The day after the 225th birthday of The United States of America. I took the time and spent it on reflection about how this country has changed. I started the day by watching the movie “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson. While this is not the first time I have seen this movie the one line that struck me, delivered by Mel Gibson (playing the character of Benjamin Martin) said, “Why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a mans rights as easily as a king can.” Those words, if they were spoken 225 years ago and I would venture a guess that they were, are as true then as they are now.  

In the movie (18 year old) Gabriel Martin is taken prisoner. In an effort to stop Gabriel from being taken to be hanged, Thomas Martin  (16 years old) is shot down in cold blood by a British Officer (the villain). Benjamin Martin and his two youngest sons Nathan (9 years old) and (12 year old) Samuel then set out to free Gabriel. In the ensuing battle Martin and his two sons kill 20 British escorts and succeeded in freeing Gabriel. The three free Martins seem not to miss a shot as they fire their single shot muskets. This feat could not have been accomplished without the instruction and everyday practice that the boys apparently received from their Father. This is a clear and well-made point that the need for the citizens of this country to have the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That right to be able to fight a military opponent with equal weaponry is a distinctive and well-made point in this movie.

  Some in our government continue to try to restrict our rights given us by the Founding Fathers in the “Bill of Rights” and the “United States Constitution”. In a recent poll from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation shows that 14% of the teens polled thought that we gained our independence from France. 17% said that they did not know that there were thirteen colonies. There were other questions but the general point of the poll quotes the sponsor of the survey that more than 5 million U.S. teenagers do not under stand the meaning of Independence Day. These young teens and others are tomorrow’s leaders of this great country.  How do we expect this country to continue in the footsteps of the founding fathers with this kind of education? 

There are those in Washington who would trample a mans rights as easily as a king can and they have been doing so by restricting who should have a gun and what kind of a gun we can own. They are also trying to rewrite the “Bill of Rights” by making new rights like the “Patients Bill of Rights” sponsored by John McCain. These so called new rights are not rights but a smoke screen to cloud that real “Bill of Rights”. 

If we are to remain a free country loving the liberties we were given in the “Bill of Rights” we need to make sure that those who gave us those freedoms shall never be forgotten. My Grandmother who came to this state in a covered wagon in the late 1800’s taught me the importance of the “Bill of Rights” and my family ties to the founding fathers. We also need to include those teachings to our children and grandchildren.


Jim Gibb