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.