Armed Citizens

The framers of the United States Constitution were very clear in their conclusion about firearms. The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

It is very evident that the Constitution framers did not intend to limit the right to keep and bear arms to a formal military body or organized militia, but intended to provide for an “unorganized” armed citizenry prepared to assist in the common defense against a foreign invader or domestic tyrant. Nothing could be needed more than today.

Gun control or gun abolish advocates keep chipping away at gun rights. If it were up to the current Biden regime, all guns would likely be banned. It is focused now particularly on so-called “assault weapons” like the AR-15 and anything similar to it. You may not realize it, but the Washington Post in 2023 reported roughly 16 million people own about 20 million AR-15’s in the United States…. that is 20,000,000; not a small number. The Post stated, “one in 20 adults own at least one AR-15.”

Including all firearms, the United States of America likely has the heaviest armed citizenry of any country on the face of the Earth. It needs to stay that way. In the present day, there are clear threats to freedoms from government, from foreign adversaries, and from domestic terrorists. They all need to give thought to what an armed conflict would mean.

I wrote earlier about citizens and guns. I said: The world’s largest army is American’s hunters. Referring to 2023, I noted there were over 669,000 hunters in the State of Wisconsin alone. Together, these would make up the eighth largest army in the world; more than France and Germany combined. And this number compared to 661,000 in Michigan; 954,000 in Pennsylvania; and 273,000 in Indiana. These four states alone total some 2,557,000 armed citizens that were hunters. Together, there were nearly 16,000,000 licensed hunters in the United States of America in 2023……. 16 million!! This does not include the thousands or really millions of others who are legal gun owners of all types of guns.

Any enemy, foreign or domestic, would give pause before taking on the citizens of the United States of America. Most are not members of any military or law enforcement unit, but when it became necessary, they would fight. They need to remember this.

The United States of America is the home of the free and the brave.


Normandy Beaches….. 80 years ago. Invasion of Nazi German held territory by thousands of troops from the USA, Great Britain, Canada, and more. Thousands died there that day, but the first steps toward defeating the dream — no, nightmare — of Adolph Hitler were taken in blood.

Eighty years have passed. The grounds of the American Cemetery at Normandy are lined with white crosses and the Star of David. The grounds are silent. Grounds that one roared from cannon and gunfire and death. The grounds are hollowed by the souls that gave their lives there to preserve freedom around the world. We must never, never forget that.

We watched the 80th remembrance ceremony in full. My wife and I were reminded of our own visit to Normandy some years ago and our walking among the grave sites. We were reminded of our own feelings of sorrow and gratitude for the men who died and were buried there. You really cannot imagine the feelings unless standing among the graves yourself.

We were reminded of the many armed conflicts and men and women who have died since those days of World War II. We think of Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan and the untold many smaller fights our military has been asked to fight. And we think, too, that most, if not all, of the undeclared wars fought since WWII resulted from corrupt or unwise USA leadership.

Ole President Joe Biden could not help himself. He could not be content to honor those veterans present and those in military uniforms and the many who had gathered to pay homage to the few who remain alive from that horrific day. Joe had to turn his speech into a political speech. He had to bring up Ukraine and Russia and try to liken that to what happened at Normandy. That is blasphemy. He seems to forget that Russia was an ally to the USA in WWII and that Russia lost more people in that war than all other countries combined. Biden had to bring up NATO; an alliance long ago outdated as a deterrent to any invasion of Europe by Russia later during the Cold War.

The world is a different place today. The power of nuclear weapons is too much to even comprehend. And Joe now has to continue to poke the “BEAR”, as Russia is often referred to. Under Biden, the USA has pumped billions of dollars and tons of weapons to Ukraine; a corrupt country. Now Biden is allowing USA provided weapons to even be used against targets inside of Russia itself. And there are reports there are US troops involved directly. This is insanity. What happens in Ukraine is NOT in the interest of America First. It is time for the USA to butt out and let the European nations figure things out. Bring our troops home and shut off the money. We have mountainous needs in the USA.

I absolutely do not believe Valdemar Putin wants to invade Europe. I do believe he wants at least part of Ukraine given its history of being part of the Soviet Union and that the eastern part of Ukraine is populated with Russian speaking people. I say let him have it. The world does not need WWIII.

Journalism & Kent

Oh, to have the time to write. I whine and moan about never having the time I would like to write for my Blog and Substack, even if no one reads them. I do have things to say and opinions to express rattling around in my head all the time.

I was thinking….. from the time I was born until I was 44 years old when my family sold the Kokomo Tribune, all I remember was newspapers. My father at age 24 was the CEO of the Tribune when I was born. His grandfather Kautz was CEO and owner beginning in 1897 until he died in 1938 when my father took over as a family Trust of Kautz’s daughters technically controlled ownership and operations. I remember I lived, breathed, and almost worshiped journalism and newspaper production and the peoples “right to know”. My first job was in the Circulation department where I mapped motor routes and solicited subscriptions. That was an experience when I approached Amish/Mennonite families out in Howard County. The women at home were always polite, but they deferred to their husbands who were working out on the farm somewhere.

But even before that I was around the Tribune a lot. I still have a photo of me at the corner of the Tribune building selling papers on VE day at the end of WWII in Europe. And I have a photo of me at a typewriter in the Tribune newsroom writing something when I was probably around 10-12 years old. Then when at Kokomo High School, I became the radio editor for the the student newspaper, the Red and Blue. We had a weekly program with three of us: sports, news, and social. And who knew at the time that my father was one of the owners of the WIOU radio station. Wonder if that had some influence?

Finally, off to Purdue. My father wanted me to study engineering of some kind. He believe the mental discipline and thinking processes taught were the best in engineering verses any other studies. I started in Electrical Engineering and finished three years in that discipline, but due to circumstances involving a fraternity pledge which did not go well, I switched to Industrial Management. I was in the very first class of that offering at Purdue. As it turned out, it was the best combination of engineering and management one could imagine. Purdue became famous for this. This really saved me from academic probation. I excelled in all classes. I really loved the studies in management, engineering, and finance.

My life did go into chaos though with an unplanned pregnancy and an early marriage when I was still 19 years old. I was a junior at Purdue at the time. I will save that story for later.

After graduating from Purdue with a BS Industrial Management, I became a full time Kokomo Tribune employee. This, as it turned out, was a time at the cusp of an enormous change in the way newspapers were produced. The old way was with hot metal type and letter presses. The huge change that occurred was to photo composition and offset presses and the use of computers in typesetting. That is easy to say, but it took years — nearly a decade — to make the changes. The Kokomo Tribune became a world leader in medium sized newspapers in technology. We had visitors from all over the world to see how we did things. With General Motors Delco engineers, we created one of the very first computers for typesetting. I wrote all of the software for it as well as a Fortran comprehensive package for circulation accounting and bundling in the mail room. We had a tremendous “family” of about 150 folks at the paper that worked together to get it all done.

At the same time, my father pursued newspaper industry leadership interests. He eventually became the President of the Inland Daily Press Association and later the American Newspaper Publishers Association, the industry association of most of the daily newspaper in the United States.

This is enough for now…. Chapter One in the life of one Kent Blacklidge and journalism. More later…….