Jefferson believed you should walk daily with your gun. He wrote to his nephew Peter Carr and said:
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a 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."That's right. Thomas Jefferson advocated that the best exercise for Americans were long walks with their guns. He felt holding a rifle while walking worked the arms, the legs, and the mind at the same time. Jefferson would later give further details on when one should exercise with a gun:
"There is no habit you will value so much as that of walking far without fatigue. I would advise you to take your exercise in the afternoon. Not because it is the best time for exercise for certainly it is not: but because it is the best time to spare from your studies; and habit will soon reconcile it to health, and render it nearly as useful as if you gave to that the more precious hours of the day. A little walk of half an hour in the morning when you first rise is advisable also. It shakes off sleep, and produces other good effects."Can you imagine Americans today, young and old (Jefferson's nephew was fifteen), walking through their neighborhood streets, city park trails, and their town squares with rifles and shotguns? If not, why not?
Could it be that the desire to ban guns from the hands of Americans is a misplaced concern? Maybe the root problem with gun violence is the mental and emotional instability in the heads and hearts of those who kill innocent people?
Could it be (just asking) that if Americans were to become comfortable with fellow Americans carrying guns and rifles in the open during their morning and afternoon walks, that the few socio-paths among us who wish to kill innocent people might be stopped before they even start?
I wonder how Thomas Jefferson would respond if he were asked how America could solve its gun violence problem today?
Maybe he'd tell us to take a walk.