My Neighbor’s Freedom - My Freedom.



Written by Roland Guthrie
Saratoga, WY  May 10, 2009


When does the definition of slavery actually define a mans’ status?

Does he have to wait until all of his rights have been taken away and he has leg irons and shackles on before he says “I am a slave.”? Certainly, then he is justified in identifying himself as a slave and, of course, no one would argue with him. The answer to the question then, is straight forward, even if it is not simple because of all the various forms of shackles that exist.

A more pertinent question with a more complicated answer exists for our time.

Can we call ourselves free men?

And if we do call ourselves free, on what do we base our opinion? What proofs would we present of our freedom?

Some would say “I’m free because I’m an American” or “I’m free because of the rights guaranteed to me by the Constitution”. Perhaps an even more poorly thought out answer would be “Why, of course, I’m free. Look at all the freedoms we enjoy”.

I think none of those answers would satisfy as credible proof of freedom. However, if one were to say “I am free to own weapons and to defend myself and my beloved country. I am free to do this because of my G-d-given and inalienable rights, and whether or not my government views it as a right, and not a privilege, I and my neighbors avail ourselves of that right.” Then I would say that if, in fact, what this one has said is true, then we truly are free men.


It is at this point that we must acknowledge that if something is true in the temporal sense it must be provable. Let us then consider the case of David Olofson, the National Guard reservist from the state of Wisconsin, who at this moment sets in federal prison because he believed he was free to own a firearm in the United States of America without fear of unjust persecution by the BATF.

He found out very quickly that if you happen to be singled out by this rogue bureaucracy (which is now more well known for its harassment of law abiding citizens than it is for its apprehension of criminals) you can lose any and all of your freedom.

Olofson had loaned an older AR-15 (manufactured by Olympic Arms) to Robert Kiernicki and at some point when Kiernicki was firing the rifle a malfunction occurred and three rounds went down range with a single squeeze of the trigger. The weapon had not been modified in any way. It was simply a malfunction. But it was a malfunction that someone at the range took note of and called the police.

Enter the BATF and the full force of a legal system bent not upon justice, but the implementation of an agenda to disarm and intimidate the American people.

There is a trial and Mr. Olofson is found guilty of transferring a machine gun.

And so Olofson, having gone through a sham trial for a sham crime, is given a very real sentence of thirty months in prison.

Because we still have a thin line separating the republic from a police state, Olofson is granted an appeal.

An appeal to a higher court , but not to a court with a higher standard of justice and so every attempt for redress is thwarted. The court refuses to allow the defendant to introduce evidence and it refuses his expert witness access to the courtroom while the governments’ witness is testifying. The court then carries on the façade when it accepts that Kiernicki believes that when Olafson told him that ” the three round burst position wouldn’t work and the rifle would jam up” what he really means is that the three round burst position does work and that the rifle will fire three rounds and then jam.

As if that weren’t enough to make a complete mockery of this trial the court then attributes an impossible level of expertise to the laymen on the jury concerning the mechanical functioning of the mechanism in a rifle that it took a genius to invent and refuses the defendants request to define certain words whose definitions were absolutely essential to a persons understanding who was not an expert in the context in which those words were being used. How can you have an impartial jury as guaranteed by the sixth amendment if the jury is not fully informed?


When you read about this travesty do you become angry? Are you incredulous? Are you saying, “What!!??”

If you are none of these things, then you are wasting your time reading about Olofson's case.

If, on the other hand, you are angry; if you are, in fact, incensed that this could happen to a fellow citizen and gun owner like yourself, then I encourage you to act in accordance with your conscience and do something about this injustice.

Freedom implies responsibility. Responsibility requires action. And action has always been required to maintain freedom.

But … If we can set back and do nothing while one of our own sets in prison, his wife without her mate and his children fatherless.

If … we can ignore the fact that the people who earn their living from our tax dollars, our public servants, grow more and more arrogant and overbearing.

If … we lack the nobility and honor to view our ease and comfort as less important than our neighbors’ welfare then we don’t have the character to deserve freedom. It is squandered on an ignoble people and the Creator will surely judge us as fit for the chains of servitude.

Ours will not be an easy passage from freedom to slavery even if in our sloth and cowardice we proclaim ourselves unwilling to fight against tyranny and oppression. No, we will still suffer the indignities and the losses that those who are willing to resist risk. But, we will take these losses without the clear conscience and the honor that those who stand up against the oppression of their fellow man can leave as an inheritance to their posterity. Instead of our children honoring us, they will curse us.

Where is our sense of indignation, our sense of shame?

Where is our manhood if we can ignore injustice?

Homer said that men lose half their manhood when they become slaves. Perhaps by our lack of action we show that not only do we lack manhood and risk slavery, but that indeed we are already slaves. Perhaps that is why our corrupt public servants are so bold- they sense in us the weakness that we are unwilling to acknowledge in ourselves.


Is there still hope for us if we can be moved to action, even if not for our neighbor, then for ourselves? If we will not take up Mr. Olofsons cause will we take up our own?

I think not.

For in truth our neighbors cause is our own where it comes to liberty.

Wisconsin is not so far away, Olofson's risk not so different than our own. Corrupt politicians are not less willing to take what belongs to the people here, in our state than they are in Wisconsin.

We must realize that a society, which out of continual neglect of the defense of its freedoms will develop a sort of malaise, a laziness rooted in the weakness of the lack of the natural affection that a responsible citizen feels for himself, his neighbor and his posterity. This malaise makes it difficult to act. Fear can set in, and indecision, which make formidable obstacles to the necessary action which is called for under such circumstances.

Along with these obstacles is the natural tendency of mankind, which our forefathers noted in the Declaration of Independence, to suffer evils, while those evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms of government to which they are accustomed.


Perhaps it would be best to refer the reader at this point to the Declaration of Independence and encourage a thorough reading of that inspired document.

We are now at that point in our time where we are repeating what our forefathers experienced with the tyrant in England.

We are, out of a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, declaring the causes of our dissatisfaction with the tyrannical practices of our governments’ bureaucracies and their minions.

We have been patient and we have repeatedly petitioned by the means available to us for redress of the loss of our freedom.

We have voted, we have written our elected officials, we have organized peacefully, and some of us, like Mr. Olofson and others, have suffered the loss of their freedom.

We are answered only by further injury.

And now, in their arrogance, our politicians have stolen billions of dollars of the taxpayers money to further diminish our freedom by enlarging an already bloated, inefficient government that no longer resembles the government that our forefathers gave us.

How much more will we bear?

If we would not go softly into slavery, each of us that loves freedom must act.

We must get to ourselves the tools of our resistance. It is the duty and exalted privilege of the patriot to provide for the defense of himself, his family, and his country. The ways in which an individual chooses to do this is very much a matter of conscience and prudence, but as in all matters of greatest import they are neglected at great cost.

Do whatever you think best, but do not fail to do something.

t is proper to say that we are well advanced down the path that history shows as leading to ruin. It truly is the time for all good men to act. If we are uncomfortable with acting on behalf of our own freedom, consider how we will feel when we no longer have the freedom to act.


This amounts to a test of the emergency broadcast system. Will we pay attention?

Disaster is no longer impending, it is upon us and each man like Olofson should be proof of this.

The prosecution of innocent men is a way for our oppressors to test us. It allows them to see just exactly how far the citizenry will be pushed before they respond.

Our response is sadly without force and the enemies of our republic grow ever more bold each time we fail to put them back into their place.

The belief or hope that evil people can be reasoned with cannot, and never has been, substantiated. It is a hope based not on precedent, but emotion. It is at best a waste of precious time and at worst, it is a morally negligent dereliction of duty.

In the early history of our country, Paul Revere sounded the alarm by shouting his famous words “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Today, that warning would have to be proceeded by “Wake up! Wake up! Prepare yourselves!”

It is late in the day to be waking and preparing, but we must begin from where we are.

Unfortunately, we are largely without the leadership and organization that is so desperately needed in situations like this.

But again, we must begin from where we are.

Each man of conscience must accept his duty to lead for himself and his immediate circle of influence. To do this successfully, a man must have an understanding of his moral and civil obligations. If this is lacking it can be obtained by reading the Bible and the documents upon which our country was founded. This understanding is the prerequisite to meaningful, constructive action without which our country will sink deeper and deeper into the slavery that socialism is.


We must remember that socialism is not just the nationalizing of banks; it is the socialism/slavery of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Consider that in America there are more people in prison than in any other country in the world. It sounds rather like the gulag system of the former USSR and the BATF acts like the former KGB.

Olofson's case is an example of what it is like to live in a socialist country. His so called crime is not a crime at all according to our constitution. In fact, the only crime committed was by the BATF when they acted in direct violation of that same constitution, but it is Olofson who has been tried and it is Olofson who is in prison. In a constitutional republic where government is of the people, by the people, and for the people there are no victimless crimes. But, in a socialist system you don’t need a victim to have a crime. You only have to break one of the innumerable and ever increasing laws that the bureaucrats levy on the people in the name of what is good for the state.

It begins to appear that the last hope of a subject of a police state is to sit quietly in his cell in recognition of the almighty power of the state. Then, perhaps, he can expect to be released at the end of his sentence.

But can Olofson really count on that? Can any of us? Now that justice has been forced to the back of the bus and what matters most is the agenda of the state?

In Alexander Solzhenitsyns’ Gulag Archipelago it was not unusual for a prisoner to finish his initial sentence only to be given another simply for the convenience of the state.

After all, it is truly not in the interest of a fascist government to have an armed populace. What a thorn in the side to the tyrant is the armed man who considers himself to be the possessor of G-d-given rights.

As long as we are still armed perhaps there is still some other hope for us than sitting quietly in our cells.

Wake up! Wake up!

Hopefully, it is not too late for America to wake up.

If many of us join in the chorus we still have a voice. Olofson’s voice is small as will be yours or mine if we happen to cross the wrong line. We should not expect anyone to speak up for us if we will not speak up for the oppressed when we are still free to do so. If we would retain our freedom we must be the voice of the oppressed.


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