The Declaration of Independence & the Constitution of the United States

The Declaration of Independence came more than a year after the beginning of armed conflict with the British at Lexington and Concord. On June 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution proposing; a declaration of independence, a call to form foreign alliances, and a plan for confederation. On June 10, 1776 the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft a statement of indepencence.

The declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson drawing upon the ideals of French and English Enlightenments and the arguments of English philosopher John Locke. The committee also included: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

On July 2, 1776 the independence section of the Lee Resolution was adopted by Congress. July 3 and 4 were spent on the congressional revision process with the Declaration being adopted on the afternoon of July 4, 1776.

This is not an atheistic secular document. There are passages appealing to and noting reliance on a divine power.
"appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions," "with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence,"

The Constitution was not the first attempt at defining a government for our fledgling nation. It was preceded by the Articles of Confederation written in 1776 and ratified in 1781. The American Revolutionary War ended in 1783.

In 1787 a new constitution was written and ratified by 11 states in 1789. Out of compromise that the new central government had too much power, amendments to the constitution were ratified in 1791. Of the first twelve that were submitted, ten were ratified and became known as the "Bill of Rights".

Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer

A chronicle of the people and events from 1770 through 1775 and the start of the American Revolutionary War.

Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper

An essay on his ideas of defensive mental conditioning. He expounds on seven principles: Alertness, Decisiveness, Aggressiveness, Speed, Coolness, Ruthlessness, and Surprise. These principles flow from his experience and research supporting the idea that you are responsible for your own safety.

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Terry Grossman

An exploration of confrontation and the human responses to it.

Before you decide to use a gun for home or self-defense, you would be wise to explore the potential psychological after effects of killing another human being.

When most of us are envisioning a kill or be killed scenario we think we are prepared to kill. Terry Grossman presents the possibilities of what can happen when presented with that real-life scenario and the outcome may not be what you imagine.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Staring Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig, Wes Studi, Steven Waddington, Jodhi May.
"There is a war on. How is it you are heading West?" "Well, we face North and real subtle like, turn left"

Gattaca (1997)

Staring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law.
The perfect tagline: "There is no gene for the human spirit".
"You wanna know how I did it? This is how I did it Anton. I never saved anything for the swim back."

Rio Bravo (1959)

Staring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson.
"What does he do?" "I speak English, sheriff. If you wanna ask me."

Last Stand at Saber River (1997)

The War Wagon (1967)

Sergeant York (1941)

Staring Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan
"Remember, guys, you're usin' real live ammunition! A bullet hasn't got any brains! It'll hit whatever you're aimin' at, so don't start murdering each other! "

To Hell and Back (1955)

Staring Audie Murphy
"Man, that's the first time I ever seen a Texan beat himself to the draw."

The Appleseed Project was started in April 2006 in Ramseur, North Carolina by Jack Dailey aka 'Fred'. The genesis of the project goes back to 1999. The purpose of the Appleseed Project is to teach marksmanship and history.
The marksmanship exercises are done with rifles. A variety of .22 rifles with with iron or telescopic sights and a sling are appropriate. Center fire rifles are also common. As many as 500 rounds may be fired in a two day course.
The history lessons expound on the events of April 19, 1775. The program is intentionally apolitical.
I have completed three Appleseed weekends since 2010 and acheived Rifleman scores in the last two. I will return again and attempt to score Rifleman with a center fire rifle. I came close with a borrowed WASR 10 (AKM clone aka AK-47) but will try again with an AR-15 clone (with an added bolt release that can be operated by the trigger hand).


The Declaration of Independence & the Constitution of the United States

Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer

Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Terry Grossman

In the Gravest Extreme - The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection by Massad Ayoob (1980)

Deadly Force - Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by Massad Ayoob (2014)


Periodicals with product reviews, news, and views. You will find many more on news stands. I urge you to compare several over a period of time. Review their content and editorial bias. You will probably gravitate to one or two publications that are worth a subscription. These are the two I read cover to cover every month.
American Rifleman


Cultural references that provide a little more than entertailment.

Historical Fiction

The Last of the Mohicans

Science Fiction



Rio Bravo
Last Stand at Saber River
The War Wagon

World War I

Sergeant York

World War II

To Hell and Back

Web Sites:

These are some of the sources I have read to validate content. I have found them to present information that is either authoritive, or logical and well constructed. There are others including: manufacturer web sites, retailer web sites, and organization web sites.
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