Skip to main content

These are the times that try men's souls

These are the times that try men's souls

"...panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered." Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 23, 1776

When Tom Paine said the times of 1776 would "try" men's souls, he meant that souls would be tested. Some would stand the test and others would be found wanting. Some, like the heroes who froze at Valley Forge, would pay the price; others would prove to be summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, willing to join the fight only with the sky clear and victory in sight.

The times we are in test souls in similar fashion. We are discovering, day by day, those who are really with us and those who are with us only when money or votes are there for easy collection.

The real character of men or institutions is vividly displayed when the lynch mob is howling, and make no mistake: what you are seeing these days is the mob in full howl.


Politicians who flip-flop, companies that tiptoe away from suddenly controversial products, TV personalities who say "this time is different," networks that cancel shows: this crisis has shown us their true colors. We will remember.


Others are sticking with us, even in the full gale of hatred that is currently buffeting us. Those who stand with us in this moment are true friends. We will remember.

We've been lucky to have had many relatively quiet years. A whole generation of gun owners has never known a crisis like the one we face. This one will test their souls. Sheep and goats, wheat and chaff, will be separated. Core principles will be fought for or abandoned.

"Which side are you on?" was the refrain of an old union song, and it's a question we will be asking often in the days to follow. The answers will determine who gets our dollars and our votes for years to come.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

Russian Gun Ownership

Russian Gun Ownership

Firearms News writer Max Popenker clears up the rumors, lies, and myths about Russian gun ownership!

Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol

Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol

The PPS-43 served Poland and the Russians during WWII. It is now available as a pistol for the US market.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Virginia Republican Rep. Glenn Davis introduced two pro-2A measures in a special session that are designed to partially roll back some restrictive laws.Fighting Back in Virginia 2nd Amendment

Fighting Back in Virginia

Mark Chesnut - August 24, 2020

Virginia Republican Rep. Glenn Davis introduced two pro-2A measures in a special session that...

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and manufactured!SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It? Ammo

SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It?

Tom Beckstrand - August 20, 2020

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and...

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous Soros-backed St. Louis prosecutor, are slated to speak at next week's Republican National Convention.McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC 2nd Amendment

McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC

Mark Chesnut - August 21, 2020

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous...

First fielded during World War I, the Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR went on to serve through World War II, Korea and into Vietnam.Inside Story on the .30-caliber BAR Historical

Inside Story on the .30-caliber BAR

Samantha Knight - August 15, 2020

First fielded during World War I, the Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR went on to serve through...

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

Gun Owners of America received a copy of a draft ATF document concerning pistol braces that is set to be published as a “Notice” in the Federal Register on December 17th, 2020.GOA to “Combat at Every Turn” the Reckless Move by DOJ to Regulate Braced Pistols 2nd Amendment

GOA to “Combat at Every Turn” the Reckless Move by DOJ to Regulate Braced Pistols

Gun Owners of America - December 17, 2020

Gun Owners of America received a copy of a draft ATF document concerning pistol braces that is...

China is using their totalitarianism to infiltrate, weaken and sabotage U.S. and allied interests at home and abroad.China Ramps Up Tyranny as U.S. Follows Suit 2nd Amendment

China Ramps Up Tyranny as U.S. Follows Suit

David Codrea - December 23, 2020

China is using their totalitarianism to infiltrate, weaken and sabotage U.S. and allied...

Gun Owners of America is launching Days of Action to door knock and reach voters.GOA: Sign Up to Volunteer and Get Pro-Gun Senators Elected in Georgia 2nd Amendment

GOA: Sign Up to Volunteer and Get Pro-Gun Senators Elected in Georgia

Gun Owners of America - December 07, 2020

Gun Owners of America is launching Days of Action to door knock and reach voters.

The Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging federal law that prevents young adults from purchasing and owning handguns.SAF, FPC, Louisiana Shooting Assn. Sue Over Handgun Ban 2nd Amendment

SAF, FPC, Louisiana Shooting Assn. Sue Over Handgun Ban

Second Amendment Foundation - November 09, 2020

The Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging federal law that prevents...

See More 2nd Amendment

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now