America

If the following sounds disrespectful I have achieved my purpose. The person currently serving as President of the United States has no claim on my respect. I am merely glad that I completed my military service long before he became the Commander-in-Chief. 
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I listened carefully to the President's speech regarding Syria and remain unconvinced that he knows what is going on or what to do about it.

Strategic bombing such as he proposes in retaliation for Syria's purported use of chemical weapons, has never worked, not once in all of history. Only Reagan's tactical strike targeting Muammar Gaddafi personally achieved its intended goal. Only if the Administration can produce compelling evidence of Assad's complicity in an actual violation of International Law would I support such a limited attack.

Moreover, the proposal to take control of Syria's remaining chemical weapons is totally impractical, thus further demonstrating the President's lack of experience and competency. Such weapons are dispersed over more than 50 military installations in Syria, most in the middle of active combat zones. How could any personnel arrive their safely with the equipment needed to secure or destroy those weapons? No, the President is merely grasping the tail end of a poor idea advanced by others to extricate himself from the diplomatic mess that he's gotten himself into.

The greatest damage of this event is that the President has surrendered world leadership to a sociopath in Moscow. What little prestige he had remaining is now lost forever. He should play golf and leave governing to the adults. 
 
 

America

I found the following cautionary tale posted on Facebook by a family member. Whether or not the events described actually happened isn't important. I'm sharing it because it's true...
I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the coming implementation of the health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:

They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard a young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.” 

A young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market wouldn't work for health care.” 

Another said, "The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.” 

At this, I had more than enough. I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?” 

They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.
“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?” 

They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.”
They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point. 

“I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money whatsoever. Anyone interested?” 

In unison, a resounding “Yeah” fills the room.

“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.” 

I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust. 

“I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.” 

Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces. 

The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?” 

I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.” 

They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.” 

I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.” 

They gaped at me for a moment. “I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them. 

“Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked. 

The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh yeah! Where do I sign up?” 

I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction.”

I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature. 

“Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice. 

All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.

“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere to from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” 

I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.

“Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated. 

“You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.” 

The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people. 

“You can shove that stupid deal up your a** old man. I want no part of it!” exclaimed the now infuriated young man. 

'You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends. You cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.” 

At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent. 

“What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn, and for that which you did not earn, you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away. Therefore, it is not freedom at all.” 

With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”
I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation -- and was surprised by applause. 

The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you, Sir. These kids don’t understand Liberty .” 

He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one. It is an honor to pick up the tab.” 

I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.
"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian."
                                                                 -- Henry Ford
 
 

America

Once upon a time, we had choices worth making. Truman or Dewey. Eisenhower or Stevenson. Kennedy or Nixon. Johnson or Goldwater. The lines were distinct. The parties were well differentiated. Then something happened. The lines blurred. Both major parties abandoned their principles and values, and focused on building collations of voters, promising to champion groups with agendas so diverse that a promise to one is as good as a threat to another. As a result, many voters abstain out of dismay and those who attend the polls hold their noses as they cast their ballots.
I began to suspect that the problem begins long before election day. Someone appears to be making choices for us, deciding which choices we will have. This past Monday, I went in search of them. I attended a county-wide central party committee meeting.

I wasn't alone. There were many first-time attendees there. It seems that I'm not the only one beginning to suspect that there's a problem that needs fixing. We were welcomed with warm smiles and firm handshakes by the party stalwarts. Two party hopefuls pitched appeals for party support in next year's elections.

The first candidate was a likely young man determined to be the next secretary of state for California. Not only did he make a good appearance and speak well, but also he had a compelling story to tell. Remember the City of Bell, California? That's the one where five of six elected officials were convicted of multiple counts of misappropriating funds and paying themselves huge salaries while raising taxes on residents. The City Manager was also convicted and became the face of government run amok. Interestingly, the candidate I listened to was hired as a consultant to turn the city around, and he did. Magnificently. Bell now has an excellent credit rating and one of the most transparent budgeting processes in municipal government. This candidate focused on engaging the public in the city's decision-making process. Citizens who used to refer to their city hall as “The Kremlin” now participate regularly in self-governance. He accomplished all this during a time while other California cities are following Detroit into bankruptcy courts.

This candidate for the party's nomination went on to outline how he believes that he can use the power of the Secretary of State to repeat his performance and help the state and other counties and municipalities duplicate the success he had in the City of Bell. It sounded reasonable.

The second candidate is a member of the California legislature who has set his sights on being the next governor. He used his experience tilting at windmills in his present office to incite the assembled party faithful to his cause. Unfortunately, he mistook oratory volume for passion. He began by whipping up the crowd with complaints about the social policies of the incumbent. His message may have had its appeal to many among that audience, but I imagine that this approach will invite the opposition to incite their base by focusing on their particular social agendas while ignoring the larger issues of California's economic woes.

Now, which candidate will the party support in the primaries and which will it not? Those are the questions that will be answered long before you or I reach the polls. Personally, I don't think that I can wait that long. Do you?
 
 

America

Let's not compare President Obama to history's infamous dictators. He is neither infamous nor a dictator. Well, not yet. However, it is safe to say that anyone who lived in Germany, China, or the Soviet Empire during the reign of these infamous dictators would never dare make fun of them. Likewise, it isn't safe making fun of President Obama.
No, the rodeo clown who made fun of President Obama wasn't shipped off to some gulag. Well, not yet. However, he did lose his job and that's pretty serious these days when jobs are hard to come by.  
Why did the rodeo clown lose his job? Fear. Therein lies the similarity between Obama and these infamous dictators. They ruled by fear. Fear, it seems, has become a weapon of this Administration. Fear that the government is monitoring what we say and do. Fear that there will be repercussions for those who oppose this Administration politically. Fear that the law will be applied unequally to those who poke fun at the President or criticize him.

It isn't necessary for the President to direct actions against those who disagree or poke fun at him. Responsibility still devolves to him regardless of who takes action on his behalf. That is the nature of leadership. With power comes commensurate responsibility. It's possible that no one ever explained that to the President. Remember, he has never held any position of executive responsibility before becoming President.
Also, don't think that lampooning a sitting President is anything new. Not by a long shot. However, it seems that those who came before President Obama have thicker skins. That's something else that comes with experience.
Do you think that Americans will have learned their lesson? Will they ever again elect someone without any demonstrable qualifications or experience to lead the nation?
 
 

America

Sweet, charming, gracious – the image of a Southern Belle in her maturity. Racist? Absolutely. Who has she harmed? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can hurt me.” They hurt me.
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Paula Deen and racists like her have been hurting all Americans for many decades. They perpetuate stereotypes that denigrate our nation and prevent our people from living in peace and harmony. The words she spoke will linger for decades to come, continuing to harm not only you and I, but also the generations that follow us. No apology can unring that bell. It will reverberate in speeches by those who profit from strife.

I am particularly offended by Ms Deen's behavior because it exposes the scars that I bear of having been raised by a racist. My father was indiscriminate in his discrimination. He hated everyone who was different. I don't believe that I heard words like “African-American” (“black” was in vogue when I was a boy), “Asian”, “Italian”, “Pole”, “Chinese”, “Japanese”, etc. All people who were different were identified by racial epithets in our household. All people except Germans. He adored all things Germanic. He self-identified as German even though all his predecessors were Slovak. He was obviously ashamed of being Slovak. 

Unfortunately, some vestige of my father's bigotry persists in my family and I find it difficult to be around them. Even though they have been warned that I will not tolerate hate speech, let alone hateful acts in my presence, there are slips that lead to uncomfortable confrontations.

Thus, it is no surprise that my first novel dealt with racism. Racism rears its ugly head in the main plot line and we learn that it has been the guiding force in U.S. Foreign relations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Apparently, Americans of European descent have little more regard for Iberians than they have for Africans. A subplot in my novel is also an outgrowth of racism wherein my protagonists pursue romance and marriage even though faced with antimisogyny laws that forbid their union.

Now, Ms Deen is sorry, very sorry indeed. She has been fired by FoodNetwork TV. More than the loss of income, she will suffer from the loss of public exposure that has driven her successful enterprises in selling books and kitchenware. Such retribution will escape the attention of those who argue that racism continues to thrive in America. They will continue to fan the fires of racial division and unrest, and all America and our progeny will continue to suffer.

Will bigotry ever be put to rest? Unfortunately, no. It thrives in the dung heap of ignorance. Although we may stifle its influence in our law and our public institutions, we will never completely eradicate it from society. That is why it is not enough to simply refrain from its practice. It is not enough to shun bigots. All people of good will must speak out against bigotry and discrimination and act decisively to stop it.
 
 

America

DESPITE THE CAPTURE of the Boston Bombers, many people have been decrying the infringement on privacy in the techniques used to identify and apprehend the culprits. Thousands of photos and videos were analyzed during the investigation. Virtually everyone in the area of the bombing or transiting it was identified. Was this an infringement on their privacy? Does anyone have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place? NYPD Police Commission Ray Kelly doesn't believe there is. He wants more video cameras in more public places. In an interview on WNYC, he opined that the Boston Bombing “takes privacy off the table”. 
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Was privacy in a public place ever “on the table”? Constitutional scholars have been debating the right to privacy for almost as long as there has been a Constitution. An article appearing on the website Exploring Constitutional Conflicts offers an excellent overview of this issue.
The U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information. In addition, the Ninth Amendment states that the "enumeration of certain rights" in the Bill of Rights "shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people." The meaning of the Ninth Amendment is elusive, but some persons (including Justice Goldberg in his Griswold concurrence) have interpreted the Ninth Amendment as justification for broadly reading the Bill of Rights to protect privacy in ways not specifically provided in the first eight amendments. 
However, your appearance at a public place is hardly private, is it? If it were, eyewitness testimony might be barred at trials. Indeed, some might argue that eyewitness testimony should be barred. It has been proven highly unreliable. Many innocent persons have been incarcerated on the weight of faulty eyewitness memories and perceptions. 

For best viewing, scroll right and enlarge to full screen after starting the video

A recent program on the National Geographic Channel, Brain Games, also clearly demonstrated this fact. After viewing it, I was seriously left in doubt that I would ever volunteer eyewitness testimony. I can sing commercial jingles that appeared on television in the 1950s, but I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast. It's a common complaint of my age. No, I think that I prefer having video cameras record occurrences in public places. How about you?  
 
 

America

I RECEIVE REGULAR missives proposing that we rewrite the Constitution. You've probably seen them, too. They come in chain letters passing from computer-to-computer around the Internet. They originate with members of both sides of the ideological divide. I don't pass them on because, more often than not, their concerns are rooted in their ignorance of constitutional law. The problem is that schools today are staffed by teachers who were never properly educated in the Constitution. How can they possibly teach anything they so poorly understand themselves?
There hasn't been much attention paid to the Constitution in our schools since this episode of Schoolhouse Rock, “The Preamble”, was aired in 1975. Civics has disappeared from most school curricula. Today, civics education testing is required in only nine states for graduation from high school. Citizens are urged to vote to fulfill their civic responsibility, but there is no emphasis placed on their responsibility to understand what they are voting for. 

I don't suppose that anyone would be thinking about the Constitution if it weren't for the Tea Party. Much maligned as racist, homophobic, Islamiphobic, etc, the truth is that they have at least brought the Constitution into the public conscience. People are talking about it. Some few may have even read it. In essence, it has come back into our lives. It's been absent far too long.

As a student of law and history, I have frequently been frustrated in discussing anything across the ideological divide because few others know anything about the structure of our government. They want to change what they do not understand. When I ask them to explain their understanding, they become frustrated by their ignorance.

The Public Broadcasting System has chosen this moment to stimulate the dialog. They are producing a four-part series, Constitution USA, that will begin airing on May 7th at 9:00 pm EDT (check local listings).

I can't say if the PBS program content will be fair and unbiased. Many argue that PBS management is biased towards a liberal/leftist/progressive ideology, and there is evidence that this may be true. However, in my opinion, any discussion of the Constitution must be helpful. Even if PBS distorts it, those distortions may then serve as talking points from which future dialog can grow.

So, mark it on your calendars – May 7th. Watch the series. We can get together afterwards and debate. However, if you are inclined to argue that the present Constitution is out of date, in need of reform, or should be replaced, you should first understand the one we already have otherwise I won't lend much credence to what you have to say.
PJTV host Scott Ott produced a fair overview of the U.S. Constitution. It can be viewed in eighteen bite-sized pieces of four minutes or less each. Unfortunately, only Chapter 1, embedded above, is available free on YouTube. You'll have to subscribe to PJTV to view the other seventeen. If you can get through them in a month or less, it will only cost you five dollars (US). That's a small investment for such an important subject. However, if you put at least this much effort in learning about the Constitution, you will be better able to form opinions on current events and defend them, especially when you encounter someone like me.
 
 

America

TRADITIONAL WISDOM WAS that anyone caught in a shooting should drop and take cover. That hasn't worked out too well, has it? How many mass murderers have calmly stalked their chosen venue, shooting and killing whomever they found until they met resistance? I know. That's what I told my children, too. Based on recent experience, law enforcement officers have changed their tune. They now advise citizens to run, hide, or fight
They're also advising armed first responders to take immediate action. In the past, the first policemen to arrive on the scene of a mass killing were instructed to secure the area. Don't let other potential victims wander into the killing zone. Wait for SWAT to arrive and deal with the situation. This hasn't worked very well either, has it? Indeed, think of how often we hear of the perpetrator turning his weapon on himself when faced with armed resistance. Better that the first police officers responding enter the killing zone and encourage this outcome before other innocent citizens become victims.

Recently, as crowds gathered for the Long Beach Gran Prix, which occurred shortly after the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, I saw a police official warning spectators to be aware of their surroundings. Report suspicious activity to the nearest uniformed officer. Even though they had taken every conceivable precaution to prevent a terrorist attack in Long Beach, officials were willing to admit that a perpetrator could slip through the safety net and that each person should take responsibility for their personal safety.

Times have changed. Law enforcement officials seem to be recognizing their limitations. “To protect and serve” appears on many of their patrol vehicles, but they would be more accurate if they used the opening line of the popular Law & Order television series.
The police investigate crime. They are rarely on hand to protect us from it. In rural areas, the first responder to a call for help may be a half hour or more away. Even in major cities, where response times may be measured in minutes, the blood has long since stopped flowing from bodies before they arrive. 

I was disappointed when President Bush told us to hunker down following the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Don't worry. He was taking the fight to the terrorists. We attacked in Afghanistan. We attacked in Iraq. The Patriot Act was passed and a new army was loosed on the streets of America. I was prepared to accept the attacks on foreign soil so long as they were directed at terrorists and their supporters. I was reluctant to see our forces hanging around to build new democracies. My disappointment grew into distrust with the Patriot Act. I hardly trusted President Bush with such sweeping powers. I am totally distrustful of the current President with them. He has schooled me to fear that some future President may use them to become a tyrant.

Am I paranoid? We've now seen the Patriot Act perverted. Homeland Security is being equipped with armored vehicles and weapons more commonly found on conventional battlefields. Furthermore, Congress and the President are vigorously attempting to disarm us. Maybe some degree of paranoia is healthy, especially when so many of my fellow citizens are succumbing to fear tactics. I wonder, why can't they see the hypocrisy of these lawmakers. Witness the testimony of Diane Feinstein who has led the most recent charge to disarm us even though she admits that she raced to arm herself when faced with danger.
Local law enforcement agencies appear to have gotten the message. Witness the actions cited at the beginning of this article. Indeed, many sheriffs and police chiefs have publicly announced that they will not enforce efforts to disarm American citizens even if Congress and the President succeed. A few have begun organizing community militias. Thirty-eight states now have chapters. The few remaining states that are willing to submit to Washington, and entrust their protection to others, are those that have already done everything in their power to disarm their law-abiding citizens. Even though these jurisdictions have the worst crime rates, they refuse to accept reality and continue to do what they believe ought to work regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
 
 

America


Alert: DHS Rounding Up Veterans, Throwing Them In Mental Institutions – Aug 24, 2012 – Infowars

Vets Rapidly Losing 2nd Amendment Gun Rights – Feb 4, 2013 – The Examiner.com

 “Breaking News” About Veterans Losing Gun Rights Are Not New – Feb 23, 2013 – The Western Center For Journalism

Change on veterans gun rights lights fire – Dec 2, 2012 – The Washington Times

Senators: VA has denied gun rights to more than 100,000 veterans – Oct 18, 2011 – The Daily Caller

Granted, a couple of these sources are open to scrutiny. Many may argue that they are colored by political or ideological agendas, however the same may be said of every news source. But many are quoting members of Congress and respected attorneys. Thus, we have to look everywhere, even at new sources we may find disagreeable, to ferret out whatever shard of truth hasn't been trampled in the debate.

Before you dismiss me as a wacko conspiracy theorist, give me a chance. I don't believe in secret cabals and alien bodies stored at Area 51. We simply aren't capable of keeping a secret in this nation. My final posting in the Army was as the Operations Officer at a Strategic Communications Center where secrets of the highest levels passed through my hands. Amazingly, the greatest ones that I ever saw became front page news in little time despite our best efforts.

Thus, my concerns aren't based on anything secret. I'm more worried about everyday things that are happening right under our noses, like the stories mentioned above. Our government seems to be treating those of us who served as enemies.

Obviously, there is a strident minority who are opposed to the government's campaign to change America and the Administration must be concerned about them. Look at the recent arming of Homeland Security. Inasmuch as the military is predominantly composed of conservatively-oriented Americans sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution”, the Administration must have its doubts about using them to subdue citizens. Thus, they have directed Homeland Security to deploy an army equipped with armored vehicles and manned by heavily armed “operatives” onto the streets of America.
What enemy was Homeland Security anticipating when they decided to deploy armored vehicles on the streets of America? No individual, no matter how well armed, can resist an organized assault by a well-trained team. Surely, they don't need a war wagon for that. Are they afraid that Americans will organize militias that might represent a greater challenge?

It's reasonable to expect that Americans who fear a growing threat of tyranny might then form community militias to respond to well-organized threats more effectively. If Americans begin organizing militias, who will train and lead them? I suspect that they will turn to our veterans. Former soldiers might even gladly volunteer. I would. At 70 I wouldn't be much use in the trenches but could at least help with the organization and training of militias.

Imagine yourself as a President who is on a mission to change America and fear resistance. Wouldn't you suspect that veterans would be enlisted to help that resistance? What would you do? It seems that someone is already doing it. Explore these links and let me know what you think.

However, we must wonder if this isn't just another waste of time and, more importantly, the nation's dwindling wealth. Are militias being formed? I haven't heard of any. What else would Homeland Security do with its fleet of armored vehicles? Stage a grand demolition derby? They certainly are helping to demolish the economy. 

Lacking the threat of organized militias, isn't the government simply overreacting? Federal agencies have been able to handle fringe group militias in the past using the resources already available to them. Local police and sheriffs have SWAT teams fully capable of subduing armed criminals and mobs. Look at how well the LAPD responded to the riots in Watts when Rodney King's persecutors were acquitted. Why do we need a domestic army? To intimidate us? That is, after all, what Homeland Security is becoming and that is what they are doing.  

Finally, what threat would organized militias represent if they are dedicated to preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution? Remember, the Second Amendment affirms that “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state...” not only reminds us that citizens have a natural right to arm and defend themselves, but also to organize themselves into militias.
 
 

America

WHAT HAS HAPPENED to you, Senator? I have long celebrated your courage and your service, both in the military and elected office. However, your stance on gun control escapes all logic. It's as though you have been replaced by someone, the polar opposite of the hero I knew. It flies in the face of all wisdom. We know that prohibiting certain categories of weapons just because they appear dangerous has never accomplished anything. Good heavens, just writing that sentence reminds me that the people who believe that one gun "appears" more dangerous than another exposes how little they know about guns.
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Senator McCain as a young man with his father. Click here to read about my brush with them and history
Most importantly, please remember the oath you swore on that day when you were commissioned. I swore it also under similar circumstances and later served in Vietnam. I can still recite it. Can you? "I will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution..." It's virtually the same oath you swore when you entered elected office. Sir, the 2nd Amendment is an integral part of the Constitution, possibly the most important part because it allows all citizens to defend it.

Please, Senator, remember your heritage. Remember how you suffered in the defense of the nation you loved. Any attempt to infringe on the 2nd Amendment will be applauded only by America's enemies as well as its criminals. Prohibitions of all kinds have only ever favored them. Prohibitions gave rise to the major crime syndicates of the past as well as today. Imagine the black market that will arise in guns and ammunition when this one is passed. Imagine how the law abiding will suffer when they stand defenseless against the well-armed criminal. Even worse, imagine how tyrants may be tempted to inflict themselves upon America when its citizens are laid bare.

Please, Senator, please reconsider your stance. Be a hero again.

Regards

Jack Durish