There's been another tragedy in America, another shooting. Ho hum, how many is that?
I've quit counting. Posts go on about 30 Americans a day killed by handguns. But what did the killer use on Friday? Was it a handgun or a rifle?
Despite several television news specials and extensive television coverage, I haven't vetted details about the weapons.
I was still disturbed by the Mall killing by Portland, Oregon. That killer used a rifle, announcing, "I am the shooter." Nice of him to notify the others before he commenced his killing. Besides that, when I heard about Sandy Hook Elementary School, I didn't think about the weapon of choice. I thought of Columbine, Fort Hood, the Virginia Tech massacre, and Aurora, Colorado (July, 2012, twelve killed, 58 injured), and McDonald's.
Remember the McDonald's killing? 1984. San Ysidro, California. Nineteen people killed, including five children.
The man who killed them, James Hubert, was a survivalist. He worried about our government collapsing, and signs of Soviet aggression everywhere. Buying guns and food, he prepared to survive.
The Citadel Article Five:
"Five: Every household within the Citadel will remain stocked with sufficient food, water, and other preparedness essentials (to be detailed elsewhere) to sustain the needs for every member of the household for a duration of one year.
So we begin another month with another war of words about the role of guns in America's society and freedoms. Some believe that people should arm themselves. If they were armed, they could shoot back, so less people would be willing to take on others. Arm yourself and stand your ground. Someone looks like they may be a threat, shoot them. If they look like they don't belong, shoot them."
That will bring us closer together and create a stronger nation.
Up in Idaho, The Citadel is formalizing its approach. They call it the Patriot Agreement. It's thirteen points in an agreement that each head of household must sign before they can live in their community. Everyone in their armed housing community must be armed and trained.
"Patriots: The following represents a voluntary set of conditions to which every single Patriot who accepts a residence in the Citadel must agree, in writing. This is a voluntary Agreement. The Citadel is a martial endeavor designed to protect Residents in times of peril (natural or man-made). The Citadel will be built as a fortified bastion of Liberty. The Citadel is not the best housing solution for everyone. Read carefully.
The purpose of this agreement is two-fold. Firstly, it informs all Residents of their obligations to their fellow Patriots. Secondly, this Agreement will assist individuals/families in making an informed decision to opt-out of residency in the Citadel Community in the event our lifestyle is incompatible with you and/or your family."
They even tell you what weapons you must carry, as a minimum, in your home:
"Four: Every able-bodied Patriot of age within the Citadel will maintain one AR15 variant in 5.56mm NATO, at least 5 magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. The responsibility for maintaining functional arms and ammunition levels for every member of the household shall fall to the head of household. Every able-bodied Patriot will be responsible for maintaining a Tactical Go Bag or Muster Kit to satisfy the Minuteman concept. Details TBD and posted elsewhere."
But they take it seriously, ensuring people are trained to shoot their weapons:
"Two: Every able-bodied Patriot aged 13 and older governed by this Agreement shall annually demonstrate proficiency with the rifle of his/her choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 100 yards with open sights at the Citadel range. Each Resident shall have 10 shots and must hit the target at least 7 times."
"Three: Every able-bodied Patriot aged 13 and older governed by this Agreement shall annually demonstrate proficiency with a handgun of choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 25 yards with open sights at the Citadel range. Each Resident shall have 10 shots and must hit the target at least 7 times."
An armed community is a happy community. So the solution to our increasing violence is what? Building fortified strongholds? Segregating ourselves behind walls?
The Citadel doesn't talk about other rights, although they mention that they will support all Constitutional laws and their state's laws. Like that qualifier, though, about 'constitutional laws'. Lot of argument out there about what's contitutional. Who will decide that at The Citadel?
They probably cover that with Article Thirteen:
"Thirteen: All Citadel Citizens agree to accept dispute resolution by an arbitration panel in the event a problem that cannot be resolved between residents."
Is this the answer? Well, it's not the first place to arm itself or believe the solution was for everyone is to arm themselves. We had a period of American history referenced as 'the Wild West' where there was a lot of people armed and killing one another. Remember Dodge City and Tombstone?
Better yet, remember David Koresh and the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas? They were well armed, too, weren't they?
Yes, we're making a lot of progress.
As American society arms itself, so do local American government. Most cities have a heavily armed SWAT Team. They're very popular in movies. Some SWAT Teams, now own armored personnel carriers. The Bearcat APC has been sold to about 100 cities, according to LENCO.
When Keene, NH, (population 23,000) was pursuing an APC, Radley Balko wrote in Huff Post:
'Jim Massery, the government sales manager for Pittsfield, Mass.-based Lenco, dismissed critics who wonder why a town with almost no crime would need a $300,000 armored truck. "I don't think there's any place in the country where you can say, 'That isn't a likely terrorist target,'" Massery said. "How would you know? We don' t know what the terrorists are thinking. No one predicted that terrorists would take over airplanes on Sept. 11. If a group of terrorists decide to shoot up a shopping mall in a town like Keene, wouldn't you rather be prepared?"'
There we have it. We must be prepared against everything, especially one another. Some cities are pursuing tanks. Others are pursuing drones.
Some at The Citadel believe that liberals, progressives and marxists will dismiss their community attempt to arm and defend themselves.
The marxist part bemused me. Marxists?
After reading that comment, I read about the drug dealers called FARC, down in Colombia. FARC refer to themselves as marxist rebels. They're armed and quite willing to kill and terrorize others with their weapons.
Why would marxist disagree with The Citadel's armed stance? I believe those armed drug dealers would applaud the right to arm their community. Of course some call FARC an insurgency group. Others call them freedom fighters. Some call them terrorists.
Whatever else they are, they're marxist gun owners.
I guess more than anything, the comment about the marxists disagreeing with the The Citadel shows the deep, deep level of thought administered to what they're doing, and why.
Others will respond by telling me that America fought and won its war for Independence because its farmers and citizens were armed.
I don't deny history. I actually attempt to learn from it. I believe intelligence, situations, and capabilities change. What worked for one situation isn't necessarily thereby the answer every time thereafter whenever that situation is encountered.
In a way, what we're doing is the same thing that the Soviet Union and the United States did as we built up our nuclear arsenals. In the end, the USSR couldn't keep up with the demand. They'd turned so much attention to building up their military that there was little left for its people. The USSR dissolved in 1991, seven years after James Hubert bought his guns to survive the coming collapse and took them to McDonald's and killed nineteen people.
I wonder how we'll end in America.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com