Sunday, December 23, 2012

Guest Post: Gun Control is Just a Dodge

Gun Control is Just a Dodge
Bill Hemingway

Guns have always been around in America. I remember growing up in a home where there was a 22 cal. rifle in the corner by the back door. We didn’t always live in the country either. Sometimes we lived in suburbia. In a household with three rambunctious boys, none of us ever touched it. Got my first deer rifle, a 30.06, when I was 14. I still have it today.

In high school we used to bring our shotguns or rifles to school in the morning and put them in our lockers, so after school we could go shooting or hunting with our friends. We didn’t have to sneak them in either – it was an acceptable practice among responsible individuals. Never even heard of a gun accident in those days, let alone a school massacre.

So, if guns have always been a part of our society, what has changed? Guns don't go off by themselves. Someone has to dream up the act and acquire the target. The trigger doesn’t pull itself. Could it possibly be that the society and culture we live in has changed, which affects how individuals react to their environment?

I grew up in a home with two parents. Due to his occupation (U.S. Marine,) Dad wasn’t always there, but when he was there he was helping us, teaching us and setting a good example. Mom always had time for her family – that was her number one priority. She didn’t work outside the home. Dinner was an establishment in our family. Were very rarely ate out. It was the family forum. We had real discussions around the dinner table at night (and other times too.) Besides school, sports and the news, we often talked about right and wrong, moral values, responsibility, the value of work and industriousness – even invoked God as a guiding force.

Not sure how typical our family would be in today’s world. The family structure has really come apart in the American culture. Children born out of wedlock were a comparative rarity when I was growing up. Now it is commonplace. Divorce is about as common as marriage. Single parent families are prevalent. It is hard for mothers to nurture children properly when they shuffle them off for half the day in daycare, or are stressed with work issues.

As children grow up in dysfunctional or marginal families, there are bound to be some casualties along the way. And as greater numbers of these continue to grow, it stands to reason that there are going to be higher numbers of problem children. Few of them will become violent school shooters, but anti-social behavior isn’t terribly uncommon. Most will probably be passive and only damaging to the individual’s personality and functionality, and probably affect only the immediate family. Often though, they are a harbinger of future problems for themselves and society down the road. But, some create significant problems for the parent(s) and the others they associate with, starting at a frighteningly early age.

Some of these children will be helped along they way by caring, dedicated parent(s,) professional services or some other individual or institution that gets involved. Far too many, however, just ride along in the shadows, ever withdrawing or acting out in obscurity. Some parent(s) are incapable or unwilling to deal with these children, so they just ignore the problems and pretend that everything will be OK or will go away on their own. 

While we are on the subject of parent(s,) let’s talk about another common tactic used to cope with children in uncomfortable family situations. Over-indulgence is a generic term that applies. This can be in the form of tangible diversions/bribes, or just accepting and living with bad behavior on the part of the child. Enabling a child to continue to be anti-social or destructive certainly isn’t going to improve matters and is in fact contributory to the problem. They won’t be able hide in a world of make-believe video games all their lives, or expect to get away with or rewarded for bad behavior in the real world. One day, they are going to find themselves all grown up and totally unprepared to deal with life on their own.

Now, this isn’t just a family problem. It is also a cultural and political issue. We live in a society that doesn’t seem to hold a lot of people accountable or responsible. Politicians routinely lie and deceive, and to many it is acceptable behavior. Their personal behavior is also far too often dishonest, immoral and even illegal. These same folks stay in office by buying votes through gifts/bribes, large and small – to individuals, corporations and unions. As a nation, our “leaders” have taken us into an indebtedness that is unconscionable. 

The system practically encourages the chronic loafer to take up to two years of unemployment benefits. Disability and food stamps are showered upon the needy, itinerant and lazy alike. Aid to dependent children programs foster illegitimacy and abuse. Its companion, subsidized abortion on demand, absolves men and women of their promiscuity and responsibility. America is also a country that even rewards illegal immigrants by not only giving them unearned benefits, but even special privileges. 

So, coming back to the matter of incidents involving guns, it seems to me that we are focused on the wrong part of the problem. Guns aren’t killing anyone. It is an increasingly dysfunctional, irresponsible and corrupt society, that is spawning greater numbers of psychos who resort to violence. Guns are sometimes their tool of choice. We need to hone in on re-establishing a stable, responsible, moral nation. There is a need to clean up destructive government programs that are counter to good order, productivity and responsible citizenship. We may need to dump a lot of the current political class along the way. 

Solid family structure and its benefits need to be taught, preached and encouraged. Mores and programs that undermine this most important of all institutions need to be changed or abolished. There is a lot of “un-learning” that needs to be accomplished. When a society has been subjected to educational programs, movies, television, celebrities and role models who have glorified indulgence, greed and immorality for decades, there has to be a new construct model, and the training and support implemented to make the change. Government needs to get out of the way and parent(s) need to take responsibility for themselves and their families. God and religion, that provide the basis for good in the world, have to be re-woven into the fabric of America.

No amount of government laws, rules or intervention will fix the problem. Bad or deranged people will always find a way to get guns or machetes or chainsaws or poison or explosives. Disarming the responsible public only makes them defenseless to the threats. Unless we seriously address our societal ills, we aren’t going to be able to stop the evil acts they generate. 


1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how our current political spectrum seems to boil down this simple difference in approach to the role of the traditional family in society. After all, the acid test for whether you trust your neighbor is whether you would trust them with a gun (or with your money).

    It seems that liberals accept that "problem children" will become the new norm. Given that, everything else related to nanny state-ism follows and is probably necessary. As for trying to return to traditional societal norms? Simply put, not cool. Who wants to work for a living, be married to one person of the opposite sex, and spend the rest of their time fixing things around the house? Booorring.