Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746
Can Patriotism Endanger Our Rights?
By Richard W. Stevens
What do we respect in America today? In the 1950's and 1960's, patriotic Americans without question respected the flag, elected officials, judges, military men and women, and police officers. We trusted our institutions and the people who served in them.
Directly opposed to "patriots" were the "radicals." The radicals distrusted all American institutions and all American officials, and openly sought to tear everything down. The lines between the two camps were easy to see.
Why We Lost the Real Battle
That seemingly clear battle between the two camps resulted in disaster. Old-fashioned patriotism has led many good Americans to ignore the grave threats to our civilization. Why? Because old-fashioned patriotism, the sort which I personally embraced as a young person, did not teach us the ideas, the concepts, the philosophy that preserves liberty.
We so trusted our leaders and institutions that we did not protect the bedrock of our nation. We fought against the radical destroyers, but we neglected to understand what we were defending.
We forgot about the power of ideas. Powerful ideas inspired the Founders to throw off a dictatorship by force and build a new nation. Thomas Paine in 1776 wrote essays that stirred American colonists to fight the British Empire – that’s the power of ideas.
Yet today we have several generations of Americans who flatly do not understand the principles of limited government, separation of powers, the rule of law and the unalienable rights of citizens. People on the Left actively want government to legislate (or adjudicate) away all problems and take care of everybody by running their lives. People on the Right oppose the Left but continue to trust government like patriots of yesteryear. The result is: more firmly entrenched government, and the destruction of individual rights and freedom.
Take this Test
Suppose researchers discover that a sizeable percentage of police officers will admit that, if given the orders, they would confiscate firearms from all private citizens. According to the researchers, these police officers admit that they would not want to rock the boat by protesting a firearms confiscation order, because the officers need to protect their career and retirement benefits.
What is your reaction? Do you:
(A) refuse to believe the evidence?
(B) try to destroy the credibility of the researchers?
(C) defend the police officers’ point of view?
(D) reject the police officers’ point of view as a violation of their oath of office?
People who answer anything other than (D) have fallen for a dangerous brand of patriotism. What made America the freest and most prosperous nation in human history were ideas, not elected officials, judges, the military or police. The power of America is in the ideas of individual liberty, limited government that serves the people, freedom of speech and religion, independence of judges, due process, fair trials, election of leaders, and the right to keep and bear arms. The greatest blessing America ever received was a Constitution and Bill of Rights that installed these powerful ideas into the permanent law and fabric of our society.
We patriots who didn’t see the destruction of these ideas are now reaping the results. Presidential executive orders, American forces supporting foreign interests in foreign wars, activist courts making and changing written laws, a legion of bureaucratic agencies running unchecked over the people. A raft of federal "gun control" laws, forbidden by the words of the Second Amendment, continues to squeeze out the private right to firearms. I’ve only scratched the surface.
A Patriotism of Action
To be true American patriots, we must love and cherish American values -- not individual leaders or officials. Instead of rallying behind the newly-elected President, we must rally behind the Bill of Rights. Patriotic Americans must hold our leaders to their sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
We cannot sleep through the next four years, expecting our elected representatives, President, and judges to preserve our heritage. Good old-fashioned patriotism hurts us when it becomes a cheerful but toothless defender. We need a new patriotism -- the true patriotism of our Founders -- a patriotism of powerful ideas. A patriotism of action.
What to do? Start by reading and understanding the Bill of Rights. Nothing makes that easier than the Gran’pa Jack Common Sense booklet – it covers every right protected in the Bill of Rights, explains each one, and shows how these rights are being destroyed.
Then send copies of this fun-to-read booklet to everyone who cares at all about our country. That’s easy, too: contact JPFO at (800) 869-1884, or click on www.jpfo.org. Single copy price: $4.00. Discounts: 25 copies for $20.00, 50 copies for $30.00. All orders come postage paid. There is no single easier way to start winning the war of ideas.
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