Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Pox on Both Houses

On both the left and the right of the Second Amendment discussion there are radicals who come across as nut-jobs, and there are reasonable brokers who deserve and need to be heard. To say nothing needs to be done is ignorant, because there are definitely reasons we continue to experience such tragedies as we have witnessed in recent times. But to create new and broad-sweeping laws in an extremely emotional reaction to recent events is not necessarily the best course of action either. We are a nation of over 300 million free citizens who have a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms that, as the Second Amendment states, “Shall not be infringed.” We reside in fifty individual States with different political climates, geographical makeup and historical perspectives that make suitable nationwide laws difficult to enact, yet there must surely be some reasonable national agreement about the basics of firearm ownership.

To be completely honest, we need to look not just at firearm ownership and The Second Amendment. In my opinion we need to take a serious look at our mental health system. We should assess the effects of Hollywood and other factors such as video games on the minds and morality of young people. And as difficult as it will be, America should also take an honest look at the number of single parent homes in America today, and the potential lack of support and nurturing that children may receive within such environments. With more than half of children born to American mothers younger than 30 happening outside marriage, our society is changing in ways never before seen and certainly not very well understood.

I have opinions about the “gun control” debate” which I plan to begin expressing over the next few days and perhaps weeks, but tonight I would like to speak out and express my disgust with both the NRA and President Obama for using children as props in a political debate. I have discussed this here before and I’m sure will be pressed to do so again, and it saddens me greatly. In the midst of very important conversations in American politics, politicians, pundits and persons of influence continue to use children to tug at heartstrings or to make points that can very easily be made in rational ways, and it saddens me greatly.

The NRA made a commercial that accuses President Obama of being an elitist hypocrite, because his children are protected at their private school by individuals who carry weapons while everyday Americans watch their children go to school every day to places where they are not protected in the same fashion. While I can say I understand the point being made by the organization at the very surface, it is unfair and out of line to put the children of The President of The United States into the same category as the children of everyday Americans. President Obama’s children are potential targets by no fault of their own in ways that ‘regular’ kids will never be, as any rational thinker should clearly understand with no further explanation needed. We as a nation have provided such security for the families of our Presidents over the course of our history, and to consider President Obama and his children any different than any past leader is simply ridiculous.

On the other side, President Obama today had four youngsters standing alongside his podium today. In an effort to make his actions appear to be all about “the children,” he discussed how these and other children had written letters expressing their dire concern that he please, please, please do all he can to change laws to make it “safer” for all the children. Of course these children have no real understanding of the facts surrounding the tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Aurora movie theater or any other recent incident. The stories of how these children would hurt so badly were they to lose siblings is certainly heart-wrenching, but we need to be honest; if we take all our actions and make all our decisions related to such extremely difficult issues based on the thoughts and emotions of children, we are destined to fail as a society.

I must admit I am somewhat surprised by the NRA; I had hoped they would take the higher road in this debate and keep the discussion based in facts rather than hyperbole, because I sincerely believe the facts are on the side of those of us who believe in The Second Amendment as the fundamental protection of our right to protect ourselves. Clearly I was wrong, as they sank to the level of their political opposition and disgraced themselves in the process. So while they say they represent the protection of our rights, their actions lead me to believe they are really not much better than many of the other power-brokers and lobbyists on Capitol Hill, saying and doing whatever it takes to advance a cause.

One of the things I disliked most about the 2012 Presidential election was the massive amount of lies and misinformation put forward by the Obama campaign. I have in the past been outspoken about my beliefs regarding team Obama and their nature as propagandists; quite simply, they do it better than any political team in history. I believe today’s press conference is a good example of this, and while it doesn’t surprise me, it does of course disappoint. President Obama had a chance to really catalyze a much needed conversation, and instead he made snarky remarks about Congressional representatives being more concerned about their “A” grade with the “gun lobby” than with the safety of the nation. Sadly many will look right past his immature behavior and treat it as acceptable, because it is, as they say, "the new norm" in the era of Obama. I expect such sarcasm and half-witted comments from Hollywood types and talk radio hosts; I expect much more from The President of The United States of America.

E Pluribus Unum; Out of many, one. It is our nation’s motto, and it represents the best of the political visions held by both sides of the aisle. The individual is strengthened by the community, but there is no community without strong individuals.

It will require parties from both sides to be willing to deal with each other and make concessions, to be sure. But if we are to move in a direction that serves our future best as individuals within the collective population, and as states within this great nation, we desperately need this President to stop campaigning and stop throwing around snide remarks about his political opposition, and start leading as if he is the President of The United States of America.


Mikki said...

Very thoughtfully written.
I'm afraid I don't have much faith in either side to step up and do what is right.

jay son said...

excellent analysis as always, the last 2 paragraphs were i believe your best.

here is the thing about gun control; if an individual chooses to go unarmed, i believe that is their right, and i do not try to force them into a position which makes them uncomfortable. these same small minded people refuse to grant me the same peace of mind i afford them.

also solly the nra was referencing the armed guards which are paid for by the private school, and not the secret service detail you and i have to pay for. i believe his majesty would NEVER send his kids to public school, which may or may not have a single SRO, if they are lucky. everyone knows the political elite have more regard for their own kids than they do our kids.

another case of do as i say, not as i do.

Anonymous said...

"here is the thing about gun control; if an individual chooses to go unarmed, i believe that is their right, and i do not try to force them into a position which makes them uncomfortable. these same small minded people refuse to grant me the same peace of mind i afford them."

jay son:
I choose to go unarmed. Just by doing so you call me small minded? What gives you that right? I live in a country where I feel that I should not need protection because we have a local police force in each city, village, town, what-have-you, along with our National Guard, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. How is it that because I choose to have faith in those sworn - and paid - to protect me that I am small minded. I never, ever said one word about you choosing to carry a gun. It's time for you to rethink your opinions of others if for no other reason than because I choose to go unarmed that you may call me "small minded."


- Jeff
(Sol's brother)

jay son said...

safety, as well as charity, starts at home.

nice to know you have faith in those sworn to protect you, i actually fit into that category.

read my comment more carefully. the fact you choose to go unarmed is ok with me. the folks driving the "debate" are those who would disarm me, and are unwilling to respect my rights. and that is small minded. that right is my 1st amendment right, to freedom of speech. i still currently have the right to espouse my opinions, whether others agree with them or not.

that you are willing to out source your personal safety to others you do not know, and many times can not see, is truly an act of faith.

all the comments about how when you need a cop you can not find one, and when seconds count, the police are minutes away, are true. ask the folks at aurora, virginia tech, ft. hood, columbine, should i continue?

i do consider it small minded, and without apology, for people who go in harms way to blindly rely on others to bail them out if/when the shit hits the fan.

make no mistakes, we live in a dangerous world and bad things happen to good people all the time. as a small corollary, this is why we all have auto insurance.

most policies generally include uninsured motorist coverage. if the guy that ran the light is uninsured, your shit still gets fixed.

if the cops aren't escorting me around all day everyday, and something bad happens, I at least have the means to defend myself and those around me and don't have to wait hoping the CAV arrives in time.

jeff, do me a favor if you would, and go over to my sight, see what you think, and feel free to comment on any thing you want.