Promoting Life

As the President explained his rationale for yet another executive order on gun control, he evoked the old “if it saves just one life” canard. The problem is, it won't even do that.

The proposal that we are expecting from Obama is one which would define people who are “in the business” of selling firearms as basically anyone who sells a gun, therefore marginally expanding the list of those who would be required to perform background checks. Based on that definition, I had a banner year in 2015.

The President admitted in last week's radio address that we can't stop all acts of violence, but asked “what if we could stop just one?” So, we're going to infringe on the rights of millions of innocent gun owners in a the Quixotic quest to stop save just one life. But, shouldn't the goal be to save more than one? Rather than nibbling around the edges of the law and infringing on lawful commerce, why don't we try targeting…you know…criminals?

Whenever there is a mass shooting or a terrorist attack, liberals always fall back on gun control as the answer. But these age-old liberal bromides won't work because violence is cultural and the solutions are far more complex. Easier to go after low hanging fruit, pass a meaningless law or sign some worthless executive action and then pat yourself on the back with talk of what is “common sense” and “reasonable” and how we're doing everything we can to save “just one life.”

The sad truth is that background checks won't have any effect because criminals don't acquire their guns legally and many of our mass shooters passed background checks before going on their killing sprees. Banning people who are on secret government watch lists would be a gross violation of due process. Magazine capacity bans will have no effect since there are millions of standard capacity mags already in circulation and all one really has to do (as was the case at Virginia Tech, for example) is pack a bunch of them. So-called “assault weapons” bans will have no effect, as even the FBI had to begrudgingly admit after the sunset of the 1994 Clinton ban. The definition is fraught with inaccuracies — mainly because the people who write them are fools — and more people are killed with hands and fists than with long guns of all kinds (including shotguns).

The fact is, there are steps we can take to address violence in America. But there's no easy fix. It's taken generations to get to this point. Failed domestic policies, cynical and corrupt politics, and a decaying culture have left us with rising crime, generational poverty and seething racial tensions. If we want to really make a difference, and if the agenda really isn’t just gun control, then we should be open to discussing these ideas.

Promoting Life
This is the one thing we must do to reverse our national, cultural decline, and we could start tomorrow if only we had the political will to do it. More than anything else, we need to begin to promote a culture of life in this country. Every life — not just black lives, not just police lives — every life is precious. Every life has value.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” — Genesis 1:27

Every life is a gift from God. We must protect it. We must defend it. At all stages. From the unborn to the very old. Black and white. Young and old. Gay and straight. Man and woman. All lives matter. From the inner city to the suburbs. This strategy must encompass all that we do as a nation. What we value. What we celebrate. What we spend our money on. What we teach. We need to stop pandering to the racist social justice warriors among us and those who come up with slogans to suggest that some lives matter more than others. We need to stop funding the mass murder of the unborn. We need to encourage the natural right of self-defense. We need to stand up for police and the rule of law. We need to show the people in our inner cities that their lives matter beyond what they can do for us politically.

This is not a specific piece of legislation that we can pass and then pat ourselves on the back and say “It's fixed!” It doesn't work that way. We must change our culture. The world and our sinful nature will resist. But if we do not turn from the destructive path we have set ourselves upon, we will follow the way of failed civilizations of antiquity which collapsed under the weight of their own depravity and corruption. We will cease to be America.

Defending the Unborn
At the root of our fight is the defense of life at it's most vulnerable stages. If we are not going to fight to overturn Roe versus Wade, then the very least we should do is to get the Federal government out of the abortion business. I know it's the law of the land but there is a difference between what is legal and what is moral. The problem is that we lost a sense of what is moral and what is right. We need to reestablish that. Millions of Americans, at least half of the country, considers abortion to be taking of a human life. So it is immoral, it is unconscionable, for the Federal Government to take the money from taxpayers who may have moral objections to the practice of abortion and use it to fund the killing of the unborn. Laws like those in Texas, which require abortion “clinics” to have the same safety standards that doctors offices and hospitals do are a good step toward protecting the lives of women who seek abortions. Their lives matter even as they seek to end the lives of their children. The fact that so many of these clinics do not have basic standards for safety and admitting privileges to hospitals is atrocious. These are states-rights issues but our national political leaders should lend their voices in support.

Black Lives Do Matter
Our politicians get worked up into a legislative frenzy when suburban school kids are killed by a deranged lunatic with a gun. But when a couple dozen people die each week in our inner cities these same politicians are largely silent. All lives matter. Which means black lives matter. Too often we see black lives in the inner-city thrown away due to drugs, gangs, crime and poverty. We see black lives thrown away in persistently bad schools. And we see black lives destroyed by abortion. Ever wonder why the majority of abortion clinics in this country are in or near majority black neighborhoods? In New York City more black babies are aborted than are actually born alive. Every one of those babies, every one of those lives is important and the fact that they are black doesn't change the fact.

The black lives of those killed in Chicago every day, every weekend, those lives matter too. On the one hand I can say with a clear conscience that in many cases they get what's coming to them. But it’s also very sad that their lives took them down a road and brought them to the point where they found themselves at the end of the barrel of a gun. I don't blame the guns for that. I blame Democrats and their policies. Policies like the welfare state and a culture of depravity and fatherless families. Sex without responsibility and the gangsta mentality that says women are sex objects to be used and an abandoned once you knock them up.

And yes, we see black lives destroyed all too often in encounters with our men and women in blue. Blacks make up roughly 13% of the overall population, but are involved in 25% of all officer-involved homicides. Liberals and race-hustlers see racism in that statistic. But in reality there is something worse. It should be a warning to the black community that young blacks find themselves in contact with police with such disproportionate frequency. Why this happens is the question we should be asking, instead of jumping to conclude that cops are the new KKK. Fatherless kids too often get involved in gangs, crime, and drugs. They don't learn proper respect for authority, encouraged by slanted media coverage and “civil rights” leaders who blame cops and ignore criminals. Combine that with a culture that celebrates the “thug life” and a justice system that is basically a revolving door, and you are guaranteeing early deaths for too many inner city youths.

While we put all this in perspective we also need to recognize that mistakes are made, and changes have to be made as a result. We need to recognize that bad cops do exist, and they need to be prosecuted and punished. When bad tactics and poor training result in the deaths or injuries of the people the police are sworn to protect, amends have to be made. Ruining a cop's career, paying a settlement to the victims and sweeping the whole mess under the rug does nothing to improve relations with the community and it doesn't help prevent future mistakes. We can't ignore the fact that there is a perception in the black community of police mistreatment. And while it's often exaggerated, it's nonetheless real.

And we have to accept that sometimes these tragedies are a result of bad cops. When that happens, the thin blue line cannot be perceived as covering up for the wrongdoers. The police, like the citizens they swore to protect, are guaranteed a fair hearing in court, but there cannot be any perception that the police are above the law. If crimes are committed, anyone involved must be brought to justice.

Promote Strong Families
Too often, however, bad or non-existent parents don't keep kids on the straight and narrow. We need to come up with ways to encourage marriage and strong traditional families. As our culture has come to define and celebrate the “modern family” as whatever arrangement you want to come up with, the traditional family which used to be the bedrock of the black community is collapsing. The results are all too predictable. High abortion rates and an out-of-wedlock birth rate over 70%. Tamir Rice died because his parents apparently never taught him that walking around a public park pointing a toy gun at people was a bad idea. Trayvon Martin was the product of a broken home, a drug-user, a fighter, and a constant discipline problem in school. He decided to wander around in the dark in a neighborhood where his father was staying with a girlfriend when he caught the attention of an overzealous neighborhood watch captain and then decided he'd try some of his MMA moves on him. That bad decision cost him his life. Michael Brown, far from being the aspiring college student he was portrayed to be, was a thief and a thug, who attacked a white cop and died in a hail of bullets.

You can scream “Racism!” all you want, but the fact is that in each of these high-profile cases the victims died not because they were black, but because they made a series of very poor decisions that ultimately led them to the barrel of a gun. It's safe to say that a lack of proper parental guidance contributed to their demise. That's not to say that their parents are to blame, after all they made their own choices. What I'm saying is that kids with strong, active parents know better than to strong arm rob convenience stores or attack cops, they don't get high on pot and “purple drank,” they don't beat people up for fun or get kicked out of school for assaulting teachers, and they don't walk around a public park waving a gun all over the place.

As long as we continue to blame racism without facing the uncomfortable fact that there is a problem in the black community, black lives will continue to be lost. This is not about race. It's about poverty, culture, and policy.

Blue Lives Matter, Too
It's not fashionable to say, but we need to recognize the importance of police lives. The men and women who kiss their families, leave the house and then spend their days protecting the rest of us, wondering if they will make it home safely each day. While there are some bad cops, as I said, the vast majority are hard-working and committed to serving their communities. They deserve our respect and support.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement and the so-called civil rights leaders in our country have created a level of mistrust and fear between police and citizens that I have not seen in my lifetime. When every police shooting where the victim is black is blamed on the KKK or racist cops, we have a serious problem. When a gangsta rapper can claim that the Ferguson, Missouri police are more dangerous than ISIS, we have a problem. And when our president's first, knee-jerk reaction is to assume the police are at fault in any situation, it simply reinforces the idea that police are racists who are targeting unarmed blacks on a daily basis. That has led to the ambush killings of police in several states and violent protests across the country. The adversarial relationship created between police and the public and the amplification of those problems by the government — the Ferguson Effect, as it has been called — has put the lives of police, protesters, and innocent bystanders at risk.

Where police are abusive or corrupt (almost exclusively in large cities run by Democrats for generations) the Federal Government has a definite role to play in helping clean it up and to restore the confidence of the public. But the government must be an independent arbiter, waiting for the facts, slow to judge, and determined to seek justice, not Social Justice.

Get Tough on Crime
Liberal politicians jump to impose gun control in response to gun crime only to see more gun crime as a result. They scratch their heads, and then scream for more gun control. It never occurs to them that maybe guns are not the problem. Criminals are. Rare are the violent crimes committed by first-time offenders. All too often we find that murderers are repeat felons who should never have had a gun, but somehow got one anyway.

Want to do something about violent crime? Stop putting violent criminals back out on the street. Prosecute those who attempt to buy a gun or who are found in possession of a gun when they are prohibited from owning one. Double the sentences of felons who commit crimes with a gun. Prosecute every felon who attempts to purchase one or who is arrested in possession of one.

Valuing life means prosecuting crime. It means taking violent felons off the street so they cannot harm innocent citizens. It also means that the felons themselves are less likely to come into contact with police while committing additional crimes. That protects police and the criminals themselves from the possibility of a violent death. For example, if the shooter at a Charlotte, North Carolina mall last month had actually been in jail for possession of a firearm by a felon, rather than having been paroled, he would likely be alive today rather than having been killed by an off-duty cop.

Prisons getting overcrowded? Stop releasing prisoners and build more prisons. We waste massive amounts of money in this country every year studying everything from cow farts to why lesbians are fat. Surely we can find enough spare change under the congressional couch cushions to build a few more prisons. In the meantime, ship the worst of them to Guantanamo Bay. I hear we've got plenty of room down there now that Obama has released most of the inmates so they can get back to beheadings, honor killings, child rape and suicide bombings.

Promote Self-Defense
In keeping with the idea that all lives matter and life is precious we should be supporting the right of self-defense. Instead of focusing on gun control that would disarm good law-abiding citizens, we should be supporting the individual right to bear arms, especially for self-defense. And this ties back to the importance of lives in the inner-city. We need a political culture that says the Second Amendment isn't just for hunting, the Second Amendment isn't just for the “traditions of gun ownership.” We need to say loud and clear that the Second Amendment is for everyone. We need to destroy the idea that the Second Amendment is only for whites or people in rural communities.

We want more and more law-abiding gun owners, especially among the black community. And they are needed. Because more and more throughout the country, in majority minority inner-city communities good people are trapped by violence, gangs, and drugs. The politicians that run those cities and their police departments don't trust citizens to defend themselves. The police can't protect everyone and more and more people are coming to recognize this, but in places like Chicago and Washington, DC there's nothing you can do about it because the city government make it hard for good people to actually own a gun for self-defense.

We need to fight to expand gun rights in the inner-city. I want to see every law-abiding black American with an NRA card and a concealed carry permit. We should be promoting that because if we did, crime would dry up overnight and lives would be saved.

Women's Lives Matter
Every year thousands of women are victims of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault. Unfortunately, anti-gun liberals use these hideous crimes as justification for disarming American women by claiming that a gun in the home is more likely to be used against a women in an act of domestic violence. The truth is that guns are force equalizers. Smaller women can more easily defend themselves against larger, stronger men if the women have guns. While it is true that women who continue to live with a domestic abuser probably should not have a gun in the home, those who choose to escape and who even take out restraining orders against their ex-husbands or boyfriends, like the late Carol Bowne, should have access to firearms for protection.

I would propose a federal program to provide training and the funds to purchase a new or used firearm for any woman who wants a gun for self-defense. So long as the applicant is a US citizen and is not a prohibited person. The program should even work to fast-track any purchase permit application requirements in the woman's state of residence if she has a domestic violence restraining order against her ex.

Promote Gun Safety
There was a time when gun safety was taught in the schools. I remember Hunter Safety classes, and the lessons they taught, to this day. Sure, teaching inner city kids about safety when hunting may not make sense, but the negligent deaths we see related to guns could be reduced with focused information campaign about gun safety and safe gun storage. I call them “negligent” rather than “accidental.” Guns, used properly or left alone, are not dangerous. When guns are misused, stored improperly, left where children can access them, that's not an accident. It's negligence.

We have used public information campaigns to battle drunk driving and drug abuse. We should do the same with gun safety. Our blind insistence that we shield children from anything related to guns keeps children in the dark about the importance of gun safety. We must overcome the irrational fear of guns. We don't avoid talking to kids about the dangers of smoking, or drugs, or driving drunk. Why do we avoid talking about gun safety? Liberals hate the NRA so much that they oppose a proven safety program like Eddie Eagle which has taught millions of children about gun safety. We should be partnering with groups like the NRA to develop safety programs for school children.

Using the Bully Pulpit
Maybe the most important change we could make is for our elected leaders, particularly the President, to use his bully pulpit to advocate for cultural change. Too often the President has made things worse or sent the wrong messages. He thanked God for Planned Parenthood, repeatedly made statements about high-profile shootings (like Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown) before knowing any of the facts, and he continues to perpetuate lies and half-truths in his speeches to make his proposals sound reasonable.

We can't tell our kids right from wrong if we don't have a moral foundation that establishes the boundaries. Our political leaders need to use the bully pulpit to speak with moral clarity and continually send out the message of that there is right and wrong. There is good and evil. People used to scoff at Nancy Reagan's “Just Say No” anti-drug slogan. But at least you knew where she stood. Today two major networks are preparing to kick off television shows called “Lucifer” and “Angel from Hell.” We glorify television shows about serial killers and teachers who cook meth. We celebrate rappers and rock stars who sing about sex, violence and drugs. Our political class should not be amplifying and celebrating art that degrades the culture, cheapens the value of life, undermines the rule of law, or sends mixed messages about right and wrong.

Of Course, None of this Will Ever Happen
Call me a cynic, but none of this will ever, ever, ever happen. Not in a million years. And it all boils down to money and power. Entrenched special interests in the abortion, gun control, and “civil rights” industries funnel way too much money to the Democrat party. And let's not forget that politics is Hollywood for the ugly. These people want to dine and hang out with the beautiful people so don't expect them to ever be critical of music, movies or the entertainment media.

In Washington, life only matters if it can provide money or votes. If it's black, poor, or unborn, it might as well be dead.