- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
We have gone way past politics now, and we are way past worrying about people's feelings. We need to stop the rhetoric and grow up! Last week there was yet another college massacre at a small community college in Oregon. Some lunatic decided to make a name for himself by shooting up another school. I will not print his name here...ever! I will tell you that he had fourteen guns. I will also tell you that the sheriff whose department cleaned up his mess once sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden.
" 'Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,' Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said in the Jan. 15, 2013, letter, a copy of which was posted on KPIC-TV’s Web site.
'Any federal regulation enacted by Congress . . . shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies.' He also said he would stop any federal agent from enforcing gun laws in his county."
How can this be? How can people sworn to uphold the law arbitrarily decide to break the law? How do we willingly accept and laud these lawbreakers just because they happen to be "standing up" for our beliefs? You want to see anarchy...let's only follow the laws that we find personally pleasing! Honestly, I respect your right to personally challenge a law and take the consequences of that challenge, but to do so please leave any employment position in which your challenge affects the laws of this land.
And while we are at it, we need to change the terminology "gun control!" Control makes people nervous. We don't have "automobile control." We have automobile regulations. I may desperately want to pass a school bus while children are exiting, but I don't feel my rights are being infringed upon when I am forced to stop. I realize that my individual rights might occasionally take a back seat to the rights of the group. When I think people are trying to CONTROL me though, I go back to being the teenager who only wants it my way.
No more GUN CONTROL...just enough regulations to keep us safe. Law abiding citizens can legally obtain protection because they will pass background checks. If they have to renew those licenses like they do automobile licenses, it is not because they themselves are suspect. It is because they are worth protecting from their neighbor who has suffered with recent mental issues that render him unable to safely handle a weapon. If they can't easily purchase automatic/semi-automatic weapons, they can take comfort in the fact that it will be equally difficult for criminals to obtain them.
I am concerned as to who will have the right to make those decisions too, but we need to trust someone. We need to start somewhere, because if we spend all of our time believing that we need guns to protect us from a government gone rogue, we just might miss the fact that the things we most want to protect are being taken by those standing right beside us. I wonder if Sheriff Hanlin still believes that the government is a bigger threat than the twenty-some year old with a collection of guns...the very twenty-some year old whose right to carry weapons on a campus is being fought for every day. I wish the "bad guys" we're distinguishable in a crowd, but they are not, so we all have to give up a little to live in a world where schools are not battlegrounds.
Since the news this week was filled with various battlegrounds, I decided to go light on my choice of books. Joe --The Horse Nobody Loved by Vicky Kaseorg, had me smiling from page one. Vicky tells the story of her youth, fifty years prior, and we are thoroughly entertained by her whimsical way of writing. Her relationship with this once-tortured animal is a lesson for us all. Inner beauty is far more important than a fine mane or a young girl's luxurious head of hair. Recognizing inner beauty in others is a talent we all should strive to achieve.
The second book I read this week, Phone Kitten by Marika Christian, was a perfect choice to lift my mood. The heroine in Christian's tale is desperate for a job after her BFF gets her fired from the one she has, and she finds that being a phone-sex kitten pays exceedingly well. Unfortunately, one of her clients gets murdered, and she decides to investigate. This is a light-hearted mystery that kept me happy.
Happy is what we all need in today's environment. There is so much beauty and joy around us everyday, and sometimes we let the shadows get in the way. It is time to push away the negativity that is creeping into our lives and embrace the beauty and love that surrounds us...and of course...the books.