Charroux, in southwestern France ; where the Peace of God movement — that era’s response to armed violence everywhere — first began in 989 AD

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We might as well accept that the fight for “gun control” has been lost. The NRA has successfully imposed upon America its view that everybody should be able to carry killing weapons anywhere and all the time and to shoot whomever they please whenever they feel the need to “defend.” As there are all sorts of bogeymen flying through the hallucinations of people, there is often this need to “defend” and thus to shoot. We need to accept that that is now the law of the land.

In practice, this  war of all against all has not yet reached its intended climax because the laws against murder still apply, the courts still exist, and the power to enforce those laws still has superiority when and if those with said power prefer to use it. Yet the courts and the powers cannot be everywhere all day long, and thus thousands of people die in America every year now — tens of thousands — by acts of gunnery: some “legal,” some by murder most foul. If it’s not yet a war of all against all, it is, in some zones, a very ghoulish facsimile, sanctioned by the power of the NRA, its agenda, and its elected gangs.

And that., my friends, is how it is. Bitching about it only aggravates the problem. In almost every state in the nation, guns are now being authorized in bars, schools, theaters, colleges, malls, even airports. Teachers are being armed ! What could possibly go wrong ?

The situation we now find ourselves in is not without historic precedent. As almost no American now studies any history except for the fake histories belched by this or that propaganda pimp, I am quite sure that few of you have ever heard of the movement called “the Truce of God.”

The movement I refer to arose in Western Europe in the late 10th Century, in Catalonia and France. It was begun by several powerful bishops and abetted soon after by the powerful monastery at Cluny, founded directly by the Pope — that era’s version of a central government — and answerable only to him. The purpose was to grant the Church’s protection to innocents in the line of fire during a time when every local lord and his hired gang of armed thugs fought with every other local lord seeking to expand power or to keep rivals from taking it. There being then no central secular power with the means to stop the anarchy, brave bishops took the challenge. They did so without arms.

The bishops and monks called their “truce of God” piece by piece. At first it applied only on Sunday. And only to widows and children. Later, as some lords decided to support the Truce, it extended to more classes of people and more days of the week. Finally, once stronger central government established itself — two or three centuries later — the “king’s peace” extended to every day and the entire realm and to all people. Today, when we talk of t.he crime “disturbing the peace,” it is this “peace of God” that we unknowingly allude to.

All crimes of violence are conceived of as breaking the king’s — the nation’s peace.

You can read all about the Truce of God at this wikipedia link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_and_Truce_of_God

What, exactly, is my point ? Why do I bring up a movement begun 1050 years ago ? I do so because I find the bishops’ “peace of God” policy a realistic response to a situation where absolutism about gun control has not worked at all. Like the bishops of Catalonia and France in the 980s AD, we need to recognize that guns are everywhere, and that their owners have successfully won the right to carry them and use them — to be judge, jury and executioner — or, by merely carrying them, to put fear into everyone around.

We need to recognize that that is how it is and that yelling at it will not change anything. But there is something that we CAN do, and the Truce of God gives us a model.

It begins with the churches, synagogues, and mosques, and with their ministers, rabbis, and imams. Like the Peace  bishops, bold religious leaders can ask that there be sanctuary, on certain days of the week, or on holidays, and that innocents be allowed to seek said sanctuary. They can ask that “responsible” gun carriers agree to set their guns aside in certain specified places, by agreement and not by state edict, and that such peace agreements be a model for more and more such.

As with the Truce of God, such a peace movement today may not work often. It took the original Truce of God 200 years to become law of the land. I see no alternative, however. The ubiquity of armed violence cries out for a remedy, and a movement based on agreement and small steps one at a time has, I think, a much better chance of success than for peace seekers to demonize those who believe in weaponry.

The long game wins. It took the NRA 38 years to establish its absolutist idea of guns everywhere all the time. It will take a new peace movement maybe five times that long to undo it, because it can only be unravelled by agreement of those who now support it.

As for President Obama’s executive order, it seems well intentioned, and I can’t oppose it. But it misses the problem at hand, seeking to undo what has been firmly and unshakably done and cast in cement, and thus will simply calcify the opposition. We can do smarter than that.

I suppose you have noticed that I made no mention at all of the Second Amendment. I find the “2A” quite irrelevant to the problem. It was devised for a wholly different purpose — opposing the establishment of hired mercenary armies, likely to be quartered in people’s houses, a serious grievance in the 1780s — that hasn’t existed for over 140 years. That our Courts have willed an entirely different purpose into that amendment, one that the Framers did not intend or approve of — may well be deplorable, but the cat is well out of that bag, so there’s really no practical sense discussing it. I will say, though, that ours is the first central government I know of to sanction violent anarchy within its jurisdiction.

Having done so, our government has bequeathed to us a huge problem. Time now for us to revisit France and Catalonia in the feudal 980s AD.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere




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