To the editor:

Fellow citizens, patriots and warrior heroes: April 19 was the 233rd anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord that started the American Revolution with the andquot;shot heard round the world.andquot; It is a fact that a ragtag, often disorganized force of American colonials, wielding their own arms, was able to defeat what at the time was the most powerful armed force in the world.

Our forefathers, armed with their own flintlock rifles and pistols, and an assortment of muskets the andquot;assault weaponsandquot; of their era threw off the yoke of oppression under which they were forced to live. Simply put, without their own guns two centuries ago, we would still likely be saluting a king instead of electing a president. We would likely be British subjects instead of electing our own Congress and state legislatures.

And to this day the citizens and patriots of this great country remain ready to enforce the God-given right to protect ourselves and our family and our country with our guns the andquot;assault weaponsandquot; of our era an individual right repeatedly affirmed by the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

It is true that our system of government is not perfect, but America's freedom and liberty are second to none. Otherwise, people would be waiting in line to leave instead of sneaking across our borders to get in.

April 19, 1775, gave us that, and the Second Amendment protects it. And just so the national and foreign media aren't misled, we're not giving it up.

Bill Hanley

Baker City