Fighting Back

You’re Not The Only One With An Itchy Trigger Finger!

by Keith Johnson, RotP

The quote often recited off Joe Stack’s “so-called” manifesto (more appropriately referred to as a suicide note) is that “violence is the only way.” Is it?

While some may agree with that statement, I would argue to the contrary. In recent years, those leading a peaceful resistance movement against government corruption have made significant progress. By utilizing a wide range of available venues they have made their voices heard and, by doing so, managed to disseminate a great deal of truth and effect real and tangible change.

Still some are unconvinced. Some believe that all peaceful roads have lead to a dead end and that the only option left is to strike out violently. But would a draconian carbon treaty have been defeated by flying a plane into the Copenhagen conference? Would nightmarish healthcare legislation been stalled by taking a gun to the floor of the house and senate? I think not!

Such actions only work to the advantage of those whom you have targeted. One should be reminded that in the absence of such real organic threats, governments often resort to provocateur events like this to crackdown on those that challenge their authority. So what are to we to make of a man like Joe Stack? Certainly this tortured soul is worthy of our sympathy. But assuming that this was an authentic attack perpetrated by a man who was just pushed too far, are his actions really worthy of the kind of celebratory exuberance we are now witnessing in small segments of the patriot community and elsewhere?

Since the attack on the Echelon Building in Austin, Joe Stack has emerged as some kind of folk hero. Facebook accounts have been opened in his honor, web forums sing his praises and comment boards are replete with comments like “Way to go, Joe” and “The war is on!” And although this reflects a genuine anger and frustration by a large segment of our population, I fear that some may interpret this as a “call to arms”, or others still may gleam inspiration and perhaps even entertain the notion of following in Stack’s footsteps.

So before any of you start loading your magazines and marching away to help kick off the next “American Revolution”, please stop for a moment and consider one possible scenario that may have unfolded that fateful day when Joe Stack flew his plane into the IRS…

At the Department of Homeland Security, several officials watch the coverage on FOX News and rise to their feet cheering! They’re happy knowing that their jobs are safe and that they are likely to have several million dollars more allocated to their budgets to combat domestic terrorism. On the floor of the house, more congressmen are pressure to advance draconian legislation that further infringes on the rights and privacy of their citizens. Somewhere in the Mid-West, dozens of police officers attending an SPLC seminar are now convinced that white, Christian tax protestors are a grave and serious threat to national security. In the CEO’s office of a mobile X-ray/body scanning manufacturer, executives pop the corks off their champagne bottles to celebrate a rise in their companies stock options. Throughout the globe, journalists and bloggers feverishly type out “I told you so” articles and essays that draw the “fence sitters” to their way of thinking. Across the United States, police chiefs instruct their officer’s to turn up the heat on anyone who even looks like they might be carrying a grudge against the government.

That’s right, you’re not the only one with an itchy trigger finger. I often hear that the American gun owners outnumber the government ten to one. This may be true. But did you ever consider that a vast majority of gun owners might turn those guns on you. A lot of those people are very sympathetic to the government and consider allegiance to the government on par with allegiance to America.

Remember that the “Shot Heard Round the World” was not a preemptive attack by American Revolutionaries…it was provoked. And if you’re not familiar with your American history, here’s a good opportunity to brush up on it…

When on the night of the 18th of April, 1775, Paul Revere rode beneath the bright moonlight through Lexington to Concord, with Dawes and Prescott for comrades, he was carrying the signal for the independence of a nation. He had seen across the Charles River the two lights from the church-steeple in Boston which were to show that a British force was going out to seize the patriotic supplies at Concord; he had warned Hancock and Adams at Rev. Jonas Clark’s parsonage in Lexington, and had rejected Sergeant Monroe’s caution against unnecessary noise, with the rejoinder, “You’ll have noise enough here before long: the regulars are coming out.” As he galloped on his way the regulars were advancing with steady step behind him, soon warned of their own danger by alarm-bells and signal-guns. When Revere was captured by some British officers who happened to be near Concord, Colonel Smith, the commander of the expedition, had already halted, ordered Pitcairn forward, and sent back prudently for reinforcements. It was a night of terror to all the neighboring Middlesex towns, for no one knew what excesses the angry British troops might commit on their return march..

Before 5 A.M. on April 19, 1775, the British troops had reached Lexington Green, where thirty-eight men, under Captain Parker, stood up before six hundred or eight hundred to be shot at, their captain saying, “Don’t fire unless you are fired on; but if they want a war, let it begin here.” It began there; they were fired upon; they fired rather ineffectually in return, while seven were killed and nine wounded. The rest, after retreating, reformed and pursued the British towards Concord, capturing seven stragglers,–the first prisoners taken in the war.

Then followed the fight at Concord, where four hundred and fifty Americans, instead of thirty-eight, were rallied to meet the British. The fighting took place between two detachments at the North Bridge, where

”once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world.”

There the American, captain, Isaac Davis, was killed at the first shot, –he who had said, when his company was placed at the head of the little column, “I haven’t a man that is afraid to go.” He fell, and Major Buttrick gave the order, “Fire! for God’s sake, fire!” in return. The British detachment retreated in disorder, but their main body was too strong to be attacked, so they disabled a few cannon, destroyed some barrels of flour, cut down the liberty-pole, set fire to the court-house, and then began their return march. It ended in a flight; they were exposed to a constant guerilla fire; minute-men flocked behind every tree and house; and only the foresight of Colonel Smith in sending for reinforcements had averted a surrender. At 2 P. M., near Lexington, Percy with his troops met the returning fugitives, and formed a hollow square, into which they ran and threw themselves on the ground exhausted. Then Percy in turn fell back. Militia still came pouring in from Dorchester, Milton, Dedham, as well as the nearer towns. A company from Danvers marched sixteen miles in four hours. The Americans lost ninety-three in killed, wounded, and missing that day; the British, two hundred and seventy-three. But the important result was that every American colony now recognized that war had begun.(from Vol.II of the Great Republic)

The lesson here? He who shoots first…loses! There is still so much more work left to be done and there is nothing that can be accomplished through violent, preemptive measures…leave that to the war criminals.