Son, Will You Fire On American Citizens?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

David Codrea passes along a statement from LWRC International where they have told us that they will move their company out of Maryland if the proposed unconstitutional gun ban passes.  I appreciate their patriotism, and I have already weighed in informing Beretta that they must move as well if they wish to survive as a company.

But there’s some fascinating movement in the proposed weapons ban in Maryland.  I must quote at length.

When hunters argued that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed assault-weapons ban would ruin their sport, state lawmakers were not moved. When devotees of the National Rifle Association cried that it would trample on their constitutional rights, lawmakers did not blink.

But then there were the soldiers, who showed up in Annapolis by the dozens this year and quietly became one of the most influential critics of O’Malley’s gun-control plan. Veterans streaming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have argued that freedoms they fought for overseas would be violated at home.

Some also came with a different, more complicated message that has resonated with lawmakers, who are now considering significantly weakening the proposal by O’Malley, a Democrat, by exempting several military-style weapons.

The very guns the veterans used in war — the ones they sang about in boot camp, slept with, cared for, cleaned, prayed with, the guns that led them down dark alleys and through firefights — have now become something altogether different. They are instruments of catharsis more than violence, a postwar release, therapy through the crosshairs.

Since he has returned from Afghanistan, A.J. Wynne, 24, who was a corporal in the Marines, has spent countless hours shooting in the farmland north of Frederick, Md. On a recent Sunday, he picked up his semiautomatic rifle, put down his demons and let muscle memory take over.

Breathe. Focus. Squeeze.

The weapon erupted into a violent cacophony — 30 shots in 11 seconds — and sent the crows in the treesbolting skyward.

The smile made his beard rise. He reloaded.

Wynne knows there are those who would argue that he is perhaps the last person who should be given unfettered access to high-powered, semiautomatic rifles that are designed to emulate the weapons he was trained to use in battle.

For months after coming home, Wynne would lunge to the ground at the sound of a weapon firing or a car backfiring. At night, he would awaken to find himself wrestling an invisible enemy, flailing and slamming the nightstand and leaving his girlfriend, Tara, cowering at the end of the bed.

The nightmares have subsided, but guns have become an ever bigger part of his life. He sells them, trains people how to shoot them, collects them, and has positioned them around his home so they are never more than a few steps away.

As the House of Delegates debates O’Malley’s bill, the veterans’ argument appears to be having an effect. After passing the Senate, the legislation is bogged down in an influential House committee, where lawmakers say they are concerned about the effect of the assault-weapons ban. Members of both parties say they are considering rolling back provisions of O’Malley’s ban, potentially leaving legal for purchase many semiautomatic rifles modeled after military ones.

State Del. Kathleen Dumais, a Montgomery County Democrat and vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said veterans and competitive sportsmen were central factors in her thinking that a total ban may be inappropriate.

“We have problems with soldiers returning from combat and taking their own lives. That’s a big deal, and we need to talk about that overall in this country,” added state Del. Michael McDermott, an Eastern Shore Republican and former member of the U.S. Army Reserve. “But banning these weapons? For some guys, that’s actually therapy …

While he understands that many like to shoot for recreation or even relaxation, Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a colonel in the Army Reserve, said that doesn’t mean you need to have a weapon designed for war.

[ … ]

“I came home and bought an M4 and $1,000 worth of suits at Joseph Banks” to look for a new job, said Obest.

“I want to be able to be an asset to my community if I am needed. If there is a disaster, and the road is blocked and I can’t get to the armory, I want to be able to tell my mayor that, ‘I’ve got this. I’m here. I can help keep order.’ “

First, as for Brown, no one cares what he thinks.

Second, let’s deal with the lawmakers.  I am generally opposed to treatment of veterans which differs from treatment of the balance of U.S. citizens.  The idiot Feinstein wants to ban combat veterans from having firearms.  As I said, she is an idiot and so her ideas are idiotic.  On the other hand, I am uninterested in the cathartic affect of firearms for veterans if civilians cannot have them.

So naturally, I see the actions of lawmakers who insist of being Fascists, but who back down because they might be seen as opposing the voice of veterans as cowardly.  But then again, saying that politicians are cowardly is redundant in most cases.

Veterans mostly just want you to see them as normal people, and for you to fulfill your contractual obligations to them (involving the GI bill, etc.).  I know because my son is a Marine Corps veteran … a veteran of a combat tour in Fallujah in 2007, MOS 0311.  So I’ve put in my time standing at the doorway to my home at 0200 hours looking out into the driveway and wondering if a Marine Corps officer and a Chaplain were going to show up any minute.

Third, speaking of Marines and veterans and guns and what you do stateside, you have made a serious blunder, Mr. Obest, and it is this blunder where I want to spend the rest of our time together.

You’ve made it easy on yourself.  Listen to me, boy.  Take it from someone who is more than twice your age.  God has placed a thousand unexpected things in my path over my lifetime.  You cannot prepare for the unexpected, but what you can do is train your body, mind and soul.  The mind and soul are the most important.

You need to have a set of incorrigible beliefs – a worldview – a set of irreducible axioms – upon which to base your life.  This way, when you face the unexpected you will have some moral moorings upon which to lean.

It’s too easy to imagine that a natural disaster occurs and you are called upon to “keep order,” whatever that means.  Frankly, you’re better off just ensuring that your family and loved ones are cared for and protected.

It’s much more likely that you will be called upon in darker circumstances, and it is these conditions you must consider.  I have asked my own son what he would do if ordered to bear arms against American citizens, and the answer is not only no, but “No, and I will prevent others from doing so.  Not a single one of my old unit would do such a thing.”

So you see, I’m not impressed with the felt need to shoot, although I certainly have that and like to do that.  I would be much more impressed if you would simply cite the constitution and demand rights for not only yourself, but your fellow citizens in the broader context of the intention of the second amendment.

So Obest, listen to me, son.  Heed my counsel (Leviticus 19:32).  Life’s vicissitudes are hard and complicated, and you haven’t seen anywhere near the worst of it, regardless of what you saw in Egypt.

You need to ask yourself some very hard questions regarding world view, morality, and basic commitment to liberty.  Suppose that you are called upon to “keep order” while the statists confiscate weapons, or confiscate wealth, or confiscate children?  Will you fire upon American citizens if ordered to?  I know my son’s answer.  How about yours?

UPDATE: Thanks to Mike and David for the attention.

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Comments

  1. On March 26, 2013 at 6:13 am, JudgementComes said:

    We are so dependent upon our youth to bear their legacies, and we should pray that we have taught them the right legacy to bear.

    When the shooting starts, I will probably be killed early. I am old. My vision is poor. My reflexes slow. Only the young and brave will sustain the values granted by God and recorded in the Constitution.

  2. On March 26, 2013 at 6:37 am, JeffC said:

    the fact is civilians could buy an AR-15 before the military picked the AR-16 for its weapon … the weapon was not designed for the military specifically …

  3. On March 26, 2013 at 7:29 am, Joe16 said:

    In the 70’s I asked my grandfather about 3 bullet scars he had on his chest. He told me they were from the war and wouldnt say more. I knew he was from Germany but little else. He never talked much about his past. Some years later I joined the Marines. He was horrified but wouldn’t say more.
    In the 90’s He opened up and told me he was a police officer along with most of his family before the war then was put into a reserve army unit during the war. He had dealt with all sorts of criminals but had never drawn his gun. One day his brother came to talk to him and told him about horrible things the army was doing to other germans. He didn’t believe him and one day his brother and mother left. He didn’t see him for a year. Then there was a school bombing. His police unit was sent to get people who were believed responsible for the bombing. They raided many places and killed many criminals They were told that they had lots more explosives and were planning to bomb more schools. One night they raided a warehouse and killed everyone inside. There were at least 50 people there and there was a huge fire fight. Then they went home to sleep.
    A few days later he went to visit his best friend who was also his supervisor and saw some photos on the desk. He recognized it as the building that he raided the night before. He also recognized some of the faces n the photos belonging to the mentally disabled kids his mother took care of. Then he saw his mother and brothers faces in the photos. All dead.
    He confronted his friend who told him that these were bad people and they deserved to die. My grandfather pointed out that his mother and brother weren’t criminals. His friend said nothing. The next day my grandfather decided to leave germany but was caught by other police and sent back to his unit. His best friend then shot him in the chest 3 times and had him thrown in the landfill. He woke up a few hours later and stumbled into the forest where he was found by some other people trying to escape and they treated him and got him on a boat to sweden.
    He never imagined he would ever hurt anyone, yet he did. So don’t believe for a second that soldiers or police wont kill you in a heart beat. They do what they are told.

  4. On March 26, 2013 at 10:58 am, tkdkerry said:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Joe16. The soldiers and police will most definitely be told that they’re going to clear out a rat’s nest of drug dealers, terrorists, or supremacist militias. They will fire on innocents. Remember: they have families, mortgages, and the debts and responsibilities the rest of us do in life, and few will be willing to jeapordize those things by refusing, especially when we’re painted as the real threat to them.

  5. On March 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm, tjbbpgobIII said:

    You’d better believe that most of the police would fire on and kill you if they were told to and if they could hit you (not guaranteed). I am not too sure about the soldiers and marines. I never would have, no matter what I was told, at least I hope not. I never had to be in that situation. It was hard enough to fire on and kill the enemy but better than dying myself or one of my friends.

  6. On March 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm, A Simple Man said:

    I’m afraid most people do what they think is right based on the oinformation they are given. Like Joe16’s Grandfather(I pray he is at peace). Our police are not any different. NOW is the time to get to know them. Know your local LEO, Hell bye them a cup of coffee. The time is fast approaching when they have orders to look down their sights. Will they see the enemy they were told about or will the see YOU? Be they guy they know.

  7. On March 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm, Daniel Smith said:

    Joe, I agree partially with you. You see, times are very different now than when your grandfather was in the army. Soldiers were a lot more loyal to their Lt’s etc. Today, the military is a different beast. More and more I saw dissention amongst our ranks towards our officers and people who would give such an order. The point I am trying to make is yes, I agree with you. There will be some people that will follow through with the order to kill American’s, but I feel there will be more killings of officers than americans. I believe this because I never met one marine who didn’t want to kill his commanding officer/platoon commander. That is a harsh statement I know, but believe it. Take it from me. Myself, along with all of my marines when I got out would have rather killed our commanding officers than Americans

  8. On March 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm, Daniel Smith said:

    And when SHTF, Most military probably go home to there loved ones. The battles that take place will not be as we are used to seeing in Iraq or Afghanistan. The insurgents there were ill trained, and had to improvise with the weapon systems they had available to them. Things will be quite different in America. It will be so messed up and chaotic, I believe it will kill the morale of any soldier to the point of just leaving or going UA.

    The closest thing I think it will come to is what happened in the Boston massacre. That in itself, will create such an uproar amongst civilians and military alike, the government will have no where to hide. The problem is not our military, It is the military of other nations is what concerns me.

  9. On March 27, 2013 at 4:03 am, Robert said:

    ALL police, be they local, state or federal have long since degenerated into Gestapo thug bullies. Everyone of them will shoot you without hesitation.
    And, I think the majority of the military will do the same.

  10. On March 27, 2013 at 4:14 am, Stefan v said:

    The DHS Obamacorps/Obamayouth will be a major problem alongside whatever foreign “peacekeepers” are inflicted on you. I suspect the difficulty of “normalisation” operations in the US will require a convenient and virulent plague. That would be a game changer and set everyone against everyone, no more nice guy rules, which will strongly test the morals and resolve and judgement of any military folks. Not sure what the plan is for us here in Eurolalaland…not so easy to set up internment camps, though stadiums would do in a pinch. Probably an anarchic civil war between the holdouts and the imported adherents of the religion of piece, with the ptb mopping up everyone they can. Peace and safety, peace and safety! Braak!

  11. On March 27, 2013 at 6:12 am, amr said:

    Now for Beretta to move out of MD. A anti gun delegate said they couldn’t move because of their military contact for the sidearm. The Beretta rep said the contract only requires the company to have a US presence. The rep said he was flying to Europe to meet with the Beretta family to determine their course of action. Waiting for the decision.

    Many of my friends are leaving or have left MD. I’d like to do so too but almost too dug in and elderly parents are here.

  12. On March 27, 2013 at 9:35 am, BrianAZ said:

    The only thing I am certain of is that totalitarian regimes, no matter of what stripe or era, have never lacked for henchmen willing to incarcerate, torture and/or butcher their fellow countrymen.

  13. On March 27, 2013 at 10:24 am, hank reardon said:

    I don’t for one minute fear the marines or soldiers. I’ve known many, both old and young, and I’d say to a man, they swore to uphold the constitution of the US, not serve the government. I don’t doubt that when the government comes full force for our guns, and they will, that at the front of the line of resistance will be 1000’s and 1000’s of trained soldiers and marines. For some odd reason, they know that the spirit of bunker hill lives on in them, not the spirit of wounded knee.

    The military swore to uphold the UCMJ, and they know they are prohibited, by both law and honor, from engaging on domestic soil. They won’t.

    But the federal gestapo will. the TSA, DEA, ICE, customs, FBI, et al., they’re the ones that I fear. however, they will be outnumbered. as for the drones and all that high tech, whizbang gadgetry, won’t be much use without men to operate it.

    no free people, especially armed as we are, has ever been conquered. and augustus caesar knew the problems of having so many former soldiers released from duty ready to take up arms. so he gave them land and wives and sent them away from rome to keep them happy and mollified. fortunately, or maybe not, this government treats our veterans by and large like pariahs. I don’t imagine the government would find much support from them.

  14. On March 27, 2013 at 11:27 am, Kevin R.C. O'Brien said:

    Just like to point out that the excerpt that identifies Anthony Brown as an Army Reserve officer is deliberately misleading. While Brown did serve on active duty as an Aviation Officer for his period of obligated service, his reserve service is all as a judge advocate general’s corps officer — in other words, not really an officer any more, but a lawyer in uniform.

    His pronouncements on what combat troops experience are entirely second-hand, although he isn’t very upfront about admitting that while he’s stealing the civilians’ adulation (and the troops’ valor). He has all the integrity for which lawyers are legend.

    From the combat arms point of view, the JAG office is just one more enemy formation that has to be dealt with. Brown would have fit right in, there.

  15. On March 27, 2013 at 11:31 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Thanks for pointing that out Kevin! JAG. Now it all makes better sense.

  16. On March 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm, Arch said:

    Our military will obey legal orders, but they aren’t stupid. They know the UCMJ, the Constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. They all know that obeying an illegal order is a crime. If a commander instructed a subordinate to murder a civilian, the subordinate is required to obtain the order in writing and refuse to act upon it.

    The active duty military is not a police force and cannot be used in that capacity without Congressional approval of an emergency under the Insurrection Act of 1807 (now in the Patriot Act). The National Guard is trained in law enforcement, but it belongs to the governor, who may or may not approve transfer to the Feds.

    As a practical matter, using any police or military force to seize privately owned weapons would be problematic. First, there are over 300 million guns in private hands and no one knows where they all are. Second, while a few urban police may be willing, most police and sheriffs’ deputies will not seize weapons. Third, to enter and search private property they need probable cause or a warrant (IAW the Third Amendment). Fourth, SWAT tactics may work on isolated point targets, in a populated area where there are armed, hostile people around them, watch “Blackhawk Down.” Fifth, there are not enough trigger pullers to seize 300,000,000 weapons.

  17. On March 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm, MarineOfficer said:

    I see a weird trend developing here…

    First, well written and taken words Hershel. The point made by the first commenter goes well with that. We need to teach our youth, your young veterans, in the way that you clearly have done with your son. We need them to have an ethos, a value system, a core belief theory that will allow them to do the right thing in the dark moment, the moment when they are scared, alone, cold, hungry, afraid, and doubting themselves.

    Now on to to the perceptions of our service members. If you believe that there are cops who will fire on civilians/confiscate weapons/be actors of a tyrannical oppression, then you cannot in good faith say that service members are different. They come from the same place. They are cut from the same cloth.

    We have plenty of good law enforcement officers out there. We have plenty of bad ones. Our military is no different. I participated in a court-martial today of a senior enlisted Marine who raped a young civilian lady after a baseball game here in Washington, D.C. Is that what we think of when we picture Marines? Of course not. There are bad apples in the bunch.

    Do not believe that “swearing an oath on the constitution” is some magical elixir. Police Officers swear such oaths. Federal agents swear them. Presidents swear them. Politicians swear them. I have said this before, what makes President Obama so dangerous is not that he ignores the Constitution, but THAT HE BELIEVES HIS ACTIONS ARE PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE DOCUMENT. He is a constitutional scholar who has persuasive ability to convince others that he is correct.

    NYPD is a perfect example of how this will develop. It is a militaristic police force that has expanded far beyond what 4th and 5th Amendment jurisprudence would consider prudent, but every Mayor that comes along wants to grow his private military force. The department is stock full of veterans, but that does not stop them from abusing the citizens they police, and keeping them from owning firearms. Boston, Washington, and Los Angeles are all the same. These are police departments primarily employing veterans, and yet they are stringently anti-gun.

    So lets play the hand, as my old CO used to say…there’s a riot in a major American city. Pick one, it does not matter which one. The cause does not matter. Because military force will be used to put down such an uprising, such as it was in Los Angeles in 1992. National Guard, Marines from 5th Marine Regiment, and active duty army. They will be given briefings indicating a dangerous urban insurgency. There will be drone footage of people fighting in the streets. And they will go in there and do what they are trained to do.

    Remember that our modern military is greatly detached from our civilian populace. Our service members marry younger, meaning their immediate family is on a base somewhere in a remote part of the country. It is easy to create the bunker mentality, something that several service leaders did during the recent wars to encourage those in uniform to stay for extra deployments.

    Are there those that will walk away? Yes. But there are plenty that will not. Never believe that simple benevolence will in the end be our savior. You have to build the support that will carry you in your own community, amongst those that share your beliefs and opinions, and hope that in the moment they will be available and prepared.

    And then hope that moment never comes.

  18. On March 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm, Airdale said:

    I submit that if we don’t own the language and the grammar, we will be stuck! With regards to a riot in an American city involving a dangerous urban insurgency. We need to truthfully straighten that stuff out at the beginning! It won’t be a riot, it will be a pro republic uprising against a dangerous insurgent government. That puts everything in a correct perspective. I can see an O-6 wording it as in the paragraph above, but most of the O-5’s and below realize that my wording is more accurate for the desired training objectives. The rest of Marine-O’s info is right on the money and very well written! Must be West coast. I used to know a guy like Herschel Smith, he used to ride around with his feet hanging off the back ramp.
    Education is the enemy of opression! Keep educatin’ ya’ll!

  19. On March 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm, SavageJay said:

    Well now, they are having a hell of a time in NY now aren’t they? Not seeing much resistance, either with the PD or with the citizens. Why do ppl go to stand trial before a law that says they have no rights? If you are going to be a felon and do time for a semi auto, why not make that an auto and make it worth while? There is no difference anymore.

  20. On March 28, 2013 at 4:00 am, Dan said:

    Savage Jay….”why not make that an auto?”…..because full auto has always been about sprayin and prayin”. Waste of ammo and accuracy. The demoncrats demonized full auto weapons as they are now demonizing semi-auto weapons.

  21. On March 28, 2013 at 10:58 am, Antonia Gilligan said:

    The bank thing drives me nuts. How does a representative republic do this to its citizens? I call it a plutocratic democracy. Holder should be impeached and then fully investigated, troll through every financial document, tax return, phone logs, meeting logs and notes. Both political parties are self-serving they are Demicans and Repulicrats. The policies of 2000-2008 under Bush and now under Obama regarding the banks is the same, See no evil, say no evil, do no evil and cash the lobbyist checks, get that high paying lobbying job and get all the speaking fees you can. Sell out the country for political patronage.

    This makes the England of 1775 look pretty good.. The banks and Federal Reserve using the Governments money is a TAX. The parliament was packed with rotten boughs with picked Representatives. Religious freedom was restricted. Our forefathers had the above plus taxes without representatives.the Stamp Act and restrictions on settlements

  22. On March 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm, Daniel Smith said:

    To MarineOfficer:

    Very well spoken. I have to say, I’ve never met as many felons/ would be felons than when I met my company once I got to the fleet. The one key ingredient you are missing though with your argument is the fact that you never responded to my statement about Enlisted killing Officers instead of civilians, or would rather it be that way. It may take a few killings by national guard, or even Reservist Army or Marines, but once people begin to start having minds of there own (just like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan) It wouldn’t be long before service men start turning on their officers. If not just for the simple fact of hatred for them. I am not speaking for the majority, just mainly the ones that would matter, the “trigger pullers”. Which is I believe only about 18% of the Marine Corps.

  23. On March 29, 2013 at 12:10 am, Daniel Smith said:

    I’ve just had an epiphany. The only reason I am able to say these things now is because I am out of the Marine Corps. I once had been cornered by a few officers, including my CO, and was told to explain some things that I didn’t agree with about my company to him. Thank god I am out and can say these things now, because to the best of my knowledge, the only service men on this blog that comment are either officers, or high ranking enlisted (In my opinion, E9+) So, by process of elimination, I can conclude that anything any of the service men who do fall into that category say on this blog, are misinformed and their opinion is not relevant. They cannot speak for the actual service men who aren’t able to give their opinion like I am, and they probably wouldn’t want them too.

  24. On March 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm, Joseph P. Martino said:

    Remember Athens, Tennessee. returning WW II veterans who fought an armed battle against a corrupt sheriff.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Militia and was published March 25th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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