Love it or hate it, the design speaks for itself – but for a glimpse into my thought process, read on…

The philosophy that inspired this design comes from various historical writings and events. Regarding ancient historical influences, Thucydides (pictured), the great Athenian general and historian who authored History of the Peloponnesian War wrote, “And yet, Lacedaemonians, you fail to see that peace stays longest with those, who are not more careful to use their power justly than to show their determination not to submit to injustice.” Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a writer of the Later Roman Empire, phrased this concept more simply in De re militari (“Concerning Military Matters”) by stating, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” This concept was so integral to Roman military philosophy that Mars, the god of war, was depicted on the Ara Pacis Augustae (“Altar of Augustan Peace,”) an elaborate alter commemorating a period of peace. (Ancient Roman society had many problems, but Rome clearly had effective military philosophy.)

The once-greatest free nation in the history of the world was founded by men who believed in this philosophy. George Washington expressed it thusly: “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.” He also stated, “There is a rank due the United States among the nations that will be totally lost by the reputation of weakness. If we would avoid insult we must be able to repel it, if we would secure the peace it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”

Just as there are different types of warfare (war on freedom, war on truth, war on Christianity, et cetera), there are different ways to resist aggression. I have chosen the medium of art. My goal is to offer good men and women a united message to send to the world that we desire peace but we will not back down to the foreign and domestic enemies of freedom.

Possibly the most consistent theme in human history is that any group of people who can’t or won’t defend themselves will be conquered and either enslaved by tyrants or slaughtered by barbarians, both of which still pollute humanity in great numbers today. I know of no exception to this rule in all of history. In fact, the past century was one of history’s bloodiest due to the mass murder of untold millions of “lawfully” disarmed political dissidents by socialist/communist governments (also known as “democrats” today). So don’t be a Lacedaemonian! For as Plato wrote, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” And Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew chapter ten verse thirty-four.)

Since the war against everything that’s good comes primarily from the political left, the design philosophy may be summarized simply as defiance of the leftist behaviors of aggression, destruction, deceit, hate, intolerance, censorship, and mass murder of political opponents.

Notes:

• The design objects are not meant to spell a word, but to represent the acronym “COEXIST,” which is formed from the words “COunter EXtremist ISlamic Terror.” As the project developed however, I came to the realization that the root problem is the bigger issue of the evils of the political left. Specific objects were chosen which symbolize independence and freedom, defense of individual rights and national sovereignty, uncompromising will, and defiance of illegitimate authority; in essence, the spirit of what it still means to be an American.

• Although all of the objects in the design are common household items except the skull, some are more easily recognizable than others for some people. For clarification purposes the third object is a set of handgun sights turned sideways.

• The computer-generated AK magazine contains thirty mathematical bullets, even in California.