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Oath Keeper Testimonial

2nd amend

Chuck Cressman:

Testimonial: The following was originally written for, and appeared in, the Sierra Times, an on-line newspaper geared to the same audience as the present one here. Henry Bowman is a nom de plume.

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At the Crossroads

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.

“There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
– Winston Churchill

The present struggle we’re engaged in is the beginning of a sequence of events that future historians will see in the same light as they currently do the plight of the German Jews of the mid 1930’s. We are at one of those proverbial “crossroads” in the timeline of History, and if we take the wrong turn now there will be no going back. Whatever else we resolve to do, we must not under any circumstances GIVE UP OUR GUNS! To do so would be to prove true the maxim, “those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don’t.”

Many actions are revocable in life, but not all. There is a precept in law that says you can’t unring the bell. This will be the case if we allow the tyrants in power to disarm us by means of illegal, unconstitutional laws. It won’t matter if some or all of these laws are overturned five or ten years down the road through the efforts of the NRA or some other organized advocate group; any gun you gave up will be resting and rusting on the bottom of the ocean long before that happens (unless, of course, you should turn in something really nice, in which case it will probably find its way into some officials’ private collection).

As gun owners, members of the ‘gun culture’ as some term us, we must face the fact that we are in a minority numerically. There may be more guns than people in our country, but they’re owned by about a third of the population. This simply means that we must fight smart, rather than just hard. We should take seriously the gag T-shirt that says, “Youth and strength will always be beaten by age, treachery and guile’. And we should learn from others in the past who’ve found themselves similarly outnumbered; the civil rights movement is a case in point.

What we can and should learn from the civil rights movement is that a minority can secure its rights if (1) it screams long and loud every time a right is violated, and if (2) it never quits. Oh, yes, one more thing would be very helpful from the git-go: we need our own ‘Rosa Parks’. We need someone with no perceived negative baggage in the eyes of the majority of the voting public (such as Randy Weaver =white supremacist, or Branch Davidians = religious wackos and child molesters. We may know that these equations aren’t true, but the great unwashed doesn’t want to hear it.). I suggest that we will be provided with such a person when the first city police officer or sheriff’s deputy knocks on the door of one of us who has reached his CTL (crap tolerance limit) and demands the surrender of all the firearms listed on the state’s DOJ printout of owned weapons.

With such an eventuality in mind, I have prepared a little speech which I intend to deliver to whoever is unlucky enough to draw the assignment of coming to my door. You will no doubt need to customize it to suit your particular circumstances, should you be inclined to follow my example. Mine goes like this:

“Before you take one step into my home, young officer (or deputy) __________, I have a statement to make which you need to hear.

“I am sixty-nine years old; I have no wife, no children, and little or no prospects for the future. My daily routine might best be described by the vernacular expression, ‘keepin’ on just to keep on keepin’ on’. I worked for fifty years. I paid taxes. I vote. I delude myself that these things make a difference somehow. My life has been, like most, a seemingly pointless progression of ups and downs, with maybe a few more downs than most. Maybe not.

“I have owned guns all my life, since the age of seven, and have received considerable training, both formal and informal, in their use. I have been a peace officer on three occasions and a state-licensed private investigator as well. In all my years of gun ownership, I have pointed a gun at another human being on only one occasion, the result of which was the saving of a life without the gun being fired. All of my guns collectively have not killed as many people as Ted Kennedy’s car.

“In any event, my situation and yours are almost certainly different in many ways. I suspect you have a family, perhaps a mortgage, and dreams for the future. This puts you in a position to make a life-altering decision. You can turn around, go back to the station house, and tell your watch commander that I presented you with satisfactory evidence of my having sold my firearms to an FFL dealer in another jurisdiction. Your other choice is for you and I to die today, right here and right now in this doorway, because I will not live a life of servile subjugation to the state. If I am to be stripped of even one of my ‘inalienable’ rights, then I have no rights at all, including the right to life.

“Oh, one more thing: I hope that your police academy training has made you observant enough to notice that at no time since my opening my door to you have you been able to see both of my hands. That being said, it’s your call.”

Henry Bowman


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Shorty Dawkins



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