A friend of mine – a brilliant and thoughtful young man – someone who describes himself as “conservative” – who’s currently serving in the United States Navy and dedicated to protecting our Constitution – sent me a really articulate message the other day. Because he’s someone who knows guns and has been trained to use them in service to our country, I thought he offered a valuable perspective. I asked him if I could share his thoughts. He gave me permission. (Because of his position in the military I’m going to keep his name anonymous.) Here’s what he wrote:
“Hey Karen. I know this is a scary time for all of you teachers, especially with what happened. As you know, I am more conservative, but I think you would agree with my view on gun control: the Constitution explicitly states: ‘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.’ Most conservatives miss the important line: A WELL REGULATED MILITIA. To me, that does not mean random citizens stockpiling weapons in their garage, or people buying high-powered weapons to simply play with. It means well-organized, trained, local security groups with standardized training and security practices, and that training should be coming from standardized government entities, such as the National Guard. At least, that’s how I interpret it. So when the NRA loudly states that ‘all civilians should be able to buy guns and that they need guns if the government tries to take over their rights’ I can’t help but laugh. Because if the government even tried to do that, the military would be obligated to protect the citizenry against the government due to its oath to the constitution and the country. That is my view. Gun control solutions and mental health solutions must be pursued at the same time. There are so many mental health resources out there that schools and hospitals simply don’t take seriously or under utilize.”
A friend posted a link to a conservative political survey on Facebook. Here are some of the questions and my answers:
How would you rate the current direction of our economy?
Corporations are running our economy. I would like to see the power go back into the hands of the human citizens.
Which issue would you like to see prioritized more?
I would like to see our nation’s representatives fight for the middle and lower classes, rather than be in the pockets of the wealthy and corporations. I would like to have the people who represent us recognize that global warming is a real danger to us. I would like to see all the citizens of our country – including the poor and disenfranchised – have access to affordable health care. I would like our President to actually care about EVERYone he represents – and not just wealthy white males. I would like our President to realize he works for us, and that we don’t work for him. I would like women to have control over their own bodies.
Do you think immigration should be reduced until unemployment drops?
No. Immigration isn’t causing unemployment. Shipping jobs overseas is, however.
Do you think universities today indoctrinate rather than teach students?
No. Our students need to learn to question their own beliefs, assess information for accuracy and bias, and think critically. Students need to be taught the skills that will help them recognize that your question has built-in bias.
What else do you think the President needs to know about the real America? We’re listening.
No. You are not listening. If you were listening, you wouldn’t even be asking these questions. If you were listening you’d actually be trying to help all Americans have access to health care. If you were listening, you’d be lowering taxes for the poor and middle-class, and raising taxes for the rich – rather than the other way around. You are assuming that American citizens are ignorant, uneducated, and only out for themselves. You have become dinosaurs as the rest of the country has moved on. Catch up.