To Your Tents, America

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.

Judges 5:6-9

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. Read more

The NRA: American Success

In 1871, a former Union officer, Col. William C. Church, wrote a series of articles in a United States Army and Navy magazine. He was acting as a watchman sounding a clear call for training in marksmanship. Col. Church quoted another veteran officer who complained, “The general ignorance concerning marksmanship which I found among our soldiers during the Civil War appalled me.”

Col. Church went on to propose that an association be formed “to promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis….” Read more

The Last Men Standing

THE DEFENDERS OF RORKE’S DRIFT

On January 22, 1879, Britain’s standing army suffered one of its greatest calamities. A few days later 150 ordinary men withstood 4,500 Zulu warriors to provide an example of “pluck” in the face of extraordinary odds. What is to be learned from history about the character of those men that can guide our attitudes toward leadership and how to endure in the face of impossible circumstances? Read more

Can Airsoft People Survive in a .50 Caliber World?

AMERICA’S GUN CULTURE

On January 28, 2009, in a Federal Way Mirror article about the 1994 assault weapons ban, we reviewed some important issues raised when the men that drafted the U.S. Constitution disagreed about the question of whether to authorize “standing” armies. There were those on one side that felt national security might be neglected without a Constitutional provision mandating a full time, professional army. On the other side were men like Thomas Jefferson that saw the potential for the proposed federal government and full-time standing armies (like we have today) to become a new form of tyranny. Read more

Roundheads, Firearms, and the American Rifleman

Shooting Clubs.There are dozens of shooting ranges and clubs in Western Washington and all over the United States. As early as 1466, firearms culture and shooting clubs developed in Switzerland and, by the 15th Century, Schutzenfahnlein companies in Germany and the Swiss cantons boasted flags depicting crossbows and target rifles. Before long, many armies were combining pikemen with units of smoothbore musketeers. The muskets could be almost accurate at 200 hundred yards.

The combined units could break up squares of massed troops.

Advent of the Rifle. By the 1600s, weapons with grooved rifling began to show up on European battlefields. Read more

Jews Present Armed Resistance

As modern day Israel prepared to celebrate Purim, a Palestinian gunman was preparing to slaughter Israeli people in the same way that Haman attempted to do in the time of Esther. Purim is the annual celebration of the great deliverance of the Jewish people in the days of Queen Hadassah (Esther):

These holy days are observed to honour the defeat of the enemies of GOD’S people. Purim commemorates the downfall of Haman (means: tumult), the enemy of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire. As such, Haman is a type of Satan, the “accuser” – the one who has throughout history, sought to eliminate the Hebrew race. Haman had the king’s servants cast lots (purim) to determine the date on which the Jews would be destroyed, but his wicked plan was thwarted because of GOD’S great mercy and the obedience of Hadassah (Queen Esther). Read more

Crucible of War

I got interested in the French and Indian War from viewing one episode of a PBS documentary series called “The Making of America”. “Crucible of War” is available in a relatively shorter format under the same title as the documentary, “The Making of America”. The title of the PBS series and the abridged version of this amazing narrative tells a great deal about the importance of the years before, during and after the Seven Years War (officially spanning the years from 1754-1763). Read more

The Last Line of Defense

Every time I pick up a newspaper or magazine I am confronted with arguments for and against the Bush Administration’s policies in Iraq. I recently decided to go back and read everything I could about the Korean War, a war that most of us want to forget if we ever knew much about it in the first place. Read more