It is always worth stopping on the Fourth of July to behold what we have been given.
Freedom, that both powerful and empowering idea that, in its two syllables, declares independence from control over our lives—control that can even infringe upon our basic right to defend our lives.
Freedom, of course, is hardly a simple concept. It is loaded with responsibility, including a duty to live rightly and an obligation not to tread on others’ rights. It also comes with an obligation to learn what this unique individual sovereignty we know as freedom means in a country that, in our academic institutions and mainstream media, is taught less and less.
We also have the responsibility to protect our freedom in conversation, at the ballot box and, perhaps, physically from any monster who comes with evil intent to take it from us.
The responsibility of freedom also necessitates the courage to join other individuals, such as with the NRA, to stand up for our liberty.
To further explore our freedom, we’ve launched a new video/interview series here and on the NRA Publications’ YouTube page. In this series, we are bringing thought leaders—politicians, actors, writers and more—to you so you can hear their perspective on the practical basis, constitutional breadth and future of our Second Amendment.
In one interview, Stephen Hunter, the best-selling novelist of the Bob Lee Swagger thrillers, jokes that “guns are just greasy steel” before explaining that each gun is also wrapped in “its history, its culture, its meaning, its complexity, its aesthetics and all the pleasures of gun culture that are obvious to us, but are just mysterious and assaultive to those who won’t open their minds to look at it.”
Hunter is pointing to a divide between Americans who understand this practical freedom, solidified in our Constitution, and those who don’t. He is pointing to this chasm to help us articulate the complexities of this issue to new gun owners and to those who choose not to take this right into their hands.
Because another responsibility freedom places on our shoulders is the necessity to undo ignorance wherever we find it. This, of course, is the last thing the mainstream media and politicians like President Joe Biden want. To get majorities of citizens to vote away this freedom, they need the citizenry not to understand what they’d be giving up.
So, this Independence Day, happily tell whoever will listen how armed Americans won them this freedom and how armed Americans keep it by protecting themselves and others, and by learning about and talking about this freedom within this great nation.