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By Peregrine

When "Peregrine" submitted his earlier article, "I will most probably die here sometime this year..." I challenged him to answer the question, "Yeah, but how are you going to prepare for the day when 'they' come to your door?" Many of us believe the future holds danger from our own government. The onrush of Y2K (whether or not the famous bug will a catastrophe in itself) has pushed possibilities of martial law, riots and firearms confiscation into the foreground of many freedom-lovers' thinking. Maybe our fears will never come to pass. But what if they do? Aside from a few 3:00 a.m. terrors or fantasies of Heroic Death, most of us don't think about what we'd really do on "that day," or how we might prepare ourselves for times the most fearful eventuality.

Peregrine swiftly answered my challenge, commenting, "This feels akin to sticking ones head up above a rock when you were reasonably comfortable just staying behind it. I can't shake the feeling that the government is out there somewhere 'drawing a bead.' Yet, when we ask 'Why do it?' the answer is 'Basically, it really pisses me off that I feel like this here in America.' How the hell did saying what you think and believe get to this point?"

You are going to die.

Take a moment to really think about that statement. Contemplate it, consider it, let it really sink in. Say it: "I am going to die." There is a test on this later, and there is no makeup exam. Interestingly, you get to grade yourself. Unfortunately the course is pass/fail. Are you with me so far?

Given that you are going to die, for what are you willing to die? Or perhaps more succinctly put: for what person, principle, event, condition or set of circumstances are you willing to risk dying now?

Let that percolate on the back burner for a little while. It may be the hardest question I know, and I don't know the complete answer to it for myself even though I have given it very careful thought and reached conclusions in some areas of my life. I continue to evaluate and consider as situations change and evolve. I know this -- I don't want to be "taken by surprise" and let events just overwhelm me if at all possible. I like being in control of my own destiny. It also terrifies me to think of lying on my deathbed at some final date with tears streaming from my very soul saying "If only I had ____ (fill in the blank here)," because it's too damn late then to change it. Like I said, there is a test.

Some decisions will be easier than others, some well thought out, some total surprises. I strive to reduce the number of total surprises by trying to think through scenarios. And for all that effort, some are impossible. Not so you say? I give you total social breakdown and you safely ensconced with your family in your provisioned retreat, and a near naked seven-year-old girl holding her starving five-month old brother at your door. And if that is easy for you, change the numbers to four or six or eight or more.

Some are merely impossibly difficult, such as those where you have to draw a line in the sand and say "this far, and not one step further." And here is a very harsh dose of reality: if that line involves active resistance to government agents, you are going to die. Simply, you do not have the resources to successfully defeat the well-equipped and trained personnel which the government can and will field against you. So, if you really do decide to make a stand and you won't surrender, you are going to die. Note that the "you" here is communal in scope -- your enclave is going to die. These are truly life and death matters. The good news is you may get the chance to take some of the bastards with you, the really bad news is you have to take human life to do that. Have you ever really thought about taking a human life? It is a decision that, once taken, you can never walk away from. You can never get back to where you were. When you do that, you have placed a permanent line in the sand that YOU cannot cross.

How do you make a decision like that? I wish I knew a simple answer to that question. I do know that mind set is critical to action. And mind set isn't just responding to a casual question "Oh, I'll do this" or "I'll do that." Mind set is at a more basic level, that of ingrained response. It is more than mere reaction or predisposition. Establishing mind set will most likely entail training and practice. There are some areas where I have reached mind set and I feel comfortable, though I may well throw up after the event occurs. Forcible entry of my home when I am present is going to result in gunfire with intent to kill. Here is what I mean by mind set in that instance: literally years of thought on the matter and its consequences, extensive research, formal training, daily practice, and being armed 100 percent of the time. I will not be dependant on the whim or "good graces" of armed criminals if I have the means to resist, and I do have the means and will to resist. And yes, I said "daily" practice. I have my own shooting ranges and I use them daily.

That decision is much more complex than it may appear. It means I have a major problem in the event of a "no knock" warrant; I take solace in the fact that in that case it will be one form or another of "thought" police who come, and I abhor "thought" police. It means that on the day when "they come to take all the guns away forever" I'm going to die. I cannot and will not give up my weapons, nor will I bury and recover them. I don't understand the burial thing anyway -- you can't use them if they're in the ground, and you're going to get caught with them if they are where you can use them. If you do use them, say to kill an intruder, how are you going to explain the noise and the body with the hole in it? If you don't explain it, what are you going to do with the body? None of which even touches on the fact that I have the right and responsibility to defend myself. And I still have one very faint glimmer of hope for America: if enough of us refuse to give up our guns and die fighting for that belief, it is at least possible that the bloodshed will so sicken those who inflict it on us that they will stop, and in stopping awaken to what our nation has become and change it back to what it once was or could be. But then, I always was a dreamer.

Like I said, its a complex decision. Oh, and there will be a test. Welcome to reality.

(c) 1999 by Peregrine

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22 February, 1999