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: http://www.appleseedinfo.org/