Gun owners’ civil rights are among the things we celebrate on this day.  We all do remember what triggered Lexington and Concord, right? 

It’s also a good day to tip the hat to our now-longtime allies the British (bygones, after all, can be bygones) and remember that their Lord Blackstone, the great commentator on the common law, said that self-defense was the highest of all human rights.

I know you’ll spend the Fourth safely.  Personally, the closest I’ll come to fireworks will be to go to my range and crank off a few carefully aimed rounds.  That will also serve to celebrate the fact that the ammunition drought seems to be easing up, and the ammo prices coming down, if only slightly.

I don’t care about the predicted heavy rains.  I’ve shot matches and taught classes in worse, including tropical storms and horizontal sleet.  Responsibly directed gunfire seems to be a particularly appropriate way to celebrate Independence Day.


  1. If past years are any guide, I’ll have several notable fireworks displays from (not near) neighbors who seem to be able to source an amazing variety of devices. I expect I’ll be keeping the horses in until the festivities are over, though they seem not to mind. My wife, however, does. I may do some night fire

    About weather, I still remember my first rifle qualification for the job I finally retired from. Monsoon would be an accurate description.

    A Happy and safe Fourth to all.

  2. Please be safe and sane and use common sense especially if you live on the west coast.
    We are tinder dry and no rain predicted for the foreseeable future. Please keep in mind the folks that are suffering from PTSD and your pets as well as the native wildlife that are effected by loud booms. Consideration is something we all need to show.

    Happy 4th of July to All !!

  3. Funny you should mention Concord. I just narrated a book called “The Road to Concord” that addresses this with some very interesting research. We’re taught that General Gage sent the Redcoats to Concord in an attempt to round up Hancock, Adams and other Patriot troublemakers. In fact, all Gage’s orders talk about is four brass cannon that had been stolen by some wise-ass Sons of Liberty right out from under his nose, from an armory that was under guard. He wanted those cannon back before someone told London about it and embarrassed him. The folks of Boston were very good at irritating the Redcoats just enough to keep them off balance but not enough to make them burn down the town. They were accumulating shot and powder and other supplies, and cleverly concealing it for the day when the shooting war started. If anyone here would like a free review copy of my Audible narration of “The Road to Concord,” drop me a note and I’ll send you a promo code. I love to spread them around, especially one like this which is full of great stories.

    • Adams andHancock were not at COncord, they were at Lexington, staying at Jonathan Clrk;s home, who was the congregational minister there at Lexington. Warrants had been issued for both, which is why they had fled Boston and yes they’d have been taken transported to London gor a “fair” trial, frog-marched up into the Tower and summarily hanged at the convenience of the court there.

      As to the cannon, yes, there were some..THREE not four. They had been buried in the courtyard of a twvarn in town. I cannot confidently dispute their provenance, but they were considered the propety of the townsfolk and the innkepper. WHen located, they were dug up and a large sledge taken in hand, twhich was the tool of choice to break off the trunnions from the barrels, thus rendering them useless.

      Now IF the Brits “wanted them back”, why would they destroy them> Cannon could not yet be made in the Colonies, thus the cannon would be no more. If Gage wanted them back he wanted them back intact.
      Now that I think on it a bit, I do have a vagure recolection that the cannon at Concord had been taken from a British owned privateer which had been getging abusive, and after a sea engagement was taken captive. The \vessel was damaged, so the cannonwere removed and the itnent was to bukld carriages for them to render them useful for land-based depolyment.

      Adams and Hancock were warned by Paul Revere to were able to escae the cutches of Col.Smith’s men. This mission was specifically taged to take up a large quantity of powder, whot and new long guns Gage’s spies had learnt about, cached in and about Concord. It was Gage’s third “powder raid”, and the greatest disaster of the four. The powder sot, muskets, were the property of the colmoials who had them, having been paid for out of their own pockets. Gage’s known intent to take them up was a blatant attempt to disarm them, fulfilling his orders from George Three to “bring that restless people into submission”. Think Beto O Crook and his Hell yes, we’re coming for your rifles”. Same thing.

  4. I will be happily breaking in a new purchase and celebrating the 4th in patriotic fashion! Have a happy Independence Day y’all!

  5. Happy 4th to you and Ms. Gail! I spent yesterday celebrating they way to describe. My ears are still ringing (in spite of 30 NNR noise headset and foam ear plugs!).

  6. I think this statement is directed to all those who wish to shoot this evening in celebration of this holiday, Mas said, “Responsibly directed gunfire seems to be a particularly appropriate way to celebrate Independence Day.” Meaning don’t shoot into the air like some do on on the fourth and on New years eve.

    Carry daily, and carry on.

  7. @ Mas – “I don’t care about the predicted heavy rains. I’ve shot matches and taught classes in worse, including tropical storms and horizontal sleet.”

    I know what you mean. On May 1, 2010, I was at a local, rural gun range taking a handgun training course (a single day event). That was the start of the GREAT FLOOD EVENT of May 1st and 2nd. During those two (2) days, my area of the State was hit with a “Thousand Year” rainfall event. It rained like it was wanting to float an ark!

    We starting shooting but the rain just got worse and worse as the morning progressed. It got so bad that an opossum (normally a nocturnal creature) wandered out upon the gun range while we were shooting. Apparently, the poor creature had been flushed out of the woods by the flooding and was looking for someplace dry. Or may it went to the gunfire in the hope that one of us would shoot him and put him out of his misery!

    We spared the poor creature’s life and decided that, if it was raining hard enough to flush the local wildlife out of the woods, then it was raining too hard to continue the course. So, just before noon, we all agreed (students and teacher alike) to cancel the rest of the class.

    By that time, the local roads were all being flooded. Luckily, I had come to the class with a friend in this 4-wheel drive truck. Even so, we barely made it out of the area OK.

    Once back out onto the main roads, I still had problems. The flooding was over-topping even some of our Interstate routes. These are designed for 100 year plus events but not for a thousand year event. By using selected routes, I was finally able to make it back home. However, a normal 1 1/2 hour drive was turned into a 5 hour journey. I would have kissed the ground when I got back home if it had not been so muddy! 🙂

    So, I know what you mean about shooting in heavy rain! I have been careful, since that day, to NOT REPEAT that kind of training!

    • It’s good to train and shoot under adverse conditions as one cannot choose to engage in a gunfight when the weather is calm and sunny. Zombies and other nasty creatures like liberals with their hordes of evil terrorist minions can attack at any time, especially at night.

    • Esteemed TN_MAN, I have never fired a bolt action high-powered rifle in a heavy rain, but have heard that you can expect an eyeful of spray if you do. I was out hiking in the Great North Woods and got caught by flooding rains one time. I came across a wild cow moose and a calf swimming around in an unexpected pond forming at the side of a dirt road. Lucky me that the moose were distracted and having a good time. On another occasion, in dry weather, I met a cow moose and calf at stomping distance in thick timber and was extra glad it wasn’t raining, or I might not have seen them until ‘way too late. My dog started his patented moose de-escalation technique full bore and got us out in one piece.

  8. After wishing all a HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY (Happy Independence Day, everyone!) I planned on posting the famous quote–“Nothing of importance happened today,” long attributed to the mentally troubled George III.

    But wanting to be sure I was citing it correctly, I came across news–to me, at least–in which Time Magazine (citing NPR as its source) stated that the mentally unstable royal never uttered those words, but that they were instead scribed by Louis XVI of France, on July 14, 1789–Bastille Day. So, one irony of history seemed to replace another, momentarily at least.

    Okay, so let the French enjoy the quote during the celebration of their independence, at least until someone comes along to refute its validity, I thought. Then I came across information claiming that the words were indeed those of the French king but that Louis XVI used them to refer to his having returned from a hunting campaign empty-handed, not to the French uprising, thereby diluting their irony more than a tad, to say the least.

    If true, I have to conclude that Louis XVI lacked the heart of a true hunter if he considered returning empty handed from a hunt to be “nothing,” especially after considering that he must have had a hearty supporting cast whose primary rai·son d’être was to ensure that the king never returned empty handed and unhappy. (This is pure speculation on my part, of course, yet worthy of some consideration, and I doubt that any of Louis’ attendants would have merely shrugged it off by saying, “Let him eat cake.”)

    While disappointed to learn this new “fact” of history, I will not allow the information to spoil my ongoing pursuit of happiness during the celebration of our independence. So, once again, Happy Independence Day to one and all, and a Happy Bastille Day in advance to the French, who played no small role in helping us to gain our freedom. (Louis may not have been much of a hunter, but he was wise enough to back a winner.)

    • Apparently something of importance happened literally at O-Dark-Thirty today or maybe yesterday in a campground at a place called Ovando in Montana. Another fatal grizzly attack. Would that people could take wild animals seriously and really prepare for encounters. You can carry “bear spray” at least for appearances, but better to have a powerful handgun and a road flare handy. In Montana since February you don’t even need a concealed carry permit. Enough to have some version of the relatively light, compact-but-skookum Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum with some 180-grain Buffalo Bore dinosaur dingers, just for the kind of close encounter that the late camper had in the dark morning. A road flare sizzling in hand is often much the better deterrent than pepper, gives light in the dark, and can buy time until help may arrive. Bear attack is a miserable way to end your life.

      • You really want to be able to hit a grizzly squarely in the head or neck before it can swat or bite you, if you don’t have a situation, hopefully with a little more distance, where a squared-up shoulder shot with a really heavy and powerful bullet like .375 Ruger is at hand. You are talking split seconds at near swatting range, but if you have your handgun ready you can do it. If Amy Huguenard had just had a 3-inch Ruger SP101 with heavy hard-cast bullets she could easily have stopped the two closing Katmai brown bears that apparently attacked her boyfriend “Grizzly Man” Timothy Treadwell (formerly Dexter) and her. Two or even three shots in the head or neck per bear might be required, but good results can be expected. The brown that grabbed Timothy’s leg was a sitting duck for a brain shot. Amy was a P.A and was probably totally familiar with the kind of surgical shooting required. Just no gun, as I believed she mentioned with regret at the time. Also, don’t hang out with people with little common sense about animals.

      • Shot placement is key to stopping large carnivorous beasts. Head or neck shots which sever the spine column are the way to go. I have Freedom Arms model 83 revolvers with 6″ barrels in .454 Casull and .475 Linebaugh, but in bear country, I would pack my S&W 629 Mountain Gun with 250-300 grain hard cast bullets instead. The S&W is lighter to pack but more importantly can be fired quicker for multiple shots to the head and it’s recoil more controllable for faster recovery. The .475 Linebaugh has twice the power of the .44 Magnum but it’s hard to control for rapid fire when several shots may be needed.

        Carrying a small jar of grape or strawberry jam to toss at a hungry bear may buy one some time to get away and avoid the hassle of killing a bear in certain areas. One can also go camping or hiking in bear territory with a fat liberal Demoncrat who can’t run very fast 🙂

      • The study of firearms for protection from bear attacks is virtually endless, and many people are going to make intelligent, informed choices. My criteria for a last-chance, point-blank handgun that I will actually carry 24/7 are: a stainless-steel compact revolver built like a tank and rated for maximal loads, fairly easy to conceal, weighing little more than 2 pounds loaded at most but heavy enough to control recoil adequately, with well-crimped bullets and scientific Buffalo Bore-level powder loads giving adequate penetration on bear skulls, necks, and shoulders with terminal damage, with snag-free combat sights, and ideally a spur-less hammer. One You-Tube chronograph gives 1,250 feet per second for a Buffalo Bore 180-grain hard-cast out of just a a 2 1/4-inch bbl SP101. Eternal thanks to Tim Sundles and the late Bill Ruger! I will always carry a much larger and more powerful, longer-range primary weapon in bear and lion country as well. but the smaller one is always in quick-draw possession. Been there at touching range of bears and mountain lions several times and you want to have more than an axe, knife, club, sharp stick, or meat seasoning. Just one road flare is enough to be a big help. Bear bangers have their place, too. A Freedom Arms .475 Linebaugh is one of the most highly recommended life-savers.

  9. Boy, talk about thread drift……………….Back in college, a professor saved a styrofoam cooler lid as a keepsake of having a grizzly wander about the campsite one night. Fifty plus years later I’m still impressed by the paw print. Figure slightly over a foot outer claw tip to outer claw tip.While I expect a handgun would be handy, I note that for the Alaskan State Police, a 12 gauge with slugs seems to be the fusil du jour for large critters. Several sources have described that other Alaskan agencies feel a Marlin levergun in .45-70 to be a better choice. I’d prefer either to a handgun.

    • Friend WR Moore, thread drift can be a lot like gold nugget hunting–the best finds are often made when a searcher is side-tracked. Both grizzly and black bear attacks are far less common than many other calamities, but are no less tragic. Every tragedy can be an opportunity from which to learn in order to avoid becoming the next infrequent, tragic exception. You are not likely to carry a 12-gauge or a .45-70 across the handles of your bicycle on a group trip, but a small-but-powerful handgun can be at least as adequate to save a life at any given time. I have known several decidedly survivor outdoorsmen who have come to prefer heavy-caliber handguns to rifles or shotguns even as primary weapons for protection from bear attacks. Presentation can be quicker, handier, and more flexible.

    • Perhaps the thread drift is my fault. I am the one who mentioned the opossum that got flushed out of the woods and that wandered across our gun range as we were trying to take a handgun class in a thousand-year storm! Like a flash of lightening, that opossum has morphed into terrifying herds of stampeding moose and rampaging grizzly bears!

      One thing though! I am fairly confident that our 9mm semi-auto’s would have handled that opossum had he tried to charge his way into the dry of the shooting shed! Even with 115 gr. FMJ target ammo, I am confident that they would have done the job. No hot loaded .44 magnum or .454 Casull would have been necessary! 🙂

      • TN_MAN, is it true that the forests of Tennessee are infested with Sasquatch? Maybe one of them scared the poor possum out of the woods.

      • @ Tom606 – Actually, one is more likely to encounter illegal pot growers or meth cookers, in the wilds of Tennessee, than Sasquatch. One can throw in a pack of feral dogs or an occasional poisonous snake (for variety) upon occasion.

        I reckon that 9mm would work for them too although one should switch to a good JHP in place of the FMJ’s. Actually, my favorite trail gun is a 3″ barrelled, Taurus Judge. I find that a mix of 410 shotshells (with #9 shot) plus .45 Colt hollowpoints better able to solve the variety of potential problems one finds on the trails of Tennessee.

        The 410 shell with #9 shot is just the ticket for a poisonous snake at 12 feet (or less)!

        Doggone it, you guys have me doing it now! 🙂

      • Leah Davis Lokan, from Chico, California, is the name of the 65-five-year-0ld nurse and human being whom a grizzly reportedly dragged from the lady’s tent and killed on the morning of Tuesday, July 6. One report said that the grizzly was seen earlier in the campground. That was time to take serious precautions like calling authorities, keeping watch while wearing a headlamp, deploying road flares, popping bear bangers, and checking loads, not crawling back into tents and going back to sleep. “Bear spray” may have saved two lives, but not that of the nurse, who should have been adequately armed and deployed her weapon to save her own life.

  10. So, King George III taxed us at 3%, and now we get taxed at 30%. Rich people like Sean Hannity claim to be taxed at 50%. What were you thinking, Sons of Liberty? Why did you do it, Founding Fathers? Bring back King George III. Since we can’t resurrect him, I guess we could coronate his descendant Queen Elizabeth II to be our new monarch, but only if she promises to tax us at 3% or less.

    Just my attempt at humour. But really, I would love to see an actor dress up like King George III and run for President in 2024. It would be funny and enlightening.

    • Roger, we already had a George who thought he was king. I’m talking about George H.W. Bush who ruled over us lowly peasants as much as the law allowed, which wasn’t enough to his liking. 41 was bad but nowhere near as evil as Clinton and Obama who overshadowed him with their more heinous deeds. Now we are suffering under the regime of Crooked Joe and Aunt Kamala. At least we had four good years under President Trump. Imagine how much better it would have been if The Donald wasn’t hampered by the diabolical Demoncrats and the liberal media?

Comments are closed.