Saturday, November 14, 2009

Four Sheets of Parchment

The United States Constitution was written on just four sheets of parchment. Compare that to a single bill today submitted by Congress that exceeds 2,000 pages. And I’ll bet the Founders read every single word on every single page of that most precious of founding documents. Not only that, but they understood exactly what they wrote! Today, we can’t even get our legislators to be willing to make these huge bills available for us to try to read, much less read them themselves.

Here is what Gary DeMar recently wrote in an American Vision article:

“The Constitution of the United States was written on four sheets of parchment. If you count the Preamble and all 27 Amendments (remember there were originally only ten), it comes out to 20 typed pages. If you don’t count the signatures and amendments, you’ll have a document of 11 typed pages. No single Amendment is a full page. Many are only a single sentence in length. The First Amendment covers a multitude of freedoms: religion, press, assembly, speech, and the right to petition the government. It does it with only 45 words. Those original four sheets, about 4500 words, were good enough to serve as a document to govern a nation.”

They say the bills are too confusing for them to read. They wrote them! And now they don’t want to read their own writing because it’s too confusing? If that’s the case, then maybe they should take a lesson from the Founding Fathers and learn how to write things that are shorter and easier to read. Our Second Amendment which preserves our right to defend ourselves is only twenty-six words yet speaks volumes. Come on – how hard is it to write something as simple, yet as explicit as that?

So what does this mean to us as gun owners? Take the latest in gargantuan bills, the recent Affordable Health Care for America Act passed by the House of Representatives. In this monstrosity of a bill any number of amendments could spell gun control under the guise of “looking out for our health” and ensuring that we live in “safe environments” in our own homes. Some say there is the possibility of further registration of every single entry of our medical records into national databases. It takes only a little common sense for one to realize that buried in a bill that is over 2,000 pages long can be hidden any number of liberty killing amendments. How about the prospect of turning you into a felon if you don’t buy the healthcare prescribed for you by law? You do remember that felons can’t own guns, right? At the very least, this represents further control of the American people by a government that is growing out of control.

Here is what Gun Owners of America has to say about this bill:

“This bill will...most likely result in all of your gun-related health data being dumped into a government database that was created in the stimulus bill. This includes any firearms-related information your doctor has gleaned... or any determination of PTSD, or something similar, that can preclude you from owning firearms." The bill will also create special "wellness" programs in section 112 which would allow the government to offer lower premiums to employers who bribe their employees to live healthier lifestyles -- and nothing within the bill would prohibit rabidly anti-gun HHS Secretary Sebelius from decreeing that "no guns" is somehow healthier.”

The health care bill above is but one example. There have been several pieces of legislation considered in this past year alone that have been so huge as to be unreadable and un-comprehended by the average citizen.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial that gun owners (and all citizens) get involved and educate themselves on every single bill that our law makers try to push through. ANY bill can have the potential of containing anti-gun content and or amendments. The health care bill, as an example, is in the hands of the Senate. If they pass a bill of their own, it has to be reconciled with the House bill and sent to the President to sign. We must be paying attention every step of the way if we are to have a say in how these laws are passed.

I know – this represents time out from lives, families and friends. But our future as a country depends on us being willing to sacrifice a little in order to help secure our future as a nation. With the voluminous amounts of text in these bills, and the hundreds of amendments being slipped in, an innocent looking and sounding bill can turn into a gun owner’s (or everyone’s for that matter) worst nightmare in a single moment. We must take an active role in our own governance and make sure our elected officials hear our needs and demands. Please – get off the bench and get into the game.

Constitutional Quotes:

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Abraham Lincoln

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry

"The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men." Samuel Adams

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin

The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity” Henry Clay

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor

Some time ago, prior to the 2008 presidential election, I wrote an article for my gun club news letter about how people “…don’t talk like that anymore…” to illustrate how the elitist mentality so prevalent with today’s politicians keeps them from remembering the spirit of patriotism that founded this country. What I was referring to in that article, was how our Founding Fathers, in the language of their day, so eloquently expressed their love of freedom and their frustration toward a monarchy (elitist) government that was oppressive and tyrannical. This is an update to that article to represent the increased sense of urgency that I feel towards restoring our country, and to once again illustrate the need to return to what our Founding Fathers created for us when they declared their independence from an oppressive government.
Justify Full

In one particular scene in the movie “Hidden Treasure,” the character played by Nicholas Cage is reading aloud a passage from the Declaration of Independence, specifically the passage that reads:

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

He then remarks that:

“...nobody talks like that anymore…”

Not only does no one use language like that to describe their feelings toward liberty and freedom, but until recently, I didn’t run into many people who even talk about these ideals in the same way that our Founding Fathers did. In fact, in one of the online discussion forums in which I regularly participate, one person even made the statement that the language used in our founding documents is obsolete. Fortunately, in this past year of extremely troubling and trying times, a good number of people have woken up, and I now see a strong resurgence in the feelings that our Founding Fathers held so dear. The tea parties, the 9.12 projects, and various web sites such as GrassFire.Org and ResistNet.Com have brought many like-minded people together to finally speak out against what we perceive as the accelerated effort to destroy our liberty.

With our establishment as a nation being more than 230 years old now, things like liberty and freedom just don’t seem to be a major concern for our politicians anymore. Many of the elite in power have deemed those concepts obsolete and unnecessary. And the every day Joe Sixpac who is still asleep and walking around with that glazed over “sheeple” look has taken those things for granted or just plain doesn’t care – as long as the government promises to care for him. I think many folks are caught up worrying about health care, wars, crime, and the rising prices of gas and food. With all these issues, people today don’t really think that they have time to worry about the principles of declaring independence from another country, or even the basic notions of liberty and freedom that were the driving force for our Founding Fathers. After all, we have been independent from another country’s reign for over 230 years now.

The concern that I have with many of these current attitudes is that on the part of Joe Sixpac, it represents an overall sense of complacency toward the ideals upon which this county was built. And on the part of the powerful elite, is the overall attitude that they think they know what is best for us, and that we are too stupid to take care of ourselves. More appropriately, they think they can use this to fool us into willingly relinquishing our freedom so that they can be our perceived guardians, while in reality, they simply desire to become a more powerful ruling class.

I am deeply concerned because unless more people continue to wake up, our current generation of voters will be willing to trade more of our liberties and freedoms for promises of “change,” saving the planet, and universal health care instead of looking for ways for us to be energy independent and secure. I think too many people are looking at the short term gratifications, without regard to the negative effects that trading certain liberties has on our security.

What further gives me pause to be greatly concerned, is that when I read the reasons in the Declaration of Independence that our Founding Fathers gave for breaking away from the cloak of tyranny that oppressed them, and I make a list of what our current government is doing to us, the number of things in those two lists match more and more every day. In this past year, the accelerated pace at which the current administration and Congress have rammed things down the throats of the American people has been staggering. Never before have I experienced such a deterioration of our rights, and an increase in potential threats to our liberty as I see today.

I hope that as we approach the 2010 mid-term election in November, Americans everywhere can take pause to be reminded of the principles that our Founding Fathers used to build this country. I hope that we can choose the candidates who best represent those principles while preserving our liberties and freedom. And when these new people are elected, I hope that they seriously think about the obligation that all American citizens have to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Our country, now more than ever, needs to be restored and “re-founded,” and not transformed or changed.

To that end, and in an effort to achieve this cause, I will commit to you, my fellow Americans, a willingness to resist the erosion of our liberty and to restore our country’s founding principles. I do so by restating the words of our Founding Fathers: And for the support of [the return to] this Declaration, with a firm reliance on divine Providence, I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor.

Who will join me in this pledge?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Right To Self Defense and Concealed Carry (CCW)

Self Defense in Washington D.C.:

This month, I felt compelled to talk in my gun club news letter about an aspect of gun ownership that many folks probably don’t think about or even want to talk about too much: Defensive gun ownership rights – specifically, the concept of being able to own or even carry a concealed handgun for self defense. So I thought I would re-print that article here as well.

Let me explain: Once again I find myself in Washington D.C. on business. When I have some down time, my mind wanders and I find myself comparing the culture in this part of the country to the culture we enjoy in Colorado. While here, I was often asked by friends and colleagues what I did for fun the evening before. My response was usually along the lines of walking the National Mall and looking at monuments – I love seeing our national monuments, and take the time to visit them every time I am here.

The response:

“You didn’t walk the National Mall at NIGHT, did you?!”

Well – no, but why, I am thinking, would they ask such a thing?
"Because it just isn’t safe!” was always the answer. Well – I knew that, thus my decision for not doing it.

Well – let’s talk about that for a moment. It’s not SAFE to walk the National Mall in Washington D.C.! And this sentiment in a city where the Police Chief, City Council, and Mayor have all made it clear that they do not like the idea of citizens being armed. But yet the Supreme Court has ruled (in the case of D.C. versus Warren and others) that the police do not have an obligation to protect individual citizens. My perception of how dangerous this city is can always be further perpetuated by the events of many late afternoons, when I am walking around the city, and there are police sirens whaling every so often, followed by something looking like a bomb disposal vehicle, followed by fire engines. “What the heck is going on here?” I have often thought. Why isn’t this place safe? What makes a place like this to be widely considered dangerous to walk around at night, but yet those charged with protecting it would regard armed citizens as a bad thing?

In talking with a few of the locals, I most assuredly have my impressions confirmed that Washington D.C. is just widely regarded as having a high rate of violent crime. Now this is not something new – I know that many of you have heard this all before. But what occurs to me every time I come here is that there is a very simple explanation: Citizens are not allowed to have guns for self defense, either in the open, concealed, or just locked in the trunk of their cars. Until last year, handguns where completely outlawed. But even though the Supreme Court has ruled the bearing of arms to be a right that these citizens should enjoy, the city leadership has been throwing up roadblock after roadblock towards allowing these people to arm themselves and put the violent criminals on notice that they want to defend themselves.

Washington D.C. is not unique in this. Cities like Chicago, New York, and some other large metropolitan areas also have very restrictive gun laws, and citizens are deprived of the right to carry concealed weapons or in many cases even own them. What do they also have in common? Very high rates of violent crime! The economy is certainly having an effect on the increase in violent crimes every where¸ but when criminals know that their victims cannot fight back, they are further enabled and feel emboldened to commit these crimes. And in this city in particular, it is even illegal to carry knives and pepper spray. So basically, everyone except the criminals, is rendered completely defenseless.

What does this mean to us as a gun club? We’re all voters! With some very important elections coming up in 2010 and 2012, we need to start NOW in looking for state candidates who will help protect our rights to bear arms, to ensure that Colorado will continue to enjoy the rights we have now with no further erosion of these rights, and national candidates who will take this message to Washington D.C. The current administration is moving at a furious pace to change our country – I am wondering how long it will be before our “privileges” of concealed carry disappear, and our RIGHT to keep and bear arms is taken away for good. Get involved, get the word out, and wake your fellow Americans up.

Concealed Carry Bill Fails:

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Fails—But What Is Behind The Scenes?

The John Thune (R—South Dakota) Senate bill to allow concealed carry (CCW) reciprocity nationwide failed to overcome a procedural hurdle and get out of committee. According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action:

“By a 58 to 39 majority, the US Senate voted last week to let concealed handgun permit holders carry handguns across state lines. Yet, it was two votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. The legislation sponsored by Senator John Thune (R, SD) would have allowed reciprocity in permitting, as anybody would still be required to obey the laws of the states that they travel in. This is the same way driver's licenses work.”

Perhaps there was more to this bill’s failure than is evident on the surface, and there are other reasons why the bill failed despite a majority being in favor. From Dudley Brown, Executive Director for National Association for Gun Rights:

“It wasn't a "lack of unity" in the Republican party that led to the Thune amendment's 58-39 demise: The Thune amendment was never supposed to pass.The entire process was calculated to fail … but only after dozens of anti-gunners on both sides of the aisle could exploit the chance to dissemble on the record as gun rights supporters.It's Washington politics at its finest -- voting "yes" on an ostensibly pro-gun bill orchestrated to die just short of the needed number of votes, but that could still be used to dupe constituents.”

That doesn't surprise me a bit! Colorado Senators Bennet and Udall, two of the most extreme liberal Senators in office, both voted "YES" on this bill. They were dissembling, of course. NO doubt a ruse to make us think they supported our gun rights. I'm sure Reid coached them on how to vote. D'ya think?

There is no doubt that CCW privileges have come under fire from many in the gun control community. And in practically all of the cases of opposition, the fears and worries that would cause support for CCW to fail are unfounded. For example, some of the politicians had this to say about this bill:

“Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ) warned it is an "attempt by the gun lobby to put its radical agenda ahead of safety and security in our communities." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) calls it a "harmful measure" that will put the public at risk. Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) said: "It could reverse the dramatic success we've had in reducing crime in most all parts of America."

As all of us who carry are well aware—the fears of the streets “running red with blood” that would surely have come about by CCW permitted citizens never came to pass. And the political wrangling that goes on to help politicians in danger of re-election in their districts, instead of addressing the real issues is something we should all be concerned with. The actions that took place behind the scenes on this bill should serve as a warning that we should be watchful of any future CCW related legislation, and ensure that our representatives are voting with reason instead of out of fear of losing voter support.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Independence Day 2009 Message

As we approach this Independence Day holiday, I wanted to share some thoughts, as well as a Declaration of Independence related story to help commemorate this important holiday.

Here is a story that has been told a variety of different ways, but I’m not sure how many people are actually aware of it. In this version that I heard recently, while some of the details can’t be verified, the spirit and the gist of the story has been consistent in the various versions.

To set the stage: In what is now Lower Manhattan in New York City, Battery Park sits at the southern tip. Just to the north of Battery Park is another small park known as the “Bowling Green.” In 1776, there stood a gilded lead statue of King George III on horseback. This statue and park is the setting for this Declaration of Independence Day story.

One July 9, 1776, the “town crier” stood in the middle of the Bowling Green near the statue of King George III and read aloud the newly signed Declaration of Independence. The people present, in a state of patriotic “inspiration” after hearing the declaration, threw ropes around the head of the statue and tore it down. The statue broke into several pieces. It was reported that the head of the statue was sawn off, and is reported to have been taken to England, but has not been seen since.

As the pieces of the statue lay on the ground, there were a number of women present, whose names have been long forgotten by history. One of the women called to the others to fetch a wagon, and they began loading the pieces of the broken statue into the wagon. The King’s soldiers questioned this, and the women replied that they were just cleaning up the mess. The soldiers let them continue cleaning up the pieces.

The wagon was then driven down to Litchfield, Connecticut, and taken to the home of Gen. Oliver Wolcott. Gen. Wolcott erected a shed in his orchard and supervised several family members and friends, who melted the pieces of the lead statue down—to make lead balls for Continental Army muskets. 42,800 musket balls to be exact.

On one anecdotal account, it was said that:

“One wit predicted that the king’s soldiers ‘will probably have melted majesty fired at them.’ ”

Well—we certainly know from our history that they did indeed!

It is stories like this one that give me great pause. I think that the folks who were alive at the time of our country’s birth were very much in tune with what it meant to be under tyrannical rule, and have their liberties and freedoms abused and infringed. Through a patriotic sense of duty and wanting these God given liberties and freedoms protected, our Founding Fathers paid a bloody and terrible price to finally win our freedoms. And thus America was born to become the beacon of liberty and the last great hope for oppressed people throughout the world.

Through the ages, I think that many Americans have slowly but surely been replacing these patriotic feelings with apathy and a sense of “what’s in it for me?” The politicians have become more concerned with their own power, and less concerned with doing what’s right.

To quote one radio personality, who recently stated:

“I just love my country, and I fear for it.”

I share that feeling!

With all that is happening recently, the rapid spiral into out of control debt, the appointment of several new “czars” and the constant assault on our rights (especially the right to bear arms), I fear that our country is in desperate need of something to wake people up and get that patriotic spirit back.

Keep an eye on North Korea and Iran. I fear that our current administration certainly won't let these crises go to waste, and will slip in all kinds of legislative garbage to further hinder our freedom, all in the name of "keeping us safe" from these "emergencies."

I hope and pray that my fellow Americans will get active and let those in power know that we must restore America to what we once were. America needs to be restored, NOT rebuilt. Please contact your representation and let them know how you feel. Attend a Tea Party. Do SOMETHING! Get involved—I beg of you!


Notes From the Concealed Carry Front:

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity:

One popular thought is that it would be desirable for federal legislation so that all states would recognize all other state’s concealed carry permits. This type of legislation is introduced from time to time, but never seems to get any traction.

But as Dudley Brown, Executive Director of the National Association for Gun Rights states:

“This strategy could have some very real — and negative — consequences for gun owners. If the federal government sets the standard for when and where to carry a gun, then state laws governing the issuance of permits will be next on the chopping block.”

Brown goes on to warn that:

“I can see a liberal appellate court legislating from the bench and requiring that all states comply with a Federally mandated standard for issuing a permit. Such a Federal mandate would no doubt include an excessive and draconian waiting period, expensive and impractical training requirements, and exorbitant fees. Federal overreaching of this type could effectively neuter all current state CCW laws.”

Personally—I think that the states should maintain control on how CCW permits are issued in their states. Until all the states adapt a system such as Vermont or Alaska, where CCW permits are not even required to carry concealed, I feel that the states should maintain authority as to how CCW permits are issued, and which permits they will honor. I personally don’t want to become part of a national database. There are a few states where CCW permits are not even allowed—which is fine with me. If all the frightened people want to move there so that they don’t have to be around people who lawfully carry firearms for protection, I don't mind a bit. They can continue to enjoy their higher than average violent crime rate, while we bask in the knowledge that we have the ability to defend ourselves in a state that does allow CCW.

Practice “Shooting” On The Move:

In these times of high-priced and scarce ammo, I have actually found a very unusual, yet effective way to keep my shooting skills sharp, while saving drastically on ammo expenses. Shoot hoops! That’s right— practice with a basket ball. I usually go to the gym several times a week, and part of my regimen is to shoot hoops. I take all my shots from outside the 3-point ring. I can shoot on the move from random positions. I can close my eyes and move to a random position, open my eyes, then acquire the hoop and then shoot. This method helps me a great deal with things like acquiring sight picture while on the move, judging distance and proper trajectories, making quick decisions from random positions, and shooting off balance. Not the same as shooting a gun, but the improvements it has made to my mind-set in acquiring a target and shooting accurately has been amazing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Didn’t mean to alarm you with that title, but you’ll see where I am going with this…. As a community of firearms owners, we represent a significant population of voters and citizens with a voice – provided we get active and show a willingness to stand up and be heard. Having said that, I think it is also important that we understand what the real issues are so that we can choose the appropriate battles to fight. We may not necessarily all agree on exactly the same things or agree on the proper solution for all of the issues. But I think that we can agree that we are all gun owners, and that firearms ownership is a right that we value and feel strongly about. Some of us are extremely passionate about defending gun ownership rights, while others are casual participants in shooting activities with other issues that they are far more passionate about. Some own guns only for hunting or sport shooting; some own guns only for self defense. Some own guns for all of the above reasons. Regardless of the reasons for owning guns, we need to be prepared to defend our heritage and our rights, or lose them for good.

There has been a lot of information flying around the Internet and elsewhere lately about various moves afoot to institute more gun control measures. Since the new administration took office, there have been all sorts of speculation about what they would do, and what they were already starting to do, with regard to gun control measures. Some of this news has been factual, and some has been outright unfounded rumor. For example, some folks had the Blair Holt Act (H.R. 45), the heavily restrictive and oppressive firearms control act, as being completely folded in to the recently passed stimulus package bill. Yet others had reported that there was a bill that would dictate that people over 60 years of age would be barred from firearm ownership. Some stated that H.R. 45 as mentioned above had already passed into law in yet other Internet discussion forum stories.

The reason for this is simple: We are human. We are living in a pretty uncertain and historical time right now. People who casually took their firearms ownership rights for granted are finally waking up and becoming aware of the issues that affect them. However, people’s imaginations tend to run wild at times like these, and speculation soon becomes reality to the person whose worst fears are playing tricks on them. This isn’t to diminish the validity or reality of people’s concerns. Sometimes these worries do in fact turn into reality. The key is to be aware and focused, do research, and take action.

There is that little voice inside me personally, for example, that is saying that those who wish to implement extreme gun control measures are reveling in the fact that we are chasing rumors and are being distracted from tackling the real issues. You know the old saying: “United we stand, divided we fall…”

Why chasing rumors is bad: It divides us – plain and simple! Since we do have the opportunity to be a strong and united voice, it is wise to use that voice to speak factually and unemotionally when we contact our representation. If we are chasing phantom stories, we are being divided and scattered, and distracted from being that united front against issues that we want to solve. It does no good whatsoever to contact our representatives to tell them to support or not to support proposed legislation that does not even exist. As I mentioned, doing research and knowing the facts are key to taking action.

What to do: Stay informed! The National Rifle Association has an excellent web site – the NRA Institute for Legislative action (, which gives daily updates on emerging gun related news. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners ( and the Colorado State Shooting Association (, just to name a few are also keeping on top of gun related (or even remotely gun related) issues. Our challenge is to separate the wheat from the chafe, and discern what is credible reporting versus rumor and speculation. Fortunately, we have these larger, single-issue organizations that have time to look into these issues and present us with the facts. Visit these sites daily and find out what is going on. The articles posted at these places will give you a good place to start your own research.

What else to do: Get active! Once you have made up your mind how you feel about proposed legislation, tell your representation how you feel. Many times your representation has no clue what you want. Without direction, they will do whatever they feel is appropriate. Of course, many people are rightfully feeling that their representation will do whatever they want anyway. The key is to keep constant pressure on them. If enough people contact these elected servants of ours and let them know how they feel, those in office will finally get the feeling that their jobs are on the line unless they heed the people’s wishes.

Wrapping it all up: There is a saying that goes something like this: “…in order for evil to triumph, all that is required is for good men to do nothing…” Without over-emotionalizing the issues that face us as citizens and gun owners, I think that saying illustrates why we are in the situation we are in right now. The reason why we are facing such uphill battles is because too many people have said too little for too long.

Stay informed, stay aware, and get active. Our heritage and our rights as gun owners depend on it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Appleseed Project - Getting Back Our Heritage as a Nation of Riflemen

Awhile back, I wrote an article entitled “People Don’t Talk Like That Anymore.” In that article, I discussed how in the days of our Founding Fathers, they spoke of values that they held dearly, values revolving around their belief in God, and values revolving around liberty and being truly free people. If you look at the wording that our Founding Fathers used in the Declaration of Independence, for example, you see a rich and powerfully worded dialogue about being tired of enduring “…usurpations and abuses…” at the hands of a tyrannical, oppressive government.

In this past year of elections and campaigning, I think we have further drifted away from not talking about those things any more, and talking more about “what’s in it for me?” and finding ways to “change” our country – just for the sake of change, I might add. But change it to what, exactly? I don’t think we need “change” in the context of how it is spoken about by current government leaders, but rather we need “change” in that we need to get back to thinking about the fundamental beliefs that the Founding Fathers held dear. We need to get back to the notion that “We The People” run this country, and that the powers enjoyed by those in office are simply powers that we have lent to them. They need to be reminded that they govern with the consent of the governed, and not the other way around.

One such way that we can explore our heritage and get back to those values that our Founding Fathers held to be so very important is through the Appleseed Project. One very important tenet of the Appleseed Project is to teach Americans how to once again become a “Nation of Riflemen.” Second only in the Bill of Rights to the amendment protecting our freedom of speech is the amendment protecting our ownership of firearms. Why do you think the Founding Fathers felt that this right was so important? It has nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting, but has everything to do with their experiences as farmers and civilians who had to defend themselves against a tyrannical government who had a powerful and well organized army, and the belief that their land could be overrun by invaders from far-away places.

Would it really be so terrible and dangerous if all Americans were proficient at rifle marksmanship, and knew how to handle a rifle? I unequivocally state: “No!” Contrary to popular belief (of those who love to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt), the purpose for getting back to being a Nation of Riflemen is NOT so that we can be more proficient at creating violent people. The purpose, in my opinion, is to get people to return to having their bellies on fire with the spirit of freedom, and a burning appreciation for the spirit that gave us liberty from a tyrannical government in the first place.

If you look at part of the reason that so many people want to ban guns today, those reasons are based in fear and miss-information. The idea behind creating a Nation of Riflemen is that more people would be proficient at safely handling firearms, and using them for their intended purpose – the defense of our homeland. We really need only be reminded that the reason why Japan didn’t invade the United States mainland in WWII was because of their fear that “…there is a rifle behind every tree.” We need only be reminded that the reason Adolf Hitler disarmed the German people was not to keep them safe but to ensure their compliance to his dictated will. And we especially want to be aware now that the reason so many wish to disarm the American people now is not to “get these killing machines off the streets” as the Brady group puts it, but rather to ensure that we can’t fight back against a tyrannical government, God forbid it should ever happen.

An Appleseed event is a place to get back to the nearly-forgotten-about history behind our heritage and our nation, and the solemn events of April 19, 1775. An Appleseed event is a place to learn how to handle a rifle, shoot it proficiently, and shoot safely. The rich heritage and culture brought from our Founding Fathers is responsible for the birth of our nation, but I fear that failing to remember why they did what they did will lead America down a path that we really don’t want to go. We can either get back to being a prosperous and powerful nation, or we can continue down the path of mediocrity and fade into the sunset. We need to get back to our roots, and we need to do so quick, fast, and in a hurry. The times are changing too swiftly to ignore the need to remember the events that ushered us into existence as a free nation.

Please, look into attending an Appleseed shooting event. The requirements are small. A simple .22 caliber rifle is all it takes to attend. The cost for a weekend is $70, but women and children shoot for free. If you can’t attend, then please look into supporting this worthy cause financially. Appleseed does not make a profit, and their instructors do not make a living doing this. The price for attending is small, but the rewards are immeasurable. The cost for NOT attending, or at least not looking into supporting this project are, I fear, too large to ponder. It might cost us our country as we know it, if we can’t return to that spirit of being a “Nation of Riflemen” and getting back the passion for our heritage that we once had.

My wife and I will be attending an Appleseed shooting event in Douglas, Wyoming in May. This will be our first (of many, God willing) Appleseed events. After attending, I will follow up to this article and share our experiences. But I will tell you that after already meeting some of the Appleseed folks in person, I can honestly and enthusiastically say that this will most likely be a weekend to remember.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Afraid of Something Because of the Way it Looks?

As is typically the case in today’s society, many opinions about things are very emotional, very “knee-jerk,” and are often very much based on a lack of information. People “fear that which they do not understand,” as the saying goes. So it is true in the case of popular beliefs and (mis)understandings about firearms. Particularly, such is the case when the discussion turns to the so-called “assault” rifles.

The argument I hear from some folks is that “people have no business owning that ‘certain type’ of rifle.” Or “Those ‘types’ of rifles belong on the battle fields, not on our streets.” In fact, didn’t our President-elect say the very same thing in his quest to convince us of his “common sense” approach to guns in his upcoming administration during his campaign?

It has become common place, then, to discriminate against an inanimate object (and the people who own them) solely based on the color or appearance of that object.

Hmmmmm… Seems to me that we have spent many years convincing folks that discrimination based on color and appearance is wrong-thinking, and that we ought to be looking deeper.

Well – the same thing applies to firearms and firearm owners. A firearm is an inanimate object. It isn’t the firearm that commits a bad or irresponsible act. It is the person behind it. And the vast majority of people who legally own firearms are good and decent people who do not commit crimes or irresponsible acts. I said “legally” because it should be a given assumption on your part that criminals are not responsible people.

So now then – about those "certain types" of rifles. I am wondering - what "type" would that be? The type that "looks" a certain way? The type that is deemed "evil" because it is black and has "AR" in the model number? Does it shoot a certain caliber or composition of bullet? Is it fully automatic – capable of discharging hundreds of rounds per second, or does it discharge just one round with a single trigger pull?

Do some people fail to actually look into these questions before beginning their hysterical hand-wringing sessions? Did we as a society somehow fail them by educating them that poorly about firearms, types, and uses?

Since I think that the fearful folks have been miserably misinformed, I'll try to give my opinions and insights into this matter. Take them or leave them, but if you are going to fear and discriminate, at least do so having heard the argument from the other side of the fence.

So what exactly is the hang-up with these so-called “assault” rifles? The way they LOOK? The fact that "AR" makes up the model name? Do they make people that frightened?

Reasons for Owning Them:
Let’s look first at the reason why people own the commonly known “AR” and “AK” rifles that are in use by civilians everywhere. The popular civilian owned AR or AK, first of all, is a rifle, that just happens to have the letters “AR” or “AK” in the model name. I suppose the manufacturers did that to sell a product? Who knows? But people collect various types of rifles for various reasons. They collect them, use them for sport shooting, home defense, varmint hunting, or various other legitimate reasons. Ask a person who owns one what their reasons are. An AR makes a dandy rifle to use for competing in long range shooting competitions. Even if you hooked the law abiding and sane AR owners up to a lie detector, the reason of “using one to mow down all my neighbors” would not even surface.

The popular AR in the civilian home is not an automatic weapon (fully automatic weapons are mostly illegal) and not some horrific killing machine that can make 15 people's heads explode simultaneously. It is a rifle. It is nothing more, nothing less. That said, owning one is legal, and the reasons for owning one, quite frankly, don’t really matter. Owning rifles is protected by the Bill of Rights – 2nd Article of Amendment, to be precise. I’ll say it again: Bill of Rights. Not Bill of “needs,” not the Bill of Wants, and not the Bill of Whatever-frightened-people-want-us-to-have. It is the Bill of Rights. I don’t have to have a reason to own it (although home defense and sport shooting are pretty valid reasons in my mind).


So what about the ammo? My .243 caliber hunting rifle will do more damage to a target than my .223/5.56 caliber AR, but yet the frightened, uninformed, hand-wringing people **think** that my AR, because of the way it LOOKS, is capable of disintegrating a human being in one shot! As a matter of fact, the .223 caliber AR is referred to as a “varmint” rifle. I took both my .243 caliber hunting rifle and my .223 caliber AR to the range recently and did a little test. At 100 yards, the .223 AR put a hole in a plastic jug filled with water, and the plastic jug broke apart, but it did not explode in flames or any other drastic such things. The .243 round from my hunting rifle completely blew apart the water-filled jug. But yet if I showed both rifles to the fearful and uninformed, the AR would strike fear into their hearts, while the hunting rifle probably wouldn’t cause that much concern. Again – it’s the “looks” thing. To see an example of what I am talking about, see the videos below. One video explains the actual truth about what is and is not an “assault weapon,” and the other demonstrates the same types of tests (done on watermelons) which I just described, and using various calibers of bullets.

Are They Automatic Weapons?
The AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, which are legal to own by the way, are military “look-a-likes" but are NOT fully automatic assault rifles. A fully automatic rifle is the ONLY rifle that can be truly defined as an assault rifle. "AR" is just a model number

It All Boils Down to Appearance:
So the main thing we always seem to come back to with folks having a problem with these rifles because of the way they look. The way they LOOK? Puleeze!

Are people afraid of it then because a pistol grip or a black plastic stock makes it more likely to be used in a crime? That is part of it – it’s that “looks” thing again. But do these things add to the ability of the rifle to be used in a crime? I don’t think so. And I will go further by saying that these rifles are fairly expensive. The common criminal most often goes for the cheap handgun that is easy to conceal. These “evil black rifles” (or “EBRs” as we affectionately call them) have been found to have been used in an extremely low percentage of crimes.

Wrapping It All Up:
The only conclusion I can reasonably draw from all the hand-wringing and frightened rhetoric out there is that people are afraid of these rifles because they appear a certain way. I guess I don’t know what to tell you, other than that if you are one of these people, you need to get the facts. Try hooking up with a friend who owns one and have them take you to the range to shoot one. They are not evil, they are not scary, they do not cause people’s heads to explode on contact. They are rifles. Nothing more, nothing less.

For the still frightened folks out there: View these videos and you will see the truth about these firearms.

This is from a police officer in San Jose, Ca:

This video is from the Executive Director of the Firearms Coalition:

Cars with drunk drivers behind the wheel have killed more people than all American rifles combined.

A black rifle only "looks" evil. A black rifle is an inanimate object. It's the man or woman behind it that counts.

Don't be afraid of people just because they own a black rifle. Be afraid of those who would oppose freedom and who oppose what this country stands for.

Be afraid of ignorant, irrational people. Do not be afraid of law abiding, decent people who own firearms, know how to use them, and use them responsibly.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Why Do We Blame Inanimate Objects?

So many frightened and misguided folks in our society today want to limit that RIGHT which is protected by the U.S. Constitution and most State Constitutions. Self defense is a God given right. The Supreme Court, ala Castle Rock versus Gonzales, and Washington D.C. versus Warren made it clear that the police have no responsibility to protect me as an individual. But yet the desire is to take away the tools that I would lawfully and responsibly use to protect myself and my family. That seems funny to me. Not funny “ha-ha” but rather funny “strange.”

That being said, then I just have to wonder:

When an accident or crime involving a gun occurs, why do I hear people say that they can “…hardly wait until we get all the guns off the streets…”?

When Ted Kennedy’s car was involved in killing a young woman (because he drove drunk) did we hear cries to get all the cars off the streets? No!

When Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder truck full of explosives that was used to take the lives of 167 people in a building, did we hear cries to get all the Ryder trucks off the streets? No!
When two airplanes were flown into some buildings in New York, killing thousands, did we hear cries to banish all airplanes from the skies? No!

When hundreds of children per year drown in swimming pools, do we hear cries to outlaw swimming pools? No!

When hundreds of unborn babies die at the hands of the abortionist, do we hear cries to outlaw abortion? No! Not only “NO” but the cries to keep abortion legal grow louder.

So I have to wonder further:

Why in the case of incidents involving guns, and ONLY in the case of incidents involving guns do we not hear cries to hold the PEOPLE responsible, but rather choose to hold the rest of society responsible?
Why do we punish millions of law abiding citizens, who just happen to be gun owners, for the transgressions of the people who commit crimes or other stupid acts of negligence?

Why do I hear no cries to get the criminals off the streets – and KEEP them off the streets? Why do liberal judges keep slapping them on the writs and sending them back out on our streets to commit more crimes?

Why do I hear no cries to hold the PERSON responsible who let a 2-year old play with a gun and injure/kill themselves? Charge a few of these nit-wits with reckless endangerment and child abuse resulting in death and you will find a decrease in that behavior.

Taking MY guns away isn’t going to punish the negligent party. It only punishes ME! And it punishes the family that I have a duty to protect.

Funny logic that frightened and uninformed people have. I guess we can blame that on the media though. “All the news that’s ‘FIT’ to print..” right? But then again, the final question would become: Is it the criminals our law makers REALLY wish to disarm? After all, it isn’t the criminals who will oppose tyranny – the criminals are tyranny – so to our legislators, they fit right in.

To wrap up, I will end with something re-posted from the Internet, Unknown source. But this makes perfect sense to me.

This is Why I Carry a Gun:

Why I Carry A Gun (Or Two) My old grandpa said to me son,' there comes a time in every mans lifewhen he stops bustin' knuckles and starts bustin' caps and usually it's when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin'.

I don't carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, andnot on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don't carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.

Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old totake an ass whoopin' unknown (but obviously brilliant)