Outdoors in RI: 4th of July, small town Maine style, 2A of our forefathers – Jeff Gross

Second Amendment

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

The 4th of July – a Holiday brought to you by people who owned guns. Our rebellion in 1776 was a success because colonists were aware of the need to own firearms to secure a free state. The same people realized they also needed to band together. 

While much of the USA is in turmoil for a variety of reasons, July 4th all demographics put their differences aside and enjoyed the day together in the USA – and in this quiet little town of Belgrade, Maine. The weather cooperated up here in Maine although there may have been some divine intervention. As many of you know, in Rhode Island, the weather was just the opposite. Many a person tried out their kayaks or canoes on the Cranston city streets that were badly flooded.

In Belgrade, the same severe rain was forecast for July 4th. Multiple platforms stated the day would be a washout, including Parade time at 4 pm. The USCG training in this writer, and his instincts, said otherwise. Watching the variations in the forecast and the changes in the radar rainfall said the celebrations were a go! 

Channel 8 out of Portland, Maine said “rain, 6 am until 5 pm”.  National Weather Service said “rain, 10 am until 3 pm”.  Weather Channel said “rain, 10 am until 2 pm, then severe thunderstorms at 5 pm”. My instincts said they were wrong; and were they wrong! 

Turns out we were dry all day and overcast until 1pm, and then the sun came out strong, shining brightly on the parade route. There was some severe weather, however the storms traveled east of Augusta, and northwest towards Skowhegan. The storms parted almost like Moses was watching over the Lakes Region.  Humans: always trust your instincts – we did not get this high on the evolutionary scale without listening to them.

The July 4th Belgrade Town Parade was your small town “everyone knows everyone” event. Outsiders like me, and newcomers, Zach, and his family from Texas, were welcome with open arms. Youngsters were inundated with candy being tossed from all the floats and vehicles, including all the fire engines which was a first in a lifetime to witness the firefighters tossing candy. Heck even the Grateful Dead showed up via pickup. One farm float tossed green beans and peapods, but those didn’t go over too well, as when closing up I noticed many in the road. Youngsters up here must prefer traditional holiday treats. 

As has been the tradition, I was the last one out of town that evening. A good friend asked me how long it took me to pack the trailer with all the flea market items. I told her 3 hours. In the warm setting sun, I took my time loading back up as a band was playing next door. Country music to John Denver, to CCR, to a host of other early Rock And Roll. They asked for requests. I shouted out “Free Bird” but that wasn’t in their repertoire. They did play a Journey song quite well. Their music was so good that I slowed the loading process. When I was finally packed up, the band had already left. I thanked the young lady as she was leaving who had choreographed their setup, and added “it was good for the town”.  She was appreciative what I said to her, and it added a nice flavor to the end of the day. 

Five hours to close up, but it was worth every moment. Maybe I can talk my friend into having a band at the Fall Celebration in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  All packed up I rolled up the sidewalks and shut off the streetlights, not before noticing the little rock adorning a porch at the event. The rock says it all. Hostility is running amuck in the USA to the likes never seen before. That little rock had a simple message. It is time to implement the message as “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”  Our forefathers must be saying, “what the Hell!”.

Our forefathers understood the need for firearms and hence the Second Amendment (2A) became law.  Last year the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decided the Bruen Case. Bruen clearly decided the way the 2A should be interpreted. For a total gun ban, inferior courts must use text, history, and tradition. The Government must then prove there was a similar law in 1791. Good luck with that.  June 30th SCOTUS granted certiorari to the Garland v. Rahimi case. My instincts tell me this will end badly for Garland and the rest of the anti-gun crowd.  My instincts tell me not only will the restraining order gun confiscation laws be shot down but many other statutes as well, including the notorious Red Flag Laws. Stay tuned.


Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

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