Saturday, January 19, 2013

Insurrection Erection

The beautiful lady liberty.

As far as we know, the Greeks where the first to attempt a democracy. A few individuals used force of arms to cease power and become a “tyrant”. A tyrant is one who "rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics against his own people as well as others". Tyrants did not have congresses or courts. Tyrants gain power and used power by raw force. In the United States, the closest we ever had to a tyrant was Abraham Lincoln because he issued orders putting aside many personal freedoms in a time of civil war. John WilkesBooth, who theatrically portrayed my namesake Mark Anthony, declared “Sic semper tyrannis” (thus always tyrants) before inflicting a mortal wound upon that president.

Factually inaccurate
To say our current president is a tyrant is incorrect in fact, theory, and ethics. No rational definition of Barack Obama's behavior can even remotely construe him as a tyrant. Staying within the boundaries of law, no matter how unpopular the action, does not make one a tyrant. There is no credible evidence that Barack Obama is attempting to use the power of our government for the betterment of himself or his family. We still have civil order and reports of the raw use of force upon our citizens are either lies or fanciful exaggerations.

There are many today who believe they have a right to keep and bear arms, our constitutions 2nd amendment, so that the general population can be armed to overthrow a tyrannical government. Talk in some corners has been escalating with angry words and fierce intention. Handguns, rifles, and other personal firearms and ammunition are selling out across the land. People dress in camouflage and train in militias, holding the desire to violently overthrow our constituted government.

Advocating armed revolution
There are those among us who are angrily considering an armed revolution. Using phrases like “the blood of tyrants” and “from my cold dead hands” they talk with one another angrily. Murmurs and rumors are reverberating in coffee cafe's and internet forums. Men speak of their handguns. Descriptions of how to make booby-traps and roadside bombs are written. Serious thought is even going on about how to wage a new civil war in some quarters.

Childish patriotism
This use of the word “tyrant” is similar to what children do with other bad words on an elementary school playground. A part of freedom is the right to dislike or even hate our current leader. A part of freedom is to hold non-factual opinions. A part of freedom is right to call out “bullsh*t” on those who have non-factual opinions. We do not, nor have we ever had, a real tyrant. Those who think we do, are ignorant of what tyranny is and I am calling “bullsh*t” on you.

Comparing our current government to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao has no factual credence. Hitler ordered the death of 6 million Jews and launched a war that sucked in the whole world. Obama has peacefully ended one war and is almost stopped another. Stalin forcibly relocated 20 million people, many who starved to death for the good of the “state”. Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any other president in our history. Mao forced his entire population to quit their jobs and wear the same exact uniform in his “Great Leap Forward”. Obama sends bills to congress and argues laws under a constitutional framework, soliciting the opinions of its citizens in a civil manner. I am no big fan of President Obama., but to say he is a tyrant and to compare him to men of great evil is to speak with ignorance and talk like a fool.

"I, Mark Anthony Bloom, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

We are citizen soldiers
Since 1789, members of my family have sworn this oath. We have served in the Navy, Marines, and Army as enlisted men. My daughter's family arrived on these shores as pilgrims on the Mayflower. When we swear allegiance, we have some history. When we swear allegiance, we mean it. Those who would oppose our country by force of arms fit the precise dictionary definition of traitors; being “persons who betray a friend, country, and principle”.

In 1979, while most of my friends were either in college or working their first low paying jobs out of high school, I was sitting in a tank gunnery range close to the border of what was then Eastern Germany. We knew that Soviet observers watched us. It was a Cold War, where we were training in full view of our enemies so maybe they would not start World War 3.

Old fashion armor
If you have ever been near a main battle tank when it fires, you know that the biggest bang from a firework show is tiny pop. Fifty yards away you can feel the ground shake under your feet as high explosive race out of the 105mm barrels of the M60A3 weapon. Its laser rangefinder and ballistic computer made this weapon deadly accurate at over two miles. Young testosterone filled gunners often bragged “If we can see it, we can kill it.” The M60A3 has been out of service for many years now, replaced by the much faster, more accurate, longer ranged, and highly dependable M1 Abrams main battle tank.

Our armed forces then used what is called the “Combined Arms Doctrine”. This method of warfare integrated different branches of a military; infantry, tanks, and helicopters in combination, supporting each other in swiftly deadly fashion. This doctrine and its weapons have been able to overcome every military force that dared go against it. Most recently in Iraq, new weapon and information systems have reduced highly trained armies quickly and efficiently.

Apache helicopter
Since my time in the United States armed forces, the weapons and tactics, doctrine and planning have become highly experienced in waging war and controlling populations of armed citizens who oppose them. In Iraq and Afghanistan their ability to overcome insurgencies of armed militias has been tested with hard won practice.

Any person or group in our country who thinks that their second amendment rights are about the ability to overthrow our government by force of arms do not understand the nature of modern warfare. Even if some portion of the soldiers were to revolt and take military weapons with them, they would quickly overcome by loyal, oath abiding citizen-soldiers using drones, satellites, helicopters, aircraft carriers, submarines, and secret intelligence capabilities most do not know exist.

Musketted soldiers
The days of muskets, when a civilian population could overthrow their government by force are gone. The technology of war has changed so radically since the founders that their original intent is archaic in today's world.

Our honorable National Guard is the closest we can come to having what our constitutions framers meant when they wrote “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” for the purpose of overthrowing our government if it every does become tyrannical. Even the best commercially available automatic weapons and high explosives are inconsequential for the purpose of combating our own military.

The National Guard uses cast off weapons systems from our active Army. The National Guard is almost uniformly loyal to the constitutional power our voted in government. The National Guard is not capable of overthrowing the government by use of force.

The right way to change government
For change in our government, we must rely on civic and peaceful means. Voting, organizing, rallies, demonstrations, standing in the town square and yelling at the top of your lungs are all reasonable methods for us to change our government. Force of arms no longer works to this end.

To those citizens of our beloved land, who are angry and wish to take up arms against the current government I say; take a step back, calm down and rethink. Please do not take up arms against your homeland because you dislike its political direction. Please do not cause the death of innocents in your emotionally fearful state of mind. Please do not throw your life away against a machine you do not comprehend. Please find a way to get along and move on until the next election when we can together decide what to do next.

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