Monday, May 28, 2012

2nd Amendment

I don't own a gun... but I don't have a problem with them. They're only metal, wood (sometimes), plastic (sometimes). Often, they're also fine engineering, but sometimes, they're half-assed workmanship.

But when it comes to laws regarding guns, I'm much less apathetic. You see, criminals, by definition don't feel bound by laws, rules, statutes, city ordinances, etc. They flaunt the law, ignoring the "rules," and live by their own preferences. Laws that limit/restrict gun ownership don't affect the criminal- he couldn't care less. He'll carry, flaunt, find, and use a gun no matter what the law is. All the laws in the world won't change the criminal's attitude and choices... except maybe inform the criminal of unarmed victims.

Law-abiding citizens, on the other hand feel obligated to .. uh, abide by (obey) the law. They're the ones who become victims when laws are passed limiting and restricting gun use and ownership. They feel that laws are created for a reason and should be obeyed.

A gun is only as "evil" as the man or woman who wields it. It is only so much metal, wood, and plastic. It has no will or desire of its own to be able to chose ill will.

"The whole subject of civilians carrying guns for self defense is discussed too much in the wrong places -- ACLU cocktail parties, gun club gatherings -- all placid atmospheres far removed from the terrifying reality of violent confrontation with the lawless.
"It should be discussed in prisons, where professional criminals are remarkably candid about their avoidance of armed citizens who can fight back. It should be discussed in rape crises centers. Ask a woman who has been raped, whether she ever wished she had a gun when it happened ... and whether she had bought one since. Her reply is likely to be “yes” to at least the first, and often to both. Talk to the bereaved who lost their loved ones to the streets. Talk to those who have been violated in their homes. Ask them how they feel about passive non-resistance.
"And when you have attuned yourself to the haunting fear that lives with them forever after their nightmare, you will be ready to talk with someone else who was in their place, but survived unscathed because they were armed. The contrast will be striking. These survivors don’t put notches on their pistols, and they don’t brag about what they had to do... The taking of a human life, no matter what the circumstances, is an unnatural act, an emotionally shattering experience that leaves its own scars forever. But none of those people regret what they did, and to a man, their first reaction was to go home to their wife and children and hug them, tightly and wordlessly."
                                          -- Massad Ayoob Source: Armed And Alive

The best crime prevention is a gun.. and the best gun control is 2 hands, a rational mind, and practice.

Yes, citizen gun ownership decreases crime. But that can't be the only reason the Founding Fathers wanted the US citizens' right to own a gun protected.

Citizen gun ownership is what allowed this country to exist. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens puts caution in the mind of those with a penchant for breaking the law. Gun ownership is what reigns in the tyranny that lies in the direction our current political government is headed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

When I Die

When you die, who do you want to meet? What do you want to say to them? Or do you just want to listen to them?

Here’s my list (a work in progress)…
Mother Eve-
Eve and her husband, praying.
I want to know what Eden was like. What was it like to walk/talk with Father? How long were you in the Garden? What was really going through your mind when Satan approached you?  What was your understanding of what he was saying? How was life after the Fall different from Eden? How many children did you have? What was it all like?

Sarah the Princess-
I just want to give Abraham's wife a hug. Being barren myself, I can only imagine how difficult it was for her, being barren... and in a day and age when that was a woman’s primary role- to bare children. It couldn’t have been easy seeing a concubine/servant obtain that blessing in her stead.

I want to ask him how he made that paradigm shift when he was in such a horrific place. I've heard the horror stories about how awful the conditions were in those camps.

Anyone involved in developing Claritin-
I love my allergy meds! Yes, I’m gonna hug, kiss, or otherwise express gratitude for their efforts and brilliance!
Elijah called fire down from heaven

He was.. he had moxie!!! Challenging the priests of Baal to what amounted to a priests' duel.. and then calling down fire from heaven! Dang! I wanna know what gave him the courage to do that.

My maternal grandfather-
He wasn’t the nicest man in mortality, but I know he has had a thorough, thoughtful, and loving education that prepared him to be the husband my grandmother always deserved. I want to get to know the man he has become.

Laura Ingalls Wilder-
Wife, teacher, and author

Laura Ingalls Wilder-
I've read her autobiographical series, as well as one of her other books (sorry, I don't remember the title). As a backwoods girl in that day, she was amazingly perceptive, savvy, intelligent, and practical.

Anne of Cleves-
The fourth wife of Henry VIII seems to have gotten the short end of the stick. Some say she stepped off the boat and immediately refused to sleep with Henry because he was clearly not healthy. Other sources say that Henry didn't think she was a virgin and simply didn't like her. *sigh

Leonardo DaVinci-
I did a report on him for history my senior year. I want to know what his life was like, where he got all his ideas... and why all his war machine designs have a built-in flaw.

Thomas Jefferson-
I want to ask him what it was like in those amazing times.. the political flux was .. well, amazing! What was the inspiration that lead to the things he and his fellow revolutionaries wrote?.. and I want to apologize if anything I've done has furthered the decline of this nation.

Who's on your list?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Mrs. Chili

There's a blog I recently started to follow a blog written by a teacher. I'm coming to realize more and more that she is dramatically more liberal than I am.

Like her, I also work with young people. I have "my" boys from the time they turn 11 until their next birthday.

I have 12 months to teach and guide them through their Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class rank advancements in Scouting.

I have 12 months to teach them that I love them, that God loves them, that He has great things in store for them- both expectations and blessings, and that He has confidence in their ability to accomplish all He expects of them.

I have 12 months to give them a confidence in themselves to know they can become the great and mighty men- righteous, wise, skilled, consistent, motivated, loving- that their future wives and children will need them to be, that God knows they can be.

I'm helping to prepare the next generation of husbands and fathers- lovers to their wives, providers to their families, heroes to their children, leaders in their homes and communities.

Yeah, it scares me too. But I know God is on my side- He loves these boys, and He loves me. He will sustain me and make me equal to the task.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Analogies, Parables, and Teaching Stories- Part 1

I've always had a thing for analogies, parables, and the like. As teaching tools, they use every-day situations and ideas to explain complex principles, making those complex ideas a whole lot easier to understand. Often, they can explain ideas that would otherwise be nigh impossible to explain accurately.

Jesus Himself used parables all the time in His teaching. Sometimes this was to make the teaching of a certain principle easier. But often He didn't give an explanation. He simply allowed people to take from the "nice story" what they would- an act of mercy, given that we are each held accountable for following the doctrines we understand.

Here is one of my favorites.

Having been raised LDS (Mormon), I'd grown up singing songs like "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam," and "I Believe in Christ" and taking the sacrament (Lord's Supper or Communion). So when I first heard someone say that Mormons weren't Christian, I really didn't get it!

I asked the smartest guy I knew-my dad- why they would think that, and here's what he told me:

If you define a duck as a white waterfowl with webbed feet, a broad bill, a distinctive waddling walk, and quacks, you'd be right.. sort of. But you'd also be terribly wrong in many ways.

Think of all the wild varieties of duck- not a one is all-white. But just because this is how you've defined a duck, does that mean that all Mallards and Wood ducks aren't ducks at all?

If you define a Christian as a person who believes/believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God/Savior, and believes in the Trinity/believes that salvation is by grace or faith alone/etc.. then you'd be right.. sort of. But you'd also be terribly wrong in many instances.

According to, the adjective christian is defined as:

1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.
6. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) of, relating to, or derived from Jesus Christ, his teachings, example, or his followers
7. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) (sometimes not capital) exhibiting kindness or goodness

When I served as a missionary in Wisconsin, I found that many people over-refined this basic easy-to-understand definition by adding caveats like:
* belief in the Trinity (1- Check out the history of the Council of Nicea and guess how much divine direction was going on there. 2- John 17 refutes this.. unless Jesus was schizophrenic..?)
* being born again as the only requirement (Matthew 24:13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.")


See, only He is the judge of who is and isn't really a Christian. He can look into a person's heart and determine what someone's motives are, if those motives are nefarious or benevolent. Only He is able to determine if someone is one of His sheep.

His sheep know Him. They know His voice.