7d670f2b132477f111ea520013384ecaa67cc8e4_254x191.jpg

Why I Chose a Gun

In Texas there are plenty of folks that like guns and shoot them often.  Some even carry them concealed.  There are also quite a number that have been under fire; we’ve got a lot of retired and active duty military here.  But in the Netherlands, nearly no one is familiar with guns, how to use them, nor have they ever been in the presence of one.

I found this talk (also below) surprising for t…

  1. Crow

    Your surprise that a Dutch general would support a strong defense is one that I encounter very often when attempting to explain to family and friends the disparity that exists in Europe between members of the armed forces of various NATO countries and the way their populations at large perceive the military and a strong defense (partly through conditioning and example set by their elites and media).

    The Dutch, as just one example, have a very capable and professional (but small) Navy.

  2. Mafuta Kizola

    I watched to awesome TED talk online, great stuff, altought I have a problem with it, which is that the General seems to include a concept of global jurisdiction in his rhetoric and it sounded to me like ”We need guns not only to defend this country, but to promote liberal democracy abroad”, my problem being with the second part of it.

  3. DutchTex

    Unfortunately, that seems to be ingrained into the European mindset.  They hated it when that cowboy American George W. Bush talked about it, but it’s okay if it comes under the auspices of the UN or EU or (maybe) NATO.  

  4. Severely Ltd.

    I ended up watching the whole thing. He was a little too apologetic about the need for firearms, but as you point out, this is Europe today. Affection for guns is, if not criminal, then certainly a thought misdemeanor. He seems an earnest, good fellow, but I couldn’t help but be struck how he repeatedly stressed that all his efforts were to produce ‘a better world’, and his intonation was uncannily reminiscent of the Operative--a self-confessed monster–in the movie Serenity. I’m sure Europe dreams of being as powerful as The Alliance. Then they could civilize those cowboys across the Atlantic.

  5. katievs

    Ik hou van Holland!

    Mij man komt uit Brabant.

  6. katievs
    Crow’s Nest: Your surprise that a Dutch general would support a strong defense is one that I encounter very often when attempting to explain to family and friends the disparity that exists in Europe between members of the armed forces of various NATO countries and the way their populations at large perceive the military and a strong defense (partly through conditioning and example set by their elites and media).

    The Dutch, as just one example, have a very capable and professional (but small) Navy. · 5 hours ago

    When my Dutch inlaws heard that our son was thinking of the military, they were horrified, in their amiable and discrete Dutch way.

    I’ve never encountered there anything like the American pride in our military, or the American sense of its being an honorable and great calling.

  7. DutchTex
    Katievs, Ik ook! Mij vader komt uit Fryslan en mij moeder is in Groningen geboren. Ik heb in Amsterdam gestudeerd.
  8. DutchTex

    corrected above

  9. DutchTex

    Severely,

    When I think about it, it really surprises me how “far” the Dutch have fallen.  In the not so distant past, the General would have been a staunch Calvinist, and thus would never have assumed the world could become a “better” place on this side of heaven.  Not too many Dutch people would be so gauche as to believe in God anymore though.

  10. katievs
    DutchTex: Katievs, Ik ook! Mij vader komt uit Fryslan en mij moeder is in Groningen geboren. Ik heb in Amsterdam gestudeerd. ·

    Wat leuk!  Wij wooden drie jaren vlak bij Den Bosch.  Maar, het was een jaar of tien geleden en mijn Nederlands is erg afgevallen, ben ik bang.  Helaas.

  11. katievs
    DutchTex: Severely,

    When I think about it, it really surprises me how “far” the Dutch have fallen.  In the not so distant past, the General would have been a staunch Calvinist, and thus would never have assumed the world could become a “better” place on this side of heaven.  Not too many Dutch people would be so gauche as to believe in God anymore though. · 0 minutes ago

    I was pretty lonely there, religiously.  But there are pockets of renewal.  And some truly wonderful, deeply virtuous people.

  12. DutchTex
    Crow’s Nest:

    The Dutch, as just one example, have a very capable and professional (but small) Navy. · 7 hours ago

    They’d better have!  Naval skill was a big reason for their outsized  (based on the country’s pop and size) impact historically on world exploration. Of course, the Dutch captains also invented the unfortunate practice of keelhauling as a disciplinary measure. 

    My husband is a USNA grad and taught Naval history for shore duty.  He really enjoyed learning about the Dutch and the sea after we met.

  13. DutchTex
    katievs

    DutchTex: Katievs, Ik ook! Mij vader komt uit Fryslan en mij moeder is in Groningen geboren. Ik heb in Amsterdam gestudeerd. ·

    Wat leuk!  Wij wooden drie jaren vlak bij Den Bosch.  Maar, het was een jaar of tien geleden en mijn Nederlands is erg afgevallen, ben ik bang.  Helaas. · 13 hours ago

    Ik beoefen bijna nooit.  De man van mijn zus komt ook uit Fryslan een dus spreeken eidereen Fries.  Behoeve ik en mij moeder.  Eric en ik gingen naar Nederland vier jaar geleden op vakantie.  Ik kan het sprekend hel snel weer leren, maar het schrijven is niet zo best, as I’m sure you can tell…

  14. Crow
    katievs: I’ve never encountered there anything like the American pride in our military, or the American sense of its being an honorable and great calling.

    It is rare indeed. 

    All too many citizens of these nations view their militaries as, at best, a necessary evil (which they never want to have to see or associate with–certainly not have pride in or celebrate). The idea of martial virtue, even delicately expressed, is alien and off-putting to their sensibilities.  

    Virtually all of their active duty officers recognize the necessity for a strong defense, and many are eager to talk about their deployments. But they are only willing to do this among other military officers in the safe confines of a wardroom or officer’s club. I suspect their manner and tone approximates the way that Americans returning home from Vietnam went about talking about their service.

    The politics of military service and funding here is also astonishing. The structures of the state are, often enough, employed in a way that accomplishing things in a military manner is intentionally made difficult. For example, applying unionized civilian labor standards to military environments.

  15. Crow
    Leporello: Except maybe in Israel.

    Quite so. Israel’s culture on this question more closely approximates the United States’ than any of which I am aware. Also, a number of nations in the Anglosphere have reasonable strong military cultures.
  16. HVTs
    Israel P.: A lot of stuff there that I wouldn’t have thought that an adult audience should have to have been told.

    You apparently equate “adult” with mere age.  [:-)  After three or four  generations have been infantilized by nanny state / multiculti propaganda, we need to remind ourselves that intellectual maturity is part of the definition of “adult.”

  17. HVTs

    The General deserves high marks for knowing his audience and for a compelling presentation which reconnected it to Dutch history, all while educating them on something that—yes—they should already know.  But they don’t.

    Europeans have been indoctrinated to view their Armed Forces as Oxfam with weapons.  (“Oxfam is a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering.”)

    Come to think of it, we may call it “Nation building,” but haven’t we at least partially fallen into the same trap in Afghanistan and Iraq?  Which suggests this all has less to do with being European or Dutch, and instead to do with the confluence of Big Government and Secular Humanism. The latter posits man’s perfectibility and the former purports to be the tool of his salvation.

    One of the General’s goals was to press his audience for support of (meager) Dutch defense expenditures.  He didn’t tell them that if Uncle Sam stops being the “international community’s” High Sheriff, they are screwed.  Then again, so are we.

  18. Herkybird

    Certainly an interesting talk.  If you’d like to see a truly inspiring speech, may I suggest Gen. Mark Welsh’s address to the cadets at the US Air Force Academy last November.  It’s long – about an hour – but riveting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFBpxB5zgnY

  19. The Mugwump
    katievs

    Mama Toad: By trying to read your Dutch out loud, I can pretty much understand it — I studied a little German also. Interesting. 

    They’re really very close.  Dutch is almost between German and English, I think. · 10 hours ago

    And lo these many years I thought Dutch was a throat disease. 

  20. Mama Toad

    By trying to read your Dutch out loud, I can pretty much understand it — I studied a little German also. Interesting.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In