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In Defense of Fanaticism

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July 01, 2013

In Defense of Fanaticism

By David E. Petzal

While at my 50th college class reunion, I twice came under savage attack about gun owners’ intransigence when it comes to the Second Amendment. “Why,” I was asked, “won’t you people compromise, even a little bit? Why are you such fanatics?”

A good question, and one whose answer was given in Nathaniel Philbrick’s excellent new book, "Bunker Hill," the story of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Mr. Philbrick, who is as impartial and thorough a historian as one can find, paints a picture of the New England militiamen who fought there that is probably at variance with what is taught in school, if indeed the subject does come up in school.
     
The farmers and tradesmen who formed the colonial militia were hard cases. They believed that their freedom—their right to govern themselves—was absolute, and divinely sanctioned. However, this freedom did not extend to women, or people whose skin was not white, or who were Catholic, or who remained loyal to the Crown. Today we would call them extremists, and worse. In an America where inclusiveness and compromise are seen as paramount virtues, theirs is a very uncomfortable legacy. However, without them, there would not be a United States of America.

Compromise is at the foundation of the American political system, but so is the unflinching, unbending belief in a cause. The men who fought at Bunker Hill were willing to die, and to kill the soldiers who only a few decades before had been their brothers in arms, for nothing more than the right to speak and vote at a town meeting. You could regard this as fanaticism.

The abolition of slavery was, in great part, driven by fanatics. These ranged from the murderous John Brown, who was hanged, and deserved it, to the non-violent William Lloyd Garrison, a newspaper editor and Abolitionist, who wrote in the first issue of his anti-slavery newspaper The Liberator:  “I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation….I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD.”

When Garrison began his crusade in 1831, abolition was hardly a popular cause, even among Northerners who did not support slavery. More than one abolitionist died for his beliefs. But Garrison was as good as his word.

If unwavering dedication to a cause is fanaticism, Abraham Lincoln is the utterest fanatic of all. Lincoln was very far from an abolitionist. He wrote: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or destroy slavery…”

But when Lincoln said he meant to preserve the Union, he was, as Garrison put it, in earnest. He suspended habeus corpus, ignored a Supreme Court ruling, and raised an army and sent tens of thousands of young men to their deaths “…in order that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The Civil War began in April 1861, but Congress was not in session until July, so the decision to begin the war and prosecute it was a burden that Lincoln alone carried. And throughout its four dreadful years, he refused to compromise and seek peace until the conflict was resolved once and for all. In all other respects a great compromiser and conciliator, Lincoln was a fanatic about the Union surviving.

Whether you are seen as a fanatic depends on whether your cause is popular and politically correct. In their time the New England militia was regarded as a bunch of dangerous thugs by a good many people;  Garrison was considered an annoying crank; and no American president has been so reviled during his term in office as Abraham Lincoln.

So if you believe that the Second Amendment is an absolute guarantee of your right to own guns, and that altering it, or giving up part of it, or relinquishing it altogether is wrong, take heart. You may yet be vindicated by history. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened.

CC image from Wikipedia.

Comments (52)

Top Rated
All Comments
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

I took this oath of office on September 9th, 1969:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

The oath I took October 1, 1982 states:

“I, (name), having been appointed an Ensign in the United States Navy, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foriegn and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Since I am no longer in the POTUS's chain of command, he may respectfully kiss my ass if he or anyone else expects compliance with unconstitutional laws, edicts or executive orders! I stand by those oaths and still take my obligation to this great nation very seriously. If that defines a "dangerous fanatic", then so be it....

Thanks David, for the piece.

+22 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

The only problem is that in 2013, I believe we have too many apathetic citizens that are concerned with unimportant things in life (reality TV, other nonsense). The other half are not originally from here and do not know our history (I'm not anti-immigrant by the way).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Dave,

Well written. Thanks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Keep 'em coming Dave. The elitists are taking more and more of our individual freedoms every day. Mainstream media only parrots the politicians. Someone needs to speak in opposition.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from dracphelan wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

The thing is, we compromised from before 1934 all the way to the 1990s. And, the firearms homicide rate did not decline. Suddenly, we started insisting on maintaining and getting back our rights, and the homicide rate started going down.
There is probably no direct correlation between the two. But, it also means that increased gun control does not have an effect on the homicide rate.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Invigorating read, Mr. Petzal.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Besides, compromise implies give and take from both sides. Our opponents believe we should give and they should take. They don't offer to put any of their beliefs on the table, so why should we?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

I see there is at least one anarchist among us! LOL

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Preach it, Mr. Petzal! Liberty. How many people in our society today really know what it means or what it is worth? I support, in every legal way, the restoration of true American Liberty and the Constitutional government that should be our inheritance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

...even if it makes me a fanatic.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Everytime I read an article like this it just reminds me how apathetic we (as a nation) have become.

We complain about politicians all of the time yet in the 2012 election, 90% of the Senators and Congressmen/women that ran for re-election won.

Whose fault is that?

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Most excellent essay Mr. Petzal.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from fox4 wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

I don't have to be stupid just because a fool said it was the right thing to do.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Very well done Mr. Petzal. I disagree about John Brown deserving to be hung though. I have always viewed him as something of a hero, a passionate man that followed his beliefs! In the times that he lived I'm sure he was viewed as a lunatic. There is power in fanaticism; 19 fanatics changed the lives of a whole country if not the world on September 11, 2001!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

If believing the Second Amendment means what it says, and being willing to take any actions necessary to preserve that right makes me a fanatic, then so be it.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from sticky wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Excellent commentary, Dave. Fanatics are the ones that keep the pot stirred and the debate going.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Murdering innocent people is no excuse for any cause be it John Brown or 19 Radical Islamist. However, I WILL DEFEND my home and my family, then you can pull my cold dead fingers.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Thank you Dave for writing something that stirs my soul, so little said today does, this obsession with ourselves through our mindless desire to be entertained needs to be put aside- we need to think about those who sacrificed everything, and maybe in our own small way do something to make those who came before us proud.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohiodeerhunter wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Mr. Petzal-

Very well written, outstanding job of getting the point across.

The last paragraph however, leads a person to believe that the second amendment is open to interpretation-( So, if you believe...)-

which it is not-it states very clearly that individuals have the right to form, and belong to militias, to keep and bear arms,and that the right(s) shall not be infringed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from firedog11 wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Excellent analysis Dave. The thing is anti freedom forces are as fanatical as we are and in mho respresent the Stalin/Mao/Hitler side of the human race. It always starts with "for the good of the people" and steadily slides down the slippery slope from there. Look at the NSA, the IRS and other government agencies as perfect example. Men are imperfect and our founding fathers knew this. We have forgotten it and probably will have to learn that hard lesson all over again.As was said "they who desire freedom by forsaking liberty shall have neither".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadly wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Well said, Sir!
When diplomacy and "petitions to the government" fail and anarchy or worse is the foe, true warriors are indeed fanatical. No lesser emotion will suffice if they are to risk their very lives to secure freedom. The tree of liberty doesn't thirst for political correctness, lgbt equality and affirmative action.
Mr. Petzal, I salute your eloquence.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Our legislators apparently never understood what "shall not be infringed" means.

America has accrued some 25.000 laws on the books which have eaten right through the fringe and deep into the core of our 2nd Amendment RIGHT.

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
Barry Goldwater/Cicero

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from poetwild wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Unfortunately, the masses have put the Bill of Rights behind the vague purpose of "social justice". All of those rights are at risk in the present day. It's about " Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" but our current ruling class wants to abandon such ideals. Our future is imperiled by our failure to understand our own history. When ignorance overcomes that history, collective cowardice prevails. The Nation needs to consciously reconsider its current course and reaffirm the rights of the individual.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JCB wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

So stirringly, eloquently, and masterfully explained. As TR would say. Bully Dave Bully!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Well done Dave.

To Dave, Phil and All: Happy 4th of July. Enjoy your Liberties yea sons and daughters of Freedom!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
Barry Goldwater"

Although, I somehow don't think that Barry Goldwater would approve of some of the garbage the conservative side of the political spectrum has been spewing of late either. Goldwater was a gun owner/NRA member, but from what I have read about him, was far from a supporter of the para-military style weaponry that seems to be in vogue in this country these days. It would definitely be interesting to know what his take was on some of the compromises gun owners are being asked to make. I somehow don't think it would be exactly what we hear from posters on this blog, which would NO doubt automatically make him an anti-gunner in most of the posters minds.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

SL and others of like mind,
Unfortunately, we live in an era wrapped in relativism and corrupted by situational ethics. There are no black and white cases of right and wrong; only various shades of gray that allow for virtually any action or position; no matter how morally repugnant it would have been viewed in more principled and enlightened times.
Barry Goldwater was one of my first and one of my very few political heroes. I doubt that he would have abandoned the ageless principles he defended so zealously simply because of certain technological advances. He was in fact roundly condemned in 1964 for saying, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Compare that quote to this one: “Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”
Just imagine if Patrick Henry uttered those words today. He would be excoriated by the establishment intelligentsia and so-called mainstream media for expresing fanaticism and encouraging violence, and would undoubtedly have a fat file already stored in the bowels of the Homeland Security Dept. Our current problem is not that people are too fanatical about protecting their liberties; it is that far too many are all too ready to trade their liberties for some false sense of security and comfort as they go, in the words of Robert Bork, slouching down the road toward Gomorrah.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from VicF wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

We are fanatics living in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Buckstopper,
Millions of innocent slaves died on the way over here so I'll excuse John Brown for the few innocents that were killed as a result of his actions. Some might call them collateral damage; I think the ends justified the means in his case.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

SL:

I'm standing with you, Patrick Henry and Barry Goldwater!

Sadly, there are a few on this BLOG I don't want at my back
under any circumstances...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

SL:

I'm standing with you, Patrick Henry and Barry Goldwater!

Sadly, there are a few on this BLOG I don't want at my back
under any circumstances...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

MReeder:

I'm standing with you, Patrick Henry and Barry Goldwater!

Sadly, there are a few on this BLOG I don't want at my back
under any circumstances...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Sorry all:
That was (obviously) supposed to be directed to MReeder and not SL.
The vagaries of submitting things on this site sometime result in accidental multiple submissions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

I tip my hat and raise my glass to you and this fine piece, DEP. Salute!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ol Krusty wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Great comments, thanks Petzal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Well written DEP. I have a question for your classmate. Why are you and many like minded people so willing to relinguish our freedoms? America has often COMPROMISED and the results are highly unsatisfactory. Plea bargains compromise and weaken the criminal justice system allowing way too many dangerous felons opportunities to re-offend. We compromise our borders and now have a serious illegal imigrant problem. We compromise our ethics and values and have a country full of children being raised by single mothers or their grandparents. We compromise capitalism and have developed a dependent culture that promotes a "take care of me" attitude.

Taking a stand for something may not be politically correct in this day of "diversity" and "open mindedness" propaganda but it is still a noble character trait to this old schooler.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Like once said of 75th Rangers, "We did not send them there to talk." Same to be said of compromise with terrorists and anyone negotiating our liberty. A big, fat NO!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

As with all peoples down through history, Americans have refused to learn from that history, have forgotten it, or never learned it in the first place. Ignorance of history is a characteristic of too many Americans. It is the nature of all governments to constantly seek ever more power and morph into tyrannies given the opportunity. That includes our own and is happening right now. Power corrupts ALWAYS! The founders knew this. The upshot of suppressive gun laws will result in ALL weapons being in the hands of police and the military and nobody else. Neither can be trusted EVER! This is perfect recipe for a dictatorship and one that has happened time and again.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Winchester wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Eloquent and intelligent as always, thanks Dave.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

“Why, won’t you people compromise, even a little bit?"

Really?

And you didn't break out in hysterical laughter at such a joke why?

You can't order or ship a firearm thru the mail.
You can't own a fully automatic modern weapon.
You have to pay an exorbitant tax to own an antique full auto gun.
You have to pay an exorbitant tax to own a suppressor.
Your gun must have a certain govt approved length. Over a certain length barrel if a rifle, over a different length if a shotgun, and UNDER a certain length if it's a handgun.
You cannot convert a "rifle" into a "handgun".
You can however buy a handgun that is a cut down rifle design as long as it was manufactured as a "Handgun".
You are not allowed to attach a shoulder stock to a "handgun".
You are not allowed to own any explosive device whatsoever.
You must (in most locals) get a permit to exercise your RIGHT to Bear Arms, in some you already cannot even use that Right at all.

And this is just what comes to mind immediately as past "Compromises".

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from OMuilleoir wrote 41 weeks 20 hours ago

Nicely written. Lest we forget...freedom ain't free.
May God continue to bless our men and women in uniform.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Nicely written Mr.Petzal...Freedom is not always Free,Bless them All that Serve and Served.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Mr. Garrison's quote should be the sentiment of us all. Great article and thoughts Dave, as usual. Thank you sir.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Compromise implies a middle ground. Were that line is based purely on your point of view. I have always found phrases amusing Pax Romana [Roman Peace]. Basically submit or we will crucify you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Our country is being under mind by religious fanatics as we speak.I personally worry more about a religious fanatic with a mortar up his ass than loosing my 2nd amendment rights!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from schizuki wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Anti-gunners' definition of compromise is, "We'll ask you for the moon and stars, but we'll settle for the moon."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Obama just said in a speech that the American Revolution was unnecessary and the bloody English had it right. God says to help fellow man and we should not view this great nation through the windows of capitalism. We should not celebrate the founding of our nation, but to look forward. I say to look forward and try his sorry ass for treason.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Angus wrote 40 weeks 3 days ago

Excellent piece Mr. Petzal.

Does being a conservative, pro-life, Christian supporter of the Constitution make me a radical?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 40 weeks 1 day ago

Dave, I think you and most of your fans give fanaticism a good name. It is a high compliment.

These days if you wander too far from the flock of sheep you are labeled a fanatic. I am proud to think and act upon my own beliefs, regardless (not irregardless which is not even a word) of what others think or do or say.

"There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him -- early."
-- Mark Twain, Notebook (1898)

Obviously Jesus was a fanatic...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Pittelli wrote 39 weeks 4 days ago

"The men who fought at Bunker Hill were willing to die, and to kill the soldiers who only a few decades before had been their brothers in arms."

Actually, they had been brothers in arms a mere dozen years earlier. (The French and Indian War ended in 1763; the battle of Bunker Hill was in 1775.)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ram49651 wrote 39 weeks 1 day ago

WAMtnhntr for president,Petzal for vice. Seriously folks , le ts not get carried away with exact dates and proper names, but see the article for what it was. Pure pleasure to read and an inspiration for all of us at voting time. Thank You Mr. Petzal for that article,my heart needed to know that there was still a few Americans out there. Keep em comin

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Undercurrent wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

Sadly the ones who should be reading this are to busy tweeting ,instagraming,sexting or any of the other mindlessly entertaining diversions that youth are attracted to,hopefully at some point in the future and exagerated expectations on my part they will pik up a book with real facts and actually educate themselves since our schools are not currently capable of teaching history,or why the seperation of church and state was so important to our founding fathers, a fact currently lost by our current politicians.I trust in God,but currently view all religions as the poverbial tower of babel.

as a side note I'm currently reading Revolutionary Summer. a book about that period in time when our country was birthing itself

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

I took this oath of office on September 9th, 1969:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

The oath I took October 1, 1982 states:

“I, (name), having been appointed an Ensign in the United States Navy, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foriegn and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Since I am no longer in the POTUS's chain of command, he may respectfully kiss my ass if he or anyone else expects compliance with unconstitutional laws, edicts or executive orders! I stand by those oaths and still take my obligation to this great nation very seriously. If that defines a "dangerous fanatic", then so be it....

Thanks David, for the piece.

+22 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Everytime I read an article like this it just reminds me how apathetic we (as a nation) have become.

We complain about politicians all of the time yet in the 2012 election, 90% of the Senators and Congressmen/women that ran for re-election won.

Whose fault is that?

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

“Why, won’t you people compromise, even a little bit?"

Really?

And you didn't break out in hysterical laughter at such a joke why?

You can't order or ship a firearm thru the mail.
You can't own a fully automatic modern weapon.
You have to pay an exorbitant tax to own an antique full auto gun.
You have to pay an exorbitant tax to own a suppressor.
Your gun must have a certain govt approved length. Over a certain length barrel if a rifle, over a different length if a shotgun, and UNDER a certain length if it's a handgun.
You cannot convert a "rifle" into a "handgun".
You can however buy a handgun that is a cut down rifle design as long as it was manufactured as a "Handgun".
You are not allowed to attach a shoulder stock to a "handgun".
You are not allowed to own any explosive device whatsoever.
You must (in most locals) get a permit to exercise your RIGHT to Bear Arms, in some you already cannot even use that Right at all.

And this is just what comes to mind immediately as past "Compromises".

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

SL and others of like mind,
Unfortunately, we live in an era wrapped in relativism and corrupted by situational ethics. There are no black and white cases of right and wrong; only various shades of gray that allow for virtually any action or position; no matter how morally repugnant it would have been viewed in more principled and enlightened times.
Barry Goldwater was one of my first and one of my very few political heroes. I doubt that he would have abandoned the ageless principles he defended so zealously simply because of certain technological advances. He was in fact roundly condemned in 1964 for saying, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Compare that quote to this one: “Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”
Just imagine if Patrick Henry uttered those words today. He would be excoriated by the establishment intelligentsia and so-called mainstream media for expresing fanaticism and encouraging violence, and would undoubtedly have a fat file already stored in the bowels of the Homeland Security Dept. Our current problem is not that people are too fanatical about protecting their liberties; it is that far too many are all too ready to trade their liberties for some false sense of security and comfort as they go, in the words of Robert Bork, slouching down the road toward Gomorrah.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Besides, compromise implies give and take from both sides. Our opponents believe we should give and they should take. They don't offer to put any of their beliefs on the table, so why should we?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Most excellent essay Mr. Petzal.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

If believing the Second Amendment means what it says, and being willing to take any actions necessary to preserve that right makes me a fanatic, then so be it.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Like once said of 75th Rangers, "We did not send them there to talk." Same to be said of compromise with terrorists and anyone negotiating our liberty. A big, fat NO!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

The only problem is that in 2013, I believe we have too many apathetic citizens that are concerned with unimportant things in life (reality TV, other nonsense). The other half are not originally from here and do not know our history (I'm not anti-immigrant by the way).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Keep 'em coming Dave. The elitists are taking more and more of our individual freedoms every day. Mainstream media only parrots the politicians. Someone needs to speak in opposition.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Our legislators apparently never understood what "shall not be infringed" means.

America has accrued some 25.000 laws on the books which have eaten right through the fringe and deep into the core of our 2nd Amendment RIGHT.

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
Barry Goldwater/Cicero

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Well written DEP. I have a question for your classmate. Why are you and many like minded people so willing to relinguish our freedoms? America has often COMPROMISED and the results are highly unsatisfactory. Plea bargains compromise and weaken the criminal justice system allowing way too many dangerous felons opportunities to re-offend. We compromise our borders and now have a serious illegal imigrant problem. We compromise our ethics and values and have a country full of children being raised by single mothers or their grandparents. We compromise capitalism and have developed a dependent culture that promotes a "take care of me" attitude.

Taking a stand for something may not be politically correct in this day of "diversity" and "open mindedness" propaganda but it is still a noble character trait to this old schooler.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

As with all peoples down through history, Americans have refused to learn from that history, have forgotten it, or never learned it in the first place. Ignorance of history is a characteristic of too many Americans. It is the nature of all governments to constantly seek ever more power and morph into tyrannies given the opportunity. That includes our own and is happening right now. Power corrupts ALWAYS! The founders knew this. The upshot of suppressive gun laws will result in ALL weapons being in the hands of police and the military and nobody else. Neither can be trusted EVER! This is perfect recipe for a dictatorship and one that has happened time and again.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from dracphelan wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

The thing is, we compromised from before 1934 all the way to the 1990s. And, the firearms homicide rate did not decline. Suddenly, we started insisting on maintaining and getting back our rights, and the homicide rate started going down.
There is probably no direct correlation between the two. But, it also means that increased gun control does not have an effect on the homicide rate.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Preach it, Mr. Petzal! Liberty. How many people in our society today really know what it means or what it is worth? I support, in every legal way, the restoration of true American Liberty and the Constitutional government that should be our inheritance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Thank you Dave for writing something that stirs my soul, so little said today does, this obsession with ourselves through our mindless desire to be entertained needs to be put aside- we need to think about those who sacrificed everything, and maybe in our own small way do something to make those who came before us proud.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from poetwild wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Unfortunately, the masses have put the Bill of Rights behind the vague purpose of "social justice". All of those rights are at risk in the present day. It's about " Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" but our current ruling class wants to abandon such ideals. Our future is imperiled by our failure to understand our own history. When ignorance overcomes that history, collective cowardice prevails. The Nation needs to consciously reconsider its current course and reaffirm the rights of the individual.

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from NHshtr wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Dave,

Well written. Thanks.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

I see there is at least one anarchist among us! LOL

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from Steward wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

...even if it makes me a fanatic.

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from buckstopper wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Murdering innocent people is no excuse for any cause be it John Brown or 19 Radical Islamist. However, I WILL DEFEND my home and my family, then you can pull my cold dead fingers.....

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Mr. Petzal-

Very well written, outstanding job of getting the point across.

The last paragraph however, leads a person to believe that the second amendment is open to interpretation-( So, if you believe...)-

which it is not-it states very clearly that individuals have the right to form, and belong to militias, to keep and bear arms,and that the right(s) shall not be infringed.

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from firedog11 wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Excellent analysis Dave. The thing is anti freedom forces are as fanatical as we are and in mho respresent the Stalin/Mao/Hitler side of the human race. It always starts with "for the good of the people" and steadily slides down the slippery slope from there. Look at the NSA, the IRS and other government agencies as perfect example. Men are imperfect and our founding fathers knew this. We have forgotten it and probably will have to learn that hard lesson all over again.As was said "they who desire freedom by forsaking liberty shall have neither".

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from deadly wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Well said, Sir!
When diplomacy and "petitions to the government" fail and anarchy or worse is the foe, true warriors are indeed fanatical. No lesser emotion will suffice if they are to risk their very lives to secure freedom. The tree of liberty doesn't thirst for political correctness, lgbt equality and affirmative action.
Mr. Petzal, I salute your eloquence.

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from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Sorry all:
That was (obviously) supposed to be directed to MReeder and not SL.
The vagaries of submitting things on this site sometime result in accidental multiple submissions.

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from 007 wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

I tip my hat and raise my glass to you and this fine piece, DEP. Salute!

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from Ol Krusty wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Great comments, thanks Petzal.

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from Treestand wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Nicely written Mr.Petzal...Freedom is not always Free,Bless them All that Serve and Served.

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from schizuki wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Anti-gunners' definition of compromise is, "We'll ask you for the moon and stars, but we'll settle for the moon."

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from buckhunter wrote 41 weeks 3 days ago

Invigorating read, Mr. Petzal.

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from fox4 wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

I don't have to be stupid just because a fool said it was the right thing to do.

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from Safado wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Very well done Mr. Petzal. I disagree about John Brown deserving to be hung though. I have always viewed him as something of a hero, a passionate man that followed his beliefs! In the times that he lived I'm sure he was viewed as a lunatic. There is power in fanaticism; 19 fanatics changed the lives of a whole country if not the world on September 11, 2001!

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from sticky wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Excellent commentary, Dave. Fanatics are the ones that keep the pot stirred and the debate going.

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from JCB wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

So stirringly, eloquently, and masterfully explained. As TR would say. Bully Dave Bully!

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from PbHead wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Well done Dave.

To Dave, Phil and All: Happy 4th of July. Enjoy your Liberties yea sons and daughters of Freedom!

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from VicF wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

We are fanatics living in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World."

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from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

MReeder:

I'm standing with you, Patrick Henry and Barry Goldwater!

Sadly, there are a few on this BLOG I don't want at my back
under any circumstances...

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from 86Winchester wrote 41 weeks 1 day ago

Eloquent and intelligent as always, thanks Dave.

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from OMuilleoir wrote 41 weeks 20 hours ago

Nicely written. Lest we forget...freedom ain't free.
May God continue to bless our men and women in uniform.

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from nc30-06 wrote 40 weeks 6 days ago

Mr. Garrison's quote should be the sentiment of us all. Great article and thoughts Dave, as usual. Thank you sir.

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from Carl Huber wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Compromise implies a middle ground. Were that line is based purely on your point of view. I have always found phrases amusing Pax Romana [Roman Peace]. Basically submit or we will crucify you.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Our country is being under mind by religious fanatics as we speak.I personally worry more about a religious fanatic with a mortar up his ass than loosing my 2nd amendment rights!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 40 weeks 4 days ago

Obama just said in a speech that the American Revolution was unnecessary and the bloody English had it right. God says to help fellow man and we should not view this great nation through the windows of capitalism. We should not celebrate the founding of our nation, but to look forward. I say to look forward and try his sorry ass for treason.

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from Red Angus wrote 40 weeks 3 days ago

Excellent piece Mr. Petzal.

Does being a conservative, pro-life, Christian supporter of the Constitution make me a radical?

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from Tim Platt wrote 40 weeks 1 day ago

Dave, I think you and most of your fans give fanaticism a good name. It is a high compliment.

These days if you wander too far from the flock of sheep you are labeled a fanatic. I am proud to think and act upon my own beliefs, regardless (not irregardless which is not even a word) of what others think or do or say.

"There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him -- early."
-- Mark Twain, Notebook (1898)

Obviously Jesus was a fanatic...

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from David Pittelli wrote 39 weeks 4 days ago

"The men who fought at Bunker Hill were willing to die, and to kill the soldiers who only a few decades before had been their brothers in arms."

Actually, they had been brothers in arms a mere dozen years earlier. (The French and Indian War ended in 1763; the battle of Bunker Hill was in 1775.)

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from ram49651 wrote 39 weeks 1 day ago

WAMtnhntr for president,Petzal for vice. Seriously folks , le ts not get carried away with exact dates and proper names, but see the article for what it was. Pure pleasure to read and an inspiration for all of us at voting time. Thank You Mr. Petzal for that article,my heart needed to know that there was still a few Americans out there. Keep em comin

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from Undercurrent wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

Sadly the ones who should be reading this are to busy tweeting ,instagraming,sexting or any of the other mindlessly entertaining diversions that youth are attracted to,hopefully at some point in the future and exagerated expectations on my part they will pik up a book with real facts and actually educate themselves since our schools are not currently capable of teaching history,or why the seperation of church and state was so important to our founding fathers, a fact currently lost by our current politicians.I trust in God,but currently view all religions as the poverbial tower of babel.

as a side note I'm currently reading Revolutionary Summer. a book about that period in time when our country was birthing itself

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from SL wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
Barry Goldwater"

Although, I somehow don't think that Barry Goldwater would approve of some of the garbage the conservative side of the political spectrum has been spewing of late either. Goldwater was a gun owner/NRA member, but from what I have read about him, was far from a supporter of the para-military style weaponry that seems to be in vogue in this country these days. It would definitely be interesting to know what his take was on some of the compromises gun owners are being asked to make. I somehow don't think it would be exactly what we hear from posters on this blog, which would NO doubt automatically make him an anti-gunner in most of the posters minds.

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from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

SL:

I'm standing with you, Patrick Henry and Barry Goldwater!

Sadly, there are a few on this BLOG I don't want at my back
under any circumstances...

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from kudukid wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

SL:

I'm standing with you, Patrick Henry and Barry Goldwater!

Sadly, there are a few on this BLOG I don't want at my back
under any circumstances...

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from Safado wrote 41 weeks 2 days ago

Buckstopper,
Millions of innocent slaves died on the way over here so I'll excuse John Brown for the few innocents that were killed as a result of his actions. Some might call them collateral damage; I think the ends justified the means in his case.

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