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People often ask me what “self-governance” means. Well, a couple of weeks ago in rural Ohio, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader exemplified what self-governance is all about in its most basic form.

The Chillicothe Gazette has the details:

“If you are fearful, arm yourself. If you feel you need to protect yourself or your family, do so.”

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader’s Sunday comments to his county’s residents may have caused a collective raising of an eyebrow from the audience following last Friday’s mass killing from afar. Locally, however, it wasn’t considered a gaffe or even the first time a high-ranking Pike County official said or did something curious regarding firearms.

The Appalachian hills of Pike County and neighboring Adams, Scioto and Ross counties are home to many hunters and gun enthusiasts. The rural surroundings and dense forests make for a suitable, and arguably safer, setting for firearm buffs.

“I think a lot of people have experience with guns here because they hunt from an early age,” said Michael Crabtree, a commissioner of neighboring Scioto County. “Many people I grew up with were introduced to guns at a young age. They would hunt groundhog, squirrel or venison and at the end of the day, the stuff you’d hunt would be on the dinner table.”

This is the epitome of citizens self-governing their communities. Think about this reaction in contrast with the left’s usual reaction to mass murder. The left calls for people to give up their weapons and their personal security in the face of absolute evil threatening the lives of their loved ones. What do they think? That evil will become less evil if people are less protected? That the government that already couldn’t stop that tragedy would be able to stop the next one?

Sheriff Reader understands what our Founding Fathers understood – people and communities are strongest when they govern themselves. This is best for our safety. This is best for the health of families and communities in need.

It’s common sense, which sadly these days, isn’t always so common.

Communities are safe if, instead of fearing weapons, children are trained from a young age how to revere them and use them wisely and safely. Then, instead of being scared, they’re responsible.

Then, as those children grow to become members of their community, they can use those weapons to not only feed themselves and protect their families, but also protect other innocent would-be victims from evildoers.

If only our liberal elite wanna-be overlords would learn a thing or two from rural Ohio and Sheriff Reader, we’d all be better off.

(PHOTO: ChilicotheGazette)

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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