“Illegal Fireworks” on Independence Day

No fireworks on Independence Day, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. To hell with that, said the people.” – Bruce Haring, “Los Angeles County Residents Ignore “No Fireworks” Order, Celebrate With Massive Display,” Deadline, July 5, 2020.

Yesterday was Independence Day. Independence Day marks the glorious moment that our forefathers declared their total Independence from British tyranny and embarked on the experiment of republican self-rule. It was the formal beginning of the Liberty movement that had been sweeping through the colonies and which today is gaining renewed strength among American patriots. It was, in short, the authoritative expression of our People’s desire to be free.

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When the Sons of Liberty finally secured their Freedom and established the United States of America, Independence Day was celebrated from one end of the Republic to the other. As the Union expanded, so, too, did the celebrations. And why should they not have? Independence Day was not only the most significant day in U.S. history, but one of the most defining moments in world history.

John Adams fondly envisioned a day when every American could commemorate their Independence:

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” (John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776).

By and large, Americans have faithfully fulfilled Mr. Adams’ hopes. Though the custom has fallen to the wayside, our People traditionally gave rousing sermons and speeches praising God for delivering us from tyranny and thanking Him for setting us up as a free People. To this day, we host large and colorful parades, brilliant firework shows, and community barbecues. You can still find historical reenactments and readings of the Declaration in locations. Bells are sometimes still sounded from church towers. Patriotic music blares over the airwaves. And in rural areas, we still shoot off guns on this special day.

However, a group of anti-American traitors has wormed their way into positions of power in our federal government and in our states. They control governorships, city councils, seats in Congress, judgeships, and so forth. This is particularly true in states like California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and Illinois where hardcore socialists now rule. This cabal of traitors has used their influence to gradually extinguish the American spirit, stifle our patriotism, and transform our country into a soulless Marxian state.

The hyped Coronavirus “pandemic” has provided the whole nation with proof of how eager this group of gangsters is to throw out the Constitution, restrict our rights, and dominate our lives. They’ve banned church services, arrested mothers playing with their children in public park, dumped tons of sand in skate parks to prevent kids from enjoying the outdoors, mandated the public wear masks that even the communist-controlled World Health Organization (WHO) admits do not work to stop viruses, forced us to stand six-feet-apart from one another like prison inmates, closed down our businesses, arrested people for trying to make a living, freed violent criminals from prisons to allegedly protect them (what about protecting us from them?), restricted travel, closed down schools, prevented people from attending doctors because they were trying to make room for “Coronavirus” patients who never arrived, and so on and so forth.

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So blatant have been the attacks on our Freedom – in particular our Freedom of religious expression – that a prominent religious leader, Elder David A. Bednar, said in frustration:

We cannot deny, and we should not forget, the speed and intensity with which government power was used to shut down fundamental aspects of religious exercise. These decisions and regulations were unprecedented. For nearly two months, Americans, and many others throughout the free world, learned firsthand what it means for government to directly prohibit the free exercise of religion. . . .

. . . Government power can never be unlimited. In our political system, the government “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed,” to quote the Declaration of Independence. But the just powers of government cannot be unlimited because they exist most fundamentally to secure the God-given rights of life and liberty so that each of us can exercise our moral agency, the ability to act for ourselves and not to be acted upon, and to be accountable before God for our choices and actions. Constitutions, representative government, checks and balances, and the rule of law help constrain the tendency of government to exercise unlimited power. . . .

. . . despite the obvious need for a proper response to COVID-19, we must not become accustomed to sweeping assertions of governmental power. Invoking emergency powers, government executives summarily impose numerous orders and directives that in many ways are analogous to martial law. These executive orders are unlike laws enacted through the ordinary give and take of the democratic process. No doubt an emergency on the scale of COVID-19 justifies strong measures to protect the public, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that many of these measures are extraordinary assertions of governmental power that can dramatically constrain our basic freedoms. The power of government must have limits. . . .

. . . we can no more disregard the valid claims of religious freedom in a time of crisis than we can disregard the valid claims of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Nor should we prioritize secular interests above religious ones. A health crisis should not become an excuse for a religious freedom crisis.”

Despite common sense of this sort, many states have used the “crisis” as a pretext for ushering in blatant tyranny that strangles our Liberty and extinguishes a multitude of our most precious rights. The abuses have been “sweeping.” They have been unapologetic. And they have been deliberate. Not only have they taken aim at everyday rights like the right to peaceably assemble, but they have been brought to bear on our most sacred national holiday – Independence Day.

If the concocted Coronavirus charade hasn’t been enough to convince you that those in positions of public trust don’t give a tinker’s dam about your Liberty, their blatant display of contempt for Independence Day should have done the trick. California is a case in point. The Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, outright banned fireworks. The L.A. Department of Public Health published a news release ordering beaches closed from the 3rd through the 6th, “prohibiting fireworks displays,” banning “large crowds and gatherings,” and going so far as to tell people they could not spend time with anyone except those they lived with – as if they had such authority!

To quote these mini-tyrants in Los Angeles: “Physical distancing isn’t optional, wearing a face covering isn’t optional, spending time only with those you live with isn’t optional – these are requirements.” Los Angeles has essentially become a dictatorship with the Democratic Party calling the shots – your Liberty be damned.

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Despotic California Governor Gavin Newsom came out and supported the de facto canceling of Independence Day and declared similar measures across the whole state. Newsom threatened to cut off funds to local governments who did not go along with the plot to cancel Independence Day in California. He bullied local governments in these words:

A local government that refuses to abide by, ensure compliance with, or take enforcement action against noncompliance with these statewide public health directives, or that takes action that is otherwise incongruent with these directives, could jeopardize their eligibility for state funding.”

California has been enacting Marxist measures for a lot of years, but now, using the 99.8% survivable Coronavirus as an excuse, they have gone full-blown Bolshevik. Various state agencies have created ominously-named “strike teams” to go after those violating “public safety” measures (i.e. exercising their God-given, constitutionally-protected Liberty). Office of Emergency Services spokesman Brian Ferguson warned how the strike teams would be used this Independence Day weekend:

We will be going directly to those who thumb their nose at public health and safety. State government will be out in force this weekend to make sure all California businesses and service providers are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

In other words, the Almighty Californian State will use its police power to force compliance with Liberty-violating measures allegedly enacted to “keep you safe.” What makes this all the more insulting is the fact that this comes on Independence Day – a time for the explicit celebration of Freedom from tyrannical government! Surely no right thinking individual can miss the irony of prohibiting Americans from celebrating Freedom on their cherished Independence Day!

In spite of government threats and bullying, thousands of people in Los Angeles disobeyed the mayor’s and governor’s dictates yesterday. A broadcast on KCAL 9 aired helicopter footage of the city. In every direction, fireworks illuminated the night sky. Red, white, yellow – the dazzling colors exploded in nearly every neighborhood. One Californian commenter on Facebook said that the city felt like “Baghdad.” On the same thread, another person replied: “It’s friggin Iraq in the city!! I’ve never heard it like this!”

An involuntary smile crossed my face as I watched Americans doing what Americans do best – defy tyrants and exercise their rights. I watched multiple clips of the fireworks in L.A. Everywhere you looked you could see phenomenal pyrotechnics, reminding me of the “rocket’s red glare” in Francis Scott Key’s immortal anthem.

The same KCAL 9 newscast mentioned earlier noted that police had received over a thousand complaints from people snitching on their neighbors for launching “illegal fireworks” (i.e. any fireworks). The LAPD finally asked people to stop calling 911 about fireworks. Apparently, a lot of people get offended by Independence Day and Freedom in Los Angeles. However, a larger number apparently still retain some sense of love for their country.

Though these same people were the ones who elected those public servants who are now trying to dominate and tyrannize them, this very public display of defiance demonstrates that many are fed up with the oppression and want their Freedom back. At the very least, they don’t want to be treated like children who can’t take care of themselves without a government commissar hovering over them. To be sure, some of the revelers just wanted to party. Who can blame them? But I believe many were using the Independence Day season as a chance to show their disapproval of the government’s heavy hand in their lives.

One article explained that Californians have been defying their government’s fireworks bans for weeks:

[E]xplosions and roman candles have been going off for weeks, culminating in a massive display on Saturday night.

Police claimed more than 1,000 fireworks complaints came in to various branches, and they tried to respond. But the task was akin to shoveling the ocean with a spoon . . . the city was ablaze with lights and sounds for many hours on Saturday night.”

I repeat: The fact that governments tried to prohibit us celebrating and exercising our Freedom on Independence Day shows that they hold our rights in utter contempt and seek, regardless of their alleged concern about “public safety,” to control our lives.

All would-be-dictators who seek to dominate the United States need to know that we won’t tolerate it. When our back is pushed up against the wall, we won’t surrender – we’ll fight. Freemen don’t live on their knees. We don’t kneel before thrones. We don’t bow to emperors. We don’t kiss the rings of kings. And we certainly don’t kow-tow to our elected representatives.

American citizens are the masters of their government, not the other way around. We are not governed “masses” or servile subjects. We are American freemen! The blood of patriots runs in our veins. Our ancestors called themselves Sons of Liberty, defied tyrants, and forged their Freedom from the chains created to enslave them.

America has suffered many dark days because we’ve been too kind and forgiving. We’ve tolerated abuses that our forefathers never would have tolerated. We’ve permitted those very things that the Declaration of Independence denounces in plain language, such as allowing government bureaucrats to make us “dependent on [their] Will alone,” establishing “Arbitrary government,” creating “a multitude of New Offices” which send their “swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance,” and “destroy[ing] the lives of our people.”

Yes, we have been far too lenient! We’ve given our public servants the benefit of the doubt that they just want to help us. It should be painfully obvious now to everyone that our representatives look down on us, view us as children to be micromanaged, and spit upon our rights. Their oaths to the Constitution mean nothing to them; they certainly don’t follow them. They’re in it for power, wealth, and fame regardless of how much We the People suffer or how many rights we lose.

I applaud Los Angeles’ defiant fireworks display. It was a very visible symbol of resistance to tyrannical government overreach and a sign that there are few a still embers of Freedom burning in California. However, this defiance must translate into daily acts of resistance or it ultimately means very little. To shoot off fireworks on Independence Day in defiance of government mandates, but to turn around and wear silly masks or comply with “social distancing” dictates, is inconsistent with logic. It also shows that people did not truly comprehend the special meaning of the event they were celebrating.

Independence Day should have been a time for us as a People to regroup, recommit ourselves to the cause of Liberty, and humble ourselves before our Creator. This day, the Lord’s Day, we have the opportunity to again bow ourselves before God, thank Him for His blessings upon our favored land, and petition Him for deliverance from the shackles that our “representatives” are attempting to place on our wrists.

To a great extend, we’ve already fallen from grace and lost must of our Freedom. But the sacred fire of Liberty is not out yet. Millions of Americans honor our forefathers, love our unique American institutions, and will not go down without a fight. Even in California, of all places, thousands are willing to risk police visits and fines by shooting off fireworks to celebrate our nation’s Independence. This should give us hope that though the struggle will be fierce, we can succeed and win back our rights. If we go forward in the power of Jesus Christ, we can restore our Republic.

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I express my unshakable belief that Americans will restore their Republic eventually. Our flag will wave proudly on the flag pole. Independence Day will be celebrated precisely as John Adams envisioned – with devotions to God and shows and parades and guns and bells from one end of this blessed continent to the other. However, it will likely require the “Toil and Blood and Treasure” that John Adams said was required to win our Independence in the first place.

God bless this nation! God bless the good-hearted people who inhabit America by the tens of millions! And God help us maintain our Constitution and the precious rights it safeguards, even if it means defying tyrants to do it!

Zack Strong,

July 5, 2020

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