Editor’s Note: James Wesley Rawles is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, owner of the wildly popular Survival Blog web site, and author of numerous books including Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.
In the following open letter, James Rawles addresses the one question that’s on the minds of millions of Americans who see their country being systematically stripped of their fundamental laws and protections.
What can we do?
We will resist. We will defy. We will unite.
Not One More Inch.
Nunc Pro Tunc: The Coming Day of Burn Barrels and Blessings
This is a standing invitation to my fellow Americans: If congress ever enacts a law mandating the registration and/or a production ban of detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles then you are hereby invited to the town square of your local community. There, burn barrels will be set up and we will publicly burn Form 4473s, FFL Bound Books, state and local registration records, and the sales receipts for every firearm in the United States. On that same day, FFL holders and public officials holding electronic firearms records will simultaneously erase those records, permanently and irretrievably. (Using special file erasure software such as Blancco, X-Ways, and Stellar Wipe, or though the physical destruction of disk drives.)
Spontaneous Gatherings, Spontaneous Combustion
This burn barrel day–likely to be held the day after the President signs any new draconian legislation–will include speeches, public prayers, and the blessing of those who have gathered by ministers, rabbis, and priests.
The core of the activities on that day will be stalwart public defiance of any new unconstitutional law(s), the open and notorious destruction of records that might be used to enslave us, and vocal public affirmations of solidarity of free men and women, in the face of tyranny. This will be a defining moment for America–a line drawn in the sand. We will forthrightly declare that we will not obey any unconstitutional law and that we will treat it dismissively, as if it had never been enacted — nunc pro tunc. We will pledge ourselves to the defense of liberty, both individually and collectively. We will vow that if ever called to jury duty, we will nullify any unconstitutional laws, vacating the charges against the accused, in accordance with our long-standing right as jurors. (See: www.FIJA.org.)
The Law is On Our Side
We will publicly re-affirm some long standing precepts of American jurisprudence, to wit:
“The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.
Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…
A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby.
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.” – 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256
Recognizing the many sad lessons of civilian disarmament and subsequent genocides in the 20th Century, we will make bold and forthright statement: Never Again! Wewill not submit to the unlawful decrees of tyrants. We will not meekly go their jails and internment camps. We will fight for our liberty, to our dying breath.
Come Armed, Come Masked
I recommend that all adults who publicly assemble at these burn barrel events do so armed, as is our right. And those who come armed should also wear masks, to protect themselves from malicious prosecution. I plan to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, but you can wear a bandana, face muffler, or the face mask of your choice. Joining you, also wearing masks, will be many mayors, sheriffs and their deputies, chiefs of police and their officers, town council members, clergy, and people of all walks of life. We vastly outnumber the tyrants. The tyrants deserve nothing but our scorn and derision. Their fate is already sealed.
After this fateful day has come and gone, FFL holders and public officials will be able to recount: “I had no choice. My records were taken by men with guns who were wearing masks!” (So they’ll have no excuse if they don’t cooperate with this nationwide display of civil disobedience.)
God Bless The Republic. Down with Tyrants. We Will Prevail!
– James Wesley, Rawles – January 28, 2013