Desmond McGrath
The gathering storm of gun control
'They are Republicans'
By Desmond McGrath
March 3, 2013

The comment in quotes was an under-the-breath statement I heard as I was leaving a Christmas Eve gathering at dear friends of my family in Newfoundland when my sister and I came back from the USA for our mother's 80th birthday. It was uttered in an almost apologetic manner as if to explain some deficiency in my thought pattern after a lively discussion on gun control in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

When I first came to live amongst the Cajuns of Louisiana a decade ago, it was my first experience in how the Cajuns prepare for Hurricanes. Growing up in Newfoundland, there was always at least a month or so of food and supplies in the house and root cellar, so going to a local supermarket a few days before a minor Hurricane approached was an eye opening event. The shelves were picked clean of things like bottled water, bread, beer, boudin, and every imaginable canned goods – ample evidence of the gathering storm.

One employee of mine "Rick" who came from Canada to work in Louisiana on that project a decade ago was terrified by thinking that everybody had handguns in Louisiana. At first, I could not understand what I perceived as his innate fear, but then one day it dawned on me that he grew up in a handgun-free place where the only people who had handguns were either the police or the criminal element. Rick was so indoctrinated into the left's mantra that guns are evil and should be kept out of the hands of everyone, it underlined his irrational fear. That very indoctrination is going on now in America as kids are punished for using finger guns, having pieces of paper that sort of resemble a handgun, for wearing t-shirts with (US Marines Logo, Romney/Ryan Logo or even the American flag on Cinco de Mayo Day) on them, while oblivious to the Che Guevara t-shirts that glorify a sociopathic killer. People who have known me a long time know that I was once a card-carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada, but like Ronald Reagan, saw through the false arguments of the left and veered right. Regardless of the change of direction in my political compass and futile attempts at indoctrinating me in Canada, I have always had a very deep respect and agreement with the right to bear arms.

Growing up in Newfoundland in the 60's, although I initially had toy guns like a pair of cap gun six shooters and a leather belt holster and graduated to Johnny 7 O.M.A toy assault rifle, we did not have television at home until late1965 and when it arrived, one of the shows that was a favorite to watch was "Combat." This show was also a favorite amongst some friends of the family amongst whom were two Latvians (one who had designed bunkers and submarine pens for Hitler, and the other who was interred first by Stalin and then by Hitler), a German U-boat junior officer, a Luftwaffe airframe technician, and two Jewish concentration camp survivors. These "Displaced Persons" as they were called were not permitted into Canada or the United States after the war, but Newfoundland still being a separate country, welcomed them with open arms. Some of these people from opposite sides of the barbed wire not only worked together but in time became the closest of friends.

They all had something else in common as well. They all had guns, and all but one hunted, and all had at least one gun (a pistol) that the Canadian government did not know they had. Handguns had been required to be registered in Canada since 1934, plus the 1928 weapons and firearms act and Hitler's 1938 German Weapons Act were still fresh and bitter memories to them.

It might seem odd that such a show about a platoon of G.I.'s fighting their way through France with all their character nuances and flaws would be such a hit with these "Displaced Persons," but the fact that most of the actors had served in some capacity in the armed forces was not lost on this audience, and it served as a reminder of the ordinary Americans who accomplished extraordinary deeds and rescued them from tyranny. They were also keenly aware that Selig J. Seligman, the executive producer of the series, was an Army lawyer at the Nuremburg Trials.

As a sideline, I might add that the Canadian act of 1934 registering handguns was a spinoff of similar activities in Great Britain which resulted in such a curtailment of firearms before the war that the NRA collected 7000 weapons for Great Britain to re-arm them before a possible invasion. They had their pistols legally when they were welcomed into Newfoundland as a separate country and were made illegal by the stroke of a pen when Newfoundland was conned into joining Canada. How many law abiding citizens in these United States of America are going to be made criminals via an autocratic stroke of a pen on an unconstitutional executive order?

My upbringing gave me a healthy respect for firearms, and I had my first .22 bolt-action rifle when I was ten. Part of that healthy respect was garnered from the "Displaced Persons" I knew, and I fired every gun they had in their possession and was taught all the nuances of every weapon from Richard's 8mm Mauser chambered Krieghoff Waffen SS sniper rifle he took from a dead officer after being released from his detention in Germany, to Bill's Kriegsmarine Luger that was issued to him when he was awarded his commission. It would be a tossup as to which gun put more moose or caribou on our table – my father's Marlin .444 or Richard's Kreighoff.

Their friendship also gave me a healthy suspicion of all governmental encroachments on liberty, and I remember one time in 1967, when the Canadian government started to require the Social Insurance Number, introduced in 1964, to be used for income tax registration. One of the concentration camp survivors promptly went to the local taxation office and rolled up his sleeve to show his tattoo and reportedly said in his thick accent, "Zee, I halready haff zis number againzt my vill. I vill accept no more." To my knowledge, he never acknowledged or used the SIN the federal government assigned to him for his tax returns.

Despite the increasing "Gun Free" zones at colleges, schools, and public venues that have become killing fields for drug induced zombies, some reading this might be surprised to know that when I first attended Memorial University in Newfoundland in the early 70's, they had a rifle range and a very active shooting club organized by Franz (Frank) H. Zahn; and I used to keep my Anschutz target rifle in my dorm room locker. When I went to Montana Tech doing my Petroleum Engineering, many of my classmates had various guns including pistols and a bunch of us who hung around together would go for Friday afternoon target practice on an old tailings dump behind the school below the big "M." One of my fellow Newfoundlanders bought an AR-15 and another classmate bought a 9mm Beretta while in college. Many a meal was supplemented with the occasional elk or deer that one of us were able to bag. Sadly one of these classmates, Marty Etchemendy, died 18 months after graduation, a victim of a pipe attack. It underscored the fact that violence emanates from the hearts and minds of killers and that a pipe, tire iron, or .22 caliber shell in a vise grip and hitting the shell with a hammer are just other means to an end when a gun is not available – that curbing guns of the lawful public does not curb violent tendencies of the criminal element nor curtail their acquisition and use of firearms.

Despite Piers Morgan's delusional rants on gun control, actual violent crime and, in particular home invasions, have increased in Great Britain and Australia after weapons roundups. Disarming the law-abiding population, only emboldens the criminal element and an example in our hemisphere occurred in Jamaica, "And guns are still outlawed in Jamaica. Armed criminals still terrorize disarmed citizens, since still in Jamaica only outlaws (and the government) have guns." More recently then New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass announced that all firearms would be confiscated after Katrina, was it a rogue cop exceeding his authority or a trial balloon of a future nationwide agenda?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stated: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." The freedom hard won during the American Revolution to secure "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" could not have been accomplished without an armed resistance to the king's tyranny. It should be remembered that the armed resistance was only after

"the patient sufferance of these Colonies" to the king's tyranny and erupted into violence at Lexington and Concord after "700 British Army regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were given secret orders to capture and destroy military supplies (Arms) that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord."

One only needs to re-read the Declaration of Independence that "They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," and the second amendment of the Bill of Rights 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." Regardless of the attempts by liberal judges to contort words in a manner that would make Nadia Comãneci blush with envy, the right to keep (own) and bear (carry) Arms (note capitalization, i.e. all manner of weapons of the day) shall not be infringed (tampered with in any way). One does not bear arms against a rabbit or a deer! The right to bear arms is the citizen's insurance policy of liberty from tyranny "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Furthermore, the term Arms, (pl n, weapons and ammunition; armaments) can be further divided into subgroups like "Small Arms," which is defined as pl n (portable firearms of relatively small caliber). There can be no doubt that the framers of the Second Amendment meant Arms in the broadest of terms!

All this talk about weapons types, clip sizes, Ad nauseam are attempts to create a legal wedge, putting the nose of the camel under the proverbial tent as it were. I have a Tower Arms "Brown Bess" that has been in my family since before the revolutionary war. It is original except for the conversion to percussion cap by some unknown gunsmith in the 1800's. It was the military assault weapon of its era, and reportedly at four shots per minute (I'd be lucky to do two shots a minute shooting it) provided superior firepower over the homegrown long rifle's less than two shots per minute – albeit, the long rifles longer range and accuracy was of some benefit to the colonial forces marksmen, but lacked bayonets for close combat. At the onset of the American Revolution, the 13 colonies had no arms industry outside the homegrown long-rifle gunsmiths and were it not for the purchase of 80,000 Charleville muskets from the French, the war would never have been won. Imagine the outcome of the Revolutionary War had the Continental Army been limited to tomahawks and arrows? Even the lack of bayonets amongst the Colonial Forces put them at a strategic disadvantage until the Charleville's arrived complete with bayonets.

As for background checks, it is entirely prudent to determine if the person buying the gun is not a criminal. By engaging in criminal activity, a citizen chooses to become a felon and thereby loses some of his rights and privileges. However, this creates a slippery slope, "Due to a conviction some forty-years ago for common-law misdemeanor assault and battery for which he served no jail time, plaintiff Jefferson Wayne Schrader, now a sixty-four-year-old veteran, is, by virtue of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), barred for life from ever possessing a firearm," U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote in the court's January opinion. So now that a misdemeanor will put you on the "gun ban list," who will be put on the gun ban list? People with habitual moving violations on the nation's highways, people who exercise their first amendment rights to criticize government policy, perhaps it will even go so far as to consider patriotism and belief in the sanctity of the Constitution a mental defect worthy of being on "the list."

If anybody wants to see what universal background checks are, it might do you good to look at the application required in Canada to be licensed in five-year increments to own a gun and buy ammo. This was slowly introduced in the background while a long gun registry was implemented, became a financial boondoggle, and was eventually scrapped. Since you need to reapply every five years and the so-called Charter of Rights and Freedoms that Pierre Elliot Trudeau foisted on Canadians reads, "The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." So, at any time the firearms license can be revoked. One should hearken to this quote, "The Bill of Rights was not ordained by nature or God. It's very human, very fragile," Barbara Jordan, 1936-1996, U. S. congresswoman (Democrat, TX). That statement not only dismisses the divine inspiration of the Constitution, but its inclusion into one of two pillars outside the IRS complex in New Carrolton, Maryland, should be cause for concern. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had less to do about heathcare and more to do with societal control, as evidenced by the extensive involvement of the IRS in the records and financial aspects of the law, including questions about gun ownership that violate doctor/patient confidentiality.

Likewise, while the left talks about gun control and demonizing Republicans and conservatives in general, what they really want to implement is total societal control, and such control cannot occur with a heavily-armed populous. "When the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty," Thomas Jefferson. Based on the rate that the federal debt is skyrocketing, the bread and circus acts that have ensured a second term for the current administration cannot continue forever and when the entitlements are cut and the food stamps run out, storm clouds of anger will build amongst the classes of the perceived self-entitled. To quote Alan Ginsberg in the Howl:

    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

    angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

    who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

    who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war...

Only to end up in an Orwellian nightmare, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever."

I recently went to get some .30-30 ammo for my lever-action deer rifle at a local sporting goods store, and there was none to be had, not even online. I looked around at the gun section of the store at the bare and disheveled shelves and racks, and it reminded me of a grocery store before a hurricane, ample evidence of a gathering storm.

J Desmond McGrath

Living in Socioeconomic and political exile amongst the Cajuns on the Bayous

© Desmond McGrath


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Desmond McGrath

Desmond is a Petroleum Engineer by training with a BSc. (Honors) from Montana Tech as well as two technical diplomas in the area of Hydraulics, Instrumentation and Petroleum Technology... (more)


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