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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Date:  August 31, 2008
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Teach Your Children to Defend Themselves!
By J. D. Longstreet

We have raised a couple of generations of what could arguably be referred to as "pansies" here in America.

We have raised a couple of generations of what could arguably be referred to as "pansies" here in America.

For the first 12 or 13 years of my life I grew up in a "Mill Village" on what was known in my neck of the woods as a "Mill Hill". There were street toughs all over the place there. Street gangs, too. I got kicked around a bit and I learned to fight, even when the odds were overwhelming and I had no chance of winning. Like the time a street gang of seven older kids decided they were going to beat the tar out of me. I told them there were not enough of them. I have always been terrible at math! Turns out there were more than enough of them to do the job. When the dust settled, and the gang had left, to seek other prey, I was unable to even stand and had to crawl away. But... I learned. I learned how to street fight. But mostly, I learned you are never as open to danger as you are when you flee. Always face your enemy.

Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar: "Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the things I yet have seen and heard, it seems most strange, that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come will it sill come." It is a truism I carry with me every day.

By the time I was in High School we had bought a place out in the countryside and begun a very small family farm to provide most of what we ate including our vegetables and our meats. My Dad was raised as a farmer so that was where he wanted to be.

There is nothing that comes close to raising a kid in the country. I loved it! I roamed the fields and woods with my dog and my 12-gauge, model 37, Winchester shotgun with a 30-inch barrel and a full choke. It is a devastating weapon. I killed rabbits and squirrels and anything my family would and could eat. I built and set rabbit boxes (traps), which I "looked" every morning before school, and if there was a rabbit in it, I yanked it out and dispatched it with a "rabbit chop" to the back of the neck, and then skinned it… Mom cooked it… and we ate it.

We raised our own meat. In January in the 1950's it was cold in the foothills of South Carolina… I mean the kind of cold where the moisture in the red clay freezes and the ice crystals burst the surface of the earth open and spew it inside out so that the fresh earth is turned skyward and you can see sunlight reflecting off its icy contents… and that was hog killing time.

It is a bloody business, hog killing. But I was roused, with the rest of the family, well before dawn, and the daylong chore of killing the hogs began. Shooting them, hanging them up, hind feet first, (to allow the blood to drain from their bodies), then pouring scaling water over the carcasses so the course, bristly, hair could be scraped off was all a part of the slaughtering process. Then, the gutting of the animal began. Nothing was wasted. We ate very nearly everything.

My mother was not a healthy woman, so I helped with the household chores when I was directed to do so. That meant, from time to time, I had to go out to the chicken pen, grab a hen or a rooster, (Usually a hen past her prime for laying.) and kill it by either wringing it's neck, or chopping it's head off with an axe. Then I cleaned it. That meant plucking the feathers, lighting something on fire, usually a sheet of newspaper, or a brown paper bag, (known as a "poke" back where I come from) and the pinfeathers were singed off with the flames. Finally, I gutted it, and cut it up, ready to go into the frying pan.

Here's the point: I was raised to be used to death and dying. I was raised to be ready to get my hands dirty, and bloody, if necessary. You could not be squeamish and survive for very long in the country life. The country life would, in those days, at least, toughen a young man up to the practicalities of life.

As a pre-teen, my dad often told me: "Don't you start a fight, but I expect you to damn well finish it!"

The US Army taught me numerous ways to take a life and numerous ways to preserve my own and that of my buddies.

As a police officer I saw a lot of death and useless waste of life and limb. As a member of a Rescue Unit, on an ambulance, I picked up bodies, in pieces, more than once. One night, in particular, I had to search until I found a victim's head, in a "broom straw" field, and pick it up by the hair and place it on the gurney alongside the rest of the crumbled body of what had been, a few minutes prior, a vibrant young man.

Through out all this I never had to see a shrink or a grief counselor. Nobody even considered such a thing. I did what I did because it needed doing and, as it happened, I was the one Fate called upon. I didn't question it. It is the way of things. Most importantly, it taught me to rely on myself… first, period.

Now here's what I am trying to say: We have sheltered our kids for the past two generations, at least, until they do not know how to respond to danger… short of falling to the ground and assuming the fetal position! It should not be necessary for schools, any schools, to "train" young men and young women how to protect themselves, and those around him or her. It should come as, well, instinct honed by parental training. . And the instinct for self-preservation IS there… but we have buried it under load upon load of limp-wristed "Conflict Resolution" mumbo jumbo. You can't have it both ways. Either a human being is ready to do whatever is necessary to protect himself, and his associates and loved ones, or… he will be putting his life on the line every time he ventures into public…period.

Rely upon police, upon the civil authorities, you say? Look, police are allowed only to react in our society. They cannot act until a law has been broken, or to put it another way, until you have been assaulted you are on your own!

Man is by nature a predator. Nature built us, and wired us, to hunt other animals. She didn't place our eyes on the sides of our heads as she did with those we hunt; she placed our eyes in the front of our heads for the pursuit and to focus in on the kill.

We are defying nature when we teach our children to cower when trouble is near. Man has not survived from the days of living in caves by cowering in the face of danger. But, somehow, we are expected to do that these days when the world is every bit as dangerous as it was when our ancestors wore the skins of animals and pursued other animals, for miles, until they ran them down and killed them.

If we are to "fix" the inability of our young people to provide for their own safety, parents are going to have to, once again, train their children how to defend themselves. I mean… parents are going to have to teach their children it is OK to fight to protect yourself, your family, and/or your associates. The philosophy of "Nothing is Worth Fighting For" has got to be tossed overboard because it is getting young Americans and, yes, older Americans as well, killed! Children should be trained in how to use firearms and in firearm safety. When taught properly it is one and the same thing. (I was shooting at the age of six. I am still a lousy shot, but I can put a lot of lead down range!)

We have tried the philosophy of "Nothing is Worth Fighting For" and… as some of us screamed from the rooftops all along, it doesn't work! Talking to your enemy or assailant may be OK, but you have to be ready to defend yourself. Sometimes force must be used first just to get your opponent's attention.

It is a sad commentary on life in the US when we have to even consider whether or not to allow schools, colleges, and universities to teach our kids how to defend themselves. Once again, we have to ask: Where are the parents in all this?

J. D. Longstreet

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J. D. Longstreet blogs daily at INSIGHT on Freedom at

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