ashley313 wrote:We dont have a great depth of history to cling to over here, and being all spread out and from many different places the one thing our fake national identity is based on is freedom, afforded to us by the great constitution, fought for by our wonderful founding fathers. Somehow that national identity has turned into a reason to cling to the wisdom of the day....but that "day" was hundreds of years ago and things change. Not enough people understand that. The 2nd Amendment wasn't included as a means for citizens to protect themselves from each other, but to protect themselves from a tyrannical government overriding the checks and balances put in place by a group of people ever fearful of the controlling hand of distant monarchs. Does anyone here pay attention to that? No of course not because our education system is a joke and they probably missed out on that bit completely, so all they know is "the constitution says we have the right to guns, and we are nothing without our rights, so RAWR!!!!" Everything in US politics is framed that way...vote for our decision to invade other countries so they can have FREEDOM like us. You're unamerican if you don't support this protection of our freedom. We must infringe on your freedom by listening to your phone conversations or throwing you in prison with no due process because if we dont terrorists could take our freedom. But..but...but...yeah. See how that works?
Thanks for painting such a bleak and disturbing picture of the USA, ashley. Thanks applying for the broad brush of condemnation of our country.
I left this thread because it was obvious the rest of the world knows what to do to solve the problems with the USA and now I wish I had not looked back into to it to see where things were going... as it only depresses, frustrates and in some cases, angers me. I should have stayed the hell away the forum as I planned, and I probably am being foolish in even posting my feelings now.
I am an American, and proud to be one. I don't pretend to have all the answers to our problems and I sure as hell do not have the answers to the problems of other countries... which is why I don't rant or rave on them. Maybe I should follow the examples here and start.
Oh, how I wish I did have the answers to the serious issues that we face here in the USA. As a father, a grandfather, a former teacher (25 years) and one that was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and a Ferrari or even a Mercedes or BMW in our driveway, I can only speak with certainty to what I can control... my own life. And all too often I have not even done that well.
I don't own a gun, never felt the need. I do not totally understand the need of others to own anything other than their hunting guns, but there is little I can do about it. I would like to see much tighter gun control laws and I have written many a congressman over the years to express my thoughts, not just after this incident.
I would like to see our educational system improved in many ways, starting with changing our lack of emphasis on World Affairs and World Geography... and our move away from the arts... The emphasis on Science & Math is, in my opinion, hurting the goals of a well rounded education. I have no idea how to better educate children on gun controls though.
I believe in our freedoms, bemoan the loss of some of those freedoms, particularly those lost by the Freedom Information Act which Ashcroft & other used to walk all over individual privacy in the name of anti-terrorism. Yet I also understand that things have changed in this world and some of the ways of the past just do not work any more... terroristic activity or individual assaults such as what happened in Connecticut are so difficult to anticipate and stop. Yet, if it means giving up some of my privacy, being inconvenienced in security checks to make my life and that of others safer, then I accept it. That does not mean that I accept abuse of the system... just in case some of you are reading it that way.
I must admit to be fascinated by all the thoughts on the "mental health" of this country... WTF is that? How do we address it? Just how do we identify every one of the potentially mentally unbalanced out of over 300,000,000 million citizens and get them into counseling so we can be mentally healthy? Trust me, I would love to have everyone who needs mental health go to a counselor... but heck, I couldn't even get my ex-wife to visit a marraige counselor with me prior to the divorce. Do they know they are mentally unbalance? I seriously doubt that ever crosses their minds. Do I look at a neighbor and in some know he needs counseling and somehow be able to force him to visit one?
What will a background check for gun ownership find that would have prevented most of the crimes of passion that we have seen recently and indeed, on smaller scales forever? Will background checks determine that a husband is likely to kill his wife and kids and then blow his own brains out? How? How can they anticipate that, and then how do they prove it in order to deny the gun purchase? Primarily they look for criminal record or intent in a persons past, but that is seldom the person who commits a crime of passion such as I described.
Does every psychiatrist call the police and have anybody they suspect is mentally unstable under surveillance 24 hrs a day? Go to their house and take away any guns they might have or look for other weapons? I agree that would be nice... provided the person was really a danger, but is it practical for every client the psychiatrist has? I am just asking... how much can we do, should we do... and would YOU tolerate if you were the "suspect"?
There are so many complications involved in all of these issues. The Constitution is part of it (I too believe that the forefathers never intended it to be used as it is, but then they are not around for to ask any more either). There is also the simple fact that guns are but the tool used, and if guns were not available the truly mentally unhinged would and could still find ways to create the desperate acts ... be it with a bomb, other weapons, their car or whatever. I am in favor of whatever gun control can be used to help with the situations, but recognize that gun control by itself is not going to eliminate the danger.
All that said, I fully agree that the USA has some problems, we are far from perfect, as a nation and as individuals. For the most part this nations is not comprised of heartless individuals who are dead inside, bullies, or murderers as some are seemingly suggesting. Maybe it is because I live in a rural area (by choice) in the middle of the country that I am a bit more optimistic about my country and it's ability to find some answers. Maybe it is because I am a old fart who has lost family who have fought for my freedoms and the way of life I have available to me that I am somewhat defensive when I see a lot of unknowing criticism of the USA (and NO, I am not saying that criticism is not deserved... just bashes by those who have no clue). Perhaps it is because, despite our problems, I still realize that I have it pretty good here in the good ole USA... I have a roof over my head, food on the table, cloths on my back, a job and a car to get there. I am grateful for all of those things, but I try not to take them for granted. But for where I was born, I might be living a life far different, far more humble, far less food....and even far more dangerous.
So... in conclusion of my rant... I will repeat that I am still proud to be an American. I wish we had all the answers, and hope that we continue to work to find them. I do not apologize for the USA, but I apologize to anyone who feels that I have offended them. On that note, I am back into seclusion... let fire as you feel the need.