My last blog was written about the basic pistol shooting class I took recently. Some time has passed I realized improving my skills with the handgun was empowering. Very similar feeling when young children learn how to ride a bicycle, pitch a tent or build a fire. Life should be about acquiring skills or refining the ones you have. I am a confident, self reliant and motivated person. I was not born that way, very few of us are. Solid family that instills work ethic and desire to learn was the best start I could get. Many readers at this point start asking questions. What’s with this bragging fest and how does it have anything to do with empowerment.
Here is your answer, not mainstream but I tend to think outside of the box.
The fact is America’s children are paying horrible price for breakdown of the most important fabric of our society, family. Most of us middle aged and older grew up with having both of our parents around, spending quality time with the grandparents, ants, uncles etc. Most parents did the disciplining and kept our focus on school, while the extended family allowed us to be more creative, taught us how to try and fail and broaden our horizons. I would not be part of the gun community today if it was not for my grandfather. We can’t say the same about most kids these days. There are many reasons. Mobility is one. Parents are able to or have to follow lucrative job opportunities, many times putting great distances between them and the grandparents. Not necessary ideal situation for development of strong, self reliant child. Liberals believe more time child spends on her or his own growing up the better off they’ll be in life. I am of the opposite. Provide warm yet competitive environment with all the family help and support and you’ll very likely have a valuable member of society. Break up of the traditional family structure because of the mobility is one reason. Government programs of financial aid to “incomplete” families is another. There are incentives for biological parents not to be together and create void in child’s life. When government (actually the hard working tax payers because government does not make any money) subsidizes bad behavior and mistakes it only makes the problem worse.
Social programs are truly good idea. Who would not want to help someone less fortunate? The problem I have is with bureaucratic government running these programs so poorly and inefficiently. We are not here to solve these issues that is done at the ballot box.
My suggestion, after working and being around young people last couple of years, is to create program to empower good behavior, learning and decrease the fears of unknown in a fairly unconventional way. Many will think I lost it completely or that I became an extremist. I would like to ask all readers before you allow the emotions and ideology to get best of you to try think clearly.
I think we reached a time in our country history where we can reconsider our gun policies and stop looking at firearms as pure evil. The Second Amendment provides us with the right to bear arms and we have proven over the last 237 years we are the most peaceful, law abiding free society the man has ever known. I do not know the exact numbers of random acts of gun violence with multiple victims. I’m sure the media does because they exploit those events to gain viewership though. The overall crime statistics are at all time low. The gun ownership is not the only reason, great preventative work of our local and state law enforcement, rise in country’s wealth (that does not mean wealthy people only but overall prosperity) and democracy at work are just a few reasons for decreased crime rates. Not a bad track record for supposedly “violent” society,most people in civilized world would love to be part of . Regardless of all the anti-American propaganda here or abroad.
Let’s establish programs where young people have opportunity to learn and refine skills like firearms safety, marksmanship and expand general awareness of guns and their power, physical and sociological. I would even suggest to individual states to be part of these programs or sponsor them. Not the federal government, they have no idea what individual states needs are as far as their youth. Would I like to see mandatory state sponsored camps, courses or classes? Sure, the reason why will come later. You will accomplish several goals at the same time. More awareness results in less accidents, gaining another skill means higher self esteem that leads to less troubled activities and finally well educated armed citizens are the first and last resort in defending freedom. I have to admit I am not worried about the U.S. Government turning on its people. That is not necessary, we will self-destruct at the ballot box way before that.
Two examples. Switzerland and Israel. Yes we are much bigger country and we have the most powerful military in the world but having ordinary citizens knowing they can contribute in defense of their country makes them anything but ordinary. Swiss enjoy a mandatory military service and at the end they are allowed to keep their service rifles with them at home. Government actually provides ammunition and mandates time at the range even after the conclusion of their required service. The Swiss have enjoyed neutrality and peace throughout their country history. As one Swiss man said (and many others for that matter): ” The highest form of freedom is the ability to defend yourself”. Same applies for Israel, tiny democratic country inside of the world’s “powder keg”. Mandatory military service for everyone. It is the only way the country’s readiness overwhelms their enemies just outside of the borders and sometimes within.
These might be unreasonable ideas or suggestions for most. Most people today have been fortunate enough to grow up in such a long period of time of peace and prosperity they assume the rest of the world has gone through similar process since the end of WWII. Not the case.
Full disclosure. I personally went through the mandatory military service in what was then Czechoslovakia,member of the Warsaw Pact. Basic training was fun acquiring some skills we never used again, but we went through it together with my peers. Everyone had to, except medical exemptions.
I am not calling for mandatory military service because the first requirement would be a major change to our foreign policy. I hope to touch on that theme in the future blogs. Mandatory firearms training would greatly decrease the negative myths surrounding guns and increase youth’s understanding of their power. We will always have bad people doing very bad things, that is unavoidable part of free society. What can we do to minimize it?