One Nation Without Defense

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By Karla Fetrow

Descent into Suppression

A long time ago, so many years now it seems just a fable, America woke to the lovely idea of peaceful resistance.  Young girls placed flowers in the rigid muskets and wrote broad banners proclaiming, “peace, not war!”  It seemed to work then, as America, weary from two world encounters and trailing conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, agreed it was time to gather back its youth.

Not all demonstrations ended peacefully, of course.  There was tear gas, beatings, sometimes shootings.  The cry of civil liberties was often drowned by accusations of civil disobedience.  There was no true peace.  There were the Manson slaughters, bank bombings, Georgia lynching, and the one who sang most sweetly, so persuasively for peace; John Lennon; was murdered.  Yet, America had spirit then.  Its heart was moved by sit-downs, bubbles in the air, funny little people silently miming the antics of society, hunger strikes… and the cries for peace somehow made a difference.

Two generations later, and the face of America hasn’t seemed to have changed much.  The wars so adamantly protested, continue.  The banks once targeted by bombers are now targeted by hackers.  Civil liberties have adequately been shuffled under a facade that promotes social status, allowing equal lack of opportunity to anyone who doesn’t have the connections for getting the foot into the door of financial success.  The greatest change that has occurred is, America has lost its spirit.  It is defeated, dejected, reduced to puppets clamoring to ride on the media wagon.

It’s easy to blame this on the current administration.  Changes in policies have created a stronger, more bullying federal government, that not only uses TSA and Homeland Security to justify invasive practices, but that actually sets people up to take a fall.  Infiltration to create a crime scene that didn’t previously exist was once called entrapment.  It is now justified as nipping corruption in the bud, jet corruption lies with the one who planted the seeds; which more often than not, boils down to the federal government.  However, it took more than just five years to create the despondency with which America has accepted this acute loss of freedom; the sanctuary of our homes, our bodies, our personal possessions, our rights to peacefully assemble, have been lost with scarcely a murmur.

Our Natural Liberties

America was founded on the basis of natural liberties, although if you asked the average person the definition, the most likely response would be a retreat into amendment rights.  Basically, our natural liberties are the internal drive all people were born with in their instinct for survival.  If you were stranded in the wilderness, your first effort would be to find food, water and shelter.  This is your natural liberty.  Once you’ve lived in your shelter awhile; if no one has come to rescue you; your next instinctual step would be to improve upon your living conditions and defend it against invaders.  It is your natural liberty to own and defend your workmanship.  Perhaps, over the course of time, you’ll meet others within this stranded environment.  You have been liberally developing your own thoughts.  It is your natural liberty to express these thoughts, whether through speech or writing.  You may, in your solitude, have developed a religious belief, with rituals of your choosing.  It is a natural liberty.  When any or all of these liberties are forcefully removed, they are not terminated from your natural drive, only suppressed.  Once you understand that this drive is instinctual, built into every single person on earth, the greatest desire should be to defend these liberties in all, for not to do so, will only result in conflict and harm to others.  This, however, has not been the case.

stand_up_to_bullies_mouse_pad-p144360426531755800envq7_400Confusing unalienable rights with majority rights, Americans have systematically voted to suppress the natural liberties of others, consequently suppressing their own.  Worse, the squabbles to limit what should be the moral choices of good conscience has split the nation apart.  Interpreting free enterprise as the most singular freedom of the republic, it has allowed media driven corporatism to abuse the lands and water leased by the public for developing the interests of the republic.  The privileges we had  granted ourselves, through social consent, to be derived from the fruits of our labor; education, roads, social programs; have been diverted for weapon making and bloated government offices.

We have granted the right to make profit over our natural liberties.  Our homes and the fruits of our labor are not our own.  We may not grow our food at will, speak frankly, assemble peacefully, without the monitoring and possible retaliation of the very government sworn to uphold our freedoms.  We may not defend ourselves.

The Lost Art of Defense

Of all our natural liberties, defending our homes, families and the fruits of our labor, is the closest to our instincts for survival, next to the appropriation of food and shelter.  If someone was to place his hands around your neck and begin choking you, your instinct would not be to lie there passively.  You would struggle by every means possible to free yourself.  Your instinct tells you that if someone moves aggressively against you, to behave defensively.  Yet, we have been conditioned to behave otherwise.

This conditioning began in childhood.  For an older generation, the ones who remember that long ago day when America still had spirit, self defense was the acceptable response of a school yard fight under mitigating circumstances.  The child who fought back after a bully pushed him down the stairs might receive a reprimand, but was generally admired and congratulated.  This was before zero tolerance rules.

There is no longer an acceptable reason for a child to fight back.  The one who does receives the same punishment as the aggressor.  There are no mitigating circumstances.  This policy has crept into court rooms.  To defend your home against an intruder or to finish a fight someone else has started could easily entail a long, bitter legal battle.  The general advice is, “call 911 and let the police handle it.”

American citizens no longer know how to defend themselves.  Beginning with childhood, they have surrendered the arts of self-defense, entrusting an authority who may or may not deal with their victimized situation fairly.  Separating out the children who are greeted with abuse in their homes, most youngsters are taught to walk away from a fight; that pacifism is better.

In a civilized society, this is generally the best thing to do.  Most problems can be discussed peacefully when both sides have had a chance to cool down and reappraise the situation, provided both sides have an earnest desire to reach a compromise.

The art of compromise has become as lost as the definition of natural liberties.  It’s no longer about meeting somewhere in the middle between two opposing forces, but an insistence that winner takes all.  The middle ground has been erased.  This is evident across the spectrum of communications.  Not only do we have the physical bully among us, who sees an unwillingness to fight as a weakness, we have the verbal bully who accesses the Internet to demean and belittle the milder users, using name calling and twisted definitions to harass and shame the timid poster.

Communications, understanding, compromise are never the intent of a bully, only the feeling of conquest.  This conqueror mentality has been reinforced by courts that no longer consider mitigating circumstances and by an aggressive, bullying central government.

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Dispirited America

Pacifism is no longer an effective force for influencing changes in a society ricocheting between extremes.  When the Occupy movement attempted to persuade opposing forces to deal with the crucial issues of a balanced economy, improved International relations and healthy environmental policies, they were met with tear gas, pepper spray, beatings and jail time.  Sit in’s no longer work.  Hunger strikes no longer work.  A tired, defeated America has lost its spirit.

Shamefully, the super-storm Sandy, did nothing to move politicians and energy providers to begin considering less harmful solutions for meeting energy needs, although there was more consternation over climate change.  However, the Sandy Hook massacre did initiate an immediate response to push an agenda for gun control.

As gun control is a highly debatable issue, it has been a very convenient subterfuge for a government that does not want to answer the questions concerning improved International relations, economics and environment.  Nor does increased gun controls answer the question, how can Americans learn to defend themselves?

The truth remains, peace loving Americans still feel powerless in the face of aggressor.  Suggestions range from a gun in every home, to armed guards in the schools, suggestions that imply only the equalizing force of weapons will curb the horror of public massacres.  Is an armed citizenry or military styled control the only means of overpowering an aggressor?  Perhaps not.

Most shootings occur with a single perpetrator.  The reaction of the panicked citizenry is to duck and look for cover.  As has been illustrated in recent events, this doesn’t work very well.  Even those in hiding can be hunted down and murdered.  What if citizens learned not to panic, to realize their numbers can overpower a gun man?  A single gun man does not have a 360 degree perspective.  He is vulnerable from in back and to the far side of his peripheral vision.  What if the attacked citizenry began throwing all available objects at the gun man?  The distraction would make it far easier to overpower him.  While there would still be casualties, the number would be less in the event that people were fighting back instead of cowering, waiting for help to come.

Nobody likes to think in terms of getting caught up in a massacre, but preparedness can go a long ways toward prevention or minimizing damages.  We drill for fires which may never occur.  Women learn martial arts and carry mace or pepper spray in their purses just in case an attacker is lurking on a lonely avenue.  We prepare for so many emergencies because preparedness helps us to overcome the moment of panic and see clearly the things that need to be done.  Why not prepare for ourselves for the possibility of a lone gun man in our midst?

Defending ourselves is not a crime.  Defending our homes and our loved ones is a natural liberty.  Defending the natural liberties of all is the only way to defend our own.  We must remove our fears of retaliation when inaction only brings more brutal consequences.  We must stand firmly behind our natural liberties, even in the face of suppression.  When peace keeping fails, when suppression turns to force and force to injustice, there are only two options left.  Accept tyranny and the terrible consequences of suppressed rage, random violence and a bully’s winner mentality, or learn to defend ourselves.

About karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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4 Comments on “One Nation Without Defense”

  1. I love violence. And I’m not talking about watching people pretend to beat each other up on TV. But I haven’t been in a good fight in years. No one is really interested in fighting anymore. I think people are just weak. I’m no bully, and I don’t go around looking for a fight. But I yearn for someone to give me a reason to go bruce lee on their ass.

    Nowadays, there’s only two possible outcomes to any fight: either you get beat up, or you break the other guys’ nose and he sues you, in which case you still get beat up. It’s a lose-lose kind of thing. Still, I’d never complain if I got beat up in a fight, much less file a complaint!

    People are a pathetic bunch.

  2. I agree with the overall point of the article – “civilized” people have forgotten how to stand up for themselves, instead becoming complacent and dependent on some outside power (usually the state’s “law” enforcement agencies) to come save their asses when they find themselves in difficult situations. And it’s because of that complacency that most of them will die when the resources are exhausted and all hell breaks loose: their kind are all too easy to manipulate by authority and most will simply walk right into the FEMA camps – never to leave again!

    Regarding sh’s post, I don’t enjoy violence – to me it’s something I engage in if I have to and I always have the tools and skills needed to inflict it on those who would dare attempt to impose their will on me. Unlike you sh, I don’t yearn for a reason to “go Bruce Lee on their ass” and would rather settle disputes over a drink than with a fight: use of force is not something I seek a reason to employ, but I’m always ready to inflict terrible (even lethal) harm if that’s what the situation warrants…

  3. If you don’t enjoy violence, it’s probably ’cause your spirit is dead and/or you’re a pussy.

    BTW, and this has nothing to do with anything but, judging by your articles and comments, Az, there’s a fair amount of violence in your head.

  4. sh,

    I’ll be the first to admit that I recognize violence as a useful tool and that there are powers out there (especially monopolies on force) that cannot be dealt with on reasonable terms – making a resort to violence the only viable option when dealing with such entities. The reason I write about the prospect of using violence against these entities is because there’s no other means of dealing with them aside from total surrender of your own sovereignty: a fate worse than death itself!

    Make no mistake – I have the power to commit all manner of brutal actions and have done so in the past when I needed to. I have no regrets about what I’ve done and would do it again if I had to, but I never enjoyed it: use of force is not a game to me and I do not engage in violence recreationally: not because I’m weak or my “spirit is dead” but because I recognize the lasting effects of its us – it’s power is something I have come to respect and to use it for simple recreation shows a disrespect for the tool and its power…

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