The great samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi wrote in his influential
Book of Five Rings that, The Way is in training. Of course, Musashi was referring to warriors
in the latter stages of Japan’s feudal era yet also wrote about general character-building
principles that are transferrable to any skill, occupation, or age.
The term “bushi” denotes a warrior in Japanese and is
composed of two ideographic characters, or kanji. The latter of the two “shi”, in this case,
means a gentleman, scholar, a member of a group, or a well – respected
professional. Someone who is loyal,
righteous, honorable, and just is known as a “gi-shi”, especially those who put
themselves in jeopardy to uphold morality or justice.
For example, there is a famous story about
an independent samurai militia company that stayed loyal to their oaths and each
other even as their group was decimated on the losing side of the war that
shaped Japan’s entrance into modernity.
It is known as the Mibu Gishi Den.
This characterization could also apply to a citizen or
member in good standing within a political body, such as what is required to
secure a free state. Every able-bodied
citizen should be a Gishi, organized, armed, and disciplined to execute the
laws, repel invasions, and suppress insurrections. That is, each citizen acts out of a sense of
duty and belonging to actively participate in the operations of self-government,
where it matters most: contributing to security, justice, and ensuring
adherence to constitutional order.
While the era of feudal warriors may be over, and the
political-economic system that supported the samurai as a tax-funded, legally
restricted caste is obsolete, the ideals of citizen-warriors contributing to
security and justice with lethal capacities is quite appropriate in a free
society. Indeed, it is necessary to the
security of a free state as the Second Amendment to the United States
Constitution makes abundantly clear.
That the citizenry is derelict of the duty to ‘execute the laws’ and,
instead, has misplaced faith in politicians and bureaucrats to fulfill these
crucial functions, is why there is so much lawlessness and disorder currently.
The key difference between the samurai of feudal Japan and the citizen-warriors
of a free state is that the rights and responsibilities of a being armed are
not legally restricted to a class or caste but universally applicable to the
entire citizenry. To allow any subset of
the population, regardless of what titles they hold or costumes they wear, to
grasp exclusive privileges to themselves is to abolish equal justice under
Further, unlike the samurai of Japan’s later medieval period (or the Spartans
of ancient Greece for that matter), citizen-warriors in a free state do not
subsist off of the compulsory taxation of a slave or peasant class. The Framers understood that a ‘standing army’,
or the extended ‘defense establishment’ and the attendant ‘defense industrial
and technology base’ of the current era was anathema to liberty. The very existence of these unconstitutional
security institutions, feeding off of the tax-paying public while pursuing
their own ends, cannot comport with a free society.
Remember what I call
the Ruler’s Dilemma: Political actors must continually access ever more
resources to buy support from those who will help maintain their
‘plenipotentiary position’, the ability to make choices on how political power
is exercised. Yet, political actors have
no resources of their own and their activities to do not create wealth. All resources, particularly in modern social
democracies, are derived through taxation, the coercive expropriation of other
In fact, politics is a negative sum function in a system
designed to produce security. Private
property cannot be secured by institutions that operate by confiscating the
property of their clients. Just imagine
if a contracted security provider, say at a gated community, tried to offer
such terms during contract negotiations. Absurd!
Security and justice providers are, indeed, entitled to
remuneration and just compensation for their services. This is equally
applicable to governments and governmental employees, as Samuel Adams articulated
in 1772. However, as Adams points out,
it is the community served that assesses the ‘stipulated price’ paid for these
‘common defense’ services.
Nowadays, there is no stipulated price for security and
justice services provided by the current governmental arrangement. There are no fixed boundaries for
governmental activity, with most spending wholly outside the bounds of
defending life, liberty, or property, and citizens are charged by tax ‘rates’
rather than a firm price. One could
reasonably argue that only a tiny
fraction of current military spending is directed toward the actual “common
defense” of the United States and instead gets squandered on foreign
misadventures to the benefit of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.
Without a known price point, the citizen clients of
tax-funded ‘civil servants’ are unable to calculate the value of the services
rendered. Again, imagine trying to
figure out if installing an alarm system in your home or office with a company
that refuses to tell you how much the installation or monthly monitoring
service will cost. Further, the terms of
service, such as hours of coverage or the included number of physical responses
to alarms per month, remain nebulous and subject to constant change.
Who in their right mind would hire such a firm? Would you?
Constitutional order, the contract stipulating the terms of
service among the people and the provider of governmental services, does not
rely on such nonsensical propositions that would allow free reign to the
political caste. Assuming so inverts the
flow of legitimacy and makes the servants into masters and the source of
authority, the people, into subjects.
Restoring constitutional order, where government serves the
security needs of the people and not the enrichment of the political caste or
the coddling of criminals, requires placing the hilt of the sword of justice
squarely, and literally, into the hands of the citizenry. Doing so, as designed by the institutional
arrangements of the Supreme Law of the Land, limits the political caste’s
access to the instruments of state power and rightfully restores We The People
as the proper source and wielder of political power.
Whether George Mason intended this in 1788 during the Virginia ratification
debates, by stating that
the militia consisted of the whole people, “except for few public officials”,
is unknown. However, excluding
tax-funded office holders from wielding control over the means of force is the
prudent message of his phrase.
For, as much as bootstrapping entrepreneurs with “skin in
the game” are commendable in the private sector, the moral hazard inversely launched
by political monopoly is to be condemned with equal enthusiasm. While the republican theory behind dividing
the general government into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches was
intended to prevent abuses of power, everyone drawing their sustenance through
taxation has an incentive for greater property expropriation, and in practice
gladly conspire with each other to expand the size and scope of the state.
This is why the fact that We The People are the government,
and not the politicians, bureaucrats, or cronies that have hijacked the
institutions, needs affirmation and actualization. That is the real purpose of the Second Amendment,
the security of a free state, where the people self-govern with representatives
subordinate to the real source of authority…and not the other way around as it
is now. It is time to right the ship of
state and dissolve the unconstitutional arrangements that have allowed rights
infringements, ‘gun control’, and every other form of property expropriation to
The right to keep and bear arms, as well as the possession
of every other kind of property, will never be safe until the legal theory and
institutional configurations are corrected.
Of course, this is a tall order, a herculean task in
fact. The path to liberty is perilous
and requires faith as much as courage.
The potential for betrayal is high.
The likelihood of slander, subterfuge, and sabotage is assured, and progress
is uncertain. Yet, eternal vigilance is,
indeed, the price of liberty.
So, if you want to see The End of Gun Control, be prepared
and hold fast. We The People carved free
and independent states out of the tyranny of an illegitimate monarchy and then
constituted a republic to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our
posterity. It is our right and duty to
assert for ourselves in the present, and then pass down to future generations,
a ‘more perfect union’ where people can be secure in their lives, liberties,
Again, arms are both the means and end to securing
liberty. Being organized, armed, and
disciplined to execute the law, repel invasions, and suppress insurrections is
The Way. It is not optional but
necessary to the security of a free state.
It is time for each individual to intellectually, spiritually,
and actually, like Alexander the Great, cut the Gordian Knot of state servility
and, claim their right to rule as sovereigns over their lives and destiny. The great only appear great because we are on
our knees. Let us rise.