The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 31, 2013

Blaine Cornelius, columnist: Where have all America’s patriots gone?

By Blaine Cornelius
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Editor’s note: The following letter was written to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and also sent to The Joplin Globe.

I am a U.S. Army veteran and a current law enforcement officer.

I have literally fought to uphold the Constitution, not just swore (an oath) to defend it. I have spent lots of hours behind the sights of many of the weapons on your list and never once was afraid of the devastating potential I had at my fingertips.

Although I hold a healthy respect for the gun, the only fear I have ever held has been directly related to the force which was operating it, the human being. Whether merely carrying out orders from whatever power that be or suffering from a deranged psychosis, the human being is the only dangerous force about a weapon. The weapon is an inanimate object.

Let me be clear to you on the sole purpose in which fire-propelled weapons were created. Weapons were created to use as a means of aggression or defense. From the early Chinese rockets propelled by gun powder in the 12th and 13th centuries to the modern assault weapons of today, their primary intended targets have always been and will always be another human being or artifacts that allow that human being to survive.  As humankind became more progressive, new, innovative approaches to diplomacy were found, not because of the fear of the gun but because of the fear of the capacity of the individual holding it and how many more like-minded individuals he had in his control. The gun was and will always be just a tool.

That being said, in today’s society, no matter what gun advocacy groups may attempt to preach, the primary means of what they deem as “modern sporting rifles” and you deem as “dangerous assault weapons” is defense. Whether in defense of our country or defense of our own domestic dwellings and domiciles, these weapons are merely tools and are of no greater effect than the potential of the operator. Sadly with your legislation you intend to destroy the securities of millions for the reprehensible acts of only a few.

From my perspective, it seems you and your constituents are preparing a canvas for a broader portrait of government control in which the rights of the people will be sacrificed for the vision of the authority. We have all seen it before. From our first history lesson in grammar school to the last testimonies of the remaining Holocaust survivors, we hear stories of governments so powerful and too big to fail ruling over the people under the facade of welfare and the well-being of the state, eventually crumbling into poverty and war. Why haven’t we learned from this and why do we destine ourselves to let our own government repeat their mistakes? Where have our patriots gone?

Where have all the patriots gone who so valiantly fought for our freedoms when diplomacy was found to be futile? I’ll first tell you where they aren’t. They are not in the Senate, nor the House of Representatives., They are not in the White House, and they do not sit in robes in the big leather chairs of the Supreme Court building. They don’t meet at the Capitol, and they don’t push papers at the Pentagon. They are distributed evenly amongst the populace, and some of them carry guns as tools. They wear no uniform, and you wouldn’t recognize them. They meet periodically in small groups at local taverns when night falls and during the day they work for their own version of the American dream. On Saturdays, if they aren’t working, they hone their skills at the range or take the kids fishing. On Sundays they pray in many faiths to many different divine beings, and on Monday mornings they start all over again. These individuals will bleed for what their forefathers established for them.

These individuals may have never read the entire Constitution or have been sworn into public office, but they do know that simply being born an American citizen afforded them rights and opportunities the majority of the world will never know and thus they pledge their allegiance.

 Honestly, I believe this is what you and your constituents are afraid of. Why else would a government strive to disarm its people of their only means for defense against its tyranny? I have spent many hours with the evidence at hand and have yet to find a non-conflicting unbiased study or report. You cite these baseless studies as prima facie evidence that an assault weapons ban somehow works for the benefit of a few people not taking into account or assessing the risk you place on the majority. You exploit victims of tragic events and use them as poster children for a safer public. The discriminating, reasonable individual who takes the time to educate themselves on the true data knows you are misleading them, while the naive and ignorant fall in to the rank and file of your vision.

The only hope you have and the next move you will make is to disarm the patriot. By force or threat of force the disarmed patriot can only fall into file, you suspect. I understand your tactics, and I applaud you in your persistence and patience. Rather than taking reasoned responsible action against the perpetrators of these events, you put small measures in place to allow the events to happen like “gun free zones.” Then you allow the sheep to lie in wait for the wolf to slaughter them and blame it on his teeth.

On behalf of the remaining American patriots, “check.” Your move.

Blaine Cornelius lives in Joplin.