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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Today's Gun Show in Virginia

Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

I rarely leave my room here at the Old Soldiers' Home, and even more rarely do I go anywhere beyond the grounds of the Old Soldiers' Home.

Today, I went with a buddy to visit the gun show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

I hoped being a member of the National Rifle Association would get me in the door free, but I had to pay ten bucks for admission.

If you bought a membership in the National Rifle Association, you did get free admission to the gun show, but if you were already a member, that benefit didn't apply.

So, we wandered around inside the gun show for a few hours, and there was a lot to see.

I was amused when my buddy inquired of a dealer if those "banana clips" for the Ruger 10-22 were legal.

I explained to the dealer's amusement that my friend was not properly educated, and was unaware that we citizens are endowed with inalienable rights.

The proper question should be, "Does any government agency have the authority to outlaw possession of Ruger 10-22 banana clips?"

Even more importantly, will we citizens ALLOW any government agency to infringe on our inalienable rights?

Of course, we must deal with the unfortunate reality that an awful lot of American citizens today don't even know the definition of "inalienable rights".

Both of us admired the .50 calibre sniper rifle manufactured and sold by a company in Utah.

Yes, it's perfectly legal for private citizens to own one in the United States of America.

There were also working machine guns for sale, plus historic replicas of everything, including phony Hollywood interpretations of the Old West.

(But, you have to be a true Westerner to recognize what was authentic and what was merely show business!)

One of the things that impressed me was the booth manned by members of the Virginia State Defense Force.

Many years ago, I was a member of the Utah State Guard (also known as the "State Defense Force"), and I'm proud of having THREE (03) military Honorable Discharges, one from the regular United States Army, one from the Utah Army National Guard, and one from the Utah State Guard.

Most folks have never heard of the State Defense Force, or State Guard, although their state probably has one.

The National Guard is actually part of the United States Army, and subject to being ordered by the President of the United States to serve in a foreign war.

But, the State Guard is a bit different.

When I was in it, we carried identification signed by the Governor, not the President, with state authority designating us as peace officers, we used National Guard facilities, received our training and certificates from the United States Army and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (i.e., "F.E.M.A."), and we were unpaid volunteers required to supply our own uniforms, weapons, and equipment.

Since we were not part of the United States Army, we could NOT be ordered to active duty by the President of the United States, since the Governor was our commander-in-chief, and there was no authority to send us beyond the borders of our state.

In the event the National Guard is mobilized and sent to a foreign war, the State Guard then assumes responsibility for the security of National Guard armories in that state.

Your local State Defense Force is America's TRUE citizen "militia", or "minutemen", as they are all unpaid volunteers with their own arms and equipment, which they are required to keep with them at all times.

Folks, I'm NOT describing private militia organizations which are shown on television news, but an officially organized and authorized state militia.

You can learn more by visiting the web site of the State Guard Association of the United States, and that URL is:

I think you'll find it interesting.

While wandering around among the gun show exhibits, I had a real treat.

I saw a guy wearing an orange T-shirt with the words, "Voice of the Eagle", the motto of the 501st Signal Battalion, my old unit in Viet Nam.

He was a young fellow, much too young to have served in Viet Nam, but we had an enjoyable conversation about the old unit, made even more significant because the 501st Signal Battalion, which was the communications unit of the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles", has been deactivated and no longer exists.

I've only met one other guy from the 501st Signal Battalion, and like me, he resides here at the Old Soldiers' Home.

I was surprised by some of the things I did NOT see at the gun show.

Although weapons and artifacts from virtually every culture and heritage were exhibited, including items of Hollywood fantasy, I did NOT see any Scottish weaponry.

Another thing I did not see, which has been prominent in previous years, was display of the Confederate battle flag.

There was one booth which displayed full-sized Confederate banners, but they were the "Bonny Blue Flag" and the "Stars and Bars", which most contemporary Americans are too ignorant to recognize as being symbolic of the Confederate States of America.

A lot of folks mistakenly refer to the battle flag as the "Stars and Bars", but the "Stars and Bars" is not the more familiar battle flag featured in Hollywood epics, but the official national flag of the Confederate States of America, the one flown over the Confederate capitol.

Just as the United States of America had several variations of flags when our nation first began, so too did the Confederate States of America have several different types of flags.

Ironically, the ONLY Scottish item I saw was a small decal of the Saltire, the flag of Scotland, which was for sale on a table along with small decals of the Confederate battle flag.

I get the sad impression that it has become unpopularly controversial to display the Confederate battle flag, as though we should feel embarrassed or ashamed of our ancestors and our history.

I've noticed the same trend at Celtic festivals and gatherings.

In previous years, I remember seeing Confederate battle flags included among all the other banners representative of Celtic people, but the last time I attended a Celtic festival (a couple of years ago), I don't remember seeing any Confederate flag.

Maybe you remember the recent public announcement that NASCAR would no longer permit any Confederate flags to be displayed at their events.

Of course, I never attend NASCAR races, since they violate the Sabbath, but it saddens me to see one more thing of pure Southern origin, i.e., stock car racing, which began with Smokey Mountain bootleg whiskey runners evading pursuit by federal agents, caving in to the fashionable trends of anti-White "political correctness".

Actually, my ancestors served on BOTH sides of the War Between the States, some of them owned slaves, some of them helped slaves escape, and I'm proud of all of them.

Typical of most Americans, my ancestors originated from several nations, Scotland being among them, and they have been in this country since the "MAYFLOWER" arrived (the second voyage, not the more famous one).

I'm a native American.

No, I don't have any American Indian ancestry, but I was born and raised in this country, so that makes me a true "native American", and I ain't giving that title up to no one!

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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