Bullets to Save Ballots

JPFO Logo


Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745

Toll Free: (Orders Only) (800) 869-1884
Fax (262) 673-9746


Bullets to Save Ballots
Announcing the Winners of JPFO's First Nationwide Essay Contest

Front view
Essay contest top prize:
"Keeping the Vote Honest"
a signed sculpture by Athens, Tennessee resident Dale Newman.
Back view

On the night of August 1-2, 1946, some American ex-GIs used armed force as a last resort to overthrow their corrupt county tyrants. These ordinary Americans simply wanted honest government. They had tried the ballot box, but the elections were rigged. They had pleaded for honest leadership from the soap box. They had begged state and federal officials to come to their aid with the jury box, but their pleas were ignored.

When every one of those famous "boxes of freedom" failed them, they turned to the last box available—the cartridge box.

In one long night of battle, they took their county government back. This battle reaffirmed what the Founding Fathers repeatedly told us—that when you can't get redress of grievances by working "within the system," freedom must be preserved through armed force.

Unfortunately the "GI Party" formed by these Americans faded away after winning a few elections. Today, the party and the battle are long forgotten by most Americans.

You may have heard this story from us before. It took place in Athens, Tennessee. You can read about this true American moment on our Web site at http://www.jpfo.org/athens.htm.

In honor of the 58th anniversary of the Battle of Athens, Tennessee, JPFO held a nationwide essay contest.

This contest was open to anyone of any age. Contestants wrote on any one of the following three topics:

1. "How have armed citizens helped change history?"

2. "What lessons can modern Americans learn from the Battle of Athens, Tennessee?"

3. "How would today's America be different if politicians feared citizens, rather than citizens fearing their government?"


The Winners:

FIRST PRIZE:

A Quantum Leap, by Diane Weatherford
  • "Keeping the Vote Honest"—An 18-inch tall sculpture of one of the soldiers at the Battle of Athens, cast in polymer resin with a bronze-patina finish and placed on a solid walnut stand. The sculptor is Athens, Tennessee resident, Dale Newman. He created this design in hopes that the community would erect a monument to the battle. This signed work of art is a $600 value. You can see photos and read the sculptor's moving description on our site.

  • A VHS copy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "An American Story." This film is based on the Battle of Athens (fictionalized and moved to a Texas location)

  • An autographed copy of the JPFO book The State vs. the People

  • A one-year subscription to Concealed Carry magazine—a $39.97 value.

SECOND PRIZE:

The Talk, by Walter Richards
  • A full-sized replica M1 Garand battle rifle on a plaque (courtesy of Richard Bloomfield, of Collectors Armory) Value: $299

  • An autographed copy of The State vs the People

  • A one-year subscription to Concealed Carry magazine—a $39.97 value.

  • A copy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame VHS video "An American Story," which was based on the real-life Battle of Athens, Tennessee.

THIRD PRIZE:

The Constitutional Coup, or How Lincoln Became King, by Dennis Kabaczy
  • A full-sized replica Colt Government Model 1911 pistol on a plaque (courtesy of Richard Bloomfield, of Collectors Armory) Value: $89

  • An autographed copy of The State vs the People

  • A one-year subscription to Concealed Carry magazine—a $39.97 value.

  • A copy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame VHS video "An American Story," which was based on the real-life Battle of Athens, Tennessee.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Alternate Endings:Recollections of Life Under a Constitutional Government, by Christopher de Armani
What Lessons Can Modern Americans Learn from the Battle of Athens, Tennessee?, by Joe Kelley

  • runners-up will receive autographed copies of The State vs the People,

  • a one-year subscription to Concealed Carry magazine—a $39.97 value, and

  • a copy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame VHS video "An American Story," which was based on the real-life Battle of Athens, Tennessee.


About our top prize, "Keeping the Vote Honest"

This statue of a young soldier at the Battle of Athens is both rare and stirring. Only six other copies currently exist in the world, and they have sold for as much as $600 at auction.

In the words of the sculptor:

"This statue depicts [a] young man, after the first shots were fired, after the call to arms, after he has retrieved a weapon, after he has parked his truck... and is walking a last few steps down Jackson Avenue. With each step, he is taking one last opportunity to ask himself, 'Is this the right thing to do?' ... because when the struggle is joined, the time for questioning yourself is gone.

"He is a farmer, with civilian brogans and overalls. His shirt is military with the insignia removed and the sleeves shortened for working in the hot August fields. He is in midstep of a slow walk towards town.

"He carries a rifle and two boxes of ammunition. Ammunition was a concern before the battle. On the night of the battle, one hardware store owner placed boxes of ammo on a table outside his business with a sign saying something like "Free for the taking," intending for the GI party members to take the ammo (and perhaps deny later that he gave the ammo to them directly.)

"The rifle is a mix between an M1 Garand and an M1 Carbine (a little artistic license). I liked the size of the Garand but wanted the clip and stock of the Carbine.

"The young man is facing the ground, walking slowly and carrying the rifle in the barrel-down 'paratrooper's carry'—all contributing to the serious consideration that he has given to taking this drastic step, 'taking up arms against fellow citizens and his government.' He knows full well he is risking his and his family's future.

"In his right pants pocket there are some protruding papers... We don't know what they are but one could guess that they might be copies of documents that give him the authority to do what he is about to do. Perhaps the Tennessee State Constitution or The Constitution of the United States of America."

———

"Keeping the Vote Honest" is an inspiring work, showing an ordinary American caught in a moment many of us have speculated about but few of us have experienced. It's a uniquely American expression of freedom that should rank right up there with the famous statue of the Minuteman as a freedom icon.


[ JPFO Home  >  Innocents Betrayed  >  Bullets to Save Ballots Announcing the Winners of JPFO's First Nationwide Essay Contest ]
© 2004 JPFO < webmaster@jpfo.org >