From the Editor | Freedom Should Not Be Mysterious

posted on February 23, 2022
Frank Miniter

Do you remember when you first glimpsed the real basis of our individual freedom? Did a parent show you? A teacher?

For me, the understanding came like the plot of a great mystery novel. Each clue came hard, but with the power of real things in its magnificent story.

No one in my New York public high school helped. Once a discussion on constitutional rights did try to emerge in an American history class, but it was soon snuffed out when the teacher redirected the discussion into one about what freedoms the government should “allow” us to have.

Some professors in the military college I graduated from gave hints. Professor Jonathan Walters, a Welsh lover of English literature, pointed me to John Stuart Mill’s mid-19th century classic On Liberty. The First Amendment is presented in all its glowing importance in that fine, little book. He then told me I should read John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings greatly impacted the political philosophies of our Founding generation. And he pointed me to the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688-89, which introduced the English Bill of Rights.

This led to the Scottish enlightenment thinkers, such as David Hume and Adam Smith. These explorations soon moved to the Founding Fathers and all they did and said. And, of course, to deeper dives into books that shaped them, such as Plato’s Republic, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws and, of course, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

All of these works and more influenced James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay when they wrote the Federalist Papers.

Now great worlds were open and I could finally see how Western thinkers began to articulate these rights as being natural, and therefore, everyone is subject to the same moral standard. The Founding Fathers read and understood this concept. Indeed, the bold idea that the individual, via their rights, is paramount to the American experiment. This is why, today, this profound revelation is something the American Left wants to erode, as true individual rights are a fundamental check on government power.

And so, in my awakening youth, I worried Americans wouldn’t learn this stuff, as few have the time to follow those historical bread crumbs on their own.

This would later lead me to research and write Saving the Bill of Rights. And it would eventually take me here. This is why I asked George Mocsary, a professor of law at the University of Wyoming, and Joseph Greenlee, a constitutional attorney, to write a list of 10 things every American should know about their Second Amendment freedom. It is a profound list. It presents important pieces of this enumerated right’s basis every American should be taught.

Which is what we do here at America’s 1st Freedom: We unearth and print the truth about our freedom in the hopes another generation, and then another, will understand their freedom enough to hold it tight.


ammo boxes
ammo boxes

The Gun Store

There exists a place for each of us where we get to be who we are, without apology or remorse, without politics and prejudices. For many of us who understand, embrace and share in this culture, this is that place.

The Gun Loving and Loathing Hollywood I Know

The Hollywood storytelling of today can be willfully ignorant of guns and of our rights, but what can we do about it?

Shooting Straight with Dean Cain

Dean Cain cares about our freedom, and he isn't the least bit aggrieved about any work he may have lost for being a vocal supporter of our rights.

10 Things the Mainstream Media Doesn't Want You To Know About Concealed Carry

The "mainstream" media likes to place the blame for violent crime on guns, not criminals. The truth about concealed carry, however, is very different from how many in the media frame it.

The Armed Citizen® March 24, 2023

True stories of the right to keep and bear arms.

Special Report: The NRA is Fighting Back

To undercut the Second Amendment, New York officials attacked the NRA's First Amendment rights. To stop this, the NRA has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for redress.


Get the best of America's 1st Freedom delivered to your inbox.