July the Fourth is situated neatly near the middle of the calendar year, so for me it serves as a good milestone for checking on my annual resolutions. You know, those things you declared you would do at the beginning of the year, to make yourself a better person? Things like shooting and running and storing away useful items?
I’m behind in some areas, ahead in others. As far as blog postings go, I’m not nearly where I wanted to be. After a strong start, a period of intense weakness developed, as other, more pressing events in life intruded. But this blog is the least of my goals.
I am shooting better than at the beginning of the year. I measure myself at the local high power match, held monthly, and have made steady, quantifiable progress. Not that a high power match accurately represents real-world shooting, but it is a decent yardstick for long-range work.
I am taking daily walks to build my core fitness, but have slacked off in running. My cholesterol is on the way down, but could do better. I am packing along my load bearing gear (cleverly disguised as a regular shoulder bag) on my walks, so they are useful for building my body.
All these things are my own actions, taken freely, to build me and my family up in independence from the current system. I wish to be free, and will act in such a manner as befits free men, even while those around me act as John Dickinsons and warn me not to act too boldly, or join a militia, or say crazy things like the Government is out to steal our freedoms.
We find ourselves today in a place where there are too many John Dickinsons and too few John Adams to successfully accomplish a revolution, even though one is coming.
If you haven’t, go watch the movie 1776 and the miniseries John Adams. Both of them portray the struggle between John Adams for independence and John Dickinson for reconciliation very well, though a bit loosely vis a vis the facts of history. It is easy to see the two as opposites, but I prefer to look at them as two individuals on a spectrum, moving in the same direction. Adams, of course, is the one farther along the path of liberty, clearly moving towards it instead of against it. But Dickinson is too often viewed as one moving in the opposite direction.
He shouldn’t be considered an enemy of America, or of liberty, nor should those who are similar to him today. We all take a different path towards liberty, and at different rates. The one who today counsels reconciliation with our tyrants may tomorrow be convinced of the futility of such action. One cannot be sure of such opinions until they are put through the fire of experience, which occasionally manifests as actual incoming fire.
We must be careful, as Patriots, to never shrink our numbers, nor shut the door closed to anyone who could potentially serve as a Patriot. We must remember that we were all new to this line of thinking at one point, and must use that common point of reference as a reconciliation place whenever disagreements appear within our ranks.
So for my own self, I am going to double down on my goals for the remainder of the year. I am going to find new Patriots, new John Dickinsons, and befriend them, bringing them closer in to my point of view.
For we must remember that after the Declaration, John Dickinson fought against the British and earned the honorable title of traitor to the British Crown, even though he never signed the Declaration.