They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
The Song of Deborah memorializes a great battle in which volunteer militias delivered ancient Israel from oppression. The Old Testament pattern was very familiar to the drafters of the U.S. Constitution. The tendency of a people to slide into carelessness and the need to remain vigilant framed the writings of men like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. David Kopel has written an article, “To Your Tents, O Israel,” in which he examines the Scriptural roots of the Second Amendment and America’s Biblical roots.
Lack of vigilance leads to over-reliance on government; attitudes developed via easy living breed unpreparedness and invite disaster and political oppression:
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof….
Judges 3:1 -4
The following is an excerpt from Judge Gould’s concurring opinion in Nordyke v. King, a new Second Amendment case. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that armed self-defense is an inalienable right enforceable against cities and states:
The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion. We should not be overconfident that oceans on our east and west coasts alone can preserve security. We recently saw in the case of the terrorist attack on Mumbai that terrorists may enter a country covertly by ocean routes, landing in small craft and then assembling to wreak havoc. That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway in an attack on any community before more professional forces arrived.1 Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.
The Ninth Circuit’s opinion sets forth the history of the American Revolution and the militia and Minutemen’s efforts to stop British statists from confiscating and/or destroying powder and ammunition stored in communities around Boston- the match that set the colonies on fire
“Indeed, the attempt by British soldiers to destroy a cache of American ammunition at Concord, Massachusetts, sparked the battles at Lexington and Concord, which began the Revolutionary War. For the colonists, the importance of the right to bear arms “was not merely speculative theory. It was the lived experience of the age,” states the Nordyke court.
I just returned from an Appleseed weekend during which almost 2,000 folks of all ages and backgrounds learned how to become riflemen (and women) with vivid accounts of Revolutionary era heritage. Along with boot-camp style rifle drills on ranges all over the USA (exactly 234 years after the shots heard around the world- i.e., April 18th, 1775), we learned that American leadership tried to avoid confronting British troops, the militaristic superpower of the day. But with aimed fire that reached out and killed Redcoats at 250 yards, the American patriots, after great provocation, eventually volunteered to demonstrate their discipline under fire.
Our times are like Joshua’s time because we have held back from driving out the enemies that seek to destroy our way of life. But a new generation must learn to make war. We are preparing even as our U.S. leadership invites war into the gates of the city. By reverting to the pre-911 mentality, the Obama administration is ensuring that a terrorist attack is more likely to occur in the near future than at any time since September 11, 2001.