Examiner – by David Codrea
It seems I’d no sooner finished telling Patriot Radio host Andrea Shea King on Tuesday night’s program that I learn from readers and listeners every day than she informed me there was a caller on the line who would like to join our conversation. I always look forward to spontaneous and unknown developments like that, because you never know what’s going to come up, and it forces you to be prepared or else you’ll very publicly fall without a net, and that’s something anyone presuming to represent themselves as having valid arguments needs to be able to handle as a matter of course.
In this case, the caller was delightful, a gentleman who introduced himself as “Sarge” and who proceeded to engage us with a fascinating story about being a young man with a gun in school — in Chicago of all places, as part of the Junior ROTC program.
Sarge promised he’d send a photo, which I’ve included above. Now let me step out of the way and let him share his story with us, because it’s an important one, and the lessons it imparts show us that proper control does not mean loss of freedom, but rather learning to exercise it responsibly.
“Here is an attached photo of me as a member of the Chicago Vocational High School ROTC color guard circa 1968,” Sarge began. “Note that [names redacted] are shouldering a firearm that Gen. George S Patton called the ‘greatest battle implement ever devised;’ the US Rifle M1 caliber .30-06 a gas operated, clip fed, air-cooled semiautomatic shoulder weapon weighing 9.5 lbs. Yes that one, the primary infantry shoulder arm that won WW II.
“Our HIGH SCHOOL armory had 50 of these, two Browning Automatic Rifles, five M1 carbines, two .45 cal. semi auto M1911A1 pistols, and one M3 submachine gun,” he continued. “Similar armories were present at even INNER CITY High Schools like Lindbloom, Marshall, Farragutt and most every school that had a junior ROTC, and there was NEVER a school shooting or any one harmed by the presence of these lethal military weapons.
“When the drill team convened for practice before school, the senior instructor, a Special Forces Vietnam VVet SFC from 5th Army HQ would give the key to the arms rack to the Battalion Commander, a cadet colonel who was responsible for issuing the M1 rifles to us for drill practice,” Sarge explained. “He took his duties very seriously and we all respected his stern by the book leadership. HE DID NOT ALLOW ANY HORSEPLAY with the weapons, and misconduct could earn you a morning pumping out dozens of pushups … We learned RESPECT for the power of the weapons and were imbued with a sense of responsibility and character that was earned by our correct and safe handling of these firearms. I know that this training instilled a sense of responsibility in ME.
“Can we return to this era?” Sarge asks, “Even I might hesitate a bit owing to the depravity that has been induced in so many of our youth owing to 50 years of cultural Marxism, moral relativism, sexual licentiousness, fatherless homes, mindless muticulturalism, gangsta rap, welfare entitlement, Marxist academia and journalism, Hollywood violence divorced from objective and transcendent moral truth and a thoroughgoing deconstruction of every societal institution and constitutional principle that made this country the greatest nation on earth.”
Do you see what I mean about looking forward to learning from great people out there I would have never otherwise met? This stuff is beautiful, and I asked him if I could share it, and if so, would he like his full name used or just the handle “Sarge.”
“I am pleased that you have found my photo valuable in placing this entire gun debate in a historical context,” he replied. “Can you even IMAGINE the Chicago Public School system allowing such a thing today given that the previous mayor was Richard M Daley one of the most anti-gun mayors EVER, yet his FATHER was Richard J Daley, mayor in 1968 who he never spoke against the ROTC guns in the Chicago public schools.
“I am a retired police officer, a Vietnam combat vet (Mech Inf squad leader and a tank commander with two different units of the 1st Bde of the 5th Mech. Inf on the DMZ, a 16 year vet of the Il ARNG) a state-certified police firearms instructor and an expatriate from the Greater Soviet of Cook County and Chicago, who is absolutely heartsick at the manner in which Democrats and liberals have run the great state of Illinois into the ground as they destroy liberty,” Sarge explained by way of his bona fides.
“Barack Obama was my state senator, and in 1994 I debated him on gun control laws on WLS-AM radio in Chicago along with Jim Leahy, a colleague of mine and chairman of the Republican Assembly of Illinois,” he continued. “Jim and I were associates and collaborators with the greatest conservative journalist in the Midwest, the late Tom Roeser, and I regularly appeared on his program “Political Shootout” on WLS 8900 AM on Sundays and other programming on WYLL FM and other assorted venues where we regularly debated liberal and Democrat luminaries from Illinois on his show. We confronted Obama with truth and fact and thoroughly defeated him as he spun lies and distortions in a pathetic attempt to justify a warped advocacy of his misguided anti-gun legislation.
“You may quote me as you see fit,” he acknowledged. “I prefer ‘Sarge’ as that is the BTR persona that I am known by, but either is OK by me. Just make absolutely clear that I am unalterably opposed to ANY compromise on this issue WHATSOEVER. I will not be satisfied until this Congress passes legislation that ordains that no classes of firearms, feeding devices or accessories once legally acquired may be retroactively declared illegal, confiscated or otherwise seized save for specified illegal acts of INDIVIDUALIZED misconduct directed at specific INDIVIDUALS.”
What more can I add? Except to ask which way holds out the best hope of producing outstanding, productive and delightful fellow citizens like Sarge, the path available to him that he was able to choose, or the course a self-serving political establishment has today imposed on, and in many cases, confined young people to?