Monday, December 17, 2012

Something Should Be Done

From time to time, generally in the days following a crisis, I hear people say, "something should be done." Most of the time this makes me cringe.

As a conservative, I hear this as a plea for more laws, more regulation and more government intervention in our lives.  And as a conservative I see most of these as a greater evil than the problems they try to "solve."  (And when I say, "solve" I really mean perpetuate because if they ever solved a problem, the program would be discontinued.)

But I had an epiphany last night.  My eyes were opened, and I saw the light about how to use the federal government's hammer of funding to solve a problem in a new way. So I am getting on board the "something should be done" wagon.  (As long as it is the right something.)

So here is my proposal.  I propose we have some new legislation.  I call it, "No Child Unprotected." And I think we can use some similar enforcement as the famous, "No Child Left Behind" law where current federal moneys are attached to some policy and assessment criterion.

Here is how this should work. The new law should require, that teachers take a concealed carry weapon's course each year.  (Eventually we can have one specially for teachers, but the one your state currently has for citizens is fine to start with.)  Pass an FBI background check to carry a weapon, and then carry a gun to school, and all school activities, all the time.  (There may be a few exception like a swimming teacher, but then there should be at least one armed school official there whenever there are students.) This program's goal is that there will never be a time in a school where our children can be gunned down like fish in a barrel and no one can shoot back.

I am sure that our law makers can take this simple idea that I articulated in a paragraph and turn it into a bill with hundreds or thousands of pages, but here is the thing, We don't have to make states that don't want teachers to carry guns do so, we just withhold all federal money from a state that fails to protect children this way. So they still have their freedom.

One objection that I see, is that some parents or schools may think that teachers might not be competent to carry a gun. Really? And we let them be teachers? If a teacher can't pass a CCW class and a background check each year, they should not be teachers. And if we don't trust them with a gun, why on earth do we trust them with our children? (I am really not criticizing teachers.  I believe that most of them are great people trying to go a difficult job as best they can. And I believe they would have no problem passing a background check or handling a gun responsibly.)

Another objection would be that these guns might accidentally kill students. While I this would be tragic, I think that we don't ban cars because people have accidents, and we don't ban pools and so many other things that have so much more accidental deaths associated with them, that this objection is mostly, if not completely, caused by misunderstanding and american people getting their information form poorly written movies.

At this point I can't think of any down side to this law. Can someone point one out?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pollyanna

One of the movies that we watch over and over in our home is a movie called Pollyanna staring Hayley Mills.  We especially like the scene where the minister is preaching and keeps saying, "Death comes unexpectedly."  Philosophically, it shouldn't.  We should all know that this life is a temporary moment between the time when we left our existence before with God, and the time when we return to him.  Sometimes we are ignorant of this.  Most of the time we get distracted from it.  And in this state of ignorance or distraction we miss the precious moments we have with one another.

Today, many families were reminded in the harshest of ways. Last year my family and close friends were reminded as we we suffered a loss. If you live long enough, you will feel the tug of the heart strings that accompanies losses like this. And I don't think that faith or knowledge of God and the resurrection removes the sting. Even Jesus wept with those grieving the loss of his friend Lazarus. 

"Death comes unexpectedly." So take a moment today, and every day, to hug your loved ones, say a kind word to people you work with and meet. Forgive someone that offends you with or without intent. Be glad that you have this day to live, that the sun is shining, that you can feel, and experience another moment of this short life. Share that gladness with someone for no reason other than that both of you can share it.

Every person and every moment is a precious gift.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Make America Great


Once upon a time there was a President that gave a speech where he said this famous quote:  "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country?"

Do we know what this quote means?  If we do understand it, what are we doing about it?  There was a time in the history of our country where even people that didn't agree with each other still thought of themselves as patriots.  We still cared about making our nation a great nation.

So here is my question.  "What can you do to make America the greatest nation?"

Yes, not just good, and not just great, and not just one of the great, but the greatest.

First, what makes nations great?

There are nations with histories that go back for centuries.  There are nations that build monuments like the pyramids, (actually the nation of Egypt did, in fact, build the pyramids.) or the Great Wall of China, (which was built by China.).  There are nations that were triumphant in wars.  Nations that do many many things.  But what makes a nation great?

The ability to create wealth makes a nation great.  The greater the wealth created the greater the nation. Its really quite easy to define.  And wealth is not just money, actually it is not money at all.  Wealth is the creation of goods and services. 

Second, what can you do about it?

Many people are being lulled into an attitude where they are waiting for other people to create wealth, to create the solution to a problem, or to do something, anything. But the great question.  The greatest of questions.  The only really question is, "what can YOU do for your country?"

If you look at the problems around you in the world, and despair.  And then go watch TV and see what the latest un-reality show is playing, then you are not doing anything to help with these problems.

But instead if you look at the problems around you and just pick one.  You pick one and say, "What can I do to help fix this problem?"  It may be starting a business, writing a book, invest your time in helping others achieve, or something that I can't even think of.  But if what you choose to do has the potential to increase the wealth of the nation, in other words, create more goods and services, then you have done something for your nation, community, children, and self.

This is how you can make your nation great.