There is a famous saying, wrongly attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto (Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II), that goes: “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” Historians, by and large, have claimed the attribution of the quote is unsubstantiated and has never been seen in writing; yet the “quote” has been repeated thousands of times. Why? Probably because the words ring so very true. This recognized concept may be exactly why our right to bear arms will prevent mainland attack of the United States.
Admiral Yamamoto did say, however, “The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants.” Same concept, different words.
There are many reasons why an invasion of the United States would be, at the very least, impractical for any conventional military force. Foremost, perhaps, is the sheer size of this country. There is no way to attack the entire United States at one time without use of nuclear weaponry. There isn’t a military anywhere on the globe that has enough people to control the vast terrain that is America – not to mention corral every man, woman, and child that lives within it.
More to the point, as adroitly noted by blogger Brett N. Lashuay:
Americans aren’t really known for their sanity. We’re more known for our blind patriotism, our love of fatty foods and our proclivity towards mindless violence. Even if 90% of the nation fell in with the invaders, and that’s a huge fucking if, that would still leave around 30 million freedom fighters who have decided that your shit needs ruining in the worst possible way. According to some quick and very shoddy research I just did, there are only about 2 million people in the US armed forces. That would mean that if a foreign power had roughly the same numbers, they would be outnumbered 15 to 1. The thing is, I’m sort of guessing that my 30 million fighters might be a conservative estimate. As batshit crazy as my fellow countrymen have proven to be when attacked, I’m thinking the number would likely be much higher than that. We do have a habit of putting our differences aside if it means we have to go cut a collective bitch. Even if it’s only 50 million though, that’s a million people in each state, all of whom have decided that they’d like to kill them one of those sons-of-bitches what invaded our land. …And we wouldn’t be worried about armament because…
…There are roughly enough weapons to give every man, woman and child a firearm. Invade and you are facing a nation of 300 million armed and dangerous nutters. And that’s not including the people who have decided to also go for knives, sword, bows, baseball bats, tire irons, clubs, sharp sticks, [and] things that appear in Dead Rising as weapons. As much as I deplore gun violence and I am concerned about the ease for people to just get a gun and shoot another person, I do love me that Second Amendment. I personally think all good liberals should buy a gun, maintain it and practice shooting. This is because A) It’s your right and you should exercise your rights and B) If the shit ever does hit the fan, you’ll want to be prepared.
“300 million armed and dangerous nutters” is indeed a force to be reckoned with. And Brett isn’t wrong.
Gun Control: A Solution Searching for a Problem
Since the tragic events in Newtown, Conn. four months ago, gun control has been hugely debated throughout the halls of Congress and throughout the cyberworld of the Internet. It appears that more and more Americans are questioning the validity of the Second Amendment with respect to private gun ownership, and believe that government regulation of firearms is the way to avoid future gun violence. Jamelle Bouie noted:
“Given the tremendous violence of Sandy Hook, we had every reason to think that Congress would respond with new gun laws. Just a few days after the shooting, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin—a hunter and staunch “gun rights” Democrat—told Politico that it was time to “move beyond rhetoric” on gun control, and the following month, conservative Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said he was open to measures to prevent illegal gun sales. “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment…I also think, though, that we do have to do things to make sure the database of the FBI has all the information so people can’t buy guns that shouldn’t have guns.”
Notwithstanding all the back-and-forth banter, at the end of the day Congress doesn’t get to decide who shouldn’t have guns. There is nothing in the statement “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” granting Congress the power to install regulation of any kind. And there is a reason for that.
Nowhere in the Articles of the Constitution does it grant power to any branch of the Federal government to restrict, regulate, suppress, or otherwise impose upon the tools of “the militia.” The powers of Congress, the President, or any Executive department do not extend to regulation of firearms and ammunition (among other things). The reason these powers are not granted is that the framers of our Constitution recognized the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms for defense of self, family, and country as “unalienable,” as a fundamental, God-given, natural right. The Second Amendment does not grant the “right” to bear arms, it recognizes it and explicitly states that it shall not be infringed.
The Constitution, The Militia, and the Citizen Soldier
This recognition of the American citizen-soldier is why there is a rifle “behind every blade of grass.” A nation of armed patriots is exactly why our right to bear arms will prevent a mainland attack, and our Founding Fathers knew that very well. They trusted the sovereignty of American citizens to overcome, in concept alone, any vision of hostile takeover by an ambitious foreign government – and for well over 200 years they have been right. Taking on “300 million armed and dangerous nutters” is the daunting reality of any force with plans to invade.
The Oxford Companion to US Military History noted “…citizens have the obligation to arm themselves to defend their communities or nations from foreign invaders and from domestic tyrants. …Citizen-soldiers embody the will of the people directly because they are the people. They have a stake in preserving liberties and rights in a society, hence supplying a check on tyranny and corruption of governments.”
With these tenets firmly in mind, one has to wonder why the American government – indeed, governments of the world – seems to be insisting that the American people be disarmed (or at least over-regulated into voluntary disarmament). Why would a government choose to disarm its most prolific and effective army? More importantly, why would American citizens actually support a government effort to disarm or otherwise regulate the “militia?”
What You Don’t Know WILL Kill You
An hypothesis: most Americans are unaware that the government does not have a duty to protect them. Most Americans, horrified by incidents of gun violence that captured innocent lives, believe that the push to control the arms trade is a product of a nation in mourning. Most Americans believe the “militia” is an outdated concept made obsolete by a fully-staffed military and a bevy of law enforcement agencies. Most Americans don’t believe it’s necessary to own a firearm, and thus feel safe in supporting gun control legislation. Sadly, Americans have given up so many of their fundamental rights in the ultimately fruitless pursuit of government-provided safety and security that most people have stopped paying attention to the egregious slashing of the Bill of Rights happening right under their noses.
That each person is responsible for his own defense against criminals has long been the law in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court implied this in 1856, when it decided South v. Maryland, and held that a sheriff did not have a duty to protect an ordinary person, but only had a duty generally to uphold the law. More recently, in Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the Court reaffirmed that the government has no duty to protect the average person.
In these cases, and the others like them, the Supreme Court has indirectly upheld and re-affirmed Americans’ private and personal right to keep and to bear arms for self-defense purposes in accordance with recognition of citizens’ inalienable right so protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. For all practical purposes, the Constitution (and existing case law) implies that Americans are tasked with protecting and defending themselves. This is just another reason why our right to bear arms will prevent mainland attack on the U.S. – but only if Americans are aware that they are responsible for their own protection and take the responsibility seriously.
Protection Against Enemies Foreign and Domestic
No invading force will ever fear a militia that is unsure of its own righteousness. Questions of martial law and suppression of civil liberties aside, the intrinsic nature of the Constitutionally-protected patriot is the greatest fear of any foreign – or domestic – attacker, and the certainty of every American in his or her role as citizen-soldier is why our right to bear arms will prevent mainland attack against the U.S. and will, if nurtured, preclude further infringements by our own government.