February 20, 2013


Azure Ray is a dream pop duo out of Nebraska via Birmingham. I'm not an aficionado of dream pop, ut something about this song kinda grew on me.

Having a plan and having a direction mean nothing unless you have resolution. Determination, resolve, stick-to-it-ness, what Margaret Mitchell called gumption. Without it, your plans will falter; your direction will shift and you likely won't end up where you wished to be.

Let's look at Mrs. Katie Scarlett Hamilton Ohara Butler (nee O'Hara). Her most famous line is often abbreviated. What you're familiar with (unless you've actually seen the movie, and you'd be surprised at how many folks nowadays haven't) is this:

"As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!"

The full line makes things appear a little more understandable (and less selfish - as if selfishness was a bad thing)

"As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!"

Considering the movie is older than my parents I'll risk a spoiler or three. She arrives at this after the devastation of war had rendered her home a shambles and brutalized the ones she cares for. She went on - as far as the book and movie show - to keep that vow; she became quite well off, using means thought unseemly at times but effective none the less. Think what you will of her character; that's a discussion for another time. Now I want you to understand that what enabled her and her kin to survive was that gumption of which Mrs. Mitchell spoke. Babygirl had resolve, and when stuff got real she got real.

That's what we need, well minus the holding a clump of Tara up to the sky and swearing an oath to a deity that'd include lying, cheating and stealing.

We have to understand what's facing us. If you think it's anything short of extinction you're mistaken. No; they're not talking about rounding us all up and putting us in the ovens (well most of them aren't at least). They're doing everything they can to wipe out our culture.

Look at the laws recently passed by the House here in Colorado. They speak of transfers, not merely sales. If they become law, then if I hand a prohibited item (magazine that holds over so many rounds, a firearm sans background check of the recipient) to a friend then I've committed the crime of an illegal transfer and the pal has committed the crime of illegal possession. There are a very few exceptions, but not enough to cover most situations where I would let someone hold a firearm or a magazine.

They wish to make it harder to engage in that aspect of our culture. They want to make it harder for you to pass on that aspect of our culture. They want us to not be able to easily increase our numbers.

They want us extinct.

Not in the physical sense, but in the cultural sense.

And who is this pervasive they? Collectivists mainly, of one stripe or another. Chiefly those who have attained power or influence. A lot of them are democrats, but not all. Sarah Brady is a republican, lest ye forget, as are Giuliani and Romney. Even Bloomberg claimed to be a republican for a while. There are rumors that McCain still is a republican.

Despite party allegiances, a few of them have something in common - resolve.

Y'all remember lawn darts? Know why they aren't for sale in the u.S.? Cause one immoral irresponsible asshat decided to have them banned. That's it. Just one person with enough determination (and lack of ethics in this case) saw through a ban on a game.

To make it clear, a guy bought a package of games that included lawn darts. He had no interest in them and left them in a box in his garage. His son (age 9) and some friends found them and started playing with them quite recklessly, despite the warning on the box stating lawn darts were not for kids. One dart was lobbed over a fence and killed his 7 year old daughter.

A tragedy to be sure, and I would have felt some sympathy for him. But instead of manning up and realizing that it was his responsibility to make sure his kids weren't playing with dangerous items in an unsafe manner, he launched a campaign to have the government ban them, lest some other parent be as negligent in his parental duties as he.

His quest to proscribe the dread deodand was not to do anything else except assuage the guilt he should rightly feel. If he couldn't ban them, if he couldn't get his parental figure (i.e. the government) to agree that the object was just too dangerous for mere non .gov peasants to possess, then he'd have to accept that he, not a manufacturer, was neglect in his parental obligations and ultimately responsible for his little girls very tragic death.

(So it is with guns. It has been theorized that some men need gun control to justify their own cowardice; that if they weren't prevented from owning or carrying a gun then they'd have to step up and intervene as a man should when someone was threatened. This state sponsored helplessness is what they desire to assuage their own lack of spine.)

So he resolved to ban lawn darts. And he did.

Determination can cover up a lot of flaws. It won't make your breath smell better if you foresake your dental hygiene, but it can negate being outnumbered. It can negate being out-funded. It can give you an advantage that an adversary doesn't have.

And that advantage is what we need. We needed it 20 years ago. we needed it 10 years ago. We need it now. In 5 years either we'll still need it or it simply won't matter.

Not everyone is in a position to give all for a cause. One person may be able and willing to devote 60-80 hours a week, even risking death, to further a goal. Others may have other obligations (kids being the most obvious) that prevent them from putting in as many hours or accepting as much risk.

Never the less, as many of us as possible must find that resolve, that gumption, to keep ourselves from being pushed back into the sea. Believe me, you don't want to be pushed back into the sea; we don't have the refuge or even the boats to evacuate us from a cultural Dunkirk, and I think my floaties have holes in them anyway.

So it's fight or drown. How we fight is not set in stone, but that we fight, and what we're fighting for isn't up for discussion in a committee. If we don't fight, hard and effectively, then that aspect of our culture, and perhaps the entire culture itself will vanish. Not entirely, as I'm sure there are some bits and pieces of the Phoenician culture still lying around occasionally used, but I'd rather ours not be visible only by close examination of anthropologists some centuries hence.

I just typed that how we fight is not set in stone. It's not. I think there are some tactics and strategies that are better than others, but I'm not above listening to other ideas. I am above anything that is less than what I think our goal should be; the eradication of all prior restraint based gun control laws. If one person can go to jail, even if no charges are brought after an affirmative defense is made, then we still have work to do. If one person must submit to the approval of the state prior to purchase, then we can't justly clock out for lunch. That's something a lot of our allies need reminding of, as well as our enemies.

The good folks over at Shall Not Be Questioned liken it to the Battle of Gettysburg, saying that we have to fight with the NRA we have, not the NRA we want.

(Completely as an aside, no clips with Martin Sheen portraying Gen. Lee should ever be posted anywhere. Sheen did to Lee what Sherman, Grant, the Grand Army of the Potamac and all the other Yankees in hell couldn't have managed. Instead, if you want to post a clip about Lee, use one of Duvall, who plays the part as if Lee jumped off the pages of all those history books I've read and landed into a Duvall suit. For example, this is Lee:

but I digress...)

I'd liken it more to the Pusan perimeter. The u.S. Army was outnumbered, under-equipped and under-trained. They fought anyway, retreating to a very small area and holding fast. They were in very real danger of being pushed back into the sea, which any military commander will tell you is not a good thing for all the obvious reasons. The Marines were sent in to put out fires until a force big enough to counter-attack could be organized and sent to the Army's aid.

The training and equipment was so inadequate that if it wasn't MacArthur's command, there's a likelihood that the top General in charge would have been re-assigned. But despite MacArthur's flaws he was a strategic genius and managed to set things straight. He counter-attacked and stopped the press on the perimeter.

But the troops did not stick to their inadequate level of training, saying that there was a fight on and they had no time to get their act together. They learned as they went. Granted, in a much harder fashion, and not nearly as ideally if they had a few weeks of learning new tactics and counter-tactics and practicing with new weapons capable of meeting the new threat. They learned under-fire, which is what we have to do.

The NRA is the 800 pound gorilla on Capital Hill. I've never said they weren't effective. My problem with them is what they choose to be effective at. I won't go into specifics as time is short. But NRA members have to stay on the NRA's case, making sure they don't waver in their goals or resolve, and try to mitigate if not eradicate the very stupid things they sometimes do to appear reasonable or less extreme. The NRA needs to become Absolutist and in a hurry, or all will be lost.

I have heard through a good pal that the GOA's reputation is in disrepute. I admittedly was paying as little attention to politics as possible for quite a while and missed the kerfuffle. But if they erred on some point then correct them, just as I'm urging folks to correct the NRA. Don't dismiss them, as they may have a part to play in all this yet.

In other words, as our list of allies grows thin, it's best we try to reform the ones we have instead of letting them see what the muffler on a greyhound looks like from below.

We have to be more determined than our enemies, but our focus does not have to be on them exclusively, or rather not on who we think our enemies are. Bluntly, our enemy isn't flesh and blood - that's just a manifestation. Our enemy is the idea that our culture is not worth saving. Our enemy is the notion that our culture can compromise on its values. Our enemy is the practice of appeasement.

I do not know that we can win, nor do I care. If we lose, then I myself am lost and all other things become inconsequential. I don't fight because I know for certain we can salvage the situation; that the Marines will be along any moment to shore up our defenses so we may not feel the salt and foam on our puttees. I fight because my culture is worth fighting for, even one aspect of it. I fight because it's the right thing to do. I fight because not doing so would be wrong.

In life you'll seldom have a choice between doing what's right & what's wrong. Instead you'll perceive things as doing what's right and doing what's easy. Hell, if doing wrong was the more difficult option we'd all be saints wouldn't we? so we have to first see what is right and see that what appears easy is wrong, then become determined to do what's right despite the cost. And I assure you, doing what's right almost always has some cost to it. That's where gumption comes in.

This is how Churchill expressed resolution:

That is determination; that is resolve. But Churchill did not stop there:

"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

This is Jackson:

That is what we face. We can fight, or that aspect of our culture, indeed, the culture itself, will vanish. Those of us left will be subjugated. Those things we value derided, demonized, made taboo until their practice, if at all possible, is a cause for scorn and mockery. Our culture will be suppressed; it will not grow, it will die.

Again, how we fight can be discussed. Strategy, tactics, even re-training can all be open for discussion. That we fight, and what we fight for cannot be questioned. It is too late for that. To lose heart, to give consideration to compromise on any level, is to lose this war. To seek the shelter of appeasement as we have done so many times, is to surrender. To sit back and accept the victories of our enemy is to feel the waves lapping ever higher against the back of our legs.

"I don't see nothin' wrong with background checks" must not be accepted as a valid position. "Well if we work with them, we can make a bad bill better" isn't going to help us win; it's going to help us lose. "If we let them have this then they'll leave us alone" is unmitigated bullshit and should be called out as such. "I don't need a 30 round clip to hunt deer" should be decried as the buffoonery that is is. Instantly. And loudly.

No, we fight or go home. Only for some of us, there's no home to go to. So for some of us it's we fight or we perish culturally.

As ol' Samuel Adams put it:

"Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty."

We must resolve to fight any attempts to further prior restraint of our culture. We must resolve to fight against the restraints currently in place upon our culture. We must resolve to correct our allies when they waver, in resolution or purpose.

In some states defeats have been suffered. In others defeat is forthcoming. In still others there's a sense of safety. The last is illusion. What can happen to one state could very well happen to all.

Our culture transcends state boundaries, therefore it's an attack directed at you even if the battle is waged thousands of miles away. Those same tactics that have humbled folks in one state are the same tactics that will be used against you. Those freedoms lost in NY are the same freedoms being lost in Colorado, and the same freedoms being threatened in Pennsylvania and even Montana. True; some states are in a better defensive position than others, and the restrictions vary from state to state. But the restrictions have the same purpose: the eradication of our culture.

Therefore we must resolve to fight as best we can, in any way we can. Politically is the method most accessible to us. The courts may be where the battleground moves to next, followed by a very long wait for the ballot box. There are pro gun organizations that need money and volunteers. There are letters to write, to friends and potential allies. There are calls to make. there are words that should be said directly to those who would deign to be our masters.

Not everyone can engage the Supreme Court's justices and persuade them to do their job. Nor can everyone rally a protest outside a capital, nor can everyone attend said rally. Not all of us can donate hundreds to a primary challenge of some anti gun owner politician. None of us can match Bloomberg's credit card. But we all must do what we can. we must fight as hard and smart as each of us is capable. We must not cede any more ground without giving it all we are capable of, and we must determine to take back ground already lost. We must not accept the edicts that impose upon our Rights, nor chastise others for their defiance of unjust laws.

We must fight these appropriations of our Rights, of our dignities, of our culture, in some cases of our very lives and liberty. This is it; if our enemies win now, if they defeat us, or if we defeat ourselves, it's all over. There won't be a round two in this campaign, indeed not in this war. We must fight, either to win or to not go gently into that good night. But we must fight.

But in order to fight, in order to implement a strategy, in order to achieve our goals, in order to preserve the existence of our culture, in order to regain and maintain our freedom, in order to not perish as a culture, in order to not be subjugated as individuals, we must have one thing above all else: resolve.

Posted by Publicola at February 20, 2013 11:15 AM | TrackBack

Excellent piece. Linked.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at February 22, 2013 07:14 AM
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