On this July 4th, our Independence Day, I wanted to share a car that we came across at the Frog Follies, a gathering of street rods that happens every year in Evansville Indiana. This show attracts over 4,000 pre-1940’s street rods from all over the country. The show is amazing and the people there are incredible. Its mid-western hospitality at its best. But there is one car that still stands out in my mind, a 1931 Ford Tutor custom that was dedicated to our right to bear arms. As we go to car shows across the country, we find this sentiment of freedom over and over. Though the courts may argue the meaning of the Second Amendment, you would have a very hard time finding anyone at most of these car shows that would argue its meaning to be anything other that the right of free men to own guns for their own defense and the defense of their family. Richard Johnson, the owner of this car will definitely tell you that that’s how its interpreted in Kentucky. So our hats off this Independence Day to Mr. Johnson and his incredibly well done car.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
So why was this amendment added to our Constitution. Since this is Independence Day, lets take a look at the document that we are celebrating today, The Declaration of Independence which was signed on July 4th, 1976 by a group of men who represented the 13 colonies. By putting their name on this document, they condemned themselves to a course of action that would free our country from England and the rule of its King. They would either become free or would be hung by the crown. One of the first thing that Britain did was round up all of the guns in the colonies. Though this would have an impact on the writers of our Constitution, the source of this amendment actually goes back further to ironically the British Bill of Rights or 1689. Just prior to this time, King James II had disarmed all of the Protestants in the country so they could be systematically eliminated. That means he killed them if there is any dispute. After King James II was overthrown, the new government enacted this Bill of Rights. The bill states that it is acting to restore “ancient rights” trampled upon by James II. Of course under the rule of kings this set of laws didn’t seem to last long in England. But our fore fathers did take note of this law that would restore the power back to the people.
So lets take a look at the Declaration of Independence. We think its important to remember.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
So now, back to the cars and enjoy your Independence Day!