Raise Gun Controls Or The Spirit Within Us?

Nor' east Thinkin'

More gun controls may spur more illegal weapon ownership and still more violence until we attempt to fix core issues causing violence.

Published on: December 19, 2012

The Sandy Hook, Ct., school massacre pierced most of our hearts. It's also likely to shatter America's gun control shield when it should force us to face a far more pervasive crisis – our broken foundation impacted by America's moral decline.

Sometimes, these tragedies help turn our minds to far greater issues than the day-to-day ones we wrestle with. Why wrestle with it here?

Two reasons: We have a number of farm family readers in the Newtown area. And, huge societal issues impacting you and me may reach the tipping point arising from this horrible incident.

Even before most of those 20 young children were laid to rest, the temperament of liberal politicians shifted from mourning to indignation. Even President Obama swore to "use whatever power this office holds . . .." We can hope he means urging Americans to return to the faith of our forefathers, and seek guidance from that far higher authority.

But he's more likely to set his sights on a far lower target – gun control. Even if he exercises his "executive order" authority, America would be far better if any measured response would ring out first in the halls of Congress.

In a tear-filled room at Sandy Hook, the President wondered aloud: "Can we say that we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? If we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. And we will have to change.

"What choice do we have?" continued Obama. "Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?"

The answer is a resounding "No!" The choices may be hard. But they are greater than those he envisions.

Our nation's leaders must be careful what they choose. Otherwise, they'll further fragment the growing divides within our society.

Consider these defining issues

* Right to defense: All Americans have the right to defend themselves. I have several guns: one for hunting, one for personal protection.

Local law enforcement most often responds too late or are ineffective, often due to being overwhelmed by the sheer number of situations they must respond to. That can be fixed. More on that shortly.

* Growing fear of government and violence: Due to growing fear of federal gun controls, weapon and ammunition sales have skyrocketed in recent years. Most of those weapons weren't bought to go deer, duck and pheasant hunting. But I struggle with the justification of selling automatic assault weapons and 30-cartridge mega-clips – for protection or sport hunting.

The firearms industry logged a record $31.8 billion in 2011 munitions sales, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation – up 13% from 2009. Even before Sandy Hook, 2012 guns sales were primed to explode past that if a record 16.8 million FBI background checks (as of Dec. 1) for gun purchases were any measure. After the President's comments, background checks and gun sales exploded again.

That's just legal firearms. Adam Lanza's weapons, even the .223-caliber AR-15 rifle, were legal, but owned by his mother.

Firearms used in crimes are overwhelmingly illegal weapons, according to the Laws.com website, and untrackable because they're unregistered. Some 86% of juveniles in correctional facilities owned at least one illegal gun. And, 65% of juvenile offenders tend to own three or more.
In Rochester, N.Y., it's reported that 22% of all young males in the city – not just juvenile offenders – have carried an illegal gun for some time. So, how does one control guns without infringing on the rights of legal self-protection in an increasingly violent society? Where does Uncle Sam draw the line? I haven't a clue. But this issue, too, can be fixed.

* Education's demise: Much media focus centered on Lanza's mental state. If you have a child with Asperger's syndrome in your family, you'd recognize some of the symptoms of this high-functioning form of autism.

My grandson has it, as do children of several friends. While these children aren't the easiest to raise, they aren't mentally ill. They do require, however, exceptionally sound and patient parenting and schooling.

They can be very productive members of society. Albert Einstein and agriculture's own Temple Grandin are noted examples, as are many techies. They think and act outside the normal human box.

Many schools, however, are ill-equipped to do the job and becoming more so. With continued funding cuts, these children are far too often "mainstreamed." Then we wonder why some – not all – become troublesome as adults. Yes, this can be fixed.

* Stop 'white-washing' our moral decline: We've white-washed the innocent spilled blood with an "anything is okay if it's personally okay" world view. Too many ignore the growing insensitivity of children and parents indoctrinated by extremely violent video games and dysfunctional television role modeling – substitutes for sound parenting.

Yet, politicians want to patch-fix this underlying threat with still more gun laws and less censorship. It's more politically acceptable than suggesting that our moral decline is due to personal failures to make decisions based on Biblical values.

Today's America doesn't have the moral foundation of the writers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our greatest leaders who defined us – Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln and others – repeatedly warned that democracy cannot survive without submitting to the ultimate authority – God.

We must face it as a nation, and attempt to turn it around. Yes, it can be done if we have leaders with enough insight and backbone.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee nails it: "We’ve created an atmosphere in this country where the only time you want to invoke God’s name is after the tragedy. Then we express our surprise that a culture without Him actually reflects what it has become.

"We don't want to talk about eternity, life, or personal responsibility and accountability to God. If we don't believe that, we have no fear, unless the police catch us.

"But one day, we'll stand in judgment before God." And Huckabee adds that more gun controls won't stop school shootings and fear in the streets “until you change people’s hearts.”

He "gets it." You, our readers, likely get it. But far too many don't or won't. That's why we still have more misery in the making – until we fix it.

What do you think?

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  1. Dave says:

    I like the comment from the rancher on 1/16/2013. I think if we had more business people in govt. and less lawyers live would be simpler.

  2. naggymaggy says:

    By the way, my son played Grand Theft Auto and many other 'violent' video games and is still one of the sweetest, most compassionate humans on the planet. Good Parenting is the answer -- nothing else -- but that's a huge, life-long commitment!

  3. naggymaggy says:

    Taking Military-style guns and their 100-bullet clips off the market does nothing to endanger the 2nd Amendment. If the fear-mongering Gun Lobby (read NRA) had not paid big bucks to their Congressional Reps to take the Teeth out of all the 90's Gun Control Legislation, the ATF could affect a reasonable amount of control over the ridiculous number of illegal firearms in this country. Read the 'revised' legislation for yourself -- Toothless!

  4. Rancher says:

    Let's tell it like it is. These children needed protection, they didn't have it, and what happened is so horrible that it is demonic. Lets get real, and start protecting these innocent children where they need it, when they need it, or else shut down these schools where God has been told to stay out. Let's put some responsible people with self defense weapons where they need to be, when they need to be there. If the children would have had a responsible person there with the ability to protect them, they would be alive today, and so would the adults. And we forget that the first victim was the mother, in her bed. Obviously the punk should not have had access to those weapons, and if the mother didn't realize that, why didn't some responsible person tell her. What kind of video games did this punk play with? What kind of movies did he watch? How many punks are there out there who are unable to tell reality from fantasy? Of course we could always put a bigger invitation sign on the school house doors, telling these punks that entering is against the law!

  5. Dave says:

    To Clark Lawrence The first laws recorded in history were from God. If more people read the bible daily we would be more like our founding fathers. I believe if it was use in the school we would have less problems.

  6. Dave says:

    Most people don't even understand seperation of state and church. The constitution was writen by religious men and much of the content was based on thier understanding of the bible. The gov't even use to print bibles for schools to teach basic religion and morals to the children. I would suggest everyone to read the book The 5000 year leap by W.Cleon Skousen. After reading this book you will see how far we have strayed from our original republic type gov't that was influenced by the hand of God.

  7. Tom Williams says:

    If it would be possible to reinstate the state hospital system in a more humane way that the families with members who's condition need close supervision would have a location to live with some productive activities included in the treatment would many of the shootings be prevented.

  8. Gerry Ruestow says:

    John Thank you for not being afraid to state the real problem in this country. The " Leaders " in our governments needs to be more in tune with the real problems and not just pandering to continue to be elected.

    • David Schader says:

      John I wish more peaple like you could see the real problem that is happening in this country. The morals and standard that were once in this country have been flushed down away. We need to get God back into the center focus of teaching into our school. We need to be more careful who we elect into office, We need to get back to strong core value family living. If we want to be free people as our forfathers were and once again surve under a Republic government we must become virtuous and morally strong and becareful to elect people with the same standards. Dave Schader

      • Clark Lawrence says:

        I find Dave Schader's paragraph above - riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, (One might forgive "forfathers", but "peaple and surve"?) let alone his distinct lack of logic - proof that what America needs is a better education system, but I do not think it has to be based on God (whoever s/he is) or what some people hold as Biblical truths. Why is it so difficult to understand that being virtuous and living morally doesn't involve believing in God? Even John Vogel's argument cannot stand because it speaks of America's forefathers and their beliefs without apparently knowing much about America's origins or history or what men like Thomas Jefferson actually believed in or hoped for our country. It is time for Americans to read their writings - including the Constitution. It's time to study history books more and the Bible less. Time to keep our religious views and opinions (there are many to consider) in the church, temple, synagogue, mosque, cave or tent but OUT of politics and law making. Gods should have nothing to do with governing a free country like America. Plan B: We can continue to write illiterate, illogical comments on internet pages, believe whatever sweet stories, miracles, and parables we hear, and join the millions who jump blindfolded and uninformed onto many different God-fearing bandwagons that constantly crash everywhere around the world. America needs a better education system, yes, and a complete separation of Church and State.