Aunt Jenny Brooks.
To the legislators of the states of New Jersey and Rhode Island, upon the approach of your votes for firearm confiscation:
The firearm owners of your respective states tell me that you are busy men and women with short attention spans so I will try to make this brief, beginning with an instructive story from the history of my adopted state, Alabama. Some still tell it with pride in the hills of north Alabama. Like all the best stories, it has the advantage of being true.
In 1863, eight duly sworn and appointed law officers of the state government, acting with the authority of their nation's congress, executed a search of the homestead of one Henry Brooks. They were there searching for Brooks' son who was evading the draft and to execute the tax-in-kind law, which stated that everyone, no matter how poor, had to support the national government, even if that meant having half their crop and farm animals stolen for government purposes. At the homestead were Brooks, his wife Jenny and their eight children. The oldest son was just 17 and was hiding in the barn. The youngest was suckling at his mother's breast. The men disarmed the Brooks at gunpoint and commenced their work. In order to find out where the eldest son was, the Confederate Home Guard posse put a rope around Henry's neck, threw it over a limb of the tree in their front yard and slowly raised and lowered him, torturing him for the whereabouts of his son as the entire family was forced to watch.
Shortly, the oldest boy could take no more and charged the men in a hopeless sally from the barn. He was shot to death. Henry Brooks, still hanging from the rope and strangling to death, was shot as well. The lawful and duly sworn search party then rode away. They were laughing as they left.
Had they understood who they were messing with, they wouldn't have been laughing. Jenny lowered her husband's body from the tree, laid it out beside that of her oldest son, and had all of her sons place their hands in the blood on their daddy's chest (or, in the case of the baby, she placed it there herself). She then had them swear a blood oath that they would not rest until all eight men were dead. This began a feud that lasted forty years, the last shots of which were fired in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1904. By that time seven of the eight "law officers" were dead, as well as no less than twenty-four others who got in the way of the Brooks' and their quarry. (The eighth disappeared, leaving his family and all his property behind, apparently changed his name and was never seen in these parts again.)
What does this have to do with you? Well, I'm getting to that. Stick with me here.
Jenny, a full-blooded Cherokee girl whose family had avoided the Trail of Tears by hiding up in the mountains, loved her dead husband. She demonstrated the depth of that love by ambushing the leader of the lawful posse a couple months later, shooting him off his horse as he rode out alone from his own home. She then dragged his body into the woods, cut the "lawman's" head clean off, put it in a tote sack, took it home and put it in the lye boiling pot, cooking it until all that was left was the man's skull, minus the jawbone. She then turned it upside down, put it on the sideboard and used it as a soap dish the rest of her life, right up until the day she died many, many years later.
Of course, Jenny lost all of her boys but one and several sons-in-law in the forty year feud, but she counted that as a part of life. In later years she would relate how proud she was of her boys "dyin' with their boots on" and how she had taught them all to shoot straight.
Again you will be asking impatiently, "What does this have to do with me?" Just this. The eight duly sworn and appointed law officers didn't understand, nor did they care to understand, just exactly who it was that they were messing with. They were "the law" and "the law" had to be obeyed. What they didn't understand in the arrogance of their ignorance was that they too were in violation of a law -- the ironclad and non-repealable Law of Unintended Consequences. This is a mistake that you too -- at this moment in history -- are on the cusp of making.
Like the senate and legislature of Connecticut, you are about to pass more onerous laws robbing heretofore law-abiding firearm owners of their God-given, inalienable and natural rights to liberty, property and life -- rights that the United States Constitution merely codifies. These rights do not come from the Constitution, and they certainly do not come from you by your permission. They are not subject to majority vote. They just ARE. The Connecticut authorities are discovering to their chagrin that fully 85% of the firearm owners that their draconian law was aimed at ARE REFUSING TO COMPLY. More than a few have made up their minds to resist any confiscation -- law or no law -- even if that means defending themselves from state violence at the point of their rifles. As I pointed out in a speech on the steps of the Connecticut capitol last April, when democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote. (1)
You see, like those eight duly sworn and appointed law officers, you mistake the people you seek to victimize. Yes, they have put up with previous restrictions you have passed. They backed up, grumbling, but they backed up. However, many of these folks, with a huge sense of grievance brought about by decades of being pushed back from the free exercise of their traditional liberties by the likes of you, are ready to themselves push back. The thing is, Connecticut has now ventured into this undiscovered country as blithely as uncomprehending deaf and blind folks tap dancing in a mine field. For as I tried to explain to them, they (and you) live in a different century than Jenny Brooks. Had Jenny understood the principles of 4th Generation Warfare, she would have sent her boys to kill the Confederate Governor of the state of Alabama and his political minions -- not to mention the Confederate congressmen who passed the despotic laws and the newspaper editors who endorsed them. For 4th Generation Warfare understands that the way to defeat an enemy is to directly engage the war makers and decision takers. Win the war there, and the raid parties stop coming. (2) This is the reality of war in the 21st Century -- this is the reality of the civil war you risk by pushing people you barely understand who have decided in their own minds that they will be pushed no longer.
Ask yourself, if Connecticut has an 85% non-compliance rate, what will the rate be in New Jersey? In Rhode Island? Do you think that your fellow citizens are more meek that Connecticut's? Are they more willing to have their rights torn away just because you say so? I doubt it. In case you hadn't noticed, civil wars -- such as you now propose to ignite -- haven't gotten any more civilized since Jenny Brooks' century. Indeed, they have grown more savage. And here you are, like the Confederate Congress, about to pass laws that will bring parties of armed men ready to dole out state-sponsored violence in furtherance of your tyrannical appetites to the doors of people who already feel disenfranchised, marginalized, mocked and scorned. Do you seriously think that after the first folks are killed in the name of your "benevolent intentions" that your victims won't come looking for you? Do you think that -- after you have killed their kith and kin -- you are immune from such people making a soap dish out of your skull just because you were elected by the constituents of your district and that the "law" was passed according to democratic forms? Do you imagine that there is a green zone within which you could hide from the future Jenny Brooks that your tyranny will have made?
It is an established principle of American jurisprudence that an unconstitutional law is null and void. Connecticut has passed such a law and is apparently intent upon rushing it into action before the Supreme Court can rule upon upon it. I have urged them to suspend enforcement until that time. (3) They have ignored me. The fact that I can later say that I tried to warn them to prevent civil war will be cold comfort. But don't you think that it would be the better part of valor for your respective states to at least wait to see if Connecticut ends up killing people under a law that was later ruled to be null and void by the Supremes?
I really would like to avoid another civil war in this country. I hope you agree with me. Do not extrapolate from your own cowardice and think for one moment that these people who you scarcely understand and secretly despise would be willing to merely roll over at the first threat of state-sponsored violence as you would. There remain in this country people who are willing to die for their principles. Such people are most often willing to kill in righteous self-defense of those principles as well. American history demonstrates that it is best not to push such people too far, lest they push back, fully and in kind.
To ignore that truth is to go whistling past Jenny Brooks' soap dish. Kinda makes your scalp itch, doesn't it?
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126
(1) "Defy. Resist. Evade. Smuggle." Speech at CT state capitol, 20 April 2013.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkjLlZu9uno(2) Tyrants beware. 4th Generation Warfare: How the next civil war will be fought.http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/04/tyrants-beware-4th-generation-warfare.html(3) Open Letter to the Legislative Tyrants of Connecticut.http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2014/02/open-letter-to-legislative-tyrants-of.html