Last week one of TZP’s blog posts drew this response via Twitter: We ARE a nation of cowards. Proof: Holder is still breathing.”
The comment came from a long-time, much-respected freedomista. What follows is not in any way a knock on him. Anybody who’s been around the freedom movement, watching for decades as high-level rights-robbing criminals go unpunished, knows the frustration that drives statements like that.
But I’ve been dispatched by the rest of the TZP crew to say a few words about future comments that may go over the line, over the top, or around the bend.
We let that particular tweet remain in our feed because it stayed on this side of the dangerous line: no threats were made or implied. But the line is there. Any comment on our blog or our social media feeds that crosses that line — that advocates aggressive violence or threatens anybody — may be deleted posthaste or mocked mercilessly and Made An Example Of. The person making it may be blocked, banned, restricted, barred, disbarred, forbidden, kicked out, ejected, evicted, removed from under their troll bridge, defenestrated, given the boot, or given a pair of boots and be told the hit the road. We also generally follow the comment policy outlined by TZPer Nicki Kenyon on her personal blog.
Now, this position will inevitably lead some readers (see “around the bend,” above) to scream “Censorship!” and “You’re violating my First Amendment rights!” Some may call us collaborators and sellouts for refusing to give our online space to the cause of fomenting their revolution or assassinating their least-favorite politician. So be it. To those folks we say: Get your own webspace. It’s cheap (if not free) these days. Then you can have the joy of dealing with the FBI, ATF, DHS, or IRS when your posts come to their attention. We’d prefer to avoid such bad company, thank you.
While you’re explaining yourself in an interrogation cell, we’ll go right on following Aaron Zelman’s original mission of educating, inspiring, and providing a safe place for a lawful conspiracy to restore freedom and gun rights.
You have been warned. Not that most of you need it. But there it is, on behalf of the entire might of TZP officialdom.
Second, The Action. Even when the best action may look like inaction.
Now to the more interesting part.
I suspect there’s not one of us who, in some dark moment, hasn’t wished death (or at least a severe case of genital fungus) upon some haughty villain whose badge or title or office or rank (not to mention the presence of heavily armed bodyguards, iron gates, security systems and suchlike) makes him (or her) untouchable by We the Peasants.
We watch as bureaucrats, elected officials, or puffed-up billionaire cronies rampage over our freedoms. We stand here shouting and waving our arms as our country oozes downhill — and we feel as if we’re doing nothing. Or at least nothing useful.
I grok the feeling.
We fantasize about uprisings. We read novels or watch movies about rebellion. We gaze backward to the days before the American Revolution, looking for similarities, for trigger events, for courage. We cheer for some other mouse to “bell the cat.” Then (oddly enough) when the occasional would-be leader actually does step forward to propose gathering an army to march on Washington, DC, we suddenly find we have something better to do.
But that’s not cowardice on our part. It’s good sense. Because the wanna-be generals are usually either damnfools or agents provocateurs.
The fact is: violence (even in the name of freedom) isn’t the sure sign of courage or principles, and non-violence in the face of oppression isn’t the sure sign of cowardice.
Violence is often just the sign of dangerous idiocy or desperation born of a failure to think creatively. Non-violence (not inaction, mind you, but non-violence) may be not only a sign of wisdom and prudence; it may in the long run be the surest course toward restoring freedom.
Sixteenth-century proto-freedomista Étienne de La Boétie put it well in his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (1548): “I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”
The poet Shelley had a thoughtful take on tyrants, too. He and La Boétie could have had a great conversation over a bottle of wine.
TZP’s own Oleg Volk made an apt comment on the understandable desire to see any specific official “terminated with extreme prejudice”: “While assassinations are cathartic, they are generally counter-productive in a democratic society because the evil is usually a feature of the position held as much as a feature of the specific personality. If Holder dies, his handlers will appoint another of similar moral qualities.”
And ain’t that the truth? Not only will some similar lump of excremental corruption replace anyone who’s assassinated; but we’ll get entire new agencies, directorates, bureaucracies, departments, and dictatorship, all dedicated to combatting the threat to fedgovian power. Government is worse than a Lernaean Hydra when it’s directly attacked.
There may come a time when defensive violence in the cause of American liberty is necessary once again. But that time is not now — and if we commit ourselves to promoting and preparing for freedom in the present, that time may never come. We should hope for that. We should hope — and we have reason to hope — that big, overreaching government will bloat and die from within. We should hope — and we have reason to hope — that dedicated freedomistas, including gun owners, will hasten that death by refusing to yield, refusing to obey, refusing to grant any respect to those who sieze our rights.
Revolutions and assassinations look good in the movies, but in real life they mostly bring crackdowns and other catastrophes. Frustration makes them seem appealing, but the reality is otherwise. If you want a revolution or you want to see some politician dead, you’re entitled to your point of view. But if that’s what you want, you’d better not let your frustration do your thinking and planning for you. And if that’s what you want, don’t bring it here.
When it comes to genocides, Jews aren’t unique. What made them special is the cultural history of self-expression. Many of the relatively recent genocides in places like Africa have gone by with only a slight interest from the rest of the world, as neither Burundi nor Ethiopia nor Nigeria have a literary tradition of notice. Jews, being spread all over the world and fluent in local languages, also had surviving relatives and friends able to expose the plight of their people. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, the shining example of the Israeli success despite the odds underlined the advantages to armed resistance to evil.
Unfortunately, the socialist origins of Israel meant that only collective resistance to evil has been fostered. Israeli government treats its own citizens as unworthy of trust unless controlled by the state military and police agencies. American Jews, heirs to a more individualist tradition, are better positioned to provide for their own defense. Some of the take advantage of this opportunity, while others prefer the comforting but disabling opium of left-wing promises of safety through surrender to the state.
Jews as a culture have been traditionally quite good at educating each other and at influencing those who sympathize them. With every new person convinced of the need for self-reliance — defensive as well as economic — the collectivist foes lose a minion and we gain an ally. The mainstream Jewish culture has the terrific advantage of being welcoming to outsiders: it’s tenets do not require strife against any kind of alien or infidel, and so make it competitive through cooperation. The offer of training extended to a person serves simultaneously as a compliment (“we consider you sane”), a show of trust (“we expect you to remain friendly”) and as a peace offering (“this training will put you on par with us, and wouldn’t have been offered had we planned to mistreat you.”) These effects apply across such divides as culture, gender, religion and even party affiliation.
All of these consideration apply to other distinct cultures. Defined in enough detail, every one of us can be considered a minority. Those who make political careers of building lynch mobs are quite good at dividing to rule. Our job is to out-argue them while being so well armed and trained as to make the prospect of a stand-up fight to burn us out unattractive. And, given the post-war hunt for Nazi criminals, Jews in particular have a proven track record of avenging injustices.
Given the varied interests of the stereotypical Jewish youngsters, technological solutions to physical threats are preferred. It takes less time and keep-up practice to stay proficient with a Tavor rifle than to maintain combat proficiency in unarmed martial arts. The Bielski guerrilla band of WW2 Belorus illustrated quite well the survival advantage conferred by firearms on even a slightly trained group of civilians. And the occasional range trip or a weekend rifle class doesn’t take all available time away from competing academic and cultural pursuits or family obligations.
“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”~~John Donne
I attended a showing of The Holocaust: Through their eyes at the Jewish Community Center. It is the accounts of local holocaust survivors. Not people who heard about it from their distant cousin or parents, but lived it, survived it.
According to one of the survivors, in 1930 Berlin, hitler’s SS beat to death 8 Jews who were walking down the street. That was the start of the spiral down. The harassment of Jews in public places had already started, the anti-Jewish notices and slogans had started. But these were the first deaths. That act was the start of the holocaust, no matter what other signs there were or were not, THAT was the start, according to this survivor.
Some of the survivors seemed astonished that their non-Jewish friends began to turn against them, people they had known for years, played with, grown up with would no longer associate with them. Not only would they not associate with them, they turned on them. There was a government who’s leader had the opinion that “The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew” and a very obliging media who was willing to spread the message. I suppose it should be no big surprise that when a population constantly hears a message it eventually wears down resistance & rational thought. The persecution was embedded in laws like the Nuremberg laws, which defined who and who was not a Jew according to the Reich, and based on those definitions what people were allowed to do, and who they were allowed to marry or be with. The discrimination further curtailed privileges such as riding on a bus, going to a public park or sitting on a bench in a park. All decreed by having one Jewish Grandparent. Then it became Jews weren’t allowed to go to school and Gentiles weren’t allowed to go into Jewish homes. Then they were denied the ability to own a radio, or animals. One lady talked about how the family had a pet dog and a bird, they had to get rid of them. My heart just broke for her, you could tell, hers still hurt. With all she had endured, the loss of the pets still hurt. Then the Jews were denied service. The baker, butcher, barber refused to serve Jews. More than one of those interviewed talked about people they had known most of their lives that were turning against them. Labensraum was begun, the German policy of taking land belonging to those that the nazis considered inferior. Because in their deluded minds, taking land from the inferior people to give me superior people “living space” and room to grow food was necessary. The nazis felt this was a fair way to encourage and increase the natural vigor of the superior race.
Then hitler was elected in Austria. Anschluss, March 12, 1938, when the Austrians welcomed the Germans rolling down the streets with cheers and waves. Banners were unfurled out of windows, swastika pins appeared on lapels and in parks signs stating “No dogs and Jews” appeared. Austria was not invaded, the Austrians choose this. And again, the turning away of life long friends, their scorn and derision on open display. The painful realization those people had never been their friends. They had always hated them, it was just that now it was permissible to publicly show the hatred.
Then Kristallnacht, “Night of the broken glass” 9-10 November 1938. A series of pogroms that caused the death of between 1-2 thousand when the total includes those that died in German custody, concentration camps and suicide as a result of what they suffered are included. Over 1 thousand Synagogues were burned and Jewish owned businesses and homes were destroyed.
In September 1939 Germany and Russia invaded Poland.
Then Operation Barbaross, when Germany invaded Russia generated some horrible atrocities.
One lady talked about being a 16 year old girl the night the Germans came to their home at 0400. They told her Father to walk outside. As he was complying they shot him in front of her, six times and left him in the doorway for the family.
On December 7th, the day America’s Pearl Harbor was attacked the first of the Jews were sent to be gassed. The witnesses that spoke of this seemed saddened that so many don’t realize that was the day the gassings started. One witness talked about how the nazis would enter a town, drive the people to the town center square then take them to a building, like a brewery to sort them. Who lives, who dies? As one witness stated matter of fact, if you were old, or very young or sick, you had no chance. Up the chimney you would go, they said. If you were healthy you would be sent to a camp to work. One survivor of the Gross-Rosen camp talked about eating grass and snow to survive. Germans liked starving people to death.
Of one ghetto in a Polish town that had once held 5000 souls only 3 survived. One lady told of enduring 25 lashes for being caught with a pound of butter. Another told of seeing a baby being thrown at a truck, another recounted the brave German soldiers tearing a baby into pieces and throwing it out the window. Remember, these are not stories that were handed down by grandparents, these are the things the witnesses saw themselves.
At camp you got to keep your clothes, and there would be 150-200 people per barrack. You were given a blanket, a bowl and a cup and then maybe some food for the first time in two days. One man said they had to sing. Once a day they were given some noodle or potato soup. On those meager rations you worked from day to night. The prisoners would lay pipe, and shovel coal despite having no shoes, and that was the women. One man painted portraits of the Russian guards for food. One recounted how they became very good at realizing about a week out when someone was going to die within the week.
One addressed the question of why didn’t they fight back? More than one reason it seems. The first was possession of a weapon was a death sentence. And thanks to the German version of Universal Background Checks it was easy to know who had what where, so when Jews were forbidden to own guns it was easy to divest them of their now illegal guns. The other factor he mentioned was how weak, physically, everyone was. He said with the amount of food you got, you were lucky to survive, let alone fight or run. It sounds like it was less than a moochelle obama school lunch. He also pointed out even if you got away, you are wearing a stripped uniform, you are tattooed, gaunt and they have cut your hair into a reverse Mohawk, and go where? Although one lady did have her means of resistance. She passed on Jewish history and knowledge to the children.
In 1943 from 19 April to 16 May the Warsaw Ghetto uprising took place. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during WWII, and they held off the Germans longer than the whole country of Poland. But poorly armed with virtually non-existent re-supply they were finally overrun.
One talked about being on the cattle cars the Germans used. They said if the boxcar held 100, they would cram 150 in. The witness talked about little children and old people in those boxcars. They said there was no food or sanitation. They would drive the boxcars back and forth for 11 days. For 11 days the people in those boxcars would starve, vomit, defecate and die. Mothers would be trying, Fathers would be praying and no one was listening and 60% died.
One witness talked about getting to Auschwitz. The guards would yell “Rouse rouse” Come quick. They signaled to go left or right. If you went to the right, you went to the barracks, if you went to the left “You went to the crematory and up the chimney”. If you didn’t move fast enough they hit you, if you still didn’t move fast enough they shot you. Some saw their whole family murdered. More than one talked about the sky high fires.
In 1945 the Allies arrived and the death marches to the next camps started. They weren’t allowed to take a blanket and it was winter. Maybe 10-20 below. There was no food and anything that could be grabbed along the way was, corn, wheat, potatoes, beets anything they saw, they would grab and share with the others. Of the 55,000 that left the camp 12,000 survived to arrive at the next death camp.
In April of 1945 when the Allies found the death camps they initially had no scope of the magnitude of what they were seeing. Then they realized they prisoners were mostly civilians, so weak and with heads like skulls, words mumbled and garbled. They found bodies not fully burned and wagon loads of bodies to be burned. The soldiers were shocked. They had heard about the camps but didn’t realize what they were hearing meant in reality.
Reality? While the dead by category differs according to different researchers it’s basically around 6 million Jews, or 78% of German occupied Europe were murdered. Roma, or Gypsies 130,000 to 1,500,000 depending on which researcher. Handicapped, 200,000 to 250,000 were murdered, POWs around 3.1 million, Ethnic Poles 1.8-1.9 million. Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians lost around 13.7 million including 2 million Jews. 10,000-15,000 Homosexuals died in the concentration camps. Around 1,000-2,000 Catholic clergy, 1,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and some Freemasons were killed in the camps. The price tag for vulnerability is very, very high.
One lady talked about what to do after liberation. Where do you go? You could stay in the camp, but no one wanted to, and most no longer had a home.
Ok, so the camps are liberated, all is well now, right? Not so much. July 4, 1946The Kielce Pogrom took place.
The soldiers and the policemen then went into the building. Jews were told to surrender their weapons, but not all of the residents obeyed the order. The entry of the policemen and the soldiers into the Jewish house marked the beginning of the pogrom. Excerpts from testimony supplied by people who witnessed the outbreak of the pogrom describe what followed.
Ewa Szuchman, resident of the house on Planty Street, said:After the police took away the weapons, the crowd broke into the Kibutz ( on the second floor) and policemen started shooting at the Jews first. They killed one and wounded several others. Albert Grynbaum, another inhabitant of the Jewish house who was on the first floor, said: The soldiers went up to the second floor. Several minutes later two Jews came to me and told me that the soldiers were killing Jews and looting their property. It was then that I heard shots. After the shooting on the second floor, shots were heard from the street and inside the building.
Apparently by then some of the people had learned when the government starts demanding groups of people hand over their weapons bad things are about to happen. Unfortunately not enough of them were armed to stop what was coming. And this was AFTER the war had ended. One man told of his brother going in to try to get their Mother and his Girlfriend out. The man said his brother was never seen again.
One witness told of coming to America, seeing the Statue of Liberty and looking at the crowds of people waiting to greet loved ones getting off the ship, and he had no one. It’s not just that there wasn’t anyone there to greet him, it’s that he literally had NO ONE.
The witnesses had messages for us. How fragile is liberty and civilization. Life is precious and wonderful. Change the world around yourself. Not my children, not nobody’s children should have to live through what we lived through. I didn’t want to tell people because I’ve never gotten over that my family died. My Mom was 45, my sister 22 and another sister 25, a brother 10 and a little nephew 2 or 3. I tell people what happened so it won’t happen again. I saw it with my own eyes. People helped me rebuild my life. I live in a world that has changed, the holocaust can’t happen again, then I realize it IS happening again in other parts of the world. And their suffering becomes our suffering.
One witness talked about hearing of hilter and eva braun’s deaths after he was liberated from the camp. He said they are dead and we are alive. We have won. That is how I defined victory.
With all due respect, this is NOT how I define victory. I would define victory as when the nazi’s tried to enact their Nuremberg laws and used their universal background checks to begin gun confiscation people would have seen the writing on the wall and stopped it right then. Yes, I do think the Christians would have needed to stand with their Jewish neighbors and realized that the only hope any of them had was to stand together. Had it happened? Millions of people would not have died. We can not compromise to “common sense gun laws”. We can not compromise to political correctness. We can not compromise to universal background checks. We can not compromise to phony public opinion polls. We can not compromise to phony anti-gun groups funded by anti-gun millionaires with armed security guards. We can cease to support Hollywood anti-gun liberals with armed security guards. We can look critically at the choices of Second Amendment groups and pick the ones that truly fight for our rights. Now we have choices, use them wisely. Resolve to do something each day to regain our liberty. Be resolved, we are. The Zelman Partisans, no compromise, no surrender, ever.
On 21 January a man armed with a 8 inch knife managed to perpetrate a horrific attack. Twelve people were wounded in the attack, of which three who were in serious condition, four in moderate condition and five who sustained light injuries. Another seven people were treated for shock.
The terrorist says he learned how to conduct these types of attacks from the internet. It seems there are helpful manuals online in video form. Videos translated by Palestinian Media watch found
video focusing on Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin and portrays young children as continuing the slain Islamist sheikh’s legacy. Children are portrayed wearing uniforms, holding rifles and participating in military training. The children are shown marching and carrying out mock attacks on their “enemies,” and are exhorted to “carry the knife” and “carry machine guns” to attack Israel.Other videos show the specific techniques needed to slash someone’s throat or stab them in the side, what spot to aim for in order to kill someone, etc.
Oh, goody. Reminds me of what Golda Mier said
Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.
“I had no choice, I had to save the passengers,” Biton stated, from his hospital bed in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. “He stabbed me while driving and went to the middle of the bus and began to stab passengers.””Then he began to rock the bus from side to side, so that people standing on the street will notice that there is a problem,” Biton added.Biton said that he purposely directed Matrouk toward him so that he could enable passengers to escape while they could. “I had no choice but to bring him to me,” Biton stated. “I hit the brakes so that he flew like a bird [up front] to my seat.””I jumped out of my chair, grabbed his left hand, and started to spray him with tear gas,” he continued. “I gave him a punch and he punched me back. Because I was losing a lot of blood, there was a pool of [my] blood next to me and I slipped in it.” Meanwhile, passengers had wrenched open the bus doors and fled – but it was not enough to stop Matrouk, who left the bus and began walking toward Yitzhak Sadeh street in the heart of the city. But despite his injuries, Biton “left the bus and started chasing him,”
“When I realized I was on the scene of a terror attack, I tried to neutralize him (the Arab terrorist) due to the fact that I was armed.””I saw people running. I asked ‘who is the terrorist?,’ because I had trouble identifying him,” said the man. “And then I saw a youth, dressed in jeans and holding in his hand a knife with a 20 centimeter (nearly 8 inches) blade, trying to stab passersby around him.”Despite being armed and faced with an attacking terrorist, the man was unable to act due to the surrounding passersby.”I tried to shoot him but had trouble doing so because there were passersby around him and I feared harming innocents. I shot in the air, I tried to warn the passersby, and shouted ‘terrorist,’ but it didn’t help,” he said.”In front of my eyes he stabbed an elderly man who was there. Afterwards he continued on to a young girl who was in shock. I shot in the air again trying to snap her out of it – but I didn’t succeed. In front of my eyes he raised the knife and stabbed her until she collapsed,” related the man.
The terrorist continued his stabbing spree as he headed up the street, you can see people running to get away from him.
So far methods used to try to thwart the attacker have been tear gas, armed security but they couldn’t shoot the terrorist due to by-standers. He did fire in the air, and try to warn passersby. We also saw people running away to try to escape being attacked. Security cameras, like the ones countries like Britain and the U.S. tell us are such a great crime deterrent. None of it worked.
So, what did finally stop him?
According to police, a team from the Israel Prisons Service’s elite Nachshon unit happened to be driving behind the bus when the attack took place. The officers got off the car and gave chase to the terrorist, shot him in the leg and arrested him.
“If two armed and trained citizens had been on the bus yesterday in Tel Aviv, the terror attack would have ended in a completely different way – or it wouldn’t have happened at all,”
“So if weapons-bearing citizens help to secure the public domain, shouldn’t the State encourage responsible citizens to practice shooting and carry weapons? Why does it do just the opposite?
The answer is that the State of Israel is not increasing our liberties; it is reducing them. Dictatorship confiscate citizens’ weapons. ‘The State alone will take care of all your security needs’.In the past, there were 300,000 citizens licensed to bear weapons in Israel. That number has now been cut in half. As a member of the Knesset Interior Committee, I was able to stop the trend. But we have to understand: Without liberty, we will not enjoy security,”
WOW, he’s a politician, and he gets it. The same principles apply the world over. But the response of the elected Representatives will determine the direction the country goes. Will there continue to be attacks by terrorists that fear little chance of citizens stopping them, or will they begin to fear attacking a “Sheepdog” nation, knowing their chance of success small and if they fail they will be buried in Uncle Buck’s pig farm?
We must become resolved that we will not tolerate Politicians who do not represent us and hold their feet to the fire. We must demand that groups that are paid membership dues represent us, or we find another group to belong to. The situation has become so serious we can’t afford to be anything less than fully resolved to fight this battle.
Mike Bloomberg thought he was on a roll. In the wake of Sandy Hook, his money managed to buy unconstitutional legislation in Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland and New York. In the election just past, his money staved off defeat for two governors who did his bidding, although as Wellington said about Waterloo, it was “the nearest run thing you ever saw.” Most importantly — and the latest jewel in his anti-firearm crown — his money and that of Bill Gates, Paul Allen and other like-minded elitists “bought the mob” (in the parlance of the Founders) with the success of I-594 in Washington state.
Yes, Bloomberg was on a roll. The so-called “mainstream” gun rights organizations, from the NRA to Alan Gottlieb’s Second Amendment Foundation and all the smaller spin-offs in the affected states, had no answer to Bloomberg’s millions and refused to put their own rivalries and jealousies aside to find one. This is hardly a surprise, since almost all of these groups have always been more about raising money to “fight gun control” than actually FIGHTING gun control. Each has been more obsessed with their own reputation in the collectivist-dominated press and their obsession to “win friends and influence people” in the middle. So, following their long-established patterns and refusals to think and act outside the boxes they placed themselves in, they lost. They lost in Connecticut, they lost in Maryland, they lost in New York, they lost in Colorado and now they have lost in Washington state.
In each case, Bloomberg understood his enemies, their foibles and their failures far better than they understood him. So he won and they lost.
But then something happened that Bloomberg in his arrogance never expected, something that the “mainstream gun rights organizations” for their part never expected either — in every single state where Bloomberg had “won,” it turned out that the victims of his unconstitutional laws had other ideas. And they didn’t need “leaders” like Wayne LaPierre and Alan Gottlieb to lead them.
Just who was this hotheaded man who just killed a fellow Jew and started a war, this Matityahu ben Yonatan?
First and foremost, he was a Kohen, a member of the priestly line, tracing his lineage all the way back to Pinchas, the third High Priest of Israel. Pinchas was grandson to Moses’ brother, Aaron, and whose painful devotion to principle, in order to stave off the anger of G-d, gave birth to the duties of a Kohen.
Since the Exodus from Egypt, and subsequent Revelation at Sinai, the job of a Kohen is to carefully and scrupulously conduct the prayer and sacrifices in adulation, praise, thanksgiving, and as pleas for the forgiveness of sin, before Hashem Elokeinu, the G-d of Israel.
Along with their tribal kinsmen, the Leviim (who are in charge of the facilities and ritual objects) these duties have been passed from father to son since the time of the Mishkan (the portable Tabernacle).
The Mishkan was, after Sinai, the special place where G-d dwelled on Earth with his Jewish People. It traveled with them in the desert and for nearly four hundred years sat at Tel Shiloh. King David then established his capitol at Yerushalayim, but the permission from G-d to build the Beit HaMikdash, a fixed and permanent Temple, was withheld from King David and given to his son, Shlomo (Solomon).
Although the obligations were great, and generally the Kohanim and Leviim earned the great respect accorded them, just as with Kings, they were subject to human frailties, and on occasion a Kohen was simply corrupt.
As an example, the Prophet Eli, High Priest at Shiloh, sadly concluded that both of his sons were such evil men, that they could not succeed him. They were so bad that when they led the Ark of the Covenant in a military campaign against the Philistines, G-d provided a harsh lesson and withdrew this favor in battle. Many died and the Ark was carried off by the enemy. Fortunately, G-d had provided a righteous young man, a Levi placed in Eli’s care and instruction, by his parents. He was Shmuel ben Elkanah (Samuel), the last of the Biblical Judges.
Up until this time, the Jews had lived as a confederacy, with spiritual leadership by the Kohanin / Leviim, and secular affairs run by the Tribal Elders. In time Samuel learned to his dismay that he too had two bad sons. Seeing this, the Elders, lacking in emuna (faith), and envious of the foreign nations, then begged Shmuel to anoint a King to judge (rule) over them. G-d plainly declared this as a rejection not of the Prophet but of G-d Himself. G-d told Shmuel to leave them to their folly (a very hard lesson from a stern, but loving father), but to warn them of what would come of it. He did so, saying:
“This will be the manner of the king who will reign over you; he will take your sons, and appoint them to him for his chariots and for his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots. And he will appoint them to him commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and to plow his plowing and to reap his harvest, and to make his weapons and the equipment for his chariots. And he will take your daughters for his perfumers, for cooks, and for bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive trees, and will give them to his slaves. And he will tithe your grain crops and your vineyards, and he will give them to his officers and his slaves. And he will take your male and female slaves, and your handsomest youths and your asses, and put them to his work. And he will tithe your flocks, and you will be slaves to him. And you will cry out on that day because of your king, whom you will have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not answer you on that day.”
The Tribal Elders, nevertheless insisted. Shmuel went to anoint Saul ben Kish as the first earthly King of Israel, and subsequently King David. All subsequent, legitimate, anointed Kings of Israel are from the House of David, as will be, it is believed, the final (earthly)King; Moshiach ben David (see 2 Shmuel, Chapter 7: Verses 3-29)
And therein lies the rub…
Initially, Matityahu ben Yonatan, High Priest at Modi’in, and his sons; Yehuda, Elazar, Shimon, Yochanan and Yonatan enjoyed the favor of G-d. They demonstrated pure faith in Him, and were rewarded with many truly amazing victories. Recapturing the Beit HaMikdosh, cleaning it of the filth and degradation, restoring it to its purpose was a tremendous victory. Matityahu died in battle in the first year. Driving out the Syrian-Greeks and their assimilationist Jewish allies from the immediate neighborhood took four years. Their true mission had been accomplished.
Then, Yehuda Maccabee’s brother Shimon assumed the throne as King. He was not of the Davidic Line. Neither was he of the tribe of Yehuda. The Hasmoneans could certainly continue their duties as Kohens, but Kingship was improper. Nonetheless, a reign of Hasmonean monarchs followed from 140 BCE to 27 BCE, concluding with Antigonus II Mattathias.
Jewish land was retaken. Other revolts against the Seleucid Empire as far away as Persia were inspired. Palace intrigues were executed. Alliances were made. The trappings of Kingship and Empire ate away at the nobles, the people, and even the land. A civil war was afoot. Once again, a very harsh lesson from G-d was brewing… at the hands of the Roman Empire.
And, this time the lesson would last two thousand years.
I am pretty much, without a doubt, the least qualified on the team to write a column about the Maccabees. That is not stopping me.
I first learned about the Maccabees a couple years ago doing a study on the book of Daniel. I was so humbled and impressed by this group of people that loved their G-d so much that rather than submit to what was being demanded of them, that they offer sacrifices to anyone other than the G-d of Israel, or to eat unclean food, they would spark a revolt.
I ask a girlfriend of mine who knows me pretty well, if she knew about the Maccabees. Well, of course she did. “HOW could you know about the Maccabees and NOT tell me?”. She said she figured I learn about them in time. And so I did, and I fell in love.
The first thing that captivated me was Mattathias and his response. When he was told by the king’s officers that he was honored, a leader and to come be the first to sacrifice as all the Gentiles, people in Judah and those LEFT in Jerusalem had done(seeing as how Antiochus’s troops had slaughtered 40,000 and sold another 40,000 into slavery when he defiled the temple), he refused. He didn’t form a committee, he didn’t have an emergency conference with is sons, they didn’t do a feasibility study of defeating Antiochus, debate if he would be called racist, islamophobic, homophobic, hoplophobic, xenophobic. He just said
“Though all the nations that are under the king’s dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments : yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers. G-d forbid that we should forsake the law and. the ordinances. We will not hearken to the king’s words, to go from our religion, either on the right hand, or the left.”
And, he really meant it.
As some Jews had been happy enough about blending in with the king’s people (they picked the WRONG king) they had also become his enforcers. They were already breaking the Torah themselves, so what’s a little selling out of your fellow Jews who are trying to hold to the correct King’s law? So while Antiochus was determined to wipe out Judaism, he was perfectly willing to use the religious leaders to convince the people that the horrible idea of turning away from their G-d was a GREAT idea. Not much has changed today has it?
When an appeasing Jew stepped forward, the kind of person that tries to appease a tiger, hoping it will eat them last, Mattathias killed him. He would NOT tolerate a sacrifice to a pagan idol, a false G-d in HIS name. None of it. He then killed the king’s officer that was forcing the people to do this wicked thing. He recognized evil for what it was. He didn’t try to rationalize it away, make it better or listen to national leaders that didn’t have the people’s best interests at heart. How can I say that? I wasn’t there? Because the people weren’t being allowed to worship THEIR G-d as they had been commanded to. They were being prevented from it, forbidden. In the most horrific of ways. Where in the beginning, perhaps they chose to assimilate, not wanting to be “intolerant” before long, it became mandatory. Horribly mandatory. Convert or Die.
One of the things those that who chose to rebel with Mattathias soon faced was the king’s army attacking them on Shabbat. When word reached the army at Jerusalem they rode out into the desert to stomp out these upstart Maccabee Partisans. The army commanded them to come out. But rather than profane their Sabbath, they chose to die, around a thousand of them, with their wives, children and livestock. They were faithful even unto death. Unfortunately, as my team mate Y.B. has pointed out,
Dying Kiddush Hashem (in sanctification of G-d’s name) is far too big a habit for Jews. We do it all the time. We’re really good at it. We have a backlog of those who have so died good for the next few thousand years, don’t you think?
The Maccabee Partisans then held a discussion and decided
“If we all do as our kinsmen have done,” they said to one another, “and do not fight against the Gentiles for our lives and our traditions, they will soon destroy us from the earth.” On that day they came to this decision: “Let us fight against anyone who attacks us on the sabbath, so that we may not all die as our kinsmen died in the hiding places.”
I don’t think Satan and the king’s army needed any help trying to wipe Judaism off the face of the earth. They were doing well enough on their own.
Other soon joined the Maccabees, and the rebellion grew. They went after all that were breaking the law. And it was about G-d, Torah and his law. There was none of this, “well, you have friends in high places”, or “they know people” or__________. It was very simple, and very fair. It was a Jewish land, and these were Jewish laws.
Lest you think that the people were converting and violating G-d’s laws because of something taught in Antiochus’s Common Core school, I will relate just a bit of Hannah and her Seven Sons. They deserve Capital letters. The first son made it plain that he would not violate the Torah by eating pork. What followed was having his tongue cut out, he was scalped, his hands and feet cut off, and while he was still breathing he was fried alive. In view of his Mother and Six Brothers, who all encouraged each other to die bravely but not give in. And NONE did, the Mother, after watching all of her sons suffer the same fate, was killed. Many of the Sons informed the king that though he had earthly power over them now, there was a Power greater, and he had NO power over that king. That the king should make no mistake, he absolutely would be called to account for his mistreatment of them and their nation. But that king was as arrogant or perhaps even more than rulers we see today. The battle was arrogance against the courage of their convictions and faith in their G-d. They perceived the horrors that had befallen their nation as punishment for having turned away from him.
When Mattathias died, he appointed his son Judah military leader, and his son Simon as the one to go to for wisdom. Father must have known his children’s strengths. Judah won amazing victories. His speech I love is:
But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judah, “How can we, few as we are, fight against so great and strong a multitude? And we are faint, for we have eaten nothing today.” Judah replied, “It is easy for many to be hemmed in by few, for in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between saving by many or by few. It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven. They come against us in great pride and lawlessness to destroy us and our wives and our children, and to despoil us; but we fight for our lives and our laws. He himself will crush them before us; as for you, do not be afraid of them.”
When he finished speaking, he rushed suddenly against Seron and his army, and they were crushed before him. They pursued them down the descent of Beth-Horon to the plain; eight hundred of them fell, and the rest fled into the land of the Philistines. Then Judah and his brothers began to be feared, and terror fell upon the Gentiles round about them.
Judah didn’t fight for fame, glory to meet some celebrity or get a video game name after him. He fought for G-d, for his way of life, and because it was the right thing to do. Some fights are worth having. He suited up, showed up ready to fight and leave the outcome to G-d.
Eventually Judah and the Partisans often using guerrilla tactics retook Jerusalem. They disposed of the desecrated alter, cleansed the temple and built a new alter, new vessels to be made and everything was to be done properly, according to the law. For the Menorah, unadulterated and undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the Kohen Gadol, high priest was needed. The Menorah was to burn through the night, every night. And while only one such bottle, enough to last for one night, was all that could be found, it lasted eight nights, which was the amount of time it took for a fresh supply of oil to be available. Some doubt that miracle to be true. I do not.
But whether or not THAT miracle is true, I think making one bottle of olive oil burn for eight nights is no big thing, ein ba-ya, for the G-d that created the olives, the trees, the land. I think the amazing miracle is that three years to the day that the madmen of Antiochus pillaged Jerusalem and defiled the temple, it was back in Jewish hands, holy and rededicated from what began as a one man revolt. And that one man had raised really good and righteous sons.
Please know, this is the “Cliff Note” version of the Maccabean Revolt, from a person who has been in love with them for two whole years because she has only known about them for two whole years. I believe you will get a far better column from someone far better qualified to write it.
I know that most people think of Hanukkah as a “Jewish holiday”, some think it’s the Jewish version of Christmas. But I’m telling you now, Christians NEED to learn about Hanukkah! They NEED to know WHAT and WHY it was! They NEED to understand it, and they need to learn it very, very fast. And some Jews need to re-learn some lessons too. Hanukkah is equally as important for all of us now. Why would I say such a thing?
Because in the beginning some of the Jews were fine with the new lifestyle that was being brought in by the Greeks, the new gymnasiums, the “freedom” from all those bothersome holy laws. Tolerance, acceptance, go along to get along. Love, joy, peace and kumbaya and all that. And then the gloves came off. They were forbidden to practice their faith, forbidden to serve G-d, to worship him. Defiance was costly. I consider dead to be very costly.
Mattathias didn’t start the trouble, he didn’t go to Jerusalem looking to right the wrongs when Antiochus and his crowd showed up in Jerusalem and said “Burn this Bitch Down”. But when evil showed up on his doorstep he knew it for what it was and he didn’t muck about sorting it.
Physical violence? Did you know there is a place in America where it’s not safe for a Christian or Jews to go? The Maccabees were Jews who were able to resist and fight back because they were ARMED. They didn’t win battles with Judah’s winning smile. They fought. Yet we have far too many in America that can’t wait to put us all in a position of being in the position of the Warsaw Ghetto again where only the “State” has the means to enforce either freedom or tyranny. In many countries in Europe there is an increasing rise in Anti-Semitism, and Jews are becoming unsafe and afraid to disclose their religion. These kinds of attacks are something Jews in Israel have been dealing with for a very long time. Author Professor Phyllis Chesler said after 9/11 and the attack on the twin towers she went over and typed in her computer “Now we are all Israelis.” And we are right back where we started out, in Israel. The land of Miracles.
The shape our country is in now, we need Maccabees, we need them badly. People that will not bow down to the false king of “Political Correctness” nor allow the sacrifice good people on the alter of “tolerance” by them being put out of business, or having their TV show canceled because they talk about the Tanakh or the Bible. Nor because they choose to talk about G-d. We need people who recognize evil and teach others how to recognize it. We must become the Maccabees of today.
You know, life has been beyond hectic for me these last couple weeks. Mind numbingly, over-overwhelmingly so. The interesting thing was, as I wrote this column, I began to have a sense of peace, and calmness. The first I’ve had in some time. It was as though G-d wrapped a warm quilt around me and said “My child, I’m still in the miracle making business. They may not be on your time table, or in your way, but I still make them. Every single day, I make them. Breath.” And I did.
Once again the Children of Abraham were in peril… but not for the reasons you might think.
The king of Babylon had allowed their return to Israel, and even allowed the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. One empire defeated another and soon Alexander the Macedonian came. His visit foreshadowed things to come.
An apostate sect known as the Samaritans had long challenged a core element of Jewish belief; the three-part revelation of Torah (Mystical, Oral, and Written). They had come to the point of militating for the destruction of the Holy Temple and the wholesale murder of the Priests and Levites. Alexander, on his way to leveling Gaza and engaging the Egyptians, was about to do their bidding.
Learning of this, a High Priest donned garments reserved for the holiest event of the year; conducting ritual sacrifices, on behalf of the entire people on Yom Kippur. He and a group of dignitaries went out to meet Alexander in a small town.
Upon their approach, even Alexander’s commanders expected the great slaughter to commence, but instead Alexander dismounted and bowed down to the Priest. Alexander explained that before commencing his long series of campaigns a man came to him in his dreams, looking exactly as this man, and had advised him in ways critical to his subsequent success.
The High Priest told Alexander that they had no intent to undermine him and only asked that the Jewish people be allowed to worship G-d in the ways they were intended and to live in peace. Alexander agreed and was taken on a tour of the Holy Temple, and all of the functions explained. The Samaritans had failed.
But, then Alexander, believing the panoply of gods to be essentially meaningless and interchangeable, and more than a bit impressed with himself, declared that he wanted a giant statue of himself erected in the Temple.
Horrified, but wise, the High Priest gently explained that they could not do that within the Temple, as it would deny the fundamental precept that Hashem Elokeinu is G-d and that there is nothing and no one else. Instead, the High Priest suggested that every male child born in to the Priests’ families during the next year be named Alexander. That way Alexander’s name would live on and be known even better than by a mere statue.
As was the practice, Alexander left administrative control of his conquered lands to his generals. These Syrian-Greeks came to be known as the Seleucids. They, in turn sought out local leaders to act on their behalf in day-to-day affairs. In Israel, the Seleucid Generals worked through the High Priest. There were a series of appointed Seleucid Generals, and a series of High Priests.
Sadly, this dual-loyalty relationship corroded the integrity of the Priesthood. Likewise, the material wealth, power, and sophistication of the Syrian-Greeks seduced the Jewish People, away from their Covenant with G-d. They increasingly emulated the Syrian-Greek, culture, appearance, and even worship. When a High Priest who might oppose this evolution arose, he was replaced, and/or murdered.
Ultimately, in greed and power-lust, a true madman arose to rule. He was named Antiochus. He styled himself Antiochus Epiphanes, seeing himself as a god in the form of a man.
A series of edicts followed. Observing the Sabbath was prohibited. Possession, much less study from, of a Torah Scroll was a capital offense. Brit Milah (ritual entry into the Covenant of the Jewish People with G-d) , aka circumcision was banned. If a circumcised male child was found, both the child and its parents were put to death.
Temple sacrifices; the focal point of communal interface with G-d at his “place” on Earth, was banned. The Temple itself was defiled and filled with idols. The monies used to support the Holy Temple services and the families whose job it was to conduct them, not to mention the destitute, and infirm, had been seized.
These things were entirely approved of by the vast majority of now thoroughly assimilated Jews. A Greek gymnasium had been erected in Jerusalem. Nude athletics were commonplace. The veneration of physical beauty was now elevated and the purification of the soul, in service to G-d, was despised.
At towns throughout the land Jews lived as Greeks and worshiped as Greeks. The G-d of Israel was for bumbling rustics and dying old people.
Once, a Syrian-Greek patrol was out looking for renegades who continued to worship at tiny rural altars to Hashem Elokeinu, the True G-d. They found such a place and demanded that they both stop and that instead they worship as the Greeks. A young man rushed to abide and started to sacrifice to the Greek gods.
Witnessing this was one of those “old rustics”, a Hasmonean named Matityahu ben Yonatan. The weight of his world upon him, in an uncontrollable rage, he drew his sword, slew the young man and many of the Syrian-Greek patrol. He loudly declared, “All those who stand for G-d, follow me.”
A revolt against one of the mightiest empires on earth, and more importantly, against the spiritual suicide of his people, had begun.
Yesterday Dave Workman, the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner and frequently a proxy for Alan Gottlieb, announced that Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) has been added as a sponsor of a planned January 15 rally in Olympia, Washington, to oppose Bloomberg’s tragically successful Initiative 594. This rally is already supported (and apparently largely spearheaded) by Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, JPFO’s new owner.
This is interesting on two counts.
Why try to undermine the December rally?
First, the Gottlieb-promoted rally is clearly intended to steal thunder (and attendance) from another rally planned for this Saturday, December 13. Saturday’s rally has had tons of support from the day it was announced and will feature Mike Vanderboegh, Sheriff Richard Mack, and Ammon Bundy as speakers.
Gottlieb’s complaint against the December rally seems to be only that the legislature won’t be in session then. (Although the idea that Saturday’s rally is expressly for disobeying the law also seems to set a certain “conservative” element to tsking — as if we should obey tyrants as long as tyranny is imposed by vote.) So, just in advance of the December rally, he sets out to undermine it.
You’d think he would learn. In this year’s state elections, instead of opposing Bloomberg’s ghastly plan with all his efforts, Gottlieb set up his own competing initiative, I-591, and put all his energies — and money — into that.
So a million dollars that could have gone to fighting I-594 went down the drain of I-591 instead. (I-591 lost.)
Yes, you’d think Gottlieb would learn that “divide to win” isn’t good electoral or legislative strategy. Yet Workman’s article drips with contempt for Saturday’s effort and goes out of its way to point out reasons why attendance might be low.
That’s the first count on which the Gottlieb-supported January rally is “interesting.”
Doesn’t Gottlieb understand what JPFO is?
The second count is JPFO’s involvement.
The stated purpose of the January rally is to be “the first 2015 Legislative Rally against I-594 and other bad gun laws.” Note well: it’s a legislative rally. Workman elaborates: “[T]he Jan. 15 rally – when the Legislature will be in town – will allow citizens a chance to personally lobby lawmakers.” Note well: it’s for lobbying. Following the public portion of the rally, citizens will even be escorted to legislators’ offices. Note well: That’s an integral part of the event.
And JPFO is supporting this?
But JPFO is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. It is absolutely forbidden to engage in lobbying or any other form of “political” activity. It cannot oppose or advocate for any specific laws. It can’t take any electoral stance. It’s forbidden by its very nature from even saying something like, “Write to your legislator to demand the repeal of …”
JPFO’s only legal role is educational. It can shout to the rooftops about why the state’s new law is stupid and dangerous and a violation of fundamental rights. But lobby legislators or even encourage others to do so??? Let alone sponsor a rally whose sole, stated purpose is to connect gun owners with legislators. This is totally outside of what the IRS allows JPFO to do. (That link also claims that JPFO has only recently “expanded their mission to include research and education.” Which is as silly as it is bogus. Research and education has been JPFO’s sole mission from the beginning.)
Don’t get me wrong. I think I-594 should be fought with everything Washington state gun owners have to give. I don’t oppose the January rally. Let there be rallies, letters, lobbying, protests, and defiance aplenty until I-594 is stomped into the Pacific Northwest mud. But organizers of the January rally shouldn’t be trying to undermine the December event with the timing of their announcements or their subtle sneers.
And after lying fallow for months following Gottlieb’s take-over (other than continuing daily email alerts, there’s been no sign of activity from JPFO), JPFO’s first public mission should not be to destroy itself by participating in lobbying.
This will only put JPFO in the IRS’s eye and risk destroying everything Aaron Zelman worked to build.
So declared Eric Garner, vendor of “loosies” — individual cigarettes sold to evade New York state and New York City’s deliberately punitive tobacco taxes. He continued, “I’m minding my business, officer. I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time. Please, please, please don’t touch me. Do not touch me.”
Those weren’t quite his last words. As we all know by now, his last were, “I can’t breathe!” — repeated over and over again until he passed out from a chokehold and chest compression, then died as both police and EMTs stood around, indifferent to his suffering, his condition, and his eventual fate.
The EMTs were disciplined for their unprofessionalism and callousness. The man who jumped Garner and initiated his death — we also all know by now — was exonerated by a grand jury. Not even charged with manslaughter — a fact that even the most pro-police conservatives found shocking and liberals and hard-core freedomistas were outraged by.
Never mind that the man in question violently attacked Garner over nothing more than a fed-up, weary verbal protest at being constantly hassled for such a petty (and very libertarian) “crime.” Never mind that he used a chokehold forbidden to NYC police officers for the last 20 years. Never mind that he and his fellow officers held the overweight, unhealthy Garner on the ground in a way that their own police bulletins told them could be deadly. Never mind that he and his accomplices put out an initial story that Garner had died of a simple heart attack, nothing to do with their treatment of him at all, a tale quite at odds with the medical examiner’s report.
Officer Daniel Pantaleo now says he’s sorry and that he prays for Mr. Garner and his family every day.
I guess that makes it okay.
Garner was killed last July. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was removed from life more recently. So we don’t know yet whether his killer, Officer Timothy Loehmann, is prayerfully sorry or will pretend to be. We don’t know what his “official” cover story is. We don’t know whether Officer Loehmann will get off Scot-free or receive a token wrist-slap. (If I were a betting woman, I wouldn’t put money on the there ever being a murder, or even manslaughter, indictment.)
Some things we do know: Tamir Rice was shot within two seconds of Loehmann’s police car pulling up on the scene. And Loehmann was an emotionally unstable young man, who had already been declared unfit for being a police officer.
Tamir Rice was carrying an Airsoft pistol or some other type of non-firearm. Even the citizen who’d called in the original report of “a guy” carrying a gun had said the gun was “probably fake.” Evidently he assumed that officers would check the situation out rather than instantly opening fire.
We don’t know whether that crucial detail was conveyed to Loehmann and his partner. But we do know that when Loehmann was declared unfit for police work two years earlier, it was after he had an emotional meltdown during live-fire training on a pistol range. (Yes, he was reportedly broken hearted over a relationship gone wrong, but we’ve all been through that, and most of us manage to stay sane, stable, and functional on the job no matter how dark our private moments get. His bosses clearly recognized that guns, cops, and emotional instability were an ugly combo.)
Tamir Rice learned just how ugly. Too bad he had only two seconds to absorb the lesson.
A year earlier, Sonoma County (California) cops gave 13-year-old Andy Lopez a hair more time than that before slaughtering him.
It was about the same with John Crawford III, an innocent Walmart customer murdered last August by police the second they spotted him. They were acting at the behest of a lying phony 911 caller (using a tactic recommended by the Bloomberg moms). Their instantaneous, panicked slaughter was completely unjustified. But of course, being police, they got away with it.
Seems that hoplophobia overrules common sense and judgment — and that that’s just fine when the killers are in that special, exempt class of what David Codrea dubbed “only ones.”
The only ones who consistently get away with behavior that would put you or me in prison for years, if not decades.
These killings have been pinned on racism (though young Andy Lopez was, in the phrase originally coined for George Zimmerman “white-Hispanic”). No doubt fear of black men has something, maybe plenty, to do with it.
The killing of Garner is being pinned on “broken-window policing” (which assumes that those who commit even petty crimes are potential murderers). No doubt that, too, has something to do with why cops feel so entitled to use monstrous force in response to tiny deeds.
Such killings have been blamed on the militarization of police forces, with its attendant mindset that all non-cops are “the enemy.” No doubt that’s true, also. (And getting some very long overdue attention.)
Blame also falls on the concept of “officer safety” — which sounds so sensible in theory but in practice gives cops permission to see themselves as helpless victims, justified in using any amount and kind of force to “protect” themselves even when nobody is threatening them.
Clearly outright hoplophobia — a sheer terror at the very existence of firearms — has to be the major explanation for slaughtering children on sight merely for holding things that look like firearms. (For generations, American kids carried and used guns, both real and fake, without being gunned down for doing so.)
But whatever the individual causes (and I think we can safely say “all of the above”), the major underlying cause for all this is still going largely unexamined (oddly enough, the extreme-left publication The Nationcomes closer than anybody else to the real issue — though it ultimately dodges it).
The real problem is that governments created a special class of armed enforcers to serve the requirements of politicians and that they then turned those enforcers loose to brutalize anybody they wish without personal consequences to either the officers themselves or their direct political bosses.
That they then armed their enforcers with surplus military weapons, entitled attitudes, and a belief that the rest of us are their enemies is secondary. That these enforcers are increasingly encouraged to see all firearms and all people carrying them as a special kind of enemy, to be slaughtered on sight without any evaluation or judgment of the situation — or any mercy — is a terrible, terrible, ominous and dangerous thing. But even that is secondary to the real problem: that police serve government, not citizens, and that citizens have no way to hold brutes personally responsible for their brutality.
Bottom line: By definition, more government equals more force. And less individual accountability.
Unfortunately, the current sudden outcry against police tyranny won’t change anything. Cosmetic reforms will be passed. They will accomplish little. A few individual officers might actually face a few consequences, perhaps in highly publicized federal civil rights cases. (That happened in the Rodney King case and have you seen any improvement in policing or police officers since then?)
Nothing substantial will change because the culture of immunity and impunity that rules both politics and policing will remain intact.
In fact, for gun owners, things will get worse. Police hatred and fear of guns (that is, your guns, my guns; of course not their own guns) will increase because politicians are encouraging it and the politicians are the masters. Always have been and always will be.
Non-minorities who live in fairly civilized places will continue to luck out. For a while. As official hoplophobia builds, even that bit of luck will run out.
“It stops here” is a brave declaration. In Garner’s case, it was a foolish declaration because he had no means of upholding it against the force of both trained thugs and the government that sent them.
But if those responsible for both being brutes and sending brutes among us aren’t held firmly and consistently to account for their deeds, someday citizens as weary and fed up as Eric Garner (but more organized, more powerful, and more ready) will say, “It stops here” and make that stick.
Jews. Guns. No compromise. No surrender.
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