The Right to Bear Arms in America Part 2

In part 1 we covered the American civilian’s rights to bear arms according to the 2nd Ammendment, why it was put in place, Thomas Jefferson’s view of revolution, and a true patriot’s right to overthrow a corrupt government, even replacing it with an entirely new one.

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A Peace Officer using his pepper spray rather liberally. Apparantly six year olds are a threat to the peace

We very briefly touched upon the “Peace Officers” and their fall from grace. I use the name peace officer to refer to the police in this 4 part blog because the name has become a bit of an irony and i want to remind the reader of the role the police were supposed to play, even if such is the case no longer.

Regardless, these are still the same people we’re told to trust with our welfare, our very lives. We depend on them to protect us from the actual bad guys, real or perceived. I’m certainly not suggesting that all “Peace Officers” are corrupt and prone to bouts of brutality, but i am suggesting that in reality not everyone can rely on these public servants to protect them.

If we cannot trust these officers to do the jobs that taxpayers are paying them to do, why should anyone give up their rights to protect themselves, their family, even their property? Perhaps the Koreans had it right in the L.A riots of 92? And perhaps they, unlike most everyone else, seemed to have a sense of community having previously come from a communist country. The following is an excerpt from wikipedia…

“During the riots, many Korean immigrants from the area rushed to Koreatown, after Korean-

Two Korean men stand on the roof of a grocery store with rifles to prevent looters from entering the store in this file photo taken April 30, 1992, in Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, four white police officers were declared innocent in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, and Los Angeles erupted in the deadliest riots of the century. Three days later, 55 people were dead and more than 2,000 injured. Fires and looting had destroyed $1 billionworth of property. (AP Photo/John Gaps III)

Koreans protect their stores during the L.A riots

language radio stations called for volunteers to guard against rioters. Many were armed, with a variety of improvised weapons, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles”

In the case of these riots, the police and the national guard were not able to contain the riots. Sadly Reginald Denny knew this all too well. With no police or national guard to be found, Denny was set upon by a bunch of black racist thugs who kicked and punched him, before smashing his head open with a brick. If it wasn’t for the courageous efforts of Titus Murphy and his then-girlfriend Terri Barnett, along with Lei Yuille and Bobby Green, it is likely that Denny would have died that day suffering terrible head injuries.

Rioters celebrate around Reginald Denny's body after the truck driver was pulled from his vehicle and beaten in the early hours of the Los Angeles riots. The photo, which was taken by Robert Clark from a news helicopter, ran on the front page of the Daily Breeze and was the only photo of this incident taken by a print photographer. It won the Gold Award for for Photojournalism from the Society of News Design. Photo by Robert Clark/Santa Monica Outlook

My pointing out the terrible attack on Denny is not to suggest that if Denny had had a gun he could have shot the bastards, not at all, but that in any riot of this nature the “Peace Officers” cannot be everywhere at once. Knowing this, should a person not have a right to carry?

Those who are against the 2nd Ammendment and the priviledges it grants people will argue that the country would be a lot safer with a ban on guns, and it’s easy to understand this point of view, very easy indeed. Everything from the Columbine shooting in 1999 to the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007 reminds us over and over of the possible need for tighter gun control. Schools are a breeding ground for hostility, bullying and so on, and sadly many have been the victims of horrible school massacres over the years. (incidents even as far back as 1850’s).

It’s very easy to say that guns are the problem in these situations, often completely overlooking the reasons why these kids take guns to school in the first place. Without guns, granted you’d probably have less casualties, but you’d have a bit of a butcher’s shop going on in the classroom with kids bringing in their macheties, combat knives and whatever else. Any Kid dedicated enough and with an internet connection can learn how to make IEDS so taking the guns might change things, but did the prohibition back in 1920’s America work? of course not. The prohibited items were distributed by the mob.

What people seem to forget is that the majority of gun related deaths in the U.S is not by the civilians but by the “Peace Officers”

See part 3 for the next part in this “Right To Bear Arms in America” blog

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The Right to Bear Arms in America Part 1

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While not the real issue, there’s an obvious truth to this. In other words if you want a gun badly enough, you’re going to get it anyway.

Gun control is a big issue in the U.S. Some are for it and some are against it. I’m the type of person that can see both points of view in this issue. On one hand you don’t want some asshole breaking into your house and murdering your family and unfortunatly it would seem that without a gun to protect yourself you are not really on a level playing ground. On the other hand, the argument is that if guns were illegal the regular joe is going to have a hard time getting a gun to BECOME that murdering asshole who kills your family.

Yes, we know what it looks like Tarot friends, no need to get excited. Except this is the real life version

Yes, we know what it looks like Tarot friends, no need to get excited. Except this is the real life version

The ironic thing is that many of the people demanding that the 2nd Ammendment be abolished are the very same people who are offended at Trump declaring that if he were president he’d build a big wall between the border of Mexico and the U.S. It’s hard to understand this kind of person’s logic, but i try. Unfortunatly if the stories are to be believed, the Mexican drug cartel won’t be as ready to sit back and listen to your point of view. Hey i’m just saying. Yet unless you were to live near the border and are familar with the situation, it’s hard to say exactly what is the truth and what is not. The mainstream media rarely, if at all, can be seen as an objective unbiased source, but from the looks of these images attributed to Mexican drug cartel executions, freely available on the internet, they don’t seem to be using water pistols. Is it true that for the sake of political correctness these protesters of the second ammendment who also hate the idea of Trumps proposal to build a wall, would put their safety in jeopardy or does it just appear that way? i expect that rather than be completely without protection, this same group of people assume that the police and, if worst comes to worst, the military, will be there to save the day.

I recently engaged in a brief conversation over the message behind thise meme. I joked that this is the very reason some Americans stand by their 2nd Ammendment rights...

I recently engaged in a brief conversation over the message behind thise meme. I joked that this is the very reason some Americans stand by their 2nd Ammendment rights…

In an ideal world we wouldn’t need guns. We’d go about our daily business and be at peace with our fellow man. Such a community spirit appeals to many. I live in Northern Ireland and would dream of nothing more than to see catholics and protestants get along together as one big community. I’m also aware however, having grown up during the tail end of the troubles in Northern Ireland, that even if there are reasonably tight gun laws, they can still be obtained by all the wrong people.(especially if you cannot be bothered tightening up the border security).

Depending on what side you’re on, it’s arguable that the British armed forces killed many innocent civilians during the main height of the troubles, these same “Peace Officers”. We see now the same thing happening in America. It’s not just your neighbour you should be in fear of, it’s your own “Peace Officers”

The message in this police meme above, whether it is true or not, is becoming increasingly more common due to the brutality of some police officers. Some suggest it is down to racism but i don’t believe so. Sure, racism may play a part but you have to keep in mind that white officers have been known to brutally beat and execute white people too. Though a politically correct buzzword, calling it racism just muddys the waters and is of no use to anyone. Racism, more than likely plays a part but it is a part, not the whole.

So where does this idea come from to bear arms, and why would we ever need it.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which came into place in 1791, reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Why should people hold true to this 2nd Ammendment?

Part of the Declaration of Independence states the following…

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You really expect this arsehole has YOUR best interests at heart if the shit hits the fan? Notice that both cop and woman are white, and therefore not a shred of racism to be had here? This fine police officer will protect you sure, you can tell he’s a real upstanding citizen

“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security”

One of the founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and third president had this to say…

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.

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Kelly Thomas, a homeless man was brutally beaten and tased by those who were SWORN to protect him…yes, the “Peace Officers “…they made him REST in peace more like.

If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?

Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

Whether you agree with the founding fathers or even the declaration of Independence is entirely up to you, but this is part of American history and it would appear that the founding fathers, knowing that corruption was all around even in those days, foresaw a time when America would have to purge itself through revolution.

In the next blog i will explain at least some of the viewpoints of why many Americans do not want to give up their arms because they do believe that the government HAS become a tyranny.

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Just Following Orders

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Included in the slaughter are children, even babies. Believe it or not this massacre was once believed to be “communist propaganda”

Christine and I were watching a documentary on My Lai, a village in South Vietnam, where American soldiers committed a massacre on innocent civilians. Over 500 innocent men, women and children were brutally slaughtered and raped and blown apart by what they once perceived to be peaceful soldiers (at least according to the initial thoughts of some of the survivors in the documentary).  According to one Vietnamese website…

“The soldiers had raped women and killed almost all of the residents of the village: 503 civilians, including 182 women, 172 children, 89 men under 60 years and 60 elderly.” *

When compared to the roughly 2 million innocent civilians killed in the Vietnam War, 500 innocent civilians may seem like nothing to some. What makes this case different is that this was premeditated murder, planned by Captain Ernest Medina and carried out by soldiers “just following orders”.

I understand that the U.S soldiers during Vietnam were scared. Who wouldn’t be? To my knowledge they were not used to the kinds of guerilla warfare tactics used against them, the terrain, the climate and so on. What sticks in people’s craw the most though is the fact that innocent children and babies were among the dead, their limbs blown off and so on. Not only were they innocent, they were literally completely incapable of doing the U.S soldiers any harm. In the documentary it seems that these babies and children were referred to as “communist sympathisers” (can you imagine the public reaction if American or British babies were considered  capitalist sympathisers and therefore worthy of being killed? Crazy).

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North Korean propaganda poster. Some still think this is purely anti-american propaganda. Others feel that with the very real event in My Lai, in South Vietnam, where innocent toddlers were slaughtered, these are more than mere propaganda posters.

In an atrocity like this, it is to be expected that a lot of the soldiers will say they were just “following” orders, and this is precisely what happened. They opened up with automatic fire on innocent people because their superiors told them to. Following orders, it seems, is what makes a “perfect soldier” and the same holds true today. Nowadays we, who are not soldiers, may call them “sheep” (because, as any sheep farmer will tell you, sheep are well-known for following the one sheep that thinks, for better or for worse, for its own self). Sheep by their very nature will “follow the leader”, which is why the name “sheep”, when referring to followers, works. That in itself does not make the sheep fundamentally “stupid” or “dumb”, though stupidity can indeed play its part too. Rather, it makes them vulnerable and scared, cowardly even.

A word on sheep. Sheep are very nervous animals, and they also like to stick around in groups. I know this because i grew up on a farm. They are much different than cattle, more nervous. Because of this nervousness, their only real courage shines through if they are cornered individually, for example for shearing or administering medicine to them. They will do everything in their power to escape, even lunge towards you. I feel the reason is because they hate being singled out. Sheep are social creatures and need to be with other sheep.

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At first i thought “what they hell was Esquire thinking back in the 70’s” but it’s quite clear when you think about it. Here is a classic piece of American propaganda. Lt Calley was charged for murdering 22 of the hundreds of innocent civilians yet here he is, pictured with what appears to be Vietnamese children. This poster seems to be saying “SEE, I REALLY DO LOVE VIETNAMESE KIDS AFTER ALL…I AIN’T THAT BAD HONEST” It all seems rather tasteless to me

Christ refers to himself as the good shepherd, and those who follow him are supposed to follow his examples of love, kindness and courage. Sheep need shepherds to protect them from the wolves, but the problem is that if the sheep have a corrupt, selfish or cruel shepherd, the sheep are in danger. Tragically the soldiers under Captain Ernest Medina were sheep without a real shepherd. Medina’s legal team even passed the blame onto the sheep who were “just following orders” thereby clearing himself of any wrong doing.

The argument is that as a soldier you are taught NOT to question orders. This is, some say, the perfect soldier. I understand this. The problem is that when you really DO need to question orders and you continue down this road of questioning nothing, there is a very real problem. As in the case of My Lai, this problem resulted in having children as young as three years old crawling through a ditch full of corpses crying for its mother, but.. “The soldiers were just following orders”. Should we be too surprised though? It is not unheard of that before a soldier even sees battle, he is indoctrinated, not unlike an initiation into a cult, and some of this includes cadence. Here’s an excerpt from one called “Napalm Sticks to Kids”

“I’ve only seen it happen twice,
But both times it was mighty nice,
Shooting peasants planting rice,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Napalm, son, is lots of fun,
Dropped in a bomb or shot from a gun,
It gets the gooks when on the run,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Drop some napalm on a farm,
It won’t do them any harm,
Just burn off their legs and arms,
Napalm sticks to kids.”

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnimvivi18.html

Occasionally I wonder if there is a correlation between this kind of brainwashing and soldiers wholose their minds. I could find a dozen stories of western soldiers ( you know, the “good guys”) seeing their enemies as “non human”. The following link, for example, tells the story of how Steven Green raped and killed a 14-year-old girl because he didn’t see her as human….and it’s at this point the sane person is supposed to think WHAT THE FUCK?….yes, what the fuck indeed! Green converted to Catholicism in prison though (One wonders how many Hail Mary’s he had to say to be forgiven?) This paedophilic disgusting excuse for a human, as you’ve probably guessed right, doesn’t think he deserves life imprisonment and is fighting it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1340207/I-didnt-think-Iraqis-humans-says-U-S-soldier-raped-14-year-old-girl-killing-her-family.html

And for the pet lovers out there, who can forget David Mortari? Yes the arsehole made famous for throwing a puppy over the cliff to its death brings to mind the completely screwed up side of soldiers of “the free world”. I’ll cover this soon in a separate blog.

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Initially we weren’t sure how our American audience would feel about having an Uncle Sam like figure as our Devil card. If you’ve read this blog, i hope you understand the intent behind it. Our tarot is created from a Mao era Asian perspective

And yet even in one of the most horrifying of situations, the My Lai massacre, you have those soldiers, real, true heroes like Hugh Thompson jr, Lawrence Colburn, Glenn Andreotta whose efforts to end the massacre and rescue civilians will always be remembered. It takes courage to go against the majority. If not for the likes of Thompson and co, such military organisations would irredeemably be denounced and demonized by all people of moral standing the way the west has demonized communism. I think this is why the director Oliver Stone refers to whistleblower Edward Snowden as a hero. You may see him, like Donald Trump and many others do, as a traitor to the U.S, but regardless it takes courage to bring about transparency in government (something Obama claimed he WOULD do, but did not act upon). Stone, known for his movie “Platoon”, among others, casts Charlie Sheen in the role of the moral character who witnesses the horrible rape and slaughter of a village, not unlike My Lai. While Sheen’s character may not be a whistleblower, unlike Snowden, or Brian De Palma’s “Private Max Eriksson” (played by Michael J Fox) in Casualties of War, I feel that he represent’s Stone’s own feelings and experiences during his time in Vietnam. In the case of Michael J Fox’s character in Casualties of War, he plays the role of the moral soldier who refuses to take part in the rape of a young Vietnamese girl.

Hugh Thompson jr, Lawrence Colburn, Glenn Andreotta, who can be considered true heroes, made efforts to end the My Lai massacre and rescued some of the survivors, proving that even in the most notorious and shameful of events can produce amazing feats of bravery. These are perfect representations of people who broke away from the “only following orders” train of thought and followed their conscience.

Piecing together some of the pages in our Cultural Revolution Tarot scrapbook has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. When working on the pages for the Devil card, i first came across the massacre My Lai. I’d briefly commented on No Gun Ri and the North Korean propaganda posters that inspired our ideas for the Devil card imagery, but My Lai as an actual specific Vietnamese atrocity (most of us have at least heard of the dodgy dealings during Vietnam, even if nothing more specific) is relatively new to me.

*Vietnamese source http://vukienmdc.violet.vn/document/show/entry_id/2610920

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Here is the full Major Arcana collection from our Cultural Revolution Tarot (the technicolour version). To be taken to our store, click on the image