Independence Day is the holiday when we in the United States of America celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. It is probably the most significant date in our great Nation’s history. I never use the colloquial term ‘Fourth of July’ because I think it dilutes the memory of what the holiday’s meaning is.
We should keep in mind that July 4th is not the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed nor is it the date that the Founding Fathers declared our independence from the British Empire. Rather, it was the date that The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the declaration that had been decided two days earlier on July 2nd. https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/
Something else we should keep in mind is that Independence Day does not commemorate the start of the American Revolution. That was 14 months earlier in April of 1775 when ‘the shot heard around the world’ was fired in Lexington, Massachusetts on the 19th of April. The Battle of Lexington and two days later in Concord were the start of the American Revolution. The Battles were the result of the British Army trying to seize and destroy the Colonists’ cache of arms and ammunition. Whenever politicians try to remove weapons from the populace, it means they have something unpleasant in mind.
In political science, there still is no universally accepted definition of ‘government.’ There are indicators, though; one of the principal criteria being the ‘monopoly of force.’ In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln said the object of the Civil War was “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“ Using the criterion of the monopoly of force, when the people do not possess arms, we might have government OF the people and perhaps, in a benevolent autocracy, FOR the people but certainly not BY the people.
I will be shooting with friends today and I hope you will be, too. The firearm I’ll be using to commemorate the date is a Marlin Model 60, a modern day equivalent of the simple firearms many of the colonists began our Revolution with.
A sidenote about today’s post:
Vet (verify) your sources.
As part of this blog post, I wanted to include the reference to “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. I think the phrase has strong implications in the arena of the controversy of about the Right of the people to keep and bear arms.
The question has arisen as to whether Lincoln actually coined the phrase himself or whether he had another inspiration. Many generally reputable sources claim that Lincoln actually was inspired by the 1397 General Prologue to the Wycliffe1382 Bible translation from Latin to Middle English. Even the Washington Post published this theory in 2017.
A question was whether the original phrasing was ‘The Bible is for the government…’ or ‘This Bible is for the government…’ I wanted to be sure of the wording I was going to quote so I did a little research. However, in looking through several different sources of the General Prologue, I was unable to find anything remotely resembling the phrase. More research uncovered the fact that this has puzzled numerous people and no one is able to find the phrase in any reading of the General Prologue.
So the idea that Lincoln lifted the phrase from somewhere else seems to be pure poppycock that has been repeated for decades without actually being verified. In the days before we had a free and near instantaneous repository of most of the knowledge of human history, this might be forgivable. Now, there’s just no excuse for it.
Don’t be a parrot. Czech your sources. It doesn’t take long and it’s really not that difficult.
FTC note: I bought the Marlin 60 with my own money and receive no compensation for mentioning it.