Enough is enough! (All tautologies are true.)
An empty phrase, right up there with “Do Something!” Unless the people and groups shouting these sentiments are willing to:
1. Detail exactly what changes need to be made.
2. Work through how they would be implemented.
3. Outline how these changes would create the desired results.
4. Accurately define terms like assault weapons and be clear about what you want to ban or further restrict.
5. Stop using phrases like “We need gun control,” implying that we do not already have tens of thousands of laws on the books. And stop the accusatory, self-righteous cliche wars like, “Republicans want to save fetuses and kill children,” and, “Democrats are fascists who want to take your guns and control your speech.”
6. Stop making “need” an argument against gun ownership. No one needs a vacation home, or a sports car, a $500K annual income, or a 3K square foot home.
…then the shouting on both sides is nothing but self-serving grandstanding, guaranteed to squash any fixes.
Understanding issues like this is part of our overall goal of creating better lives for ourselves, our communities and for America.
That is the subject of today’s short-form episode. Please listen or watch on YouTube, like, subscribe, and comment.
N.B. This is a summary, acting as a signpost, pointing you to this episode on both the new Revolution 2.0™ YouTube channel, and where you enjoy your podcasts, e.g., Apple, Google and Spotify.
Now go there…:).
The first thing we must do is abandon, with or without apologies, self-righteous accusations like, “Democrats want to take away our guns first, then our free speech,” and “Republicans want to save fetuses in the womb, and kill kids in school.” That kind of nonsense is part of why we are so divided–and ineffective–on so many issues.
The second thing to do is come up with clear, truthful definitions:
1. I am for banning assault rifles. Spoiler alert, the AR-15 is not an assault rifle. If you disagree, list the armies in the world that use rifles capable of only semi-automatic fire as the go-to rifle in their militaries. Real assault rifles, used by real armies, capable of either burst or fully automatic fire have been banned for many years. This is not a subtle difference–it makes all the difference in functionality. The AR-15 is a small caliber, high velocity semi-automatic rifle. If you want to ban semi-automatic rifles, then stand up and say it. That way we can have an honest conversation.
2. Semi-automatic firearms are capable of firing a round each time the trigger is pulled until the feed mechanism is empty. The vast majority of all firearms in the US are semi-automatic.
Perhaps most importantly, we need to decide if we want to do the easy work of arguing and posturing, or do we want to do the much harder work of making things better? Here are some solid suggestions:
1. Until new gun laws or better enforcement of current gun laws stop all school shootings, allow volunteer school staff members, volunteers who will consistently train and retrain, to carry in school. Along with trained school resource officers who are willing to go in harm’s way to protect their students, this is our children’s first line of defense.
2. Raise the age for buying any semi-automatic firearm to 21. BTW, you can’t rent a car if you are under 21. Speaking of enough is enough, enough with the argument that you can carry a firearm in the military at 18, so you should be able to buy an AR when you are an 18-year-old civilian. The military is highly organized and disciplined, especially with firearms, requiring far less self discipline than when you are on your own, wandering about with a firearm. And if you are male, perhaps impose a huge additional tax. Hey, the auto insurance companies do it.
3. Implement effective red-flag laws. With tight restrictions, and close to a zero chance of abuse.
4. Broaden the requirement for background checks, to include gun shows. I would exclude things like giving one of your guns to an immediate family member.
5. Impose a mandatory seven day waiting period for the purchase of any semi-automatic firearm. Plan ahead.
All of this will yield positive results, but very limited results. Small potatoes at best. The main driver behind young white male mass shootings is the same cultural shift that is behind blacks killing blacks in inner cities. It is the rot in our culture that creates fatherless homes, the entitlement mindset that excuses and encourages everything from retail theft to mounting government subsidies regardless of the capabilities of those subsidized. We are turning our backs on being rooted in an external, powerful and inherently good moral compass. Both as individuals and a nation. Be that God, Aristotle’s teachings or simply the Golden Rule. Respect for properly constituted authority is giving way to different levels of anarchy, be it be real anarchy as exemplified by antifa, or the mini version exemplified by students getting away with being disobedient, disrespectful and increasingly violent with their teachers and administrators. Student defiance is surging at about the same rate that academic performance is deteriorating.
Perspective: When I was in 6th grade, quite some time ago, I remember this singular incident of student misbehavior. It sticks in my mind because as mild as the transgression was, it was so completely unusual. The teacher had to step out for a few minutes, and the class cutup threw an eraser across the room, bouncing it off the back of the head of another student. The class was shocked. When the teacher returned, she addressed the errant student for several minutes, and classroom peace and good order was restored.
Families where the parents are in charge, respect for authority, adherence to a moral compass, and the conviction that education and training, plus hard work over time, are required for success is the bedrock of civilization. Without these things, we will continue to see the deterioration of our American civilization as exemplified in the surge in school shootings. And in so many other ways.
I recommend the gun law changes in this episode. They will result in welcome change, but only a surface change. Kinda like painting over rust. We must return to the basics of a successful civilization as outlined here.
Perhap most importantly, we are no longer saying, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” We are screaming while pointing to everyone from billionaires to politicians, “Do something!” It is never “them;” it is alway us. You and me. Together.
We all have the personal responsibility to take it upon ourselves whenever we want to effect change, be that in our personal relationships, in schools, with firearms use, COVID or climate change. Speaking of personal responsibility, this principle does not stand alone; the two main and interdependent principles at Revolution 2.0 are:
1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
This is Will Luden. We’ll talk again soon.