Tag Archives: freedom

radical islamic terrorists

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! All Good Citizens To Arms!

By: Chris Warren.

During the early history on the United States, the everyday person existed in a lifestyle of survival. There was no such thing as running to the store for a forgotten item. There was no organized public safety. There were no weekends off. Food, water, shelter, heat, clothing, everything, came out of one’s own hard effort. The settlers had to tap into their confidence, independence, and sense of inner strength, or die. Recent world events perpetrated by radical Islamic terrorists remind us why now is the time for all Americans to reclaim their independent Colonial spirit and personally stand up to the threats that seek to destroy the freedom the United States has sacrificed for over the two-plus centuries of our history.

Much has been said by world leaders about what can, should, or will be done about radical Islamic terrorists (note: unlike Barak Obama and the entire Democratic party, I will use this exact term throughout this article). The radical Islamic terrorists are not “contained.” They are on the move and expanding beyond the Middle East. Next stop: The United States. What are you, good citizen, going to do about it?

That was not a rhetorical question. I’m being totally serious: What are you, good citizen, personally going to do about radical Islamic terrorists? If the answer is some variation of “I can’t personally do anything,” or “Let the government deal with it,” then you are are unwittingly complicit in helping the radical Islamic terrorists achieve their goal and sadly disconnected from the spirit of the Colonial freedom fighters who birthed this great nation.

You are either armed or you are a soft target. It really is that black and white.

The most important and meaningful personal response to radical Islamic terrorists is having a way to defend yourself and by extension your country. You can’t (and shouldn’t) totally avoid “soft targets” such as shopping malls and sporting events. And there is no real defense against a suicide bomber or a maniac who takes over an airliner. But that is a weak reason to do nothing. There are measures anyone can take to have an advantage over most threats and not be a soft target yourself.

Being a hardened target involves carrying a gun at all times and knowing how to use it. The anti-gun American left is entitled to their old tropes and I’ll gladly shut up and permit them to prattle uninterrupted on the condition that they openly admit they are ok with being a walking soft target and they are ok with the thought of having absolutely zero options except luck if radical Islamic terrorists (or gang bangers, or any other form of social excrement) come to kill them and their families. I fully respect the anti-gun liberals’ decision to call 911 and sit quietly in their “gun free zone” piousness while they wait their turn to have their brains splattered on the wall. I will be busy shooting back. You are either armed or you are a soft target. It really is that black and white.

In Colonial times everyone was armed because there was a legitimate need to be. The frontier was a place were the perils were numerous and unpredictable; being caught without a means of defense was often fatal. Imminent mortal danger may seem far removed from modern life in the USA, and that’s exactly what the radical Islamic terrorists want you to think. The need to carry a gun is still as real as it was over two centuries ago. Political and military solutions are beyond the practical control of the average citizen, but there is quite a bit that we can do as individuals. The Second Amendment is the great equalizer.

All good Americans need to embrace the spirit of the Minuteman: Prepare yourselves and answer the urgent call to arms in defense of your own liberty. Do not wait until the radical Islamic terrorists are at your door and then hope others will save you. Protecting freedom is not the sole domain of the police, the military, or the government. It is your heritage. It is your personal duty.

Editor’s note: If you enjoyed this article, then you may also like my other Second Amendment related post, We Walk Quietly Among You

 

We Walk Quietly Among You.

By: Chris Warren

A relative at the same family gathering that inspired my May 9 article was quite surprised when I mentioned in passing that I own numerous guns and legally carry a loaded & functioning firearm with me pretty much at all times. They were a little taken aback that low key, never-calls-attention-to-himself cousin Chris was in fact a heavily armed gun nut. “Yes, it’s true,” I explained with the deliberate intention of making it sound as normal as tying one’s shoes. “I pack heat.”

The rest of the story is that my affinity for firearms is not particularly atypical. There are millions of law-abiding Americans just like me who, for many reasons, go about their ordinary lives carrying a gun along with their keys and cellphones. In gun lingo it is referred to as conceal carry because in most areas the law requires that the weapon not be readily visible. There is an entire niche market of guns, holsters, belts, cases, and even professional training specifically designed for conceal carry.

As I run errands to the store, the bank, car wash, all the usual everyday activities, no one around me other than friends and family know I am carrying. For sure, there are people who would be very upset to know they are standing in line next to a guy with a gun. They are entitled to their opinions. I’m not interested in trying to change their mind. But at the same time, they will not change mine. My Second Amendment freedom and personal security is more important than a stranger’s sensibilities. To put it more abruptly, I don’t care about their feelings.guns-2

I understand why influencing public opinion and lobbying to preserve America’s firearms heritage is necessary; responding to every individual attack like-for-like is not. Sometimes the best response is none at all. We have a Constitution and several court cases that say private citizens have a right to bear arms. Why continue arguing when you’ve already won? I’ve only rarely been personally confronted by someone who feels I owe them an explanation as to why I carry, but when the moment comes I have a simple answer all ready to go: It’s none of their business. My non-answer answer is never satisfactory to them, but that’s the most they’ll get out of me. I wasn’t bluffing when I said that I don’t care about their feelings.

I flatly refuse to justify myself to anyone who thinks the best way to solve the “gun problem” is to harass lawful people who are not causing the problem, and I encourage all 2A supporters, whether they own guns or not, to join me in giving liberals the silent treatment they so rightly deserve, up to and including never admitting on any survey that you own firearms.  Engaging these clowns is the same as conceding that they might have a valid point.

The reason gun owners are so recalcitrant to compromise is because they understand that no matter how reasonable anti-gun activists sound when benignly speaking of “respecting the Second Amendment,” the ultimate goal of the gun control movement is a total ban on all firearms. I let the National Rifle Association and similar organizations I am happy to associate with do most of the talking for me. There are thousands of illegally armed violent criminals running around causing death and mayhem; it’s completely lost on me why anti-gun activists think taking my weapons away from me is going to alleviate that. They are lying when they say all they want are “common sense gun laws,” and “to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.” They want to take all firearms away, including mine.

My cousin was right. I am consciously understated and avoid calling attention to myself. I just want to be left alone; it’s a big part of my personality. One of the side benefits of conceal carry is something I call “the gun nuts’ revenge”: Millions of peaceful, non-violent, responsible armed citizens walk quietly and unnoticed in the stores, malls, parks, everywhere, feeling somewhat amused that the anti-gun liberal flakes have no idea just how close to them we really are.

guns

Jeep-Logo

The Legend of Super Jeep.

by: Chris Warren

Almost everyone has owned a favorite car, usually long ago, that had a certain “it” factor. The car probably came as a used junker but delivered more fun per mile than can possibly be remembered. First dates, road trips, late night pizza runs, breaking down at the worst possible time…it was a car that may not have seemed like much at the time but years later still makes us smile every time we think of it. We absolutely loved that car and will never forget it.

Super Jeep,” as my friends jokingly dubbed it, was a 1979 CJ that was at least as much rust as it was metal and the small V8 with 3-speed stick gave only marginally better gas milage than a loaded cement truck. But it ran well, had low miles, and was a Jeep. I got it in the spring, removed the doors and the top and drove it that way for most of the summer. It was epic cool. Me and my friends had a blast; it was the kind of fun that can only happen when you’re nineteen and it’s warm out and you’re laughing your ass off tearing around town with your friends.

A lot has been said about the allure of cars. It seems to be mostly an “American thing”. You don’t hear too many stories about the French or Japanese or Mexicans glowingly reminiscing about their cars. For Americans, the cultural attraction of the automobile goes back to our very first days as a country. We wanted to expand, to travel, to discover what’s over the next hill. We wanted to be there, even when we weren’t sure where “there” was. Horses and later trains filled the need for over a century. When cars became affordable to the average person, it freed us from the limitations of horses and the schedules of trains. There’s no substitute: Cars just ooze freedom in a way that nothing else can.

Fourth of July weekend rolls around; my friend Rich and his brother invite me along to a three day music festival in northern Illinois. We drove separately and it was a long, hot ride for my cranky old CJ. I got there ok but getting home was going to be an issue. There it was, sitting broken and lifeless amongst all the noise and excitement and rock and roll. Some freaky headbanger dude in a tow truck comes along, pokes around under the hood and tells me I need a new ignition coil. The good news is it’s an easy fix. The bad news is I’m a long way from home in a strange town on a holiday weekend and have no idea where I’m going to find a coil for a ’79 Jeep.

Rich and I missed several hours of the festival driving around hoping to find an auto parts store that was open, we even drifed up into Wisconsin. Desperate and having no other options, we stopped at a Farm & Fleet and took a chance on a coil that was for a John Deere tractor. I connected it with alligator clips. The engine started & ran perfectly! When I got home I didn’t even bother installing the proper part. The jeep ran on that John Deere coil for the rest of the time I owned it.

Car adoration is one of the few things that binds generations. Look around any car show and it’s easy to spot grandfathers who are just as excited as the children to be there checking out the kickass rides. And I’ll bet every one of those grandpas could remember every detail of that car as if it were still sitting in his driveway. As the little kids grow into teenagers, they dream of the day when they too will experience the freedom of sitting solo behind the wheel. Having mom or dad lug them around will never again be acceptable. And even though a dad may be nervous about giving the keys to his kids, inside he reluctantly if not totally understands. Even an overprotective parent knows the call of the road cannot be resisted forever.

Winter and heavy snow do not present much of a challenge for a vehicle originally designed for the Army to fight wars with; neither does a young male’s sense of invincibility. Mixed together, we end up with with three college guys deciding, literally out of no where in the middle of the night and for no particular reason, to hop in the jeep and go on a roadtrip to Rockford, Illinois. Rockford was not a terrible town but there was nothing so awesome about it that it’s worth driving through the dark in a snow storm to go there just for the hell of it.

So there we were: Me, my roommate Mike, and Skippy (whose real name was Tom) truckin’ north on highway 51 with the snow howling all around us. The poorly fitting removable doors on the jeep let a lot of cold air blow through. We were freezing our asses off and the wimpy heater just barely kept the windows clear. As we exited the highway we get a bad vibe about the neighborhood so I call on my CB radio and try to get some information as to where we could gas up and find something fun to do.

Surprisingly, some local answers back! When I told him where we were, all he said was, “you nice white college kids are gonna get yer asses kicked over there!” We took the hint, turned around and headed right back for the highway. As we left the area, I overheard the local CBer tell another, “some boys came up from the university and they have no idea what the shit they are doing.” We ended up eating greasy truck stop slime somewhere on Illinois 20.

That was the denouement of our big idea. We rolled back onto campus just as it was getting light out. My jeep was a mess and we were barely awake. By all objective judgement the whole deal was a disaster. But here I am, decades later, still smiling while I recount this story. It would not be the same had we taken Skippy’s car. I might not have remembered it at all.

All cars, even the cool ones, have a finite lifespan and sooner or later the end comes. I finished school and was finally working a solid job; still driving the jeep. It had duct tape and nylon ties all over it, and I had removed the spare because the body was so rusty it would not support the weight of a tire hanging off its rear end. One day the radiator springs a leak (the second time). It was just another in a long parade of constant fixes. My no-nonsense dad looks at the jeep, looks at me, and says, “You know, you have a real job now. Maybe you should get rid of this thing and buy something decent.” I knew he was right, and within a month or so the jeep was traded in for a truck.

But that was not the end of Super Jeep. There is no “end.” For over twenty years I pined for that old junk every time I saw another Jeep going down the street. Today the sprit is reborn, and it’s as strong as ever: Last summer I bought myself a brand-new Jeep Wrangler. Rag top. Stick shift. No frills. I badly missed my old jeep and wanted to recreate the feel-good vibe. I named it “Super Jeep 2.0” in honor of the original. Wow! All the cool is still there! Over time, Jeeps have not lost a thing and have retained every bit of the quirky fun personality I remember. Only many years later does it sink in how much that old wreck meant to me and the impression it made. So many miles, so many good times revolved around a rusty jeep with the driver’s seat not fully bolted down and water leaking from under the dash every time it rained. None of it could have happened with any other vehicle. For me it was and always will be that car.

(this article was originally published on March 22, 2014 and  was revised/edited on July 14, 2016)