Powerful words of wisdom.
The 47th Vice President of the United States recently formally recognized the death of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide:
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring …
“… Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.”
Here’s what happened to nearly two million Armenians:
“… Armenians in the area were blamed for siding with the Russians and the Young Turks began a campaign to portray the Armenians as a kind of fifth column, a threat to the state …”
“… A later law allowed the confiscation of abandoned Armenian property. Armenians were ordered to turn in any weapons that they owned to the authorities. Those in the army were disarmed and transferred into labor battalions where they were either killed or worked to death… ”
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has compiled figures by province and district that show there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922.
The pattern of government actions culminating in genocide are sadly familiar: ostracize, disarm, then kill, as Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership points out:
“Disarmed people are neither free nor safe – they become the criminals’ prey and the tyrants’ playthings. When the civilians are defenseless and their government goes bad, however, thousands and millions of innocents die.”
But is the 47th VP preventing future atrocities? First came the ostracizing, from one his comrades. Listen to the full clip of former CIA director Brennan, briefly quoted below:
“… the members of the the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed are now moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of the country, and they gain strength, and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, racists, nativists, even libertarians … and so I really do think that the law enforcement Homeland security intelligence and even the defense officials are doing everything possible to root out what seems to be a very very serious and insidious threat to our democracy in our Republic.”
It’s beyond the pale to throw everyone who is concerned with current events into one basket, but it’s an effective way to set the stage for taking action. As infringement on our right to self-defense have become increasingly unpopular, the confiscationists have pivoted from “stop gun violence” to “save the Republic.”
The administration’s message to garden-variety firearms enthusiasts should be: Don’t let seditious radicals imperil your access to the guns you cherish. Protect your hobby by backing enforcement. Hunting, recreational shooting and personal defense against criminal threats are all fine; anti-government, white supremacist militia activity is not.
Although I absolutely oppose white supremacy and I oppose the initiation of violence against anyone, including the government, guns are not a hobby, and their ultimate purpose is more important than the items on their list: it is to stop wayward governments’ violence on their people. What’s particularly terrifying about the piece is that the authors, who are “National Security Council veterans who have specialized in counterterrorism” have already looked ahead optimistically to deploying the military against Americans:
“… the concern isn’t that [commonly-owned modern sporting rifles] will somehow enable militias to challenge the U.S. military on the battlefield, which they certainly will not …”
“Criminals are a small minority in any age or country. And the harm they have done to mankind is infinitesimal when compared to the horrors — the bloodshed, the wars, the persecutions, the confiscations, the famines, the enslavements, the wholesale destructions — perpetrated by mankind’s governments. Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims. When unlimited and unrestricted by individual rights, a government is men’s deadliest enemy. It is not as protection against private actions, but against governmental actions that the Bill of Rights was written.”
Taken from the internet, though I cannot locate the source:
“Grant me the serenity to accept that I don’t have the right to violate others;
The courage to change the things I can through voluntary interactions;
And the wisdom to know that I can’t delegate a right I don’t have to politicians to violate others on my behalf.”
Stay frosty, train, and pray.
— Dennis Petrocelli, MD is a clinical and forensic psychiatrist who has practiced for nearly 20 years in Virginia. He took up shooting in 2019 for mind-body training and self-defense, and is in the fight for Virginians’ gun rights.