We mentioned last night that Second Amendment activists were planning to converge on the state capitol in Olympia this morning, with the intention of defying the state’s new administrative ban on openly carried firearms in the viewing galleries of the legislature. Patriots from all over showed up on schedule — see the WRSA report for photos and videos of the event.
The state authorities tried an interesting tactic: they locked the doors and closed off the viewing galleries, which are normally open to the public seven days a week. It was a clever stratagem — by keeping out the open-carry folks, they avoided having to arrest them, and thereby postponed the inevitable confrontation to another day.
Below is the text of the speech given by Mike Vanderboegh this morning in Olympia on the portico of the state capitol. It was originally published on his blog:
My name is Mike Vanderboegh and I have come here to these wintry grounds from the much warmer great free state of Alabama to stand beside you as I did in December in your resistance to the growing tyranny in this state — and it IS a tyranny, there is no other word that applies so well. From I-594, Michael Bloomberg’s billionaire-bought, demonic bastard child, to the new anti-firearm laws being promulgated by collectivist politicians behind these walls, to the latest diktat about firearms in the House and Senate galleries — it IS a tyranny that has a voracious appetite for your traditional liberty, for your property, an appetite that comes with the state-sanctioned threat of violence to your lives if you do not comply.
As I noted when I spoke on the steps of the Connecticut state house almost two years ago now — it is an established principle of American jurisprudence that an unconstitutional law is void — it has no effect. But I also noted that the tricky part for those of us who wish to maintain our liberties is how to make that point when all the levers of power in a state — the executive, the legislative and the judicial — are in the hands of people whom the Founders would call “domestic enemies of the Constitution.” And as I don’t need to tell you, there are people behind THESE walls who fit that description.
For we are divided today — as the Founders were themselves divided from their fellow countrymen — along the stark lines of the answer to the fundamental question: Does the government serve the people or do the people serve the government? It is a simple question. It is the most basic of questions. And the answer is either one or the other. It cannot be both. It cannot be compromised. Who serves whom? That is what we are here today, in some small part, to discover.
Other speakers will give you details of what led to this seemingly silly and inconsequential argument over whether citizens can bear firearms in the galleries of the House and Senate. They will explain why it is neither silly nor inconsequential. They will tell you how this began last summer with public insults and threats on the part of the leadership of the WA state legislature. They will explain how this move on the part of these “authorities” is contrary to law and to past practice of long-standing and how it is an offense to liberty. But I would like to explain why I’M here. Why I continue to stand by the uncompromising firearm-owning citizens of Washington state. Why indeed I have done the same thing in other states from Connecticut to Colorado.
How DO we maintain our liberties when all the levers of power are in the hands of the domestic enemies of the Constitution? Well. I’ll tell you. WE SIMPLY REFUSE TO BE COMPLICIT IN OUR OWN VICTIMIZATION.
The citizens of Connecticut answered that question with armed civil disobedience. They simply refused to obey the law demanding that they register their semi-automatic rifles and even, if you can believe the absurdity of it, that they register the standard capacity magazines that those rifles use — and there were and are literally MILLIONS of them. They accepted the fact that their own state had just declared them Class D felons — They accepted it and then they quietly and politely — with their silent non-compliance — told the Connecticut politicians to TAKE THEIR LAW AND GO STRAIGHT TO HELL!
Over one hundred thousand citizens of CT have been staring at their state authorities — essentially over the muzzles of those proscribed rifles — and daring the state to come and take them. They have nullified that law by their resistance for two years now . . . AND THE POLITICIANS DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO DEFECATE OR GO BLIND. Despite their promises to the citizen disarmament lobbyists that they pandered to they are not enforcing the law BECAUSE THEY ARE FRIGHTENED TO DEATH OF WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF THEY DO.
Of course the fact that I published the names, home addresses and phone numbers of the politicians who voted for this Intolerable Act on my blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars, may have had something to do with their reluctance. (WINK.)
You know, it’s a funny thing. Collectivist tyrants like to put people on lists but they get real nervous when someone returns the favor. That’s a lesson that some of the folks behind those walls ought to internalize — for the good of us all.
And like Connecticut, you Washingtonians have learned that tyranny can be voted in by a majority. But as I pointed out in my speech on these grounds in December, that doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it constitutional, it doesn’t make it any part of the rule of law in a republic that the Founders would recognize. As I said then, it doesn’t matter if a common criminal comes into to your home to rob you, kill you and victimize your loved ones or if a majority of your neighbors vote to have the same thing done to you. The crime is the same — indeed it is worse if a government does it because official violence is so much more total, overwhelming and remorseless.
Just ask the victims of every collectivist government massacre of the 20th Century. From the Turkish genocide of the Armenians 100 years ago, to the planned famines and gulags of Stalin, the Holocaust of Hitler, the “Great Leap Forward” of Mao, to the killing fields of Pol Pot’s Cambodia — governments have butchered hundreds of millions of innocents in their impersonal hatreds — always with the excuse that they have the right to remake humanity, to punish “wrong thinking,” to remove inconvenient opposition — AND THEY DO IT ALL IN THE NAME OF “THE LAW.”
The law. Almost every evil is excused by the perpetrators by claiming they are executing “the law.” The demons in human form in the Middle East today who crucify children and burn people to death in iron cages claim to do so in the name of their chosen “law.” To call murder “the law” does not excuse it, nor make it anything other than murder. To call tyranny “the law” does not make it right, nor does it make it any less tyrannical — even if it is voted into existence by a majority or promulgated by so-called “democratically elected representatives.” But, if the crime is the same, then the remedy is the same.
The Founders knew this, both from their study of history and from their own experience. We make much today about our rebellion against King George the Third as if the British monarchy was the entire problem but the fact of the matter was that King George sat at the head of a PARLIAMENTARY TYRANNY — one very similar in many respects to what goes on behind these walls here, today.
Kevin Phillips, in his book 1775: A Good Year for Revolution, points out that the British tyranny was first and foremost a PARLIAMENTARY tyranny. In the aftermath of The Glorious Revolution of 1688 he argues, “Parliament was now more absolute than a king had ever quite been under common law.” He writes:
“Under Britain’s constitution, the one-time common law rights of Englishman, in earlier days invocable against ROYAL transgressions, no longer applied as against PARLIAMENT. Most Americans of the Patriot faction, however, still cherished an older . . . view rooted in the old common law. That English liberty could be asserted against ANY institutional transgressor. A few British lawyers still agreed with the old interpretation . . . Similarly, in America many Tories upheld complete Parliamentary sovereignty. But on the whole, the two peoples separated by the Atlantic held different views of the British constitution and the extent to which it did or did not still enshrine common law verities about tyrants and the rights of Englishmen. If the tyrants were in Parliament, even the rights of Englishmen were no longer assured.” — pp. 209-210
Today, as we stand here in the 21st Century, we can see that the de facto descendants of those 18th Century English parliamentary tyrants today inhabit the Washington state house, as well as other state houses and governors’ mansions around the country. They tell us, “Do what we say” — regardless of law, regardless of the common practice enshrined since Washington statehood, regardless even of common sense — “Do what we say or we will use the violence of the state to bend you to our will.”
And why do they do this? Because they can. It is as simple as that. They do it because they think that in ordering the people of Washington state to do their will, that you will obey. They do it because they believe that they have the right to do it. Their tyranny, as the Founders feared, is of the elected variety. But it is tyranny nonetheless.
Why do they do this? They do it also because they are scared. They understand better than anyone — for they look their appetites in the mirror every morning when they wake up. They know who they are and what they are about and that they know they no longer trust the people — if they ever did — with the means of self defense against common criminals or against them. They are frightened that you have figured out their game — that you have reasonably concluded that I594, the additional anti-self defense laws that they are pushing, this latest diktat about the House and Senate galleries — all of it. They are frightened because you now understand that this is about THEIR appetites for YOUR liberty, for YOUR property, that indeed this is about THEIR ability to deny YOUR ability to defend your very lives no matter where or when that need may arise. And we know in the light of recent experiences in Mumbai and Paris, in Australia and Canada, and yes, in Kansas and Fort Hood and New York City, that THAT need can arise anywhere, anytime. And they would rob you, in their fear of firearms in OUR hands, of the means to resist the truly evil.
This isn’t about “common sense gun safety” as they claim. This is about control — their control of a government monopoly of violence over the people. They don’t want to hear any dissent from you in the peanut galleries, so they will silence you. BUT THEY WILL SILENCE YOU IF, AND ONLY IF, YOU ALLOW THEM TO DO IT. Will you allow them to silence you? Will you?
They hide behind their privileges, this new parliamentary tyranny, this self-appointed Mandarin class of our so-called “betters” — they hide behind their alleged “purviews” and “parliamentary privileges” and expect their designated bully boys of the Washington State Police to make you knuckle under — or else.
It is not THEIR precious butts they put on the line with their unconstitutional diktats — oh, no, never their own — no, they misuse the good men and women of the Washington State Police to do that. For they are at heart cowards, and they know it. And they are right to be right about that one thing — firearms in the hands of the people scare them. They are as allergic to them as Dracula is to crucifixes and for the same reason — they get in the way of tyrannical appetites.
We see here today on this miserable winter day in Olympia Washington — so seemingly distant from the struggles of the Founders in 1775 yet so very, eerily, close — that the Founders were right. Tyranny can be voted in by a majority as it was with I594. Tyranny can also come from a duly-elected parliament or state legislature. The test for us is — do we submit? Or will we resist?
Will we insist upon our God-given, inalienable and natural rights as free Americans? Or will we submit to tyranny? The answer that has been rediscovered over the past two years in places as diverse as Connecticut and Colorado, Texas and Maryland, New York and, yes, right here in Washington state, is armed civil disobedience — disciplined, determined, well thought out and precisely executed armed civil disobedience. In all those places unconstitutional laws have been nullified — rendered null and void as American legal practice has long agreed that they should be.
We engage in armed civil disobedience not to provoke violence but to prevent it. We are willing to risk being shot for OUR principles. The question is, what are our alleged leaders willing to risk to satisfy THEIR appetites for OUR liberty, OUR property, indeed, our very lives? That is the question that armed civil disobedience seeks to focus their attention on. This is not new in American history. From Capt. Parker at Lexington Green to the Battle of Athens, Tennessee in 1946, to the Deacons for Defense and Justice during the civil rights movement, armed civil disobedience has been resorted to by the citizenry when all other means of redress failed.
What they asked of tyrants in their time, we ask of tyrants in ours. Are your appetites — your unconstitutional laws — worth the taking of our lives to you? What is your power worth to you? What is your power to order the rest of us about, on whatever flimsy pretext you choose — not in obedience to any rule of law that the Founders would understand, not in any constitutional fashion — but what is your power to bend the rest of us to your will worth to you? What are your appetites worth to you? We just simply want to be left alone. Unlike you we don’t seek to compel anyone to do anything. But we will not be compelled ourselves by you. Not for just an appetite. Not for just a pretense of legitimacy.
So we stand here today on our traditional rights as free Americans, as free Washingtonians. We stand where the Founders expected us to stand — insisting upon those rights paid for in blood and tears by the generations before us.
We stand here, risking all, as they did. We stand here, insistent, as they would have. We stand here, disciplined, determined, insistent, refusing to knuckle under to tyranny of any kind, no matter how petty.
We stand here, today, and I am humbled beyond words for the privilege of standing here with you.
May God save the Founders’ Republic.