Turn The Clock Back . . .

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

Atrepparttar risk of startingrepparttar 126057 argument of all time, I feel compelled to point out that Americans today are simply not made ofrepparttar 126058 same stern stuff as our ancestors.

You disagree? Please write and tell me honestly what you think your nearest neighbor would do if awakened at midnight byrepparttar 126059 warning, "The redcoats are coming!" Frankly, my next door neighbor is an active duty Marine, but tucking tail isrepparttar 126060 first thing that comes to mind. I certainly cannot imagine him handing a rifle to his wife or daughter and telling them to "lock and load."

Not in this lifetime, at any rate. He'd be too worried about his retirement.

Our ancestors had one or two advantages over us. Inrepparttar 126061 first place, most of those who lived onrepparttar 126062 American continent atrepparttar 126063 time ofrepparttar 126064 signing ofrepparttar 126065 Declaration of Independence were no more than one or two generations removed from individuals who had possessedrepparttar 126066 courage and vision to leave every single thing they had ever owned for unspecified opportunity in a new and savage land. It was one hell of a winnowing, and their descendants wererepparttar 126067 best ofrepparttar 126068 best that Europe had to offer.

Throughout history, winnowings such asrepparttar 126069 settlement of our American continent have brought forthrepparttar 126070 most shining examples of human courage and achievement. Sadly, we have just about run out of Earthly frontiers now, and it cannot happen again until we begin to colonize Antarctica – or outer space.

We have now experienced a full hundred years of urban civilization. One hundred years separate us fromrepparttar 126071 last of our ancestors who foughtrepparttar 126072 Native Americans for their survival. One hundred years separate us fromrepparttar 126073 last remnant of frontiersmen who strapped on their guns and went out to wrest a living from an unforgiving land.

We've becomerepparttar 126074 sort of weaklings our ancestors would be ashamed to claim as descendants. Oh, there remain a few here and there who would make our common ancestors proud, and they or their children will almost certainly berepparttar 126075 first to colonize a new planet, but they are now so widely scattered amongrepparttar 126076 rest of us that they are hard to find.

A fellow byrepparttar 126077 name of Todd Beamer comes to mind, but when I think of that magnificent young man and his friends, I am also forced to recall thatrepparttar 126078 passengers on three other airplanes submitted meekly to hijackers with mere box cutters – hijackers they outnumbered by roughly ten to one.

The awful truth today is that just teaching your child courage and self-reliance can lead to accusations of child abuse.

I remember (painfully) one occasion when I was barely two years old. I laboriously climbed torepparttar 126079 top of about a six foot slide in Central Park, then lost my grip and tumbled off said slide head first. I wound up with a goose eggrepparttar 126080 size of Kansas right inrepparttar 126081 middle of my forehead, saw whole galaxies of stars, and my mother's hair turned a shade or two whiter onrepparttar 126082 spot.

If that had happened in today's world, my parents would have had a very unpleasant visit from Child Protective Services, and it is quite possible that they would have lost custody of their daughter altogether.

I remember hanging upside down from Jungle Jim bars. I remember swinging so hard on swing sets that I pulledrepparttar 126083 legs ofrepparttar 126084 swing sets clean out ofrepparttar 126085 ground. I remember running back and forth on a seesaw, wildly keeping my balance as it tipped each way.

Compared to my great-great-grandmother, who climbed aboard a covered wagon in Missouri atrepparttar 126086 ripe old age of 16 years and drove it to Texas, having a baby onrepparttar 126087 way, I am your original pansy – but compared to today's sissy kids, I am Attila The Hun in drag.

Unfortunately,repparttar 126088 progression is obvious and not too flattering to today's generation.

The more we demand safety,repparttar 126089 more our government tightens its grip.

We demand safe drugs, so our Food and Drug Administration has maderepparttar 126090 requirements for testing new drugs so stringent and expensive that drug development has ground almost completely to a halt. Those few new drugs that are being developed are priced right out of reach forrepparttar 126091 people who need themrepparttar 126092 most. This government agency actually hasrepparttar 126093 unmitigated gall to tell you what you can and cannot try when you have a terminal illness!

Dozens and dozens of wonderful children's toys are no longer onrepparttar 126094 market, because of potential risks if parents were not vigilant, or allowed children ofrepparttar 126095 wrong age group to play with them, etc.

Have you readrepparttar 126096 idiot warnings on labels lately? Honestly,repparttar 126097 last time I purchased a firearm, it had a big label that said that firearms could be hazardous to my health! By itself, this was merely amusing, but it does lose its humor rapidly when you consider what it says about our society.

The last motorcycle helmet I purchased warned me sternly that it was designed to be worn on my head, not on other parts of my body.

The warnings on knives are frankly hilarious.

I shudder to think what will come with my next motorcycle, but I'm sure it will be a good-sized book.

The worst insult of all is that we have pay to print this stuff! Every product we purchase includes warning labels in its purchase price now. It's a multi-billion dollar industry!

Difficult Choices

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

I am a veteran and a patriot. Such a remark often makes a writerrepparttar target of ridicule or worse, but I refuse to withdraw it. It happens to berepparttar 126056 plain, unvarnished truth. In September of 1972, on my own 18th birthday, I raised my right hand and swore solemnly to protect and defendrepparttar 126057 Constitution ofrepparttar 126058 United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I served my country faithfully and was discharged with honor. I am a veteran and a patriot. That has not changed – yet that very oath I was so proud to swear has troubled my sleep for many, many years now. In my youth and foolishness, it never, never occurred to me that those words meant exactly what they said. “ . . . all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I was too young, too innocent, to really believe thatrepparttar 126059 Constitution could possibly have domestic enemies. If I considered that phrase at all, I would have thought of something like Robert Philip Hanssen ofrepparttar 126060 FBI – a traitor, a criminal and a spy – not other ordinary citizens like myself. I took that oath forrepparttar 126061 purpose of serving inrepparttar 126062 U.S. military – therefore,repparttar 126063 enemies expressly mentioned in that oath had to be foreign. Didn’t they? My discharge from duty withrepparttar 126064 armed services did release me from that oath, didn’t it? Or did it? Today we watchrepparttar 126065 painful, day-by-day erosion ofrepparttar 126066 freedoms promised us inrepparttar 126067 Bill of Rights. Those lawmakers who propose and pass legislation that strangles or even negates those rights – they are not foreign. The police who all-too-often trample on what few rights are left, rather than protecting and serving us, are just as American as you or I am. They may indeed be criminals, but they stand accused of no crime. No warrants exist for their arrest. Yet they arerepparttar 126068 worst enemies – domestic enemies – that our Constitution has ever faced. I am a veteran. I am not afraid ofrepparttar 126069 word “duty.” Where does my duty lie today? If I am to embracerepparttar 126070 concept of “freedom,” then I must answer this difficult question for myself. No one can give merepparttar 126071 answer. I can’t suck up torepparttar 126072 state nanny and beg for an answer. I must seekrepparttar 126073 one and only answer that satisfies my own mind, my own heart and my own conscience. The only answer I can live with is no compromise! The Bill of Rights means precisely what it says – every word – and every law that has been passed contrary torepparttar 126074 Bill of Rights is null and void underrepparttar 126075 highest law of this land. Every individual who has voted for or attempted to enforce such a law is himself (or herself) a criminal. Cut and dried. The Bill of Rights was written to protectrepparttar 126076 rights of individuals, not groups. Every word inrepparttar 126077 Bill of Rights concerns an individual’s right to something – whether to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to due process, or what have you, these are each and every one individual rights. There should be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind thatrepparttar 126078 Second Amendment protectsrepparttar 126079 individual right to keep and bear arms, notrepparttar 126080 right ofrepparttar 126081 military to do so. That means thatrepparttar 126082 individual’s right to self defense is sacred. Period. No compromise. So if I strap my Kimber in plain view on my right hip and stroll downrepparttar 126083 streets of my city, it is absolutely legal underrepparttar 126084 highest law of this land. Of course, cold reality says that if I do so this week,repparttar 126085 police will arrest me and remove me from circulation for some considerable period of time. There is even a colder reality that says that a poorly trained and frightened police officer could very easily shoot me stone dead at his first glimpse that I am carrying a firearm. The fact I would not be threatening him – and that this young cop would probably feel terrible about it afterward – is cold comfort indeed.

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