By Jenny Neyman
Federal government, take heed: Alaskans stick to their guns.
That was the overwhelming sentiment of a Second Amendment rally held at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School on March 4. Though the speakers had various backgrounds, different areas of interest and, at times, somewhat differing calls to action, all were united in advocating resistance against any potential federal action to enact gun bans or other restrictive regulations on firearm ownership.
“Your right to self-defense is something that both the state of Alaska and the U.S. Constitution recognize as something they won’t mess with. … Well, you know that they are in complete and utter defiance,” said rally organizer Bob Bird, of Nikiski, a teacher at Nikiski Middle-High School and former candidate for U.S. Senate.
Bird has helped put on several Second Amendment events on the central Kenai Peninsula in the last four years, including open carry days in Soldotna, attended by U.S. Rep. Ron Young, and a previous rally at KCHS in March 2010 that featured representation from Alaska’s Citizens Militia, based in Nikiski, and Schaeffer Cox, then representing the Peacemakers Militia he founded in Fairbanks. Cox has since been convicted of conspiracy to commit murder — against U.S. employees and law enforcement officers — and sentenced to nearly 26 years in federal prison. No militia representation was featured at this year’s rally.
Much of the message of the previous rally was revived, particularly that the federal government is running roughshod over individual and state rights.
“George Washington said that, ‘Government, like fire, is a fearful servant and a deadly master.’ If we allow the government to master us, we’re dead,” Bird said.
Speaker after speaker, followed by comments by audience members who numbered over 300, supported the idea that Alaska and its residents need to stand up to the federal government should it attempt to enact gun restrictions, such as any that have been discussed since the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.
“We must draw a well-defined line in the sand and never back up no matter what is said or done. We must be willing to die to protect our right to keep and bear arms no matter what, because if we ever let anyone take our guns away then we have also died with no means to defend ourselves or our families,” said Seymour Mills, of Sterling, introduced by Bird as a law and governmental scholar.
Mills said that he began his activism in 1968 while living in Kodiak, gathering petition signatures to protest the Gun Control Act of 1968.
“I have never stopped fighting the government’s ongoing attempt to disarm us ever since, and I will never stop until my dying breath. If you ever allow the government to take away any of our guns — no matter what those guns might be, no matter what the reason might be — from any one of us, we will become slaves to a totalitarian government that our ancestors spilled their blood to prevent. We must make absolutely no compromises whatsoever to our constitutionally secured right to keep and bear arms,” he said.
In particular, citizens should not participate in any attempts to have owners register their guns, as that’s the first step to confiscation, Mills said. Also, he urged listeners to contact their legislators to oppose any modification to mental health laws that would impose restrictions on firearms ownership.
“Mental health laws are fully as dangerous as gun laws because then they can diagnose your mental health to disarm you,” Mills said.
Justin Giles, a former Marine and combat veteran, of Wasilla, representing the Oath Keepers organization, couched his support of the right to keep and bear arms in terms of chilling world events.
Giles spoke of instances of “democide” — the murder of innocent citizens by their government — in the 20th century perpetrated by what he termed as Marxist regimes, such as Mao Tse-tung-created regime in China and Pol Pot, of Cambodia.
“The mass graves of the 20th-century Marxists are filled with citizens who obeyed gun laws, and the citizens were put there by cops and soldiers who were simply following orders,” Giles said.
“Why should we care so much about this Marxism? It’s critical. We need to understand the nature of the beast that we’re facing,” he said, adding that people with power and influence in U.S. government today have been involved in Marxistlike activities.
“It’s important to understand the nature of what we’re up against, and the nature of who we are. Sometimes good, forgiving Christian folk tend to be overly forgiving, overly timid. Understand the nature of what we’re up against here, that’s my hope,” Giles said.
“I’m concerned about what I’m seeing in the country, I don’t like it one bit. I’m seeing and hearing things said since this horrible tragedy (at Sandy Hook) that happened in Conneticut that have got me wanting peace. I’ve seen war and because I want peace I think it’s important that we know who we are and we know who they — who are asking us to disarm — are,” he said.
He is heartened by Americans’ response to recent talk of gun laws, and the statement that such a response makes to those in federal government who would seek to restrict or ban firearms in the country.
“Since that time (of the shooting at Sandy Hook) U.S. citizens have purchased enough firearms to equip both the entire Chinese army and Indian armies combined,” he said, to a burst of applause from the audience. “…We’ve been arming ourselves and we’ve been talking tough. We’ve made it known, ‘Don’t tread on me. If you ignore the rattle, you’ll get the fangs.’” Continue reading