Friday, December 23, 2011

Exercise: It Does a Republic Good.

A little bit ago, my family and I successfully completed the NRA's basic pistol shooting course. We did this because, well, because I insisted that, now that we have a concealed carry law in WI, it was our duty, even though all of us have had a modicum of training in the past, to become more knowledgeable about firearms. Those who choose not to carry should take such a class as well because it is a duty consistent with the right to bear arms to know how to use a firearm should you be put in a bad situation. Even though all the classes I had seen on-line in our area were full, a friend told us about some openings in his class, so off we went.

I'm so proud of my boy.

In addition to being a lot of fun, the class struck me as a picture of our larger rights and responsibilities as American citizens. We have self evident God given rights, yes, but they come with an equally self evident duty attached to them. That duty is to exercise those rights appropriately and responsibly. This is something that people tend to understand immediately when speaking about firearms, but not so much when it comes to our other self-evident rights. One of the most important duties that is required to maintain our rights is to exercise them appropriately at every opportunity.

We often don't think of exercising our freedom of speech, or our freedom of religion or our freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and all the rest as duties. We are usually all too happy to give them up at the drop of a hat when challenged. Just as it is an uneasy feeling to carry a firearm around with you, it is just as uneasy to exercise any of our other rights in the face of opposition or authority. Just look at how many people have tamely submitted to the TSA's unconstitutional searches. This is to say nothing of exercising our other self evident, but unnamed Constitutional rights, like the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

He's a good shot, too.

Think about that. We have a whole slew of other unnamed, yet self evident rights, to which we often do not lay claim, due to the fact that they are not named. Not only that, but we often give up our named rights out of ...what? Is it a wish to be nice? Is it a wish to be perceived as cooperative? Is it sheer ignorance of how those rights are to be appropriately exercised? Or is it cowardice?
I tend to think it is a combination of all those reasons and more. Whatever it is, we need to stop it. We are at, and possibly past, a tipping point, beyond which America no longer exists as the land of the free. We need to be exercising our rights. All of them. Every time it is appropriate to do so. What's more, we need to help each other stand up for those rights as well.

As you can see, those who exercise their rights, understand their responsibilities.

At first it will be scary, but, as you become more familiar with the process and the likely results, you will come to understand what the phrase "We The People" really means in the Constitution. Far from being a hindrance to the exercise of freedom, acceptance of that responsibility is what gives us the power to remain free. I know we've come a long way from the days of our founders, but I think we can still handle the risks and responsibilities that go along with the power to direct our own lives, don't you? Try it, you never know, it may be fun.

Even though he grumbled about it at first, if you enlarge the photo, you'll see that "Dad" enjoyed the class too.

"And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough" ~ Luke 22:35-38


Dr.D said...

Mom, I really have a difficult time imagining you packing heat! The image just does not come together for me. LOL!

Call Me Mom said...

LOL! It's good to exceed our comfort zones occasionally. ;)

DR said...

What a great example, let's hope more of Wisconsin follows your lead.