This morning was the first time, I believe, that I’ve heard the sound of gunfire here at the campground. It was early and I was relaxing in a camp chair outside the motorhome. The reports were widely spaced, as in slow fire, and crisp, their character giving the impression of a light-caliber rifle.

It wasn’t cause for concern, obviously. The shots came from over the hill, some distance away. The only folks who might’ve flinched were those who don’t know where they are.

We know where we are.

That got me thinking about our future life on The Mountain. Hearing gunshots out there is common, of course — to a reasonable certainty everyone is armed, and all of our scattered neighbors have plenty of room to shoot safely whatever they want, whenever they want.

Sure, hunting is part of that, but so is the mindset of Independence. It’s the lay of the land up in those hills, fierce commitment to defending Life, land, Liberty and legacy.

The State has no role in that. Should it ever presume it does — and act on that presumption — it’d constitute unwelcome interference in business best handled by the People. And it’d be a problem.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if, like so many on the Left propose, government actively advanced on the People. I expect the well-armed State would move on large and high-profile targets first to make an example of those who dare to resist.

As a federal officer once confided to me, “I wouldn’t want that duty on the second day.”

Urban areas will fall, perhaps even entire regions. Progressives’ “reimagined America” will gain a foothold throughout the country, and in ways too dark to dream.

Where, exactly? Look for places with a record of suppressing speech and banning guns. Notice where the most restrictive WuFlu mandates were enacted first and stayed in effect longest. Find the transgender bathrooms, the obsession with pronouns, the high crime rates, the abortion sanctuaries.

That’s where the Left already has consolidated power. Those are the places from which a totalitarian State will seek to expand its authority.

Nothing prevents government from launching assaults on small Heartland towns, the rural South, The Ozarks. Not a damned thing keeps the State from attempting to isolate and strangle pockets of Americans who only want to be left alone. I predict, however, that this Real America will be the final target.

Even totalitarians understand “acceptable losses.”

But come they will. And when that day arrives, the cost will reflect the stakes.

Notice, please, that I’m not suggesting at this point that true Americans mobilize or undertake offensive action. I am, however, as I have many times before, encouraging my fellow Patriots to gather and prepare to defend Life, land, Liberty and legacy.

That’s what we’ll be doing on The Mountain.

I think about such things. I share my thoughts with you. I do both because these are matters of the greatest importance — the Liberty of man, the country I love, the principles that guide my every step. I can promise you that won’t change.

How you react is your affair. You can be intimidated into silence. You can live in fear. You can resign and obey. Or you can stand and defend our birthrights. It’s up to you.

Again, I’m not advocating that Patriots take up arms and storm the bastions. That, as we’ve seen, would be foolish and suicidal. We should take our cues from the Founders and learn from the Founding. It took years for the spirit of Revolution to reach critical mass.

We haven’t yet achieved that mass, nor have we met our April 19th. And even on that day, as you’ll remember, those “embattled farmers” acted in defense.

“But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

Now, we gather. As we resist the present tyranny, we set about the task of building a restored America — and we do so not out of fear but with a sense of principled purpose.

We are not descended from fearful men.

One year ago today we drove Mercy through other-worldly Badlands National Park. Click here and be sure to browse the gallery of images from that unforgettable day.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB