STRENGTHEN OUR FOUNDATION
It is amazing that in these days of turmoil with shootings in schools, staggering drug problems, domestic abuse and a compromised political system, someone took the time and effort to file a complaint about a painting on the third floor of the city offices in Findlay, Ohio.
Yes, the painting does reference a Psalm. Does that reference incite someone to violence or to share a needle filled with a drug of choice?
Does it scold a passerby because they did not attend a church service this past weekend, or threaten eternal damnation? No.
It is a reference about protection and safety. Who doesn’t need that?
Our nation was built on Christian beliefs, and it would serve us well to strengthen that foundation.
And, yes — separation of church and state is important, but I don’t believe Thomas Jefferson had a Psalm reference in mind when he penned the phrase over 200 years ago.
HUMANS NEED OUR ATTENTION
Another shooting has brought about the same back-and-forth about gun control and banning so-called assault weapons.
Let us be clear right up front: All firearms kill. Yes, the recent Florida shooter used an AR-15 to kill 17, but the Fort Hood shooter used two handguns to kill 12. The Aurora, Colorado, shooter used a semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic handgun and a shotgun to kill 24, and the murderers in France used a truck to kill 84.
The point is that people kill and banning some gun based on its looks will not stop those inclined to kill from killing. It would just be a feel-good moment until it happens again.
The tool used to kill, whether it’s a gun or a truck, leaves the victim(s) just as dead, so it’s the human using the tool that needs our greatest attention.
The Florida shooter was known, the Sandy Hook shooter was known, the Fort Hood shooter was known, the Aurora shooter was known and yet men, women and children still died terrible deaths.
And then after each tragedy, what do we do? We all run to our respective sides and start the all-encompassing debate about the tool used to kill, not the human doing the killing.
We’re better than this.
HOW MANY MORE WILL DIE IN SCHOOLS?
When a tragedy occurs, inevitably we ask ourselves, what could have been done to prevent it?
Most people do not steal, but not because there are laws against it. They either have an inward ethical compunction to not steal, or they would steal but fear the consequences of being caught, or they steal regardless of the consequences.
How do laws stop a criminal who fears no consequence?
Did laws against hijacking prevent the tragedy of 9/11? Did laws against murder prevent the crimes of Dylan Roof, or John Wilkes Booth? Did the “Gun-Free Zone” sticker at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School prevent Nikolas Cruz from strolling in with one? Did the 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol stop people from making, buying, and selling it? No, no, no, NO!
Yet despite this abysmal record, some people still believe laws can keep guns out of the hands of those who misuse them.
Numerous laws already in place should have prevented the South Sutherland, Texas, church shooter, Devin Kelley, from purchasing any firearms, but the Air Force failed to communicate his mental health issues and court-martial conviction to civilian law enforcement.
We don’t know exactly what Kelley intended to do after exiting the church, as he later died from a self-inflicted wound.
But his likely primary target — his ex-mother-in-law — had stayed home, and he probably meant to add her to the death toll. But an armed citizen encountered Kelley as he left the church, wounded him, and followed as Kelley fled in a vehicle — stopping Kelley’s killing spree. What did laws do?
Community members had already warned both the FBI and local law enforcement about Nikolas Cruz. Both agencies did nothing about him. An armed deputy lingered outside the school building while three unarmed staff members died inside, shielding students with their own flesh. What did laws do?
How many more students and teachers will die in “soft target” schools with limited means of protection?
Apparently none, because we have laws against murder and stickers on school doors.
FINDLAY SHOULD STAND ITS GROUND
Concerning the mural in the Findlay Municipal Building: Leave it there! It is a work of art.
In our museums, there are paintings, statues, artifacts, etc. of Asian, African, pre-Colombian (New World), and European … and I’m not offended.
Look at the nude statues in our museums!
Stand your ground, Findlay!