Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guns - and Survival vs. ?

Listening to our local NPR station's talk show this morning the question asked was: "If you had to leave your residence suddenly due to an emergency what would you take first?" (excluding children and pets).

One seemingly rational man indicated that if it wasn't as a result of fire to his dwelling, he would have his assault rifle and small handgun to defend himself (as well as food and other provisions). He further indicated that he has these things ready already.

I applied for conscientious objector status in 1969 and have worked briefly in the past seeking the banning of private ownership of handguns.

This man's words lead me to return to several "divides" which seem to separate us in the U.S. frequently where emotion and core belief differences are quite important.

This man spoke of Katrina - and the need to defend oneself against potential assaults or holdups. I would think of the need to unite amongst neighbors and to work together.

We have divides amongst those who wish to go to a "better world of the past" - focusing sometimes on - returning to "traditional families" - without divorce, abortion, gay/lesbian visibility or "existence", with Christianity being emphasized, or sometimes opposed to women working vs: a "liberal multi-culturalism" and openness to changes such as Gay/Lesbian Marriages and stay-at-home dads and other permutations of family and family life where religion is seen as a private belief system which we don't impose upon others.

We have divides of what government and related community are including perspectives favoring a "strong military", an assertive pro-active "war on terror" and cutting taxes particularly for higher income people with "limited government" vs. people who favor - "talking with the enemy" and living in a world that might not have (or an emphasis on) "terrorist threats", as well as "fair taxes" which tax the wealthy and corporations based upon their ability to pay.

Being a "child of the '60's" - whose never left his "liberal roots" I obviously strongly favor one side of these divides. Finding ways to seek common ground and work for change that isn't simply a battle between polarized forces is hard, but important.


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