a view only shared by arm chair wimps who have never been there and never done that. The efficacy of the armed citizen with his rifle has been proved over and over in the twentieth century, including the "eighties" and "nineties." Stephen P. Halbrook, author of THAT EVERY MAN BE ARMED, has recently written TARGET SWITZERLAND: SWISS ARMED NEUTRALITY IN WORLD WAR II. More in a minute.

The American view on the armed citizen was pretty much proven during the American Revolution. The British Army, one of the best equipped and trained in Europe, set out to seize a Colonial arms depot in Concord. At Lexington Green and the Concord Bridge they met the American Minute Men, the armed citizen, the militia. The British failed in their mission and were harried back to Boston where they were besieged. The Minute Men gave the Colonial Governments time to muster and train a professional army under George Washington. The British were forced to evacuate Boston. The War of American Independence would drag on for years. The armed citizen and militia would play a role in many of the battles that led to the founding of the United States of American and the Constitution.

The Civil War was fought by armed citizens from both the North and the South rallying to the "cause." Militia companies in numerous towns and cities were the foundations of many of the regiments that went into battle. At the height of the Civil War well over a million men were in the field, starting from a professional peace time army numbering a few thousand and officers in the hundreds.

Again in World War I and II armed citizens would make up the vast majority of soldiers, sailors and airmen. Reserve officers would make up the majority of the staffs and even command divisions, corps, warships and task forces that would defeat the Axis powers.

The American Civil War is recognized as the first modern war, where technology played a more important role than brute physical strength. World War I and II continued and expanded on the role of technology, leading ultimately to the Atomic Bomb, about as far from the armed citizen with his rifle as one can get. Yet, even in World War II the citizen with his rifle played a pivotal role.

Switzerland was neutral during World War II. How did that happen? Stephen Halbrook in TARGET SWITZERLAND tells us. Switzerland depended upon an armed citizen militia. Each man had his rifle and 46 rounds of ammunition at home. If and when war came, the Swiss could put a large force into the field within 24 to 48 hours.

Nazi Germany laid many plans to invade and conquer Switzerland both before and after the war started in September 1939. But each time they decided to postpone or cancel invasion plans. Why? Because the Swiss had several factors in their favor. They had a very high percentage of male citizens armed and trained for war. This went from about 200,000 to over 850,000 during the war. The terrain also favored the Swiss; they had the Alps and heavily fortified what they called the National Redoubt. The Germans depended upon the rail routes through the Alps controlled by the Swiss who were prepared to destroy them and their strategic tunnels. Also both Axis and Allied Powers depended upon Swiss neutrality for political, diplomatic and espionage activities.

But, the most important reason was that the Swiss had decreed that they would not surrender; surrender was forbidden. Every man would defend his position to the last. There could be no surrender and no retreat. Also the Swiss were the best marksmen in Europe. The Swiss at the beginning of the war had an army made up of riflemen, with only a smattering of artillery and less than a score of modern combat aircraft. Yet, they intimidated the founders of the "Blitzkrieg" warfare, the very embodiment of high tech weapons and tactics in 1939-1943.

The Swiss succeeded because they had the will to win, the will to resist and the means to inflict unacceptable casualties on the Germans. The Germans realized this and decided that a neutral Switzerland was more important than a "third front" that would bleed the Wehrmacht dry.

So what does this have to do with the "nineties?" Look around the world. The Soviets got clobbered and were bled dry by the Afghans who were armed citizens, citizens with rifles, many "obsolete." Yet they are determined to live free or die. More importantly they were willing to let the Soviets die as well. The armed citizen gave the Afghans time to organize, train and equip, with a lot of outside help, and defeat the Soviet Army.

Other examples abound of armed citizens defying modern high tech armies and defeating invading hordes of blunting their objectives. In Somalia the best Americans could field, Delta Force, Rangers, Special Operations Forces were fought to a stand still by a bunch of rag tag armed citizens who were willing to fight and die and never surrender. America did not have the political will to win that fight, so we left. Vietnam, Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese fought the French and the the Americans to win victory because they had the will to do so. The started their wars with armed citizens, citizens armed with the low tech rifle.

Today, in Chechnya, the Russian Army has yet to defeat a rag tag bunch of die hard armed citizens who believe that they should be free. Which brings us to the real question. Do Americans today have the will to fight and die for freedom? Millions have fought, bled and died to keep America free; hopefully this and coming generations will have the will and the means to defend Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

If we do, the armed citizen will be at the cornerstone. The citizen with his rifle is both a symbol of the will to live free and practical manifestation of that will. The criminal, the tyrannical government, the invading armies have always respected the armed citizen; almost always the reason for their defeat.

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Standing Wolf
July 21, 2003, 11:40 PM
The Swiss succeeded because they had the will to win, the will to resist and the means to inflict unacceptable casualties on the Germans. The Germans realized this and decided that a neutral Switzerland was more important than a "third front" that would bleed the Wehrmacht dry.

I believe that's well said and worth bearing in mind; in addition, I think the Germans didn't regard the Swiss as members of an "inferior race," and did regard Switzerland as a safe haven for looted money, gold, and works of art.

Like bullet placement, the critical factor is probably the will to win; after that, it's just technical details.

c_yeager
July 22, 2003, 04:09 AM
THere are also a number of geographic and political reasons why Switzerland wasnt invaded. It also has a lot to do with the fact that they were quite content to sit back and watch the germans decimate the rest of the world. This does not make them "good guys" in my eyes. Some would even call it pandering and there is no honor in it.

Art Eatman
July 22, 2003, 07:59 AM
"Today we have large, modern and effective police forces (and para military groups?) and other arms of government to keep us safe from the criminals."

Yowzuh! I do believe I could make somebody a heckuva cash deal on a bridge!

Trouble is, federal district courts have held that there is no obligation to keep an individual safe. Only the community as a whole.

Responsibility for one's safety and security is as it always has been: With the individual.

:), Art

seeker_two
July 22, 2003, 08:57 AM
"Today we have large, modern and effective police forces (and para military groups?) and other arms of government to keep us safe from the criminals."

http://images.usatoday.com/news/_photos/2002/10/12-moose-inside.jpg

Need I say more?... :scrutiny:

Deepdiver
July 22, 2003, 10:27 AM
It is a known fact that: "a majority of elected officials prefer unarmed peasants"......who da thunk???

dustind
July 22, 2003, 10:48 AM
Our police do keep us safe, how many years has it been since the last violent rape, theft, or murder?? Home invasions are a thing of the past. There is not a threat in the entire world that can get past our military, our future is certian and secure, guns are no longer needed...

Police can investigate crimes, but our saftey is our own responsibility, bad guys dont strike where the police are likely to respond quickly.

edit: I did not have time to read the article in class so I just replied to the title.:o

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
July 22, 2003, 11:27 AM
I'm sitting here in my semi-comfortable chair looking at my Garand, my AR, and my Sig. If civil (or even military) unrest were to spontaneously break out in my end of Dallas, where would I be?

I'd be getting to know my neighbors a lot better, first of all...and we'd be blocking off the entrances to our block and taking high positions to preclude anything unwarranted entering our area.
There are several shooters and many more gun owners on my block. Some of us have ben here a long time, some are recent immigrants and naturalized citizens, all with a vested interest in keeping what is rightfully ours. Feel free to call it 'Texan mentality" but I bet we'd all pull together as a fairly cohesive group in case thuggery broke out and became a direct threat.

Switzerland was a much more cohesive, homogenous group in the earlier part of this century. They still have fairly strict restrictions on immigration yet they identify themselves with Germanic, Italian, and Austrian subgroups, respectively. Switzerland has steadily withdrawn into itself since it decided to quit ranging afield in regional struggles in the 17th century if I remeber correctly, and has steadily worked to strengthen its' internal defenses. Swiss mercenaries were among the finest in the known world at that time. There is a reason that Swiss guard the Vatican, and it's not because of a predilection for funny uniforms.

Terrain is a big part of why Switzerland was never threatened directly in the last world war. Civilian marksmanship training is the other. Nobody is going to have a cakewalk through their country; the Swiss would see to that. Same with my neighborhood, should the SHTF. The entire country 'thinks locally' as well as 'acts locally'. Not since the time of William Tell has the citizenry had a problem with such indiscretions from authorities, and for good reason.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Don Gwinn
July 22, 2003, 02:55 PM
Seeker Two, maybe a little more. You lost me with the guy holding a picture of a truck.

:confused:

RandyB
July 22, 2003, 03:19 PM
Ask US troops who are being shot at be Iraq citizens. History shows that our armed society was a factor in Japans lack of interest in invading (never mind the logistics that it would take). Look at the citizen soldier, if I was active duty at this time, my years of shooting on the farm would have a direct impact on my ability to shoot in combat. I think that my mother carrying a .38 does impact the safety of my wife, who carries nothing. (Fortunately I can tell the difference between my wife and my mother :what: ) But can a rapist, robber, etc. tell which one is carrying and which isn't?

.45Ruger
July 22, 2003, 04:20 PM
Don, the picture is of Chief Moose holding up a picture of the white van that the sniper was supposed to be driving.

Jim March
July 22, 2003, 04:22 PM
Don: that's a picture of police chief Moose holding up a pic of the vehicle that supposedly held the DC snipers.

:scrutiny:

seeker_two
July 22, 2003, 04:51 PM
What they said...:D

Or, to rephrase...

http://countrythings.net/images/barney.jpg

Travis McGee
July 23, 2003, 02:29 AM
Just consider the total mayhem caused by two yoyos in an old Buick with an AR-15 around our nation's captital last year.

Then consider an army attempting to rule America by force against the will of a large % of the population. Imagine how many millions of scoped deer rifles are in circulation which can hit a soldier, a gestapo-type thug, or a collaborating politician from greater than 200 yards. This country would be ungovernable.

That's pretty much a good part of the plot of my novel.

Tom C.
July 23, 2003, 08:18 AM
Correcting a few examples:

The Soviets got clobbered and were bled dry by the Afghans who were armed citizens, citizens with rifles, many "obsolete."

With a little help from our Stingers to take out the Russian air threat.


In Somalia the best Americans could field, Delta Force, Rangers, Special Operations Forces were fought to a stand still by a bunch of rag tag armed citizens who were willing to fight and die and never surrender.

It also helped that the odds in the Blackhawk Down fight were 2000 to 3000 against 20.


Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese fought the French and the Americans to win victory because they had the will to do so.

Actually, we won. Then gave it away. The NVA finally won with a conventional invasion with heavy armor, after the Democommies prevented Nixon from stopping them.

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