A Flawed Foundation Weakens the Structure

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“The Perfect Ending” 24 x 18 acrylic on canvas

As I enter the back entrance to my complex, I see cars backed up on both sides of the intersection to the elementary school. Turn signals blink for left on one side and right on the other.  I squeeze past, not with irritation, but empathy. Bus drivers in our area have been negligent putting children at risk and in harm’s way. Parents are simply protecting their prized possessions and trying to keep them safe.

When my own children were spread out between elementary, middle school and high school, I never worried that they would arrive at their destination or return home in the evening. Their bus drivers were long-standing employees that almost everyone knew. I rode the bus myself on field trips and extracurricular activities. The school system and the transportation were institutions we knew that we could depend upon.

“Beach Buddies” oil on 20 x 16 canvas

A whole lot has happened since then. Another school shooting blares across my T.V. screen. A small college town in Oregon this time. What has happened to our once safe nation? Why are the things we have trusted and relied on for ages now vulnerable and exposed to this treacherous form of evil?

I think back to my own upbringing in a similar small college town humorously called “happy valley,” where nothing serious ever went wrong and people seldom locked their doors. It wasn’t because we were “gun free” I can tell you that! We were a Western community, living in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. Almost every family owned guns.

In fall and winter there was deer hunting. Families depended on the hunt for food to put in their freezers. Hunting was not simply a sport, it was a necessity. My father and my uncle managed to stock our freezer with pheasant, deer, fish, and other game. My aunt and her husband supplied us with chicken which ran freely in their yard.

In spite of the fact that people owned guns, there was never any violence. Accidental shootings were rare. Sometimes a hunter who forgot to wear a red shirt may have been glazed on the first day of hunting season. What has changed since that long ago time?

  • We have more people in our country, a larger population.
  • Many of them come from foreign countries where this kind of violence is normal.
  • We no longer confine people who may put others at risk.
  • Mental health is ignored and safeguards are not in place.
  • We no longer value human life.
  • Moral depravity has become accepted.
  • Honesty is for “other people.”
  • Deviant behavior is no longer frowned upon.
  • Anti-gun lobbyists try to keep the lawful from owning guns.
  • Criminals manage to skirt the law and obtain them anyway.

One of the first things Hitler did when he came to power was to confiscate all guns. They were needed for the “Resistance” and to protect Germany. When some people complained about what Hitler was doing in their country, they were arrested and jailed. They had no means of escape or protection.

“With these Hands — Wonder” oil on 20 x 16 canvas

The Second Amendment to our Constitution protects this kind of obfuscation for this very reason. Should tyranny come to power, the people would have no means to defend themselves or to preserve their freedom.

Governments, businesses, corporations work carefully to build a solid infrastructure to support their entities through the highs and lows of success or in downturns. Like solid blocks, this foundation provides a strong footing from which to build.

Some would say America’s ground is crumbling; yet, they seem surprised? Have we not ignored the very values that made this country strong in the first place? We’ve pushed the envelope perhaps beyond the point of no return. Once freedom is gone, it is gone forever. Unless we can remember and restore what made America great in the first place, we will never get it back.

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