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There Are No Barbarians At the Gates

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Control Group, Apr 11, 2005.

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  1. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    "Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo - which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn't a stupendous badass was dead."
    --Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

    "Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
    --William Pitt

    They ask us why. Why do we need guns? In a country among the most civilized and safe the world has ever seen, why does a person need a device designed solely for the purpose of taking life? Then they tell us about the needs they want to meet. The need to protect children from harm. The need to stop the streets from being killing fields. The need for the average citizen to be safe when he walks out his front door.

    So let's talk about needs.

    Throughout human history, the same tale is told over, and over, and over again. A mighty civilization rises, a shining beacon of culture and science and architecture and art. It lasts for generations, for centuries. And then the barbarians arrive. They see no value in running water, in the written word, in waste disposal, in magnificent buildings. They come to plunder and burn, to rape and kill, and this mighty civilization is laid to waste. The barbarians, you see, may not be able to read, and they may not know how to build an aqueduct, and they may not have any use for the elderly or infirm, but they do know how to kill. They understand that, in the final analysis, might does make right. Enough people with enough axes can ignore whatever laws, rules, or ethics might stop a lesser force.

    Barbarism, it seems, is the natural human condition. If history itself isn't convincing enough, look at the world today. There's rioting in the streets of Los Angeles - what's guaranteed? Looting. They can't stop us, we'll take everything we can get our hands on. A tsunami slams into the shores of South Asia, with a resulting death toll of hundreds of thousands. What happens in the aftermath? European slavers snatch up lost little girls to sell to the depraved. Surrounded by crushing poverty, a Somalian Warlord slaughters his neighbors and buys drugs for his henchmen.

    These are not isolated events, they're not outliers off the curve, they're not exceptions to the rule. They are the rule. When we as a species climbed down from the trees and decided to generate what we call human history, we didn't do it by forming committees and drawing up budget proposals, we did it by inventing better ways to kill everyone else. The human urge to destroy, the instinct to take by force what others have gained by labor is part of our genetic makeup. Should anyone doubt this, or claim that "only humans make war," I recommend researching the Four-Year War at Gombe.

    Violence and brutality are as much a part of humanity as intelligence and socialization. It is the universal drive of civilization to contain these instincts, to redirect them into more productive channels, to convince people to live within a set of rules. But no matter how civilized, no society has eliminated them, nor will one. The society that forgets this is the society that falls to the barbarian hordes. The society that accepts this, and nurtures the warrior spirit away from barbarism and into the defense of the right is the society that rises to glory.

    This is something the Founding Fathers knew well, and it is the reason they wrote "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," into the Second Amendment. Their perception, their genius, was that an armed population, ready and willing to fight for their freedoms, was the only sure defense against the barbarians. And their wisdom proved to be still relevant nearly two hundred years later, when Admiral Yamamoto told Prime Minister Tojo, "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."

    But this vision has worked so well that it has been all but forgotten. We have become so complacent in our security that we have forgotten what provides it. We have collectively bought into the notion that someone else should protect us, that the government's job is to provide security. We have forgotten that we are the government - by the people - and that no one will protect us but us - for the people. This has been easy to do, because we are unthreatened. There are no unexplored continents teeming with barbarians ready to invade. We have developed a civilization so adept at wielding military might that none dare invade, for fear of being utterly annihilated. We have done this by concentrating authority over and responsibility for the mechanisms of violence in a comparatively small group of people, who decide when and where we should employ them, and it has proven to be effective.

    Surely this means we are safe! The barbarians will not attack, they cannot attack, because the certainty of retribution, swift, sure, and complete, must dissuade any nation from designs upon our sovreignty. The barbarians have been cowed, and we march bravely into the future. For the first time in human history, there are no barbarians at the gates!

    Indeed, there are no barbarians at the gates - the barbarians are through the gates and within the walls. They fly planes into skyscrapers in New York, they detonate bombs beneath day care centers in Oklahoma City, they execute students in Columbine.

    So let's talk about needs. This is what I need.

    I need to protect my children from harm. I need to stop my front lawn from being a killing field. I need to be safe when I walk out my front door. The government does its part to achieve these things: the Mongol Horde isn't going to come screaming down Main Street stealing my children for slaves. No Zeroes will be strafing my front lawn. The Wehrmacht isn't going to goose-step up the walk and bayonet me when I go to work. But I need to do my part, because no one else can do it for me. No amount of governmental good intention will prevent a man from assaulting me in an alley. No divison of infnatry will stop a thug from raping my wife. No intelligence satellite will catch the man who murders my child before it happens.

    What I want is to never be necessary. I devoutly hope to never see true violence, and I have so far managed to avoid even bar fights. I want to be the absolute last line of defense for me and mine, behind every person my tax money has hired to keep my community safe. But no amount of wanting will mean that I am not that last line of defense, and I need, I deserve, I demand the right to be that last line. This is the final remaining vestige of the barbarian impulse, the warrior spirit, that I possess.

    And it is this remnant of a racial history steeped in violence that they are trying to crush when they ask why I need guns. It is the warrior spirit that, whether intentionally or not, they are trying to wish out of existence, because it is the warrior spirit, the barbarian urge, that causes violent crime, terrorism, and war. But they are trying to quash it amongst the wrong people, amongst the very people civilization must nurture the most: those who have it, but control it. Those who wield that very drive in defense of those who hope to not need them to.

    These people are the most precious resource we have, the cultivated warrior spirit our most important defense. Because it is these people, with this spirit that, in the final extreme, define greatness. These are the people who fling themselves into an angry sea to pull other people's children to safety. These are the people who pit a pistol against a rifle, because they cannot stand by and watch innocent people slaughtered. These are the people who drive their plane into the ground before seeing it used as a weapon of terror.

    These are the people society needs, the people society must cultivate, because, ultimately, they are what divides us from, and what protects us against, the barbarians.

    "People sleep peacably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
    --George Orwell
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2005
  2. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Quote=close enough. Players=wrong.

    Hirohito was the emperor of Japan.
    The quote is attributed to Admiral Yamamoto.

    Oh... by the way... Excellent Essay!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2005
  3. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    GAH

    You are, of course, right...and you have no idea how red my face is right now. Thanks for the correction.
     
  4. Redneck Revolver

    Redneck Revolver Member

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    +1, well said my friend.
     
  5. english kanigit

    english kanigit Member

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    Well said.

    Control Group, with your permission I would like to save this for the future.
     
  6. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    Thanks - I've been working on this for a little while.

    English kanigit, you (and anyone else) may certainly copy/save/repost to your heart's content. I'd certainly appreciate a link to this post and credit as possible, but even that's up to you.

    It's just something I felt like saying, and I'm flattered if you want to keep it or show it to anyone else.
     
  7. Infidel

    Infidel Member

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    That is very well said. Thank you.
     
  8. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    You had me wanting to read the rest as soon as you quoted my favorite author, Neal Stephenson. :D


    Well written... copy saved to HD.
     
  9. garyk/nm

    garyk/nm Member

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    Wow! Well said, sir! It would do my heart good to see this published somewhere that fence-sitters can read it. We're not ALL gun nuts.
    Thank you for the words of inspiration.
     
  10. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Unfortunately, quashing the “warrior spirit†is exactly what they (gun-controllers, pacifists, etc.) are trying to do. They believe that if only they could eliminate the “tools of violence†(guns, knives, etc.) and teach non-violent conflict resolution (like that practiced on three out of four planes on Sept. 11th), then the world would be a better, more peaceful place. Furthermore, they are willing to sacrifice their lives and dignity—and yours and mine—to achieve this noble and hopelessly naive goal.

    ~G. Fink
     
  11. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    Control Group, an excellent post! Thoughtful and insightful. Thank you.

    What concerns me most about today's society is how soooo many people willingly give away their rights. It seems they've had things so good for so long they demand the government care for them. I'm a little different: I take my personal freedoms and liberty damned seriously. I'm not willing to lose any of my rights.

    In my state, there's debate about a tobacco smoking ban. The vast majority of people are willing to vote to impose their will upon others. They're willing to instruct a private business owner to not allow an otherwise legal activity. It matters not whether that business owner pays his taxes and runs a law-abiding establishment. These cowards are willing to use the power of government to impose their will.

    Of course virtually ANY gun control measures are non-logical attempts to deal with crime and an individual's unwillingness to confront their own safety. So they strive to deny any citizen's right to self defense. It causes me despair that sooo many people "don't get it". I'll keep fighting and voting for my individual rights, but I feel I'm trying to bucket water from the Titanic.
     
  12. model 649

    model 649 Member

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    Excellent essay! I do not fear the barbarians. I do not fear those who work tirelessly to deprive me of my rights. I stand with those that fight FOR our rights, and against barbarism. I have confidence that our cause is the right and the light. This has been grudgingly admitted by those who work against us. My only question is WHY they keep at it, under the table and behind the veil? I understand that if there is a prevailing force in the world, it is not GOOD, it is EVIL. The good are forever locked in war with the evil. Sometimes it seems hopeless, but every now and then a glimmer appears and keeps me going against the evil. Contrary to what the "media" purvey, more people are finding the warrior spirit of which you so eloquently wrote. For instance, the Minuteman Project has been not only successful, but the ACLU "watchdogs" admitted there has been no violence or abuse done to the invaders (she hesitated, but had to agree). Publicly, the Border "patrol" denounces the Project, but the field agents have stated they welcome the effort(it makes their job easier). I will keep on going and teaching those who will learn, and I will learn from them as well. Boil away the B.S. and you will at last find the warrior. It just take a little time and effort. The answers are out in the open to the questions I ask of those that would "let others defend them". I have seen the double-take of realization on many faces over the years. A simple reward, but well worth it to me. The process is slow and difficult after all the time taken to get to this point in our complacency, but change IS happening, due in no small part to efforts at education such as Control Group's essay. I too, will put it out there and let it work, if I may. I don't believe for a minute that it is "too late". Thanks for the excellent essay and the space to speak.
    Josh
     
  13. jojosdad

    jojosdad Member

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    What a great essay. Thank you for articulating what has been in my mind for years. Bravo!
     
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Well said.
     
  15. hrb02

    hrb02 Member

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    Well written and well said

    Very well said. Thank you for the permission to save/post. When I do, I will, of course, credit and link you.
     
  16. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Yep, the basic nature of humanity is to be a bunch of filthy, superstitious, ignorant yahoos. (See Gulliver's Travels)

    Good essay, mind it I email to my pals? (with proper crediting of course)
     
  17. Maddock

    Maddock Member

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    Bravo!
    Excellent essay.
     
  18. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    Bravo! Bravo! +20!
     
  19. Randy in Arizona

    Randy in Arizona Member

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    Very good, correct and expand! :) :)
     
  20. FRIENDLY

    FRIENDLY Member

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    State Control

    Just a thought for HUSKER1911. just ask those people who demand a total smoking ban what they will do if all people stopped smoking and the State had to find the tax money from them PERSONALLY.If the situation is the same there as it is here that amounts to a very large amount of money in tobacco taxes.Then maybe suggest liquor taxes being lost due to lower drinking.Governments of all types need large sums of money to bribe the peasantry so that they can stay in power.
     
  21. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

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    Dang, Control Group -- good piece. You commented,
    Please let me encourage you to keep saying whatever you wish. ;)
     
  22. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

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    Well spoken, sir!
     
  23. jpthegeek

    jpthegeek Member

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    Here! Here!

    Excellent essay! Thanks for posting!
     
  24. middy

    middy Member

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    Excellent essay.

    You get an "A" from me.
     
  25. RobW

    RobW Member

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    These are the facts that the self declared "Elite" refuse to recognize. They want to commit suicide, but please, the "Serfs" have to go first!

    Lemmingism. :banghead:

    Absolutely great essay!
     
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