My old grandpa said to me ‘Son,there comes a time in every man’s life when he stops bustin’knuckles and starts bustin’caps;and usually it’s when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin.’ I don’t carry a gun to kill people;I carry a gun to keep from being killed. I don’t carry a gun to scare people;I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place. I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid;I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world. I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil;I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.
I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government;I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government. I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry;I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared. I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone;I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed,and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy;I carry a gun because,when I die and go to heaven,I want to be a cowboy. I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man;I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.
I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate;I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs,I am inadequate. I don’t carry a gun because I love it;I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.
Police protection is an oxymoron:Free citizens must protect themselves,because police do not protect you from crime,they just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.
Personally,I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old to take an ass whooping’!
Author unknown (but obviously brilliant)
A LITTLE GUN HISTORY
In 1929,the Soviet Union established gun control:From 1929 to 1953,about 20 million dissidents,unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated. —————————— In 1911,Turkey established gun control:From 1915 to 1917,1.5 million Armenians,unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated. —————————— Germany established gun control in 1938:From 1939 to 1945,a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. —————————— China established gun control in 1935:From 1948 to 1952,20 million political dissidents,unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated. —————————— Guatemala established gun control in 1964:From 1964 to 1981,100,000 Mayan Indians,unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated. —————————— Uganda established gun control in 1970:From 1971 to 1979,300,000 Christians,unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated. —————————— Cambodia established gun control in 1956:From 1975 to 1977,one million educated people,unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated.
Lt. Col. James Doolittle leans over a bomb on the USS Hornet deck just before his "Raiders"began the bombing raid on Tokyo.
This week,the few remaining Doolittle Raiders will reunite.
In 1942 the 80 men bombed Tokyo in death-defying mission,retaliation for Pearl Harbor.
A case of 80 goblets is brought to their annual reunions. When a Raider dies a cup is upended.
This year,there are four left. They’ll toast the Raiders with aged cognac and end reunions.
It’s the cup of brandy that no one wants to drink. On Tuesday,in Fort Walton Beach,Florida,the surviving Doolittle Raiders will gather publicly for the last time. They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942,when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. The mere mention of their unit’s name,in those years,would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.
Now only four survive.
After Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor,with the United States reeling and wounded,something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around. Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation,a daring plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never before been tried —sending such big,heavy bombers from a carrier.The 16 five-man crews,under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle,who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet,knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing. But on the day of the raid,the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.
And those men went anyway.
They bombed Tokyo,and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed;11 more crews bailed out,and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured;three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia.
The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its enemies,and to the rest of the world:
We will fight. And,no matter what it takes,we will win.
Of the 80 Raiders,62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes,models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid;“Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,”starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson,was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit,and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film,MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story “with supreme pride.”
Beginning in 1946,the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April,to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959,the city of Tucson,Arizona,as a gesture of respect and gratitude,presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.
Every year,a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away,his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion,as his old friends bear solemn witness.
Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. The year is not happenstance:1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born.
There has always been a plan:When there are only two surviving Raiders,they would open the bottle,at last drink from it,and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began,there were five living Raiders;then,in February,Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.
What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid,he became ill with malaria,and almost died. When he recovered,he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down,captured,and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.
The selflessness of these men,the sheer guts …there was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that,on the surface,had nothing to do with the war,but that emblematizes the depth of his sense of duty and devotion:
“When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home,he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home,fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night,he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005.”
So now,out of the original 80,only four Raiders remain:Dick Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo raid),Robert Hite,Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.
The events in Fort Walton Beach this week will mark the end. It has come full circle;Florida’s nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission.The town is planning to do all it can to honor the men:a six-day celebration of their valor,including luncheons,a dinner and a parade.
Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don’t talk about that,at least not around other people. But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this week,and if you should encounter any of the Raiders,you might want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from firsthand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered.
The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later date —some time this year —to get together once more,informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by too swiftly now;they are not going to wait until there are only two of them.
They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets.
Like many Americans,I find Ray Stevens to be one of my favorite songsters…he’s as American as John Wayne and Mom’s apple pie. This new video,complete with music and orchestration,has just come out,and Ray takes the fed gov’t to task for failing to act on the illegal immigration issue. Many thanks to Ray for having the courage to point out in a way that people can understand the tragedy that is being laid on Arizona by our own federal government.
Visit Ray’s website for his music,performance schedules,or even subscribe for a special “backstage visit”. http://www.raystevens.com/main/index.htm