The American 'gun culture' that saved Europe

Journal/Website: 
GOPUSA.com and Macon Telegraph
Article Type: 
Commentary
Published Date: 
Sunday, March 22, 2015

An interesting conversation with a European neurosurgical colleague, who decries the "gun culture" of America, took place that may be of interest to readers of GOPUSA. The dialogue began with a difference of opinion on an unrelated topic, but in the course of that exchange, I happened to innocently use a figure of speech that offended the other party, and the conversation below ensued.

What I wrote was: "Although only three paragraphs long, Dr. Z's letter is a loaded gun of criticism with serious implications that require considerable historic and philosophic discussion and cannot possibly be answered fully in a few paragraphs.Two people in conversation

Dr Z:  "Dr Faria's comment tries to rewrite my letter but does not succeed. Certainly, my letter was no “loaded gun” — it caused none of the physical injuries, death and human misery inflicted by the 'loaded gun' culture that some choose to celebrate."

And with that retort, one may say, therein lies the rub. It happens that I had written a two-part comprehensive editorial entitled, "America, Guns, and Freedom," which had upset not only Dr. Z but also his mentor Dr. H at a prestigious institution in Europe. Both of them deplore America's "gun culture." A long correspondence had ensued on that occasion with Dr. H, who seemed to blame America for most of the evils in the world. Thinking he was naïve, I gently tried to dissuade him from such an erroneous opinion.

On this occasion I also responded to Dr. Z cordially that he obviously referred to my two-part editorial, "America, Guns and Freedom," when he made the remark, as they had been published in the medical journal in question. I reminded him that totalitarianism was not just a mere curiosity of the past, but history that should serve as lessons for avoiding erroneous repetition in the future. It was a "gun culture" of free citizens that preserved freedom in the 20th century — and hopefully will do so in the 21st!(1,2)

Russian tanks 2009It was the American "gun culture" that liberated Western Europeans from the Nazis during World War II and subsequently also protected all of free Europe from the Red Army and the rolling Soviet tanks during the cold war. Moreover, witnessing the renewed roaring of the Russian Bear (photo, left) in the Caucasus and the Ukraine, I reminded him the Europeans may require further protection from the U.S. "gun culture" in the near future!

I went on explaining that it had been because of the protection afforded by the American "gun culture" that Europeans, including our cousins in Great Britain, were able to create and sustain in peace the social and economic "safety nets" of which they are so proud.Send a Gun Poster

I was not putting down our Europeans friends and Europe to offend them. I stated Europe was worth defending as it was the birthplace of Western civilization and consequently the midwife of American culture! His derogatory statement, though, required a response.

Then I brought up a little history. Dr. Z, who practices neurosurgery in the British National Health Service but is not a native Briton, I admitted, may also not have been aware that the celebrated British Home Guard (1940-1944) was short of guns during World War II because of England's gun control policies. The Home Guard required guns urgently for the defense of the homeland as the Germans prepared for the invasion of Britain (photo, right) after their victory at Dunkirk. In near panic, some Home Guard units were even issued home made Croft's pikes (after Lord Croft, the Under-Secretary of State for War), which Prime Minister Winston Churchill had to promote as "effective and silent" weapons to fight the invading Nazis!

But in another hour of need, the "gun culture" of America came to the rescue. Private American citizens and the much hated National Rifle Association (NRA) collected and shipped large numbers of privately donated guns for use by the Home Guard.(3,4)

Winston Churchill stated eloquently in his book, Their Finest Hour: "When the ships from America approached our shores with their priceless arms, special trains were waiting in all ports to receive their Winston Churchill with Thompson Machine Guncargoes (photo, left). The Home Guard in every county, in every village, sat up through the night to receive them.... By the end of July we were an armed nation...."(4)

Most of the guns were never returned. They were melted down after the war when Britain resumed her gun control and social programs — sheltered by the Pax Americana as did the rest of Europe.(1,2)

Dr. Z, apparently not a bit annoyed by the embarrassing historical facts, then concluded: "I will not engage you further on “gun culture” or geopolitics save to say that — thankfully — many would disagree with your views on both matters." To which I responded that my historical details were referenced, verifiable facts, and that of course any geopolitical discussion would result in disagreements.(5) At the the height of the cold war, for example, there were many Europeans (and some Americans, no doubt) chanting "Better Red than Dead," preferring communist slavery to freedom. I'm thankful that those so chanting did not prevail, instead those of us in the "gun culture" with the contrary opinion won in the cold war. And that ended the discussion at least on the topic of American "gun culture." I'll let you know if there is more, so stay tuned.

References 

1. Faria MA. America, guns, and freedom. Part I: A recapitulation of liberty. Surg Neurol Int 2012;3:133. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/america-guns-and-freedom-part-i-recapitulation-liberty

2. Faria MA. America, guns and freedom: Part II - An international perspective. Surg Neurol Int 2012;3:135. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/america-guns-and-freedom-part-ii-%E2%80%94-international-perspective

3. Home Guard (United Kingdom) Wikipedia.

4. Keefe MA. Send a gun to defend a British home, pistols, rifles, revolvers, shotguns, binoculars. American Rifleman, April 2002.

5. Faria MA. American naïveté — European social democracies and gun control. GOPUSA, April 14, 2014. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/american-na%C3%AFvet%C3%A9-%E2%80%94...

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International. He is a former Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Adjunct Professor of Medical History. Dr. Faria is the author of Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). He has written numerous articles on the blessings of liberty and the venalities of totalitarianism, collectivism, and communism — all posted at his website: www.haciendapub.com & www.drmiguelfaria.com

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. The American 'gun culture' that saved Europe. GOPUSA.com, February 24, 2015. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/american-gun-culture-saved-europe

The illustrations used in this editorial came from a variety of sources and did not appear in the original GOPUSA.com version on February 24, 2015 or the shorter version that appeared in the Macon Telegraph on March 22, 2015, but were added for the readers at HaciendaPublishing.com.

Copyright ©2015 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Britain leaves EU! Headlines 'round the world!

Britain votes to leave EU, Cameron quits as markets dive

Reuters (June 24, 2016): Britain voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.

Global financial markets plunged on Friday as results from a referendum showed a near 52-48 percent split for leaving a bloc that Britain joined more than 40 years ago. The pound fell as much as 10 percent against the dollar to touch levels last seen in 1985, on fears the decision could hit investment in the world's fifth-largest economy, threaten London's role as a global financial capital and usher in months of political uncertainty.

World stocks headed for one of the biggest slumps on record, and billions of dollars were wiped off the value of European companies. Britain's big banks took a $130 billion battering, with Lloyds and Barclays falling as much as 30 percent at the opening of trade. [MKTS/GLOB]

The United Kingdom itself could now break apart, with the leader of Scotland - where nearly two-thirds of voters wanted to stay in the EU - saying a new referendum on independence from the rest of Britain was "highly likely”...

His Conservative Party rival Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who became the most recognizable face of the "Leave" camp, is now widely tipped to seek his job. Johnson left his home to jeers from a crowd in the mainly pro-EU capital. He spoke to reporters at Leave campaign headquarters, taking no questions on his personal ambitions.

"We can find our voice in the world again, a voice that is commensurate with the fifth-biggest economy on Earth," he said.

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Merkel "remain calm and composed"

BBC (June 24, 2016): German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was important to "remain calm and composed" following Britain's exit from the European Union.

The UK voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU, and David Cameron has announced he will step down as PM by October...

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Eu Reels As Britain Exit Vote Ushers In Deep Uncertainty

Associated Press (June 24, 2016): BRUSSELS — European Union leaders were reeling Friday after Britain's shock vote to leave plunged the EU into deep uncertainty, not least over how to negotiate the unprecedented departure of a member state.

Top EU officials tried to put on a brave face as the European enterprise — already wracked by economic woes, Greece's shaky future in the euro and Europe's inability to manage the refugee emergency — came face to face with yet another existential challenge...

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Good for Britannia, or rather, merrie olde England!

Re. "The United Kingdom itself could now break apart, with the leader of Scotland - where nearly two-thirds of voters wanted to stay in the EU - saying a new referendum on independence from the rest of Britain was "highly likely”

Note: And if Scotland takes another vote to secede and succeeds, and then it joins the EU separately, then the independent, welfare-oriented Scots will become a burden to the EU and not Britain. Without Scotland, Britain will become more conservative and more prosperous. It will be Scotland that would lose in the long run.

Merkle: "Remain calm and composed"! Wow! Germany will now have to take the burden of pulling the cart of the EU loaded with PIGS (i.e., Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, etc.) and possibly Scotland in the future.--- MAF

Admiral Yamamoto on the USA!

Ammoland: "The events in Europe were no different from those on the Pacific side of the world. I read somewhere that the Japanese High Command were working with Admiral Yamamoto on their plans to strike at the USA and remove the 800 pound canary blocking their expansion of the “Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.” They asked him, knowing of his many years of higher education and travels in the USA, should Japan invade the USA. He responded quickly and forcefully, 'No, because there will be a rifle behind every blade of grass.' You see, he was well aware of the 'American gun culture.' And so they had to be content with the attack at Pearl Harbor, and even then, knowing well the American psyche, he told them it would only give them six months to run amok in the Pacific. In early June, 1942, six months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy, commanded by the same Admiral, got its hat handed to them at the Battle for Midway Island. After repeated failed attacks by numerous squadrons of obsolete American torpedo bombers, the Admiral in charge of the Invasion Fleet was quoted as saying, “These Americans sacrifice themselves like Samurai.' ” Reported by Dr. Robert B. Young, DRGO.

Towards the end of the film Tora, Tora Tora, Admiral Yamamoto is also quoted as presciently stating: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." And a similar quotation was elicited from a KGB man on a similar question during the cold war! MAF

Sir Christopher Lee dead at age 93 (RIP)

Sir Christopher Lee, the veteran actor and star of many of the world's biggest film franchises, has died aged 93.

The English-born actor, who made his name playing Dracula and Frankenstein in the Hammer horror films, appeared in more than 250 movies…

The actor is reported to have died on Sunday at Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London, after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure. A Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council spokesman said: "We can confirm that the Register Office issued a death certificate for Mr Christopher Lee on Monday 8 June, Mr Lee died on Sunday 7 June."

After public school he served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, where he was mentioned in dispatches.

He was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded a Bafta fellowship in 2011. "We are deeply saddened to hear that Sir Christopher Lee has passed away," the British Film Institute (BFI) tweeted, as the news broke on Thursday. Born into affluence in London in 1922, Sir Christopher traced his lineage to Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor...

BBC, June 11, 2015

Eastern Europeans scare of Russian bear!

Letter from a friend,

...Just talked with the Head Or Nurse yesterday, who is from Prague. I had read that in Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, and Poland that the governments have re-instituted the draft even drafting women at age 37 in Czech. This means that they realize that the US will no longer provide a protective shield for them and that with the Russian invasion of Ukraine they see the need to protect themselves. She also recognized that the US and other countries are in huge debt and that the culture is disintegrating. I find this all the time when I meet those who live under communism and dictatorships, recognize immediately when the authoritarian governments are appearing. She also noted that the government is practicing exercises for control of the people. She was not so sure of giving people guns, until I explained your papers and the Budapest story. But she knew everything. One of the few I have met. To her it was all obvious. She realized that the newspapers are not reporting the truth...

Cheers to you and Helen,

Jose