The Hunger Games, Tyranny and American Civil Rights

by John Boch, president of Guns Save Life

Lots of folks have raved over The Hunger Games series of books by Suzanne Collins. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t keep current on the trash coming out of Hollywood in general but during some quality time with the significant other, we threw in the movie version of The Hunger Games for a little Sunday night entertainment. The movie was supposed to be pretty good and was set in a futuristic America. My girlfriend had read the books and helped bring me along as I had plenty of questions right out of the gate . . .

I immediately drew parallels in some ways to how densely populated big cities in America attempt to impose their will upon the vast expanses of more sparsely populated “non-urban” America.  In Illinois, for example, Chicago is a poster child for the big city
running roughshod over 101 other counties – only in this movie, “roughshod” is carried to a very ugly extreme.

The ruling metropolis district’s residents were quite profligate. They lived a first-world lifestyle off the toils of a dozen rural districts whose residents lived a drab third-world life of poverty, hunger and misery. Of course, the common folk living in the rural areas were prohibited from owning weapons, as was hunting “the government’s” game animals. Sound familiar? Indeed, the movie was in many ways Medieval in the rural areas.

Anyway the story revolves around how one teenage boy and girl were selected from each rural “district” by lottery to fight to the death in an outdoor arena. All of this was for the circus-like entertainment of the population of the ruling metropolis and the nation’s leadership. It was kind of like a perverted “Survivor” where instead of getting voted off the island, you got your throat slit.

I was in abject disbelief about how docile the rural population was to this oppression. It didn’t sound like a place real Americans I know would stand for.

“Why aren’t people resisting this terrible oppression?” I asked.

“They have no weapons,” was the response.

“And what again are ‘tributes?’” I asked.

Apparently, as the story goes, the rural areas had an uprising against the metropolis government district 74 years earlier and they lost. The Hunger Games event was their punishment for having lost the civil war and the carnage they inflicted upon the metropolis district. The tributes were the young people selected to participate in this madness.

It was beyond comprehension to me how for 74 years, the meek and mild rural populations didn’t manage to put up any resistance to being required to offer up their children to this gladiator-style insanity. Let alone the miniscule food rations, or the extravagance of the metropolis district’s residents maintained on the backs of the rural district’s labor and natural resources.

As the movie continued, the “tributes” who were selected got a three-week crash course in how to fight and survive in between media appearances to promote themselves. Then they are turned loose in a field to begin fighting like animals not only for the meager supplies and weapons offered, but also for the promised “glory” of being the last one alive.

The violence was gratuitous and senseless and it made me uncomfortable. Frankly, about two-thirds though I was sufficiently disgusted that I left the room and played with my pet ferrets – a far, far better use of my time. As I played with the furry critters, I pondered the disturbing movie and gave my thanks to God and our Founding Fathers that they had given us the freedoms recognized by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I gave thanks for my personal firearms and ammunition – the ones that hadn’t been lost in a series of terrible boating accidents – and how they, along with those owned by millions of other skilled and right-minded Americans were the safeguard against that kind of horrible tyranny ever taking hold in our lifetimes in America.

While not all gun owners are rifleman, capable of controlling a quarter-mile or more from their position with a center-fire rifle with iron sights and military surplus ammunition, there are plenty of us who are and we can teach many more how to do the same. In fact, many of us are doing this today through the United States Rifleman’s Association and the Revolutionary War Veterans Association. There are plenty more of us who can fashion explosives to do whatever it is we wish to accomplish.

And while the irregular militia wouldn’t stand a prayer against organized forces of government oppression, there are plenty of weaknesses freedom fighters could readily exploit to cripple a tyrannical regime’s willpower and manpower requirements. They
aren’t pretty, but then neither is sacrificing your children’s lives to an evil government for the circus-like entertainment of the masses.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” If I had to tweak on Jefferson’s famous line, I’d tag it with “and that of their families.”

It’s America’s gun owners, not pacifists or the liberal intelligentsia, who safeguard America’s freedom from tyrannical oppression. It’s our moral compass that guides us in our daily life and would compel us to action should forces of tyranny take hold in our nation, just as it would compel us to use righteous violence against a criminal predator victimizing an innocent.

It’s our Constitution and the rule of law that have allowed American exceptionalism to flourish for the last two hundred plus years and has protected us from tyrants, genocide and tyrannical rule that have left hundreds of millions dead or persecuted in just the last few decades alone.

I know there’s no shortage of Americans just like me who would stand shoulder-to-shoulder to prevent the sort of barbarism on display in The Hunger Games. Our willingness to stand up to oppression probably provides the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence more than enough for them to label us as insurrectionists in an effort to marginalize us. Free, strong and armed men and women like us cause CSGV folks and their kind to piddle themselves.

That’s okay. We know it’s they who are at the margin of society. And frankly, I believe they know it.

It is we – the freedom-loving gun owners of America – who represent the interests of ordinary Americans. If we were the fringe, we – as the National Rifle Association nationally and Guns Save Life regionally – wouldn’t have the millions of dues-paying members we do.

Our own Guns Save Life organization is miniscule compared to the NRA’s four-million plus members, but we still have plenty of dues-paying, active members, monthly meetings in two cities in our state (three starting in December), politicians seeking our blessing and scores of volunteers working for our cause.

The CGSV has no members, no monthly meetings, infrequent and irregular protests in our nation’s capital attended by a dozen or so individuals and few, if any volunteers. If we were the fringe of American society, instead of volunteers we would have a handful of folks prostituting themselves on George Soros’s dime.

The disturbing Hunger Games movie gave me pause to be thankful for our great nation and to say a prayer of thanks. “Thank you Lord for giving us the United States of America, and for giving our Founding Fathers for the wisdom to recognize our God-given rights
in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And thank you for giving us John Browning and John Garand.”

I’m not sure why, but I have the urge to take my very own M1 Garand out of my safe and once again appreciate its heft and beauty. It is, after all, the greatest battle implement ever devised.

49 Responses to The Hunger Games, Tyranny and American Civil Rights

  1. avatarmtyd05 says:

    He should watch Battle Royale

  2. avatarMichael B. says:

    I just want to say that I find it odd that you were made uncomfortable by fictional portrayals of violence but imply that you’d be okay with going after a tyrant’s family whether they were innocent or not.

    Please correct me if you feel I’ve misrepresented you.

    • avatarCharles5 says:

      Where did you get going after Tyrant’s families from? His addendum to Thomas Jefferson’s quote about families would have read like this:

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants, and that of their families.”

      The implication being that innocent families (of BOTH patriots and tyrants) would die as an unfortunate side effect of the fight for liberty. In no way was he saying that he would hunt out the families of tyrants and kill them.

      • avatarMichael B. says:

        Totally misread it. Thanks, Charles.

      • avatarPapaBear says:

        unfortunate side effect? just like those guns that go off by themselves? I don’t know mr. zimmerman, but if he feels the need to make that not insignificant public declaration then, for the sake of my family, I would not want to be his enemy and I believe that is the way he meant it.

        if he wants to elaborate, I’m all ears, but “righteous violence” has no room for the murder (accidental or purposeful) of innocent lives (even if the theoretical tyrants were to engage in such behavior).

  3. avatarAdam says:

    Wow, this guy sounds like a real life of the party. Relax, John, it’s just a movie.

  4. avatarHenry Rooney says:

    EXCELLENT article John!

  5. avatarRoll says:

    Battle Royale! Congratulations your weapon is…a lid to a pot?? :)

  6. avatarLance says:

    The books are far and away more grim and depressing than the movie was, especially the third.

  7. avatarbobo says:

    Not to spoil it, but you might need to watch/read further into the trilogy…

  8. avatarsanchanim says:

    @John Boch,
    I have been saying this about The Hunger Games since day one. You have to realize there are two more books in the series. You need to read them.

    First off, they have no weapons, because they lost a civil war, and were forcibly disarmed.
    To put this into context of today, it would be like, Obama getting a second term and states deciding the succeed from the Union. Obama calls in the ATF, Police, Army, and squashes the rebellion. The ATF then goes house to house and disarms the populous.

    At this point the populous is fenced off. They provide to the government based on what they do. Some might be miners, or farmers etc. The bourgeoisie are the government. They as you pointed out reap the benefits, and contribute little. They live life high on the hog in their utopia. As in real life, and so in this book as well, there are those who do not want to live in this type of world.

    The Hunger Games were created to create a sense of hope, al bet false hope, and a nice propaganda machine. It also culls the herd as it were, to keep people in line. It is a constant reminder to all that they in fact lost, and the government is keeping the peace now, and how much better life supposedly is.

    The follow up books go into the rise again of the people from an even more repressed state.

    The only thing this particular series doesn’t take into real world account is the following:

    Not all the military or police personal will be wiling to simply follow orders. This could mean large portions of military and police defecting, which adds to the ranks of citizens who would prefer to fight tyranny. Think about it, most military personal vote conservative at an almost 2:1 ratio.

    Next would be fact that like you many are either ex military, or prepers or what ever. They are ready and willing to take action if needed. They have training….

    There is also the following. Most socialists in this country aren’t ready to take up arms, and are not ready for any backlash that might occur. I call these liberals socialists, because they are not Democrats anymore. They aren’t even really liberals. the name doesn’t matter, but you get the point. Outside of the military, and some police there isn’t much might to backing their ideas. This is a big issue if you plan on going from a soft tyranny which is what I perceive today in our government to a hard tyranny. I know many lefties and most wouldn’t know how to shoot a gun, much less use it against someone else. Many would run for the hills in terror.

    The AI, and others however are far more prepared to take on tyranny, and fight it tooth and nail. there are weapons plans online for CNC mills, so despite the idea of a weapons free utopia, they can’t stop it all. Think the Pakistani gun factories in small villages. If they can do it so can we.

    You also need to consider something I discussed with a good friend online. If states were to split from the union, and claim separation. Where do they get their gas, or electricity? How about things like paper, bottles, textile goods. California specifically has a large agriculture region which could help sustain the local populous, but then what? How about things like cotton, or cars? If states were to split off and simply stop supplying goods, and services to the leftist states, it would be over faster than it started. Take away people’s heating, electricity, and and ability to get Starbucks they will beg for what ever your demands are.

    • avatarAaronW says:

      I noticed that Government troops didn’t seem to be equipped with anything other than riot gear – no firearms or projectile weapons in evidence…

    • avatarIng says:

      The games and their propaganda also exploit celebrity culture. It’s like the world’s biggest, most “real” reality show, and the winner becomes an instant celebrity, rich and famous for life (and also owned by the state, but they don’t show that to the masses on TV). Denial, poverty, and misplaced hope work in favor of the oppressors.

      The brilliance of the Hunger Games trilogy is that it takes aspects of our culture that most of us take for granted and few ever question, and turns them into a compelling story of what might be.

    • avatarTim U says:

      I think you give the cops way too much credit in the thinking department. Most of them are in it for the power and because it’s a job. Unless they feel they are in great danger ( like the NOPD abandoning post in Katrina), I fully expect most or all cops to follow every order from a superior.

      There will be no mass defection.

      I wish I knew how much of the military would defect. The ones there “for a job” or free college would likely follow every order too. The ones who take their oath seriously may oppose such orders.

      I’m not counting on the defections though…

  9. Ugh, he didn’t even finish his movie review >.<

    HOW UNPROFESSIONAL! :p

  10. avatarjwm says:

    Freedom 101. People who own guns are free. People who do not own guns have what freedom they are allowed, if any.

    Just simplified the entire gun control debate to it’s basic point.

  11. avatarJohn Boch says:

    ^^^ What JWM said exactly. Armed people are citizens. Unarmed people are subjects.

    And are subject to the whims of their rulers.

    John

  12. avatarST says:

    I thought the Hunger Games was a good movie.Not only for its plot and cinematic material,but because its depiction of Panem is the visual & social representation of what the Brady Campaign and MAIG want America to become.A disarmed,subservient state where the rest of the rural nation serves the urban population with everything the have,including their very lives.

  13. avatarJamaal says:

    The movie was garbage. The books were garbage. A poor spin off of Battle Royale. The series shows how soft we have become because it was watered down so that it could be read by 10 year olds. What could have been a great book on the socio economic fall of a super power turned out to be a whiny watered down waste of my time.

  14. avatarWyatt says:

    Kiddie fiction leaves giant gaps in the suspension of disbelief. More at 11.

    Guns aren’t why we’re free, but they are a mark of a free people.

  15. avatarCurzen says:

    It’s fiction, a movie, simple entertainment. No need to over-analyze and get bent out of shape over. Are you going to review the next animated Disney feature movie along the same lines?

  16. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Dan, you said, “It was beyond comprehension to me how for 74 years, the meek and mild rural populations didn’t manage to put up any resistance to being required to offer up their children to this gladiator-style insanity. Let alone the miniscule food rations, or the extravagance of the metropolis district’s residents maintained on the backs of the rural district’s labor and natural resources.” The Soviet Union endured for 69 years. People are comprehensively peculiar critters. Similar parallels can be seen throughout recorded human history. In fact, the Hunger Games is almost a parable of the “default condition” of humanity, and where we might be headed if we’re not cautious and vigilant.

    Ms. Collins spun a very thought provoking tale. I suspect she might be able to trace her lineage to Michael of South Cork. Though the series may have its faults, it presents a powerful story of the highest human values and virtues pitted against the darkness of our worst leanings. If more women were to embrace their inner Katniss Everdeen, I have little doubt that the world would be a far better place.

    I watched the movie again last Saturday night with my 6th grade daughter and her girlfriend. My daughter and I have read the whole series together and have discussed many aspects of the story at some length.One could provide far worse instruction and discussion for their offspring.

  17. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    … many of us are doing this today through the United States Rifleman’s Association and the Revolutionary War Veterans Association. …

    And also The Appleseed Project about which I’ve read stellar reviews.

  18. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    “And thank you for giving us John Browning and John Garand.” Don’t forget Eugene Stoner.

  19. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    “I’m not sure why, but I have the urge to take my very own M1 Garand out of my safe and once again appreciate its heft and beauty. It is, after all, the greatest battle implement ever devised.” It’s too bad that George wasn’t able to stick around long enough to see the M1 refined to an even greater pinnacle in the M14.

    • avatarWLCE says:

      “M1 refined to an even greater pinnacle in the M14.”

      LOL. In a word, NO.

      • avatarGreg in Allston says:

        Luddite. ;>)

      • avatarGreg in Allston says:

        WLCE, Sure, the 30-06 (7.62x63mm) is probably (arguably) the greatest all-around cartridge ever devised. Still, the M14 (7.62x51mm NATO) is a better, more capable and versatile rifle. Though this may not be exactly analogous, compare the M1903A3 vs. the M1903A3 with a Pedersen device installed. Out to a couple hundred yards, the Pedersen wins hands down. Similarly, the M14 vs. the M1. The 30-06 certainly has the broadest capabilities of the two cartridges, that said, in the typical working envelope where either might be employed, a detachable box magazine fed rifle vs. an en-bloc fed rifle, the DBM rifle will usually come out on top. Nostalgia and allegiances aside, it’s just that simple.

  20. avatarRalph says:

    Love the Garand, but it wasn’t the greatest battle implement ever devised. Patton was a great general, but some of the sh!t that came out of his mouth was beyond comprehension.

    As for the Hunger Games, meh. Kinda like The Postman, but half as long, not as boring and without that monument to self-absorption, Kevin Costner.

    • avatarMilsurp Collector says:

      Patton wanting to serve some hot lead to the Russians in ’45 was equivalent to that one excited guy at the end of the first day of football practice ready to go sprint a mile while everyone else is puking in their helmets.

  21. avatarHanover Fiste says:

    Lighten up, Francis.You do know that this is Young Adult fiction, right? As in for pre-teens.

    Many of the deeper aspects of political philosophy are glossed over and the history of the fictitious country is intentionally left vague in order to focus on the narrative and the love story. For kids.

    That being said, my wife enjoyed the books (she read them along with our twelve year old niece) and we both enjoyed the movie, even with its lack of ferrets.

  22. avatarmiforest says:

    If you look at the middle ages , ancient rome, russia from 1918 thru present, you see that the peasants always “take it”.
    take a tour of washington DC’s suburbs and then take a drive through detroit. the lifestyles are very diffrent.

  23. avatarProelior says:

    Dissent is crushed by force; using actual force is war; implied force is politics.

  24. avatarDrama says:

    Never saw it but i’m guessing the hunger games has nothing on The Running Man!

  25. avatarAlan Rose says:

    Exactly. Sounds like a rehash of The Running Man (read the book, it’s not at all like the movie). I haven’t seen HG but I’m pretty sure I don’t want my 12 year old boy to be “entertained” by children murdering children. It may be a good story, but for it to be marketed to children really disturbs me.

  26. avatarTodd S says:

    The movies was such a huge turd that I had to break it up with a coathanger and flush twice.

  27. avatarCharlie says:

    HG is an excellent movie! I own it on BlueRay. Watched it once with my kids when it came out, and again last Saturday with the SO. It is kid friendly for any 12 and up, and a big boost to those young girls who do not feel empowered in this world. The movie kindled wide interest in shooting sports among that group when it came out!

    You will immediately notice the decadence of the ruling class, and how their minions resemble UN employees. Is this intentional?

    HG is the first book of three. Movies are planned for all the books, with the last split into two movies. I plan to read them all.

    Charlie

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