Let us skip with the intro and get to the printing. Plenty of time to chat about details later in other parts.
After about 27 hours on the 3D printer, this block was pulled off the print bed:
I spent two hours today removing support material with some side cutters, a couple of pliers, and a scraper. It is starting to look more like the finished product, but there is still a long ways to go.
3D Printers add material in layers to build up an item. So you could print something shaped like the letter V with no problems because the layers support each other and you can have some amount of overhang of a previous layer. But a shape like the letter T would fail because it would be trying to print the top line of it in the air and the print would fail. To solve this problem we can add supports, additional material to provide a base for the final product to print on. Unfortunately, like in this case, those supports can be a pain in the ass to remove.
There is a still a large amount of support material in the mag well, and in the various holes in this trigger housing. It is going to take me a good while longer to get it cleaned up.
I’m not sure if I am going to try and finish this part first, or start working on the next. I’ll give you all some proper details and explanations later. But for now, I am really impressed with how rigid this part feels. The additional material along the top sides makes it feel far more rugged that some of the old cheap plastic AR15 lowers I have handled.
The British Empire has a long and storied history full of triumphs and atrocities, a history that is indelibly linked with that of the United States. Throughout this history, British troops have flexed their muscle around the globe using numerous iconic firearms, many of which will be discussed below. For the purposes of this quick crash course, we will be covering the standard infantry long guns carried by British troops from the early 18th century until the end of the Second World War and the downward slide of the empire.
The Land Pattern Musket or “Brown Bess”
Lot 1175: British India Pattern Brown Bess Flintlock Musket. Estimate $1,800 – $2,750.
The true origin of the term “Brown Bess” sadly may be lost to history, but one of the leading theories seems fairly logical, and the nomenclature appears to have been widely used in contemporary sources. Said theory states that “Bess,” was a slang term adopted during the 18th century for women of ill-repute such as mistresses or prostitutes. Combining this with “brown,” to mean plain, led to one of the most recognizable names in firearms history. The Brown Bess was a muzzle loading flintlock smoothbore musket that fired a round .75 caliber ball with a fire rate of 3-5 shots per minute, dependent upon the user. There were three main patterns of the musket carried by infantry on land, these being the Long Land, Short Land, and India Pattern. There are multiple small variations within these three types, but the most easily recognizable difference is their length. With a clear trend towards a shorter overall weapon, the Long Land measured a hefty 62.5-inches overall and the India Pattern was 55.25-inches in length. There were also less common patterns, such as the New Light Infantry Pattern and the Sea Service Pattern, whose names are fairly self explanatory. Muskets of these various patterns were in service for over 100 years, from 1722 until they began to be phased out in the early 1830s. However, with a total of approximately 4.3 million of these old workhorses manufactured, they continued in use by rear echelon troops (and countries throughout the world that couldn’t acquire more advanced weapons) until the late 1800s. Many of the India Pattern muskets were updated to the percussion Pattern 1839 musket, which was in service for a short time before the introduction of the Pattern 1853.
Lot 1176: T. Ketland & Co. Marked British India Pattern Brown Bess Flintlock Musket. Estimate $1,600-$2,500.
The Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle-Musket
Fine 1856 Dated British Tower Pattern 1853 Percussion Rifle with 1861 Dated Pimlico Export Stamped Stock. Sold for $2,588 in June 2020.
Even the mighty Brown Bess could not conquer the slow advance of technology, and after being phased out by the Pattern 1839 for a short time, it was replaced by another iconic arm more familiar to our American readers. The Pattern 1853 Enfield was developed by William Pritchett in the early 1850s, and in its most widespread form was 55 inches overall and fired a .577 caliber minié-ball. Like the Brown Bess, the P1853 was manufactured in multiple patterns, but what came to be known as the “three-band” was by far the most widespread. The approximately 1.5 million P1853 rifle-muskets were carried by British troops in numerous conflicts throughout the empire between 1853 to 1867, and as alluded to earlier, is probably well-known to those in the U.S. for their widespread use during the American Civil War (1861-1865). During the deadliest war in American history, the P1853 was the second most widely carried infantry weapon, with only the Springfield Model 1861 being issued in larger numbers. The largest conflict in which British troops carried it was the Crimean War (1853-1856), where it was present for iconic moments such as the “thin red line” of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders repelling a Russian cavalry charge at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. During both of these wars the P1853 gained a widespread reputation for its accuracy and reliability. Though the service life of this rifle was about 80 years shorter than that of the Brown Bess, its impact on history cannot be overlooked as rifled infantry weapons had irreversibly changed the trajectory of warfare. Much like the Brown Bess, many of these rifles were destined to be converted into their replacements, in this case the breech loading Snider-Enfield.
The Snider-Enfield Breechloading Rifle
British Snider-Enfield Mk. II★★ Rifle. Sold for $1,610 in April 2018.
Though mainly a stopgap measure, the Snider-Enfield is certainly worth mentioning when discussing the evolution of infantry longarms of the British Empire. The Snider-Enfield was developed in 1866 as a conversion of the previously discussed Pattern 1853 from a muzzle loading percussion configuration to a breech loading conversion using a self-contained cartridge. In trials the benefits of this system were initially evident as it took the average infantryman’s rate of fire from 3-5 rounds per minute to approximately 10 rounds per minute. Just like its predecessors, the Snider-Enfield saw use in various conflicts throughout the empire including the Anglo-Ashanti Wars and the New Zealand Wars. The Snider-Enfield also introduced the brass-cased .577 Snider cartridge that would continue in service in various forms until near the end of the 19th century when it was finally supplanted by the well-known .303 cartridge. Approximately 870,000 Pattern 1853 rifles were converted to the Snider-Enfield pattern by the time they began to be widely phased out in 1874. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British preferred to keep the Indian troops armed with weapons a generation behind, so these conversions would continue in the service of the British Indian Army until the mid-1890s.
Top view of the Snider-Enfield. Sold for $3,163 in April 2012.
The Martini-Henry Breech Loading Lever-Actuated Rifle
Rare Enfield Martini-Henry Mk I Third Pattern Single Shot Service Rifle with Bayonet and Accessories. Sold for $2,588 in May 2019.
The Martini-Henry rifle was a combination of a Peabody developed, lever-actuated, dropping block action, its subsequent improvements by Friedrich von Martini, and polygonal rifling developed by Scotsman, Alexander Henry. It began to be issued to British troops in 1871 and by 1874 was widespread. The rifle continued to be chambered in .577, however it was slightly different than that of the Snider. The Martini-Henry fired the .577/450 Boxer-Henry cartridge which initially had a brass foil casing that proved to cause issues in the field. This casing was later replaced by a stronger drawn brass cartridge that proved more reliable. This innovative rifle saw service in various colonial wars including the Second Anglo-Afghan War, the Second Boer War, and most famously, the Anglo-Zulu War. Martini-Henry rifles can be seen carried by the troops defending Rorke’s Drift in the Hollywood film “Zulu,” a favorite of many a military historian. The standard infantry Martini-Henry was produced in four major patterns, the Mk I, Mk II, Mk III, and Mk IV, which is usually marked on the side of the action. Production was ended in 1889 to be replaced by the Lee-Metford bolt action but they continued to be carried by second line troops until after World War I.
Magazine Lee-Metford Bolt Action Rifle
Lot 3472: Antique British Military Lee-Metford Mark I★ Bolt Action Rifle with Bayonet. Estimate: $2,250 – $3,250
After roughly nine years of development the Lee-Metford, Britain’s first widely issued bolt action rifle, first entered service in 1888. Like its predecessor, this rifle was a combination of innovations from two different inventors, those being James Paris Lee’s action and detachable magazine and William Ellis Metford’s seven groove barrel. Besides being the first British military bolt action, the Lee-Metford was also the first rifle chambered in the new .303 British cartridge that would be their standard cartridge until well into the post-World War II era. Like the Snider-Enfield, this rifle was only in service for a short time, but brought forth irreversible changes to the way the British military conducted warfare. Even with its short career, the Lee-Metford managed to take part in a number of different conflicts including the Second Boer War and the Boxer Rebellion.
Historic Documented Boer War Lee-Speed Patent Magazine Lee-Metford Mk I★ Bolt Action with Inscribed Stock. Sold for $5,463 in September 2019
Lee-Enfield Bolt Action Rifle
Outstanding Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk I★ Bolt Action Rifle with Bayonet. Sold for $3,450 in September 2019
This military mainstay was initially introduced in 1895 as the “Magazine Lee-Enfield” or MLE, an early variation that wouldn’t last long. This rifle, and those to follow, continued the use of the .303 British cartridge until the adoption of the 7.62×51 NATO cartridge in the Cold War era. In 1904, the more commonly known “Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk I” or SMLE Mk I was introduced. By 1907, the Mk III took the stage and was the most widely carried rifle by British/Commonwealth troops during World War I. Early in the war the Mk III was found to be too complicated to mass produce and was replaced by the slightly simplified variant called the Mk III*. Between the First and Second World Wars development continued and by the early 1930s the British military settled on the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I, which would be again simplified for mass production in 1942 and called the No. 4 Mk I*. These rifles were carried throughout World War II and into the post-war era by frontline troops of the British Empire.
Exceptional World War II British Enfield No. 4 Mk I (T) Bolt Action Sniper Rifle with Matching Scope, Mount, Scope Bag and Transit Case. Estimate: $4,750-$6,500
Empires Fade, Rifles Live On
At the height of its power the British empire included 23% of the world’s population and 24% of the world’s land area. With the end of World War II however, the British empire began to decline. Successive decolonisation and independence movements throughout their colonies would lead to only a few British overseas territories by the 1980s. These were the long arms that allowed a small island nation to enforce their will upon a large part of the globe, and create an empire upon which “the sun never set.”
Two world wars created countless American heroes, many of which will go down in history as legends. Some of them were unsung heroes at the bottom that may only be truly remembered by those they directly impacted. Others, like John “Black Jack” Pershing, “Old Blood and Guts” George Patton, and Douglas “Big Chief” MacArthur, were leaders of thousands, and for many, are nearly household names. While there is no doubt that the unsung heroes in the trenches and the legendary leaders with larger than life personalities were needed and deserve to be honored, there were also those that fell somewhere between the two. They were the ones that just quietly, skillfully, and efficiently got the job done. One of those men was General Clarence R. Huebner, who from the trenches of the Western Front in World War I, to the surrender of Nazi Germany, to his retirement in 1950, gave himself to the service of the United States with skill and dedication.
General Huebner’s personal sidearm and sword will be available in our September Premier Auction. The Model 1911A1 pistol was one of only 6,575 commercial model pistols that were unsold and transferred to fulfill Colt’s military contract. Though the pistol is rare and desirable in its own right, it is the man who owned it that truly makes it a treasure worthy of some of the most advanced U.S. military arms or 1911 collections.
Childhood and Leadership
Clarence Ralph Huebner was born in Bushton, Kansas on 24 November 1888. He was the first child of Martha Rischel and Samuel Huebner, a farmer of German descent. Early in Clarence’s educational career he showed an aptitude for math and grammar, participated in many sports, and was a student leader. It appears that early on Huebner knew he wanted to join the army, but before doing so he attended Grand Island Business College in Nebraska. After graduation, in 1908, he was hired by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad as a typist. It is fairly clear that this desk job wasn’t able to keep his attention for long as in 1910 he enlisted in the army as a private and was sent to Fort McKenzie in Wyoming for training. After completing training Huebner was assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment. During this time he worked his way up to the rank of sergeant, with some sources stating his first taste of combat was during the hunt for Mexican outlaw Pancho Villa in 1916. Huebner also received his first commission during 1916, being quickly promoted to 2nd lieutenant and then 1st lieutenant, along with a transfer to the 28th Infantry Regiment. These promotions and transfers make it likely that chasing Villa was in fact Huebner’s first taste of combat with the 28th had been sent to Texas in 1913 to counter the outlaw’s incursions into the United States. Regardless of the exact dates or levels of involvement in the Pancho Villa Expedition, Huebner’s transfer to the 28th would lead to the next chapter of his long career.
The Big Red One
On 8 June, 1917, Huebner and the 28th Infantry Regiment were assigned to the First Expeditionary Division, which would become the 1st Infantry Division in 1918. Nicknamed “the Big Red One” (B.R.O.) due to the large, bright red numeral found on the Division’s shoulder patch, they were the first American combat unit to set foot on European soil on 29 June 1917.
The following year, Huebner and the B.R.O. took part in the first American regimental attack on the village of Cantigny. After an hour-long artillery barrage, the B.R.O. left their jump-off trenches and quickly captured their objectives, taking the high ground. The first counterattack came in the morning, and although weak, it was the first of many attacks that would only grow stronger and more intense over the following three days. Huebner found himself in command of 2nd Battalion of the B.R.O. because his skill and composure in leading that battalion, and because every officer above him had been killed in action. During the battle, Huebner and his troops successfully repelled intense German counter attacks, earning him a citation for the Distinguished Service Cross. The citation reads:
“The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Clarence Ralph Huebner, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Cantigny, France, May 28 – 30, 1918.
For three days Lieutenant Colonel Huebner withstood German assaults under intense bombardment, heroically exposing himself to fire constantly in order to command his battalion effectively, and although his command lost half its officers and 30 per cent of its men, he held his position and prevented a break in the line at that point.”
With Huebner leading the 2nd Battalion in other major battles of the war including Saint-Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and Soisson, his abilities as a skillful and tactical leader became undeniable. Huebner was again cited for the D.S.C., this time it read:
“The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Clarence Ralph Huebner, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Soissons, France, July 18 – 23, 1918.
Lieutenant Colonel Huebner displayed great gallantry, and, after all the officers of his battalion had become casualties, he reorganized his battalion while advancing, captured his objective and again reorganized his own and another battalion, carrying the line forward. He remained continuously on duty until wounded on the second day of the action.”
By the end of World War I, Huebner had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was one of the youngest regimental commanders in the entire American Expeditionary Force. Along with the two Distinguished Service Crosses, he had also been awarded a Distinguished Service Medal, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart. With the end of the war Huebner remained in the army and spent the interwar years in various roles as a student and teacher of infantry combat, and was officially promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1938.
World War II
During the buildup and start of the Second World War, he again held a variety of posts which included Chief of Training Branch on the Army General Staff from 1940-1942 and Commandant at the Infantry Replacement Center for part of 1943. It was many of these interwar posts held by Huebner that formed him into exactly the disciplined leader that General Omar Bradley needed to take over command of the 1st Infantry Division.
By 1943 the Big Red One had earned its reputation as a hard fighting, and even harder drinking, band of misfits by fighting the battle-hardened German Afrika Korps in North Africa. Resulting in the capturing of around 250,000 Axis soldiers, these efforts contributed to the conclusion of the Tunisia Campaign that dealt a serious blow to the Nazis. The rambunctious reputation of the Big Red One was largely nurtured by their commander, General Terry Allen, who was known throughout the military community to value tactical abilities over general rule and discipline.
“Allen’s brawling 1st Infantry Division was celebrating the Tunisian victory in a manner all its own. In towns from Tunisia all the way to Arzew, the division had left a trail of looted wine shops and outraged mayors…”
-General Omar Bradley, commander of II Corps
In July of 1943, the B.R.O. took part in Operation Husky, by special request from Lieutenant General George Patton. By August of 1943, the division had fought their way through Sicily leaving behind a trail of destruction and chaos in their wake. At this point, Lieutenant General Omar Bradley’s patience had reached critical mass, and on 7 August 1943, General Terry Allen was relieved of command. His replacement was none other than General Clarence Huebner, who had cut his teeth with the 1st in the trenches of the Western Front in World War I, making him an ideal candidate for the position. Bradley’s goal with this leadership change was to instill some much needed discipline in one of the most experienced American divisions that would be desperately needed in the coming battles. Immediately, Huebner sought to bring order to the unruly division through a series of parades, close-order drills, and weapons training.
Operation Overlord: the Invasion of Normandy
With the conclusion of the Sicily Campaign in November of 1943, B.R.O. was sent back to England to prepare for the most ambitious mission of the entire war: the invasion of Normandy. Operation Overlord, as it was nicknamed, saw the successful invasion of German-Occupied Western-Europe by Allied forces, but not without witnessing some of the bloodiest fighting in human history. The original plan was for the battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division to make up a large portion of the first wave of attack landing on Omaha Beach at “H-Hour.” Two battalions of the B.R.O. were to land on two different sectors at the eastern end of the beach, these being Easy Red and Fox Green. Once there, they would be initially supported by two tank battalions, and support from another battalion of tanks shortly after. However, as the army would soon find out, reality seldom adheres to the wills of man.
Even with the lengthy, intense, and detailed preparation for Operation Overlord, things very quickly began to unravel at Omaha. Shortly after boarding their landing craft, the B.R.O. began passing men floating in the water strapped to life preservers. In horror, the men slowly began to realize that these soldiers floating past them were, in fact, crew members of the tank battalions who would be supporting them once at the beach. Twenty-seven tanks had sunk while on the journey to reach Normandy because of rough seas, deserting dozens of men in the cold waters and leaving the B.R.O. no support once at the beach. Things didn’t get any better from there. Crews of the landing crafts struggled to see navigation points along the beach due to smoke from the pre-landing bombardment, and seasickness was rampant among the men they carried. This was compounded by strong winds and currents pushing all of the landing craft Eastward and scattering the troops across Easy Red and Fox Green. Intermingled, disoriented, and confused, the men landed far behind schedule. Scheduled for low tide so that sunken obstacles would be visible, this failed attempt to gain a leverage over their opponents resulted in men landing on sandbars 50 to 100 yards off shore, requiring them to wade or swim the rest of the way to the beach under intense machine gun fire. Often ditching heavy equipment simply to keep from drowning, those that did make it to the beach were met with a horrendous hail of German fire from fortified pillboxes. Within the first hour of the landings on D-Day, some units of the B.R.O. had suffered upwards of 30% casualties.
What started as a pessimistic greeting of the Allied troops would quickly be alieviated by more precise landings of infantry and tanks that concentrated between the exits. A glimmer of hope shone through the thick clouds of smoke and debris. At this point, most of the infantry, and the few tanks that had actually managed to land, were still trapped on the beach huddled near the shingle for cover. It was not until later in the afternoon that the 1st Division troops that landed on Easy Red and Fox Green were able to open up their exits off the beach and continue moving towards their next objectives, which was primarily South towards Colleville and some surrounding villages as well as East towards Port-en-Bessin. There, the B.R.O. was to clear the area of German hostiles and establish a perimeter to protect the beachhead from counterattack. General Huebner landed on Omaha at 19:00 on 6 June 1944. Due to the significant difficulties with the initial landings and incredibly high casualties, it was not until the morning D-Day+3 (9 June) that the B.R.O. had finally accomplished all of its D-Day objectives.
Following the events of Operation Overlord, the B.R.O. would not get to see much down time as they engaged in heavy fighting while taking of the town of St. Lo. As a part of Operation Cobra that took place from 25-31 July, the B.R.O. aided in the support of the Anglo-Canadian operations against Caen, with the goal of breaking out of bocage country. Their success during Operation Cobra would result in the B.R.O. seeing increased action around the Mons Pocket from 2-6 September in which a large number of Germans were taken prisoner. On 2 October 1944, they began operations against Aachen which saw some of the most intense street fighting of the war, and captured it on 21 October.
From there, General Huebner and the Big Red One continued on into the confused and bloody fighting in the Hürtgen Forest, which would rage until mid-December, resulting in more than 30,000 American casualties. The 1st Division was finally sent to the rear on 7 December for rest and refit after six months of near constant fighting. Their R&R would not last long however as they were pressed into service to counter a German offensive at Elsenborn Ridge during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the War
On 14 January 1945 General Huebner was promoted to command of V Corps which he led in operations against the Ruhr Pocket from 1–18 April which led to the capture of 317,000 German troops. From there they pressed on to the Elbe River, made contact with the Soviet Red Army, and pushed into Czechoslovakia when the Germans finally surrendered on 29 April 1945. By the end of the war the 1st Infantry Division had suffered over 20,000 battle casualties, been awarded 16 Medals of Honor, 131 Distinguished Service Crosses, and captured 188,382 German troops.
After the war Huebner served as the Chief of Staff for all American forces in Europe and in 1949 was named the final military governor of the American occupation zone in Germany and retired from the United States Army on 30 November 1950. Rock Island Auction Company is proud to offer General Clarence Huebner’s personal sidearm and sword in the September 11-13 Premier Firearms Auction.
General Huebner’s pistol was manufactured in 1943, making it very plausible that it was with him when he landed on Omaha Beach, at his side through the war, and accompanying him until his retirement.
Lot 1445: General Clarence R. Huebner’s Colt 1911A1
This Model 1911A1 pistol is also incredibly rare as it was one of only 6,575 commercial model pistols that were unsold and transferred to fulfill Colt’s military contract during the Second World War. An arrangement of dates, addresses, and patent information decorates the sides of the slide. Marked “COLT” and “AUTOMATIC/CALIBRE .45,” the left side of the frame presents a government inspection mark (“G.H.D.”) along with “GOVERNMENT MODEL” markings as well. While the original commercial serial number was removed at the factory, “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” was marked on the firearm in its place. The pistol also features a serial number in the military range was also marked “M1911A1 U.S. ARMY.” This beautiful piece includes an unmarked blue barrel and full blue magazine. Huebner’s 1911 retains more than half of the original parkerized finish with the balance mostly a grey patina, primarily on edges and handling areas. The grips are fine with some minor dings and scratches, however, crisp checkering is still present on the pistol. Considering its age, usage throughout combat, and current functionality, this 1911 is a supremely desirable historic item.
Lot 1445: General Clarence R. Huebner’s M1902 Saber
Also included in this lot is a Horstmann Co. M1902 officer’s saber that was presented to Huebner. Featuring a standard floral and patriotic motif etched blade, nickeled scabbard, and a gold decorated leather hanger, this blade includes documentation from General Clarence R. Huebner’s grandson confirming its authenticity. Truly incredible pieces of American history, they could easily be the centerpieces of a variety of different collections!
What is a legacy? For some, it can mean grandiose statues erected in honor of past accomplishments, forever to be viewed and visited by later generations. For others, a legacy is something more literal, an heirloom, a watch, a pistol, that has trickled its way past trenches and battlefields to sit comfortably hanging above a fireplace or on a bookshelf. However, for few, legacy is something that is ingrained somewhere in the DNA, an aspect of someone’s personality that extends far beyond their awards, accolades, and reputation but is rooted in their soul. For men like General Clarence Huebner, a legacy isn’t given, it’s earned. From his humble roots to his courage and leadership during both World Wars, Clarence Huebner is more than a man; he is a legend. Find out more about the items owned by General Huebner during Rock Island Auction Company’s exciting September 11-13 Premier Auction.
Rock Island Auction Company comes face to face with rare pieces of history such as this every single day making it a virtual museum of items that span the course of centuries. Learn more about bidding, registering for upcoming auctions, and consignment through the links provided.
Whitlock, Flint, The fighting first: the untold story of the Big Red One on D-Day
Back in 2014, hundreds if not thousands of conservatives and liberty movement activists converged on a farm in rural Clark County, Nevada. The purpose was to protest the incursion of federal government agents onto the property of the Bundy family, who had defied pressure from the Bureau of Land Management to stop allowing their cattle to feed on “federal land” in a form of free ranging. It was a practice that had been going on for decades and one that was required for the Bundy farm to survive, ended abruptly by environmental laws protecting a tortoise.
The Bundy family had been improving on the area with aquifers and other measures for generations without interference. The claim by the BLM and other agencies was that the farmers were destroying wildlife habitat with their cattle, yet the Bundy’s land improvements had actually allowed wildlife to THRIVE in areas where animals would find life difficult or impossible otherwise.
The federal government became fixated on the Bundy’s, and decided to make an example out of them. Their defiance of the crackdown on their use of the land was met with extreme measures, including their cattle impounded, their farm being surrounded and sniper teams placed in the hills nearby. The liberty movement saw this as the last straw, and so reacted at a grassroots level. The concern was that Bundy Ranch could become another Waco. They locked and loaded and went to defend the Bundy’s.
I completely agreed at the time with the efforts surrounding Bundy Ranch and I still agree with them today. The federal government had overstepped its bounds on multiple occasions when it came to rural farmers in sagebrush country and everyone had finally had enough. The feds were faced with a group of armed liberty movement members and eventually ran away. They even gave the Bundy’s back the cattle the feds had initially tried to confiscate. This event showcased the power of the people to repel tyranny when necessary.
The claim that the public is impotent against government force was summarily trounced. The action was not perfect, and there were many internal disputes and a plethora of mistakes, but overall it had achieved its goal. It sent a message to the establishment that if you try to assert unconstitutional force against the citizenry there is a chance a Bundy Ranch scenario might happen again, and next time it might not simply be a defensive measure.
I mention Bundy Ranch because I want to remind conservatives of their roots. We are a constitutional movement. We are a small government movement. We believe in individual rights, states rights and the 10th Amendment, as well as strict limitations placed on the federal government and state governments when they try to violate the Bill of Rights. If you don’t believe in these things, you are not a conservative or a constitutionalist.
No government, whether state or federal, supersedes the boundaries placed upon them by the constitution. Once they violate those boundaries, they must be put in check by the citizenry, for the constitution is merely an object that represents an ideal. It can’t defend itself. If a government undermines constitutional protections, it is not a failure of the constitution, it is a failure by the public to act.
Sadly, there are “conservatives” out there who supported the efforts at Bundy Ranch in 2014, but are now calling for federal overreach and martial law today. The very same people who argued vehemently against unconstitutional actions back then are arguing for bending or breaking the rules of the constitution now. This is something I have been warning about for years…
The greatest threat to freedom is not the government, extreme leftists or the globalist cabal; the greatest threat is when freedom fighters foresake their own principles and start rationalizing tyranny because it happens to benefit them in the moment. If freedom fighters stop fighting for freedom, who remains pick up the mantle? No one. And thus, the globalists and collectivists win the long game.
Right now there are two sides calling for martial law-like restrictions on the public, and both sides think they are doing what is best for society at large. They both believe they are morally justified and that totalitarian actions are necessary for “the greater good”. Both sides are wrong.
The Pandemic Puritans
On one side, we have a group made up primarily of political leftists but also some conservatives who say that the coronavius pandemic creates a scenario in which medical tyranny must be established to protect the public from itself. Leftists enjoy control in general and the pandemic simply offers an opportunity for them to act out their totalitarian fantasies in real life.
These are the people who wag their fingers at others on the street or in the park or at the beach for not “social distancing” properly. These are the people that inform on their neighbors, or inform on local businesses for not following strict guidelines. These are the people that get a thrill from forcing other people to conform.
This is not to say that precautions are not warranted, they certainly are. However, these precautions MUST be up to individuals, not enforced by bureaucracy. The moment you hand government ultimate power to dictate people’s health decisions, personal daily activities, freedom of assembly and their ability to participate in the economy, you have given the government ultimate power to destroy our very culture. No government should be allowed to have that kind of influence.
The issue here is one of the greater EVIL, not the greater good. What is the greater evil? To avoid unconstitutional measures, avoid violating individual rights and allow the virus to spread faster than it normally would? Or, to completely throw out the Bill of Rights, individual liberty and economic security in the name of a brand of “safety” that is ambiguous and undefined?
As I write this, the state of New Jersey among others is implementing a draconian response against businesses that defy lockdown orders. NJ just arrested the owners of a gymnasium in Bellmawr who refused to close down. Even though they used social distancing measures and applied their own guidelines, the state has decided that citizens are children that must be controlled rather than adults that can make their own choices. This sets a dangerous precedence for the whole country.
Understand that small businesses that are not deemed “essential” by arbitrary decree from the state are on the verge of bankruptcy and collapse. Millions of people are having their livelihoods threatened by the lockdowns. Millions of jobs are at risk. Is the coronavirus really worth destroying our own economic system? Because that is EXACTLY what is happening right now. The US economy was already suffering from destabilization, and now the pandemic response is putting the final nail in the coffin.
If the economy tanks far more people will die from the resulting crisis of poverty, crime and civil unrest than will EVER die from the coronavirus pandemic. When you look at the big picture, how can anyone justify medical tyranny and martial law measures? There is simply no logical explanation for violating the economic and personal freedom of Americans in response to a disease. If some people die from the virus, so be it. Its a small price to pay to keep our freedoms intact. Furthermore, I would stand by that argument even if I get sick from the virus.
Sock Puppet Conservatives
There are people out there that like constitutional rights and civil liberties “in theory”, but in practice they view these rights as inconvenient to their goals. For these so-called “conservatives”, the Bill of Rights is only for peacetime. When war or domestic conflict rolls around, our rights are suddenly forfeit.
I use this particular metaphor often but I really can’t find a better one:
Government power is like the “one ring” in Lord Of The Rings. Everyone desperately wants control of it. The side of evil thirsts for it. The side of good thinks that if only they had it they could use it for honorable ends; they think they can use it to defeat evil. They are wrong.
The “one ring” (government power) corrupts ALL. It cannot be controlled. It cannot be used for good. Eventually, it warps the minds of those who hold it, twisting them into something grotesque. Good people who exploit the ring end up becoming the very monsters they were trying to defeat, and evil wins.
Right now through the Trump Administration conservatives are being tempted with the “one ring”. We are being tempted with ultimate government power. The leftist hordes and their actions are egregious. They act irrationally and foolishly. Their communist ideology and mindless zealotry is destructive and they openly seek the collapse of western civilization. But in the end this doesn’t matter. They are nothing more than useful idiots for a greater agenda.
It’s interesting that the only solution I see being presented in conservative circles lately is the use of federal power to crush the protests and riots. Again, this might seem like a reasonable action in the face of so much lawlessness, but if taken too far the implications are horrifying.
Some conservative groups are cheering the deployment of federal agencies to cities like Portland in the name of stopping civil unrest, but there is a fine line between law enforcement and martial law. And by martial law, I mean ANY government force that is designed to suppress or break civil protections. This does not only include a military presence, it can also include federal agencies overstepping their bounds, just as they did at Bundy Ranch.
In Portland and other cities like New York, federal agents and police have been snatching protesters off the street in unmarked vans without identifying themselves. Essentially, they are black-bagging people. This is the kind of behavior which real conservatives traditionally despise.
Yes, some of these protesters did in fact loot or participate in property damage; and some of them did absolutely nothing. This is being done under 40 US Code 1315 which was signed into law by Neo-con president George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks as part of the tidal wave of unconstitutional Patriot Act measures that were railroaded through during mass fear and panic.
Conservatives have been warning for years about the potential for misuse of these laws to violate people’s rights. Will we now support them because they are being enforced against people we don’t like? I will say this: If an unmarked van with unidentified armed people tried to grab me off the street, I would do everything in my power to put a bullet in each and every one of them. And, I would not hold it against any person who did the same, even if they were my ideological opponent.
Some conservatives are calling for much more, including the deployment of the National Guard or a standing military presence. The use of such tactics opens the door to serious consequences, and I believe if we allow the federal government to bend the rules now, we set the stage for expansive martial law in the near future. By extension, labeling looters or rioters as “terrorists” also has dangerous implications. Those of us that were activists during the Obama years know how freely that label is thrown around by government and the media.
We might feel righteous in violating the civil liberties of social justice Marxists because of their insane behavior and the threat they pose to the stability of the country, but, what happens when the roles are reversed? During Bundy Ranch, conservatives were also being labeled “terrorists”, and who is to say we won’t find ourselves in that position again? Would defying the pandemic lockdowns also be considered an existential threat to the country?
There are some questions in all of this that are either not being asked or are being deliberately avoided. For example:
1) Why is it that the Trump Administration has not bothered to go after the elites and globalists FUNDING Antifa and BLM groups behind the unrest? Why does George Soros and his Open Society Foundation get to operate in the US with impunity? And what about the Ford Foundation? Members of that institution openly admit that they have been funding and organizing the social justice cult for decades. Shouldn’t the men behind the curtain paying for the entire thing be targeted first, instead of going after the useful idiots? Perhaps the fact that Trump is surrounded by those very same elites in his cabinet has something to do with it…
2) If we support martial law measures, WHO are we giving that power to? Is it Trump, or the deep state ghouls that advise him daily? People like Wilber Ross, a New York Rothschild banking agent, Mike Pompeo, a long time Neo-con warmonger and promoter of mass surveillance, Robert Lightheizer, a member of the globalist Council On Foreign Relations, Steve Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs banker, Larry Kudlow, former Federal Reserve, etc. Even if you think Trump has the best of intentions, can anyone honestly say the same for his cabinet?
3) When the left is “defeated” and the riots stop, will martial law simply fade away, or, is it a Pandora’s Box that can never be closed again? And if it doesn’t end, will supporters justify fighting against not just leftists, but also conservatives who will not tolerate it? I for one will be among the people that will not tolerate it.
There are other much better solutions than martial law when confronting the leftist riots or the pandemic.
For the pandemic, stop trying to dictate public behavior. If individuals feel they are at risk from the virus, then they can take their own precautions. The only other option is to continue on the path of shutdowns and an informant society that will destroy this nation in a matter of months.
For the leftists, communities that stage an armed presence in the face of protests have ALL escaped riots and property damage. Sometimes Antifa and BLM decide to not even show up. We DON’T NEED a federal presence or a military presence to get the job done. We can do it ourselves. We already have proof that this strategy works.
And, if the lefties want to burn down their own neighborhoods and cities and local governments don’t want to stop them, then I say let it happen. It’s sad for the people in these places that had no dog in the fight, but maybe this will teach the locals to speak out against BLM or Antifa instead of remaining silent or virtue signaling their support in the hopes that their businesses won’t be attacked. Maybe they should look for better government officials as well.
Finally, it’s far past time to go after the elites that fund and engineer such groups. Remove their influence and I suspect many people will be shocked at how fast all this unrest and chaos suddenly disappears. Isn’t this what people wanted Trump to do from the very beginning? And yet, nothing happens to the vampires at the top.
Only cowards demand everyone else give up their freedoms just so they can feel safe. The establishment is trying to pit the American people against each other as a means to pave a path to tyranny. I believe what the elites want more than anything else is to trick conservatives into forsaking their own principles. If we do, we become hypocrites that can no longer sustain a movement for freedom. By becoming the monster to fight the monster we hand our enemies victory. This is unacceptable.
His shadow has loomed over nearly every major global conflict over the past 75 years. He has been paid millions of dollars by Coca-Cola and Hustler Magazine, overthrown multiple communist regimes, and was there the day of the Kennedy assassination. Along with all of this, his suppressor designs revolutionized warfare and changed the world. The story of Mitchell L. WerBell III is one of brilliance, courage, and espionage. Prominent around the military intelligence community, WerBell makes Jack Bauer look like a toddler with a water gun. His service during World War II would help inspire the creation of the C.I.A., his contributions to the advancement of suppressor technology would change the modern concept of combat, and his experiences as a mercenary have enough weight to make skin crawl. An icon of his time and a true American legend, Mitchell WerBell’s life, inventions, and legacy continue to inspire and astonish to this day.
Early Life, World War II, and the O.S.S.
Mitchell Livingston Werbell III was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1918. The son of a Czarist cavalry officer in the Imperial Army of Russia, WerBell was exposed to the military at an early age and quickly grew an interest in it. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942, WerBell enlisted in the army as a private and joined the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.), the predecessor agency to the C.I.A. This wartime agency was dedicated strictly to undercover, covert, and secret operations conducted behind enemy lines during World War II. In his duties, he acted as a guerrilla operative carrying out undercover missions in places like China, Burma, and French Indochina. According to the Wall Street Journal, WerBell and his fellow operatives were paid in five-pound sacks of opium following their involvements during classified expeditions in China. Author Henrik Krüger notes in his book, “The Great Heroin Coup,” that such trades were common during times of war among O.S.S. members and Chinese leaders. This payment option would hold value regardless of governmental or currency changes.
“Amid the chaos of war, opium and gold became the primary media of exchange, and cult-like bonds were forged among a small staff of Americans and high-ranking Chinese. Yunnan was a center of Chinese opium cultivation and Kunming was the hotbed of military operations, among them Claire Chennault’s 14th Air Force and Detachment 202 of the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.).”
During this time of clandestine operations and secret assignments, WerBell was introduced to the suppressed and unconventional weapons that would later make him infamous in the intelligence community. Experience throughout the war would grant him complete knowledge on the weaponry used in special operations and the key elements to staying hidden behind enemy lines. Author Gaeton Fonzi notes that WerBell’s prolonged service and success during these missions would induct him into the “superspy fraternity” that included other prominent military leaders of the time such as Everette Howard Hunt Jr.,one of the men responsible for plotting the Nixon Watergate scandal. Along with this new network of contacts, resources, and partners, WerBell also gained the attention of other entities in the United States military that would not soon forget the bravery and advanced technical knowledge he displayed throughout his service.
WerBell continued to serve in the U.S. Army even after the O.S.S. was disbanded in 1945, however, he would not stay for long. Compared to the excitement of guerrilla warfare and secret missions, the systematic and routine nature of commanding an infantry company was extraordinarily mundane for a soldier of his experience and skill set. He shortly resigned from service and returned home to start his own business.
Birth of SIONICS
With the passion for weapons development still not entirely quenched, WerBell returned back into the world of firearms to help design suppressors for machine guns for use after World War II. Using his experience and knowledge gained from his time in the O.S.S., WerBell started his own development company called SIONICS sometime during the 1960’s. Short for Studies in Operational Negation of Insurgency and Counter-Subversion, SIONICS was initially tasked with producing a low cost, effective suppressor for the M14 and M16 rifle. Along with pioneering entirely new suppressors specifically for machine guns, WerBell also crafted methods and modifications to configure existing silencers to fit a wide number of different firearms such as bolt actions, High Standard pistols, and Smith & Wesson M76 submachine guns. WerBell is personally credited with over 25 different suppressor designs that he produced during his experimentation at SIONICS. Later, WerBell and SIONICS would partner with Gordon B. Ingram, the inventor of the MAC-10 submachine gun, to collaborate on designing and manufacturing weapons that incorporated both aspects of their inventions for the United States Army. Ingram’s SMG was paired with WerBell’s suppressor and marketed as “the Whispering Death.” Supplied to an undisclosed number of soldiers in Vietnam during the war for “combat evaluation,” these firearms were never officially adopted into the military.
WerBell remained tethered to SIONICS for the rest of his life. Although it would eventually be incorporated into the Military Armament Corporation (later renamed the Cobray Company), WerBell continued leading and developing numerous counterterrorism training programs meant for high-risk executives, C.I.A. operatives, and private individuals throughout the 70’s and early 80’s. Many of the tactics and teachings used by WerBell at the Cobray School are still extensively used for military training and personal protection education today. The Cobray Company changed its name to Leinad following legal troubles in the 1990’s and closed several years ago; however, the “Cobray” trademark is registered to a privately owned company in the U.S. that sells Cobray replacement parts and accessories.
Soldier of Fortune Magazine discussing Mitch WerBell and the Cobray School.
At one point during his time working as an instructor for the Cobray School, WerBell ventured to Argentina to meet with officials from the Coca-Cola Company. Threatened by Argentinian communist groups ravaging the country at the time, Coca-Cola sought WerBell to assist in training, arming, and protecting high-level executives in the country from kidnappings or other risks using skills taught at the Cobray School. WerBell claimed in a 20/20 interview in 1979 that he was paid upwards of $1,000,000 to “take care of kidnapping threats made against Argentinian executives.” While Coca-Cola rejects this, WerBell’s experiences and proximity to the events of the time cast serious suspicion on these denials. In response to Coca-Cola’s repudiation, WerBell simply noted, “Coca-Cola hasn’t had anybody kidnapped lately.”