The cautionary tale of American Indians – What happens when only 1 side has the guns

Seeing as it is Columbus day, I am reminded of the cautionary tale that can be learned from the treatment of the American Indian for some 400 years.  It is a tale of what happens when one side has the guns and the desire to take and control what the other side has.

In this case the European explorers and those who followed them.  For gold, resources and land the conquering Europeans carved out a foothold in this land and spent the next few centuries pushing west to conquer it all.  Sure, they spoke of living in harmony and we have the whole Thanksgiving story but in the end an entire race of people lost 2 continents.

Before we go any further, let me just say that I am not against manifest destiny, Christopher Columbus or the Washington Redskins; the world is made up of winners and losers.  My point is that the story may have been played out a little differently if the Indians had realized what was coming down the pike a little earlier.  It is a lesson today that we would do well to heed.

So what are these lessons.

First and foremost, do not trust “governments” to do the right thing.  From the original settlers to the Colonies to the United States, the governments thereof have continued to promise and sign treaties that just asked for “a little more”.  Until they wanted to get a little more after that.  Before you know it, a continent is lost and you find yourself living on a little reservation that was dictated to you by the same government that took everything else.

This example of going back on their word and the continual drive for more and more by the government is a reflection of the desire of those politicians pushing for gun control.  They speak of “common sense gun control”, “just a little doesn’t infringe”, “we have to be reasonable” etc.  Really?  Funny, because if I recall California started off with “reasonable” gun control yet only by the veto of it’s Governor did it avert the complete banning of nearly every rifle in the state.

Just like the ever pushing drive west for land and gold, so too is it the mindset of gun controllers that they will succeed only when the reach the complete prohibition of firearms for everyone except the government.  The same government that has treats people it wants things from so “fairly”.

What would happen if the gun controllers dream of a disarmed populace were to come to fruition?  Once again we need only look at the treatment of the American Indians to discover that answer.  What would happen is that the ones with the guns would dictate how the ones without would live.  Where they would live, where they could travel etc.

Examples of this:

Trail of Tears:  The Indian Removal Act of 1830 ended up forcing the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes forcibly removed from their homes in the deep south and Florida to the plains of Oklahoma.  How do you forcibly remove over 16,000 indians from their ancestral home?  It’s not by asking nicely.  It’s at the point of a gun.  Side note, up to 6,000 of those forced to relocate died from disease, exposure and starvation along the way.

Massacre at Wounded Knee: In 1890 in South Dakota, the Lakota tribe was undergoing a gun confiscation run by the 7th Cavalry.  When a deaf Lakota named Black Coyote did not want to give up his rifle (respect) a shot reportedly rang out.  The 7th Cavalry responded by opening fire and shooting blindly into the tribe.  The Lakota, who had nearly all their weapons all ready confiscated could do little other than get shot and die.  Final tally of Lakota dead, around 300. approx 90 men and 200 women and children.

Just a telling reminder that if you lose your guns you are easily enough massacred by a government who is willing.

Prohibition on Firearm Sales: There was a federal law making it illegal to sell weapons to “hostile” Indians.  Not only did it not work that well, but it was also one of those gun control laws that was left murky on purpose.  This way you could deny selling a gun to ANY American Indian claiming that they are “hostile”.  It also opens up a “legal” means to confiscate the weapons that they do have.  Just toss the word “hostile” around and you immediately have legal cover.  Funny side note; this prohibition wasn’t abolished until 1979!

This nuance and ambiguity has continued to foster today with gun control measures left vague in order to bolster a larger interpretation than was initially voted on.

I could go on about the some 400 years of raping, pillaging and killing along with the countless broken treaties but that would be just gilding the lily at this point.

What I will say is this, the last tribes that found themselves free were not those willing to fight but rather those who were willing to fight and properly armed.  The will to fight against tyranny is a great thing to have, but bows and arrows will not get the job done against a Gatling gun and Henry Repeaters.

Unfortunately by that time the die was cast and it was too late.  Let that be a reminder that the right to keep and bear arms can be stamped out if left to the machinations of those who hate liberty for too long.

Once gone, like the lands of the Indians, may never be reclaimed.

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