When referring to the early colonial days, some people conclude that since the colonists had to fight to gain independence from the tyranny of the king of England, patriots now must have home arsenals to fight our current government. They believe that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution requires that there be no limits to the amount of armor they collect and prepare to use.

There is a different way to think of the 2nd Amendment and the way it relates to the Declaration of Independence. On one Fourth of July, a group of people reenacted the colonists’ development of the Declaration of Independence as a celebration of Independence Day. They were assigned opposing positions, those agreeing to separate from English rule and those who were reluctant to change the status quo. As the group read the historical document they noticed that the phrases at the beginning of the document were, and still are, used frequently.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Fourth of July group read through what seemed a never-ending list of grievances against the king of England. Sure, the colonists were against paying taxes to the king, because they suffered extreme abuses by the dictator king. The king’s soldiers were the controlling power in the colonies even during times of peace. Just read the long list of abuses listed in the Declaration of Independence and you will appreciate our freedom today.

The Declaration of Independence is a powerful reminder of the reasons our Founders decided on the concepts in the Constitution of the United States. Those concepts make the U.S. a free country — free because its citizens are the government. In my opinion, colonial life was far different from the lives we live in 2021. We have civilian control of our government and we raise taxes to maintain our government services. We are not governed by a king or dictator. We disagree with one another, but the majority rules. The majority rules by a system of law and order that is dependent on the loyalty, responsibility and education of the people.

With a system of law and order that supports freedom, men and women of goodwill have no need to be armed with high-powered military equipment and ammunition to protect their homes, property, families. Muskets were enough for the patriots in 1776 and they ought to be enough for patriots in 2021.

Evelyn Swart


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