Fireworks for Firearms
By Richard W. Stevens
Fireworks on the Fourth of July. Could there be any scene more truly
When we watched the booms
and flashes in that night sky, or set off our own private displays, did we
notice the obvious? The booms mimic cannon blasts. The flashes recall the
incendiaries and the fiery explosions. The rapid bang-bang-bangs sound like
small arms fire.
The Fourth of July
commemorates the start of … a war! It even looks and sounds like war. It
should be obvious, but how many Americans realize that the Fourth of July
– Independence Day -- is all about guns.
Guns for the
defense of homeland. Guns to throw off a tyrannical regime. Guns
to establish a new nation. Guns to protect life and liberty for all.
Among the first battles
of the Revolutionary War were about guns. The British forces aimed to capture
the colonists' firearms and stores of ammunition. Local non-governmental
militias, formed with private citizens and often with privately owned weapons,
resisted the disarmament program.
Sacrifices – in Vain?
Fighting, and sometimes
dying, to protect and defend the free country we call America, has been the
proud sacrificial mission mainly of our military. So it has been from the
Revolutionary War all the way to the latest missions in the Middle East. On
Memorial Day each year we pay tribute specifically to fallen soldiers, sailors,
marines, and airmen -- to those who gave that last full measure of devotion to
defend this country in war.
So many military members
met their ends in ditches and rice paddies, tanks and bunkers, down below decks
in ships or hurtling in aircraft far from their squadrons ... or starving on
death marches or succumbing to blood poisoning in POW camps. Few went out in
the blaze of glory that John Wayne and Mel Gibson movies sometimes portray.
To those men and women
who served and died, and to those who came home injured and scarred, we owe a
huge debt of gratitude. On Memorial Day, and again on other civic holidays like
Independence Day, we should soberly reflect on whether the military sacrifices
have been worthwhile ... and to think about what has happened to America. Are
the ideals of our Revolutionary Forefathers still respected? When the heroes of
World War II came back to America, was it the same America that they fought to
Read Aaron Zelman's
searching commentary: "You Won the Battle But Lost the War."
It's an open letter to our fathers and grandfathers who stood up against the
great killers and the great tyrannies of the 20th Century. The message is for
Americans young and old. It is available, free, at
Give Them A 21-Gun
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