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I don’t normally write about political stuff here any more. I prefer to stick to Bibles, Bible translations, theology, and so on. But there’s something going on in this country that I need to say a few things about.

Yesterday in a small town an hour north of here, a twelve-year-old boy in school used his cell phone, twice, to call in a report to police that a shooter was in the school building where he was, and said that at least two people had been shot. As you can imagine, this brought a large number of law enforcement vehicles and their occupants to the school, caused the school to lock down its entire campus, and brought parents quickly to the school to make sure their children were safe. I even read a report this morning that another school an hour away from there decided to do a partial lockdown for fear of … someone coming there to kill people, too? Anyway, it didn’t take long before it became clear that this boy had made two prank calls, everybody was safe, and this young fellow had gotten himself into a lot of hot water.

Now, why did this boy make those calls? Could it be that it was a case of copycat syndrome? Or maybe it was more like the story of the boy who cried wolf? But those are questions I will leave to others to answer.

It has also been in the news lately concerning a boy who shaped his toaster pastry into the shape of a gun, as the teacher claimed, and he was disciplined for it. There have been jokes all over Facebook about that incident, saying that things need to be banned because they are shaped like guns, and children need to be disciplined in some way because of it. I even saw one that said the state of Florida is shaped like a gun, so all students in that state should be expelled from school for five days because of it.

Don’t you think things are being taken a little too far? Isn’t there any common sense any more?

One of my favorite memories of my early childhood took place when I was only two or three years old. I remember standing up on the arm of the sofa, and my older brother had a pop gun, I think, and he would shoot it at me and I would fall down on the couch as if I had been shot. Oh, it was so much fun! We were laughing and giggling as little kids do…

You have to understand; I was born just a few years after the end of World War II and around the time of the Korean War. My dad fought in the Pacific during WWII, at Leyte in the Philippines and then on the island of Okinawa, and after he returned from the war he was in the National Guard for quite a few years. He was called up for Korea but before they were deployed the war ended. So my four brothers and I were being raised in a kind of military mind-set, in those heady days of the Fifties with the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, as president of the United States. And on top of it all, back in the 50s and 60s some of the most popular TV shows and movies were shoot-em-up westerns. We played cowboys and Indians, but even more often we played Army. We’d get army helmets and toy guns for Christmas and our birthdays, and we spent many happy hours out in the woods pretending we were Company C looking for Nazis or Japs. (And before you get upset about that term, back then it was the accepted term we used for the enemy. The culture has changed drastically since then.)

So in the thinking of today’s liberals, I should probably be expected to become one of the killers who stalk our schools and movie theaters. I probably own a whole arsenal of handguns, assault rifles, cannons, mortars, and ammunition. I must be one of those right-wing nut cases who are trying to overthrow our country. But they’re wrong. I was taught by my parents, my church, my teachers, and the Boy Scouts, to love God and my country, my fellow Americans, my parents and grandparents, my brothers, my spouse and children, my grandchildren … and that was normal! That is ingrained in me! And it should be ingrained in all Americans! …so why isn’t it? I tried to instill that in my own children, but somebody seems to have short-circuited the whole thing.

No, I’m not a crazed killer. I don’t even own a gun, although my dad had a shotgun when I was a kid; I was never aware of him using it. I think it’s a sad thing that we in America now feel it’s a necessary thing to arm ourselves, because there are people who would destroy us. Somewhere along the line something changed.

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