We can all remember from our history class in Mrs. Johnson’s 5th grade that we as colonists were a rowdy bunch. We literally came to the “New World” with nothing and carved a living out of the wilderness. Most of that was fraught with issues, from Native American attacks, bears, and mountain lions to being able to put food on the table.
Guns became a central part of our cultural identity. The ability to make and defend my own world was a mark of a man. Many did successfully, and many failed and died.
Rewind to the 1775 timeframe. We were mad about being ruled by a King an ocean away, quartering his troops, and not having any type of representation in parliament. We were being levied taxes without being able to represent ourselves.
Mind you it got bad enough that a 1% raise in tax on tea saw shiploads of tea staining the Boston Harbor.
Notice that we still didn’t go to arms because we figured we could sort it through. It wasn’t until the British realized that we would not be ok just being subjects, that we might fight that it turned ugly. They decided that we as a population didn’t need weapons anymore and decided to march on the armories at Lexington and Concord.
Just think about that. You don’t need to defend yourself, especially against the government so we are going to take your guns and powder.
We as Americans in 1775 didn’t have a standing Army, we had militias in the form of minute men who met the advancing British. These weren’t trained military men. They were farmers, shop owners, fathers, and sons. They knew they risked death by shot or by noose and they still met the British.
The battles themselves were minor victories, but they served as a larger call to arms for those who were on the fence to fight for Liberty and Independence.
While I am not calling for violence and don’t wish to draw too many lines to the struggle in current times, it is scary how things are sounding similar today.
There are many local and state Governments that actively restrict the arms of the people that are trying to protect themselves. This is done through prevention of type, calibers, ammunition capacity, or how many we can own. In California now, if you don’t have a pistol/rifle registered with the caliber of ammunition you are trying to buy you can’t purchase it.
In the courts the decrying of we don’t need a “militia” can be heard without knowing the militia was a bunch of guys like your neighbor, your city councilmen, and your teachers who took it upon themselves to train and be proficient to protect other ordinary people!
They say people don’t need “military grade” weapons like the AR-15, and that the framers of the Constitution would agree. However, those men who stood when the shot was heard around the world carried the modern equivalent of military-grade.
In fact, some had weapons (rifles) that were considered much better than what the British military had.
Next time you have someone who wants to ask you why you carry a gun, ask them why they don’t. I think most of them don’t feel they need to because it will “never happen” to them, or the government will take care of their safety.
However, remind them their ancestors would look at them in shame knowing they were unable or unwilling to fight for themselves and stand up for the right of others to do so even if they were against it.
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Author: Ian Bolser