Like all of you, I am truly horrified and heartbroken for this grieving community. I have really struggled to make sense out of this phenomenon. I believe that we lead every nation in the world in these types of tragedies with the exception of Yemen. Someone may want to fact check the statement that I am about to make, but I read that Florida required a citizen to be 21 before he/she could buy a handgun, but they could buy an AR 15 at 19 years of age. Now, which one can cause the most harm? I think that we all know the answer to that.
Even though I am an avid sportsman and ardent defender of the Second Amendment, I parted ways with the NRA several years ago when they fought so hard for the right for ordinary citizens to own assault rifles and plastic pistols. Both of these weapons exist only for nefarious reasons. I realize the NRA’s philosophy is that if you give an inch, they will take a mile. I also admit that my son owns an assault type weapon and night vision optics. Since he and I both had to go through an extensive background search by the FBI in order to have a federal firearms license for Riverview, which we use exclusively to buy rental shotguns and shells for the company, Cader IV can purchase equipment that might not be so easy for the ordinary citizen to own. If Armageddon occurs, Martha and I will book it over to his house, which only takes us three minutes!
But, I keep coming back to the question of why are these heinous acts occurring? I am going back to my boyhood now, but I recall many of us carrying our shotguns and shells on to the school bus since one of our parents was having a dove hunt after school. The school bus driver would keep them in his possession, and drop us off at the dove field on the way home from school. He would also ask for a mess of cleaned doves as payment for guarding our equipment. When we got old enough to drive, all of us carried shotguns and/or rifles in the trunks of our cars depending upon whether we were going bird hunting or deer hunting. Before any of my generation was ever allowed to pull a trigger, we were thoroughly trained by our fathers about gun safety. I can still hear my dad saying, “Son, there is no such thing as an unloaded gun, and if you ever point that barrel at someone, your hunting privileges are over.”
Now, let me back up a minute and say that we all went to the movies on Saturdays where we watched our favorite cowboys such as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry shoot about 60 times out of a six shot pistol without ever reloading. We also watched the guys at the back of the posse shooting right through their buddies riding ahead of them without ever hitting one of their friends, which was impossible. If a good guy ever got shot, it was always in the shoulder, and he was up the next day in no pain, and wearing a sling around his arm and shoulder. Have any of you ever had rotator cuff surgery? Were you up and walking around pain free the next day? I say all of that to emphasize the fact that we all were able to separate fact from fiction, and we all both feared and respected our weapons. I once lost my hunting privileges for the balance of a season because I forgot to unload my shotgun before climbing a fence.
Now, let’s get back to today’s society, and I want to put forth my thoughts as to why these school shootings are happening in no particular order of importance:
- The breakdown of the nuclear family in way too many homes where there is no father figure to mold and guide boys.
- Too much emphasis on gun control and WAY too little emphasis on mental health issues, which I see as a huge contributing factor to all of these mass shootings.
- Too many violent video games and too much porn on the Internet where human life has no value. Maybe today’s youth can’t separate fantasy from real life.
- The lack of respect for authority figures. If I got in trouble or whipped at school, I got a much worse whipping when I got home. Of course, my first three teachers were all great aunts and HUGE tattle tails.
- We took God out of the schools in the early 60’s but we allow prayer time for Muslims and Satanic cults.
- The desire for notoriety by sick individuals.
I could keep going, but I think you see my point. I started this blog by saying that I am heartbroken and praying for the families who have lost children in this senseless tragedy. Surely, we can find a way to stop this senseless violence. Now, because I hate to write a “Debbie Downer” blog; so let me close with a humorous comment. I have a good friend whose father was a senior Superior Court judge in one of those counties that was once north of Atlanta, but has now been gobbled up by the ever-expanding Atlanta.
Just in case you are unaware of this fact, Georgia consists of two distinct regions—Atlanta and north to the mountains, and impoverished South Georgia. The judge was born in 1904, and my friend sent me all of his weekly articles that he would write to the local paper. In one of those articles, he gave the best definition of a recession versus a depression that I have ever read. Judge Foster said, “A recession is when you have to tighten up your belt a notch while in a depression you don’t even have a belt to tighten.” Well the US is currently in neither of those. After this week, we only have four more weeks of hunting season as we always choose to close before the state mandated closing date. We do that so that we have time to do our controlled woods burning before everything gets too green. As of right now, we still have space to book a few parties in the last week only. The weather, woods, dogs, guides, and cover are all still in great shape. If you want to try to sneak in a hunt or perhaps a second hunt, give Cader IV a call.