February 8, 2013

Be Our Guest / Dr. Andrew DuBois

Second Amendment is meant to balance power, reader says

This letter is in response to your page 1 article, “Faith groups begin to muster members in support of gun controls” in the Jan. 25 issue of The Criterion.

The 20th century has demonstrated that governments, not “the people,” are the chief source of danger to children and families.

In 1932, during a time of peace, Joseph Stalin decided that grain production from Ukraine, then a province of the USSR, was too low. He ordered all grain and animals to be confiscated from this region, resulting in a famine that killed 3.5 million people, mostly children.

This famine, called the Holodomor, is now seen by most as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. Add those killed by Adolph Hitler, Mao Zedung, Pol Pot and others and the number of innocent children killed by their own governments is hard for the human mind to comprehend. The lesson of the 20th century is that it is a bad idea to give the government too much power.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to balance power by keeping some measure of military force in the hands of ordinary citizens. It has nothing to do with hunting or protecting yourself from a burglar. It is about the people having the ability to form an army of revolution to curb the U.S. government should it get way out of line. It is a way of making sure that genocide never happens in this country.

We have raised our five children without network television. I will never forget the day my 6-year-old daughter came into the kitchen in tears and screamed at me, “Daddy, that’s the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. It’s awful!” She had been watching a Shirley Temple video in the other room.

I calmed her down and she continued, through her tears, “A man in that movie took a gun and shot it at another man!” This particular Shirley Temple movie contains a brief gunfight between a villain and the police.

My daughter knows guns first hand. I am a marksman, and she has watched me shoot on numerous occasions. She knows that you are not supposed to even point a gun at another person, and she knows that even a small gun is dangerous.

This was her first exposure to a gunfight as entertainment. She was horrified. This is an appropriate response to seeing two people try to kill one another with deadly weapons.

That day, my daughter reminded me that shooting a gun at a human being is an absolutely horrible act. This act should never be shown on television. It should certainly never be shown in such a way as to make it look fun or glorious. Allowing movies and television that glorify gun violence is dangerous and irresponsible. It is like teaching young children to put beans in their ears.

Modern television and the Internet are worse than the gladiator games of ancient Rome. At least in Rome, children were not allowed into the Colosseum to watch people kill one another.

American children watch dozens of murders every day. I am not at all surprised that Americans are shooting each other and engaging in all sorts of immoral behaviors. We are teaching them how to do these behaviors with television and the Internet.

We do need a grassroots movement in this country. We do need to stand up together as people of faith. We need to clean up television and the Internet to eliminate pornography and violence.

We have a right to television and Internet that is safe for our children. If this is not changed we will see continued violent and immoral behavior among the people watching this garbage.

As an unfortunate consequence, we will also watch our precious freedoms disappear as America becomes a police state.

(Dr. Andrew DuBois is a member of SS. Philomena and Cecilia Parish in Oak Forest.)

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