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When Rednecks Rise Up

“Do not go gentle into that good night, 
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

The above verses are compliments of the late-great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. So you may be asking yourself about now, “Why is Skip quoting poetry? I thought he was a redneck?”

Yes, it’s true. I am a redneck. But I guess I’m one of them there “Renaissance Rednecks”. (Insert appropriate southern, nasal twang.) Truth is, I’ve never really appreciated poetry. I don’t like modern art either. I stand there looking at the blob of paint on the canvas and when someone asks me, “What does it say to your soul?” I reply, “It’s telling me some people have way too much time on their hands, and they should stop taking so many drugs.”

But this particular poem caught my attention, and here’s what it means to my soul. But wait! First, a story.

I remember a few years back I was doing a radio interview while organizing the Second Amendment March. For those of you who never heard about it, in 2009 and 2010, I formed an organization which led a series of rallies across the country, culminating in one larger march on Washington DC at the Washington monument. We had a good time, rattled some cages, pissed some people off. I guess it was my way of saying, I will not go quietly into that good night.

Anyways, I was being interviewed by a Texas fella, and people called in to ask questions and leave their opinions. For two hours that night I took heat from militia members from across the country, criticizing me for organizing a “peaceful” march on Washington DC. They told me the time for peace was over, and that if I had any balls I’d be leading an armed insurrection.

The basting of Skip Coryell went on for two full hours, and I remained calm and polite (for the most part that is). But finally, toward the end I’d had enough. I respected these guys and their views, and couldn’t argue that someday we might need an armed insurrection to regain all our lost freedoms. We just didn’t agree on the timing. While it’s true there is a peace that resides only on the other side of war, this was not one of those times – at least not yet.

I said, “Hey friend, if you feel it’s time to lead an armed revolt, then why don’t you get out there and organize it yourself instead of calling into a talk show anonymously and criticizing someone who’s trying to do a good thing. The person who gives the order should lead the charge!” That went over like Spam at a Bar-mitzvah.

Back in 2009 it wasn’t time for an armed revolt. Just for the record (and to any acronymed government organizations who may be monitoring my computer) I still don’t think it’s time for an armed revolt. However, we’re closer to the need for it now than we were in 2009. And tomorrow we’ll be even closer, and the day after that we’ll be closer still.
Do I want it? No, of course not. I‘m getting too old to fight. I still have five kids at home, and I’d like to stick around long enough to raise them. On the other hand, neither do I want their birthright to be a socialist America, shackled by Obama and his minions.

For over a decade now I’ve been teaching concealed carry classes to thousands, and here’s what I tell my students: “When someone sticks a gun in your face, it’s too late to ponder the moral questions of ‘Can I take a human life’?” At that point it’s either kill or be killed. He who hesitates is dead.

Pondering the violent overthrow of the United States Government is the same way. You can’t wait until the ATF smashes in your door, drags your family into the street and confiscates your computer and every gun you own. By then, it’s too late – way too late. Perhaps all of us should start thinking about it now.

I’m not saying you all should run out and buy an AK-47, 10,000 rounds of ammo and join your local militia (but that’s your choice); but I am saying you need to cogitate on the prospect of an America at civil war. What would it look like? What would my role be? Where would I make my stand? Those are all personal decisions. Another thing I tell my students is:  “We all live or die based on decisions we make. So make good decisions.”

I think the best way to fix this country right now is to saddle up your boys and draw a hard line. That’s right, I’m a redneck, and I’m quoting Toby Keith and Willie Nelson (poetry, kind of).

I used to referee high school and college soccer long ago. I noticed that if I let a foul go unpunished the game got rougher, and the more fouls I allowed, the rougher the game got until eventually it would end in anarchy and possibly even violence. Most people understand that “What you allow – you teach”.

For decades our politicians have been watching as Americans allowed them to slowly and methodically strip away our freedoms, and the only thing keeping them from that one, final move is the threat of one-hundred-million screaming gun owners risin’ up and kickin’ their behind.

I urge you now to draw a hard line in the sand. It should be your own personal line. But don’t buy your bullets and beans and then hide in your bunker, waiting for the ATF so you can go out in one, lonely blaze of glory. That helps no one, and ensures the shackles of our children.

Be smart, but also be loud, bold and brave. If you tell the government now, “This is my line. You cross it and I rise up and kick your butt!” Then, quite possibly, your balls and bravery will be rewarded with another generation of peace. Is it a sure thing? No, of course not. But you owe it to posterity to be willing to fight for your freedom, and you owe it to your elected officials to show them where the line is.

And if they ignore you, then you show them where the door is.

Now, finally, the words of Dylan Thomas, what do they tell my soul?

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

My soul says I will not give up my freedom without a fight. I will not go quietly while the United Nations or an out-of-control tyrannical mad man in the White House methodically strip away my liberty. I will make my stand where Idecide. I will live or die based on decisions I make. Even though I‘m growing old, I’m not dead yet. I still have breath, good eyesight and a steady aim. I will rage against the dying of the light, my freedom, and I will not go gentle into that good night.

And, hopefully, after this next election and every election thereafter, you and I can raise up our glasses against evil forces singing “Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses”.
Author’s Note:  While you’re waiting and campaigning for your favorite candidates, check on the book “By Force of Patriots” to find out what the next American Civil War may look like.

Skip Coryell is the author of eight books including “Blood in the Streets: Concealed Carry and the OK CorralRKBA: Defending the Right to Keep and Bear ArmsThe God Virus, and We Hold These Truths. He is the founder of The Second Amendment March, a Marine Corps veteran, and the President of White Feather Press. He lives with his family in Michigan.

Skip Coryell

Skip Coryell lives with his wife and children in Michigan. Skip Coryell is the author of nine books including  Blood in the Streets: Concealed Carry and the OK Corral; RKBA: Defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms; The God Virus, and We Hold These Truths. He is the founder of The Second Amendment March and the President of White Feather Press. He is an avid hunter and sportsman, a Marine Corps veteran, and co-host of the syndicated radio show Frontlines of Freedom. Skip also hosts the weekly podcast The Home Defense Show, which can be heard 24/7 at For more details on Skip Coryell, or to contact him personally, go to his website at