Thursday, December 03, 2015

Thomas Jefferson, Founder of the Democratic Party, Advocated Walking with a Gun for Exercise

In the wake of another mass shooting in California, some politicians are calling for tighter gun control. Regardless of one's opinion on guns, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democratic Party, had to say about Americans and guns.

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.


Bob Cleveland said...

The government, collectively, is living proof of the truth of the old adage: "None of us is as dumb as all of us".

Come to think of it, I think the voting public has already removed any doubt ....

Anonymous said...

Good post. Wife and I are very concerned about our daughter in a rather large group of young people on Sunday mornings in one of the most targeted areas in the US. Add to that our state won't allow concealed carry to most of it's residents.

Take away the stingers from a hive of bees and see how long it thrives. Pretty simple, but the common prevailing thought regarding guns is irrational, imo.


JD Rector said...

Excellent post! My Sunday School class hears me say frequently the "heart of the matter, is a matter of the heart!" Only a new heart in sinful man through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ can cure his hatred for his fellow man.

Rex Ray said...


“None of us is as dumb as all of us". Come to think of it, I think the voting public has already removed any doubt.”


Their leader “walks softly” but carries a toothpick.

Can you imagine Jefferson choosing a toothpick because it’s sharp if he was challenged to a duel?

Come to think of it, I think that’s what’s going on in the world today.

Thanks Bob.

Anonymous said...

The problem with open carry is that in today's society we don't know what a person carrying a gun plans to do with it. We are justified in light of the recent killings in believing that something bad is about to happen. If I should observe a person about to enter Walmart with an assault rifle strapped to their shoulder then personally I am going to get out of the store as fast as possible even though it might be legal for the individual to do just that,open carry. Sad state of affairs but this is just the society that we live in today. I don't think there is an answer to how we stop the killings and they probably will continue. By the way I own firearms and would be against a government trying to take away my right to do so.

Wade Burleson said...


Agreed. However, I've been to Israel on several occasions, and every 18 and 19 year old male and female carries an automatic weapon (and yes, they are the soldiers of Israel). Surrounded by (and infiltrated by) the enemy, people are fairly safe walking in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Soldiers carrying weapons are a completely different situation.

Wade Burleson said...

At this point, I would propose every 18 and 19 year-old United States citizen join the U.S. military for a period of 2 years, learning patriotism, nationalism, and what it means to protect and defend the laws and Constitution of the United States.

It may be time.

Christiane said...

is there some REASON (sane) why people on the 'terrorist watch list' in this country are allowed to buy weaponry at gun shows ????

BTW, I like your proposal, WADE, about two years of military training and service for our young people . . . nothing better than a good boot camp experience to give our young people of sense of their own real strength and the right kind of pride and dignity as American service men and women

the Israelis were forced to do this . . . men and women . . .

maybe it IS time, now that our homeland is vulnerable from so MANY sources of terrorism, yes

Wade Burleson said...

Good points, Christiane.

Scott said...

While Thomas Jefferson was a great man are you seriously advocating we follow his advice on "walking with a gun?" Just because 250 years ago he suggested it?

Perhaps you would also advocate his example of owning slaves? Or his example of martial unfaithfulness? Or his example of literally cutting out the parts of the Bible he didn't like and publishing the result?

I all for taking walks, but for me and my house, we will do it without guns.

Aussie John said...

"At this point, I would propose every 18 and 19 year-old United States citizen join the U.S. military for a period of 2 years, learning patriotism, nationalism, and what it means to protect and defend the laws and Constitution of the United States".

Absolutely! Australia too!

Gordon said...


We might take the precaution of not walking with a small group in dangerous areas but sometimes trouble comes looking for us unexpectedly and then we need to be prepared for our duty of care.

Think : would you refuse the assistance of an armed neighbour or the help of the police if you or your home are attacked ? I hope this never happens to you but it is no longer such an unusual experience for many.

Rex Ray said...


I also would be scared if I saw a person with an assault rifle going into Walmart, but not if I had my own gun and knew most of the people in Walmart had one. I also believe any would be robber would think twice if he knew people might have guns.

Police officers used the dam on my ten acre lake as a backstop for bullets to train public school teachers how to shoot. They also had real size classrooms behind the dam where instructions were given for different situations…even first aid for possible wounded. The schools wanted theses teacher’s names to be kept secret.

Anonymous, would you object or want your children going to these schools?

Rex Ray said...

Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.”

Anonymous said...

" there some REASON (sane) why people on the 'terrorist watch list' in this country are allowed to buy weaponry at gun shows ????"

That would be the Constitution. It's called due process.

Curious Thinker said...

Considering Thomas Jefferson was from a different century, where people didn't face the same problems as the do today regarding guns, I don't know how much merit his views applies today. As for the military, I think all people between the required ages should be allowed to have a choice if they want to join the military or not rather than it be forced on them.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Burleson did you serve your country in the military?

Ramesh said...

This comment will sound as if it is off topic and totally unrelated to the current topic. But it is very relevant to the source of the problem. It is not guns, not service in the military, not terrorism, not even ______.

The theme of the Grail romance is that the land, the country, the whole territory of concern has been laid waste. It is called a wasteland. And what is the nature of the wasteland? It is a land where everybody is living an inauthentic life, doing as other people do, doing as you’re told, with no courage for your own life. That is the wasteland. And that is what T. S. Eliot meant in his poem “The Waste Land.”

In a wasteland the surface does not represent the actuality of what it is supposed to be representing, and people are living inauthentic lives. “I’ve never done a thing I wanted to in all my life. I’ve done as I was told.” You know?
Source: The Holy Grail

Ramesh said...

The Wasteland

Rex Ray said...


Why should Wade answer your question when you don’t answer ones to you?

Ramesh said...

Washington Post > The math of mass shootings

Wade Burleson said...


Because of work and other responsibilities, it is often 24 to 48 hours before I can respond to questions. I have never served with the U.S. military, but I do have a concealed permit, significant firearm training, and often carry a concealed .45 or 9 millimeter Glock.

Wade Burleson said...

Ramesh and Rex,

I always learn something from your comments. Thanks.

Ramesh said...

The Guardian > It's messed up for Democrats to use the no-fly list to push for gun laws | Trevor Timm

Rex Ray said...

Not long ago, John Kerry, Secretary of State, said, “We are living in a period of less daily threat to America and people in the World today than through the last century.”


Ramesh, I don’t know if you are quoting Trevor Timm as truth or like John Kerry.
Trevor attacks both Democrats and Republicans.

But he seems to hold up Obama with his statement: “Obama kept his cool after the Paris attacks. Too bad his critics haven’t.”

I believe his description of Obama should change “cool” to ‘pig-headed stupidity’.

Obama will address the Nation today…probably saying as in his weekly report, “We are Americans. We will uphold our values – a free and OPEN society.”

Another DUH!

With all the refugees and maybe ISIS pouring into Texas over the Governor’s protest, there may be Texans moving to Oklahoma like another “Land Rush”.

Anonymous said...

France has strict gun laws. Worked for them, right?

Anonymous said...

Curious Thinker - I agree with your sentiments regarding people having the right to stay out of the military. As a follower of Christ I personally have problems with the oath one takes and the subsequent unyielding allegiance one makes to a Commander in Chief who is **extremely** duplicitous in his actions.

I'd wager the US isn't going to go down from outside foreign attacks, but from within.

Though this Republic was an incredible concept from its inception, the beginning of the end is near, imo. My ultimate hope is in Christ....all things under his feet. Ken

David said...


I don't normally disagree with you, but in this case I have to. The big problem is this line: "Maybe the root problem with gun violence is the mental and emotional instability in the heads and hearts of those who kill innocent people?"

Exactly. But we have no way of knowing who is or will become unstable - it could happen to anyone at any time, including you. If John or Jane Doe owns or has access to a gun, and if John or Jane Doe gets angry, with their spouse, boss, colleagues, teacher, etc etc, then the result is likely to be yet another gun tragedy. There's nothing anyone can do to prevent this.

Look at the statistics: - compare the US to Germany, France, UK, Italy, Japan, Canada, Australia, etc - other wealthy developed countries. Your gun death rate is the highest by far.

Sadly, Wade, I think you're a victim of the US gun culture. I live in a country where gun ownership is severely restricted by law. Gun ownership is very low, and shootings are very rare. The more guns you have in society, the more they will be used, and the more people will die.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said if they want your tunic, give them your coat as well. Walk with them not one mile, but two. If they slap you on one cheek, offer the other as well.

He also told us to fear not many times over as well. I mean if you think about it, isn't life more than raiment and the soul eternal?

But what do I know? I'm not a pastor, and I haven't been to Israel a half dozen times. I've also never so much as held a gun, but I do know the peace which surpasses all understanding.

Boiling it all down, we do live in perilous times ~ not in violence and upheaval in the world, but that we are hard pressed to find a preacher teaching the Word of God anymore.
I see we won't be hearing it from you, either.


Anonymous said...

Those who advocate for war firmly believe in sacrificing other people's kids.

Look long and hard at your own children, then hang your head in shame.

Rex Ray said...

“Anonymous faithful”,

There are times to ‘turn your cheek’ and times to ‘use the whip’. If a snake bites your cheek, do you offer the other as well? If an Islamic terrorists starts cutting your head off, do you let him continue?

‘Turning your cheek’ would be a preacher remaining silent when a Christian accuses him of not preaching the word of God.


Jesus said there will always be war and rumors of wars. That’s because there will always be good and evil. I take it that you would not fight against evil or want your children to.

You would have denied the Apostles of tasting the cup that Jesus drank, and the honor of one who said, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country”.

Chris Riley said...

People want to argue that our founding fathers were archaic, and because of their vices, have no salient arguments that are helpful for today. Yet, their insistance on gun rights was with the reality of living under tyranny. Whether it be the tyranny of a government, or of evil forces which wage harm, gun rights was a community protection against the few who wish to enforce their will on the many.
What if, instead of focusing on gun control, we ignored the current trend to ignore our neighbor and became people who genuinely cared for the welfare of as many people as possible (including the mentally ill...)? Oh wait, that is an archaic view of the world from long ago as well.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

I'm smart enough to keep my cheeks away from snakes.

As for the rest of your statements, if we are to emulate Christ, what would He do? We either walk in faith or we do not, and it's situations such as these that prove that faith we proclaim.
Jesus did face these life or death situations. How did He respond? To the best of my ability, that's what I would do. Read the Revelation, because taking the mark is just this situation, isn't it? We have hard choices to make, as we either stand for Christ unto death or we don't.

Funny you should mention snakes ~ as a Berean, I weigh everything preachers now teach with, "Has God said...?". Usually, the answer is no, God has not said, because they are mixing books and verses to create their own doctrines.

As to Wade's nationalistic pride, we are not of this world but of the Kingdom of God, remember?

~ Faithful

Anonymous said...

This country is absolutely awash in guns, and the sheer numbers of gun related deaths here should tell you how absurd this really is.
In practice, this constitutional right to bear arms looks nothing like a well-regulated militia, does it?

When our police are so scared and twitchy that their default action is to draw their weapon and fire regardless, you have to wonder if this gun fetish has everything to do with it.

We stand for freedumb.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous faithful,

One more shot:

Strange on Perl Harbor Day, you should write: “we do live in perilous times ~ not in violence and upheaval in the world…”


Do you know in the last 100 years, more Christians have been murdered since Calvary?

I wrote the above before I read your reply.

You say you’re smart enough to stay away from snakes, but are you smart enough to recognize snakes disguised with falsehood?

You say “we are to emulate Christ, what would He do?” How is it then that you know my name but I don’t know yours, but hide behind “faithful”? You said you would try to face life or death situations as Jesus, but you can’t give your name. ???

Anonymous said...

Let me just make a slight amendment to my previous comment.

I said "If John or Jane Doe owns or has access to a gun, and if John or Jane Doe gets angry, with their spouse, boss, colleagues, teacher, etc etc, then the result is likely to be yet another gun tragedy. There's nothing anyone can do to prevent this."

I should have concluded "There's nothing anyone can do to prevent this other than stop them getting a gun".

The view of all other industrialised nations is that citizens do not need easy access to deadly weapons. The US takes a different approach, and suffers hugely as a result.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous, Anonymous!

It’s amazing how you cannot answer a question!

Can you guarantee if they could not kill with a gun, they would NOT use poison or some other means?

(Probably won't answer this question either.)

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

I don't have any social media accounts, but I am known as Faithful on the several Christian blogs I frequent.

And yes, we do live in violent and perilous times, but then again, we always have. It has been estimated by historians that upwards of 50 million Protestants were murdered in the Inquisition alone.
Jesus said the world hates Him, and so will hate those who belong to Him. We can't then be surprised when we are targets of hatred. Right?

And yes, I can very well recognize snakes disguised with falsehoods. Most of them stand behind pulpits these days, brainwashing people who are too lazy to study the Word of God for themselves ( I was one of them some years ago, so I speak from experience here).
But really it's a simple matter to spot them, as the Bible clearly tells us exactly what to look for.

It's been a pleasure talking with you, Rex Ray. Keep the faith and God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "If John or Jane Doe owns or has access to a gun, and if John or Jane Doe gets angry, with their spouse, boss, colleagues, teacher, etc etc, then the result is likely to be yet another gun tragedy"

Anger likely results in a gun tragedy? I can't let this statement go with out some comment...

If that is true then it amazes me that there is anyone left in the US. And if a gun is not readily available what other means would we use - knives, sticks, stones... Cain/Abel anyone?

I see people get angry with others all the time (myself included) without resorting to guns (or other physical violence) to solve the problem.


Unknown said...

I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. Siro spinned yarns