Overall I’m a healthy person for one about to enter my sixth decade in this life. I do not remember ever having the flu, I’ve never been admitted to the hospital and I rarely need to visit my doctor. In fact, since 1987 when I started working at the newspaper in Owensville, I have missed only one day of work because of illness. That was due to the stomach flu.
That’s not to say that my body is in perfect condition. I do have an Achilles heel. In my case two — allergies and my back. In fact if anyone would check my medical history, I would bet that most of my visits to the doctor were for those two reasons.
We have approximately a half acre of flat ground on our property that I mow with a lawn tractor every few weeks. About a month ago, after mowing this area at the bottom of our hill one Sunday afternoon, I had a hard time standing up straight from the pain in my back.
To help alleviate the symptom of my problem — the huge pain in my back — I took 5 milligrams of Flexeril (a muscle relaxer) left over from a previous back issue and some Naproxen Sodium for the pain.
The problem with these medications is that they only mask or hide the symptoms of my back problem, the pain. They do not cure the problem. Plus, they can have side affects of their own.
I could tell this was worse than usual, so first thing Monday morning I went to see Dr. Ken Warren, my chiropractor. The prognosis was not good — my back and a couple of ribs were out of place. If that wasn’t bad enough I had a bulging disk. It would take more than one session to fix my back this time.
Just like my back pain is a symptom of my back problems, gun violence is a symptom of a problem in our culture.
Gun violence, and more specifically mass shootings, was once again brought to our attention during the first week of August after two mass shootings, in the span of 14 hours, left at least 29 victims dead.
Many are of the mind set that guns are the problem even though both of the shooters from Aug. 3 and 4 had obtained their guns legally after submitting to background checks.
Here’s a fact: Upright, law abiding citizens follow the law. Laws do not, and never have, stopped criminals from committing crimes. We have laws against theft. People still break in homes. We have laws against murder and rape. They still happen.
When I was in high school 40 years ago, friends of mine drove to school with guns in plain sight on a rack in their truck’s back window. This happened all over rural America for decades. They didn’t feel the need to kill others because they owned a gun.
The question is what’s the difference? What is the disease or sickness in our society that is causing people to murder their fellow man?
Former police officer and the president of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins said it better than I can, “The missing component to this discussion playing on an endless political loop is the impact of the moral vacuum created by eliminating values, faith and civility from the public square.” He continued, “Restricting the implements of violence while ignoring the causes is futile.”
In other words God is missing.
It was in 1962 when the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale stopped organized prayer in schools. That was the first blow. Since then the cancer or sickness in our society has continued to spread.
President George Washington in his farewell address had this to say, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Another cause of our nation’s sickness can be associated with the demise of the two parent household. In 2014 fewer than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. This is a marked change from 1960, when 73% of children fit this description, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.
What will the gun activists say after more laws are passed to restrict guns and the senseless violence does not stop?
Overall the United States of America is a great nation but we have a sickness, a cancer if you will, and gun violence is a symptom of this disease, it is not the cause. Until we realize this all the gun control in the world will not solve this problem.
For complete disclosure I am not a member of the NRA. I own two single shot 20-gauge shotguns and one single shot 22 caliber rifle.