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Stand and Fight

On April 19, 1775 British troops marched on Concord, Massachusetts with orders to seize American colonists’ weapons and ammunition. The day ended with the first shots fired of the American Revolution and the catalyst that birthed the greatest nation the world had ever seen. It also marked the very beginning of the fight over gun control in America.

As we celebrate our independence this July 4th, imagine how our country would look today if those brave colonists had not the courage to stand and fight; accepting the governments confiscation of their guns, and along with them, their honor and dignity.

242 years later, gun owners in America are still besieged with constant assaults on their right to keep and bear arms. Just last year in Maine, a pitched battle raged over a ballot referendum question attempting to impose even more restrictions on lawful gun owners. It was a classic David versus Goliath fight, with millions of out-of-state gun control money pouring into Maine.

But like the farmers, merchants and tradesmen of Concord, grass-roots activists stood their ground with the support and leadership of organizations such as Gun Owners of Maine, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the National Rifle Association. It was a stunning defeat for the Michael Bloomberg backed anti-gunners.

As you know, the fight for your rights as a gun owner is never really over. Those who would impose their value system and personal beliefs on you never let up. It is an integral part of their ideology. Whether you are a deer hunter who owns a single bolt-action rifle or a competitive shooter with an arsenal of black rifles and handguns, it makes no difference to gun control advocates. In their eyes, guns are evil in any form.

Like our founding fathers before us, we must all band together and continue to stand and fight for our beliefs and rights wherever and however the anti-gun groups come after any of us – hunters, trappers, sports shooters alike. Even after that resounding defeat in November 2016, gun control advocates in Maine still introduced a slew of anti-gun legislation this session, including another attempt at the very same issue so handily rejected by voters.

Gun control legislation, ordinances and gun-free zones are all allegedly meant to secure the collective safety of society. But who are they keeping the citizenry safe from? It is most certainly not law abiding gun owners, whose very nature negates the need for these impositions. Criminals must be the target then, however, given the fact that criminals do not obey laws, this makes for a spurious assumption.

Misleading titles such as “An Act to Protect Children” are common practice when writing anti-gun bills. This is one of the favorite forms of subterfuge gun control advocates use. We must remain vigilant and demand accountability from our elected leaders. We must make sure they have a clear understanding of our intolerance of any law attempting to circumvent the 2nd amendment of the United States Constitution – regardless of how well it is dressed up as a public safety initiative.

American independence was secured by force of arms, by men and women who were willing to stand for what they believe in and defend their God given rights. They wagered their security, futures and sacred honor on the uniquely American principle of freedom and liberty. We owe it to them, ourselves and future generations to prevent the further erosion of our civil liberties and gun rights.

As you fire up the grill, enjoy the fireworks and celebrate, spend some time with your friends, neighbors and family discussing the future of our gun owning heritage. We all can do our part in our own way. Remember – united we stand, divided we fall.

Happy Independence Day fellow patriots!

John is a Registered Maine Guide, an NRA Certified Instructor and an NRA Certified Range Safety Officer. He is a former Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and is the owner of Tucker Ridge Outdoors in Webster Plantation, Maine. He also works as a freelance outdoors writer and is the author of “Life on the Ridge” for the bangordailynews.com Outdoors section. He can be reached at john@tuckerridge.me or on Facebook @writerjohnfloyd

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