Monday, November 28, 2011

The Power of the Gun


A weapon is a tool. Like any tool, it can be used for good or evil. Men and nations use tools to further their goals.

We know from history that evil wins when good can not prevail. We also know that when all else fails, nations will resort to war. War is won or lost by one thing; a young man standing on a piece of ground holding a weapon.

Rock, club, hatchet, axe, arrow, sword, or gun; it does not matter. Who that young man works for, and why, is of all importance.

One of the best descriptions of this point was recently made by General Peter van Uhm, Royal Netherlands Army.

The Dutch have one personality aspect that I enjoy; they are direct and to the point. The Dutch don't get shocked very often - but General van Uhm knew how to get their attention.
Today Van Uhm starts off with stating we all have our instruments for creating a better world: for a writer it is his/her pen, for a doctor it is his/her microscope etc. The public was slightly shocked when Van Uhm showed his instrument on stage: his gun!
No small gesture. The Dutch gun laws are about as bad, if not worse, than the British.
The uneasiness of the public is a good thing according to Van Uhm, we are not used to guns being around us, unlike in many other countries.
I always managed to stump my Dutch friends when I offer an alternative history of the below.
The personal story about why Van Uhm has chosen the gun follows. His father fought the Nazis in Nijmegen during World War II. In a critical battle, his father wasn’t able to reach the other side of the river bank and therefore couldn’t stop the Germans. His instrument, the gun, the only thing standing in between good and evil, failed him and his mission, leading to frustration for the rest of his life. Van Uhm chose the gun to stop those who do evil, to protect the vulnerable, to defend democratic values.
The Dutch fought an 80-year civil war to earn their independence from the Spanish crown. Though they fought hard where they could - the Germans easily took them in WWII. If every Dutch household had a gun, would the Germans have been able to roll as they did - when every building could have had a sniper in a window?

If the Dutch had gun laws closer to the Swiss, Finns, or even the Americans - would they have fallen as fast as they did?
“The gun may be one of the most important instruments of peace and stability that we have in this world.”
Yes, as long as it is in the right hands.

Well, the Dutch are what they are - at least they understand the power of the gun in the right hands.

As a personal note; you may want to read this about his son. I do not know General Uhm, but we do share a mutual friends who speaks very highly of him. I hope he gets more opportunities to give this speech. As Europe continues to disarm to rediculous levels - more need to hear this.
UPDATEL The Junior Sailor of the Year at SHAPE has the video. Watching the whole thing, you get much better depth on the topic from a very good man.

31 comments:

ewok40k said...

remember, no amount of guns could stop Luftwaffe from levelling Rotterdam...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
sniper in every house? we level entire city, and move on to the next.
still I'd love to have the US freedom to go to the range on a free day and plonk targets with a nice rifle :)
though I'd stop from keeping gun at home probably - too much risk of easy way to suicide when depressed, which happens to me occassionally

UltimaRatioRegis said...

"<span> we level entire city, and move on to the next."</span>

Not very effective in a counter-insurgency fight.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Any government that believes its law-abiding citizens suddenly become latent violent criminals once they are armed is an oppressive government which stifles the liberty of its people. 

Here's to protection of life, home, and hearth, and to the last redress of citizens against their government. 

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

"... that, when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

AW1 Tim said...

The lesson the Soviets & germans didn't learn was that when you rubble an area, you make it a more defensible position.

  The US Military has had a policy of, whenever possible, bypassing built-up areas and cutting them off from supply.  Weaken the position through loss of food, water, fuel, medical support, etc.  

   We train for urban combat, and we can do it very well when needed, but if we can bypass such a position, then that seems to me to be the best tactical policy.

AW1 Tim said...

  To paraphrase Henry Clay,  "A man with a rifle is a citizen. A man without one is a subject."

BUTCH said...

If you weren't already on Janet Incompetano's watch list before, you will be now.

A limited government that strictly obeys its limits in a Constitution?  That's just crazy talk.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I was on Napolityrant's list as soon as I came back from Iraq.  You know, war veteran who believes in limited government and the second amendment. 

Old Farter said...

Red Dawn

Byron said...

Ewok, ask the citizens of Fallujah how that worked out for them.

ewok40k said...

But it worked in forcing the Dutch into capitulation in 1940. When faced with repeat of Rotterdam at Utrecht, Dutch government capitulated.
German blitzkrieg usually bypassed the cities to take them later, only when "you know who" intervened to take city at all costs results were like, erm, Stalingrad.
Soviets generally didnt care about own losses much so they remained with tanks storming the city thru Berlin 45, Budapest 56 to Grozny 95. Not that it did help much those who opposed them in the long run...

BUTCH said...

I'm on the list too, brudda.

Anonymous said...

Greetings:

One of my favorite Platoon Sergeant's parables had to do with a statue, that was located at the Infantry Training Center at Fort Dix, New Jersey, of a young soldier wearing his rucksack and carrying his bayoneted weapon. . He liked to say, "The name of that statue, gentlemen, is "The Ultimate Weapon". In this business you don't have nothing until some 20-year old with a long rifle tells you you have it."

Of course, you all realize that the "gentlemen" part of the quote isn't entirely accurate.

Anonymous said...

ewok, the Dutch collapsed in 4 days exactly BECAUSE they had 'no amount of guns'. Out of a population of 10,000,000 at the time they mobilized, what, 350,000 troops?

No tanks either. They did have a staggering total of 8 (eight) armored cars.

Had they armed - had ALL western countries armed - as they should, Hitler wouldn't have attacked.

Being lax on defense kills. On a grand scale.

Outlaw Mike said...

Guest was me, Outlaw Mike from Belgistan.

As a sidenote... the one field where the Dutch had a degree of success was in aerial defense. They had on hand fairly good planes, but far too little. And more importantly, they had real good machineguns in triple mounts, often motorized, for AA.

It was this AA that brought down - I would have to look it up cause I wouldn't even dare to say anymore it was a couple of hundreds - a huge chunk of nazi transport planes, Ju52's. In fact, the Dutch AA more or less crippled the german air transport arm to such an extent that it jeopardized german paratroop deployment over the UK. The effects were still felt in Crete, one year later.

So... what if the entire Dutch military apparatus had been brought up to the Dutch AA standard?

Being lax on defense KILLS .... on a grand scale. And SCHTOOPID incompetent politif*ckians commit the same mistake again... and again... and again.

Blue said...

The only problem with guns in the United States, as I see it, is that too many persons believe that they need guns to protect themselves from their fellow citizens (admittedly, the criminal element of society); even heavy firearms should be safe in responsible hands. Guns are for sport/skill, defense against animals, and defense against invaders (unlikely though they may be today). When an American begins to keep or carry a weapon to protect against other Americans, something has gone seriously awry.

I think that that is the key difference between the experience of guns in the United States and the much more peaceful - yet heavily armed - experience of the Swiss.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Blue,

Nope.  Our Second Amendment rights are our last redress against tyranny of Government, as our Founding Fathers intended. 

I keep and carry a weapon.  Whether it is against a fellow citizen or not is immaterial.  Vermonters are heavily armed.  Anyone other than criminals in DC are not.  Take a look at thirty years of gun murders per capita. 

Simply, law-abiding citizens do not instigate nor are they the cause of violence.  We are a hedge against that violence.  Whether that is a "Swiss" model is immaterial.

ewok40k said...

French had more tanks, and better ones than Germans... compare B-1 with Pz II that was still the core of the Panzerwaffe - it was the brilliant new way of combined arms that broke the allies in 1940.German blitzkrieg was not only about tanks, it was combination of motorised infantry and artillery, with air force for CAS, especially Stukas, coordinated by radio and commanded by aggressive commanders with large autonomy (Rommel!).
By 1945 almost everyone in the Eastern Europe had gun - and it didn't stop Soviets from claiming the region. Because they had tanks, artillery and enough boots on the ground to swamp rebellious terrains. Oh and complete disdain for human rights helped too. Take from the street every male 15-25 and send to Siberia and you have crushed most uprisings in the cradle. In Hungary entire military supply of rifles was distributed to population in 1956 and it didnt help.  Soviets also didnt worry about the timetables - last Ukrainian and Batic states guerillas were exterminated well into 1950s, US media would have declared total failure much earlier. And in extremis they resettled entire nations like Chechens or Crimean Tartars.
As long as a determined regime keeps control of heavy weapons, and its army stays loyal, it is immovable. Compare cases for Syria and Libya - and in Libya Quaddaffi was faring just as well until somebody started destroying his big toys from the air...

ewok40k said...

Gone to similar conclusion - US doesnt have problem with guns, it has problem with criminals, and even getting most populated penitentiary system in the western world isn't helping... I blame the "get rich quick or die trying" mentality, most blatant in the "guns drugs and rap music" culture that replaced "sex, drugs rock and roll". Oh and abject failure of educational system too.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Goes a lot deeper to that Ewok.   With 12 million illegal aliens in this country, many hundreds of thousands of whom populate the most violent drug gangs in nearly all US cities, the failure isn't really one of the US education system. 

As for US born criminals, the vast majority of which are in our inner cities, you are seeing the residue of the War on Poverty.  A third generation of people are on the dole, with little reason to respect hard work, private property, their elders, education, or even human life.   The War on Poverty had a huge hand in destroying the family structure and the work ethic of millions upon millions of Americans, and instead made them dependent on the Government. 

Do I have guns to protect me from those people who respect nothing?  The law and my life included?  Damned right.  As is the right I have in this republic.

Outlaw Mike said...

The French had the numbers, that's true. Somewhere prior to 1940 Churchill said 'thank God there's a French army'. But they had neither the spirit nor the doctrine.

As for the rest of western Europe with the exception of my country, which mobilized 650,000 out of a pop. of 6,000,000, they had all scandalously neglected their defenses. It was an outright scandal that Britain could field only about 250,000 - 300,000 troops when the Germans overran western Europe with several millions. All this while there had been ominous and obvious signs since at least 1935 that Hitler's Germany wanted war.

And I don't know what British kids get for history lessons since at least 4 decades. Just prior to the Falkland War a similar cut in defenses was underway. It was part of the reason the Argentines attacked! Right now it's just the same.

ewok40k said...

Brits never truly invested into massive land forces, not surprisingly putting the bulk of investment into the Navy. Note that in 1939 US army was like , 300.000 or so too... 
re: Falklands, I wonder if Argentinians are going to take the window of opportunity between retired - and now sold -Harriers and arrival of the F-35...

DM05 said...

An armed society makes for a gentlemanly society. URR is spot on....2nd Amendment wasn't some afterthought. Although I let the concealed carry permit lapse, only for time and expense to renew, the stainless 9MM in the nightstand let's me sleep much better @ night, and is something that the head of household should take seriously when thinking about protecting their own. And lastly, some of those American's aren't welcome in my house in the middle of the night.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I sure wouldn't go about my daily business without the HK USP45F that I wear on my belt.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

It doesn't help, URR, that the gangs are to be treated more lightly than they should, because they are Hispanic, and valuable voters for the Democrats, leaving the majority Hispanics, who just want to be left alone, just like the rest of us, the victims of thier own feral youth, and the Democrats who coddle them.

Anonymous said...

AFG or Somalia hardly makes gentlemanly society...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

In many instances AFG or Somalia hardly make a society one way or the other. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Blue, 

I disagree.  I think our history shows we ALWAYS have carried firearms to protect us, from Lexington, to the Oregon Trail, to the Riots in LA... I see no distinction.  I also see no cause for worry or alarm.  I carry concealed, I won everything from a 10/22, 12 Gauge, to AR15.  WHY?  Because I am an American.  My Family, My Property and My Life are not things I will or should place into the hands of government to protect.  They are MY responsibility.

I also think EVERY American should be armed and trained.  It is the final check and balance against a tyrannical government.  It is what ensures Liberty.

As for the Swiss.. nice little example but grossly misstated.. the Swiss while true equip their citizens with rifles for a militia, they DO NOT give them Ammuntion for the rifle...

Outlaw Mike said...

Well, there were recently some murmurs from Kirchner's wife, now Argentinian president. People in America and the US don't understand how much these islands seem to mean for the Argentines.

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