This Internet is such a wonderful teaching device. Everyday my knowledge expands thanks to things I uncover on my own but even more so from that small band of military brothers who daily drop tidbits into my mailbox. Such is how I first learned of the history of the Sword Hunts, a series of repeated transgressions in Japanese history that served to keep that nation in a state of feudalism until the 19th Century.
The what? The Sword Hunts, a despicable series of mass disarmaments of the people in feudal Japan for precisely the purpose of eliminating them as a threat to tyranny. The most powerful of the Japanese lords knew well that an armed peasantry presented a constant threat in a feudal society where order and good discipline were to be the province of the Samurai or warrior class, who roughly equate to a much more savage version of medieval, European knights. While Teutonic knights, Knights Templars and others of the European knights were frequently indiscriminate in their killing, the Samurai possessed a standing warrant to kill any ordinary Japanese citizen at will for the slightest infraction of rules or show of disrespect. Possession of any weapon of defense was an immediate death warrant.
And kill them they did because, first, they simply could under existing law, and second because it was so easy for that simple reason that the peasants were forbidden to possess arms. To ensure that the people had no means of defense or retaliation, the rulers of Japan conducted periodic Sword Hunts where all weapons were confiscated from all Japanese but those in the nobility and the Samurai classes. The most effective of these Sword Hunts occurred under the dictate of warlord and imperial regent, Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century. He so thoroughly disarmed the common people of Japan that they remained helpless, kneeling, head-bowing servants of the ruling class until Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into Uraga Harbor near Edo in 1853 and opened up Japanese culture to western democratic concepts.
So why all this Japanese history, you ask? Substitute Gun Grab for Sword Hunt and consider that the tyrannical threats to humanity never really change. There have always been and there will always be those self-anointed patricians among us who think they know better than we do as to how our lives should be ordered. One thing these elitists know full well is that it is much easier to impose their version of social order on the rest of us if they and their enforcers are heavily armed while the masses are not. Toyotomi Hideyoshi knew just as assuredly as did Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, that you will never break the people to your yoke as long as they possess arms. Each of those leaders disarmed his people and then proceeded to exterminate hundreds of millions of them who refused to submit.
Two things Americans should take away from this history lesson: Never ever trust a politician who says, “Trust me;” and more importantly, never ever let him talk you into surrendering your guns no matter how slickly persuasive he may be. Unless, that is, you want, like those several centuries of Japanese peasants, to kneel beside the road with your foreheads touching the ground in abject obeisance as Barack’s Homeland Security Forces patrol your streets.
Crossposted at American Thinker