Christian nation debate?
I would just like to take the opportunity to reply to some of the statements by Jim Costello. First, let’s start with his differing biblical beliefs statement. The Holy Bible is God’s word. It is specific and does not offer differing opinions or beliefs. Second, he will never find the term, “separation of church and state” within the wording of our United States Constitution. It simply says that the United States will never establish a religion. Because the founding of the United States is based on Christian principals, it is perfectly acceptable for the United States to base all of its laws on Christian teachings. In doing so, that does not force its citizens into a specific religious doctrine. It merely forces them to comply with laws established and developed by a Christian nation.
The U.S. Supreme Court stated that the United States is a Christian nation in the decision in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892. Also, John Jay, our first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is their duty — as well as privilege and interest — of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
In this Christian nation, you are allowed the freedom of accepting or rejecting Christ. You will not be persecuted for having different religious thoughts. Attempting to point out or discuss some truths should not be considered persecution.
— Gary McCall
Once again, emotionalism is the Kryptonite to rational thought for the otherwise seemingly intelligent. Catherine Meeks’ column was full of emotionally charged fluff, with little to no substance. I wish to respond with reason and facts.
First, we must put the mass shooting epidemic in perspective. The statistics for 2013 are that 6/10ths of 1 percent (0.006) of all deaths are due to homicide. 70 percent of those homicides are shootings. So, .0043 (0.43 percent) are due to gun homicide. In 2012, there were 548 fatal gun accidents but 16,688 homicides, according to CDC’s WISQARS database. Using those figures would give us about 384 deaths due to shootings.
Second, I would pose this question to Meeks: What law or set of laws would have prevented any mass shooting in the past 30 years? There is no law that will prevent those with evil intent from committing evil. Studies have shown there to be no positive correlation between stricter gun laws and a reduction in murders.
Finally, Meeks says that our culture is “self-absorbed and mean.” While I mourn the loss of any life, I also recognize the right of individuals to protect themselves. Disarming the American public, as Meeks seems to suggest, would put at unnecessary risk those who take personal responsibility for their own protection. In fact, a 1993 survey by Dr. Gary Kleck (a staunch progressive) found that American civilians use their firearms as often as 2.5 million times every year defending against a confrontation with a criminal and that handguns alone account for up to 1.9 million defenses per year. It appears truly “self-absorbed and mean” to sentence these individuals to physical harm or even death simply because Meeks chooses not to be responsible for her own safety.
The gun controllers, much like their progressive counterparts who state that because I am against the state educating children that I am against education, claim that because I support the right to keep and bear arms I am advocating that citizens be gunned down in the streets. The statistics don’t bear that out, 384 is a far cry from the 2.5 million that Meeks would like to put at risk.
— Mitchell Clark
Ashley P. Hurt, wrote to Viewpoints Monday, asking for new laws to “prevent the mass slaughter of innocent schoolchildren.” Please tell us what law she might propose to accomplish preventing random violence such as in the Oregon community college shooting. Surely she knows what to do, right? No offense, but she cannot legislate away psychotic insane killers any more than she can legislate away evil intent.
Our governing class can do nothing about these rare events and should concentrate on policies that might actually help the citizenry, rather than making people like her feel good about themselves by passing more bogus laws that crazy people ignore. Irrational fear of firearms, evidenced by her claim that the NRA is bribing our representatives, is her problem, not ours. By the way, unlike her, I appreciate the time Congress has devoted to finding out why four Americans were abandoned by their government (Hillary Clinton) in Benghazi, and left to die a horrible death. We owe the families of those brave souls an answer.
— John Brogden
Responsibility fails again
The saddest song, and the greatest sin are all the things that might have been. From the most visible to covert dimensions, when deficit occurs, you can substantially count on the fact that someone, several, or many, have fallen short in responsibility. Accidents don’t just happen. They are created. Misconduct (from misdemeanor to felony) is carried out when homo sapiens “lose it” (mentally, criminally or morally) — and subsequently depend on a peripheral authority, to right the course. Such observations have pressed for adequate response through the ages.
This nation has just been hit again with a massacre by the young man in Oregon. We cringe, we cry, we comment, we pray — we even convey our disapproval (and our condolences to survivors). And we forget. We forget the anguish, the blight, the obligations of appointed and elected officials and yes, even what falls squarely on the general population. Then we implode; realizing that no one is keeping the store.
Somewhere in this crazy scenario, we pass the buck and the failure to somebody else, anybody in reach. Please don’t tell me there remains no solution. I do not claim to be the smartest on the block, but I will not buy that garbage. Yes, guns are here to stay. Yes, there are people who are mentally deranged. Yes, there are numerous other beings who are criminally inclined. Yes, there are statutes which cover all crimes. Yes, there are judicial authorities who work at prevention. Yes, there are others who make policy. And yes, we are grateful for each of them — albeit a great percentage are laboring at half speed or partial interest.
Another expanded group are filling positions with minimal qualifications in knowledge or wisdom. And there are millions who constantly offer a fix, some of which are viable. In short, we have a good idea of what should be done, but fail because of inadequate leadership.
Our national crime rate is horrendous, especially in the past seven years. Statistical data is often doctored in an effort to justify current conditions. No, I do not offer expertise to make all things new, but I do know that what we are doing is not working.
Think what a difference it would make, if the president would stand up and say: “Enough, we will change our methods. We are going to promote self-defense. You may not cease unthinkable pursuits, but know this, someone will be standing close to alter your course and minimize the carnage.” You can bet on it. This would change the complexion overnight. We may not say it right, do it right, propose a proper course, but like water seeking it’s own level, every individual would get their act together or sooner or later, someone will get it together for them.
— Daniel W. Gatlyn, USN ret.