Monday, January 28, 2013

It seems to me....Gun Control

Recent mass shootings have our Executive Branch along with their partners in Congress on a snipe hunt.  You know about snipe hunts.  Kids take unsuspecting and somewhat gullible friends into the woods to catch the legendary bird...that doesn't exist.

What seems clear from the horrific shootings in schools, universities, movie theaters, malls and military installations (think security might be an issue?) are a couple of common links.  Most prevalent is mental illness, including a hatred for certain segments of culture.  The second is criminal past.

In this country we have systems in place for dealing with both mental illness and the criminal element.  But, you've read the stories.  And in every instance the systems failed, allowing those with evil intent to roam freely to commit their well-planned atrocities.

How are those under psychiatric care with a clear potential for violent behavior not identified by professionals in the medical field and given the treatment they need, even if it means committal?

How are convicted murderers turned back out into society only to kill again?

And how are they acquiring firearms?

These are the questions that it seems to me need answering.  But some in our government are hell-bent on throwing the baby out with the bathwater, making certain firearms illegal to the sane and law-abiding.

It seems to me, from what I've read from our Founding Fathers that the 2nd Amendment was inserted to prevent Americans from ever being ruled again by a tyrant.  They knew first-hand how important it was for the citizenry to possess (and be able to use) firearms for something more than hunting and target practice.  They knew that freedom required an armed citizenry.  If you haven't read much, go watch the movie, "The Patriot".

It also seems to me that there is legitimate concern that some, because of their mental troubles or criminal histories of violence should forfeit that right in order to protect the rest of us.

Seems to me that legal gun owners, who will never shoot another human and have no desire to do so, need to do better in securing their firearms so that the criminal element cannot steal them.   Should everyone who purchases a firearm be required to take training that includes gun security?  Seems to me that's not a bad idea.

Those who support the 2nd Amendment point to our freedoms and rights.  And while I'm in agreement with that notion and will vehemently oppose any efforts to weaken the Constitution, it seems to me that with freedom always comes responsibility.

For me the issue is not how many bullets can be fired from a gun.  There's always more bullets.  I have no problem with my neighbor owning a semi-automatic rifle.  One day he may come to my defense.  But if my neighbor has demonstrated he/she is mentally incompetent or has been convicted of a violent felony, any firearm in his/her possession would have me a bit unnerved.

Somewhere there is a solution.  But I can't believe it is "all or nothing" in either direction.

Seems to me we should forget the snipe hunt and deal with how to keep guns out of the hands of the dangerous.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Perilous Days Are Here

For most of our country’s history our foundation has been one of biblical values.  Most of our Founding Fathers held to a high view of the Scriptures and believed their America to be a Christian nation.  At the same time they ensured peoples of all faiths could come here and freely practice their faith without governmental interference or censorship.   

This past week two items in the news made it clear that is no longer the truth.  One reported that tax money contributed by all Americans help to end the lives of over 300,000 Americans via Planned Parenthood in 2011.

The second was the effective removal of an evangelical preacher from praying the inaugural benediction because of his traditional Christian beliefs in sexuality.  Both free speech and freedom of religion were railroaded by our current administration.

Next Sunday, which is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and the day before the inauguration, I plan to talk very plainly to the church I pastor about how our American ideals, that at one time said we were “under God” are being rapidly stripped away and what we as believers must do about it. 

I fear we are crossing...maybe have already crossed a line in this country that will make historic Christianity no longer welcome in the land of the pilgrim's pride.