The Importance of the Boy Scout Motto

BoyScoutby N. A. Halkides   3/25/14
The Boy Scouts are not a political or philosophical organization, but like the military they are a very practical one. They are able to deal with such exigencies as a fractured leg or setting up camp because they are prepared for them – hence the Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” We as Conservatives would do well to emulate the Boy Scouts and be prepared for upcoming political crises as the totalitarian Left continues to advance in this country if it cannot be checked either politically through elections or legally through Constitutional challenges to its sweeping and unconstitutional agenda. We must know what the red lines are and have a plan of action in case the Left crosses them, lest we end up like untrained people who when faced with a man whose leg is broken sit around uselessly because they’ve never prepared for such an emergency.[pullquote]We as Conservatives would do well to emulate the Boy Scouts and be prepared for upcoming political crises as the totalitarian Left continues to advance in this country…[/pullquote]

A case in point is the current situation in Connecticut, which for many years has burdened gun owners with onerous restrictions, and where in the wake of the Newtown shootings anti-gun zealots have enacted legislation that, among other things, requires the registration of magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds and of certain types of semi-automatic rifles. (The legislature uses the deliberately misleading term “assault weapon” in the statute.) Those who violate the registration law may be imprisoned from one to five years and would lose their right to possess any firearm thereafter. These new laws of course bear no relation at all to actual public safety needs and are simply intended to get closer to complete gun confiscation. Those who doubt that should familiarize themselves with The Sandy Hook Advisory Council’s recommendations to Gov. Dan Malloy (D).

Now while it is my personal belief that the attempted registration of firearms by either state or federal authorities constitutes crossing one of those “red lines” which requires actual resistance from those who wish to keep their freedom, the identification of such red lines are not what I’m attempting to do here. I’m not even going to get into too many specifics regarding the types of action that might be taken against the government. My broader points are that red lines need to be identified ahead of time and that when one is crossed, some type of action must be taken. This requires prior thought and preparation. First then is a quick and inadequate justification for the existence of “red lines” in the first place; a more complete rationale will have to wait for another day.

Consider a government which is gradually growing in size and power, reducing freedom bit by bit. It should not be difficult to do so because that is what is happening today throughout the United States and Europe. Let us assume that attempts to halt this advance through Constitutional challenges have failed because the Courts have simply refused to do their duty (e.g. the challenge to Obamacare made by 26 states), and that the tipping point has been reached where there is effective one-party rule because the Democrats, having purchased so many votes through income redistribution and an outsized (and probably unionized) government workforce, can always defeat Republicans running on a platform of individual rights. The people then are given a choice between statist Democrats and equally statist Republicans, conservatism (i.e. classical liberalism) having been effectively banished from the political scene. Let us call this one-party rule of the second type, where the “two” parties are but two competing factions of statists. (One-party rule of the first type would be where only one party is legally permitted to operate. This is more characteristic of communist governments than of Western democracies sliding into totalitarianism). Thus it is impossible to remove the tyrants by elections. What should freedom-loving patriots do?

There are precisely three possibilities: (1) Submit now and continue to submit as complete dictatorship is established; (2) Submit now in the hopes that things will get better, and when they don’t, start thinking about how to resist; (3) Establish clear “red lines” and have a plan of action for when the government crosses them by, for example, attempting to impose censorship or gun confiscation.

(1) is clearly inadequate as it means learning to live under dictatorship. (3) or something very much like it has only occurred once in history – it was called The American Revolution. And (2) is what we have seen in Canada, where once again the issue was gun ownership. More and more onerous rules and regulations were passed, and finally gun owners were required to register their guns with the government. Promises were made that such registration would never be used for confiscation. Gun owners, having no plan of resistance, complied with the registration laws only to find that Left-wing politicians had lied to them (surprise!), and that the registration lists were now to be used to confiscate their guns (the story is on video here). At this point, because they still had their guns, the people could in theory have resisted the government by force. But that is a monumental step, one that would never be taken without planning, organization, and leadership, none of which the people had. With no clear alternative, they surrendered their guns, and with them the possibility of removing the government that had oppressed them, the government that was now completely unconstrained. The only hope for Canadian freedom now is that some political dissent is still permitted, and not all weapons were turned into the government.

England followed a similar pattern. And what has come since should come as no surprise: the other basic freedom, that of speech, has come under ever more concerted attack. Not long ago, a man was placed under arrest for telling a Nelson Mandela joke. And the Labour Party apparently wishes to license journalists, the ultimate purpose of which can only be to muzzle the press.

And this brings us back to the brave people of Connecticut, who in the face of the threat of being sent to prison for five years, have refused to register their guns (50,000 gun owners have complied, while an unknown number, estimated variously at 50,000 – 300,000, have not). All of us should be heartened by the spirit of resistance in this benighted state, where there is effective one-party rule (of the second type, where “Republicans” are all RINOs and Conservatives are powerless). This resistance is the spirit of America, where politicians fear the people instead of the other way around. And yet, while “Molon Labe” (“Come and Take Them”) is an admirable spirit, it is in itself a terrible strategy, for the government may eventually do just that, singling out a man here and a man there for punishment to serve as an example to others. The government may not be able to find the resources to protect you, but it will always be able to summon a half dozen heavily-armed men to break down your door in the middle of the night if it really wants to. Getting into situations where the isolated citizen is pitted against a team of government agents is clearly not the way to go, and for many reasons.

This does not mean the Connecticut Patriots, as I will call them, were wrong to commit civil disobedience – far from it. The first step in fighting this monstrous injustice is indeed to refuse to comply with the gun registration edict, just as they have done. They could not protect themselves through elections, because Connecticut is too far Left (although it will be interesting to see if there are any repercussions at the next election as there were in Colorado, where one gun-grabbing state senator suddenly found himself recalled), and the court challenges to the law have not yet been adjudicated. But because they had not planned in advance – because they were not prepared, as good Boy Scouts would have been – their resistance has been of an improvised character.

So far it has taken the statists by surprise, and the large scale of the resistance presents Gov. Malloy and his ilk with definite problems. Said state Senator Tony Guglielmo, “I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register. If you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don’t follow them, then you have a real problem.” You certainly do, Senator Guglielmo, and the tragedy is that you don’t realize that problem is your attempt to infringe upon the basic rights of the people of Connecticut. But the trouble the gun-grabbers are having right now does not mean they’re ready to give up.

Suppose that the government attempts to use purchase records or other means to identify gun owners who haven’t registered, and begins to issue search warrants on that basis – what will the Connecticut Patriots do then? They need to come up with a plan of resistance, and they need to come up with it quickly. Some means must be found of resisting and obstructing the government with the object of compelling it (not asking it) to repeal the law. One thing is especially obvious: for any form of resistance other than simple civil disobedience, an effective organization is required.

And what is true of the Connecticut Patriots is true of all of us in America who value our freedom. While the Federal Government is not yet poised to attempt to register guns as Connecticut did, the same thing is happening in New York State with a gun registration deadline approaching (April 15), and a call for Federal gun registration may very well be made within a decade if Democrats take both Houses of Congress. Similarly, our speech rights are already under attack at the Federal level. And then there is the matter of Obamacare, which many of us think is by itself sufficient provocation for nullification, secession, or another revolution.

The Democratic Left is not going away, and they will never give up their goal of establishing a dictatorship in America. Maybe we can still stop them by elections and maybe we can’t – but either way, it’s time to begin planning for the possibility that we can’t. We can be prepared to actively resist a government lapsing into tyranny, or we can be unprepared and disorganized, running around like headless chickens as the darkness falls around us. • (3293 views)

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13 Responses to The Importance of the Boy Scout Motto

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    One thing they’re doing in Connecticut is fighting it out in the courts as well as with civil disobedience. I also read last year that there had been at least one special state legislative election in which the Democrat was defeated in a Democratic district by a pro-gun Republican. My own opinion is that the best response to totalitarianism (the goal of modern liberalism) coming too close is that one should offer NO voluntary support to the gangster government, resisting it the best one can (which may vary from person to person). But coming up with some sort of organization to resist it in advance probably is a good idea. Glenn Beck has something like that in his series starting with The Overton Window. Most likely such a group will be heavily libertarian — who else will be willing to resist the Behemoth?

  2. Rosalys says:

    “50,000 gun owners have complied…” A more correct statement would be, “50,000 gun owners have registered at least one of their guns.” I know for a fact that some who have registered a gun or some guns have several other untraceable guns that they have not registered. But there is fear out there. One of these persons that I know registered only one of his/her guns did so because, “I’m too old to go to jail.” I’m fearful myself; I’ve seen the pictures of Nazi and Stalinist law enforcement and it is not a pretty picture! It’s downright scary! You are right about needing to be organized. Being organized helps to dispel fear because you know you are not alone; but organizations can and will be infiltrated so you have to be very careful.

    Here is where I vehemently disagree with many of my Christian brethren. They interpret Romans 13: 1-2 to mean that whatever the government says we must comply. Therefore if the government, which itself has broken the law in enacting such a law, says you must hand in your guns, well then we as good Christians must hand in our guns. They do not interpret Romans 13: 1-2 in light of Romans 13: 3. Increasingly our government is NOT a Romans 13: 3 government. They do not seek to keep order and punish evil doers. They have subverted the meaning of evil and redefined good to be evil and evil to be good. Is it just plain ignorance or laziness on their part? Or perhaps it is just a head in the sand optimism that thinks that God will never allow this horrible stuff to happen to us Americans? Oh I think He very well might!

    I think the United States is better described as an oligarchy. We have the Ruling Class, ala Codevilla, who believe only they are ordained to manage everybody else’s lives because they are so privileged and enlightened. It is the “Vision of the Anointed” which Thomas Sowell wrote about.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Doesn’t it make sense that Romans 13: 1-2 was written in the context of a hostile Roman government? The issue of the nature of the Messiah had already been decided, at least in the minds of the Christians. The Messiah would not be Arnold Schwarzenegger with a sword. He would be more like Mr. Rogers, but with immense authority (and one, ironically, who would say, “I’ll be back”).

      So Paul’s job was not to get people slaughtered for the sake of “hope and change.” Paul was a community organizer for God, not the devil, as is the case with Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama who would destroy this nation to satisfy their inner demons. For Paul and the early Christians — living as small, fragile islands as they did amongst pagan Rome — it was the Kingdom beyond that was to be focused on, not fixing what (with their minuscule numbers and power) would have been impossible to fix. Paul’s counsel was to get people to stay under the radar.

      I can certainly understand anyone’s reticence to go against the government. But no one today could honestly believe of Nancy Pelosi, Eric Holder, or B. Hussein Obama that they are “the authorities that exist have been established by God.”

      That is the mindset of tyrants and theocrats. But like I said, I do think Paul meant it to quell hot tempers and avoid needless destruction of a nascent cause.


      Thanks for the expansion on the compliance figures in CT – so much the better if some gun owners register on expendable gun and keep the rest hidden. I also understand your fear: the most important point I was trying to make is that we can’t wait until things get to the point that law-enforcement is breaking down our doors to take our guns or arrest us for criticizing the government. We have to go on the offensive before then. Of course, preventing the government from enforcing the law is one way to do that, and it helped during Prohibition. But effective techniques of resistance are a subject for another day.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Many of my friends are prepared by having extra food, guns, and ammo. This is all good.

    From the standpoint of how this all plays out, we will have some kind of a breakdown in civil order, followed by oppression by the various law enforcement agencies who, with Selwyn Duke’s last article in mind, are militant soldier-cops not good-citizen cops.

    The place you will not want to be in particular is any urban center. It’s ironic (well, perhaps not to conservatives) that peacenik places such as Seattle will be the first to burn. Appeasement of the various anarchic, victim, and entitlement groups won’t buy you anything when the day comes when the food stamps stop coming or become near worthless because of inflation. Seattle will burn like it did in the WTO riots of 1999. And then, frankly, you’ll see where the hearts and minds are of more than a few Paulbots.

    I view my fellow citizen now as half-crazy. Look at internet forums or anywhere you go where people have been evangelized by the Left. They are made angry, bitter, and quite potentially violent. Thus part of being prepared is to be in touch with your like-minded civilized neighbors. We’re going to need each other when the Alinsky-like wolves come knocking on the door. And those wolves may be government officials or the mob. And you know that when push comes to shove, you won’t be able to count on your supposedly “nice” Progressive friends. They will be collaborators, as they are now.


      I certainly agree wholeheartedly with your observations about urban centers not being where you want to be as civil order does begin to break down. But there is another, worse possibility: that the breakdown won’t come fast enough, and a strong dictatorship becomes established. Nazi Germany went along that path.

      That is why I don’t think we can just wait, as the heroes of Atlas Shrugged basically did, for the collectivist government to collapse, whereupon they marched in and corrected the U.S. Constitution (although we’re going to have to do that at some point too). We have to have some effective means of resisting a government that, while it may not be a hard tyranny yet, is close to becoming one. I would say within the context of a federal republic such as the U.S., the only possibilities at the national level are nullification, secession, or revolution, but these require more detailed justification than we have space for here.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Given the choice between chaos (too much freedom) and police-state tyranny (too much order), most people even in America will choose the latter. We must make sure those aren’t the only choices available. Waiting for breakdown worked in Atlas Shrugged because the author made sure that the bad guys were ALL totally worthless and incompetent. That isn’t realistic, as J. Neil Schulman pointed out in his libertarian answer to Rand (Alongside Night).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I agree that sitting around waiting for a collapse to fix things (sort of like taking out the trash) won’t work. The crash is exactly what the Alinsky types (including Obama) thrive on.

        The question thus becomes: How do you change the soul of the American character? My reply may seem flippant but I’m perfectly serious: We need a “come to Jesus” moment.

        I like some of the great quotes that Steve has in his review of the Eric Hoffer books, including:

        “We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, “to be free from freedom.”


        “A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following not by its doctrine and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existence.”


        “To sum up: When a population undergoing drastic change is without abundant opportunities for individual action and self-advancement, it develops a hunger for faith, pride, and unity. It becomes receptive to all manner of proselytizing, and is eager to throw itself into collective undertakings which aim at “showing the world.”

        Our society has taken on utopia as a viable project. And that last quote may be particularly apt. It is said that the reason that Americans have never given into “ideology” is because no one had time for it. There was too much to do, and so many opportunities to advance your life. But dead-end lives are much more prone to looking for the kind of “meaning” that means “mass madness.”

        The only way to detach from government (and its utopian visions) is to replace them with personal visions of one’s own including faith, family, freedom, and just working hard with the goal to not only make a buck but to give one a center for one’s life.

        The wheels are in motion. There is no turning back. The only question is, can we insulate ourselves enough so that the “Progressive” nitwits don’t take us down with them? And I don’t mean just financially. I mean we really have to detach from the fake-plastic culture of nihilism, consumerism, and narcissism. It’s very easy to get caught up in that. The thrust for this site is not just to bitch at all the idiot politicians and people out there, for that would be more than a full-time job. It’s to get our hearts and souls in order and to express something noble, grand, and nourishing.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          “The thrust for this site is not just to bitch at all the idiot politicians and people out there, for that would be more than a full-time job. It’s to get our hearts and souls in order and to express something noble, grand, and nourishing.”

          I compare this and a few other sites to the Christian monasteries in the Europe of the Dark Ages. By that I mean the places where knowledge, culture and wisdom were maintained while civilization collapsed around then. I don’t think we are that far away from collapse again, thus we must do our best to keep the flame of Western Civilization burning while the barbarians rampage outside.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            In that case, bibliophiles could be very important, if they can keep their collections intact (and readable) until the darkness finally ends.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Yes, I don’t think most people even think about, much less understand how important bibliographies are and how much work goes into them when publishing a book.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I compare this and a few other sites to the Christian monasteries in the Europe of the Dark Ages.

            And that makes Victor Davis Hanson one of the Priors of the Abbey. It really is a case where you now have a systemic disregard for our own history and culture. I think it was C.S. Lewis (or Dalrymple) who noted that people not only don’t know their history, history itself to them has become just a “story.” That is, they’ve been taught that it’s just someone’s “narrative.”

            Lewis (or Dalrymple) also noted the strange phenomenon that people will believe in ancient history. They might believe that some ancient culture indeed did build the pyramids, for example. But there is a sense of unreality to anything that has occurred in the last 1000 years or so.

            I find that to be astonishing. And yet one of the Left’s purposes is to get people to forget their own history. And one way to do that is to re-write it, of course. And another way (which facilitates the re-writing) is to try to de-legitimize history itself, which they have apparently had great success in doing.

            And we’re now at the point where being brainless and ignorant is to be considered “wise” — wise because you’re one of the enlightened people who know that the x, y, and z facts of history are mere propaganda by capitalists, racists, nationalists, or whomever. Ignorance, in effect, becomes a badge of honor. And when you try to eek out of these people what they actually believe, and not just disbelieve, you realize just what an empty shell of slogans, cliches, misinformation, and bumper-sticker logic that makes up their supposed great storehouse of information.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I think it isn’t so much that they forget history as that they regard it (and culture in general) as nothing but one group’s version — and if that group consists of white males (who dominate European history and culture), then it’s hardly worth considering anyway since they’re just a bunch of overdogs and thus evil.

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