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What happened to 'Live Free or Die'?

Last modified: 10/19/2010 12:00:00 AM
Re 'Oath Keepers plan rally' (Monitor front page, Oct. 12):

I would like to remind readers of New Hampshire's state motto, 'Live Free or Die,' stated in 1809 by Gen. John Stark, New Hampshire's most famous patriot of the Revolutionary War. This motto speaks to the very essence of New Hampshire's assertive independence.

The biased opinions of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center should not have been used as a journalistic source of information about the Oath Keepers. The SPLC considers all groups of the patriot movement 'anti-government and extremist.'

Under the First Amendment we are guaranteed the right of assembly and speech; under the Second Amendment, the right to belong to a militia as 'necessary to the security of a free State.' I should think the residents of 'Live Free or Die' New Hampshire would vehemently defend these rights.

What is at issue here is the state's listing of the Oath Keepers (a patriot group, not a militia) on an affidavit of wrongdoing. It is the constitutional right of U.S. citizens to assemble with whomever they please and to join a militia, if they so choose. The government may not inhibit these rights nor punish its citizens for invoking them. If the government is allowed to dictate what groups we may belong to and with whom we may associate, we might as well strike 'Live Free' from New Hampshire's motto.

TINA GIBLIN

Syracuse, N.Y.


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