The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

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Living the Bill of Rights

July 15, 2003


Over Independence Day weekend, I threw my Chinese, military issue, SKS semiautomatic "assault rifle" in the back of the family minivan, grabbed my snub nose .38 revolver, picked up a friend and headed out to the Pawnee National Grasslands here in Northern Colorado.  We proceeded to unleash a torrent of firepower on some aluminum cans and one old TV that we stumbled across once we arrived.  It was a great way to celebrate the birth of our country.  However, what seemed so fun and downright American--an afternoon of shooting free from trigger locks, registration, cosmetic restrictions or paranoid regulations--is now either illegal or extremely difficult to do in many states.

Firearm ownership is a right that is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States as well as my home state.  A right that was designed to not be infringed, let alone questioned or regulated by government bureaucrats.

I am neither a hunter, nor a member of law-enforcement, nor have I ever served in the military.  But I strive to become what the Founding Fathers had in mind.  One of just millions of self-armed citizens capable of defending his family, friends, community and country against criminals, riots, robbery, civil insurrection, and foreign invasion or government tyranny.  Free men own guns, slaves don't.

Every right enshrined in the Bill of Rights is there to be used and practiced by free men.  The Bill of Rights is what distinguishes our Republic from every form of tyranny and government that came before it.  The writing and publishing of this column without government censure or regulation is another example of living the freedoms that we have in this country.  There are many countries where the ownership of a firearm, publication of a controversial opinion or the gathering of people to worship their Creator results in arrest, imprisonment and even death.

Perhaps the most misinterpreted part of the First Amendment is the free exercise of religion.  As the son, grandson and great-grandson of ministers of the Gospel, the freedom to worship and share the good news is one liberty that is sacred to my family as well as myself.  I have attended church, Bible studies and home gatherings of fellow believers and will always do so in spite of any attempt by government entities to regulate, restrict or impose "hate speech" codes or any other interference.  Christ commanded his followers to go into all the world and share the Gospel, even the "controversial" parts, in spite of any attempt by men to stop them.

The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Bill of Rights.  It does not exist except in the minds of Leftist pundits and the opinions of liberal, activist Supreme Court justices.  It is clear that the intention of the Founding Fathers was that every sect and denomination of Christianity be allowed to proselytize and worship without government regulation or interference.  The establishment clause was included to prevent the establishment of a state church such as the Church of England in Great Britain and to prohibit the type of persecution that had caused the flight of the Pilgrims and Puritans to the shores of the American continent.  We are blessed to celebrate freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

Increasingly, the freedoms once taken for granted are under assault from many sides or perversely twisted from their original intent.  The last fifty years has seen the rise of those who do not value the rights so bloodily wrenched from British bayonets.  In their endless quest for a socialist, multicultural, politically correct society the new elite of education, justice and media have rejected their rich heritage.  It is up to the average citizen to live the life and liberties that is rightfully theirs.

Freedoms not enjoyed forcefully, vocally, and universally will inevitably be restricted and regulated away.  All Americans must do their part to protect and practice their traditional rights and responsibilities that we as a nation and as a people were entrusted with by those who lived, fought and died so long ago.

Participation in the full range of freedoms is an opportunity that should never be ignored.  Petition signing, peaceful protest, publishing of letters to the editor and guest columns, maintaining your own website, printing and distributing political pamphlets and posters, attending rallies, going to church, voting, defending the rights of others, and even some much needed target shooting are just a few examples of what each and every American has the right and obligation to practice.

Each of the God-given rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights was won with the blood of American patriots who died so that we may truly live.  Each one should be defended and exercised vigorously and deserves our respect, admiration, protection and participation.  These should not be taken lightly, but should be exercised responsibly, knowledgeably and frequently.  We do not have the just the freedom to practice them, but also the obligation to do so at every opportunity.

 

Copyright Copyright 2020 by David Huntwork & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
David Huntwork is a conservative activist and freelance columnist in northern Colorado where he lives with his wife and three young daughters.  He strongly believes in the importance of Faith, Family, and Freedom as the formula of success for a good life and a healthy nation.  His columns have been featured in or appeared on many conservative Internet webzines, including America's Voices.  David is a charter member of the blog ConstitutionClub.com.  Its membership is comprised of former College Republicans who share their knowledge, viewpoints and analysis on current events, culture and the War on Terror on a daily basis.  Let Damien, David, Eric, and James inform and entertain you with their wit and wisdom.  For a daily dose of Dave visit his blog dedicated to providing common sense news and commentary on global events, society, culture and the political landscape at www.conservativecitizen.blogspot.com.  You can also visit his personal home page at (Total Victory for the Homeland) here; you can e-mail him at dhuntwork@americasvoices.org.

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