Saturday, December 30, 2023

Edward I, Statute of Winchester (1285) and Personal Weaponry


Edward I of England, known for his military campaigns and administrative reforms, significantly influenced the development of military tactics in medieval England, mainly through his policies on longbow training for commoners. Recognizing the longbow's effectiveness, Edward I sought to strengthen his army's capabilities by mandating widespread training in archery.

In a strategic move to bolster his military, Edward I suspended all sports except archery. This policy aimed to ensure that commoners, who formed the backbone of the English army, were proficient in using the longbow, a weapon that proved crucial in battles. This directive was not merely a suggestion but a legally enforced requirement, illustrating the importance Edward I placed on military preparedness.

The Statute of Winchester passed in 1285, was a significant piece of legislation that addressed various aspects of national security and public order. One of its notable requirements was that every man aged 15 to 50 should own more than just a knife as a personal weapon. This law reflected the king's intention to ensure that the population was not only capable of self-defense but also ready to be mobilized for military service if necessary.

The Statute of Winchester also introduced the concepts of "ward and watch" and "hue and cry." "Ward and watch" refers to guarding and patrolling within communities, especially at night, to maintain public order and safety. This system required men of a certain age to take turns keeping watch, ensuring that potential threats were detected and addressed promptly.

"Hue and cry," on the other hand, was a communal obligation to pursue criminals. Upon witnessing a crime, citizens were expected to raise an alarm ('hue and cry') and participate in the pursuit of the offender. This practice emphasized collective responsibility in maintaining law and order, a crucial aspect of medieval justice.

Edward I's policies, including the focus on longbow training and the Statute of Winchester, were instrumental in enhancing the stability and security of the nation. By ensuring that a large segment of the population was trained in archery, Edward I improved his military's capabilities and empowered commoners to contribute actively to national defense.

The "ward and watch" and "hue and cry" systems strengthened community cohesion and collective responsibility in crime prevention and law enforcement. Combined with the military reforms, these measures created a more vigilant and prepared society capable of defending against external threats and maintaining internal order.

Edward I's policies, particularly concerning longbow training and the Statute of Winchester, were pivotal in shaping medieval England's military tactics and societal structure. They reflected a comprehensive approach to national security, emphasizing individual warfare skills and communal responsibility in maintaining law and order.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Are Progressives and other American leftist concerned their ideas are unsellable?


In democratic societies, the sanctity of the electoral process is paramount. One of the cornerstones of this process is the right of the people to choose their representatives. However, a concerning trend has emerged in various jurisdictions worldwide: removing political candidates from ballots by courts or appointed authorities without public consent. The potential dangers of this practice and its implications for democratic norms and public trust in the electoral process. - and has now come to the United States political landscape!

The most immediate danger of removing candidates from ballots without public consent is undermining democratic principles. Democracy is fundamentally about representing the people's will, and any action that disrupts this principle can lead to a loss of faith in the system. When candidates are removed arbitrarily or without transparent reasoning, it can give the impression of a rigged or unfair system, leading to widespread disillusionment and disengagement among voters.

Free and fair elections are the bedrock of a healthy democracy. Removing candidates without the people's consent can compromise the fairness of elections. This action can be perceived as a means to manipulate electoral outcomes, favor certain parties or individuals, and suppress dissenting voices. In the case of the United States, the progressive movement must see their ideas as NOT sellable in the American political marketplace. Such practices can lead to a lopsided political landscape, where power is concentrated in the hands of a few, thereby eroding the checks and balances essential for a functioning democracy.

Allowing courts or appointed authorities to remove candidates without public consent opens the door to potential abuses of power. This power can be wielded as a political tool to sideline opponents, stifle competition, and entrench the ruling elite. The lack of clear and transparent criteria for disqualifying candidates can lead to arbitrary decisions based on political convenience rather than legal or ethical considerations.

Public trust in governmental institutions is crucial for the stability and effectiveness of any state. The capricious removal of candidates can erode this trust, leading to increased cynicism and apathy among the populace. When people feel that their vote no longer matters or that electoral outcomes are predetermined, their engagement with the democratic process diminishes. This apathy can lead to lower voter turnout, weakening the democratic mandate of elected officials.

On the international stage, removing candidates without public consent can damage a country's reputation. It can lead to international condemnation, affect diplomatic relations, and even result in sanctions or other punitive measures. This impacts the country's standing and can have tangible economic and political consequences.

Removing political candidates from ballots without public consent poses a significant threat to the integrity of democratic processes. It undermines democratic principles, threatens the fairness of elections, opens the door to abuse of power, erodes public trust, and can have far-reaching international implications. Democratic societies must safeguard their electoral processes and ensure that any decision to disqualify candidates is made transparently, with due legal process, and with respect for the people's will.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Jeff Cooper's Principles of Personal Defense (Part 1)


Jeff Cooper, a renowned firearms instructor and the founder of the modern technique of handgun shooting, articulated several vital principles of personal defense that have become widely recognized in personal security and firearms training. Three of these principles stand out as foundational: Alertness, Decisiveness, and Aggressiveness. These principles are crucial in ensuring personal safety and effective response in potentially dangerous situations.


Alertness is the first and most critical principle. It refers to the state of being constantly aware of one's surroundings and being able to recognize potential threats before they become immediate dangers. Cooper emphasized the importance of being observant and vigilant at all times, not in a state of paranoia, but with a calm and measured awareness. This principle aligns with his famous color code of awareness, where individuals are encouraged to remain in 'Condition Yellow,' a state of relaxed alertness where one is aware of their environment but not overly anxious.


Decisiveness is the ability to make quick, firm decisions in danger. Once a threat is identified, an individual must be able to assess the situation rapidly and decide on the best course of action. This principle is crucial because hesitation or indecision in a critical moment can lead to disastrous outcomes. Decisiveness also involves having a clear understanding of one's own capabilities and limitations, as well as the legal and moral implications of any action taken in self-defense.


Aggressiveness, in Cooper's context, does not mean reckless or uncontrolled behavior. Instead, it refers to the controlled and focused application of appropriate force when necessary. Once a decision is made to respond to a threat, the response should be swift and decisive, intending to neutralize the threat as quickly and efficiently as possible. This principle is grounded in the understanding that half-measures or tentative actions can be more dangerous than a decisive response in a life-threatening situation.

In conclusion, Jeff Cooper's principles of personal defense – Alertness, Decisiveness, and Aggressiveness – are about more than just handling a firearm; they are about adopting a mindset that prioritizes safety, preparedness, and responsible action. These principles have been widely adopted not only by individuals interested in personal security but also by law enforcement and military professionals around the world. They serve as a guide for anyone seeking to enhance their personal defense skills and situational awareness.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Understanding the Assize of Arms: From Henry II to Henry III


The Emergence of the Assize of Arms under Henry II

In 1181, King Henry II of England enacted the Assize of Arms, a groundbreaking law that marked a shift in medieval military strategies and societal structures. This law required all free men of England to possess and maintain arms according to their wealth and status. It was a move away from the feudal system, where military duties were primarily the responsibility of the nobility.

The Assize of Arms had a profound impact on the peasantry. For the first time, common men were directly involved in national defense. Depending on his wealth, each free man was required to possess weapons ranging from swords and spears to bows. This mandate not only armed the population but subtly shifted the balance of power and responsibility in society, as peasants now played a crucial role in the kingdom's defense.

Henry II used the Assize of Arms to consolidate royal power. By arming the common population and reducing the sole military reliance on the nobility, he diminished the power of rebellious barons and enhanced the crown's authority. The law allowed for a more rapid and widespread mobilization of forces, which was instrumental in maintaining internal peace and defending against external threats.

Continuation and Expansion under Henry III

Continuing his predecessor's policy, Henry III added another dimension to this military reform. Recognizing the importance of skilled archers, he mandated the creation of archery ranges in towns and required men to practice archery on Sundays. This focus on longbow training was a strategic move, as the longbow would later become a pivotal weapon in England’s military arsenal.

This emphasis on archery training had significant social and military implications. It encouraged a martial culture among the peasantry and made archery a common skill. Archery on Sundays, often after church services, became a community activity, fostering a sense of unity and purpose. Militarily, it prepared a large segment of the population for war, mainly using the longbow, which would prove decisive in future conflicts like the Hundred Years’ War.

The Assize of Arms under Henry II and its expansion under Henry III represent a pivotal moment in English history. These laws altered the military landscape by integrating the peasantry into national defense and subtly shifted societal norms and responsibilities. The emphasis on archery under Henry III further enhanced England's military capabilities, laying the groundwork for future successes. These policies were not just about arming the population but about creating a resilient, unified, and skilled society capable of defending its realm.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023



When discussing self-defense, particularly in legal and tactical contexts, it's crucial to understand several key concepts: ability, opportunity/Intent, immediate Jeopardy, and preclusion. Each of these terms significantly determines whether a person's actions are justifiable as self-defense.

Ability refers to the aggressor's physical or logistical capability to inflict harm. This can include physical strength, weapon possession, or other means of exerting force. For example, if an aggressor is holding a weapon and has the physical skills to use it, they possess the ability to harm.

Opportunity and Intent are closely related concepts. Opportunity involves the circumstances that allow an aggressor to use their ability to inflict harm, such as being close to the victim. Intent refers to the aggressor's mindset or determination to cause harm. For instance, if an aggressor is threatening someone with a weapon while standing at a distance where they can effectively use it, they have both the opportunity and the Intent to cause harm.

Immediate Jeopardy is a situation where the threat of harm is not only present but is also imminent. This means that the potential victim perceives an immediate and unavoidable danger of bodily harm. An example is when an aggressor with a weapon is advancing toward a person, clearly intending to attack; the person being attacked is in immediate Jeopardy.

Preclusion pertains to the absence of safer, reasonable alternatives to using force in self-defense. It implies that the person had no viable option to safely retreat or de-escalate the situation. For example, if a person is cornered with no way to escape and faces an imminent threat from an aggressor, force might be the only precluded option for self-defense.



These terms help determine the legality and appropriateness of actions taken in self-defense. A self-defense claim typically requires that the defender genuinely perceived an immediate and unavoidable threat (immediate Jeopardy) from an aggressor with the ability, opportunity, and Intent to cause harm and that there were no other viable options (preclusion) to avoid using force. Understanding these concepts is essential for anyone involved in self-defense training, legal professions, or even for the general public awareness.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Alfred the Great and the Great Heathen Army


Alfred the Great, a revered figure in English history, reigned as King of Wessex from 871 to 899. His reign was marked by persistent conflicts with the Great Heathen Army, a formidable coalition of Viking warriors who invaded England in the late 9th century. The Great Heathen Army's incursion into England was a significant threat, marked by plundering and conquest, and Alfred's strategies against them were pivotal in shaping the future of England.

At the heart of Alfred's military reforms was establishing and enhancing the 'Fyrds,' a system of local militias. The Fyrds were composed of free men, required to serve for a certain period each year. This innovative militia system was crucial in defending Wessex against Viking invasions. Unlike a standing army, the Fyrds allowed for a more flexible and rapid response to invasions, enabling Alfred to mobilize forces quickly.

One key aspect of the Fyrds' importance was their impact on the political landscape of Wessex. Mobilizing ordinary men to defend the realm reduced the reliance on nobles and their private armies. This shift in military power dynamics helped Alfred maintain control over his kingdom, as it reduced the potential for powerful nobles to challenge his authority. By empowering ordinary citizens through the Fyrd, Alfred ensured loyalty to the crown and the idea of a united Wessex, countering the fragmentary influence of ambitious nobility.

In combat against the Vikings, the Fyrds demonstrated significant effectiveness. They were not professional soldiers, but their familiarity with local terrain and guerrilla tactics made them formidable opponents. One notable example was the Battle of Ashdown in 871, where Alfred, though not yet king, led the Wessex Fyrd to a decisive victory against the Vikings. This battle showcased the potential of the Fyrds under strategic leadership.

Another example was the Battle of Edington in 878, a turning point in Alfred's war against the Vikings. Using hit-and-run tactics and fortified positions, Alfred and his Fyrds managed to force the Vikings into a siege, culminating in their defeat and the subsequent Treaty of Wedmore. This victory and the treaty marked the beginning and end of the Great Heathen Army's dominance in England.

Alfred the Great's use of the Fyrds was a military and political strategy masterstroke. It effectively countered the Viking threat and simultaneously curbed the power of the nobility, reinforcing his own authority. The Fyrd system not only enabled Alfred to defend his realm but also laid the groundwork for the eventual unification of England.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

North Carolina Perspective on Using Deadly Force to defend Private Property


The use of deadly force in defense of private property is a subject of ongoing legal and ethical debate in the United States. In North Carolina, the law is quite clear on this matter, reflecting a general principle that values human life over property.

The North Carolina Perspective

In North Carolina, the use of deadly force is typically reserved for self-defense situations where there is an immediate threat to life or serious bodily harm. The law does not extend the right to use deadly force to defend mere property. This approach underscores a fundamental belief that the sanctity of human life takes precedence over material possessions.

Contrast with Texas Law

This stance in North Carolina sharply contrasts with the law in Texas, which uniquely allows deadly force to defend private property under particular circumstances. Texas law permits such force only at night and does not consider the value of the defended property. This distinction is critical, as it highlights states' varying approaches regarding property rights and the value of human life.

The Principle of "Nothing Greater Than Human Life"

The overarching principle in North Carolina law, and in most jurisdictions, is that nothing is valued more than human life. This principle is evident in the restrictions placed on the use of deadly force, particularly when it comes to protecting property. A fleeing robber, for example, is considered to be disengaging from any immediate conflict, and thus, using deadly force against such an individual is viewed as an excessive and illegal response.

Legal Precedents and Police Limitations

The limitations on using deadly force extend even to law enforcement officers. The landmark case of Garner vs. Tennessee set significant precedents limiting an officer's ability to use deadly force against a fleeing suspect. This case has implications for private citizens as well, essentially nullifying any right they might have to use deadly force against someone who is fleeing, even if they are a felon.

The IDOL Acronym: Immediate Defense of Life

A helpful guideline for understanding when deadly force is appropriate is encapsulated in the acronym "IDOL" – Immediate Defense of Life. This principle suggests that lethal force should only be used as a last resort and exclusively in situations where there is an immediate threat to life. Adhering to this guideline can prevent legal transgressions and align actions with the ethical prioritization of life over property.

North Carolina's law on using deadly force to defend private property reflects a broader societal value that places human life above material possessions. While states like Texas offer a unique perspective on property rights, the general consensus in U.S. law is clear: the protection of life is paramount, and the use of deadly force must be carefully justified within this context. Understanding and respecting these legal boundaries is crucial for moral and legal reasons.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Roman view on self-defense and private ownership of weapons


The Romans, renowned for their military prowess and discipline, epitomized a nation at arms. From an early age, Roman citizens were imbued with a sense of duty towards military service, and this ethos was deeply embedded in their society and legal structures.

In ancient Rome, military service was a duty and a rite of passage for Roman citizens. The Roman Republic, and later the Empire, required its citizens to serve in the military, often for several years. The legions, Rome's formidable military units, were composed of citizen soldiers who brought their arms and armor to battle. This practice of citizens providing their own equipment was particularly prominent during the early Republic.

Examples of this can be seen in the early Roman army's structure, where soldiers were classified based on their wealth and ability to afford arms and armor. The wealthiest citizens, the equites or cavalry, could afford horses and full armor. The middle-class citizens, or principes, could afford heavy infantry armor. The poorest, known as hastati, could only afford lighter equipment.

In Roman society, the family was central, and the paterfamilias, or head of the household, held significant power over his family members. This included the responsibility for the military training and equipment of male family members. Sons were expected to follow in their father’s footsteps, receiving their first military training under their guidance.

Roman law provided for the right of self-defense, which was seen as a natural right. The Digest of Justinian, a compilation of Roman legal texts, outlines several instances where self-defense is justified. For example, if a person was attacked in their own home, they had the right to defend themselves, even if it resulted in the death of the attacker.

The concept of self-preservation extended to the battlefield. Roman military tactics and training emphasized offensive strategies and the importance of protecting oneself and one's comrades in arms. This focus on disciplined formations and shields for attack and defense was a cornerstone of Roman military success.

The Romans' approach to arms and military service offers a fascinating glimpse into a society where martial values were deeply ingrained. The obligation to bear arms, rooted in the family structure and supported by law, created a citizenry ready to defend their homeland. The Roman legal system’s recognition of self-defense and self-preservation principles further highlights the importance of these concepts in their society. Understanding these aspects of Roman life provides valuable insights into one of history's most formidable military powers.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Use of Force, the Stairway Concept


The concept of "appropriate use of force" is a guideline for responding to an attack or threat with a proportional and defensive force level. This concept is often visualized as a stairway, where different steps represent escalating levels of force, starting from minimal at the bottom to deadly at the top. The fundamental principles include:

Proportionality: You are legally permitted to use the same level of force as your attacker. This means your response must match the level of threat you are facing.

Stairway Concept: This metaphorical stairway has various levels of force, including presence, verbal commands, pepper spray, soft hands (non-injurious physical control), hard hands (strikes or kicks), and deadly force.

Defensive Force: Your use of force must always be defensive, not punitive. Even if you are scared or hurt, once the threat is neutralized, you should not continue to use force.

Minimal and Reasonable Force: The response should be minimal, using the least force necessary to stop the attack or assault. It should also be reasonable, meaning a typical person in the same situation would likely do the same.

Flexibility in Response: You do not need to move step-by-step through the levels of force. Depending on the attacker's actions, the situation may require you to go directly from a lower level of force to a higher one.

De-escalation: If the attacker de-escalates or reduces their level of force, you must also step down your response accordingly. This aligns with the principle of using minimal and proportional force.

Contextual Decision Making: What is considered reasonable depends on what an ordinary, morally firm person would do in the same circumstances, with the same facts available.

In summary, the use of force must be proportional, defensive, minimal, and reasonable, responding appropriately to the level of threat faced without exceeding it. The concept emphasizes the need to consider the context and adjust the level of force as the situation evolves.