I often feel that we as people tend to be forgetful when it comes to history and often see it repeat itself. I see this within my own lifetime. As we celebrate the 4th of July, let us not forget why.
Before 1776, Americans were technically British with British rights, and answered to the British Crown. In 1763 the Seven Years’ War ended between Britain and France squabbling over land rights in the colonies (here); Britain was the victor. Due to this war, Britain was heavily in debt, and decided that the colonies should start paying taxes in order to pay for the British soldiers stationed here. In 1765 Parliament imposed the first direct tax on the colonies.
Suffice it to say, the colonials were not amused and argued that the laws and their “rights as Englishmen” meant that taxes could not be imposed on the colonies because they lacked representation in Parliament. I’m sure you have heard the term “taxation without representation.” This is a British concept. However, in true defiant fashion, the colonists also rejected the solution of being provided representation.
This ongoing battle of taxation, lack of compliance and eventually the Boston Tea Party, where an ongoing and ever growing defiant stance was taken against British rule caused the Crown to punish the colonials by closing the port of Boston, a major port for goods, and took away their rights to self govern. The colonials or patriots, if you will, set up an underground government and called it the Continental Congress. This congress appointed General George Washington to take charge of a militia (yes, he was the head of a militia) that successfully pushed the British out of Boston in March 1776.
Somehow I managed to squeeze the story of how we came to the most important day of our country’s history into 230 words, but hopefully this highly oversimplified version might be easier to remember.
Now that we have refreshed our memory with this basic outline, let’s re-read the first paragraph of the Declaration Of Independence:
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 are the children of those forefathers and today our kids will live in the world that we create with the skills we teach them. This July issue of the American Shooting Journal is not only dedicated to embracing our heritage, but celebrating our future. Take a minute to remember that it is the new shooters, in all facets of the industry, who will grow and keep these traditions alive. Take a look at what, I feel, is our country’s most important asset and the feats they are accomplishing; welcome in the kids. ASJ