If you’ve followed this blog for any period of time, you’ve heard constant references that I make to the dogs with whom I’ve shared my life. There was a dog in our home when I was born and I hope there will be one by my side when I pass from this earth.
Dogs have brought me so much joy with their simple ways and honest behavior. They have in many ways been my guide – as important as any spiritual advisor. It was not through their words but their acts that I learned. So if you’ve concluded from this summary that I have a passion for dogs, you are certainly correct.
And that brings me to what I have learned from my companion dog Gracie.
Gracie doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She is one of the gentlest creatures who has ever walked this planet. She interjects herself between other dogs at the dog park if she feels the playfulness is getting a little too contentious – acting as hall monitor. I have often worried that, if there were a dog who was truly vicious while she was busy interceding and who attacked her, she would have no idea how to respond to this assault.
I’ve met a few dogs in my life who were, indeed, vicious. Their number is far less than the people whom I could categorize thusly. Those dogs, like many of those people, were unfortunate victims of their upbringing. And as we look at our world today, it seems to me that our general abandonment of principle and love (other than the self-centered kind), has loosed far more vicious people on the world than it once knew.
We are now about to embark on a discussion on “gun control”. The media, already bought and paid for, will show us scenes of horrible tragedies, mass shootings and stories about the helpless victims and the toll their deaths took on their families. We should all bow our heads in prayer and reflection over what caused these tragedies and mourn those who died in them. That is the very least we should do – and it is probably all that most of us will do.
Soon the rhetoric will begin on Capitol Hill and from the White House. It will sound good if you fail to listen closely to the underlying emptiness of the conversation.
It will talk about the number of violent deaths caused by weaponry – and will totally ignore the walking deaths caused by welfare.
It will address itself to the undeniable tragedies of Newtown, CT and Aurora, Co and will lay the blame squarely at the feet of guns, while ignoring the fact that there are mentally ill people in this country for whom we provide limited assistance or help.
It will necessarily re-write history and ignore the reasons that the Founding Fathers incorporated the Second Amendment of the Constitution to uphold the First – Freedom of Speech.
It will ignore the facts about areas which have allowed gun ownership and have among the lowest crime rates and that areas which have restrictive gun control laws have consistently had more murders committed due to the use of illegal guns.
In essence, it will be a lie – as much that emanates from Washington has proven to be.
So today I made a decision. I will admit that it was one at which I arrived after a lot of kicking and screaming. I made a decision to purchase a weapon – not because I have any intent to go out and shoot up the town or rob a bank but as a matter of defense – for Gracie’s sake and well-being.
I am not thinking of it as a “gun” but rather, an “insurance policy”. And while, as with all insurance policies, I hope never to have to call on the benefits for which I have paid premiums, I will be armed – and Gracie will be safe.
That is what responsible parenting is all about. Isn’t it?