I hope that the armed, militarized citizens of the United States are keeping their eyes peeled on the Ukraine. Putin’s invasion of that sovereign nation is a very important opportunity for our unregulated militias to learn something.
The outcome of this Russian adventurism, if it doesn’t lead to a worldwide war, will either justify or give lie to the doctrines that guide the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, Meal Team Six and the Wyoming Full Gospel Gun and Glee Club.
For years, Second Amendment zealots have been preaching from the rooftops that an armed citizenry is the only protection that Americans have from tyranny. That seductive line has, over the years, proven to be a foolproof recruiting and fundraising tool.
As of this writing, Russian Federation troops are assaulting Kiev with the clear intent of regime change. But the limited news coverage of the invasion is also reporting that a sort of guerrilla movement of armed Ukrainians is seriously slowing Putin’s progress.
Google searches for “molotov cocktail” originating from the Ukraine are going through the roof. It would appear that citizens of the Ukraine welcome outside invasion about as much as Americans would.
If they are able to repel Putin’s invasion and save their country through armed resistance, they will do more for our Second Amendment rights than the U.S. Supreme Court, Romeo Bouchard and Wyoming Gun Owners could ever hope to do.
If armed Ukrainian citizens can preserve their country from a Russian take-over, there will never be a reason for the NRA or other gun groups to write another fundraising letter.
Courageous Ukrainians are demonstrating to the world precisely why our Founders amended our Constitution to protect a citizen’s right to own a smoke pole.
When Madison drafted the Second Amendment, our country was still wet behind the ears, and weak as a newborn. The new United States faced possible invasion by Great Britain from Canada, by Spain from Florida, and by God knows whom from the wild land west of the Alleghenies.
Madison and his friends, remembering how difficult it was to raise, train, lead and pay the Continental Army, decided that the surest means to protect our new country’s borders was to arm citizens’ militias to serve as the sharp point of our spear.
The resistance of armed citizens against a foreign invasion worked wonderfully during WWII when Tito’s Partisans and the Maquisards of the French Resistance, organized and well-regulated militias, played holy hell with the invading Nazis. It is a solid model.
Naturally, we are watching what happens in the Ukraine through that thick fog of war, and truth is often war’s first casualty. We may eventually find out that Putin wears the white hat, and he’s just trying to rid the region of Fascism. That will not change the fact that he invaded a sovereign neighbor to overthrow its leadership, as despots through history have done.
The political and geo-political nuances of the situation really don’t mean squat. What is important is that an armed citizenry is shooting and killing invading soldiers. They are defending their homes with guns.
These Ukrainians are demonstrating to us Americans what guns are really for. Firearms are for defense, and used well and wisely they are the best tool for the job.
Firearms in citizens’ hands are not symbols of enhanced masculinity. They are not intended to be a personal statement or a fashion accessory. I think we miss the point when we sling an AR over our shoulder to go get a pumpkin spice latte’ at Starbucks.
I think we embarrass ourselves and Madison’s memory when we wander around peaceful demonstrations on the capitol steps, or a Rainbow Pride Parade, with camo stretched over our beer bellies while we fondle the trigger guard like we are walking toward the OK Corral with Doc and the Earps.
We Americans could learn a whole lot about responsible gun ownership from the Ukrainians. Guns are not meant for political statements. They are for shooting invaders.
So, don’t let anyone take your guns away. Keep them clean, oiled and handy. Know how and when to use them.
But don’t strap one on to go to Walmart, or you’ll run the risk of being made to look like an idiot by Ukrainians who are fighting for their lives.