How Others See Us


flagMy brain has been swirling around all over the place this week and it seems that I can’t settle in to write a blog post for the life of me.  Too many ideas bouncing around in there some days but none that I can really write about quite yet.

An Australian friend posted a cartoon on her Facebook page the other day and it hit me a little bit hard.   The cartoon was of a computer with the caption “Reboot America with no guns and free health insurance”.   Ouch.  I usually shy aware from confrontation or try to ignore things that are critical but this time I left a comment and simply said that it made me a little sad that she had posted that and that sometimes media (especially in foreign countries ) seem to always focus on the negative things that are going on.  She responded that she did not mean to offend but that she does not understand the US policy on guns .  Australia has very low tolerance for guns and according to Wikipedia

As of 2007 about 5.2% of Australian adults (765,000 people)[1] own and use firearms for purposes such as hunting, controlling feral animals, collecting, and target shooting.

Obviously they do not subscribe to the Second Amendment that we in the United States have–the right to keep and bear arms from infringement.  I am not here to write about gun control or gun rights at all but what struck me about this and many other posts that people who do not live in our country make is that they often do not understand our laws or our culture.  Not unlike how we often do not understand theirs.

What I do find disturbing is that so often judgment calls are made by reading one article or quoting from a source that is less than scientific.  Cartoons can poke fun and focus on negatives but what gets missed so often are the positives.

I will ALWAYS say that we are blessed to live in our country.   Even with all of the flaws and foibles of our government I truly believe that we live in a wonderful place where we DO have freedoms that many others do not have.   We have a lot of good things that happen on a daily basis.

One of those things that many do not understand is patriotism.  A story has been circulating and is on every news channel now about an Army Ranger, Josh Hargis,  who was injured in an attack in Afghanistan where 4 of his team members lost their lives.  As his captain pinned a Purple Heart for wounds received in battle on his blanket he fought through the blankets and covers on his bed from his apparent unconscious state to offer up a salute—now referred to as The Salute Seen Around the World.  This photo, provided to news agencies by his wife, shows the level of patriotism and honor that this man has for his country.

Josh Saluting His Commander After Presentation Of His Purple Heart. (Courtesy Taylor Hargis)

Josh Saluting His Commander After Presentation Of His Purple Heart. (Courtesy Taylor Hargis)

When I first saw this article and photo I was moved to tears.  Being married to someone who has served in the Navy, knowing many friends who have served and still serve in the military I understand what it means to be proud of a country and the people who fight to keep our freedoms.  Yes, even those freedoms like the right to keep and bear arms that others do not understand.

I try to be tolerant.  I truly strive to be understanding and not jump to conclusions and judgments of others and their beliefs .  I believe everyone does have the right to have their opinion and yes—share it.  But I also know that the media does not always play up all that is good in the world.  I can’t pretend to understand why that is –it just is.

What do you think?  If you are from the US do you think that the news outlets focus on the negative?   Do you think other countries see the US as  misguided?   If you are not from the US —what is  your perception?  Both of your own country and of the US?   I guess I just want us all to get along and appreciate the uniqueness of every person and every country—–what about you?

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Comments

  1. ” If you are from the US do you think that the news outlets focus on the negative?”

    There is an old saying in the news business that, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That about sums it up.

    “Do you think other countries see the US as misguided?”

    It is the current trend to hate and criticize the US, even in the US, at least among the left leaning intelligentsia.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and read and comment. I know this is probably not a popular post and I usually shy away from them but that cartoon got me thinking. I just wish we could all have tolerance for others a bit more I guess. Thanks again!

  2. OK, having worked as a newspaper reporter, I may offer a slightly different perspective. The media is all too often blamed for the bad. But it is the media’s job to report the news, good AND bad.

    I can’t remember the exact quote, but it’s something like “don’t kill the messenger.” All too often folks blame the media instead of blaming the source or cause of whatever “bad” is being reported.

    Does the media sometimes go overboard and present biased reporting? Yes. But certainly not all, and I hope not the majority.

    None of us likes hearing bad news. But if negative events were not reported then the media would be nothing more than a PR outlet and I would shudder to think how that would diminish freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

    We are blessed to live in a free country. Blessed.

    • Great response, Audrey. However the satirical cartoons and the attitudes of others who think they can poke fun at problems of others is what gets me going. It is like being a bully. I agree that both sides of the story need to be presented —that is what freedom of speech is all about, after all. But I also like to believe and hope that both sides can be presented fairly and accurately without a lot of hoopla. I do see more and more positive stories being broadcast in different medias and I think that is a positive thing.
      Thanks for your answer. I can always count on you for a great response . Yes, we are indeed blessed.

  3. Good post! I think the news media reflect the current state of craziness in the US and we’re in denial about how bad we really look. We need to face it and make some changes.
    Carol
    http://www.carolcassara.com

    • Thanks so much, Carol. It just kind of struck me, you know? I guess it has been pretty chaotic lately and I do take things a touch too personally at times. 🙂 But I still say we are blessed to be a part of this country. I truly appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! Freedom of speech, right? 🙂 It rocks.

    • “…in the US and we’re in denial about how bad we really look.”

      Just a thought, but I think we (the U.S.) will do better if we figure out what it is right to do, and not worry too much about what other countries think of us. If Americans had been worried about Britain thought about them there wouldn’t have been a Revolutionary War, and for a couple centuries after that America was an example of how a democratic republic could work.

      I do however agree that Americans ought to be ashamed today, and mostly I would say we should be ashamed for how thoroughly we have abandoned the principles that others often wanted to emulate. How can a country that has racked up nearly $17 trillion dollars in debt be an example to anyone of responsible government?

      lwk

  4. Rebecca Innerst says:

    Beth good article! Today I am thankful we have healthcare reform going forward after all this craziness…..from those who had insurance terminated by the church of all people! It was an easy process and yes it is affordable but not free. God bless leaders who look forward and I pray leaders begin to lead out of love and not fear.

    • Thanks Rebecca! I appreciate your take on things. It is certainly a complex issue and one little blog post will not solve anything but I am truly interested in hearing what others think about these things. Your input was yet another side heard from! Thanks!

  5. I’m a Canadian, living in Canada, married to a man who was born in the US but now holds dual Canadian-American citizenship. We have talked about the differences between our countries many times (health care, education, government etc), and the only one that really seems to matter to us is gun control. We just feel safer here, media or no media.

    • Tamara, Thank you SO much for weighing in!!! I really want to hear what folks think and yours is another area that is so important–safety. I love that you and your US born husband have these discussions and have found the place to live that is right for you. My husband and I have traveled to Canada many times and I have several blogger friends who live there also so I am anxious to hear what they think. I have always felt incredibly safe and secure in Canada and welcomed, also, which is a positive in my book. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  6. I, too, wish we could all get along better, not only internationally, but at home in the US, as well. I wish there was less politicizing. When I heard about the medal being pinned to the soldier in the hospital, I too, was moved to tears. That kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  7. And who do they come to when the “fit hits the shan?” Too many foreigners try to tell us what is wrong with out country, and as far as I know none of them come from a country called Utopia.. My response is: “shut up and clean up your own yard first.” As far as the media is concerned, the liberal press here at home is becoming a “state run” media much like Tass in the “FORMER” Soviet Union.. Thanks for the forum..

  8. mysocalledmidlife.net says:

    I also saw that photo of the injured soldier trying to salute…it was very touching. A positive way (for a nice change) to portray the news.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I agree—it was a very touching story and one that is getting a lot of press which IMHO is a great thing!

  9. I am so happy to live in the USA where we have freedom but sometimes people forget that other people want that also. I think that right now we are having trouble with that and have our minds on too many other things. We complain when something happens we do not agree with, We all need to think of others as well as ourselves.

  10. 24 hour news I think is often negative. Negativity and fear sell or keep viewers tuned to a TV or Radio station and increase ratings. It is too bad but we have to filter the negative with the positive so thanks for sharing!

    • Filter is the right word, Haralee, for what we all need to do. Filter and focus on the good in our lives. Thanks so much for the great comment and for taking time to stop by!

  11. As you know Beth Ann, I am Canadian. I believe guns should be controlled. Not only in my nation, but in all nations. I believe too many guns around too many people is just an accident waiting to happen. Or an argument cycling up to bloodshed when words could have been used instead. I understand people want to own guns to hunt for food, but I believe the only other people who should have guns are the people who are paid & trained to protect us. There may have been a time & place where it was important for everyone to have the right to bear arms (to protect themselves in a newly developing country), but I think this time has passed now. I think it’s insane to have armed teachers with loaded guns around children. I think this has gone too far to be rational anymore.
    Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from flawed reasoning & antiquated laws. This is why there are Amendments to the Constitution of the US. Before anyone knew better people could ride in cars, go fast, drive recklessly or drink & drive. The government learned they needed to protect its citizens & set Seat Belt laws, speed limits, traffic laws & impaired driving laws.
    The government can do the same with guns. They can make amendments or create new laws to protect their citizens. No one should have the right to shoot you because you cut in front of them in line or tailgated them in your car or talked too loud in a movie theater. When guns become so prolific, these kinds of crazy things happen.

    • I am so glad that you weighed in with your very well written thoughts! I am so glad that those post has sparked some conversation. Obviously I do not have answers but am always open to hear what others have to say— especially if they are different from what I believe. You make very good points and I am so glad that you felt like sharing them today. The violence in our world makes me sad… That is a fact. I wish I had super powers to change that!!!!

  12. I think the media does tend to focus on the negative and/or controversial. Sex and Fear are the biggest sellers! but the unspoken part of that is that it also shows us the consumer — um, main part of the word there is “consume.” That’s what we gobble up. So you could say the media is only providing the product the buyer wants. It’s up to each individual to decide if they want that negativity in their lives. I personally choose to read my news, rather than watch. That way I pick the stories I want to know more about. Which doesn’t mean I shy or ignore the ones that might be considered negative or fear based; I simply moderate that in my life.

    As for guns, being from Canada, I don’t understand the American laws. And by that I mean – I get/support the 2nd Amendment Right; but I don’t get the need to walk around armed. or that they are so easily bought. We have guns in Canada too – but not the same amount of gun violence. Our laws are stricter – you cannot walk around – legally – carrying a gun here. We have very specific laws about transporting your weapon(s). But if someone is breaking into my home and myself and my 3 kids are suddenly in a life or death situation: you bet I’d use a gun if I had one. Although, I am kind of lucky in that regard in that the cops are already at my house. So good luck with that Mr Criminal. haha

    I for one love my American neighbours. I’ve enjoyed every trip I have ever taken into your fair country. Every country had good and bad – and even if things ARE bad in the USA right now, for whatever reason – y’all will get through it. In the meantime, like all good allies — I got your back. always. 😉

    • I LOVE this comment!!! I knew my Canadian friends would have some great things to say!!!!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it all down. So much of what you wrote is what is on my heart and you had the right words and a “nice” tone if that makes sense!!! Thank you, Les! You rock!

    • Rorybore wrote:

      “I don’t get the need to walk around armed.”

      It all depends on where you live, or where you go. I live in Texas and my small town is about as safe as anyplace you can be. But within 20 minutes I can be in areas with relatively high crime rates and Mexican drug cartel members.

      That is why I have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. If I don’t need it no one even knows I have it, even in church, or picking my wife up at the school where she teaches (perfectly legal as long as I stay in my car in the parking lot). No one is hurt and no one is threatened by what they don’t even know is there.

      But if I ever do need it, then there is no substitute and I could not forgive myself if I couldn’t protect my wife or children. People who get these licenses or permits to carry concealed handguns are some of the most law abiding of citizens. They may get arrested for firearms violations, but at a rate very, very slightly lower than sworn police officers arrested for firearms violations (which does happen, but not very often).

      Legal concealed carry is success story. When they were initially arguing about adopting it in Texas opponents said that “blood would run in the streets.” But fact is we’ve had it for many years and none of those things happened.

      So if you are in Texas, or many other states now, you could be walking around in public and go by many people with legally concealed handguns with absolutely no idea they were there.

      regards,

      lwk

      • What a good answer –lwk—you have really added to the discussion here today and while I do not have a concealed carry license (or never will most likely ) I respect what you are saying and value your input. I am so happy that everyone that has commented today has managed to air their views without getting nasty—-those comments would be deleted.
        It just goes to show that we are a diverse country with many opinions and ideas and as long as we can embrace that others may have differing views from ours I think we are headed in the right direction. It would be a might boring place if we all believed exactly the same way.
        I have learned a lot today from the “discussion” and I am grateful that we have the freedom of speech to discuss! Thanks again for your input.

      • lwk — I’d like you to know I did my homework! 🙂
        I had a discussion with my hubby (who is a cop, in case that wasn’t clear to anyone) and he said that YES, in fact Texas is one of the States that “gets it right,” even though the gun laws could be described as lenient. There seems to be an abiding respect for guns that may not be present elsewhere – and which makes for the unspoken understanding “you got a gun? well, I got a gun too — but this isn’t the wild, wild west anymore and let’s explore other options first.” Well, that probably sounded a little bit simplistic, but you get the point I hope. And certainly, having drug cartels in your backyard does tend to shift the need for Due Vigilance I suppose.
        Anyway, I’ve only read up a bit so far, but I do intend to become more knowledgeable about the matter.

        • “…this isn’t the wild, wild west anymore and let’s explore other options first.”

          I think there is something of a mindset with those that don’t own guns or have experience with guns to think that people who own or carry guns are somehow compensating for something. They seem to believe that people who carry a gun are looking for a fight or an opportunity to use it, perhaps an opportunity to prove their manhood (despite the increasing incidence of woman carrying too).

          You said your husband is a policeman so I presume you at least spend some time around guns so the above was a general statement, not something particularly addressed to you, and was meant to set up my next statement.

          My experience with the concealed carry course in Texas was that there was a large emphasis on the consequences, both legal and psychological, in having to actually use a firearm. There was a lot of emphasis on personal responsibility and the fact that you “own” every bullet you fire. My experience with people I know who carry is that it engenders a fair amount of thought about how they would feel if they had to use a firearm, and even some thought about even if they could do that. My experience is that to carry a loaded firearm makes one a lot more polite because you fully come to understand that escalating a conflict needlessly may put you in a place you don’t want to be. Flipping the bird is no longer an option. 🙂

          Instead of making you bolder it tends to make you a lot more careful. At least that is my experience. Mileage may vary.

          It didn’t happen in my class, but the instructor said there are times when people taking the class, once the reality dawns on them fully, simply leave and don’t complete it. They opt out. I think the class was pretty good if it made some people examine themselves enough to do that. Not everyone has seen the detritus of violence closely and in high resolution, and not all are prepared to be the cause of it. On that subject one of the best books one can read is “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Initially it is about killing in warfare but then one comes to see that the conclusions are much more general. Initially it is a depressing book, but then becomes somewhat inspirational if his conclusions are true that most people cannot deliberately kill another human being.

          This morning I bought a new book on Amazon (Kindle) and it seems pretty interesting. It is called “The Gift of Fear” by a Gavin de Becker. It’s basic premise is that most violence we are likely to encounter (including spousal) has a lot of pre-indicators that should warn you if you are alert, and if you trust your intuition. The idea is to avoid violence by being aware and consious of these signs or pre-indicators. I found the book on a blog about self defense and in regards to mindset, you will find this subject fairly often in this genre – how not to get into trouble in the first place (not the mindset of wanting to get in a fight).

          You said “let’s explore other options first.” I fully agree. Let’s try every means possible to avoid violence if at all possible. Let’s try to identify truly violent people and either get them help, or isolate them from society if that is not possible. But sometimes all the other options run out and you have to decide if you are going to be a victim, or resist with all the means at your disposal.

          “Anyway, I’ve only read up a bit so far, but I do intend to become more knowledgeable about the matter.’

          Nothing is better than education. Your husband is a policeman. Ask him this question: “Do the police have a legal responsibility to protect me as an individual?”

          regards,

          lwk

        • You rock! :-). Who would have thought little old me would have started such a thread of conversation????

  13. My father was in the Air Force and I it’s one of the many things I love about him. My husband wishes that he’d been able to serve in some capacity – his eyes are bad, so he knew he wouldn’t ever be accepted – or perhaps he just assumed. My son is beginning to think about the AF a little bit – and I’d totally be ok with that, as long as he goes in as an officer!

  14. What troubles me is the number of illegal guns on the streets, not the folks with the concealed weapon permit.

    • “‘What troubles me is the number of illegal guns on the streets…”

      I agree. It is a very difficult problem to solve. On the one hand the majority of people who own or buy a firearm have a legitimate reason to do so, whether it is for self defense, hunting, collecting, or various forms of competitive target shooting (a sport where a 98 lb. woman can compete with absolute equal footing with a 200 lb. Marine gunnery sergeant – some of the best shots in the world are women).

      On the other hand you would like as much as possible to make it difficult for criminals and the violently insane from getting their hands on guns. I say “make difficult” because I think in a free society it is nearly impossible to keep guns out of the hands of people absolutely determined to have them. As proof of that assertion look at how many years we have fought to keep illegal drugs out of the hands of drug users, and how in fact what we have mostly done is enrich a now highly ingrained criminal class (you would have thought people could have learned some lessons from Prohibition). Also to back that assertion you might know that gun crimes have nearly doubled in the U.K. since they largely prohibited private ownership of many guns. See the story at this following link – you can find many more:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6438601/Gun-crime-doubles-in-a-decade.html

      Also our War on Drugs has resulted in militarizing a large part of our police forces and greatly eroded our protections under the 4th Amendment to be secure in our homes against unreasonable search and seizure. So I say all that as a precautionary tale against unrealistic goals. We can make it more difficult. We can’t entirely prevent it.

      As a gun owner I sometimes sell a firearm in a private sale to another person. Although I am not legally required to keep a bill of sale I always do. I check their driver’s license. They must be 21 years old and they must be a resident of the state of Texas where I live (Federal law). I would not sell a firearm to a person if I have serious doubts about them.

      What I would really like is to have some real assurance that the person I am selling to is legally entitled to buy that firearm, that he isn’t a felon, just released from a mental institution, etc. But currently I have not way to do that. All I can go on is my personal impression of the person.

      I have written an article on a form of universal background checks that I think many gunowners could support. I won’t reproduce the whole idea here but give a link to it. The basic idea is to encode on the back of a person’s driver’s license or state id their legal ability to possess or buy firearms. Currently when you buy a new gun at a dealer a check is made through the FBI NICS database to authorize the purchase. I suggest we simply do a check on everyone and encode the result on the driver’s license or id.

      The reason I like the idea is that in a private sale I could check the license and know that I had done due diligence before making the sale. Also to discourage people from ignoring the legal requirement to check you could have undercover police conduct highly publicized sting operations and arresting and jailing private individuals who did not perform the check.

      It might reduce the number of private sales to people who should not have guns. Most importantly though, it might be a form of check that gun owners and NRA members like me could support (which means it could get passed).

      Universal Background Checks
      http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/universal-background-checks/

      regards,

      lwk

  15. Joanna graham says:

    Beth that was well written. I often find myself frustrated with people when they put their perceptions on to other cultures and try to assume they know what’s going on from the “American” eyes and “why would they do that. Or say that or think that”. Living in other places in the world sure does help to not be so biased I wish we all could be tolerant of our differences and just enjoy people for who they are. People with feelings and opinions not made to hurt but mostly to try and understand.

    • Thanks, Joanna. I am not saying I have it all figured out at all. I just wish we could all be a little bit more tolerant of others. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I spent 4 years in ROTC in high school, graduating in command of over 100 cadets from three high schools. My heart breaks what has`happened to our military. The politics, and greed between the government and corporations is disgusting. I am also appalled by the ones who have the money and continue to take it from those who don’t, to squander it upon those who have no birthright to it. Those who were born here should come first, followed by those who have actually become citizens through the required legal process. We need to take care of our own first. Charity begins at home. Yes, I am embarrassed by what other countries see when they see us now. We need to go back to what our country was founded upon, and that includes GOD. This current “administration” is not working, and needs to be held accountable for his serious wrongdoings instead of being allowed to cover them up.

  17. I read this on my phone yesterday and couldn’t comment properly so I had to come back. Growing up in Germany, I was never much aware of guns – police officers don’t even carry guns (unless they are SWAT) and as far as I know the laws are quite strict as well. Not to say there hasn’t been gun violence but it is certainly not as far spread as here. But I so agree with you about showing the negative in the news – it often surprises me what my friends are saying about the US, yet many of us choose to live here. As you know, I am a (new) proud citizen and I would never move back to Germany because in the end this still is the land of dreams!!!

  18. Kevin Horner says:

    I think that people in the US don’t understand our laws sometimes. The Second Amendment says “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” So, the purpose of the amendment is not to give people the right to buy all the pistols they want to kill one another (which is the only purpose of a handgun) but rather to give the people the ability to protect the country with weapons useful to fight a war… which is not a handgun.
    Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who forget the well-‘regulated militia’ part and only remember (or care) about the last half of the Amendment.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. As I stated in my blog it was not a post about gun control or not—- just a commentary on how others see us.

    • “So, the purpose of the [2nd] amendment is …to give the people the ability to protect the country with weapons useful to fight a war…”

      Therefore if we were to fully respect the intent of the 2nd Amendment then I as a citizen should be able to buy a fully automatic M16 assault rifle or a M240B machine gun (like my younger son carries in the Marine Corps)? That is where I see your logic leading to (and something I argued on my blog). Just for the record I am not advocating that – only pointing out where the logic leads. There are people in Texas who do in fact own legal registered fully automatic machine guns. You have to have pretty deep pockets though. 🙂

      My company once had an office in Switzerland and some of the guys there were members of the Swiss militia and had fully automatic machines guns with cases of ammo in their home.

      “…there are a lot of people who forget the well-’regulated militia’”

      I won’t get into a long discussion on that. There are quite a few articles that address what that meant on my blog. Let me say this, and it is largely in agreement with your statement, the 2nd Amendment was not just intended as a right per se, but also as a civic duty. Probably the people today who most fully fulfill the intent of civic duty as defense of community are those who get concealed carry permits (and carry concealed handguns).

      Some research (which is controversial) indicates the possibility that as more people do carry legally the more criminals are motivated to seek less confrontational forms of crime (e.g., substituting burglarly of an unoccupied home vs. robbery at gunpoint when the victim is potentially armed). I could imagine that if we could up the percentage quite a bit of legal concealed carry then armed robbery would be greatly reduced. It certainly reduced attacks on women in Florida when the shall issue concealed carry movement started in Florida in the 1980s.

      “…[killing] is the only purpose of a handgun”

      By extension that is the purpose of all guns, at least at the engineering design level. Research by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz suggest that Americans use firearms of some type about 2.5 million times a year in self defense and defense of property and upwards of 400,000 lives are saved. Now I don’t know if those number are totally accurate, it is a difficult thing to find out for many reasons. There is other research that gives fairly large numbers, though none as high as Kleck and Gertz.

      The thing that really changed my thinking when I first read their results was how very, very infrequently people actually shoot or kill an attacker. If Kleck and Gertz are even remotely accurate, even remotely, then most people use a firearm to threaten an aggressor and not to wound or kill him. Most often the bad guy exits the scene quickly when he realizes the intended victim is capable of doing him serious harm.

      So you could say that yes, a handgun or any gun is designed at one level to kill, but at a higher level and how most people appear to use them in self defense, a gun is designed to give a person a means of presenting a credible threat to a violent criminal or aggressor.

      Which I guess leads to the most important conclusion. It is not the engineering design of a piece of metal that is important. It is the heart of the person holding it and what they are willing to do. Apparently most people even if they have a gun, are not all that willing to harm or kill another human being. I mentioned in another comment that one should read “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to understand that final statement. I find his conclusions somewhat encouraging in regards to human nature. 🙂

      regards,

      lwk

  19. I love America. I’m intensely proud of our country. And the Aussie friend sitting beside me says Australia has too many of their own problems to solve to criticize other countries. Sure we have our problems but when it counts, Americans are some of the most loyal, loving, patriotic citizens in the world. I could debate gun control, but I don’t read that as your point…the point for me is mind your own country and let us mind ours. As far as the media…I turn it off :-D.

    • Yep— I did not anticipate the discussion I have stirred up with my tags. Once again I say that I respect everyone’s rights to their opinions and freedom to express those but for me this post was more about what is right with the US and how blessed we are to be here! Thanks, Katybeth!!!

  20. I love our country. My dad was in the army during the Korean War. Both of my parents were very patriotic. But I also believe taking a good look at ourselves is an important thing to do. I would hope that civilization continues to become more civilized. I believe the numbers and kinds of shooting deaths we have in this country I love are a travesty. I believe that in a country of our wealth, not being able or willing to care about or tend to others less fortunate is sad. We should continue to strive to learn and grow towards a better civilization. If we are not willing to take a good look at ourselves and make the necessary changes, this will never happen. Thank goodness the abolitionists and civil rights fighters were willing to do so.

    • ” I believe the numbers and kinds of shooting deaths we have in this country I love are a travesty.”

      I think due to the media most people are not aware that in the United States we are approaching an historically low homicide rate. It peaked in about 1993 at 9.5 per 100K and is down to 4.8 recently, a number we haven’t seen since the early 1960s when I was a teenager.

      Also a lot of homicides are in our inner cities and involve gang bangers and drug dealers. According to FBI statistics for 2011 for homicide where the race of the offender was known it was black 52.4% of the time even though blacks are less than 14% of the population. Clearly we have a serious social problem in the inner city that needs to be solved (and many of the solutions tried since the 1960s are clearly not working).

      But if you don’t live there then you chances of being a homicide or crime victim are way lower than the national rate and in many areas you are as safe here as in many countries Europe, excepting the U.K. which the UN designated the most violent country in Europe. Apparently too the Brits are seriously misrepresenting their true crime figures too (story on Breitbart this morning in fact on that).

      Also about two thirds of those “shooting deaths” in the U.S. are suicides. People who commit suicide with a gun really mean it and will find other ways to do themselves in if they don’t have a gun. For example, the U.K. has an almost identical suicide rate with the U.S. although they have only a fraction of the guns in the U.S. They find other ways.

      So yes we should be concerned, but we need to focus on what the real problems are. For example, is a War on Drugs all that smart, did we learn nothing from Prohibition, and what have we done to the black family in the last half century to nearly destroy it in the inner cities.

      In my view a focus on guns as the root cause is like a chimera held up before the public to hide the real problems that we won’t face.

      regards,

      lwk

    • Thanks for your great comment, Christine!!! I love hearing all sides of what folks are thinking and having my eyes opened to other ideas and thoughts. Thanks for taking the time..

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