In a small town in Northern Georgia, appropriately enough named after John Nelson a rifle-maker and farmer, recently passed an ordinance similar to that of Kennesaw, Georgia requiring every head of household to own and maintain firearms and ammunition. The “Family Protection Ordinance” was passed unanimously with little opposition within the community. According to City Council member Jackie Jarrett “If you plan on doing us harm, we’ll be armed.” The ordinance does exempt those with mental or physical infirmities, felony convictions or religious or conscientious objections from the requirements. Much like early American militia duty.
The town consists of 626 residents, one police chief who works 8 hours a day and faces the growth of neighboring counties altering the peaceful, low crime neighborhoods they enjoy. After the Sandy Hook massacre, rather than seeking the disarmament of citizens, they reaffirmed their heritage of every able bodied citizen having a duty to participate in ensuring their community was protected from those who would do harm to residents or the community.
Though the ordinance was passed primarily as a deterrent, much like the sign for security systems, with no intentions of enforcing it, most of the households are already armed. Passage of the ordinance was making a statement, which given the current political climate, reached around the world. Media requests came from as far away as Germany for the seemingly novel approach.
In reality, both Kennesaw and Nelson are tapping into the long standing heritage existing right from the beginnings of America. Small communities relied on every citizen to take up their part in defending and protecting their community, including militia duties in the event of insurrection, external attacks and other disasters. Rather than having to wait for the local governing body to dispatch help, citizens were the first responders to help neighbors with fires, criminal attacks or medical emergencies until more specialized help could arrive. It was considered a citizen’s duty and if they could not perform it, they were required to find someone to stand in their stead.
Because children grew up learning these responsibilities, including learning how to shoot, it was a way of life so familiar; it has carried through generations of small town and rural America today. It has carried through these generations because quite simply it works. Important skills of situational awareness, conflict resolution, personal preparedness and defensive capabilities were part and parcel of living often great distances from the local government resources. People learned from both their own experience and that of others to develop the best practices to handle the issues the community faced. To not be prepared risked death.
While academics, political elites and the media ridicule small town and rural residents, they and the children they are raising rely on others to resolve conflicts between their neighbors, rescue them when they fail to prepare for disasters and are often helpless when the power or other public utility goes down. Their answer for these situations is to call 911 and rail against slow, inept or insufficient service according to their standards and discomfort level, having failed to prepare ahead sufficient food, water and contingency plans.
While education and intellectual development is important and even critical for advances in technological, medical, and other demanding disciplines, it is an exercise in hubris to discount the native wisdom in small town and especially very rural areas. The closeness to nature, practice at dealing with hardships such as power outages and living without the conveniences of big city life brings wisdom of its own. More importantly, it develops a hardiness and psychological resilience that has served this country well.
Currently our government, educational and cultural systems are, quite frankly, promoting physical, psychological, and intellectual helplessness. Rather than encouraging independent intellectual development, political agendas and correctness are stifling even the notion of intellectual curiosity. A great example is any scientist daring to question the theories of evolution, climate change or other politically favored, grant dependent theory. Remember, they are all called theories for a reason…if they were proven, we would refer to them as facts. Peer review is not helpful when those peers are more heavily invested in an agenda and money, rather than scientific integrity.
Too many of our schools are not developing a citizen ready to enter adult life capable of managing their finances with a strong work ethic, independence, and self-discipline, Instead of raising productive members of society, we are raising children – producing more and more neurotic and narcissistic government dependent children in adult bodies. This is particularly the case in larger cities, where irrational zero tolerance policies lead to children being suspended for Pop-tarts chewed into the shape of a gun or being told that peanut butter sandwiches are racist.
Rather than being taught how to think and solve problems, too often children and their teachers are told what to think. Questioning what is being done in the name of educational “diversity” and “tolerance” leads to accusations of hatred or intolerance.
Politicians, in an effort to retain power, make promises that if fulfilled, would bankrupt the nation. Some, like Mayor Bloomberg, believe that everyone not in top levels of government is too stupid to know what is good for them. Cass Sunstein, the “Regulatory Czar” has said that since most people can’t understand the complexities of today’s world, government should utilize regulations to “nudge” the population in the direction that the government endorsed experts thinks it should go. The fact that these experts are human and subject to error is overlooked.
Perhaps, as we approach the 238th anniversary of the Battle at Lexington and Concord on April 19th, much like young adults admitting to parents that they weren’t as stupid as the young adult thought, we as a nation will really look at the people, principles, skills and sacrifices that went into forming a nation that is truly like none other through their original words, rather than the politically tainted versions of history serving an agenda.
That small, rural town notion of personal responsibility, preparedness, looking out for neighbors, as well as civic duty, may be far more intelligent than Mayor Bloomberg deciding what everyone needs to eat or drink or determining whether a person is politically connected enough to be allowed to defend themselves. Not to mention having his bureaucrats advising survivors to check on the computer for information on government disaster relief after a hurricane knocks out the power that makes the computer function.
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Juli Adcock began her career in law enforcement with the Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy until she was injured in a riot situation. She transferred to Judicial Security and retired in 1998. Juli pursued career advancement training with an emphasis on officer survival, interviews and interrogation. She worked with a local Rape Crisis Center and in victim’s advocacy, complementing her college course work in psychology. She currently resides in New Mexico and is an instructor with The Appleseed Project (www.appleseedinfo.org). The Appleseed Project is a rifle marksmanship clinic teaching the fundamentals of firing an accurate round downrange every 3 to 4 seconds, out to 500 yards, as well as American history. She has trained military personnel at White Sands Missile Range who are certifying as Squad Designated Marksmen. Juli instructs basic handgun skills to new gun owners in preparation for responsible personal gun ownership. She also writes for The Badge Guys (www.thebadgeguys.com). She can be reached at [email protected] or through Law Enforcement Today