Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746
Bullets to Save Ballots Second Prize Winner
By Walter Richards
Walter Richards originally became interested in politics thanks to a high school history teacher who was a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Currently, besides donating to JPFO he also support the 2nd Amendment through Life Memberships in the NRA, the NAHC (North American Hunting Club), and SASS (Single Action Shooting Society). He is a regular monthly contributor to the Marine Heritage Foundation, to honor his father who was an ex-Marine.
It was a fine Sunday afternoon, and the family was sitting on the porchengaged in their after-church ritual. Most all his kids still lived closeenough to come by every week. It was a chance for everybody to catch up onthe week. Although some of his grandkids were still too young toparticipate in the ritual, they seemed to enjoy watching. Every time theold man took the Garand out for cleaning, the family teased him about it.It was part of the ritual.
"Pop, why don't you give that old thing a rest? Get one of these modernHKs."
"Sonny, you just leave me an' ol' Pat alone. We been together a long time,and know each other well. Pat knows I'll always treat her with respect, andI know Pat will handle any situation."
One of his granddaughters, watching the "adults" doing their weeklyfirearms maintenance, asked: "Granpa, why do you call it Pat?"
"Well, Jennie, when the Marines issued her to me in '43, she seemed to wanta name. I tried various ones, but the only one that seemed to fit was Pat -after your grandma. God rest her soul."
"Was that during the Third Revolution?" asked Harry, who was in the sixthgrade - and the families pride. Not just for his grade point average, butbecause he was going to the CMP Nationals to represent the state.
"No, Harry" said grandpa, tussling his hair. "What they're calling theThird Revolution was still a few years off. This was during World War Two,when I served in the Pacific. What are they teaching you about the'Revolution'?"
"Well" said Harry, "teacher said it began in a small town. Athens,Tennessee, I think. But she said it quickly spread nationwide, untilWashington DC was captured."
"I hear that's what most of the books teach, too" said Grandpa, putting hiscleaning rag down. "But I don't see it that way. I think it started inEurope, at the end of the war, with the liberating of the concentrationcamps. Athens, Tennessee was just the first shot on our soil. But I don'tlike calling it a 'Revolution'. That implies organization, and we sureweren't organized. Just lucky, more than anything.
Y'see, all those incidents they teach in those books? The Chicago and NewYork riots, the Alaskan Revolt, even the Louisiana Massacre - none of thosethings were planned. Everything just came to a head at once. After seeinghow our enemies treated so-called 'second class citizens', and how ournation was still treating blacks especially, the veterans thought it wastime for a change. And they tried to change things through voting, butthere was too much corruption and fraud in those days.
Yes, Athens was where the first shots were fired. But it could have beenany number of cities, anywhere in America. Part of the reason for therevolt was the governments' unwillingness to end the corruption and fraud.Another part was that minorities, who had proven their willingness to fightand die for their country, were being treated as second-class citizens."
Susanne, one of his daughter-in-laws, interrupted. "You mean like the blacksoldiers who came back from fighting in Europe, but couldn't eat in thesame restaurants as white soldiers?"
"That was only a part of it," nodded grandpa. "They also didn't get thesame pay or benefits as those white soldiers. Oh, there was a lot ofexamples of discrimination.
In fact, discrimination was the cause of the so-called 'riots' in New York.A group of returning soldiers, right off the ship from England, tried toget a meal in a restaurant. The restaurant would have served the whitesoldiers, but didn't want to let one of the soldiers in - all because ofthe color of his skin. Well, sir. After fighting for liberty overseas, theother soldiers thought it was wrong for their soldier to be treated thatway. They pushed past the manager, and sat down at one of the tables. Themanager called the police, who came and tried to remove the soldier. Namecalling quickly led to fisticuffs, and all the soldiers were thrown injail. Word of what happened quickly reached the docks, and thousands ofreturning sailors and soldiers took to the streets. They began tearing downany discriminatory sign they saw. Signs such as No Blacks Allowed, and NoIrish Need Apply. Even signs on busses telling blacks to give up theirseats to whites. Other than removing those signs, and marching to demandthe release of the soldiers, there wasn't any looting or rioting.
But the mayor, he panicked and called out the militia. Of course, themilitiamen were veterans too. When they heard what happened, they refusedto stop the 'rioters'. In fact, it was the militia who marched on, andcaptured, city hall. It was the militia who rounded up the city council,and ordered the police to release the veterans. When the protesters reachedcity hall, the militia already had the city council in 'protectivecustody'. The council was given the choice of changing the discriminationlaws, or being handed over to the crowd. They wisely choose to do the rightthing. When word spread of what the militia had done, the crowd quicklydispersed.
And though the only damage done was the removal of racist signs, yourtextbooks call it a riot." Grandpa shook his head. "I guess it sounds moreexciting than a march."
"Is that how the Louisiana Massacre started" asked Harry. "Discriminationagainst a soldier?"
"No" answered Grandpa, sadly. "That was something different, and shouldn'thave been necessary. Not in America, anyways.
You see, Louisiana had a long history of political corruption and fraud.But when our boys came back from the war, they had seen what happens whenthe people lose their voice in government. They wanted to change things,put an end to the corruption and fraud. So they found a few honest men, andran them on a veteran's ticket - like they did in Athens, Tennessee - buton the state level. The politicians and police were too corrupt, and triedto steal the election. But this time, the officials knew they couldn't letthe veteran's get organized. So the police had been called out beforehand,and the armory was under guard. The police were given orders to shoot anyresistance. When the first veterans tried to force their way in, to overseethe vote counting, they were shot down and left to die in the street.
With the armory under guard, the crooks thought they had the upper hand.But they forgot two important factors. One, many veterans had brought backfirearms as souvenirs from the war. And two, the Boston Massacre had beenone of the triggers of the First Revolution.
Sporadic shooting between the police and veterans was heard throughout thenight. Fires were started in government buildings where the politicians hadtaken refuge, and the fire department warned not to interfere. Anybodyattempting to flee the buildings was shot. Early the next morning, thearmory guards were found with their throats slit or garrotted. The guardsoutside the government buildings were hanging from nearby trees. I heardfrom one of my friends who was there, that the sights of those corpseshanging from the trees, and what he saw inside those buildings, shook himworse than anything he'd seen in the war. Mostly because he thought suchthings couldn't happen here."
Granpa paused to take a sip of lemonaide.
"Anyway, it was a couple weeks later that the veterans marched onWashington DC to demand changes. The President and Congress wanted to callout the military, as they'd done with the Veteran's March of the World WarOne vets. But this time, the military refused - saying it was a civilmatter instead. So, the police were organized to protect the CapitalBuilding and White House.
I don't think the veterans planned to initiate violence. But theyremembered what happened during the last Veteran's March, and came armed.When Congress and the President refused to meet the veterans'representatives, the veterans set up camp on the Mall. After a few days ofcowering in the Capital and White House, Congress gave the police orders todisperse the encampment 'by any means necessary'.
When the police attacked the encampment in force, it was shortly beforedawn. They succeeded in rousting a few veterans, and burning a few tents,before they were stopped. To cries of Remember Louisiana the veteranscounter-attacked, chasing the police all the way back to the steps of theCapital Building. The police tried to run in to the building, but the doorshad been barred and reinforced from the inside - and the police died there.Luckily for Congress, the march leaders soon showed up and persuaded theveterans to go back to camp - after leaving a guard to ensure members ofCongress didn't slip away.
Well, that was pretty much the end of it. The members of Congress who hadvoted for the police orders were forced to resign, most of them replaced byveterans from their home state. And for the first time, Congress used it'spower to enforce the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. And in1948, we got the 23rd and 24th Amendments - which allowed residents ofWashington DC to vote for President, and outlawed poll taxes."
"Wasn't there another Constitutional change, pop?"
"Yep. Not many people remember that one, though. In 1950, they ratified achange to the 2nd Amendment. Before then, it had read: A well regulatedMilitia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of thepeople to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. In 1950, due to thegrowing number of people saying it meant there wasn't an individual rightto own firearms, and refered to the National Guard, a change was ratified.Today, it's meaning is clear to anyone."
Grandpa looked up from assembling the Garand. He looked at his familygathered around the porch, and then at the neighborhood. Each house seemedto have a flag flying in the summer breeze. He took another sip oflemonaide before he spoke: "Being necessary to a free State, the right ofthe people to keep and bear Arms of their choice, shall not be infringed."
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