6 Jan 03

The Age of Kings winds down:
The War of Spanish Succession, 1701-1713

Louis XIV claims the longest reign of any sovereign in Western Europe, before or since. He was King of France for sixty-two years, from 1653 to1715. Like most kings of the time, Louis was conceited and vane, but he was a skilled and durable monarch. So skilled, in fact, was Louis at psychologically outmaneuvering his opponents, that Latin (which had been the official language of European diplomacy since Roman times) was gradually replaced with French.

In no small measure due to the arrival of gunpowder, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Europe’s national armies were becoming “professional,” unlike the loosely organized rabble of previous centuries. Armies could no longer “live off the land.” They had to be expensively equipped, trained and drilled, and, most importantly, continuously supplied. Suddenly, strategically located supply bases (called “magazines”) and protected supply lines became critical to the success of any military operation. On the defensive side of the equation, cutting the enemy’s supply lines and assaulting his fortified magazines became military imperatives. Accordingly, siege tactics underwent a great deal of refinement. French military genius, Sieur de Vauban, became renowned for his innovative siege tactics. Vauban’s influence on both siege tactics and the design of fortifications spanned the centuries, right into modern times, and can be seen at Dien Bien Phu and even at Khe Sahn.

Delusions of grandeur and of catastrophe were common among sovereigns of the period. Kings looked upon warfare as a chess game. Through invasions, open battles, sieges, and peace conferences, they would casually dabble in military adventurism as a way of demonstrating their intellectual superiority or the fact that they personally were favored by God (mostly the latter). In fact, when military fortunes went badly, kings were often convinced that God was punishing them personally for some latent character flaw. Organized religion was also a factor. England and Holland were mostly Protestant. France and Spain were Catholic. In the minds of kings, the issue of which was the “right” religion had to be settled by force. As a result, untold suffering was endured by religious minorities in all four countries, particularly in contested regions.

During Louis’ reign, principle players in Europe included England, France, Holland, Spain, Austria, and Sweden. At the end of his reign, only France and England would remain, and their mutual animosity would spill over into the New World. Germany and Austria, despite the best efforts of the Habsburgs, would remain fragmented until the Nineteenth Century (Louis’ recurring nightmare of a united Germany would have to wait another two hundred years). As their adeptness at allying with each other and with major players declined, the fortunes of Holland, Spain, and Sweden languished. None would ever occupy center stage again.

In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, when an elderly king was in poor health, and the forthcoming vacant throne was hotly contested among various claimants, all insisting that they were the legitimate successor, armed conflict was likely before the matter was settled. Called “dynastic wars” or “wars of succession,” these conflicts garnered the interest of neighbors who often had a self-serving interest in the outcome. Further complicating the matter was the fact that all of Europe’s royal families were interrelated. Every sitting king had uncles, brothers, and cousins in the courts of other nations. Most were married to princesses from other royal families. Political intrigue and posturing went with the territory.

Spain (by 1700 little more than the bankrupt shell of a once-great empire) under tottering King Carlos II was thus of great interest to France, England, and Austria. Carlos had no sons. The son of Louis XIV of France and Archduke Charles of Austria were both active contenders for the Spanish throne. The prospect of a Spanish/French alliance alarmed the English, but they were equally unenthusiastic about the Spanish and Austrian branches of the Hapsburg family reuniting. In his last will, Carlos, in an attempt to placate his neighbors, decided to name one of Louis’ grandsons (the teenage Duke of Anjou), as the next king of Spain (the Duke of Anjou did, in fact, become the next Spanish king, King Philip V). Carlos reasoned that The Duke of Anjou, not being in line for the French throne anyway, would be an acceptable choice to all his neighbors. He was wrong! The English and Dutch were aghast. Austria, with their native son snubbed, declared war!

During what would be know to history as the “War Of Spanish Succession,” John Churchill (The Duke of Marlborough) and Prince Eugene of Savoy made a formidable team. After a string of impressive victories against Louis, they combined once more in their siege of the French fortified magazine at Malplaquet in late summer of 1709. Seeing this as an opportunity for a decisive, war-ending victory, Marlborough and Eugene held nothing back, and the English/Dutch alliance won the day, but at great cost. In fact, Wednesday, 11 Sept 1709 would go down in history as the bloodiest day of fighting in Europe since the invention of gunpowder. Ten thousand French casualties. Three times that many allied troops. Allied losses were so great that Marlborough’s plans to subsequently march on to Paris had to be scrapped. The French commander, Villars, wrote to Louis, “If it pleases God to give your enemies another such ‘victory,’ they will be ruined.” After receiving the news from Malplaquet, Louis said (in a typical display of personal vanity), “I am infinitely miserable.”

After Malplaquet, Marlborough lost his nerve and avoided all contact with the French. A change in the mood of fickle Queen Anne in England simultaneously landed him on the wrong side of the political fence. He was eventually relieved of command. In fact, following Malplaquet the English/Dutch alliance disintegrated, after which Holland slipped into permanent irrelevance. With George I replacing Queen Ann in 1714, Marlborough’s stock was restored, and he was given command of the army once more, but he never dabbled in politics again.

The war officially ended with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713. In the American colonies, however, hostilities between French traders in Canada (along with their Indian allies in America) and English colonists, also in America, continued. Called “Queen Anne’s War,” Anglo/French and Anglo/Indian bitterness it created continued to smolder until it erupted anew during the French and Indian War forty years later.

Louis XIV died at the age of seventy-seven in 1715. France would see only two more kings, and the French Revolution would then sweep the last from the throne forever. When the revolution burnt itself out and Napoleon came to power, he never called himself a king.

On his deathbed, Louis gave this advice to great grandson (in line for the throne), “Try to remain at peace with your neighbors. I have loved war too much.”

Lessons: Entertaining the thought that God is directly intervening in your life by bringing you good fortune or bad is delusional. Delusional thinking is flirting with mental illness and must always be quickly dismissed. This world operates on a cause-and-effect system, and orienting one’s thinking logically in that direction is a prerequisite for any kind of success.

During his life, everyone will experience good fortune and bad. With God, it is nothing personal! Persistence and the determination to fight through it all is the best personal philosophy. Even then, there are no guarantees!

As Abraham Lincoln put it: “If I were to attempt to even acknowledge, much less respond to, every denouncement of me, this Shop might as well be closed to all other business. I do the best I know how, the best I can. If I am incompetent, I deserve to be fired. Until then, I intend to keep going forward until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what has been said against me, along with those who said it, will be quickly forgotten and amount to nothing. If the end brings me out wrong, I will be profoundly rebuked throughout history, and ten angels swearing I was right will make no difference”



6 Jan 03

I just had a conversation with a friend on active duty who just returned from the Mideast. He is a competent gunman and one of my students.

My worst fears were confirmed. Gun handling skills and philosophy haven’t improved one bit since I was in Vietnam thirty-five years ago! Soldiers and Marines are still afraid of carrying loaded guns, even in areas of active fighting. They doubt their own ability, and they think they need permission to have their guns is a state of readiness commensurate with the circumstances. They are afraid to make any gun-related decisions for themselves.

Commanders still think empty guns are safer than loaded ones. So, they want everyone to unload their rifles and pistols before coming into certain areas (what are they afraid of?). “Clearing barrels” are provided for this purpose. Not only does this pointless practice waste valuable time, it seems that there have been so many ADs during the procedure that personnel have now been threatened with prosecution if the ADs continue. The “solution” is to lynch people for not exercising the training they’ve never had!

Commanders obviously know that the small-arms training troopers have received is so poor and irrelevant that they can’t be trusted with guns. It is the same reason Nation Guard Troopers patrolled airports with empty guns.

I had been told the situation had improved since Vietnam. In reality, it is worse. We don’t have professional gunmen. We have scared kids who haven’t been trained and scared commanders who are afraid of their own men.



7 Jan 03

From a friend in the Philippines:

“I chanced upon a copy of Shooting to Live by Sykes and Fairbarn. Of course, it is dated, and the Commonwealth English, as well as windy writing style, must be overcome.

However, what struck me was that the nature of lethal conflict has not changed between when the work was written and the present. The authors’ highlighting the importance of low-light skills and automatic stoppage reduction, as well as emphasizing that real criminals move and shoot back is as relevant today as is was then.

This stands in stark contrast to commercial gun magazines (and today’s military philosophy) that dwell endlessly on hardware rather than software components of personal survival.

The philosophy that the book espouses is timeless. As you emphasized in your last quip, fearful men, particularly those who are afraid of guns, can never be victorious no matter how much ‘training’ they’ve received.”



10 Jan 03

From a friend south of the border:

“We train law enforcement officers throughout Central America where the IMI Galil rifle is what most police here are armed with. In fact, the Galil is the primary arm of police officers. Pistols are carried only by the brass.

For all practical purposes, rifles receive no maintenance, but, to their credit, they keep running. Unfortunately, officers fire only a few rounds during training and are then thrown to the wolves.

I almost never handle a Galil without losing skin! Lots of rough edges and sharp corners.

You may find it interesting that ten meters is the maximum range anyone practices here. The rifle is actually used as a big pistol. A conventional sight picture is rarely taught. Officers typically look over the rear sight and just use the front sight as a reference. A great deal of potential inherent to the rifle is never exercised.”

Lesson: Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. Trainees (military and police) will do exactly what is expected of them. If little is expected, little will be accomplished. Seldom are noble deeds done by men who are thought of, and think of themselves, as nothing more than cannon fodder. Nobel deeds are accomplished only by noble men. Training is largely meaningless if it does not make the trainee aware of his mission, of his place in history, and of his own magnificence.



10 Jan 03

From a friend in Atlanta:

“Several days ago a seventy-year-old shopkeeper was sitting in the back room of his package-goods store down here watching TV when he noticed three sleazballs enter his store.

He calmly picked up his Remington 870 (charged with 00 Bk), and, utilizing his walker, hobbled out to the counter with the pump held low along one leg of the walker and below counter level.

The three nervously announced a holdup and pointed a pistol at the shopkeeper. Surprise! The shopkeeper had been through this drill before. He calmly raised the shotgun, chambered a round, and began firing at the astonished robbery trio. As a result, two robbers were DRT and the third is critical (at this writing, still hanging onto life by a thread). The robbers never got off a shot.

Police arrived and arrested the wounded suspect (who didn’t get far). They also arrested the robbers’ stupid bimbo/girlfriend, who was still sitting in the getaway car twenty minutes later, apparently not paying attention.

Last year, this same shopkeeper was held up by another armed suspect. In that incident, the robber shot the shopkeeper without ever saying a word. The robber was also shot by the shopkeeper after the shopkeeper had been wounded. That robber was DRT also. Quoth the shopkeeper of his wound, ‘It was through-and-through; didn’t hurt’. He obviously saw no reason to give up the fight!

He has no plan to retire or to sell his business”

Lesson: You’re only beaten when you allow yourself to believe it. Criminals are wimps. An explosive counterattack will always take them by surprise. If an elderly and crippled shopkeeper can be victorious in a situation like this, what are we to think of healthy cowards who fearfully give up the fight before it even starts?



14 Jan 03

New Pistol Caliber from Cor-Bon:

“It’s fifty caliber, shoots bullets in the 325 to 440 gr range and yields velocities between 1600-1700 f/s. It is designed for handgun hunting. The new five-shot revolver manufactured by S&W will be on the “X” frame (larger than the N-Frame) and has a 7.5 inch barrel. We fired one at the S&W training center over the weekend, and to say it’s a handful is an understatement. However, the pistol did hold up well to the pounding.

The combination (ammo and gun) will be introduced at the SHOT show next month in Orlando. We also got to see the whole line of new guns they’re coming out with. Looks as if 2003 will be an interesting year for S&W.”



14 Jan 03

Instructor School:

We’re conducting our first Instructor School in Sturgis, MI this summer. To attend, you must have taken and successfully completed the Basic and Advanced Defensive Handgun Courses as well as our Urban Rifle/Shotgun Course.

The course will an intense training weekend, and we will go through 1500-2000 rounds each. The course fee is $600.00. If you pass the test and get the instructor pin, you are entitled to assist at any of our courses (per demand).

You must attend the instructor school every three years in order to keep your instructor
rating current.

Let me know if you would like to join us.



14 Jan 03

Sage advice from a friend who finds himself overseas regularly:

“I was on assignment overseas late last year. My opinion on preferring a thirty-caliber (308) personal defensive rifle to one in 223 caliber was confirmed, in spades. I have an even stronger opinion on this subject than I did the last time we talked.”

Comment: My friend has been doing this for some time. He is far more experienced than I would ever want to be. Every caliber has its place, but a thirty-caliber battle rifle surely covers all the bases!



16 Jan 03

With regard to our 2003 Instructor’s Program in Michigan, I failed to be specific. There is no requirement that any of our current Certified Affiliate Instructors take this course this year, or at any time.

We have been asked by some of our instructors and those seeking instructor status to conduct a course like this, but it was not my intention to imply that anyone was required to attend.

I apologize for not making this clear from the beginning.



16 Jan 03

Comments on military rifle calibers from a major manufacturer of military small arms:

“As you noted, the 223 round (in any bullet weight) is effective only out to 150 meters. At 200 meters it is marginal. At 300 meters and beyond, it is utterly impotent. Penetration is inadequate at any range. The 308 is surely an adequate caliber in both penetration and range, but there is a problem:

When armed with rifles chambered for 308, our people are invariably going to run out of ammunition before the enemy does, when the enemy is armed with Soviet AKs and ANs. Such inequities can be addressed with fire discipline, training, blah, blah, but most of us have come to the conclusion that a new military rifle cartridge is going to be necessary, one that will be effective out to 500 meters, penetrate like a 308, yet be of a size that will allow soldiers to carry quantities similar to the quantities of 223 they now carry. As I mentioned before, this project is in high gear at the Pentagon right now.”

Comment: In the interim, we can fit most people into a 223 rifle. For light duty, like law enforcement and personal defense in a domestic environment (where ranges are short) it is adequate, in the judgment of most of us. Rifles chambered for 308 are too big and heavy for small-statured people. But, when ranges open up, and one must shoot through things, only a 308 will do- at least at present.



19 Jan 03

A student and good friend in a course we are doing here in CA, like me, uses a G32 in 357Sig. His slide cracked at 10,000 rounds and was promptly replaced by Glock at no cost. Yesterday, at 20,000 rounds, the barrel lugs sheared. I’m sure Glock will take care of that too, but this caliber (357Sig) is obviously a lot harder on guns than is the 40S&W and others.

High chamber pressure and high slide velocities obviously take their toll. My G32 is at 2,500 rounds (mostly Cor-Bon), and I have had no problem with it. I also have a SIG239 in 357Sig. It is new and works fine. We’ll see how it holds up as we round rounds through it.

I believe the 357Sig caliber to be a significant development in handgunning technology. From what we know so far, its terminal effect is outstanding, but guns chambered for it, even Glocks, are going to be battered as they are with no other caliber. Glock’s and SIG’s excellent service philosophy are surely helpful, but the user’s expectations with regard to the useful life of the pistol are going to have to be adjusted accordingly.



20 Jan 03

I had lunch today with my good friend, Lynn Thompson. Lynn is the CEO of Cold Steel. Lynn’s facility in Ventura, CA features a complete training center for training in the fighting arts.

I don’t think I know anyone as personally dedicated to the advancement of the art as Lynn. He is intimately familiar with nearly every martial are form, and actively practices and teaches, as well as manufacturing his line of knives.

Cold Steel knives are surely my favorite. Lynn makes a knife that is extremely strong, and I don’t know how he gets them so sharp, but they are the sharpest of any production knife available. I particularly like the Scimitar folder. A better emergency knife would be difficult to imagine. Mine is with me constantly.

There are many knife makers, and many good ones, but no one is as dedicated as Lynn. I am honored to count him among my friends.



22 Jan 03

Present Situation in Capetown, SA:

“One of our city police officers was murdered Sunday. The officer was in uniform and at his residence waiting to be picked up by a colleague. According to witnesses, the officer answered a knock at the front door of his house, expecting to see his friend. Upon opening the door, the officer was confronted by two armed-robbery suspects. To his credit, the officer immediately attempted to disarm one of them. The thug’s pistol (type/caliber unknown) fell to the ground. The thug’s accomplice then stepped in, scooped of the pistol, and fired two rounds at the officer, hitting him in the upper leg, just below his ballistic vest (at an upward angle). The officer collapsed as the assailants fled the scene, firing a number a number of rounds back at the house as they ran. The officer bled to death before the ambulance arrived. Our city police officers are required to hand in their pistols at the end of each shift. This murdered officer was unarmed at time of the assault. No arrests have been made, nor are any likely to be.

The next morning, four hundred city police officers staged a protest to draw attention to the fact that officers do not even have locker space at the precinct stations to change from/into civilian dress. This leaves them in uniform and unarmed to and from work. With many officers having to make use of public transport, they are constantly at risk. Our chief of police has been asked to resign, but no policy change is likely in any event.

Local politicians shed the routine crocodile tears and expressed their ‘deep concern,’ putting the blame for such horrible crimes on everything and everyone, except themselves. Some things never change!”

Lesson: This is what liberals want for American police! The obvious lunacy of unarmed officers running around in uniform is lost on liberal (Marxist) politicians. To them, police officers, like soldiers, are just cannon fodder. For all their professed “caring.” they couldn’t possibly care less.

I tell all my soldier and police students to worry less about “rules,” and more about living long enough to collect their retirement!”



28 Jan 03

I just returned from Memphis, TN where I did a program at Tom Givens’ wonderful indoor range. Tom is a well known trainer and works with many local police departments.

He indicated that it is not uncommon for officers there to carry autoloading pistols with the chamber empty. When they step to the line the draw, chamber a round, then reholster. Then they signal that they are “ready.”

We can thank our “friends” in the movie industry for this, just as we can thank them for making movie after movie where the hero runs around with a pistol in his hand and his finger continuously wrapped around the trigger.

It seems, in all the action thrillers, the heroes are constantly making their pistols click and clack. It must add to the drama for the benefit of the people who watch this sewage. When Tom asks officer why they are carrying pistols with no round in the chamber, they sheepishly answer that they “saw it in the movies.” Tom stays busy!

On the same theme, I just received a message from a friend in the theater of operations in the Mideast. He reports that, even in forward areas, soldiers and civilian contractors alike are still carrying empty guns around, because they are ordered to do so. “Clearing barrels” are everywhere.

Fortunately, my friend pays no attention to such stupid rules, and neither do his men.

“Any fool can make a rule, and every fool will follow.”



29 Jan 03

From an LEO friend and student on the East Coast:

“One of our officers was just involved in a fatal shooting here. A local convicted felon, out on parole in a stolen automobile, attempted to cause the airbag to deploy on one of our Crown Vic beat cars by suddenly backing into it during a traffic stop. The maneuver didn’t work, and the chase was on. The suspect vehicle subsequently suffered tire damage when it ran off the road and slowed to a crawl. The suspect then bailed out, simultaneously firing at our officers (380Auto) over his left shoulder. A single round struck our beat car’s open door. No injuries.

Our sergeant, who had just arrived, fired three rounds from his G23 (Gold Dot) at the running suspect. All three rounds found their mark, one through and through on the forearm, and two through the upper portion of his buttocks. The suspect’s descending aorta was severed, and he bled out posthaste. Neither bullet exited. Suspect was DRT. No one else was hurt.”

Lesson: When asked to summarize a recent gunfight, Bill Hickock (known for his short answers) was quoted at saying simply, “He missed. I didn’t.” Bill correctly concluded that his point was made and that additional details would be superfluous.

There is no substitute for surgical accuracy, no matter how exciting the situation. “Lots of shooting” doesn’t end fights. Hits do!



29 Jan 03

Good news from an attorney friend:

“Two days ago, the Judge in West Palm Beach, FL in the Raven pistol case, ruling on post-trial motions, issued a directed verdict overturning the entire judgment against Valor Corp, the pistol’s distributor.

You will recall this is the case where 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazil, upon being suspended from school, went home, retrieved a 25ACP Raven pistol he had stolen several days earlier from his ‘grandfather’ (actually no relation), returned to school with the gun, and shot his teacher in the face, killing him. Brazil was tried as an adult and convicted of murder. This present case is a civil suit, sponsored by Handgun Control Inc, against Valor Corp.

With the judgment against Valor now being overturned, the only remaining judgments are against the school district (which wasn’t a party so isn’t liable to pay the judgment) and the elderly ‘grandfather’ (judgment-proof by virtue of no significant assets) who owned the pistol and kept it unsecured where Nathaniel Brazil could take it.

The jury found that the pistol in question contained no design defect, no manufacturing defect, and was not ‘negligently made’ (whatever that means). In ruling on the motions, the judge agreed that the fourth issue, the only one on which the jury had found Valor liable (for not selling the pistol, in 1988, with a trigger guard lock) was improper under Florida law.

This is a tremendous victory for the good guys, as Handgun Control Inc was trying to prove the Raven pistol was ‘inherently defective,’ simply because it was small, inexpensive, of small caliber, and therefore had ‘no legitimate purpose other than as a crime gun.’ NO gun manufacturer provided trigger guard locks with their pistols in 1988, when the Raven was sold, and Valor wasn’t even the manufacturer. The manufacturer, Raven Arms, has been out of business for years.

If allowed to stand, a decision against Valor in this case might have been usable to say that ANY seller of ANY gun, new or used, big or small, at least, as far back as 1988 if not further, would be liable for criminal misuse of the gun or for gun accidents.”

Comment: You won’t hear about any of the above on the mainstream media, as it is bad news for them and their left-wing agenda. When good news like this comes along, being the ideological prostitutes that they are, they simply pretend they didn’t see it.



29 Jan 03

More from a friend and student in the middle of things overseas:

“The silliness continues: Every deployed Battalion out here has its own ‘kabal’ (depression surrounded by earthen berms). Each and every one, of course, has its own ‘clearing barrels’ at the gate.

When traveling between these kabals (most only a few kilometers apart), one is permitted to have a magazine inserted in his weapon (but no round chambered, of course, as that would be far too dangerous), but, upon entering a kabal, one is required to sterilize completely. As you might imagine, traveling from kabal to kabal (as I must do daily) is so absurdly frustrating and time consuming that we laugh about it. We are supposed to stop and exit our vehicle in order to clear our weapon(s) at each kabal. The time wasted with this idiocy is substantial. To add insult to injury, there is no place for us to ‘load’ (insert magazines) on the way out. That is apparently unimportant.

All of this because our ‘leaders’ unconditionally distrust warriors with loaded weapons. They are afraid of guns, and they are afraid of us. Knowing the poor training that most military personnel receive, I understand their fear, but instead of providing proper training, they order everyone to carry an unloaded weapon or no weapon at all. The ‘cannon fodder mentality’ is alive and well over here.

‘Enough of this nonsense already,’ I said to myself. I carry concealed under my cammies in a Blade-Tech kydex holster (which I purchased myself). Most gate guards just assume I don’t have a pistol and thus give me puzzled looks, but wave me through anyway. Kydex is the best product for this environment.

I met our main body yesterday. They all arrived from the airport in (of course) condition three (magazine inserted; chamber empty). The first thing our S-4 (a VMI graduate no less) asked me, ‘Sir, where is the armory? These Marines have loaded weapons, and we need to turn them in before they have a negligent discharge.’

I looks at him indignantly and replied, ‘I’m sorry, lieutenant. I’ve obviously been misinformed. I was told that you folks were men of honor, men of integrity, fearless warriors, ready and eager to defend our country. I see instead that you are pitiable and fearful worms, afraid of your own guns!’ Not a word was said in reply, but they all slept with their weapons last night, and there were no NDs. Imagine that!

Anyway, I wish officers who were afraid of Marines carrying loaded weapons would find another line of work, preferably in the UK. I, for one, wear my (loaded) pistol constantly. After only one day of being screwed with, my captains all do likewise. We’re slowly spreading the sunshine here!”

Comment: Good show, colonel!



31 Jan 03

Update from the Philippines:

“Our National Police just celebrated its 12th anniversary. In attendance was our president who, of course, congratulated the police brass (odd, because violent crime here is higher now than it ever was before their existence). In the very next breath, she ordered the chief to suspend, indefinitely, the issuance of ‘Permits to Carry Firearms Outside Residences,’ our equivalent of your CCW permits.

We were told this was being done in response to dramatic increases in violent crime (none of which is caused by legitimate permit holders). The logic is that, if only police are allowed guns, it then becomes easier to apprehend criminals, since criminals will be the only other category of citizens who have guns (did I get that right?). That leaves only three kinds of citizen here: armed police, armed criminals, and defenseless peons.

We peons shall now be limited to transport permits only, meaning guns have to be locked in trunks, unloaded, with ammunition in a separate case. To enforce the ban, we are told police checkpoints shall be set up nationwide.

Enough is enough! Already, the responsible, gun-owning public is organizing. On Monday, gun owners will troop to the Department of the Interior and Local Government in protest. Protesters will be wearing holsters with eggplants in them. History has taught us that no people, not even a nation of cowards (like this one), can be oppressed indefinitely. The people’s patience with these capricious, self-righteous despots grows short. I only hope this does not lead to open rebellion, as it has in the past.”

Lesson: To politicians (there and here), individual rights do not exist. There are only privileges, which they may, at their whim, grant or withdraw. One only has to listen to a typical political speech to gain that distinct impression. A sound mind can be neither bought nor borrowed, yet unsound ones are being purchased every day. The world is going backwards.

Pluralistic democracy was once touted at a permanent cure for the arbitrary power of tyrants and dictators. After two hundred years of experience, we now see (all too plainly) that tyranny can exist within a democracy too, a phenomenon once naively thought to be impossible. The dignity and well being of individual citizens is always the last thing to be considered by government officials, even elected ones.



31 Jan 03

Followup from a LEO friend on the West Coast:

“In 1994, I attended an ASLET (American Society for Law Enforcement Trainers) Training Seminar in Washington, DC. On one of the seminar evenings, all members were invited to attend a memorial service at the Law Enforcement National Monument. Over five hundred sworn officers attended the service.

We were also gently ‘reminded’ that, since we were in Washington, DC, none of us were ‘allowed’ to carry firearms. During the service, an officer behind me said, ‘Look at that, five hundred unarmed police officers.’ Elbowing the butt of my concealed Glock, I replied, ‘I don’t see them, but I do see five hundred felons.'”

Comment: Foolishness like this is obviously not confined to the Philippines. While it all gets sorted out, the art of discrete concealment is critically important, and we all need to get creative on this point. There will always be someone who thinks you shouldn’t have a gun, but, so long as it stays out of sight, the whole issue is moot.

As my friend in the TO pointed out, discrete concealment is an important skill even for soldiers at the forward edge of the battle area. Better the weapon be out of sight than have some West Point pretty boy throw a hissy fit upon seeing it!