Independence Day....


Dave McCracken
July 4, 2005, 03:36 PM
I never had to look far to find heroes. Pop was a mass of scars and gristle when I was born. He earned his PH in a B-24 someplace over Europe.

Mom was a hero also. She shouldered the burden when her fit, able husband came back to her in 1946 as a bloody mess. Years later she taught me that courage has no bravado, no press agents, no bands playing. She fought cancer to her dying day. She gave out but didn't give up.

I kew heroes in the military, folks who walked through fire, literally. And if I kept up with them, it was because I was more scared of letting them down than of Charley, flaming JP 4 or Satan himself.

I knew heroes in the Md Division of Correction. Good folks who walked the hellish tiers and cells of our worst prisons, who dealt with folks that made Hannibal Lector look like a wimp. Sheepdogs protecting the flock by guarding the wolves.

I know heroes now. Recently I drove 3 vets of WII to their memorial in DC. One was a Seabee in the Pacific, another a Marine who served from Guadacanal to Okinawa. The third was in the 101st Airborne and made that jump into the darkness just before D Day. He brought his wife to the memorial. Taking them there to see a monument so belated in the building was an honor.

I do not believe I'm especially fortunate in this, you have heroes near you too.

I went to PGC this morn and shot some wobble. One young man there was shooting with his father and on leave from the Marines. He heads out soon for the war. I pray he makes it back.

229 years ago today, some outstanding people committed their "Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor" to the revolutionary concept that people can govern themselves. To ensure that their descendants, both actual and spiritual, enjoy that same freedom, they wrote "The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

That Right is coming under more and more fire these days. Various reasons are given,like" We do not need guns these days, the government can protect us"...

Most governments now and through history, are oppressive. Some are little more than legalized brigandry.

My wife's Aunt Helga was born into a large Jewish family in Berlin in 1928. In 1944. she escaped from Birkenau by being so emaciated she could get between the wires on the electric fence. Out of maybe 30 members of her extended family, she's the sole survivor.

Ask her what it's like to live where the government determines who may possess the means of defense and who may not.

Another reason given for denying citizens the means of defence is "For the children". Somehow,according to these folks,guns exert an evil influence like Sauron's Ring and poison the area around them, turning good folks into orcish murderers.

S'Funny, I can trace my name back to a man born in 1708. I can name the generations in between. I can trace another line back to 1693. 5 of my ancestors fought in the Revolution, one died at Saratoga. Another died in 1862 near Antietam Creek, fighting for what he believed in. In all that time, with all generations having guns accessible, there's been no suicides, no tragic accidents, and the only homicides were in the line of duty. 300 years of safe and responsible gun ownership.

The reason some folks and factions advocate gun control is not guns, it's control. Worse than heroin or crack, power and control are addictions that ruin lives and destroy freedom. Free armed people are hard to control, and the would be Saddams and Hitlers know this.

Perform a revolutionary act. Take someone shooting that has never been. Show them the truth and ensure they know that the rights laid out in the Bill Of Rights will remain ours and our children's only as long as the Second Amendment stays intact. Teach them to bust a clay, punch a hole in a paper target or slay a fierce and wily tin can with a 22.

Do it "For the Children".

And, maybe the mirror will show you a Hero.....

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July 4, 2005, 03:46 PM
Dave - outstanding Sir and thank you - I really mean that. You have said much that hits home, for many reasons. I hope it gets thru to others as well.

You are truly a man after my own heart. I salute you for your sensibilities, sensitivities and downright good thinking.

I hope you will have, as all here, had a memorable, enjoyable but also thought provoking 4th. I am proud to be among you all. :)


On reflection Dave - may I have your permission to reproduce this - I would greatly like others to see it, even outside of THR, if should meet with your approval.

July 4, 2005, 04:30 PM
Well done Dave.

R.H. Lee
July 4, 2005, 05:22 PM
Thank you Dave. A good reminder that the liberties we all too often take for granted did not come easily. Over our history men far better than me shed their blood and gave their lives time and time again for our freedom.

My dad was one of those men. He was an immigrant who became an American citizen, enlisted in the Army and served in combat during WWII as a squad leader with the 104th Infantry Division in central Europe. He was wounded in Raguhn Germany on April 18, 1945 just short of Berlin.

After his death 3 months ago, I learned that not only was he awarded the PH, but several other medals also, including the Bronze Star. Like so many others who returned, he never talked about the war. Instead they came home, built houses, raised families and oversaw the greatest period of prosperity this country had ever known.

It is our duty to jealousy guard our heritage of liberty against all enemies, foreign or domestic who would usurp them.

July 4, 2005, 10:05 PM

Another outstanding contribution! Thanks for reminding us what the idea of freedom is all about. A lot of wisdom contained in thise few words.


My "for the children" dues are paid up for this month. I took a female colleague to PGC and ran her through a quick run down on the basics of the Teknys rental gun. She said she had previously shot an informal couple of clays shots but was unable to hit any. Thinking this odd, I did a quick eye dominance test and, sure enough, she was left eyed.

Shot 4 rounds.....6 hits, 9 hits, 11 hits, 12 hits..... :evil:

July 4, 2005, 10:46 PM
Happy 4th Dave (and everyone else) !

Thank you! Even on-line I have found those that can be considered hero's. For what they've seen, done, and continue to do. Members here that serve overseas, and have served. I thank you all. Whether its defending our freedom or simply taking a new shooter out and bringing them into the fold, I salute you.
God bless.


P.S. A specific thank you to William Tennant, Fred Stayer, Robert Hirt, Michael Golden, Ed Catron, Rob McCoy Jr., Frank Drogosch, Anthony Grubbs, John Chapek... the list goes on.
While these men may never read this thread, I thank you for all you've done for me and my family.

July 5, 2005, 12:34 AM
My old man served in WWII. He showed my brother and me his pictures. The boys playing cards. The destruction of bombs. The waiting planes on base. The girls of Nice. The stacks of bodies at Buchenwald. When we came across his Bronze Star, he said, "Aw, everybody got one of those."

Before I saw any of those pictures or was old enough to really understood who he was, he taught us to shoot. He didn't make any big deal of it. He didn't posit shooting to us a some great privilege that we must uphold. It was something that men did and he intended for us to be men.

I think that our Declaration of Independence was the same thing. It was a Declaration of Manhood; of Adulthood; of Self-Determination. I try to live up to the standards of my father and our political forefathers. We must assert what it is to be American or risk having it disappear.

July 5, 2005, 02:29 AM
Thank you Dave, thank you High Road thank you USA and all those who made it possible and most of all - Thank you Jesus! :)

Dave McCracken
July 5, 2005, 09:01 AM
You're welcome, folks.

Chris, permission granted as long as credit is given.

Norton, thanks. Another point of light in the darkness.

"We must assert what it is to be American or have it disappear". Truer words never spoken, rhubarb. Rights not exercised wither and vanish.

July 5, 2005, 11:24 AM
Thx Dave - of course - as ever, credit where credit is due! :)

July 5, 2005, 11:44 AM
Thanks, Dave, for reminding us how important all those things are. . .Why Freedom is NOT free, and the Costs of Liberty must be re-paid every so often.

Dave McCracken
July 5, 2005, 02:53 PM
Thanks, folks. Freedom has a price.

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