Updated: Jun 30
Independence Day is only days away. While fireworks displays are the norm for the evening festivities, it isn’t uncommon for individuals to celebrate with a gun salute–or, more accurately, firing a few rounds in the air.
Gun safety is important to gun ownership, and our team at Razorback Armory. Before celebrating America’s freedom, the Founding Fathers, and their Declaration of Independence with a few festive shots, avoid one simple safety tip. The tip? What goes up must come down!
Shoot your gun to celebrate the Fourth, but remember that shooting any ammunition straight up into the air is a recipe for disaster; the result could be an injury or even property damage. Instead of shooting a gun into the air, aim and shoot at a target.
During the Fourth of July, gun owners also have to be aware of active powder from fireworks lying on the ground or nearby. Shooting near fireworks can lead to a fire or more serious explosions.
Salute the Fourth: More Ways to Celebrate Freedom
The Fourth of July is one of our country’s most important holidays because it celebrates our freedom from the monarchy of England and the binding constrictions of that rule of government. We all learned about the Boston Tea Party and how the colonies protested the taxes imposed by the monarchy. Through the victory of the Revolutionary War, the colonies became the United States–albeit there were far fewer states at the time.
While many of us enjoy fireworks displays, barbecues and cookouts, family gatherings, and, yes, even a few gun salutes to commemorate this hard-won freedom and our democracy, there are so many more ways to mark the importance of Independence Day. Here are five ways for American patriots to celebrate July 4th.
Remember the Vets
There are more than 33,000 homeless veterans across the country. However, the VA reports that more than 13K are “unsheltered homeless,” meaning that they live on the streets, in cars, under bridges, or elsewhere.
In addition, many experience PTSD, mental illness, addiction, seizures, or suffer from injuries or wounds from combat. Freedom is fought and earned; on Independence Day, support a charity that helps veterans or their families. When we stop at a traffic light and see a homeless veteran holding a sign, the response could be one of doubt related to their plight. Instead of doubting, perhaps try to give a small amount.
Register to Vote
Unfortunately, not everyone has registered to vote, even if they are eligible. A democracy allows every citizen to vote and make their voice heard. If you have not registered to vote, register now. While government offices are closed on Independence Day, the internet is always open; visit the site to register online.
Make Your Voice Heard
The United States encourages its citizens to participate in democracy, and this participation does not end at the polls. Change happens through active participation; if you feel passionate about an issue, write a Senator or Representative. Elected officials represent their constituents; they speak for you! Find contact information for Missouri’s Senators on the United States Senate website, and the United States House of Representatives provides an online Directory of Representatives. Find a Missouri State Senator via the directory (the site also offers a pdf map showing the individual districts). Members of the Missouri House of Representatives and their contact information can be found via the Member Roster on the House website.
Visit a Historic Revolutionary War Battlefield
For those heading to the East Coast this Fourth of July, consider visiting one of the historic Revolutionary War battlefields. While reading about the war fought for our freedom is important, stepping onto the fields where that freedom was one is another experience. The American Battlefield Trust offers an interactive map denoting all the battlefields of the Revolutionary War. Some locations could offer unique historical experiences, too.
Read the Declaration of Independence
In 1976, America celebrated its Bicentennial. As the country regaled the monumental democracy milestone, Americans held a heightened awareness of the meaning behind their freedoms and the document that cemented the secession from the monarchy. Brush up on the Declaration of Independence this year (it’s a quick and important read). The Constitution outlines our rights and freedoms, but the Declaration of Independence was the document that created the United States.
Celebrate Freedom and Stay Safe This Fourth
Whether a barbecue, float trip, or even a trip to a historic battlefield is part of the Independence Day celebration, be safe and have fun. Remember that while gun salutes can be part of the festivities, what goes up must come down! Don’t salute in the air, and always be mindful not to shoot around fireworks.
Razorback Armory is St. Louis's top full-service firearm shop committed to selling, servicing, handling, repairing, customizing, teaching, researching, idolizing, and generally loving everything guns and ammo. We are more than your typical gun store - we are your locally owned specialized gun store and knowledge center. Our aim is to serve our customers with top-notch service and provide the best education and training