129 years ago today, the US government massacred several hundred members of the Lakota tribe, many of them women and children, near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota.

The government troops were there, onto their land (the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) to disarm the Lakota. Most complied, but one argued, and when a shot was fired, the massacre ensued.

The government awarded twenty Medals of Honor to soldiers who participated in the mass slaughter.

Virtually the entire crop of Democratic Presidential candidates has spoken glowingly of imposing further restrictions on Americans’ gun rights (regular readers know I have written a series of articles defending gun rights and deconstructing dozens of gun-grabbers’ arguments), and a couple have even suggested that they’d have no problem ordering the use of force in enforcement of their restrictions and confiscations. Many are spurred to this view by the mass shootings that hit the news pages from time to time.

We should remember that the biggest mass murders in the nation’s history have been perpetrated by our government.

Wounded Knee was not the only such episode. In 1850, the US Cavalry killed 60 men, women, and children of the Pomo tribe in California (the Bloody Island massacre). In 1864, the US Cavalry attacked a village in southeastern Colorado (the Sand Creek Massacre), killing (and mutilating) somewhere between 150 and 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho, most of them women and children.

Apologists may assert that these were times of war with native tribes, but mass slaughter of women and children is not war, it is war crime.

The Wounded Knee and other massacres are starkly cautionary episodes. In a couple months (February 19th), we hit the 77th “anniversary” of another cautionary episode, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Of more recent vintage is the Waco siege, where 20 children were among the 76 who died in a fire started by the government’s siegers.

Many people feel that oppressive and tyrannical government is something that only happens elsewhere. Many feel that only the government should have guns. Throughout history, those who’ve supported governments’ disarming of citizens have stood culpable for the rise of tyrannies, the destruction of people’s rights, the degradation of their living standards, and the imprisonment and execution of “dissidents.”

Even today, as we witness the disastrous result of socialism in Venezuela, many continue to believe that such bad things are impossible in our enlightened American culture – or – that such bad things would be the product of allowing the deplorables and bitter clingers to retain their rights. Hundreds of Americans murdered and chucked into mass graves by the government tells us otherwise.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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