15 Jan 23
Political violence.
“One of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms… The right of the citizen to bear arms is a safeguard against tyranny, which now (1960) appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert was oh-so prophetic!
Here in America until recently, we smugly considered political violence (much like ubiquitous public beggars, ecumenical/unapologetic political corruption, squalor, filth, chaos/anarchy, lawlessness, open borders, etc) something confined to third-world countries.
Oh, that it were true!
Some history:
Political violence/revenge was rampant and wide-spread during our Revolutionary War Period in the late 1700s and again during and after the War Between the States, from the 1860s through to the end of the Nineteenth Century.
In fact, in the 1700s many atrocities attributed to Indians were actually committed by European immigrants, all piously in the name of “The Crown” (French and English), with local Indians often being recruited/bribed to join-in, first on the side of the French, against the British (and other Indian tribes), later on the side of the British, this time against the Colonists (and other Indian tribes).
Gangs of outlaws/brigands (some ostensibly “military,” some purely private-sector), claiming to represent one side or another of a hot political issue of the era, routinely committed murders of innocents (often neighbors, sometimes even family members) on a large scale.
The War of 1812 was actually just a continuation of the Revolutionary War, which never really ended, despite Yorktown and the subsequent “Treaty” of 1783. Bitter, lethal hostilities between Colonists and English “loyalists” were to continue well into the third decade of the Nineteenth Century!
Countless politically-motivated “raids” and other murderous escapades took place in present-day KY, TN, OH, IN, MO, which represented the “frontier” of the era, and thus many, probably most, among the murderers and the murdered remain unrecorded/unknown to this day!
A half-century later, our Civil War and aftermath witnessed the same thing all over again!
The “Frontier,” now most particularly represented by KS, TX, MO, IL hosted countess massacres of innocents, both during and after the War.
Even after the War “officially” ended in May of 1865, bands of outlaws (including many teenagers who had been too young to fight in the War, but were now anxious for violent “revenge”) participated in murderous atrocities, victims of which usually had little to do with any particular political issue.
The innocent and defenseless are always to easiest to find and murder, and always with the least risk!
Most of these outlaws were eventually hunted-down and/or captured. The vast majority were gunned-down or hanged.
The lesson here is that bitter national political divisions can quickly get out of hand, and America is not immune!
There are many border-line sociopaths out there, just looking for a plausible (maybe even lofty-sounding)
excuse to visit precipitous violence upon innocent fellow citizens whom they consider political/religious “enemies”
Destroying innocent property, murdering innocent people thus becomes excusable, and is often even encouraged by cynical politicians (currently with no consequence, by the way).
It has surely happened before, on a large scale, in many nations including this one, as we see!
We thus have to be alert and ready for any eventuality, even ones that seemed so unlikely a short time ago!
“There are things that you cannot imagine, but there is nothing that may not happen!”
CIA Axiom