With My Rifle by My Side: A Second Amendment Lesson
by Kimberly Jo Simac, with illustrations by Donna Goeddaeus
Nordskog Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-9827074-4-9
June 2010
48 pages
$18.95 at Amazon.com

Unlike today’s ruling elites, the Founding Fathers held firearms in high regard, not simply as a means of obtaining food but also of ensuring freedom. While customs and technology may have changed in the intervening centuries, the tendency of governments towards tyranny has not, and the need to school children in the safe and responsible use of guns is as vital as ever. An example of the Founders’ thinking in this regard is this from Richard Henry Lee in 1788 (and quoted in the book):

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. [Emphasis added]

Thomas Jefferson thought communing with nature with a firearm superior to most sports (also from the book):

A strong body makes the mind strong …. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.

Kimberly Jo Simac’s With My Rifle by My Side is aimed at children who own or are about to get a firearm. In it, she reminds her young readers not only about gun safety but also emphasizes how important firearms have been in the history of the Republic and the sacrifices Americans have made over time to preserve the essential right to keep and bear arms:

The Founding Fathers trusted God
for the rules they would make.
They warned us of decisions
That could lead us all astray.

They said it’s our privilege,
responsibility, and right,
to own our guns,
and be ready to fight.

The second section of With My Rifle by My Side, “Appendix for Parents and Grandparents,” deals with firearms safety, briefly discusses the Second Amendment and offers a compilation of more than a dozen quotations about it from the Founders to the present day, and ends with “A Word from the Publisher,” Gerald Nordskog.

With My Rifle by My Side is a fine introductory book for young gunowners and their parents and grandparents who wish to teach their young charges respect for guns and the Constitutional principles that make gun ownership virtually a requirement for all Americans who wish to remain free.

Mike Gray