Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Clarity within a tragedy

With a huge national spotlight shining on Sandy Hook Elementary School, causing such a focus on the idea of gun control, I felt I should address the issue.

Before I go any further, I want to express my deepest condolences to the parents, family members, loved ones and friends of all of the victims of the shooting that day.  I don’t have any children of my own so I can’t even to begin to understand the deep sorrow felt by the loss of a child.  I very much love and cherish children, and have a passion to protect, nurture and encourage them.

The reason I started this blog, although it has evolved, was to speak to young people with a message of hope, inspiration and encouragement.

Since I first heard of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School a few days ago, the coverage has brought the preceding subject to the forefront of my conscious mind.  I knew I wanted to address it, but one of my policies has always been that I do not engage in politically charged issues. The purpose of this blog is not to sway anyone’s political beliefs, but rather offer insight, encouragement and hopefully help people to see their own limitless potential that lays dormant inside of them. 

I will not offer any “answers”, only my observations and opinions. 

A quick aside:

I am very proud to have served as a member of the US Armed Services.  One of the reasons I did so is my deep-rooted belief that every human being is entitled to his or her own opinion and the right to believe the way they decide to, WITHOUT ridicule or oppression from others.  I volunteered to enlist and was willing to risk my life (if it should come to that) in service of this country, to hopefully preserve this freedom, among many others.  I will again offer that the following is my opinion based on my observations.

Despite the heightened state of emotional turmoil that this event seems to have brought about, one thing still seems very clear to me: this event has caused a shift in focus from the real issue at hand.

So much focus has been placed on the idea of gun control. I’ve heard some say, “If only he was not able to have those weapons then he never would have been able to commit such a heinous crime.” To this statement, I would offer that the man who committed this crime was mentally ill and would have found another means to express such violent acts, if he didn’t have firearms to do so.  The real issue is the man’s state of mental health and perhaps why it wasn’t addressed before it elevated to the horrific manifestation at the school.   Please don't misunderstand, I am NOT condoning his act, only pointing out another perspective.  

Before guns were available, people used blunt objects, knives, swords, bows & arrows, etc. to express violence.  Those same items were also used in hunting to provide for individuals and families, and for protection.  They are all simply tools to be used for good or for bad.  Much in the same way that money acts as an amplifier of what is in a human beings soul, so does the use of weapons, for either good or bad, reflect what is within a person’s heart. 

There have always been extreme expressions of hate, and equally there have always been extreme expressions of love and kindness.  It is not ours to call into question the objects used to manifest those expressions but rather the person who uses them. 

It’s almost a cliché at this point but it’s not the guns that kill people, it’s the people wielding the guns that make the decision to aim and pull the trigger. 

Before, during and after my service in the military, I received lots of training on how to properly use firearms and posses a level of respect for what they are capable of.  I am also a strong proponent of training and certification on the proper use and safety of firearms being required before someone is permitted to purchase or own one.

If you take guns away from law abiding citizens, who will go about acquiring them legally, the only people who will be left with weapons are criminals who are already breaking the law to posses them. 

An oppressive government very easily controls a people left unable to protect itself. “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment

By giving the government the power to limit ANY of our freedoms, you are saying they have the right to limit ALL of our freedoms. 

Taking away a foundational, Constitutional right, such as owning and possessing firearms, is opening a gateway to other freedoms being taken away.  Where would it stop?

Even if you believe in peace AS I DO, by forcing a choice onto anyone by limiting his or her rights, you have now mistaken oppression for peace.  YES, I want peace in this world but you will not change the human condition or even human nature by taking away a simple tool.  The tool is used as the human being decides to use it.

Peace will come through education and the spreading of LOVE.  As long as there is greed in the hearts of men, there also will lurk the seeds of evil deeds, which take root in the soul and blossom when in the search of quenching the thirst that greed creates.  There are so many more issues which could be addressed that I believe can contribute to peace, and most of them have to do with the foundation of who we are as human beings, not simply a symptom of the human condition. 

I will close with this; you may not agree with my opinions and that’s OK.  I completely respect yours.  All I ask is that you please be respectful of the fact that they are my opinions and we all have the right to believe as we decide to, WITHOUT oppression or ridicule from others.  Again, this is not an attempt to sway your political views, but rather to help offer clarity on the particular subject that has recently received a lot of attention.

As always, everything I write and post is intended with love and only to encourage you.  I believe in you my friend.  Have an amazing day.    

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