America prides itself in being called “the land of the free.” But, what, exactly, does it mean to be free? Does it mean owning a car and having a job? People in communist countries own a car and have a job. Does it mean going to a mall to shop. People in communist countries go to a mall to shop. Does it mean going to an amusement park to recreate? People in communist countries go to amusement parks. Does it mean going to the polls and voting? People in communist countries go to the polls and vote. In reality, many, if not most, of the things that most Americans would identify as marks of freedom are commonly practiced in the most oppressed communist countries of the world. So, what does it mean to be free?

Obviously, the freedom of speech is a crucial element of freedom, so much so that it is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. And the truth is, freedom of speech is not at all what it used to be in this country. If you doubt that, just ask the hundreds and thousands of journalists, news anchors, sportscasters, business executives, religious leaders, non-profit organization heads, teachers, scientists, government employees, etc., who have lost their positions for saying something politically incorrect. If you could, ask the late Howard Cosell or the late Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. Ask Judge Andrew Napolitano, Glenn Beck, or Lou Dobbs. There are literally millions of people across America who daily “bite their tongues” and refuse to speak for fear of demotion, dismissal, retaliation, persecution, or worse! You call that freedom of speech? Gag!

Another critical element of freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to worship freely. But, this, too, is not what it used to be. Can anyone remember when pastors and church leaders were free to say what they wanted in regard to issues that tread into government? If you do, you are probably over 50 years old or attend a non-501c3 church. On the whole, pastors and church leaders today are literally “scared silly” to broach any topic that might have political overtones, which means a sizeable percentage of the Bible is either ignored or spiritualized away by the vast majority of America’s pulpits. You call this freedom of worship? Barf!

Of course, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is one of the most crucial ingredients of a free society. It is this right that, for the most part, separates the United States from the oppressed nations of the world. And, of course, the Powers That Be have been chipping away at this fundamental tenet of liberty for nearly half a century, to the point that there are literally tens of millions of Americans who are forbidden by law from owning or possessing a firearm due to a conviction or plea bargain for some “crime” in which no one—nada–was injured. And in many states, even those who have never run afoul of the law are forbidden from owning–and especially–possessing a firearm. Can anyone say Massachusetts or California?

Government attacks against the Second Amendment notwithstanding, I am absolutely convinced that the ownership and possession of more than 100 million firearms in the hands and homes (and hearts) of the American citizenry is the main thing that has kept the overt forces of tyranny somewhat at bay to this point in our country. I suggest that even you folks who do not really care anything about guns and shooting, but who claim to love liberty, go purchase a firearm and learn the fundamental elements of firearm safety and usage–if for no other reason than because you are an American who believes in freedom and who understands that only free men own guns!

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