What's With These Apologies?

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

It’s alwaysrepparttar same refrain, over and over again.

The Latin expression “ad nauseam” means “torepparttar 126051 point of nausea.” My nausea threshold is pretty low early inrepparttar 126052 morning, I must admit. To add insult to injury, I always have to askrepparttar 126053 same question – and endurerepparttar 126054 endless, whining answers – every time I teach a new concealed handgun class.

“Why do you want to carry a firearm?” I ask a new crop of students.

“Well, I wouldn’t, except . . .”

“I won’t actually carry it, but sometimes I have to drive through really bad neighborhoods . . .”

“I don’t want a gun, but my husband thinks I should have one . . .”

And so on. Ad nauseam . . .

Each student acts somehow furtive, somehow ashamed, as though they are doing something they wouldn’t want to tell their mothers about.

Their mother’s mothers would be turning in their collective graves over this ridiculous attitude!

A firearm is a tool, and our grandparents and great grandparents knew it very well. Yes, a firearm can certainly kill. So can a power saw, and I know what I’m talking about. I almost watched my adopted brother bleed to death from such a horrific accident. Screwdrivers and ice picks are amongrepparttar 126055 most popular murder weapons. And an automobile isrepparttar 126056 deadliest machine of all! Automobiles kill many, many more people than those killed by firearms each year.

So which of these devices do you think we should ban?

Tools, including firearms, do not get up and do evil deeds by themselves. I tell my concealed handgun students, again and again, there is no such thing as an “accidental” discharge. There is only a negligent discharge. If you learnrepparttar 126057 safety rules, and make them a part of your every instinct, firearms are no more dangerous than any other tool. And they are far more useful!

Oh, I can hear your collective gasp of horror allrepparttar 126058 way down here in Texas. Yes, dammit, firearms are useful!

You constantly hear claims that firearms are killing kids left and right. The simple truth is that more kids are killed playing high school football each year than die from firearms related incidents, including suicide! Another fact that might interest you is that zero percent – that’s zero percent – of kids who are given firearms and proper training in their responsible use ever commit crimes with those firearms. The firearms used in juvenile/young adult crime are all illegally obtained anyway.

Yet firearms are used by law-abiding citizens to prevent a staggering 2,500,000 crimes each and every single year! And on almost every single occasion, no shot is ever fired.

Now tell merepparttar 126059 truth. If someone told you about a tool that could prevent 2,500,000 crimes per year, and didn’t tell you it was a firearm, you would definitely call that a useful tool, wouldn’t you? Of course you would!

So why does everyone choke onrepparttar 126060 idea that firearms are useful?

My students have come to me because they each have made a decision to take responsibility for their lives andrepparttar 126061 lives of their loved ones. It is a difficult and courageous decision,repparttar 126062 mark of a true adult. They have faced and acceptedrepparttar 126063 reality that police nearly always come anywhere from minutes to hours afterrepparttar 126064 crime is committed, and therefore are incapable of protectingrepparttar 126065 victim.

The men and women who come to me for concealed handgun instruction have recognized this, and they have decided not to be victims. They have decided, likerepparttar 126066 courageous five aboard Flight 93, not to go quietly torepparttar 126067 rear ofrepparttar 126068 airplane and call home.

They have decided, likerepparttar 126069 founding fathers of this country, to bear arms for lawful and moral purposes. This is not an act of cowardice. It is an act of great courage. Our forefathers who took up arms pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Those were not mere words then, and they are not just words now. Everyone who chooses to bear arms today is makingrepparttar 126070 same pledge.

You don’t believe me? Well, look at it this way. If I observe an unarmed citizen in life and death trouble, and I am armed, I have a moral obligation to step in and at least try to save his or her life. In doing so, I am almost certainly risking my own life on his or her behalf. If I am so unfortunate as to be forced to shoot someone inrepparttar 126071 course of offering said citizen my aid, I will be paying lawyers and fending off civil suits forrepparttar 126072 rest of my days – which should effectively wipe out any fortune I am ever able to accumulate. Finally,repparttar 126073 very subject of firearms is so emotional that it is entirely possible that a jury may convict me of an actual crime even though I was acting in clear self-defense or defense of a third party. This may not touch my “sacred” honor, but it certainly affects my public honor if I am so unlucky as to be convicted of murder!

Find An Enemy

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

To consolidate and increase failing political power,repparttar first step is to find an enemy. Demonize this enemy in every way possible. Label it unpatriotic to questionrepparttar 126050 evil of this enemy. Then rally aroundrepparttar 126051 flag and kick some serious butt.

Sound familiar? It certainly should! Subsequent torepparttar 126052 horrors of 9/11, those very tactics took a president with a 49% approval rating –repparttar 126053 danger point for any smart politician with an eye on history – and launched him torepparttar 126054 highest approval ratings of any president in American history. It enabledrepparttar 126055 passage ofrepparttar 126056 abomination calledrepparttar 126057 PATRIOT Act (quickie review here: "Label it unpatriotic to question . . .") which gutted our Constitution and ended our way of life forever. It broughtrepparttar 126058 average American onrepparttar 126059 street (who is a fundamentally decent human being) to supportrepparttar 126060 bombing of a barren and helpless 10th century country right into submission in order to punishrepparttar 126061 sins of a few evil fanatics.

And, of course, those tactics also maderepparttar 126062 old dream of an Afghan natural gas pipeline a reality.

Dubya may be pushingrepparttar 126063 limits with his planned attack on Iraq. He is running out of time – and approval. Nevertheless, those tactics bought himrepparttar 126064 best eleven months of any president in history. If he failed to use them wisely, that does not diminishrepparttar 126065 usefulness ofrepparttar 126066 overall plan. But Dubya didn't inventrepparttar 126067 tactics he used to such good advantage.

Dubya's daddy used them with enormous success inrepparttar 126068 Gulf War. Do you remember allrepparttar 126069 stories about Saddam's troops snatching babies from incubators and throwing them onrepparttar 126070 hospital floors in Kuwait City? It seems now that they were completely fabricated. It simply never happened, but it gained an awful lot of popularity for a war that never had a thing to do with us! It also gained a lot of popularity for a president who looked America inrepparttar 126071 eye, said, "Read my lips." – and lied.

Dubya learned well from his daddy. Adolf Hitler used similar manipulative tactics very successfully inrepparttar 126072 years leading up to World War II. He demonized Jews, Gypsies – everyone who had committedrepparttar 126073 hideous sin of being born other than "Aryan" – which handily distracted German citizens fromrepparttar 126074 horror of their economy atrepparttar 126075 time, and then he invaded Poland and started some serious whupass. Despiterepparttar 126076 determination of most ofrepparttar 126077 world to stop him, his own people worshipped him almost as a god right up untilrepparttar 126078 bitter end.

Subsequent to Pearl Harbor (and some believe prior to Pearl Harbor), Roosevelt used similar tactics with great success inrepparttar 126079 early days of our entry into World War II. They continued to carry popular support right intorepparttar 126080 last days ofrepparttar 126081 war, when Truman maderepparttar 126082 decision to userepparttar 126083 bomb.

The earliest description of tactics such as these that I have personally read can be found inrepparttar 126084 writings of Julius Caesar, but I am sure that even earlier soldiers and thinkers used them to controlrepparttar 126085 unruly masses and get an unpopular job done.

Why did these leaders resort to these tactics? They used them quite simply because they work. I should also mention that they also work especially well for leaders who are losing support – or who never had much support inrepparttar 126086 first place.

Are you taking notes? Good. Because tactics of this type don't just apply to nations. They work for any identifiable group that is opposed to any other identifiable group.

Another quick review here. What arerepparttar 126087 elements? (1) Failing popularity or support for your group, (2) find an enemy group, (3) demonize that enemy, and (4) kick some you-know-what. Result? Fantastic popularity, loyalty, support, ad nauseam.

This morning, I hadrepparttar 126088 misfortune to read an ad forrepparttar 126089 August issue of Whistleblower magazine with some excerpts fromrepparttar 126090 theme – how Paganism is destroying America by fosteringrepparttar 126091 "New World Order." Normally, when I read material as ridiculously false as this, I just wonder aboutrepparttar 126092 intelligence and/orrepparttar 126093 education ofrepparttar 126094 author.

Today was different.

Right now, I am especially sensitive torepparttar 126095 use of manipulation of public opinion in this manner to gain power and money. So what might have gone unnoticed by me yesterday rose up and smacked me inrepparttar 126096 face today.

I do not ascribe this sort of nonsense to sincere Christians. Sincere Christians are not insecure in their faith. They have no need to play games with manipulation.

No,repparttar 126097 authors of these stories – and others like them – are not sincere Christians. They are opportunists, cold-bloodedly seeking power and money by methods historically proven to work. In addition, their blatantly money-grubbing so-called "churches" are losing popularity at a surprising rate. Which happens to constitute Element 1. Paganism isrepparttar 126098 fastest growing religion in western civilization, despite our adamant refusal to proselytize, sorepparttar 126099 authors have found their enemy ready to hand. Element 2 is complete.

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