Become a Better American

Will You Fire The Next Shot Heard ‘Round’Round the World?

by Greg Perry by Greg Perry


“By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world.”

~ Concord Hymn, 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson

April 19th is coming up fast.

Throughout American history a lot happened on April 19th. Americans can associate much pride to that fateful date; sadly, Americans can also associate their share of shame.

Consider for a moment these tide-turning events:

  • The Battle of Lexington and Concord at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, began April 19th in 1775. This is the fight about which Emerson wrote so eloquently; it was the beginning of the Revolutionary War that resulted in America gaining her independence.
  • Easter Sunday falls on April 19th more than any other date.
  • In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt abandoned the gold standard (and the Constitution).
  • Exactly 43 years later, the same liberal open-minded Democratic President’s Executive Order 9066 that sent ethnic groups to prison camps was finally rescinded.
  • The Bay of Pigs invasion took place in 1961.
  • April 19, 1993 Janet Reno and her ATF soul-mates firebombed a child-filled church in Waco, Texas, slaughtering 81 women, children, and men, in the congregation so Americans could be safe from harm. While the church burned, Janet Nero played her fiddle.
  • Exactly two years later, Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building murdering slightly more than twice the number of people Janet Reno murdered in Waco.

(I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine which of these April 19th events should be honored with pride and which should be shunned in shame.)

How Will You Celebrate April 19, 2008?

How do you honor important dates in history?

I prefer to honor pivotal dates by making a difference. I honor important historical dates and the memories of those who suffered on them by doing my part to make America better.

As an example, I honored last September 11th by purchasing a brand new M1A .308 caliber rifle. Lew published my 2007 tribute to 9/11 here.

If you’re like most Americans, not only do you do nothing to honor important historical dates, you are a recovering public school graduate who barely even knows important historical dates. I fall into that same category! Fortunately, I am a recovering public school graduate so take comfort in knowing there is hope for the hopeless.

On April 19th this year you can begin honoring those dates.

On April 19th this year you can begin a lifelong journey to make a difference so those who went before you didn’t labor in vain.

On April 19th this year you can feel more like a red-blooded, once-again proud, apple-pie-eating, flag-waving American and become the best citizen you could dream of being.

On April 19th this year you can invest in your country’s future spending virtually no money whatsoever.

Are you ready to get off the couch? Are you ready to put down that tattered copy of Atlas Shrugged? Are you ready to enter the Hall of Famers right alongside Patrick Henry?

Spend a Short Weekend at the Appleseed Project!

Riflemen are the means that brought about America’s independence. A pistol is a defensive weapon but it doesn’t win wars (unless you have an army of Sergeant Yorks and even when Sergeant York was in the Army there was only one of him; we haven’t had well-trained marksmen, in general, since). Hopefully you know how to use your pistol but as Boston T and others explain so well, when taking fire your pistol is what you use to get to your rifle which you should have had in your hands before the fight broke out.

If you own a rifle, you are a rifle owner. Most rifle owners (men and women) are not riflemen. Most rifle owners cannot hit a cantaloupe from 100 yards. If you can shoot your rifle, you are a rifleman. If you cannot, you are a victim. It’s worse to be a victim when you own a rifle than when you don’t own a rifle. At least the latter category has a poor excuse.

Most rifle owners are little more than victims waiting to happen when international forces begin patrolling American streets as they thought they would do back on April 19, 1775.

I’m not trying to belittle you. I am stating facts. To prove my sincerity, I am not going to hide behind my lofty words — I, too, am a victim. I doubt I can hit a cantaloupe at 100 yards. But that is going to change.

You can take an expensive rifle class. There’s a much better option, but taking an expensive rifle class would most likely not be a waste of money — it would be an investment in your future and the future of generations who come after you whom you then train. But you don’t need an expensive rifle class to be a rifleman.

Oh have I got a deal for you!

You only need a rifle — just about any will do. Remember that $100 SKS you bought back in the early 1990s and put under your bed thinking you’ll practice Real Soon Now? That’ll work fine. You will only need a few hundred rounds of ammo — and most of that can be out of one cheap box of .22 ammo you get at Wal-Mart (in free states) for $20 or so. You’ll need about $70 for expenses. (Most rifle classes cost $70 per hour). Finally, you’ll need to get yourself (and a carload of friends) to an Appleseed Project located all across America in less than 3 weeks from now on April 19th.

The purpose of the Appleseed Project is to raise up American Riflemen once again. The purpose is to gather a group of rifle owners — victims — on Saturday morning and turn them into Riflemen by Sunday afternoon. More than likely, this means you qualify. If you love your country and your freedom enough to cough up the sub-$100 fee, a box of .22 ammo, a couple of hundred rounds of a little longer-range ammo, and a couple of rifles (borrow a .22 and/or a longer-range rifle if you need to), you will be a Rifleman by April 21st.

This April 19th there will be fourteen Appleseed Project classes spread across America. Only victims who want to change their future need apply. You can find the closest one here. Load up a group of your friends, people like you and me who talk about our loss of freedoms but don’t really do much about it, and get to an Appleseed Project.

I Won’t Be There…

At the risk of sounding hypocritical, I won’t be joining you at an Appleseed Project event this April 19th. I have a good excuse but I envy those of you who care enough to be there.

I’m not playing hooky. Many months ago I signed up for a combat rifle class taking place in Alabama to celebrate April 19th this year. I signed up before I learned about this year’s April 19th Appleseed Project events. Face it though I’m still participating to become a better American and I’m honoring those who proudly worked to make this country better throughout the history of April 19ths.

My rifle class exclusively teaches how to use those commie-pinko AK-47 "assault rifles." AKs are those rifles that always work and whose 7.62×39 caliber ammo doesn’t bounce off glass the way finicky .223 pea-shooters do. Well-rounded and truly capable Americans want to keep his and her skills honed both at long-range rifle distances as well as short-range carbine-like distances out to about 300 yards. I’m working on the second area first just because I happened to have signed up and sent my money before I learned about Appleseed. You’ve got to admit, I could have a worse excuse to not practice what the rest of this article preaches.

Now even though I do like my AK more than fine wine, my first love of steel will always be that all-American M1A that is nipping at my heels anxious to be used at an Appleseed Project later this year. I’m hoping that a July 4th Appleseed is scheduled somewhere. What a way to glorify the honor of those who died for our freedoms. My second-preferred date would be September 11th.

My excuse for missing the April 19th Appleseed Project for absolute beginning red-blooded patriotic Americans isn’t a bad one. What is your excuse? Unless you’re at Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, US Shooting Academy, Front Sight, or with me at Suarez International, maybe you don’t have a good excuse to miss the April 19th Appleseed event closest to you.

Maybe it’s time to put your ammo where your mouth is.

Do You Promise to Do Your Duty?

Lew Rockwell-types are often portrayed in various ways as being un-American. I know you laugh at that considering how pro-Constitution you are while those who mock you would rather wipe their backsides with the Constitution than read its simple and clear words.

Each Appleseed Project taking place across the country on April 19th costs about as much as the tickets you paid for your family to see I Am Legend and A Scanner Darkly plus those Ayn Rand books you have on your shelves. The difference is that on April 21st, you will be able to hit a man-sized target at 500 yards, a skill that our American Revolutionary soldiers and almost every private citizen the first 200 years of our country’s history had by the time they were 12.

God willing and if the creek don’t rise, April 21st will be here in less than 3 weeks and so will you. Today you have two choices and the one you choose decides your stature on Monday, April 21st:

  1. On April 21st you can still be part of a growing problem, you can still be wallowing in excuses, and you can still be rubbing the fabric down on that couch in front of your television.
  2. On April 21st you can have newfound skills that will change your entire outlook, skills that will infiltrate your very being, skills that will inculcate your whole manner, and skills that will strengthen your character.

On April 21st you can be a better American, one who doesn’t just give lip service to our country’s fallen condition but one who actually did something about it. You will be that American, and a proud American, if on April 19th you take the simple and virtually no-cost step to become a Rifleman.

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