Rambling Rumination: “Let’s Roll!”
by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny
We all know of the “well-regulated militia” of our Second Amendment. It is very much worth noting that in the usage of when the Bill of Rights was written, “regulated” did NOT mean “regulations”. It meant “smoothly running”. Thus, an accurate watch could be said to be “well regulated”.
At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, fresh from the memories of the standing army of the British, our Founding Fathers did not envision a standing army. That is why we have the Third Amendment (no quartering of troops in our homes) and we have a Second Amendment. The security of our country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, resides with “We the people”.
In times of danger, those subject to being called up were expected to show up WITH THEIR GUNS to fight in defense of our country. In my clear opinion, this means we were expected to have guns suitable for a foot soldier. In those days it was a musket. Today this includes the technology of our time: semi-automatic rifles which are often misnamed by those who would disarm us and those who have been deceived by them as “assault rifles”. To say otherwise would be as logical as excluding radio, TV, and the internet from the First Amendment.
(Though the appearance of each can be similar, the difference is this: A semi-auto such as a civilian may own, requires one pull of the trigger for each shot. An assault rifle of a soldier includes an automatic function whereby bullets come out as long as the trigger is held down.)
This makes perfect sense.
A militia that would have to have foot soldier arms distributed by the government before it would be ready to fight when the nation was under attack would not be “well-regulated”; it would run quite poorly; it would be a fustercluck.
Some argue that now that we have a standing army, we no longer need a militia, and that the Second Amendment is a atavistic echo of a time gone by.
Let us be perfectly clear. “Enemies both foreign and domestic” includes our government should it ever seek to slip the bonds of our Constitution and take our freedoms. Remember this well: the American Revolution ignited at the battles of Lexington and Concord when the British came to confiscate our guns.
It was thus then, and it is thus now.
Some argue that this is foolish. “Look at the military power of our Government!” they say. “Do you think you can fight that?”
The answer to this argument has two parts.
First, I challenge the assumption implicit in it that our military would turn upon us.
Second, thanks to our Second Amendment, we are no less well-armed than the Taliban or any of a number of other guerrilla movements which this same power has failed to defeat.
This is not to say that there are not to be any sort of laws or regulations.
Our State governments are “the laboratory of democracy” where all this is to be sorted out.
Open carry? Concealed carry? Minimum age? Training required? Criteria for extinguishing Second Amendment rights?
All these are things to be worked out by the States under their Tenth Amendment rights under what is known as “the police power”.
Of course when it comes to interstate travel or foreign threat, there is a proper constitutional role for the Federal government.
For example as I type these words there is vigorous debate over whether people on the “No Fly” list should be allowed to purchase guns.
At first glance, this looks obvious– “Of course not!”– but the problem is this and it is a profound one: The No-Fly List is a secret governmentally generated list with no Due Process concerning who is put on it and no Due Process for getting off it.
This is a formula for massive mischief!!!
In that flying is not a constitutionally protected right, the No Fly List passes muster as far as flying goes, but in sharp contrast our Second Amendment rights (and implicitly our Ninth Amendment right to self-defense) are fundamental constitutional rights and by definition losing these rights requires proper “Due Process” by Constitutional standards.
This is not a line to be crossed in the passions of the moment– passions often fomented by those who seek to disarm us!!!
As can be readily imagined by anyone who has dealt with governmental bureaucracies (in my case it was as a lawyer in Washington DC), many of those on the list are put on by mistake. In my readings of those who have done serious work looking into this, I am consistently running into the number of 35% of those on the list not belonging there. This means literally hundreds of thousands of innocent people are on the list!!! — which if I have the number correct is the better part of one million names.
It may be due to a name similar to a suspect, or even a name spelled similarly to a suspect or some innocent behavior.
Senator Ted Kennedy was put on the list and so was Congressman John Lewis. Of course they were promptly removed but so too was standout reporter Steve Hayes because he bought a one-way ticket to Turkey where he got on a cruise ship. Despite his public recognition as a reporter, he spent many Kafkaesque months trying to get off it to no avail until anchor Brett Baier spoke to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson ON THE AIR about his case.
Obviously none of us has the political muscle of a US Senator or Congressman or an anchor who can shame the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security!
The truth is simple and clear: The No Fly List has no Due Process for our fundamental Second Amendment rights and until it does (For quite some time Republican Senator Cornier has had a bill which has been rejected by the Democrats) the No Fly List is an insufficient basis for extinguishing the Second Amendment rights of nearly one million Americans
An additional point: Right now our executive branch is led by those who see the problem as “extremism”– be it Muslim, Tea Party, Christian or otherwise.
Indeed, as best as I can tell an unspoken reason for the determination to not identify the danger to our country as Islamic Fascism (or some other similar name) is to not “let go to waste” the opportunity to disarm as many as of possible political enemies of the the current administration , , , but perhaps I digress , , ,
At the end of the day at Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack one year after 911, I spontaneously spoke of 911 and how the only thing that worked on that day was not the government or the police.
Two planes hit the World Trade Center. One missed the White House and hit the Pentagon. The last plane, Flight 93, presumably was headed for the Capitol building and it was “we the unorganized militia” on Flight 93 who answered Todd Beamer’s call to action “Let’s roll!” and took that plane down.
As you can see from the article accompanying my impromptu talk, Title 10, Section 313 speaks to the “unorganized militia”.
Here is my understanding– whether the various state governments do their part in maintaining the apparatus required to have a “well-regulated milita” or not, the militia continues in “unorganized” form.
THE FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL UNDERSTANDING THAT DEFENSE OF THE NATION IS IN OUR HANDS REMAINS. IT IS NOT EXTINGUISED BY THE FAILURE OF THE STATES OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO THEIR PART.
Once again we see the wisdom of our Founding Fathers unchanged by time or technology. Indeed it is precisely due to technology that our enemy is now able to bypass our military and our police.
Ben Franklin warned us “Those who give up their liberty in search of safety deserve neither.”
Still many people call for what amounts to an end of privacy of our personal communication (Fourth Amendment, Ninth Amendment) even though “encryption” and the “dark web” increasingly make such surveillance superfluous.
No longer is there a need to plot, plan, and direct as was the case with the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. Now there is only the need to inspire the “radicalized” to “go operational” in lone wolf actions with guns or, in their absence, bombs.
We see this again and again, be it the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, the jihadi hit team in San Bernardino, or now in Orlando.
So, what are we the people to do in such moments?
First and foremost is to “man up”. Be Odysseus in Cyclops’ cave. He did not pray for Cyclops to eat him last– he came up with a plan and acted! While Cyclops slept, he speared him in his one eye and came up with a clever plan to escape with the sheep and by so doing saved not only himself but his crew.
(If you don’t get this literary reference, it is from Homer’s “The Odyssey”. Read it– and demand a refund from whomever claimed to have educated you!)
If you and others are being held as hostages in a bathroom until it is your turn to die as we saw in Orlando, DO SOMETHING. Rip the seat off the toilet and have someone throw a garbage can as the killer comes in while the one with the toilet seat conks him over the head and everyone swarms him. If you are to die, DIE FIGHTING.
Fighting will be a lot easier and more likely to be effective if you are armed (guns and knives both have their place) and properly trained in their use.
Yesterday I received a call from a Green Beret in 5th Group Special Forces I had worked with some ten years ago. We chatted at length and shared with me something he had written about all this.
This man has been places and done things for us. It is my honor to do my part in spreading his word forward.
Minimizing Active Shooters in Public Spaces
Two of the most notorious public active shooter examples, the Ft. Hood and Pulse Night Club shootings, illustrate the case of a lone gunman taking down numerous victims in very public places. Both involved semi-automatic firearms which required reloading, the AR-15 as the primary weapon in the Pulse shooting and the M9 Beretta in the Ft. Hood case.
In both instances, the moment shots were realized for what they were, had swarms of people overwhelmed the gunmen, it is arguable that not more than one magazine would have been fired, in the case of the AR-15, 30 rounds of ammunition; in the M9 Beretta, 15 rounds.
This is an argument to consider for it is almost certain that future acts of this kind of public terror will occur.
It is worth putting the theory into practice, wherein, in controlled environments, in training, the theory of swarming such gunmen can, at least, be put to test. Not to do so, without any other counteractions against such shooters in place, is irresponsible.
Now, it is highly understandable that from an instinctual life preservation basis, especially one’s own, it might well be argued that against such intrinsic value, the need to flee against someone with a gun may generally be what naturally occurs; however, these are not natural situations. The alternative, now twice registered, needs to be evaluated, e.g. mass casualties from numerous reloads in the aforementioned cases, where numerous people were, indeed, available to swarm the shooter.
What such action takes is a presence of mind, pre-loaded, which this letter suggests, wherein, before one ever goes into a mall, bar, or other crowded venue, where they know guns are not allowed, the idea of swarming an active shooter become commonplace thinking, as much commonplace as, say, it would be for anyone hearing someone scream FIRE in a crowded theater would cause everyone to immediately leave without thinking.
It is, to say the least, the last thing someone would naturally do – to run to shots that are being fired; yet, the argument remains – massive casualties occur in these situations when magazines are reloaded. There is an interval space wherein a swarm of unarmed individuals can overwhelm someone’s attempts to reload a weapon.
I would hope that increased concealed carry for responsible gun owners along with better staffing of armed security guards at public venues might now, gain traction; however, much stands in the way of such practices.
In the interim, maybe just increasing national consciousness and remembrance of what Todd Beamer inspired when he yelled, “Let’s Roll” on United Airlines Flight 93 during the attacks of 9/11 might be enough to minimize the next threat.
Let’s hope and pray we don’t have to go there; but, at the same time, let’s not allow wishful thinking to rule the ground of our being.
We cannot always be armed, everywhere. Such is the case going to watch your favorite sport in many venues. If an active shooter situation were to happen in such a place isn’t it high time we begin to ask – is it worth letting another active shooter the opportunity to reload?
In closing, I offer that “Let’s Roll” be our American battle cry whenever the fickle flying finger of fate reaches out and touches us.
If you think this missive worthy, please pass it forward.
The Adventure continues!
Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny