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War in America!
"Peace through vigilance and verbiage now
...or through violence & vitriol later"

Written by Marvin V. Stenhammar

     Today in America, war is being waged.  It is a war between firearm owners and gun rights supporters and the anti-gun machine consisting of organized groups and individuals committed to banning or outlawing the possession of firearms.  It is a cultural war.  It is a political war.  It is an economic war and it is being fought at all levels of society.  Battle is being waged in all of our institutions. The fight is in our schools and in our churches, at our workplace and in our town halls.

     Like most wars, it is a war that includes good guys and bad guys and as in most wars it includes passionate, honest, well meaning people and complete idiots sadly represented on both sides.  It includes people and well funded organizations that want the complete ban of all privately owned firearms.  It has elements and individuals involved who "only" want prudent and reasonable rules that keep guns from criminals, mental patients and children. It also includes people and organizations that don't want any gun laws or more likely very few gun laws. It is a war that resonates at the basic level of one's belief system, pro or con.

     This war may be talked about in hushed tones or in polite forums. It may be discussed loudly and rudely in heated arguments. It is talked about by common folk around our dinner tables and by the big shots in the "smoke filled rooms". Many feel it is talked about too much and many feel it is talked about way too little. Others are concerned that the way it is talked about is all wrong and that many of the ones doing the talking are jaded and often misrepresent the facts. It may be called policy, it may be referred to as crime control or it may be labeled something else. It may not be called war, but it is a war just the same and it is a war that the firearm owners and the freedom loving people of this country can not afford to lose.

     This verbal war might evolve in form over time and I encourage you to get involved now before it becomes a "shooting war".  Your involvement is mandatory if you cherish the freedoms expressed by our founding fathers and the many freedoms protected by the men and women of this country who have given their lives in its defense.  You must get involved and stay involved in this "war".  Get involved by reading the many sources of information provided here and on other RKBA webs and publications.  It is a war that can be won only by the honest gun-owning Americans' active involvement in the issues and by the same gun owning public joining and actively supporting the many RKBA organizations featured and linked to here on this web. 

     Our involvement in this war must include proactive measures, we can no longer sit back and let the enemy bring the fight to us. Our fight must include networking here on the internet and in our social and fraternal circles. We must keep our fellow freedom fighters informed about any good suggestions and additional RKBA resources.  We have to be diligent in identifying pro gun and anti-gun news articles, political events and pending legislation. Our struggle has to include writing letters to the press and certainly writing to and calling our state and national representatives. 

     It must also include writing a big check for those who can afford it and by writing a smaller check for those who can't. We can all afford to get involved and none of us can afford not to.  By simply giving up a pizza and a 6 pack of Pepsi and by sending the 20 dollars you save to any of the RKBA organizations listed here, you can help.  Help fight for freedom by paying your own way and by acting in concert with our fellow gun rights advocates. Only with networking and the effective communication of relevant battlefield information can we develop sound strategies and coordinate our pro gun victory. 

     I am not asking for the stars. Our goals are simple and our beliefs are straightforward.  In simple terms we must all work for the right to keep and bear arms until our national and local leaders stop threatening our right of self defense and our right to own and possess firearms. Our position should be clear and unambiguous and our demands must include the following tenets:

  • The 2nd Amendment is a personal right and private firearm ownership is an inalienable right that protects both life and liberty, and facilitates the pursuit of happiness.

  • The right of individual citizens to own and possess firearms for self-defense, the defense of our country, for hunting and for sport can not and will not be infringed.  No laws or statutes can be enacted that infringe upon this right.

  • We believe that the right to defend oneself is a civil right, a basic human right. A right that need not be granted by government and a right that can not be taken away.

  • We believe that an armed populace is the guarantor and protector of all other rights and that the peoples right to keep and bear arms can not and shall not be infringed. 

     Our enemies need to have it made clear to them, that lawful gun owners see firearm ownership and possession as one of our most important civil rights. We have to fight now so there can never again be a "lawful" ban of politically unpopular firearm features, like the criminally unlawful Assault Weapons Ban. We have to impress upon the enemies of freedom that we will no longer stand by and watch while they whittle away at out rights and confiscate or otherwise make illegal our firearms.  

     We have to take the war to them in all theaters of operation until there is never again a question of interpretation on our rights as citizens to keep and bear arms. We have to bring the war to them until they acknowledge our rights and include these rights in all aspects of legislative and regulatory activity. In simple terms we have to wage war with the anti's until our national and local leaders stop threatening our right to keep and bear arms.

     I acknowledge here and will work to remind our comrades in arms of a quote from Thomas Paine that simply states: "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." I stress that in today's war, "like men" refers to all Americans, men and women alike. I ask you, the brothers and sisters of liberty, to remember that all politics are local and with just a little bit of help from the gun owners of this country we can quell the tides of repression and beat the anti-gun activists in this war on guns. 

     I personally challenge you to get involved. Write a letter to your elected representatives, send mail to the media and local news and write a check to a gun rights organization that will work for all of our rights. Currently the heavy lifting is being done by just a small percentage of gun owners. If you own and use firearms for self protection, for hunting or for sport and you want to be able to do so in the future.  If you want your grandchildren to be able to protect themselves and our nation's liberty, as well as to be able to participate in the shooting sports, you owe it to yourself and to future generations to get involved and win this war.  Please do your part to ensure your civil rights and your right to keep and bear arms are protected and guaranteed forever. 

    Together we can win this war and put lawful gun ownership back in its rightfully respectable place. A place of honor, tradition, pride, trustworthiness and sportsmanship. A place where the media reports that 99.9% of all firearms will never be used in a crime. A place where everyone knows that over 2 million Americans use a legal gun to defend themselves and their family every year. An America where everyone admits that people are responsible for the violent actions they take and a place where we don't let anyone blame violence on the inanimate objects criminals use as weapons to commit a crime. A place of peace. A place where there is no need for war. 

     We can secure our place of peace through vigilance and verbs now or through violence and vitriol later. The outcome of this war is in our hands. The future of private firearms ownership is at stake and we all need to work hard and get involved. As a combat veteran, I vote for vigilance and verbs. The choice of a shooting war in America is simply unacceptable and terrifying. If you agree, please get involved now.  Get involved today.  Please get involved before it is too late. 


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Writer and Gun Rights Activist, Marv Stenhammar is the Founder and Director of Gunnery Network.  He is a retired Special Forces Master Sergeant and veteran of several "shooting wars".  Marv can be contacted by telephone at 828-631-GUNS or via e-mail at [email protected].

Copyright 2000 Marvin V. Stenhammar.  All rights reserved.

This article can be reproduced, retransmitted electronically and otherwise republished or disseminated if left unedited and intact.  We ask that proper credits to the writer and a link back to Gunnery Network be given as applicable. Gunnery Network is a large,  noncommercial, firearm information web at URL: http://www.GunneryNetwork.com.

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