This weekend I had the honor of helping instruct an Appleseed clinic. The weekend is especially meaningful as it marks the anniversary of Paul Revere's ride to warn the people that the Crown's soldiers were on the move against them. This is our shared history, we Americans, and it marks the beginning of our nation. It's a common reminder than America was born of a people who stood up and said 'No, you shall not treat us as slaves, and we shall defend our freedom with our very lives.... and with yours'.
America was born of the rifle, the printing press, and an idea. The idea... the concept... that humans have the right to be free to determine their own fate. Free to thrive, free to fail, and free of the slavers whip stealing away their life's blood. Americans used their printing presses to share these ideas, and their rifles to back up their oaths of freedom.
In an age of King, Crown, and the arrogance of authority by bloodline, a small number of Americans, people of brave conviction, said NO. Surrounded by quislings and people little different than sheep, a minority of men and women who demanded freedom before all else formed the militia and army that eventually tossed the most powerful fighting force in the world out on their arses, licking their wounds and contemplating the error of their choices.
All this history is brought to light once again while working an Appleseed event. A place where American citizens gather to learn the skills of the rifleman that helped free their ancestors from tyranny, and learn again that history while doing it. Men, women, families, friends, children... all races, all religions, all good people come together to learn and grow and gain skills which give them the ability to follow their heritage.
Perhaps it's an indicator of the times we live in, of a rebirth of American culture and moral center, that the Appleseed program has nearly doubled every year since it's inception. It's clinics and events are now held in many locations in every state in the nation. Somewhere in each state, every single month of the year, there will be an Appleseed weekend. Most months will see far more than just one.
100% driven by volunteers, every Appleseed is taught by tried and tested instructors. Not just tested by book learning, but by proving their ability behind a rifle, and their commitment as well by showing up and helping others time and time again. Every Appleseed instructor has to climb the ladder of responsibility by proving themselves over and over before their peers. Much the same way as patriot leaders during the revolution had to prove themselves to their friends, families, and neighbors before taking their place at the forefront of the battle for freedom. By operating this way Appleseed teaches our history and heritage by example, more than just by words.
In an age when the integrity of the individual is falling by the wayside, and the peoples ability to live in peace and freedom grows smaller every day, Appleseed reminds us how our nation came to birth amid just such challenges. Nothing... nothing... is more powerful , inspiring, and dangerous than an armed and intelligent people who have the will and courage to stand up and say "NO, we will NOT be slaves!"
That is our heritage, our history.... and so let it be our future.