Lee Greenwood Is Still Popular Among Folks with Short Memories

I woke up Tuesday morning to hear folks on a local (ostensibly conservative) radio show absolutely gushing over how “awesomely cool” it was that Lee Greenwood had made a surprise appearance at an Independence Day celebration Saturday, July 2, at Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial (also home to the National WWI Museum), and of course had performed his signature song, “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Apparently, the crowd ate it up. They either lack my sensibilities or they have short memories.

I remember how I used to feel a thrill and tears would well up in my eyes whenever I heard that song. But I was cured of those feelings back in late May. That was when, days after the unspeakable horror of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, Greenwood, along with fellow Country Music artists Don McLean and Larry Gatlin and others, decided to virtue-signal by announcing they were backing out of their scheduled appearances to perform at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston on Memorial Day.

Greenwood even appeared in numerous interviews, explaining how he could not in good conscience perform at the convention, because to do so would be construed as an “endorsement” of the AR-15 rifle; he said his appearance would be seen as a statement that “I like this weapon. And obviously, that weapon killed kids.”

The singer, who has partnered with a major fireworks company to use his name to promote sales of its brand of pyrotechnics, continues to sing the line “And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, ‘cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land—God bless the U.S.A.!” Presumably he would not be standing up and defending his beloved U.S.A. with an AR-15 (and perhaps any other rifle) in his hands, because, after all, “that weapon killed kids.” He’s OK with fireworks, but not with firearms.

Along with the other drop-outs, Greenwood claims to be a big supporter of the Second Amendment. But apparently, these guys are not such ardent supporters of the NRA. Yet the NRA is one of the staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment against those who would exploit tragedies like that in Uvalde to advance their agenda of further infringing on American citizens’ God-given right to keep and bear arms and to undermine and even do away with the Second Amendment, and ultimately to disarm the American citizenry.

A major way tragedies such as those in Uvalde are exploited as part of that nefarious agenda is to blame and condemn the instrument, in this case, the AR-15. And Lee Greenwood has jumped on that bandwagon.

Image: Lee Greenwood. YouTube screen grab.

I happen to be a Life Member of the NRA. If I have any beef with the NRA, it’s that the organization’s positions actually tend to be a bit more liberal than I care for. For example, instead of answering the gun-grabbers’ claim that the Second Amendment was never intended to protect citizens’ rights to keep and bear “weapons of war,” the NRA argues that, technically, the AR-15 is not a military weapon. I wish the NRA would take the offensive and educate people that military weapons are precisely the type of arms to which the Second Amendment refers.

This was expressed best by Tench Coxe (1755-1824), one of our lesser-known Founders, a political economist and a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Constitutional Convention. His remarks about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are eminently worthy of inclusion in an American History curriculum if such a curriculum were to ever return to being taught in American public schools (“Gender Studies” and “Drag Queen Story Hour” might have to be jettisoned to make room for American History to be taught again).

Firm in his assertion that “the militia” is neither law enforcement nor the military but rather is “ourselves,” and that “The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people,” Coxe added that Congress possessed “no power to disarm the militia,” and that no clause in the federal or state constitution conferred such power.

Nor did Coxe waffle or waver when addressing the question of “just what sort of arms does the Second Amendment protect the citizens’ right to keep and bear?” His response? “Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American.”

So when the NRA mails me one of its “surveys” (really just an excuse to ask me for more money; if I thought shelling out for a Life Membership would offer some respite from the organization’s relentless schnorring, I was mistaken) and asks why I choose to exercise my constitutional right to keep and bear firearms, I’m presented with multiple choice answers: Hunting; Firearms Collecting; Shooting Sports; Target Practice; Home Defense. Conspicuous in its absence is “Because it is my duty and responsibility as an American citizen to possess the means (and to be competent with those means) to deter or even (should the need arise) to resist tyranny by my own government.”

So, the NRA has its shortcomings, and were I in a position to influence its policies, I would encourage it to take a much harder line against compromising the rights it’s supposed to be protecting. But if I have to choose between the NRA and a hypocritical, “go along to get along” summer soldier and sunshine patriot like Lee Greenwood, who seems only too eager to virtue-signal by turning his back on the NRA, I’ll go with the NRA every time.

Author’s Note: The author of more than 150 pieces published by American Thinker, Stu Tarlowe, 74, was for more than 15 years the personal editor for the late talk radio icon, author and columnist Barry Farber. Recently employed as a staff writer for a magazine forecasting political, financial, and societal trends, when he had to be hospitalized for COVID, Stu was summarily and permanently replaced (and he remains flummoxed by that betrayal of his loyalty). Having recovered from the Wuhan Flu, however, he now writes on a variety of topics (political and personal) in his newsletter at https://stutarlowe.substack.com and is seeking another gig as a writer/editor/proofreader (in a perfect world, he would be paid to write a weekly column of essays like this).

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com