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First, We Kill All the Dogs

Well, I think the line has finally been crossed. Tonight I’m going to start looking into what it takes to purchase a gun or two.

I’ve been resistant to the idea of owning a gun. I’ll be frank: guns scare me. When I was a kid, my father taught me to shoot one, but seeing what a gun could do just made me realize I wanted to be far away from them and have nothing to do with them.

Unfortunately, the type of gun I really need is not available to me, because I live in a Nation of Laws which, when it isn’t busy violating it, simply ignores its own Constitution.

Because what I really need is a weapon that will allow me to fight my own government, and they have some pretty damn big guns.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution notes:

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.

Of course, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms is routinely infringed. By “law.” In California, for example, the people are currently allowed to bear Arms, but since the Second Amendment forgot to expressly mention the ammunition that goes with it, the guns must be unloaded. A lot of good being able to bear unloaded Arms does.

Of course, when the Revolution starts, California can go fuck itself.

At any rate, as Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko, Jeff Gamso, Norm Pattis, Robert Guest and Brian Tannebaum have done, so do I talk about this disgusting video:

The police in a video followed the “accepted procedure” of our courts, announcing themselves (under cover of darkness) giving the occupants a few seconds to rouse themselves before busting down the door, rushing in and shooting the family dog. Apparently, the dog must have refused to comply with their orders even after being shot, because after a brief pause several more shots are fired into the dog, silencing its screeches of pain.

Fortunately, they appear to have missed the children.

The officers are dressed in exactly the type of outfit that would have roused George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Elbridge Gerry and the thousands of other Founders of our nation to go to war against their government. And anyone who doesn’t think these men would go to war against the government under circumstances like we face today simply doesn’t know much about the history of this country.

This is one reason the government wants to ensure that you do not exercise your right to bear arms.

George Washington, for example, reportedly said:

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.

In actuality, there is no reliable evidence that Washington made this statement. But he should have. Because it’s true. “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.” They are our “liberty teeth” intended to protect us against our own government. The reason we have the right to bear arms is in case we need to shoot back at our own government. This is why the right belongs to “the people” as the right of each one of us.

Don’t believe me? You don’t think the Founders thought we might need to protect ourselves from our own government? They frequently made comments about the fact that one thing that made America different, and unlikely to fall to a tyrannical government, was the fact that Americans own guns.

James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46, that people had nothing to fear from the federal government partly because of “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation….”[1]

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, said,

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.[2]

And Jefferson also said, in that same letter,

What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.[3]

Even Noah Webster, of Merriam-Webster (yes, the dictionary) fame, said,

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme Power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.[4]

In 1873 — admittedly now taking us out of the realm of the Founders — a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Story, wrote that:

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.[5]

Story was, however, citing Tucker — as would our current Supreme Court in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller — and Tucker was writing in 1803, shortly after the founding of the United States. And while I can’t say the same for our current Supreme Court, Tucker was no nutcase. In a time when integrity, intelligence and honor were still the best guarantee of success, he was a judge of the Virginia Supreme Court and later the United States District Court in Virginia.

But, again, views like these are the reason why our government wants to take away our right to own weapons, or, in the alternative, wishes to limit the types of weapons we can own. The Founders, by the way, talked about that, too. They knew that tyrannical governments first work to disarm their citizens. Today, that starts by making sure the weapons available to us are not nearly as powerful as the ones the government uses to shoot our dogs.

This move needs to be resisted politically. We can vote out any politicians who try to limit our right to own weapons powerful enough to protect us against them. For as Rich Mason of Tennessee put it,

If the arms of the soldiers of this era are automatic rifles, machine guns and sub-machine guns then it is the right, in fact the obligation, for the citizens of this country to possess such arms themselves. It is laughable on its face, as some have stated, that the Second Amendment would grant to us the right to only have flintlocks or muskets, such weapons as were in use at the time of our countries founding, to defend ourselves against an armed force raised by the government to oppress us, or to defend against an invading enemy. … If anything, we have the rights to limit the governments use of technology, not the other way around.[6]

And, frankly, to those apologists for the police who frequent this site, there is no excuse for the increasing militarization of our police force and for their willingness to shoot defenseless citizens and their puppies.

I echo the words of Norm Pattis:

So if you are thinking about bursting into my home with or without a warrant, be forewarned: Shoot to kill my dogs, and I will shoot to kill you. Period.

And if anyone has a recommendation on a good weapon, drop me an email. Unfortunately, for now — I am an attorney until the Revolution starts, after all — I’m looking for one that’s powerful, but strictly legal. Still, it needs to be a good one: Fresno’s police department is fond of shooting citizens, as well as dogs.

Oh, yeah, in fairness I think I have to mention: the little “war on drugs” involving the cops who busted down the Missouri family’s door and shot what I understand was a Corgi were ultimately able to charge the homeowner with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

That’s right: misdemeanor.

  1. The Federalist Papers, No. 46, at p. 296 (James Madison) (Clinton Rossiter, ed., Signet Classic 2003). 
  2. Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787.—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 12, p. 356 (1955). 
  3. Jefferson, supra, letter to William Stephens Smith. 
  4. Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, in Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States(P. Ford ed., 1888) 25, 56. 
  5. Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States: with a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States Before the Adoption of the Constitution (1873) p. 620. Story cited to 1 Tuck. Black. Comm. App. 299 for this. It is worth noting that in the recent United States Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) 128 S.Ct. 2783, 2805 [171 L.Ed.2d 637] cited this same quote from St. George Tucker’s version of Blackstone’s Legal Commentaries in support of its opinion that the right to bear arms was personal; i.e., that individuals and not just militias, have the right to bear arms. 
  6. Rich Mason, “Why the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is Important to You” (1999) available online at, bold-face emphasis in the original.