Congratulations--and $2,000--to Georgianna

If you read your Westfield Evening News on a timely basis--say, midday Saturday the 28th, when it probably arrives--you'll read about Georgianna Liptak about the time I'm boarding a plane to return to Westfield.

A plane from Charleston, South Carolina, and the National Order of Women Legislators' annual convention. I wasn't the only one from Westfield in attendance.

Now, I come home a little poorer, thanks to hotels, convention fees, airfare, and the like. But Georgianna Rose Liptak comes back to Westfield a little richer.

Two thousand dollars richer. She got all her expenses paid, too.

Georgianna, who is a second year student at Northeastern University in Boston, lives on East Mountain Road in Westfield. Her folks saw the press release in the Westfield Evening News and urged her to enter a scholarship competition that I sponsored.

She did, and she won. So Georgianna comes home with the $2,000 scholarship from the National Rifle Association, reward for her essay on the assigned theme, "Armed with Pride."

Georgianna wrote the following:

"Our founding fathers experienced first hand the effects of what an out of control government can lead to. Ever increasing taxation without representation, excessive restrictions on basic principles of freedom, religious persecution, and corruption where justice belongs.

"They revolted, cleaned house, and rebuilt their lives by composing a set of basic guidelines that people could be proud to live by--the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

"It is a shame that, today, people take all this for granted, and don't realize what has been happening to slowly reduce the power of the people and increase the power of the government as the old guidelines are being bastardized daily in the name of political correctness.

"One of the major basic rights of our guidelines is under attack now more than ever in the past. The second amendment that guarantees law abiding citizens the right to 'keep and bear arms' is being chiseled at by those who think they know better than those who fought to free this country from tyranny.

"By banning firearms from the general law-abiding public in the name of consumer safety, protection, health, and whatever twisted spin they can come up with, they increase the average citizen's dependence on government even further.

"Slowly, like the lobster put in a pot of cold water and set on the flaming burner of a stove, we will be cooked, because we are not paying attention to what's happening around us.

"It's time to wake up and arm yourselves with pride in the Constitution and Bill of Rights and everything they stand for, especially because this second amendment is coming under fire now more than ever.

"Speak up. Stand up for your rights. Get involved and don't quit.

"Our forefathers didn't quit, because they were armed with pride, a pride backed by determination. Determination that would have been meaningless without being backed up by firepower."

Congratulations, Georgianna! I'm proud of you!

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