Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Peace Through Strength

It’s beautiful where I live and peaceful too, most of the time. I like to sit on my back porch, smell the woods, hear the birds and animals, feel the wind, and watch the sun light everything from different angles as it moves across the sky each day and sets over the mountains. But then I’ll hear coyotes yipping and howling as they chase down some other animal to eat. I’ll see an owl and listen to the other birds cry in distress at its presence. I’m reminded that it’s a struggle to survive out there and if you’re not careful, you might be eaten up. Keeping strong, wary, and ready to fight enhances survival. Most predators are smart, preying on the weak and avoiding the strong. Strong is good.

Late one night I was woken by screams outside my bedroom window and it took several seconds to realize they weren’t human. Animals were struggling violently, but I didn’t know what kind and I still don’t. I got up and peered through the screen into the darkness, but I couldn’t see anything except movement. They were screams fear, panic, and pain as the fight moved into the woods on the other side of the road. After a minute or so, it ended and I went back to bed wondering what had happened. The next morning, I saw smears of blood on the road and leading into the woods where ferns were trampled. There were no tracks I could discern, and no remains. Either the victim got away, or it was killed and eaten somewhere deeper into the woods.

Months later, a couple of young thugs tried to invade the house across the street about fifty yards from where the animals had been fighting. One said later under interrogation that they intended to kill the elderly couple living there and take their vehicle for a joy ride. They had knocked on the door, demanded keys at gunpoint, cut the telephone wires, and then fled after the man slammed the door on them and they heard him yell: “Get the gun!” to his wife. They were arrested later for attempted home invasion and conspiracy to commit murder, and sentenced to prison.

Most people are harmless and many are kind, but we mustn’t forget there are predators everywhere - always have been - and the human variety is the most dangerous. Thank God these two young men happened to be stupid predators or my elderly neighbors would have died. Ever since, I’ve kept a loaded pistol within reach and encouraged my wife to learn to shoot with it. I’ve always had rifles and a shotgun around, but they’re bulky and not well suited to handle something like a home invasion. People have to be ready to defend themselves because police can’t be everywhere.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” as Thomas Jefferson said, and that applies to us as individuals as well as nations. Our freedom and our very existence depend on readiness to fight whenever necessary. What troubles me lately is that most Americans seem to have forgotten this, if they ever knew it. Our country has changed. We’ve elected a President and a Congress who believe it’s possible to discuss our way out of any potential conflict. They believe criminal predators among us are victims of poverty, poor childhoods, severe toilet training, or whatever, and that police and the courts should be the only ones to deal with them and citizens should be disarmed. They apply similar skewed logic to international relations, believing the United States has oppressed other countries and that’s why they hate us and attack us. They think that if we just make nice, conflict can be avoided.

They place more confidence in United Nations resolutions than the United States military, and the human predators out there in the wide world know this very well. They don’t understand that we must be strong and ready to fight at all times, and if we are, it’s less likely that we’ll have to do so. However, our president goes around the world apologizing for our past use of force and promising to set limits on how we’ll use it in the future. Our military wants to pass out medals for not shooting the enemy instead of killing them. We still have by far the strongest military the world has ever known but we seem to lack the will to use it, and our enemies sense that. Violent conflict therefore becomes more likely, rather than less.

Should these trends continue, we’ll have to again learn the hard way that weakness, real or perceived, is a bigger threat to peace and freedom than strength.


Anonymous said...

'Peace is our Profession' - Motto of The USAF Strategic Air Command
ca. 1948

Laurie from Bartlett said...

Peace Through Superior Firepower is the real US peacekeeping mechanism. The UN wants to strip our right to "Keep and Bare Arms" rendering Americans unable to protect themselves locally,regionally and as a country, potentially allowing rogue citizens/nations power. The line.."go get the gun" is sad but imperative to survival. It's our "TEETH". Great oped Tom..Thanks

Anonymous said...

Sadly, you are right on point, Tom.

Anonymous said...

I may be confused but I dont think the UN cares about my bare arms.

DAWN said...

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” as Thomas Jefferson said,"

True. It's same spiritually. I actually blogged on this recently in lieu of the 4th but from a spiritual POV.

True freedom is not about a place or a heritage although that's what we're told. It doesn't matter where you live or that you're a citizen of this country because there is no such thing as true freedom outside of the one who truly sets us free. You can think you're free, living in a free country, yet die as a bond servant of sin.

Freedom at best is when you're free to do what you were created to do. Only then are you really set free. Freedom is not doing what you want to do because that would only result in chaos.

There's no such thing as a truly free society. It would be destructive. Real freedom is doing what you are called to do, what you were made to do.

I thank God that He conquered my soul, invaded the frontier of my life and set me free. Only when that happens are we free to do what we were created to do.

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Thomas Jefferson

How many came thru Ellis Island years ago in search of freedom but settled down with communist ways still in their hearts?

Anonymous said...

Which God and what form of Justice do you seek?

Anonymous said...

In Canada, if you shoot an intruder, you are more likely to go to jail than the perpetrator.

DAWN said...

"In Canada, if you shoot an intruder, you are more likely to go to jail than the perpetrator."

I was told by a Chief of Police once that if you shoot anyone even on your own property you betta drag him thru the front door before calling the cops. And that's in the U.S.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Different states have different laws about that. In liberal states, you have to give the intruder a chance to leave before shooting him. Just finished reading "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" set in Sweden. It's the third book on a series and an interesting window on exactly that attitude.

After that Supreme Court decision on the Chicago gun case a week ago, it looks like the tide is turning our way.