Wow! What an experience to have been involved in a process like the one we were placed in over these last several months. I can honestly say I received quite the education pertaining to our local government’s workings, dealing with more of the public, and preparing essential documentation to inform everyone of our position.
We here at Patriot Outdoors have a passion, and the name of that passion is “Libertas.” This is the Latin word from where we derive our word “liberty.” This word is not just some patriotic ringtone, and we do not take its meaning lightly. It is a very large part of who we are and how we operate our lives and, yes, even our business. We know there are many among us who understand our passion and why we held our position and stood so boldly on our principles.
Liberty: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.
By understanding the meaning of liberty, we can hopefully grasp more tightly to our roots as Americans—“Free Men.” We are also given a great example regarding our founding fathers original intent in designing the framework for our precious documents, which provided the cornerstone for our foundation as a nation.
I know. There I go again getting all Patriotic on people and maybe a little out of touch. But, this is the quintessential basis for which we were so opposed to the proposal of the shooting range project that was brought by the State. This wasn’t a fault of the citizenry or our local government council, but rather the State who wished to impose its position on our local government to appease the citizenry. You may say, “No, this isn’t how it is at all. The funding is for this purpose, and it will help us with our shooting activities.”
I totally understand and would agree that it would help to some extent with those activities, but at what cost? Would it be the cost of the debt over time, which may burden the entire citizenry for the privilege of the few? Or, perhaps, could it be the cost of a potentially ill-managed venue that may welcome unruly or unsupervised activity? Or, lastly, what about the cost of a citizen’s personal sacrifice when he only wanted to offer something that had never existed before in the community? Because of all these costs and more, we would decline such costs for freedom’s sake.
My family, as part of this community, has sacrificed greatly to make a company like Patriot Outdoors a reality. Like many other entrepreneurs, we have endured the anxiety, stress, and pressures of performance for profit within our company to ensure our pursuit of happiness will be attained.
With that being said, there are some people who align themselves solely on principle for the cause of personal and corporate liberty, and there are others who oppose them. I would charge those few who wish to appease themselves for entertainment to be more prudent in their decisions so that they may remember that freedom must come first. In layman's terms, just because there are monies to spend from the outside of our community, it’s the vessel we choose to place it in that makes it helpful or harmful. Placing another facility in our community may be a viable option, but let free enterprise and the private sector make those decisions in whatever manner they wish to pursue it.
We realize there will always be some people that don’t agree with our business model or care for its amenities. Some people may be dissatisfied because they believe the facilities may need to be repaired or the atmosphere is not to their liking or whatever the flavor of the complaint may be. And, it is most certainly up to the owner of any given business to keep their house in order as best as they possibly can to retain their customers and ensure stability. And, when it comes to providing additional amenities, business owners determine what to provide based on the laws of demand, and, with sound research, produce products or services that help to achieve the goals of the business based on those laws.
Unfortunately, at times, the business may or may not be able to provide certain products or services needed for their customers. In our case, there’s only so much to go around. So, we must press on how we see fit. In a free enterprise system, we use our investment as we determine it to be necessary for the betterment of the business. Then, the market, not the government, may decide if the business is operating according to demand.
Once again, please know that we had a dual purpose for making our position as such:
Would we not want the same for any other businesses in our community?
Our goal now is to move forward as best as possible. To lead, not follow, to accept criticism without ego, to be humble, and to work for solutions that bring us together as a community.
At Patriot Outdoors, we believe that there are many solutions that have not been explored. These options may or may not include us personally or corporately. That is for the market to decide. We do know that there are many intelligent and talented individuals within our community who are people of goodwill. So, instead of embracing the negative energy that leads to divisiveness, let’s work together to seek an approach that brings resolution and progress to our citizenry. In so doing, we can potentially unite people within the same political and social ideals and build relationships that create more harmony instead of discord.
In closing, we want our community to know how much we care for those around us, despite those people who are not keen to our way of business. At heart, we all live in the same city with many of the same goals and just a different approach. And, probably after debating, we want the same things out of life for our families and ourselves. Ultimately, we are all Americans. We have freedom’s heroes to thank for that, and it’s our duty to keep the torch lit so we may pass it on to our children. May we never forget this sobering truth and responsibility.
For Liberty’s Sake,
Stephen D. Powell
Patriot Outdoors, President