tired of losing ground?
Then, let's get serious!
This article was published in the California Rifle and Pistol Association's magazine, "The Firing Line" in the January, 2000, issue. My deepest respects and regards to the men and women of the CRPA for this honored opportunity to address their forum.
I received a certified letter recently from the Executive Director of the National Rifle
Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, their political action committee. It was two weeks before a critical mid-term election and,
understandably, they were working furiously to see that the elections go in our favor. I though it a little strange, but after retrieving it from the
Post Office, I opened it and read through her rather intense correspondence as she requested an emergency donation.
That’s good! Some have criticized the NRA-ILA because of the constant mailings
requesting funds as they seek to strengthen the continuing struggle to protect the Second Amendment. But that is basically how it works in the world
of politics, in step with keeping the constituency informed. It takes money – and a lot of it. So I dutifully mailed off a small amount, the
most I could afford, yet knowing that those small amounts, lumped together, make for a lot more.
But I don’t kid myself. I maintain my memberships in the gun owners’ rights
organizations with a certain cynicism, a certain practicality born of experience and my seasoning in the real world of American politics and current
societal conditions. While the leadership of the gun owners’ rights organizations nobly and patiently execute their offices with passion,
wisdom, and cunning, they, along with a lot of us, continue to dance around what is probably the most fundamental reason for this tenacious assault
on the Second Amendment, and everything we believe concerning what America represents and stands for.
George Washington said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political
prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the
Bible.” John Adams, in an address to the military on October 11, 1798, said,
along those same lines, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.
Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was
made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
The patriots that lived at that time and fought and died so that this nation might become
what it is today clearly held a deep and abiding faith in Him, which was born, not necessarily out of the fact that Christianity was the truth, but
rather at that point in time in their lives, born out of complete dependence on Him for their day to day survival. The success for the fledgling
American nation they sought after, and died for, was key on God granting them that victory. Thus, they held very close to Him and His Word.
Regardless what the modern day historical revisionists prattle on about in opposition to this fact concerning America’s founding history, we
all know this to be true. The evidence in support of this is undeniable. Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often
that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason
peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
Yet today, many who call themselves “conservatives” that recognize the slide
away the last three or four decades from these founding principles which have had precedence in our society and day to day operations of our
government’s activities, still live in total personal indifference to the Biblical principles upon which that term is anchored. After
America’s embarrassment in the Vietnam War and the coinciding “hippie movement” and sexual revolution, we accepted the 1968 Gun
Control Act and have watched the moral decline of our society and government ever since. Hey, who cares, right? And that corruption has now even
reached the up till now honorable office of the U.S. Presidency.
It is easy to engage in accusatory finger-pointing in a natural response to affix blame for
the current social and governmental crisis, but we need to remember, when we are pointing our finger at someone else, there are usually three fingers
on our hand pointing back at us. William Penn said, “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” And again
along those same lines, Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they
have more need of masters.” Such statements by patriots of old surely give some insight into the wrong direction of this nation these past few
How many of us, in obeying the Biblical counsel that “if we would judge ourselves, we
should not be judged,” can stand faultless in a personally objective self-critique of our spiritual lifestyle? Does our local church seem a
strange and foreign place, to be visited only on an occasional religious holiday or funeral? Do our children grow up without any real spiritual
guidance, with no correction and teaching in the things of true accountability, responsibility, morality, virtue, and honor, left to the humanistic
philosophies of the public schools? Do we whore around on our husbands and wives, whether in spirit or deed, with callous disregard of the long-term
repercussions, divorcing on a trivial whim, in complete contempt of His revealed will? Does the Bible, the Book that holds the principles and
precepts with which this nation was founded on, lay abandoned and dusty on the shelf? Is there even one there? So what makes us “right”
and the gun banning crowd “wrong”? Our own subjective interpretation of truth?
Yet we so staunchly stand in courageous defiance against “the forces of tyranny and
governmental oppression” as they seek to legislate the purpose and spirit of the Second Amendment into absolute impotence, we, invoking the
eloquence, memories, and heart of those early American patriots, even going so far as to equip ourselves, if necessary, to “fight for our
Constitutional rights.” Oh, really? Bluster and big talk is just that, and will quickly evaporate under any fiery trial – that being a
sustained, long-running, armed confrontation with Federal authorities. If we don’t have the moral caliber and backbone to live for Him now, as
they did, how are we supposed to have the spine and character, the “moral high ground” and spiritual power the early patriots possessed,
to sustain us through anything else. Let’s get serious!
General Douglas MacArthur once said, “History fails to record a single precedent in
which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the
moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster. ” Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, said, “A patriot
without religion, in my estimation, is as great a paradox as an honest man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations
bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society?
...The Scriptures tell us righteousness exalteth a Nation.” And he once responded to his wife in like manner, in concern of his sons,
“Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty.” Religion and morality having precedence in his
Still, in light of this, all due respects to those who continually work to see that the
Second Amendment and our Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms is not further infringed. But until the true underlying reasons for the moral
breakdown in our society which are the catalyst and impelling force for the violent and much broadcast abuses of gun ownership, which the opposition
seizes on and exploits with such zeal and effectiveness, are faced honestly and truthfully by our own camp, any efforts to curb the continuing
encroachment of this cherished right are certainly sheer folly! An apathetic,
cowardly, ethically bankrupt society without the presence of mind to understand the basic principles of American history and the unique right of gun
ownership, let alone the moral caliber – the heart – to own one, will continue to offer the same standard of character type, a willing,
fertile, and gullible constituency, any unscrupulous and immoral politician can manipulate and exploit to strengthen and advance their
Socialist/Marxist anti-gun agenda.
Again I say, gun owners, let’s get serious! This is not a partisan or legislative
issue! This isn’t a race or cultural issue! It is a spiritual, moral, and historical one. A quote from the LORD says this, “If my people,
which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and
will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Any other credible or effective attempt to beat back the serious losses that gun owners have
endured these past three decades, even to hold our current ground, with out acknowledging our need for His guidance in our personal and civic life
over-all, will continue to produce tenuous and doubtfully long-standing results in the American local and national legislative forum. There are some
things money cannot change, some things lobbying cannot undo. In leading the way to a true and standing victory, it is imperative for the whole body
of members, top to bottom, of the gun rights’ organizations to set the precedent, not only in their public lives, but in their personal lives
where no one else watches, in returning to the founding truths that this nation, it’s Constitution, and the Second Amendment, were established
upon. And that begins with us, like the American patriots of old, submitting our wills, our futures, and our fortunes and sacred honor, wholly to Him
The future of the debate and fight for the Second Amendment and the national implications,
even today, is clouded with a dark and still tentative fate. Will we overcome the adversaries of this peculiar and distinctly American freedom? The
future seems certainly perilous; that remains to be seen. But until then, we first need to get serious with the One who inspired the birth of the
American nation and Constitution, and square away our affairs with Him.
A dear friend of mine, Lt. Col. Tom Pardue Sr., US ARMY (retired), recently said:
“Instead of praying for just a few more Republicans in Congress or a Republican President to bring about salvation by laws, Christians should
be praying that God will send revival. Only He can save us. So saith the Scripture.”
The Pen is Mightier than The Sword....
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