By Sue Ritter
Gilbert, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- Every year as the 4th of July approaches, I am reminded of the accomplishments of one of my ancestors more than 200 hundred years ago.
He was the only one of this nation’s Founding Fathers involved in the drafting of every one of the key founding documents of America, the Albany Plan of the Union, the Declaration of Independence, the treaty of alliance with France, the peace treaty with England, and the Constitution itself.
I am also reminded that I am descended from his illegitimate son, William, who with his father’s help was appointed Royal Governor of New Jersey — in part an appointment by Lord Bute to assure the loyalty of William’s father, Benjamin Franklin. That didn’t quite work as planned.
The elder Franklin once warned his son as a child that he had paid too much for a whistle.
“Think of what that whistle may one day cost you. Why not become a joiner or a wheelwright, if the estate I leave you is not enough?” he asked, adding, “the man who lives by his labor is at least free.”
William never did listen to his father’s advice and was never a free man.
Franklin, first and foremost, cherished freedom — freedom of thought and the right to shape one’s life and destiny. He was a true man of the Age of Enlightenment who loved politics, writing and discovering what was yet to be known. He was an inventor, philosopher and statesman who was arguably the most committed of all the Founders to the common man.
I would like to think that his greatest invention was our republic, because it ensured that the common man and woman would have the freedom to reach their full potential.
The Fourth of July celebrates our declaring independence from the oppressive rule of the English King, but it was also our first step in establishing that we were a country based on individual rights and the freedoms that accompany those rights. All who signed the Declaration of Independence knew that their signatures made them traitors to the Crown and therefore placed their lives in peril. They did so not to ensure these “unalienable Rights” and essential freedoms to any particular segment of the population, but to the common man.
The price of freedom requires each of us to be ever vigilant. How ironic that 237 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence I find myself, a direct descendant of one of the founding fathers, fighting to retain those same “unalienable Rights” that some today would prefer to ignore, at best, or simply do away with, at worst. That’s what Knife Rights is all about. That’s what my husband, [Doug Ritter] and I are fighting for.
With your continued support, Knife Rights will continue to aggressively represent America’s knife owners as the most successful knife rights advocacy organization in history; continue to fight for a Sharper Future for all Americans; and continue to fight for the “unalienable Rights” that my Grandpa Ben fought for so many years ago.
(Interested in finding out more about Franklin? I can recommend Walter Isaacson’s biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.)
Knife Rights (www.KnifeRights.org) is America’s Grassroots Knife Owners Organization, working towards a Sharper Future for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice in public policy. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit www.kniferights.org