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Politics // Coffee Break
Jerry Coffee

Four-point Plan For Safer America

OK, call it peace on Earth, goodwill toward men, or whatever … but I have to say the president’s words in his speech in Newtown, Conn., two days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school were right on:

“Scripture tells us ‘… do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away … inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.’”

And then he said, “Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depth of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope that it helps to know that you are not alone in your grief; that our world too has been torn apart; that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight. And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. Newtown, you are not alone.

“I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation,” he said.

The president was speaking for me – and I don’t think he could have done it better. Perhaps he had an edge, being the father of two young daughters. Perhaps he was thinking of Sasha and Malia when he became visibly emotional, just as I know I probably would have, too. And then he questioned if we were doing enough to ensure the safety of our children growing up in a less-certain world.

This is where some pundits say he crossed the line from sincere to political. What, just by asking the obvious question? Of course, we are not doing enough. We really have to do better, especially in four specific areas:

1) Accessability of automatic weapons designed for military combat with oversized ammunition magazines that combined can kill scores of people in seconds.

2) A legal system that makes it nearly impossible to temporarily institutionalize proven mentally disturbed individuals until, through appropriate medication and rehabilitation, they can be introduced back into society and pose a minimal threat.

3) An “entertainment” culture (TV, movies, music, video games) that too often glorifies violence, especially killing, to the point that human beings are simply objectified to the point that “sanctity of life” is no more than an alien concept.

4) The continuing secularization of our society, which dismisses the concept of “evil,” where the Ten Commandments are considered an affront to too many among us (“Thou shalt not kill!”), and where even the slightest suggestion of “God” is being scoured from our governmental and educational institutions, our commercial enterprises and our communities, mostly in the name of “civil rights.”

How ironic for a nation founded upon Godly principles and “endowed by our Creator,” and where the mother of all civil rights should be the right not to be shredded to hamburger by a crazy with a weapon of personal “mass destruction.”

Addressing all four of these issues on a national policy basis would, of course, be challenging, but certainly doable. I simply offer them as food for thought.

It will be interesting to see what the president’s new commission, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, comes up with.

Readers with better ideas are certainly welcome to offer them through “Letters.”

I wish all my readers a safe and blessed Christmas, and a prosperous and fulfilling new year.

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