Monday, December 17, 2012

Too Much

We live in a world of too many guns and too much fear.  That is my take on the recent shootings in theater, mall, and now elementary school. Too many opportunities for those in fear or instability or anger to do great harm to others. We have cultivated a climate where violence is seen as the answer to all our problems and where peace, compromise, and diplomacy are scorned as weak and ineffective.

We have even now many who really think that the answer to gun violence is more guns? Those who would arm teachers, make every meeting place and public gathering an armed camp. And that is supposed to make us safer? They would dare others, in the words of Charlton Heston, to pry (their guns) from (our) cold dead hands". They swear allegiance to the America, but at the same time spread rumors of conspiracies by the same government to take away their precious guns.

Many of these same people who are so committed to their ownership of guns proclaim faith and trust in God. Yet their white-knuckled grip on their weapons and their eagerness to believe every plot rumor that comes down the pike I think speaks against it. It would seem to me that they are placing their security in guns, not in God. There is nothing wrong with careful planning and reasonable precautions against potential danger. But when you hold onto something, anything, to the detriment of friendship and peace, something is seriously wrong.

Those who would put limits on weapons , or call for improvements to our mental health system, are addressing part of the problem. But the solution does not reside solely in these improvements. We must combat our fears and foster peaceful resolutions, so that people are less likely to seek violent answers to their beefs, whether or not they are armed. There must be an active spreading of the message of peace and modeling of it. We must make sure that we are not the cause of conflict, as much as it is in our power to do so.

And we must combat the myths that surround us. We do not have freedom in this country due to armed force alone. We are free because we have been committed, down through the generations, to preserving liberty for all and standing for a unique blend of liberty and law. Remember that the first duty of the President of the US, in the words of the presidential oath, is to " preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States".  Without that and the rights inshrined within it, we are no different than any other nation in the world, and security is simply self-preservation, not protection of liberty.

So what have you done, or what will you do today to spread peace instead of war, love instead of hate, and hope instead of fear?  Blessed are the peacemakers, it is said. Wise words indeed.

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