Toil and Blood and Treasure

My Dearest Abigail,

Had a Declaration of Independency been made seven Months ago, it would have been attended with many great and glorious Effects . . . . We might before this Hour, have formed Alliances with foreign States. — We should have mastered Quebec and been in Possession of Canada …. You will perhaps wonder, how such a Declaration would have influenced our Affairs, in Canada, but if I could write with Freedom I could easily convince you, that it would, and explain to you the manner how. — Many Gentlemen in high Stations and of great Influence have been duped, by the ministerial Bubble of Commissioners to treat …. And in real, sincere Expectation of this effort Event, which they so fondly wished, they have been slow and languid, in promoting Measures for the Reduction of that Province. Others there are in the Colonies who really wished that our Enterprise in Canada would be defeated, that the Colonies might be brought into Danger and Distress between two Fires, and be thus induced to submit. Others really wished to defeat the Expedition to Canada, lest the Conquest of it, should elevate the Minds of the People too much to hearken to those Terms of Reconciliation which they believed would be offered Us. These jarring Views, Wishes and Designs, occasioned an opposition to many salutary Measures, which were proposed for the Support of that Expedition, and caused Obstructions, Embarrassments and studied Delays, which have finally, lost Us the Province.

All these Causes however in Conjunction would not have disappointed Us, if it had not been for a Misfortune, which could not be foreseen, and perhaps could not have been prevented, I mean the Prevalence of the small Pox among our Troops …. This fatal Pestilence compleated our Destruction. — It is a Frown of Providence upon Us, which We ought to lay to heart.

But on the other Hand, the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. — The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. — Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. — This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

– Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776

If Clear, Hammer Down, Holster, and Mask Up

I finally got my USPSA RO certification renewed, the week before the governor closed down Georgia. So, the matched for the last two months have been cancelled, leaving me to have to settle for dry fire practice in the office.

But finally, the River Bend Gun Club, where I shoot most often, has decided to re-open, and I have volunteered to RO this new match. And given the Most Recent Unpleasantness, we will be subject to a few new rules, which will certainly make things a lot more interesting.

First, squads will be limited to ten people, made up of 8 shooters and 2 ROs. Since RBGC normally has 125 plus shooters, this means there will be a morning run and an evening run, and I and set to shoot in the morning and RO in the afternoon.

Now, at first, all competitors were going to be required to bring and wear a mask, but this requirement has since been relaxed to an encouragement. As a cancer survivor, I wear one all the time when I go out, so I will then, too. We will also be limited to social distancing to no less than 6 feet, and because of this, only two competitors will paste targets and reset the stage, and this will rotate. This minimizes the chance of getting too close to others.

I welcome the return to shooting and I will keep you updated.

Gun Owners – Please Support this Change

For some time, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) refused to allow the carry of weapons for self defense, even if the person involved held a license or permit. Even in recent times, as more and more states issued licenses, the USACE refused to honor them, despite the fact that they were recognized in State Parks, and in National Parks that are not run by the USACE.

For those wondering (and I did) the USACE runs State Parks and National Parks that involve dammed waterways, and they maintain the dams. This sets these parks apart somewhat, in that they are managed by a branch of the military, rather than by the civilian parks departments. Because of this, a lot of the park rules reflect those in effect on Army bases, and one of those rules has been a prohibition on carry of weapons, even by service personnel.

As the other park systems began to relax their prohibitions in the wake of less restrictive carry laws, the Corps remained mired in the past. But state groups, notably GeorgiaCarry.org, continued to press the Corps to allow lawful carry by license holders.

In 2019, following a series of lawsuits by GCO, the Corps agreed to issue permission letters, if a citizen were to write and ask for such a letter. Then, should one be asked, this letter could be presented as proof of the right. But to be honest, even this restriction is too much, and GCO continued its legal pursuit.

And finally, this year the Corps agreed to change the rule! The proposed rule change is open to comments, and I highly recommend you go here and read the docket, and submit your supporting note. The deadline to submit is June 12, 2020.

Look for updates here as the rule gets closer to change.