Thursday, November 26, 2015
On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the following Proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving, and ordering all federal offices closed on that day. Prior to this proclamation, Thanksgiving was not an official national holiday, but was celebrated by individual states and localities on various dates of their choosing. Lincoln's Proclamation codified the last Thursday in November as the federally recognized holiday of Thanksgiving.
By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State
Friday, November 20, 2015
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
1) Know Your Rights - All people have a natural (God-given) right right to self-defense. This inalienable right is recognized and guaranteed by the second amendment to U.S. Constitution. Guns are a very useful, even necessary, tool of self-defense. They are also great for hunting, providing food, and recreation through shooting sports and collecting. But their primary function, as enshrined in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, is for self-defense, against both bad people and bad governments. WE HAVE A GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE, AND THE TOOLS NEEDED TO DEFEND OURSELVES.
"If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed." --Exodus 22:2
Jesus advised his disciples to arm themselves in view of likely persecution. --See my study of Luke 22:36
“If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.” --Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin
“Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.” --Catechism of the Catholic Church (2264)
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." --Thomas Jefferson
"What is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." --George Mason (the Father of the Bill of Rights)
A) Read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
B) Get a "pocket copy" of both (various organizations often give away such copies).
C) Read the article "The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment" by Richard W. Stevens.
D) Check out the Biblical Self-Defense website.
E) Read my article Freedom of Religion or Freedom of Worship, to understand the important difference and how progressives try to water-down our rights.
F) Check out the book Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by by Massad Ayoob.
G) Learn the laws of your state and locality regarding firearms, self-defense, and concealed-carry & open-carry. Your local gun store should be able to help with this step.
2) Work to Change Unconstitutional Laws and Excessive Regulations
Many states and localities have already passed legislation that violates the second amendment and/or otherwise restricts the inalienable right to self-defense. We must work diligently to change these laws and to prevent new restrictions. This will take some time, effort, and awareness.
A) Know the positions of political candidates regarding guns and self-defense. Do not vote for candidates that do not support the second amendment or that favor excessive restrictions on guns and self-defense.
B) Vote for and otherwise support candidates at that respect the second amendment and promise to resist gun bans and excessive regulations.
C) It is as important to hold local and state level officials accountable, as it is to hold federal level politicians accountable.
D) Make your voice heard. Pressure your politicians at all levels to be pro second-amendment, and to resist gun control efforts. Most moderate (non-ideological) politicians end up voting in the direction they feel the greatest pressure. We have to make sure we out-pressure the progressives. Write, call, email, and visit your elected officials often. Attend town halls. Write newspaper editorials. Be outspoken. Here's how to contact congress.
E) Many gun rights organizations (see below) provide legislative alerts and suggested actions to take. Join their email lists and/or follow them on twitter to stay informed of these opportunities.
3) What about civil disobedience?
Civil disobedience of unjust and/or unconstitutional laws is legitimate and may be necessary at some point. However,the penalties for breaking gun laws are often quite severe, so please think long and hard before breaking them. The negative consequences may not only affect you, but also your family. If you do get into trouble, either through civil disobedience or just accidentally, seek legal help from a law firm friendly to the second amendment. Here are two directories:
A) The Shooter's Bar -- Pro Second-Amendment Attorneys
B) JPFO Guide to 2A/CCW Oriented Attorneys
4) Join Forces with Others Defending the Second Amendment
A) National Rifle Association (Twitter, Website, YouTube)
B) Gun Owners Association (Twitter, Website, YouTube)
C) Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (Twitter, Website, YouTube)
D) National Association for Gun Rights (Twitter, Website, YouTube)
5) If you are in Law Enforcement or the Military, please Join Oath Keepers. Even if you're not, you can support them by joining as an associate member. You can also sign up for their free email list.
6) Know the Facts
Several politicians and activists have been caught lately reciting facts and statistics that were highly distorted and, in several cases, completely made-up. Opponents of the second amendment have no qualms about lying to get their way. It is crucial that we know the real facts and statistics so that we cannot be mislead, and so that we can correct the record and prevent others from being mislead. Here are several resources to help you learn the facts:
A) Gun Facts Website
B) Gun Facts 6.2 (link will download a .pdf of a 119 page book)
C) Gun and Murder Statistics (on JPFO website)
D) Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America by Dana Loesch
7) Schools and Zero-Tolerance
Schools have enacted zero-tolerance policies that go way beyond banning the actual weapons from schools. School kids have, and are, getting suspended, expelled, and sometimes arrested for such absurdities as merely using the word "gun" in a paper, drawing a picture of a gun on paper, having a green plastic army man with a gun, biting a pop-tart into the shape of a gun, having a toy "bubble gun" that looks nothing like a real gun, and even holding their fore-finger and thumb into a gun shape while playing on the playground (no more playing cowboys and indians, or even cops and robbers).
School officials understand the difference between a drawing of a gun and a real gun. They over-react to such an incredible extent not to discourage guns on campus, but to intentionally instill a fear of guns into students. Progressives know that if the current generation of students afraid of guns, it will be easier to ban guns once they grow up.
Fight these absurd zero-tolerance rules in your kids' schools. Stand up to administrators who think your kid should be arrested for biting a potato-chip in such a way that it vaguely resembles a gun. Most importantly, make sure you are voting for school board members who respect the second amendment, as well as the rest of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Teach your kids to respect guns, not to fear them. Teach them how to use guns safely. Take team shooting and hunting. Check out the NRA's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program for kids.
8) Promote Gun Ownership
Own guns and enjoy them. Encourage others to own guns, and to pursue hunting and shooting hobbies. The more people who own and enjoy guns, the harder it will be for progressives to take our guns away. Invite a gun-wary friend, neighbor, or co-worker to go hunting or shooting with you. Get to them before the progressives do.
- 10 Rules for Gun Safety - National Shooting Sports Foundation (website)
- Concealed Carry for Women (book)
- Gun Digest 2016 (book)
- Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob (book)
- Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry (book)
- Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Handguns (book)
- Gun Guide for People who Know Nothing About Firearms (book)
- Gun Safety in the Home by Massad Ayoob (book)
- Knife Rights (website)
- Personal Defense for Women (book)
- Safe Arms Review (You Tube channel)
- Shooters Bible (107th Edition) (book)
- Shooter's Bible Guide to Firearms Assembly, Disassembly & Cleaning (book)
- Shooter's Bible Guide to AR-15s (book)
- Shooter's Bible Guide to Home Defense (book)
- Shooter's Bible Guide to Concealed Carry (book)
- Total Gun Manual (book)