Wednesday, February 26, 2014


We get up in the mornings and turn on a faucet and water comes running out. How often do we think about where it comes from and how much there is?

Our bodies are strange things when it comes to nutrition, we can live several days without food but we can survive only two days without water.

What if we ran out of water? Think about it.

Most of our lakes, rivers, and streams have been polluted to the point that it is not safe to drink and the fish that live in them are not safe to drink.

For centuries raw industrial waste has been dumped into waterways, raw sewage joined it along the way. Things got so bad that at one time Lake Erie was declared dead and the Cuyahoga River actually caught on fire.

Some improvements have been made in the partial clean up of direct outlets of industrial waste, however, the agency charged with enforcing the Clean Water Act has neither the financial or manpower resources to monitor the polluters.

Cities have done a better job of cleaning up the sewage before dumping it into waterways. It is all too little too late and there are so many new threats that before this century is over, there will be no safe drinking water available to households anywhere in the world.

Every year farmers and gardeners, and folks treating their lawns use tons of fertilizer, insecticides, and herbicides. Not all is absorbed into the product nor is it retained in the plot of ground where it has been applied. A large percentage runs off into our waterways. There is no plant that cleans those items from the water.

The newest threat to our waters comes from drug pollution. There are several sources including drugs used for farm animals that get into the water supply via animal waste and run off. No treatment plant in the world is capable of cleaning out the pharmaceutical drugs that people put into the water supply through our waste or by the medications we flush down throw toilet.

Many of our aquifers have been polluted or are in danger due to the sources mentioned above and because of the many pipelines crisscrossing the country carrying everything from crude oil to gasoline, and natural gas.

The supply of water is dwindling because we are using more that nature is replacing. In California today, many communities have been shut off from the Central Valley Project. The drought continues to get worse as rain fall is at the lowest level in over a century and the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada, where the water for the Central Valley Project comes from, is less than twenty-five percent of normal.

At the same time, areas that have not yet faced severe shortages of water continue to water their lawns and hobby gardens. Let faucets run when not necessary, and fill swimming pools each year. Just flushing a toilet wastes, on average, six gallons of water. Surly there is a more efficient use of water to wash away our waste.

There are a few large companies coming to our rescue. They are buying large chunks of land that are located over fresh water supplies (aquifers) and drilling large wells with the ability to pump water from any depth.  Since many states have a law that basically that the guy with the biggest pump gets the most water. So, while the water table is being lowered and wells in the area are drying up, those few companies are pulling the water from the ground, trucking it to a processing plant, bottling it and selling it back to the same people that they just screwed. Company cost is about eleven cents a pint that they sell to the customer for one to two dollars for the same pint.

Do you think it is time to start conserving the water we do have and cleaning up what we can? There are many things we can start doing at once. More about that another day. For today, just give our water problem some thought.

I will write more about water in the coming days. I will keep you posted on what may be in store for all of us someday soon.

For information about what you can do right now, visit the following page:



Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Recently I watched a program on the local PBS station.  The program, “John Sebastian Presents: Folk Rewind” was the backdrop for the PBS fund drive.  As I watched, it became evident to me that the program meant more to me than the PBS telethon and brought back memories and stirred deep emotions, some caused me to face very disturbing questions.

So that you understand my need to look in the mirror and ask questions that may not have an answer, I was born in 1944.  I grew up during the most volatile and rapid change in the psyche of the nation and, in my opinion, the world.  I refer to myself as a child of the sixties because, even though I, and most people of my age, had thought about and discussed the future, who we were going to be in that future and how we would fit into that future, before the sixties arrived, it was during the 1960s that we put into practice those things we said we believed, those things we said were important to us and to the world, those things we wanted to pass on to our children, if and when they came along. We marched, we sang, we protested, we testified, we loved, and we changed the world. We helped, along with those brave men and women who had battled for so many years, to bring about equality for all. We helped, along with those who went to fight on the battlefield and those who fought in the courts and by leaving their country, homes, and families behind, to stop a war. We helped, along with millions of Americans, to force a corrupt president from office. For the record, I served our country during the turmoil in Southeast Asia and earned the right to protest, but everyone in this country, regardless of their service had and still do have, the right to protest.

Those of us that grew up in that period had high ideals, many will not see it that way, but we were out to build a better world.  Each of us, no matter our political ideology, social class, or race felt that we were contributing to the future as we envisioned it.  For some reason, I was part of what you may consider to be the more radical segment of the Post World War II Generation.

I grew up in North Eastern Ohio.  The Civil Rights Movement was just gathering steam and we did not understand what it was all about.  Where we lived, there was no race problem, at least to our young eyes.  Black and white lived near each other, we went to school together, played sports together, hung out together after school, some of us Do-Wopping, hoping that we were going to be the next Dion and the Belmonts or The Drifters.  As I got older, and after my excursion into the heart of the activity, I noticed that blacks lived near whites, but not like next door.  I realized that, even in Ohio, there were places where black people did not go and I realized the degrading nature of some of the names that were used in reference to black people.  By the time I left home, I heard young people, my age, using the very words we hated so much when we heard them form our parents generation. Either those who chose that road were too ignorant of what they were doing or hate is passed from generation to generation. Looking around America today, we see the voting rights that so many had fought for so long to see enacted, trampled under the feet by those who do not want everyone to participate in the democratic government that our founding fathers gave to us. In the last year alone, years of work has been tossed under the bus by people who want power at any cost. Why have we allowed that to happen?

We had such high ideals and such high hopes of changing the world, and then we were gone.  We were still here physically but most of us had to change our focus from changing the world to putting food on the tables of our young families.  Advancing in our jobs so that we could make more money and have more things became more important to us than the billions of our tax dollars that were being spent around the world influencing governments so as to shape them into our vision of what they should be.

Suddenly one day, we looked around and discovered that we had become the very thing that we had fought so hard to destroy.  We had become them.  We were part of the establishment, living our lives of affluence, always wanting more and not caring about the suffering that many may have endured to bring it all to us.

We want cheap clothing, people in Bangladesh will make it for us two cents an hour. We want a cheap TV or computer, people in China will make it for us for a few cents an hour, a dorm to live in and the right not to be shot. We don't care, we just want. We want what we want, when we want, and at the price we want and we don't care about the cost to people who make it for us. We don't care about the cost to the environment. We don't care about the cost to our grandchildren who will be living in third world conditions so we can have what we want, when we want it, and at the cost we want to pay.

In America, the greatest threat to the health of Americans is the epidemic of obesity. In the meantime one third of the world is starving to death.

We dreamed, and fought for real education, education that would prepare students for the world they would someday enter.  The two sizes fits all educational system of the 1950s needed to be updated with more individual attention for those with learning difficulties and curricula designed with the person in mind rather than the cookie cutter systems we had all grown accustomed to.

We dreamed of, and fought for equality.  Not just for the word but for the meaning.  We wanted every person in America to be afforded the same right to a good education as his or her neighbor.  We wanted every person of legal age to participate in the election of government officials and to vote on issues and to run for and be elected to government offices.  We wanted any person with the means to pay for a home to be able to buy a home in any neighborhood and to live in harmony with their neighbors as part of the community.

We dreamed of, and fought for peace.  Peace, in our community, in our country, and in our world.

What happened?  Where and when did our dreams get derailed?  To where did we, and our big dreams of a better world disappear?

Today, the poverty we dreamed of eliminating encompasses more of our countries citizens and is deeper than any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  To add to the despair of those in the most need, members of our congress are fighting to eliminate the very programs put into place, during and after that Great Depression, to ensure that the basic needs of all American Citizens would be met.

Shady real estate brokers and their equally shady Wall Street cohorts cheated the process of home sales and the handling of the subsequent mortgages so severely that they have sent this country’s and the world’s economies to near total collapse, and profited from the whole mess.  As their empires began to disintegrate, we, the taxpayers, were forced to bail them out of their troubles and save their companies.  They used our tax dollars to pay themselves, the very people who destroyed our economy, put millions on the unemployment line, caused thousands of businesses to close, pension funds to shrink to such a level that made retirement for most a forgotten dream and destroyed the lives of many already counting on their pensions to live, multi-million dollar bonuses.

We have engaged in two wars lasting a decade and financed by raiding the Social Security Trust Fund and borrowing money from China.

As these events unfolded and continue to unfold, our national balance sheet presents us with a deficit so large it is hard to comprehend.  The answer for many of our members of congress is to eliminate the programs that assist the poor and elderly while refusing to allow a slightly higher tax rate to be levied on the richest, very small, segment of our population.  Our country has become populated with people whose motto seems to be, “I got mine, screw you.”

Somehow and by someone, a determination has been made that our public school systems are failing students.  There seems to be two main reasons cited for this situation; the failure of some students to pass a standardized test and the fact that teachers belong to a union and therefore get paid too much.  The resolution; get rid of the public schools, except to serve the poor and basically disenfranchised students, and use our tax money to fund private schools, catering only to those students the private, for profit, school operators deem worthy of their particular school and whose parents can pay the additional tuition.  This plan will, as it is intended to do, leave the children with the most need stuck in the remaining public schools with very limited resources, like books, teachers, chalk, you get the picture!

I do not have enough years left to list all the wrongs I see in this once great country.  What disappoints me most is my generation, including me, that gave up the fight far too soon and then failed to pass the torch.  The Occupy Movement is far to disorganized and lacks the commitment, and intestinal fortitude, to bring this country back to its senses.  What we need is another round of “children of the sixties” to wake us all back up before it is too late.  It may be too late now!  Think about it!

The following was written by a nineteen year old young man in 1965.  This video is one of many.  Some show scenes from the 1960s, some, like this one are updated.

Same old world, only worse


Monday, February 24, 2014


On December 29th, 1890, when my grandmother was a young woman of twenty, at a place near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Agency in South Dakota, in what has been called the last battle of The Indiana Wars ,about five hundred soldiers, members of the 7th U. S. Cavalry, because they could, massacred ninety men and two hundred women and wounded fifty other people, members of the Miniconjou and Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux tribes.

Actually, there was one more battle. The day after the carnage at Wounded Knee, a group of Native Americans from the Brule Lakota Sioux Tribe from the Rosebud Indiana Agency in South Dakota engaged with troops from 7th Cavalry who were aided by troops from the 9th Cavalry, The Buffalo Soldiers.

The battle erupted as some of the Lakota were trying to enforce some of the terms of the treaty, which they were forced to sign, with the United States Government. They, along with the Cheyenne Tribes were starving, having had their rations cut and because of outright theft by the suppliers. They were desperate.

And that was it; the Indian problem was over and out of the hair of those who claim “ownership” of what is now called “The United States of America.”

I guess it would surprise many of you to know that the U. S. government still treats Native Americans like they were the intruders, intruders in the land that rightfully belongs to them. If you would like evidence, take a vacation sometime and drive to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

I hope you will be shocked and ashamed with what you see.

The United States is comprised of over 3100 counties. The counties that make up The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are the poorest of all those. They share, and sometimes trade positions, that title with the two other reservations in South Dakota, The Rosebud and Lower Brule.

Some members of my family tree lived in the coal mining regions of  the Appalachia region. I traveled through that part of our country a couple times and was shocked at the level of poverty that existed in my country. Though conditions have improved somewhat, thanks to the efforts of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton, people still live in a poverty ingrained in the culture of the people. They have been taken advantage of and abused by big corporations for generations and most have come to accept their place in the world.

I had heard that the people living on Indian reservations had it rough. I had lived near both Pima and Paiute Indian reservations over the years but never realize that severe poverty existed that close to me.

As part of a longer vacation, my wife and I planned to visit The Pine ridge Indian Reservation. As we were traveling there, we entered the Badlands. A large part of the badlands are on the reservation. It was an unusual experience to say the least.. Our car’s compass did not work, our GPS system did not work and we could not get connected to our ONSTAR system operator. I stopped the car to look around at the massive rock formations and the trails that ran through them. As I was standing there, the air itself spooked me. It was like it was singing and had color to it, like the colors in a science fiction movie.

We finally arrived at our destination, after getting directions from nearly every person we could find. We stayed at The Lakota Prairie Ranch Resort. If you think resort means some fancy place with a casino and all, forget it. It was a bare-bones place to stay and had a great restaurant attached. The people there were a great source of information and directions around the Pine ridge area. They discussed the history and culture of the Lakota with us. Just as an aside, the Lakota do not have a casino on the reservation.

What we found out while we were there was that 1 in 4 infants are born fetal alcohol syndrome and that Alcoholism rate is about 80%. Until 2013, when the members of the Lakota Nation voted to repeal the ban, Alcohol was not sold on the reservation but nearby merchants build alcohol stores just outside the boarders and it was easy to smuggle it onto the reservation.

We found out that many of the houses we saw had no floor and that most did not have beds. If a family was lucky enough to have a mattress, as many as five people may be cuddled up on that one mattress trying to keep warm. Many homes have no running water or sewage. Heating oil is expensive and many cannot afford to have it delivered to their homes. Some have no electricity or telephone service.

I learned that the unemployment rate was between 80% and 90%, and that the U. S. Government uses its power to keep it that way.

In the early part of the new century, The Lakota began growing industrial hemp to be used in brick making. The level of THC in the industrial hemp is so low and of so poor quality that one could never make a “joint” from it. They could, however, make bricks. This project would provide industry and jobs to the Lakota nation. The government stopped them, with force, in direct violation of the 1868 treaty the Lakota made with the United States. This helped to keep the per capita income of the residents of Pine Ridge at about $4000 a year.

In another wonderful show of faith, the U. S. government confiscated a large chunk of the Badlands, belonging to the Lakota, to use as a bombing range during WWII. In the first two decades of the 2000s, they are still clearing unexploded ordinance so that the land can be returned.

With abject poverty comes an issue like Diabetes, which is about eight times the norm on Pine Ridge.

Other distressful issues on Pine Ridge include:
More than twice the national rate of suicide and you can double that for teens

Infant mortality rate on Pine Ridge is three times the national rate

Twice the national rate of heart disease

The second lowest life expectancy in the western hemisphere

Cervical cancer more than five times the national rate

If, as some people say, the United States is turning into a third world country, just go to The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to see what you will become.

Most of you cannot even imagine living in those conditions, yet we turn our heads and pretend not to see as the government continues to massacre the Lakota.

I visited the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre and stood on the hill where the Hotchkiss cannons (Gatling guns) were fired. Right behind me stood the mass grave that the men, women, and children that were chewed up by the Hotchkiss guns were unceremoniously buried.

I have read several books, articles, and papers and looked at many maps concerning the events of 12/12/1890 and as I stood on that hill, looking across the field where so many would needlessly die, it all came to life. In my minds eye, I could se everything. I hope never to see an event in reality that is so horrible and so heartbreaking.

The Wounded Knee Massacre did not end that day in 1890, it continues today as “We The People” allow our leaders to continue to persecute the very people to whom this land rightfully belongs. Columbus did not discover America; it was never lost. It was inhabited by many nations with trade routs going from New England to South America. It had a thriving economy and one that practiced conservation of resources centuries before the term was invented. But that’s another story.

For now to learn more about the Lakota and to help their situation, visit one, or more, of the sights below.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Is China up To Now ?

Think About This

The next time you pick up that “Made in China” product when you know there is an American made product at a slightly higher price, Think about This!

On May 10, 2012, USA Today reported that the trade deficit with China is on pace to exceed $295,500,000,000, last year’s amount.  And they use questionable currency manipulation to make Chinese goods cheap in the United States and American products very expensive in China.

On October 4, 2010, The American Economic Report in that year, our trade deficit with China will displace between 512,000 and 566,000 American workers.  Since 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization, 5, 500,000 manufacturing jobs and 26,000 manufacturing facilities have been lost due to such a large trade deficit.

In 2011, according to the federal government, the labor force in the United States was 153,600,000 with 20% or 30,720,000 members typically engaged in manufacturing.  Just using very simple math one can see that we have, as of 2010, lost 18% of our manufacturing jobs due to the trade deficit.  The 2011 unemployment rate was 9% so if we just reduce our imports from China by 50%, we should reach full employment in the United States.

Just a note, our total imports in 2011 exceeded $1,700,000,000,000.  Why?

That unimaginable number is due to two things; first, the American people do not want to pay a little more for American made goods.  Second, American employers do not want to provide a wage and benefit package that is commensurate with the skill and educational level of the American worker.

Big corporations know that as the unemployment rate increases, so does the demand for ever and ever cheaper products.  So they import those products from countries, like China, that pay very little, have no benefit package to worry about, have no environmental protection or worker protection regulations.  Everything goes their way. The more we demand cheap products, the more domestic production they move overseas.  While they are rolling in the dough, the American wage and lifestyle, for so long the envy of the world, continues to decline.

Just one more point for today, but you will be hearing a lot more from me about China’s colonization of America. While the ultra-rich continue to bash the middle class of America into submission, they are moving their corporate headquarters “off shore” to avoid paying taxes in the country that has given them such great wealth.  To add insult to injury, many of the “ruling class” are renouncing their American citizenship to avoid paying income tax.  As Leona Helmsley once said, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”  People at her level actually believe that.

Think about those things the next time you put a “made in China” product into your cart.   More to come!


Monday, July 16, 2012

America's Death Knell ?

According to University of Wisconsin Professor Alfred W. McCoy, when empires enter their era of decline, they fall apart with “unholy speed.”   He points out that The Portuguese Empire dissolved in just one year.  Most of us remember that the death throes of the Soviet Union lasted for only two years.  For the French it took eight years, the Ottoman Empire fought off the pale horseman for eleven years, and the mighty British Empire lasted seventeen years before the final bell tolled.  Many believe that the year 2003 marked the beginning of the end of the American Empire and predict that the end for us will occur within the next twenty-two years.  I am writing this essay in the year 2012.  From the time I write and post this short work, nine of those years are gone and thirteen remain.  Given that there will likely be a series of events that lead to the end, we probably have eight to ten years of deluding ourselves that we are too big, too important, or too powerful to ever be replaced as the preeminent super power of the world.

What kinds of events could possibly trigger the end to the America we know?  One could involve the delicate financial corner the United States has painted herself into.  It’s not just the national debt but includes what has happened to the middle class and the spending power, and taxing power that comes with such a class.

When we ask why the middle class is shrinking, we need to look first at where the products we American Consumers buy are made and by whom.  In the year 2011 the United States imported $726,712,000,000 more than we exported.  Forty per-cent or $295,456, 500,000 of that trade difference was paid to China. We bought from China $3,000,000,000 worth of apparel and $2,400,000,000 of leather goods.  We bought $1,400,000,000 in chemicals and $1,300,000,000 worth of plastic products.  We bought $2,000,000,000 worth of machinery and $2,500,000,000 worth of appliances and components for assembling appliances, and we paid $11,000,000,000 for computers and electronic products.
Every item I just listed, and it is far from encompassing everything, could be and should be MADE IN THE USA.  Why are they made in China rather that the U. S.?  Because we, as consumers, want to pay the lowest possible price for everything we look at.  Businesses want the best bottom line they can achieve.  Consumers, as workers, want the highest wages they can wring from their employers and employers want to pay their employees as little as possible.  We all want a clean environment, but we don’t want to pay the price for achieving it.  China satisfies all of those wants, but the cost is that your neighbor, and now probably you, have no jobs to go to.  How many people can fast food places employ?  To see just how arrogant we American Citizens are.  Go into any fast food store and see who is working there.  My experience is that it looks like the Hispanics have pretty well sewn up the employee pool for fast food joints. Why? The reason is simple, they are willing to work, and they don’t expect factory level pay for what they do.  But we, mostly white Americans, see the kind of work and wages offered by the fast food companies beneath us.  But not everyone does. Someone will do the job and take the last few dollars of your last unemployment check as you pass by the drive through window of the local Burger King or McDonalds.

If we want to try to stop our race to mediocrity, some first steps include; spending a little more and buying American made products whenever possible and accepting any job we can find, no matter how much it pays.  If it takes three jobs to put food on the table, work three jobs.  Those jobs are out there. If you don’t want the money, someone else will take it.

Every generation in our country’s history has had hardships to endure.  There have been depressions, recessions, periods of outlandish inflation, periods of severe labor strife, crop failures, and the list goes on.  This is the first generation that has thrown their hands in the air and cried about the situation, expecting that by wringing their hands, some magic spell would fall upon the world and then every wrong becomes righted.  Other generations put their shoulder to the grind stone; helped each other; did whatever work was available; and most of all bought American products that were made in American factories, by American workers.  We did not allow ourselves to be pushed around in our own country; we just dove in and did whatever it took.  Now a new generation is facing the abyss. It appears that this generation is content to be pushed into it rather than put up a fight.  If that is the case, America is doomed and in a few years will be an “also ran” on the world stage.  There may still be time, but I see this generation too selfish and too self centered to be bothered.  So I suggest you learn the exchange rates on the Yuan and the Euro because soon one of them will be the world’s reserve currency!  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The End Of America As We Have Known It

Recently I have read several articles indicating the end of the American Empire is nearing an end.  Stories of the decline of America have abounded for years but the difference between the earlier and more recent articles is that reputable think tanks, The CIA, The State Department, and other experts in the field of international relations have now admitted that the America we have known for nearly a century is headed for a dramatic change as the global political picture changes.  Their new “missions” are not determining ways to stop the inevitable from happening but to determine how to make the coming changes less painful for the nation as a whole and for we as individuals.

History has taught us that empires, no matter how large or how powerful, eventually come to an end.  America is often compared to the Roman Empire.  I don’t think the two are comparable for the main years of their existence but the end games seem to have many parallels.

The Roman Empire fell because the people had become selfish.  The empire was bankrupt, both financially and morally.  By moral bankruptcy, I am not referring to religion.  I am referring to the greed of the people.  The more powerful the person, the more greedy he was.  There was a time during the heyday of the Roman Empire that even poor folks owned slaves.  It was a period of decadence and of thinking that the empire was indestructible.  For the last eighty years, The United States has been slipping deeper and deeper into the same situation as the Romans during their declining years.

In the United States, during the last twenty or thirty years, the motto of the individual seems to have become, “I got mine, screw you.”  The higher one rises in the hierarchy, the more ingrained and overt that attitude seems to become.  That upper echelon of America, the very rich and powerful, mirror the Roman Senatorial class very closely.  They are relentless in their efforts to take everything they can from both the government and the working class of people.  The distribution of wealth in this country is shameful.

The country’s financial wealth has been decimated by the outlandish amounts of taxpayer dollars that are paid to large corporations for relatively little in return.  Two very long wars, in one case completely unnecessary and in the other unnecessarily long have driven the country to the brink.  The graft, outright theft, and incompetence of the corporations with the cooperation and collusion of government officials throughout those two military actions should have resulted in prisons filled with those who plied this injustice on the American people, but instead they simply became richer and more powerful while the working class paid by sending their young men and women to die and by watching the infrastructure of the country fall into a state of decay that is financially impossible to repair before major collapses throw us into the same condition as a third world country.  The final insult is seeing the power class pit working class people against each other in order to accomplish their personal goals.

This has been a brief synopsis of what I see in America today.  It will serve as an introduction to a series of essays I will post, outlining the various possible scenarios that will spell the end of America, as we have known it.  I will state here, for the record, that one of the scenarios, or a variation of them, will occur within the next thirty years.  If you are a senior citizen, like me, the worry is not so great, but I weep for our children and our grandchildren for the turbulence and utter change they will experience as America falls from its place as the world’s most powerful nation  to “just another place on the map.”


Tuesday, March 6, 2012



The Constitution of The United States of America is basically a contract between the Federal Government and the several states, those states that constituted The United States of America, not the people as individuals.  The Constitution states, in the tenth amendment “ The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In order that certain rights and freedoms were protected to the individual, several amendments were added to the constitution.  Those amendments, known commonly as the “Bill of Rights” contain a list of personal rights that are protected by Constitutional Law.

The second amendment to the constitution guarantees the right of the individual to own firearms. “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.”

The individual states, however, have the power to make laws concerning some things while other things are not subject to any interference.  That power stems from the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution that reserves to the states any power not otherwise given to the Federal Government.  For example, Indiana cannot pass a law that allows police to enter and search your home without probable cause and proper authorization from the courts.  Any such law would violate the letter and spirit of the fourth amendment.  That amendment is part of the contract that directly protects the individual.
*(Since the original version of this statement, The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that an individual may not interfere with the police who are attempting to enter their home, without a search warrant!  It will be interesting to see how the United States Supreme Court rules on this issue.)

On the other hand, while the federal government cannot prohibit private ownership of arms and ammunition, the various states may pass laws that regulate gun ownership.  Even though established precedents support the right of the individual states to regulate gun ownership, none have ever passed, or to my limited knowledge, attempted to pass a law regulating gun ownership.  To an extent the federal government does exert some control over weapon ownership.  Anyone can own a high power rifle, assuming there is no state law against such ownership, but none of us may own an atomic bomb.  At least I have not found a specific court ruling allowing a private citizen to own a weapon of mass destruction.

I support the second amendment and believe that private gun ownership is an issue between the individual states and that state’s citizens.  If the constitution was changed and ceded to the federal government the right to regulate private gun ownership, the guidelines that would be developed and imposed would be far too generic to be effective.  Consider the difference between the need and use of firearms in Montana and New Jersey.  If federal laws regulating gun ownership were ever enacted, the various states would need the authority, out of necessity and of common sense, to tailor those laws to conditions in each state. If a particular state decided to debate the issue, the question of a law making sense if it were applied consistently across the state comes to the surface the same as if it were a generic federal law.  Consider California; regulation considerations would be much different in Los Angeles then in the towns, villages, ranches, and mines that dot the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  So, once again, a sensible law that addressed the needs of all citizens and communities is virtually impossible.

A generic federal law concerning the ownership of firearms, again with the caveat that weapons of mass destruction, which can easily be described and enforced with a federal law, should not be in the hands of an individual, would not be enforceable.  If a law is unenforceable, it should and would not be passed.

There is a need, however, in the United States to find a way to control who has weapons and what kind of weapon they have.  First; there is the need to have citizen militias to protect against the central government becoming an oppressive monarchy or a totalitarian dictatorship, and lets face it, there are those who are working very hard to destroy our country and reshape it based on their own narrow visions.  If the constitutional government should ever be changed, it will not come from outside the government, it will take place through the election process, it will come from extremists finding their way into the government and toppling the legitimate government and imposing their narrow will on every American.  Freedom, for all but a select few, will vanish. Second; there is the practical need for firearms.  I spent several years living in Utah and California and spending untold days and nights in wilderness or desolate areas prospecting and mining small claims. I could not imagine that life style without protection in the form of a firearm.  Snakes, wild animals, strange creatures lay in wait for humans to show up and get their due for disturbing their private sanctuary.  Of course, for those who chose to live in the wilderness for an extended period of time, there is the need for food.  Fish are usually available year round but man, or woman, does not live by fish alone.  Wild game is plentiful in the wilderness areas and can provide meat, skins to take to a tanner, and useful products from the uneatable parts.  Game should be killed only when necessary for food or when one’s life is threatened, not just for sport.  There is also the need for protection of one’s home and family.  There is, however, a great need to make training go hand in hand with gun ownership.  It may sound intrusive but mandatory basic training would prevent a lot of mistakes with owners getting hurt because they did not know how to use and care for their weapon.

At some point, some type of regulation, which can and will be vigorously enforced, will need to be enacted either by the states or by local governments.  The volume and type of weapons ending up in the arsenals of the gangs of this country is appalling and is on the verge of putting the whole country at risk.  Soon, I fear, we will be like Mexico where the drug cartels and gangs have larger standing armies and are more well armed than the government.  If the power of the gangs grow to the point where law enforcement is unable to control them, every citizen will be in danger and will attain weapons with witch to protect themselves.  Open conflict will break out and the good guys will lose.  We need to provide law enforcement and legitimate militias with the tools to bring the gang situation back under control.  The courts need to step up and do their part to end the gang control of the streets so that citizens can once again feel safe in their homes and on the streets.       

Sometimes something sounds so absurd that it can confuse, and scare the pants off of, some of us “normal” citizens.

Recently I read about some city or state introducing a bill that would not restrict gun ownership but if you were to own a gun, you must have it disassembled and stored in a locked gun safe.  So, lets see.  Someone breaks into my home and means to do me harm.  They are on their way to my bedroom where my wife and I sleep.  I hear them coming.  I jump out of bed and holler, "Hold on a minute guys while I go unlock my gun safe and assemble my gun, then we can go from there."  How far do you think that bill will go?  Some of these things go beyond my ability to comprehend.

I will again remind everyone that I am a Liberal and the person who made the poster that Liberals want to take away guns is all wrong.  There are people on the right and left that would like to see gun legislation to outlaw gun ownership.  Most on the right and the left, like me, want only to make sure we can keep weapons out of the hands of those who mean to do us harm.

I, like most Liberals, will not give up my right to own guns easily.  Conservative and liberals will stand together on this issue.

Sometime I will write an essay questioning if there really is an issue.