In Ancient Greece, the Helots, who were Sparta's serfs, or state-owned slaves, would receive a stipulated number of beatings every year regardless of any wrongdoing, so that they would never forget they were slaves, and to keep them from raising their heads, they were not permitted to own weapons, moreover, it was written that if any of them even exceeded "the strength and vigor proper to a slave's condition, the penalty was death."
In 70 BC, Cicero wrote of a story about a Sicilian Praetor - Lucius Domitius - Who was brought an immense wild boar. Marveling at the size of the beast, he asked who had killed it.
When he was told it was a shepherd, he ordered the man to be summoned before him immediately. The shepherd came eagerly expecting praise and reward. When Domitius asked him how he had slain a beast so huge, the shepherd answered "with a hunting spear."
Domitius immediately ordered the man to be taken away and crucified, because he had violated the edict that no slave was ever to be in possession of a weapon.
In 1588 in Japan, The Emperor Hideyoshi ordered the great Katana-Gari or Sword-Hunt, in order to discourage uprisings. All non-samurai had to give up their weapons. He wanted a distinct line between social classes. Peasants, he proclaimed, were strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords or other types of weapons because they didn't serve the state. He followed this with a promise to melt down all the weapons collected for building a great statue of the Buddha. According to legend, the construction of the statue took 5 years and 50,000 men. They had barely finished the work when the great earthquake of 1596 destroyed the shrine. Enraged, the emperor shot an arrow at the wreckage, exclaiming: “I put you here at great expense, and you can’t even look after your own temple!” ( Today in the Word, MBI, August, 1991, p. 23). Remember that the next time you hear about what the proponents of gun buyback programs want to do...
Now, you know how these stories always end, right? Our Japanese emperor, it seems, developed a reputation as being a very cruel man who got in his shooting practice by picking off random peasants and monks. In the end, like all other tyrants, he wanted to take over the world, but bit off more than he could chew. What did this do by the way? The Japanese people with characteristic ingenuity, began making and using improvised and concealed weapons, spears hidden in walking staffs, the nunchaku - which was nothing more than a rice flail, ironically beating their plowshares into swords, as it were.
In Feudal times, European nobles owned their own arms and armor, but the servant classes, the serfs, were issued weapons when necessary, but then only so they could be useful to the state. The weapon, and the person wielding it, acted only on orders, in obedience to their lord and master, not of their own free will and accord.
The peasants called to fight to defend the state were typically armed with bows and arrows, hammers, axes... in general "tools" adapted as weapons. Bows and arrows could be used for hunting game, hammers for driving spikes and axes for chopping wood…typically only the nobility and knights carried swords. Swords aren't much good for hunting, chopping wood or harvesting grain... a sword is a weapon and nothing else. Swords were expensive and they took training and skill to use effectively. The modern equivalent of the sword would have to be the handgun. In general, the modern defensive handgun is a weapon, not typically suited for hunting, etc...
Remember this when you hear all those Sheeple out there bleating out "Only the police and the military should have weapons." What does that mean? police officers and soldiers are a privileged class? Nobility? Are we peasants? Only they can be trusted with weapons while ordinary citizens can not? Do only they have the right or need for "self defense?" Or is it because their weapons serve the "state," not them as individuals?
Before I continue, when I say "social stratification." do not confuse this with some kind of hokey Marxist drivel. Also, this article is in no way whatsoever meant to be a dig on law enforcement. I am merely criticizing a political system that has worked continuously to reinterpret the written safeguards of liberty set down at our Nation's founding for the purpose of usurping the power from the consent of the governed, and justifying that theft with a myriad of legal codes, enforced by mostly well-intentioned men and women who are "just doing their jobs."
But let us consider: peace officers and soldiers are usually ISSUED weapons, are they not? There is a lot of historical symbolism in being issued a weapon.
When someone gets issued a weapon, it typically comes with a uniform as well as taking some kind of oath or obligation to follow orders, even if those orders conflict with what they personally believe. (See also "The Milgram Experiment.") No one is issued a weapon without swearing an oath relating to its use (thus only "sworn" officers have the power of arrest and can carry arms under color of law). So a weapon is a symbol as much as it is a fighting implement. Anyone carrying an issued weapon or wearing a uniform is also operating under a different social contract than everyone not dressed like them. The Samurai, for example, had their warrior's code of Bushido, but this was just an invention of the Japanese nobility to maintain the moral high ground and keep their highly proficient armed servants under control. A similar system existed in European society, only they called it "Chivalry" from the French Word "Chevalier," which comes from the same root as the word "cavalry." We translate the word "Chevalier" into English as "Knight." From this etymology, we can derive that only those important enough to have and ride horses were knights, thus they had money and were probably nobility - and that meant swords. Understanding our language is important my friends.
In 1934 the National Firearms Act prohibited "sawed off shotguns" and other types of weapons on the lying argument that they were not standard military weapons, therefore didn't serve the state because they were unsuitable for use as a militia weapon. In 1968, however, the Gun Control Act declared that all imported firearms must be "generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes..." as interpreted by the BATFE. Now there's the fox guarding the henhouse, but there it is… in 1934 they decided you couldn't have weapons that were of no use to the state, then in 1968 you couldn't have "weapons," because you didn't serve the state, so you could only have guns that served a "sporting purpose."
The Second Amendment never did and still doesn't have anything to do with hunting or sport shooting, this was at least acknowledged in 1934, but in 1968, this act officially declared that we are all serfs, not worthy to possess anything that's a dedicated "Weapon." No swords, only plowshares.
In 1994 Bill Clinton signed the most restrictive firearms legislation this country has ever seen, fortunately, it had a sunset clause and it expired in 2004. Right now, the country is divided, divided over the opinion that such controls are necessary again to prevent violence such as school mass murders. This illogical argument does not take into account that one of the deadliest school murders, Columbine, occurred in the middle of the Clinton Era "assault weapons" ban.
Add on to that the persistent effort by the United Nations to get the US to sign an arms treaty that could be interpreted to deprive law-abiding citizens of their firearms rights. Like it or not, the right to bear arms, and the ability to do so effectively, is the keystone in freedom's arch.
We, as free citizens, independent citizens, who carry deadly weapons, must find our way in the fog and darkness of demoralization, we must orient and re-moralize ourselves, and we do this by determining and living by our own moral code. That code is the oath we take to ourselves and families to always uphold, and with that oath comes the responsibility to defend it. With that responsibility comes the necessity to be properly equipped, that is ARMED, to defend it.
So, let's sum up a few thousand years of human symbolism:
1. Weapons are symbols as much as implements of fighting
2. When you are disarmed, your social status is that of "slave."
3. Owning a weapon doesn't make you "armed."
4. Being "armed" is a mindset of having a moral code AND the implements to defend it.