Yeagley Offers Unique View on Guns
Comanche Indian gun activist and Oberlin Conservatory graduate Dr. David Yeagley spoke to the Oberlin community on Monday, Nov. 3, addressing the role weapons should play in American life as part of an event sponsored by the Oberlin College Republicans.
“I never thought I’d come back to this campus to talk to you about your right to bear arms,” Yeagley began. He spent the opening minutes making us “aware of the part weapons played in forming America.” Reading from various legal sources, he reminisced that it was once prohibited to attend church without your weapon and about how pioneer families placed their shotguns above the fireplace next to their Bible.
Yeagley lamented the loss of the days when “weapons were held in a place of sacred honor... [Guns] meant family, freedom and everything you valued... This is not a legal matter or a technical thing. It’s part of being American.” He added, “You’re not a man without your weapon.”
“Humanity has weapons,” Yeagley continued. “Right and wrong are irrelevant to that issue.” His approach to weaponry in the lecture focused not on ethics and law but instead on “trust in fact and logic.” Yeagley argued that to past Americans, a gun was the most valuable object they could possess. When someone comes with a gun of their own and asks you for your weapon, you are “surrendering to authority and their ideas.” Therefore, he concluded, whoever wants to take your gun is your enemy.
The audience did not seem convinced. College first-year Alex La Ferla questioned whether “the benefits of uncontrolled guns outweigh the accidental deaths and acts of aggression that occur when people have guns; if [Yeagley]’s talking about pragmatism he’s got to take that into consideration.”
When asked, “Is the freedom to own a gun today worth the massacre of thousands of your Comanche ancestors during the founding of America?” Yeagley answered, “What good does it do to lament the past. ... Liberals do Indians a great disservice when they support a profound level of discontent.”
Yeagley went on to say that American patriots should learn some lessons from the people they displaced, oppressed and murdered. “Your land is valuable. You can take that from an Indian,” he said. “Indians knew how to honor their nation. They would rather die than change.” He noted that Americans could better defend their liberty if they utilized the “Indian...sense of nationhood, culture and borders.”
Labeling the question of whether it is right or wrong to kill another person as an “illusion of morality,” Yeagley quoted Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
On the heels of these sentiments, Yeagley passionately discussed terrorist threats in America and the need for — as Oberlin Philosophy Professor Tim Hall put it earlier in the evening — “interpersonal protection” to maintain national security.
Yeagley stated, “I don’t consider some first-generation Muslims, or even second-generation ones, Americans.” He continued, “Rather than being forced to strip naked [at an airport] I would have certain people thrown out of America.”
Dr. Yeagley laughed off these controversial statements, saying, “I’ll keep my more radical views to myself so I don’t embarrass my hosts.”
Yeagley ended his speech with some final thoughts on America. “It’s ours!” he exclaimed. “I look forward to the day when Indians will espouse this country as its step-son.”
Yeagley is the founder of the Bad Eagle Foundation, which takes its name from Yeagley’s ancestor, Bad Eagle, and claims to be the first and only national organization for conservative American Indians. He also has a regularly published column in Front Page Magazine. This May, he published a book titled Bad Eagle: The Rantings of a Conservative Comanche.
On his website, www.badeagle.com, Yeagley wrote that he was intent on showing Oberlin liberals that “the possession and use of fire arms by citizens is something that needs more of an emotional base, and not simply an abstract ‘right’ based on a historical theory of some kind.”