Qui Transtulit Sustinet
On April 14th 2018 I traveled to the Connecticut State Capitol building for the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) Rally for Our Rights, and I stood outside with fellow rally goers beneath the state motto “qui transtulit sustinet;” Latin for “he who transplants sustains.”
There were a few moving and poignant speeches, and more speeches that were less than moving, and sadly the token fool randomly shouting “death to tyrants” – hopefully the young man was ignorant of the history of the phrase as it pertains to Abraham Lincoln. On the whole it was a group of Nutmeggers (Connecticut locals) who simply want to get their rights back, not only to keep and bear arms but their right to self-determination and self-governance.
It was warmer than I had anticipated, so soon I shed my jacket and revealed one of the firearms I was concealed carrying under the jacket in a shoulder holster: a .44 magnum Desert Eagle with a ported barrel and two additional spare magazines aside from the magazine loaded in the pistol and the additional round in the chamber. My other two pistols and their spare magazines remained concealed within my waistband: a .45 Baby Eagle and a .9mm Remington R51. In total I had three pistols and between them, their magazines, the spare magazines, and their chambers sixty-one rounds. The protesters around me were similarly armed, many open carrying (as I now was my Desert Eagle) and a few open carried rifles. No one was harmed, people were polite, they were optimistic even, many thanked law enforcement officials for being there on their way back to their cars as the event ended, and I was hard pressed to find any litter left behind. Everyone avoided the nearby park where firearms are banned, and everyone had firearms compliant with the overbearing “assault weapons” ban Connecticut has in place; though not a single person there agreed with the ban.
I remember these details, the conversations I had with friends, and new acquaintances that day; but what sticks with me most is that motto hanging above us: “qui transtulit sustinet.” That state motto was written at a time when farming was the main occupation and farm land was scarce, all but the first-born child could inherit their father’s land. In those times at our state’s founding, to leave the state was to sustain and spread our values and traditions. That day in 2018 it dared the men and women to leave, to run, for them to sustain elsewhere where their rights were still honored by government; since our own state had long forgotten its values and traditions. What exactly possessed these 2,000 Nutmeggers to stay?
I can tell you what it was: that motto sits beneath the State Seal in one of five tympana on the north face of the State Capitol. The other tympana show Thomas Hooker and a hundred men marching from the colony of Massachusetts, with little to their names, into the wilderness of Connecticut to start anew. They wished only to govern themselves and practice their own religions free from the religious persecution of Puritans in the more northern colony. The other tympana show Joseph Wadsworth hiding our precious charter in the trunk of a great white oak tree; to protect it from an English tyrant intent on taking that charter and dissolving our local government, so that our lands could be split amongst two other colonies more loyal to the crown. The statues erected around that Capitol are to honor men like Nathan Hale; a man who died wishing only that he could give his life again for the cause he found so dear: freedom, self-determination, self-governance.
This history, though flawed (as every nation’s history is) is one of people aiming for the best of aspirations; to free all men. It is carved into the walls of the State Capitol, and yet they’ve forgotten. Our governors see themselves as shepherds and caretakers who know best, they do not see themselves as the servants they were meant to be. Instead they tell us how we may live, what we can and cannot do with our own land, they tell us what we may or may not own, and they tax everything but breathing.
I can tell you why these Nutmeggers stay: it is their home, and they shouldn’t have to leave it to be free. They are winter soldiers braving the cold.
I’ve moved south to Virginia, to be with the woman I love; and though I have no regrets because I know she is my destiny, I feel guilt at abandoning my those winter soldiers who have stayed behind enemy lines. To those who like me will always call Connecticut their home, I am not a deserter. I will always speak out in favor of your freedoms being restored in your home. I pray that someday soon sanity will prevail, and legislative change can be brought to my home restoring the God given rights all men deserve.