My first meeting with “Tony” was in the parking lot of a Super-8 motel.  I thought it odd he listing a post office box as his address, and he was adamant about meeting somewhere other than his home.  It took me about 2 minutes to realize that the SUV Tony was driving was his home.  I saw the Marine decal on his side window and he wore a black hat that spelled out “Vietnam Veteran” in bold, capital yellow letters.  As he leaned out of the truck, his walking stick assisted him and I could see the hospital ID bracelet still on his thin left wrist.  Tony was frail and almost toppled over twice in the 10 minutes we spent together.


I was sent there by the insurance company to assess collision damages to his SUV.  Because we are about the same age, I felt at ease talking to Tony, a connection that came comfortably.  I asked him about his situation.  He explained that the bank had foreclosed on his house and that he was homeless.  He admitted to having a brother on Long Island, but seemed dismissive of contacting him.  We didn’t get into his medical details but clearly, Tony was in rough shape, but a battle-toughened Marine, far from giving up.  I asked Tony if he had a relationship with God.  He told me that he had lost his faith over the years.  I told Tony that even if he had given up on God, God had not given up on him.  I encouraged him to find a good, local church.  I shed a few tears as I left, at the same time grateful for my life but frustrated that I couldn’t do something more for Tony.


I knew he and I weren’t finished even before I said good-bye to him after our first encounter.  Sure enough, a month later, I was assigned to meet with him once again.


When I called to make the appointment, Tony said, “I’ve been thinking about something you said to me and I want to talk to you more about it.”  Encouraged, I called the local social services clearing house for some information about homeless vets and whatever other services might be available.  Before meeting Tony in that same parking lot as last time, I met with the staff people at the clearinghouse and they loaded me up with brochures, information and applications for a variety of assistance.


After exchanging greetings and some small talk, I asked Tony what he wanted to talk about.  I was curious as to what I might have said to him the last time that had stuck with him.  Tony told me that he had lost his faith when his 37-year-old wife died of cancer.  I told him that the lack of an explanation about such things shakes everyone’s faith.  I told Tony that I had no idea what God was doing nor could I offer any explanation, except to say to him again that even if he had given up on God, I was sure that God had not given up on him.  I told Tony that he and I were put together like this for a reason.


I handed over the paperwork and put it into Tony’s SUV.  I told him that I thought that there was lots of help around him; he just needed to reach out and accept it.  As I shook Tony’s hand, I pressed a 20-dollar bill into it and I told him that God was watching over us all and to work on rebuilding his faith by finding a good church.


I left the parking lot once again with tears in my eyes, but this time, with a glint of hope.



Citizens, not Subjects

It seems that the less one knows about firearms, the stronger their positions concerning them.



“AK-47”, “AR-15”, “cop-killer bullets”, “undetectable plastic guns”, “assault weapons”, “weapons of war”, “automatic weapons”, “machine guns”, “gun-violence”, terms all tossed about carelessly by those most likely to have zero understanding of that which they speak.  This happens when the intellectually lazy find the talking points that match their own misconceptions and blindly absorb the narrative as their own.  Never mind that they can’t even define the terms they use or know one end of the gun from the other, they take solace knowing that their friends all feel the same way, facts be damned.

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden summed it up best when he said the following in a speech at the Iowa State fair.  “We choose truth over facts.”  Apparently, this refutes the adage that one is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts by simply relegating those pesky facts to the intellectual scrap heap.


A gun, like Joe Biden is a tool.  Fortunately, the gun can’t fire itself but Biden sure can.


The black “scary-looking” guns available to the public are no different from the guns of 1885; the year semi-automatic firearms were invented.  The term “assault weapon” was fabricated by a gun-hating media to mislead the public into believing actual weapons of war can be owned by private citizens when they cannot.  The black, scary-looking guns are no different than the brown, wooden stocked guns used for hunting.  Like a tee shirt printed to look like a tuxedo is still a tee shirt, black, scary-looking guns only mimic the cosmetics of actual assault weapons.


The less one knows about guns the more they fear them.  When you combine that feeling of fear with a lack of knowledge, no one so charged can be expected to form accurate assessments about the subject.  Fear prevents one from becoming knowledgeable and the lack of knowledge results in ignorance.  When your fear is stronger than your intellectual curiosity, you lack understanding and when you lack understanding; your fear has made you a pawn to those who have conquered their fear and now count on yours in order to control you.


Those powerful forces shaping the anti-gun narrative gin up the fear factor in order to form the base of their operation.  If you’re scared to death of guns and know nothing about them and want to know nothing about them, you’re being used and exploited as cannon fodder in a dishonest and twisted debate about ultimately disarming America.


In the frontier west of the formation of this country in the 19th century, “the great equalizer” was the gun.  Later in the 20th century, Horace Mann called education “the great equalizer.”  Ironically, both of these positions are as true today as they were back then.  People in positions of power seek it exclusively.  They perceive others with power as a threat.  This is why those who lust for power are so afraid of ordinary people possessing anything that challenges them.  Firearms in the hands of a free people make the difference between being subjects or  citizens.

John Lennon was insightful when he wrote the famous Beatle’s song, Power to the People.  What else stands between the ordinary citizen and true tyranny should it come our way, but the power of ordinary people?

Firearms haven’t changed a lot in 134 years, but society sure has.

Murderous maniacs are the problem, not their methods.  Societal choices bear a price.  Dismantle, disregard and dismiss the traditional family structure and face those consequences.  Downgrade, denigrate and deny the existence of God and face that outcome.  Celebrate abortion as a civil right and convince yourself that all is right in the world.  Clearly all is not right.

Edmund Burke reminds us that evil prevails when good people do nothing.  Divine leadership happens in the kingdom of God that blesses families through His grace and our faith.  Human leadership starts in the family unit, lead by fathers on Earth, instructed by God in heaven.  Anything less gets us what we’ve got.  Reality is a harsh teacher.  Look hard at the world in which we live today.  We are choosing evil over righteousness, the easy over the difficult, the soft over the hard, the less over the many; we need a reawakening if we are to survive as the great nation of our founding.


If we can get back to nourishing healthy families in the spirit of God, we will solve a thousand problems at once and the grace of God will again shine His light upon the exceptional nation of the United State of America.