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.