I pray you took time to honor Memorial Day, which is not a "happy" time, but rather a time for remembrance and reflection. This weekend, I joined veterans and active duty service members at The Committee to Support and Defend’s first Memorial Day Muster, which recognized and commemorated those who gave the last full measure of devotion for this nation. We honored those who gave their lives to preserve this great endeavor that has resulted in the longest running constitutional Republic that the world has ever known. America is the grandest experiment in self-governance and individual rights, freedoms, and liberties.
Consider the events of April 19, 1775 at a place called Lexington Green in Massachusetts. As the British landed and were marching inland towards Concord for the purpose of destroying a weapons and armaments factory, men of valor prepared and answered the call to arms. The British military was the most powerful land force the world knew. Yet, those Sons of Liberty knew there was something at stake: liberty from tyranny. And so, they took the field of Lexington Green and fired the shot that was heard around the world.
There was no Army. That came later on June 14th, 1775. There was no Navy, or Marines. They would come later in October and November. There was not even a declared Nation. That would come the following year on July 4th, 1776. All that stood on that field were committed, armed individuals who knew the price of freedom. They knew that if the British were successful in destroying the armaments factory the Sons of Liberty would not be supplied weapons. They knew that as long as they were armed individuals they could be free citizens. If disarmed, they would only be subjects.
And so it was that, after defeating the British in our Revolutionary War, the business of constructing the rule of law for this new constitutional Republic took place. The initial Articles of Confederation had proven to be too weak for the young Nation, America. The founders gathered and created a document called the Constitution of the United States of America. And the first amendments to that Constitution were called our individual Bill of Rights, because the freedom of the individual was deemed preeminent.
The lessons of the fight against the British taught the framers an important point, the passive rights of the First Amendment had to be backed by a unique freedom, an active freedom--the Second Amendment.
In a free society, our individual rights demand a high degree of responsibility. Sadly, we are witnessing a breakdown in individual responsibility. The progressive socialist left attack the weapon, while not engaging the individual. Those who attack gun manufacturers are no different from the British who sought to destroy the factory in Concord, Massachusetts. Do we seek punitive damages against car manufacturers or alcohol beverage producers when there is a loss of life related to DUIs? Of course, we do not. We hold the individual responsible...so why is that not the case when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms?
There are countless shootings in America's urban centers, yet no outrage. Our children are exposed to violent video games, no outrage there. We fail to treat mental illnesses and update the records of disturbed individuals in our ATF background system. This is because there are those who wish to undermine individual freedom. There are those who prefer subjects rather than citizens.
History shows disarming law-abiding legal firearms owners has never ended well. Two prevalent examples are Adolf Hitler in Germany and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, where gun registration and the elimination of private gun ownership occurred. We know the result.
We can implement real solutions to the issue of shootings. America heavily secures our sporting and entertainment venues. Why can we not provide better security for our children? What if we enlisted the hundreds of thousands of veterans to once again stand guard and protect our children? What if Uvalde parents had been armed and trained gun owners? What if instead of being held back, detained, tased, and handcuffed by local law enforcement, they were able to defend their children?
A simple man and friend, Stephen Willeford, an NRA trained firearms instructor, used his own AR-15 to neutralize the shooter of his church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. It was another friend and a trained, responsible gun owner, Jack Wilson, who neutralized the gunman at his church in White Settlement, Texas with one shot from 15 yards. These were just ordinary citizens...who were armed.
So, tell me why we want to disarm legal, law abiding, trained, and responsible gun owner citizens? If we wish to continue to Live Free, we must continue to do as those who we commemorate this Memorial Day have done – we must protect and defend our right to keep and bear arms.
Steadfast and Loyal.