February 26, 2019

Pragmatic Scaling

Rather than focusing on doomsday insurgencies against tyranny, like a recent ammo.com article described, it's more pragmatic to use the Constitutional prescription for the security of a free state.

It's time to change the narrative on the use of arms in a just society, particularly to curtail the designs of rogue officials.

Strategies from the samurai tradition allow individual arts, like aikido, to scale up for larger social contribution.

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Check out this episode!

Pragmatic and Scalable

Do you see your training as something you do merely for yourself, whether the motivation be for your own physical fitness and self-defense, or perhaps even for the satisfaction of besting others in conflict?

All of these motivations are valid to be sure, a healthy body and defensive skills are something everyone can benefit from and, at some level, are required components of a good life.  I raise the question, however, to contemplate whether these efforts can scale up to create larger effects or even contribute to a better life not only for yourself but those around you. 

When we talk about scale within the martial arts the applicable spectrum includes interpersonal conflict, meaning fight between two or more people, as well as international war, which means conflict among two or more nations.  Within these extremes also exist a variety of group conflicts such as that within a nation or state and even non-governmental battles such as those among private organizations, such as criminal gangs, mafia, or cartels. 

In your martial arts training do you consider scalability and how applicable it will be out on the broader end of the spectrum of conflict?

Experience Fosters Realism

Minoru Mochizuki was someone who trained in the samurai traditions and held highly pragmatic views of martial principles. 

When asked by one of his European students what he would do if attacked by someone with a pistol.  The student asked: what would you do if I brought a pistol?  He replied that he would bring a rifle. 

Mochizuki trained in the sword tradition of Tenshoden Katori Shinto Ryu as part of the Kodokan Judo Institute’s exploratory program in classical martial lineages.  He was a close confidant of Judo founder Kano Jigoro and was dispatched in 1930 to study what was then called Aiki-jujutsu under aikido founder Ueshiba Morihei O’sensei. 

Mochizuki was in Mongolia during the Imperial Japanese occupation and throughout World War II as a civilian administrator.  After the war, he developed his own composite martial system, known as Yoseikan Budo, even while maintaining positive relationships with Aikido’s Ueshiba.

When challenged by someone who doubted aikido’s martial effectiveness, he invited the person to attack and surprised him with a kick. 

The doubter was surprised that aikido includes kicks.


Mochizuki then replied:

“We use kicking techniques or anything else.  I’ve even used artillery.  Martial arts, guns and artillery are all aikido.  What do you think aikido is?  Do you think it involves only the twisting of hands? 

“Aikido is a means of war…an act of war!  Aikido is a fight with real swords.”

“We use the word ‘aiki' because through it we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately.”

“When a person suddenly faces his enemy in a mental state free from all (preconceived) ideas (or apprehensive) thoughts and is instantly able to deal with him, we call that aiki.  In the old days it was called ‘aiki no jutsu' (meaning techniques for fitting a response precisely to an opponent’s hostile intent).  Therefore, artillery or anything else becomes aiki.”

“While practicing you can learn the proper way of moving your body and how to use power rationally and also through aiki you become able to respond immediately the moment your enemy…approaches to attack. Therefore, you can deal with anyone.” 

Now, continuing on to a practical application of scaling martial arts, I want to share and discuss an article that recently appeared on Ammo.com that discusses asymmetrical warfare and fourth generation warfare. 

It is titled:

Asymmetrical Warfare and 4GW: How Militia Groups are America's Domestic Viet Cong


Overall, the article is worth reading and I encourage you do to so if you get the chance. 

I will share it with you now a bit out of its original order because I want to highlight its good points up front and then finish with some analysis of the underlying assumptions with an eye toward reorienting the message to legitimize those defending liberty. 

Again, I’ll save my overall commentary for later and start with some useful descriptions the article provides on different forms of warfare and insurgency in particular.

So from about mid-way through the original article, we read:


“…we live in an age of a technologically leveled playing field.  This is true even when it comes to instruments of warfare.  While the [governments have] nuclear weapons, it’s worth remembering that a pound of C4 strapped to a cheap and readily available commercial-grade drone is going to break a lot of dishes.

This sort of guerilla insurgency has a name:  It’s called fourth-generational warfare (4GW), and you might be surprised to learn that you already live in this world.

What Are the First Three Generations of Warfare?

To understand how 4GW is a new and improved form of war, we first need to explain what the first three generations of warfare were:

First-Generation Warfare

The first generation (1GW) is basically what you would have seen in the movie 300.  The hallmarks of this generation of warfare are armies from two different state actors leveraging line-and-column tactics and wearing uniforms to distinguish between themselves.

This generation is not entirely without subterfuge.  For example, counterfeit currency was used to devalue the money supply during the 1GW Napoleonic Wars. Other examples of 1GW conflicts include the English Civil War and the American Revolutionary War.

Second-Generation Warfare

The second generation (2GW) comes with the advent of rifling and breech-loaded weapons.  As students of military history know, the invention of rifling was one of the reasons that the United States Civil War was so bloody.  This meant that firearms that were once mostly for show after 100 feet or so, were now deadly weapons – and tactics did not immediately evolve.

But evolve they did.  Many things we take for granted as being just part of warfare – such as camouflage, artillery, and reconnaissance – are defining features of 2GW.  The American Civil War is probably the first 2GW conflict.  Others include the First World War, the Spanish Civil War and, much more recently, the Iran-Iraq War.  The United States military coined this phrase in 1989.

Third-Generation Warfare

…3GW, is the late modern version of warfare, where speed and stealth play a much bigger role.  Weapons and tactics alone are less important.  Instead, military units seek to find ways to outmaneuver one another before – or even instead of – meeting on the battlefield.

The era of 3GW was initiated with the Blitzkrieg, which marked the decisive end to cavalry and replaced it with tank and helicopter warfare.  Junior officers were given more leeway to [issue] orders.  The Second World War was the first 3GW conflict, with the KoreanVietnam and both Iraq Wars becoming further examples of this style of fighting.

What Is Fourth-Generation Warfare?

The most direct way of discussing 4GW is to say that it describes any war between a state actor and a non-state actor.  This is also known as asymmetrical warfare, but it’s not the only difference between 4GW and other, earlier forms of conflict.  Asymmetrical warfare does, to be sure, blur the lines between combatants and civilians.  This is in part what made the Bush-era “war on terror” so difficult and complicated: The war was against a set of ideas rather than a nation or even an extra-national army.

There are a number of characteristics that flow from the state actor vs. non-state actor aspect of 4GW.  The first is the use of terrorism as a regular tactic, almost always on the part of the non-state actor.  Particularly for the state actor, non-combatants become tactical problems – you simply can’t just carpet bomb and hope everything works out.

The non-state actors tend to be highly decentralized.  One faction can stop fighting as another 10 crop up in its place.  Funding and source of manpower and material comes from a wide array of sources spread out over nearly the entire globe.  This necessarily makes 4GW long and drawn out over years or perhaps even decades.  The psychological warfare, propaganda and lawfare aspects are an integral part of the conflict.

The genesis of 4GW lies in the Cold War and the post-colonial era.  Insurgent groups and counter-insurgency groups vied for power, often times with state actors operating behind the scenes and in the background.  Sometimes the goal was to establish a new state or reestablish a defunct one. 

However, many times the only goal was to delegitimize the existing state and create a power vacuum.

Places such as Laos, Myanmar, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, the Congo, Cuba, East Timor, Korea, Poland, and Afghanistan were all pieces [on] the global chessboard of the Cold War as various insurgency and counter-insurgency groups backed by the Soviets, the Americans, and/or the Chinese fought one another or fought against occupying forces.

What Is the Difference Between 4GW and Asymmetrical Warfare?

Put simply, all 4GW is asymmetrical, but not all asymmetrical warfare is 4GW.  It refers to virtually any asymmetry in combat.  This can be as simple as one military having more advanced technology than another – for example, the English longbow at the Battle of Crécy gave the English forces a decisive technological advantage.  The Spartan forces were greatly outnumbered by their Persian adversaries and used the landscape to compensate.

In one sense, 4GW can be seen as asymmetric warfare come to full fruition.  The less powerful forces must find a way to compensate for their relative lack of strength.  On the other hand, the stronger forces must paradoxically find ways to compensate for their abundance of strength.  This is because of the all-important propaganda war, an integral part of 4GW.  State actors often seek deniability during war by proxy when engaging non-state actors.

**The article then goes into a few of the innovators behind 4GW theory including Colonel John Boyd who is famous for developing the OODA Loop decision cycle analysis model, as well as Chuck Spinney, both of who were students of Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, or Sonshi no Heihou in Japanese, and advocated decentralized command, control, communications, and innovation rather than rigid hierarchies and bloated budgets.

The key takeaway here is to recognize that military bureaucracies are stuck in second-generation warfare thinking…and are, therefore, incapable of keeping pace with the security threats posed by 4GW.  Since security of life, liberty, and property is the sole purpose of contracting governments into existence, as the US Declaration of Independence rightly points out, this ineptitude will weaken popular faith in existing government structures, leading to failed states.**

Returning to the article…

Where Is 4GW Happening Today?

While many think 4GW is something in the far-off future, it’s actually happening right now.  The most archetypal 4GW is perhaps the conflict with ISIS – a non-state actor with recruits all over the world in conflict with several states.  Some of the conflict is classically military, but there is also the propaganda war taking place all over the Internet.  In fact, ISIS was using the PlayStation network to communicate because they correctly believed it wasn’t being monitored by international intelligence services.  These attacks on the West were not limited to the area controlled by ISIS, but extended all around the world.

Counter-attacking ISIS was a bit like trying to catch water in a net.  Attacking ISIS proper was possible: There was territory.  But attacking the support of ISIS was a whole other problem.

It’s worth noting that the international Islamist movement is not limited to ISIS.  Al-Qaeda and its offshoots still exist.  What’s more, they seem to multiply over time.  This is another feature of 4GW.  A state actor can make peace with one faction of a group while other, more militant factions simply retreat deeper into the metaphorical mountains to continue the fight – which is precisely the situation that the Republic of the Philippines has faced in its struggle against the Moros separatists of the Southern Philippines.

But the Philippines and Syria are all likely far away from where you live in terms of geography, sociology, demographics and culture.  What does 4GW have to do with London, Paris or even Springfield, MO?  Probably a lot more than you think.

Is 4GW Coming to the Developed World?

Is fourth-generational warfare coming to the developed world?

Quite possibly, especially when you consider the specter of failed states in the West.

Many Western states are not quite as stable as they are made out to be.  Sweden and France in particular have extensive problems with No Go Zones.  Other parts of Europe want to secede, such as Catalonia in Spain, and are being violently suppressed from doing so.  

Elsewhere around the world, previously first-world countries like South Africa are deteriorating in the span of a generation due to government mismanagement.  The United States, for its part, is in what some have described as a “Cold Civil War,” with many futurists agreeing that the potential for outward civil war is greater than you’d like to think.

**The article then describes a European and then an American scenario of how 4GW could unfold, given the current climate and forecasts according to the present trajectories.**

4GW: The European Model

…Geographic “No Go Zones” [based on incompatible ethnic enclaves]…within European nations will likely increase in size…conflict will likely develop between [these] No Go Zones…[and certain] elements of the civilian population…in true 4GW fashion, people will find ways to improvise weapons out of what they have available to them…

In a scenario [of] 4GW conflict in mainland Europe, attacks on civilians will escalate while the legitimate civilian authority is increasingly incapable of dealing with it.  There will be both an inability and an unwillingness to maintain legal norms within larger and larger areas [of] Europe.

…Militias will form around political, ethnic and religious lines.  Some of these will be the No Go Zones attempting to consolidate their power.  Others will be European civilians seeking to protect themselves and their neighborhoods from the growing power of the No Go Zones. 

This, in turn, will further fuel the breakdown in government control.  Members of the government, both law enforcement and military, will increasingly pick sides in the conflict, leaving their allegiance to the rump state behind.  In the end, this will make it more difficult for the state to assert its power.

The remaining government will begin taking measures against free speech and free association in an attempt to crack down and regain lost power.  But at this point, the battle will mostly already be lost.  Factions of the government will cease cooperating with one another, [thereby] making it harder and harder to maintain order.

These factions will, to varying degrees, start lining up behind the militias and parallel legal structures that have begun cropping up at the street level.  This will also be the time foreign governments will step in and begin supporting local militias more.  An example of this is Serbian-backed militias in Croatia and Bosnia during the Yugoslav Wars, or Israeli support of Maronite Christians and Iranian support of Shiite Muslims during the Lebanese Civil War.

Crime will increase, but not just petty street crime.  Insurgent movements have a long history of using organized crime to fund their operations and the 4GW conflicts in Europe would be no exception to this.  The drug trade, human trafficking and financially driven kidnapping are three examples of how [these kind of] militias will fund themselves using extra-legal means. 

This will serve as an additional cause to restrict freedom of movement through both de jure and de facto means within a nation’s borders, another case where the Yugoslav Wars and Lebanese Civil War are [illustrative].  Conversely, refugee scenarios will develop, which will further complicate the situation.

4GW: The American Model

The American 4GW Model is somewhat different and is based more on ideological and political differences than ethnic and cultural ones – [al]though…ethnic and cultural differences [may also] play a role…

Close Quote

Before I go over the American model the author describes I’m going to return to the beginning of the article to see how the issue is framed. 

As I do, I want you to pay special attention to how the militia are treated, particularly when describing the, so called, militia movement.

See if you can spot the fundamental flaw in this presentation.  The problem is entirely too pervasive, especially among 2nd Amendment supporters and others unwittingly playing into the hands of gun controllers.  Again, see if you can identify this simple yet fatal mistake.

But first, and this article is a good case in point of all the confusion and propaganda flying about in public discourse these days (all of which favors the centralization of power at the expense of your liberty and livelihood). 

In such a chaotic environment, maintaining your clarity of mind is essential. Quieting the mind, being free of preconceived or apprehensive thoughts, like Minoru Mochizuki observed, is indispensable to being ready for your life’s challenges. 

The key to clarity of mind is a meditation practice, but let’s face it, with our busy, hectic lives, who has time for just navel gazing?  You need to know that your meditation practice is focused and effective.  You need a return on investment and you can ensure your results in a short amount of time when you use Brain Shots.

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You’ll come out the other end, refreshed, energized, and more potent at whatever you want to do in life.

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To ride, shoot straight & speak the truth

The article begins with a quote from Col. Jeff Cooper, the founder of Gunsite Training Center and progenitor of the modern pistol technique.

He said,

“It is interesting to hear certain kinds of people insist that the citizen cannot fight the government.  This would have been news to the men of Lexington and Concord, as well as the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan.  The citizen most certainly can fight the government, and usually wins when he tries.  Organized national armies are useful primarily for fighting against other organized national armies. When they try to fight against the people, they find themselves at a very serious disadvantage.  If you will just look around at the state of the world today, you will see that the guerillero has the upper hand.  Irregulars usually defeat regulars, providing they have the will.  Such fighting is horrible to contemplate, but will continue to dominate brute strength.” Col. Jeff Cooper 

The article then resumes… 

When one discusses the real reason for the Second Amendment – the right of citizens to defend themselves against a potentially tyrannical government – inevitably someone points out the stark difference in firepower between a guerilla uprising in the United States and the United States government itself.

This is not a trivial observation.  The U.S. government spends more on the military than the governments of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, United Kingdom, and Japan combined. Plus, the potential of a tyrannical government is arguably upon us – with the federal government spying on its own citizensmilitarizing local police departments with equipment and tactics from the War on Terror, and repeatedly searching Americans, which desensitizes them to this invasive process.

There is much historical precedent, however, for guerilla uprisings defeating more powerful enemies.  For instance, the Cold War saw both superpowers brought to their knees by rural farmers – for the Soviets, their adventure in Afghanistan against the Mujahideen, and for the United States, the Vietnam War against the Viet Cong.

In both cases, nuclear weapons could have been used against the guerilla uprising, but were not.  Even assuming the use of nuclear weapons from the position of total desperation, it’s hard to imagine they would have made much of a difference in the final outcome of either conflict. 

Unlike the invading armies, the local resistance enjoyed both broad-based support as well as knowledge of the local terrain.

Now imagine such a scenario in the United States. You wouldn’t be the first person to do so.  From [the movie] Red Dawn to James Wesley Rawles’ Patriots series [of books], there is a relatively long-standing tradition of American survival literature about…resisting the tyranny of big government, either before or after a collapse.

…consider what a domestic American terrorist or freedom fighter (after all, the label is in the eye of the beholder) organization based on the militia movement would look like in open revolt against the United States government.  In the spirit of levity, we’ll call them the “Hillbilly Viet Cong.” 

They would most likely find their largest numbers in Appalachia, but don’t discount their power in the American Redoubt, or the more sparsely populated areas of the American Southwest, including rural Texas.

Here we have tens of thousands of Americans armed to the teeth with combat experience, deep family ties to both the police and the military, extensive knowledge of the local geography, and, in many cases, survivalist training.  Even where they are not trained, militant and active, they enjoy broad support among those who own a lot of guns and grow a lot of food.

On the other side, you have the unwieldy Baby Huey of the rump U.S. government’s military, with some snarky BuzzFeed editorials serving as propaganda.

Could the Hillbilly Viet Cong take down the USG?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it’s difficult to imagine that the USG could take them down.

In the United States, the federal system of government can play a key role.  For example, while the prospect of a gun ban causing the peasants to pick up their pitchforks and torches is unlikely, a scenario where states simply refuse to enforce the law is far closer to the realm of possibility.  Consider that this is already starting under the Trump Administration – cities and states are refusing to comply with the President’s directives on federal immigration law.  Flipping the script, it’s worth wondering just how much state and federal compliance a federal ban on AR-15s, a high tax on ammunition, or a call for widespread registration would generate.

This could happen one of two ways: Leftist states like California and Massachusetts balk at a new federal law, or more conservative and libertarian states like Arizona and New Hampshire refuse compliance. 

It’s worth noting that states themselves are not monoliths. California is largely still a conservative state outside of Los Angeles and the Bay Area, while several municipalities in deep blue Massachusetts went for Trump.  On the other hand, Arizona has blue enclaves like Flagstaff and New Hampshire’s cities vote almost identically to Boston.

The red state / blue state divide is very real, but it also exists within states as well as between them.  In the event that a cleavage between the two political and cultural halves of America started, this divide would become increasingly unstable within the states themselves.

Unlike Europe, the United States has a homegrown militia movement that is heavily armed and, to varying degrees, ready for battle. 

When the AR-15 is talked about as a “weapon of war on our streets,” it is frequently mentioned in the same breath how an insurrection in the United States would never stand a chance against the modern weapons of war wielded by the federal government. This would be news to the Viet Cong.  People who make such statements are unaware of the dynamics of 4GW.

While the political aspects are very real, so are the demographic ones.  In particular, there is the spectre of the Scotch-Irish in Appalachia. These are a people with hundreds of years of long skepticism (and often outright hostility) toward the federal government.  It’s also, geographically speaking, a very difficult place to conquer. Eric Rudolph evaded the feds for five years in the mountains of North Carolina, despite being on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List.

This segment of American society has a significant connection to both the police force and the military.  Simple suggestions that local police, SWAT teams or even the military will be quick to crush such a rebellion are ill-informed on two counts.

First…[in] many cases, the military and police who are being sent out are going to be friends, family and intimates of the Hillbilly Viet Cong. What’s more, due to the extensive military experience in this area, many of the foot soldiers of an anti-government rebellion centered in Appalachia would not only just be trained, but also battle-tested.  Divided loyalties always play a role in 4GW, and the United States will be no exception.

The weapons of war are leveled in 4GW.  There is air war by drones, but also the role of computer hacking, kidnapping and other unsavory activities. The point of 4GW, from the perspective of the underdog, is less about “winning” in some quick and dramatic fashion, and more about dragging out the conflict as long as possible, causing the dominant power to lose through…death by 1,000 cuts.

Consider the Vietnam Conflict: Between the end of the French occupation of Vietnam in 1954, through the Fall of Saigon when U.S. forces abandoned the city to the Viet Cong, the American Vietnam War lasted approximately 20 years.  And that doesn’t count the seven bloody years of French occupation post-WW2, when French colonial forces lost approximately 100,000 troops attempting to put down the guerilla movement in Indochina.

Finally, there’s the U.S. government’s track record in 4GW.  The United States does not have a solid track record of being able to defeat guerilla insurgencies. From the Filipino Insurrection in the late 19th century to the current Afghan insurgency – the United States military can make inroads against 4GW actors, but it’s never really able to seal the deal.

4GW in America: The Battle of Athens

There is a history of 4GW in the United States and we don’t need to go very far back to find it. In 1946, there was an uprising of the citizens of Athens, TN (in McMinn County) to reestablish the rule of law.  The story illustrates how American patriots resisting domestic tyranny can succeed in their struggles.

Citizens of Athens had complained about election fraud since 1940.  The town was filled with battle-hardened veterans from both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II.  This filled them with a militancy that did not exist before the war. 

Several citizens of Athens had complained, but the administration of Franklin Roosevelt did nothing, perhaps because the town was ruled over by an entrenched Democratic Party machine.

First, the men ran one of their own, a GI named Knox Henry, for sheriff.  They wanted fair elections, so they petitioned the FBI to monitor, a request which was denied. 

The machine, for their part, imported 200 strong arms to “protect” the polling places from voters.  In one case, a deputy pointed his revolver at a GI, ejecting him from the polling station and telling him “If you sons of bitches cross this street I’ll kill you!”  

Poll watchers were arrested and in one case, a black poll watcher was shot.  Finally, the party machine locked the ballot boxes up in the county jail.

Despite lacking in numbers, ammunition and arms, the veterans used the key to the local armories belonging to the State and National Guard.  This evened the score considerably.  They went to the jail house and requested the release of the ballot boxes, but were rebuffed with the sheriff’s men shooting two of the GIs.  A firefight erupted and the GIs were reinforced by men from neighboring Meigs County and their IEDs. 

Eventually, the sheriff and his men surrendered, releasing the ballots.

After obtaining the ballots, the men cleaned and returned the weapons.  The GI candidate was elected sheriff and several others were elected to key county positions.

This demonstrates 4GW in miniature in the United States.  For those concerned about nuclear retaliation or other heavy guns the USG has, it’s worth noting that the underdog can always obtain some of these weapons by hook or by crook. 

The Militia Movement and 4GW 

No discussion of 4GW in the United States would be complete without touching on the militia movement, something specific to the U.S.  While Europe has a history of factions in the military who oppose the government (the French Secret Army Organization is the most famous of these), it does not, to nearly the same extent as the United States, have men actively training in the woods getting ready for civilizational collapse or 4GW.

The militia movement began in the early 1980s, when it was known as the Posse Comitatus movement.  It exploded (no pun intended) after the attack on the Oklahoma City Federal Building and the showdown at Ruby Ridge.  By the mid-1990s, the militia movement had a presence in all 50 states and was comprised of approximately 60,000 people.

Note that the militia movement is no longer limited to the political right.  Left-wing organizations have begun openly training with arms since the election of Donald Trump as President in 2016.  In any kind of 4GW scenario in the United States, it’s likely that these two strains of the militia movement would come into conflict with each other, as well as the United States government. 

And don’t forget about the narcissism of small differences that tends to plague fringe political movements – the most bitter enemies in a 4GW conflict in the United States will likely be competing factions of left- and right-wing political movements.

Close Quote

The article then describes the skillsets most applicable to 4GW including weapons handling, outdoor survival, first aid, physical fitness, land navigation, and demolition skills, concluding with the hope that using such skills never becomes necessary. 

Indeed, we can recognize that war is, in general, one giant raging atrocity to borrow a phrase from Col. David Hackworth in his book About Face. 

Further, life as an insurgent is particularly miserable as, what often happens, is a life lived underground without any possibility of maintaining one’s home, property, or possessions. 

The insurgent must forego every material and social comfort, always ready to abandon their position at a moment’s notice. 

Let us all hope that such scenarios never come to pass and that whatever problems we are facing find peaceful resolutions using reason, dialogue, and mutual understanding of the benefits of social cooperation.

Let us also recognize that avoiding the truth is not helping to advance the cause of liberty, and in so doing, also missed a huge opportunity to restoring justice, and liberty under law, without resorting to insurgency.

The Fatal Error

Did you notice how the author skipped over this crucial distinction?  What is your idea of the militia, or the right to keep and bear arms?

So many people, despite meaning well and advocating the Second Amendment, want to talk about Constitutional gun rights for the purpose of “defense against a potentially tyrannical government”. 

This is not just a problem among lay people, but also the majority of Second Amendment advocating legal professionals, including many lawyers and judges. 

They then go on to describe militia groups in terms of a potential insurgency, applying guerrilla tactics, resisting “the government” in a worst case scenario. 

Framing the issue in this way cedes entirely too much ground to those seeking to erode human freedom.  It’s time to stop allowing aspiring tyrants and their useful idiots to shape the debate. 

It is time to examine the federated nature of the American republic, and just what role the militia play in securing a system of self-governance.  The Constitution is quite clear, yet most people ignore Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15.  The militia are tasked with executing the laws of the union. 

The militia, under Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1, as well as Article 1, Section 8, are categorically distinct from the regular armed forces and while portions of the militia can be called into service to the general government, armed, organized, and disciplined according to the discipline ascribed by congress, the portions of the militia not actively in service to the union remain in, and in service to, their local jurisdiction.

So, while the ammo.com article does hint at federalism playing a role in resolving internal conflict, it is entirely baseless to call the “militia movement” a product of the 1980’s or being “in conflict with the federal government”. 

On the contrary, the militia of the several states are inherently governmental institutions, and have been so on the North American continent since the early 1600’s. 

Further, the militia are an essential component of the federal system of government under the US Constitution and, as such, can never be in conflict with the federal government. 

What can, and frequently does, happen is people holding public office exceed their authority or seek to enact legislation outside of their operating charter and thereby violate the protected and reserved rights of citizens.

These people we can rightly call rogue officials or aspiring tyrants, and when they act beyond the authority of their office are operating outside the law.  They are rightly called outlaws.

Restoring Legitimacy To Liberty

It is time to stop giving the moral high ground on this issue to those who seek to use the instruments of government to pervert the law.   

Militia are necessary to the security of a free state, which is another way of saying that, liberty under law requires the body of the people to be trained in the martial arts and sciences, not merely to stave off tyranny after years of incrementalism, but to actively maintain justice as the final executive in the cycle of self-government.  That is what Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15 means by “execute the laws”. 

Those familiar with Igensho: The Book of Dignity, General Principles of Martial Art know that martial art is not merely about self-defense. 

If you have not read the book, I highly recommend you do so, but at the very least, get the free PDF outline just by signing up to our email list at www.everydaysamurai.life/dignity.

Free PDF download
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You can also go back and listen to our first ten episodes where we had conversations with Igensho’s author. 

Martial art, just like the Second Amendment, is not merely about self-defense.  This is a losing strategy.  Maintaining the dignity of the individual, in principle and in deed, is the path of maintaining justice in a free society. 

The time is now to recognize the individual’s right to keep and bear arms is prerequisite to the citizen’s duty of martial proficiency as an essential component of self-governance.  It is also time to acknowledge the rightful place of militia in the US Constitution and in a well-functioning federal republic.

With the supreme law of the land affirming their essential governmental nature, decentralizing political power and restoring local self-governance, through the constitutional militia system, is a much more pragmatic approach.

Keeping these rights and duties in mind can align your personal motivations for training with a larger social contribution and forthrightly declaring the militia as necessary to the security of a free state is the only way to turn the tide against the nightmare of tyranny, constitutional government was designed to prevent.