One Last Point: Peace on Earth (but not at the expense of our personal freedoms)
Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer   
December 26, 2012 10:59 am

There wasn’t much on my Christmas list this year. In fact, I didn’t make a Christmas list, but if I had made a Christmas list, I would have had at least one cliched item that needed a check mark: Peace on Earth.

The problem with peace on earth is there are too many people who just don’t care enough to work toward the end goal.

I’m not going to paint with a broad brush and say there are people working against it, because I don’t know anyone who actively looks to not have peace on earth, but I know there are people who are just too caught up in daily life to work the means to justify the end.

And when something jolts people out of their daily grind – like an unexpected pot-hole on the drive to church spilling coffee all over their new cream-colored suit – they lash out with a knee-jerk reaction.

Those types of reactions seem normal and rational at the time, but all too often in the light of a new day they are deemed foolish – and even downright stupid.

Take for instance the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

While I grieve for those parents and spouses who lost their children and loved ones, I’m cautious.

My first reaction when I heard that the shooting had happened was to exclaim out loud in the office that, “the only way to keep my children safe was to get them concealed carry permits and train them in the use of self defense and firearm tactics.”

That didn’t go over very well with my more liberal-minded colleagues.

When I look back and examine my knee-jerk reaction, I realize that it isn’t logical – or legal – to expect my children to carry a weapon to school, but I’m not the only person to have had that thought.

Some of them continue to push for more guns in schools. On the flip side of the coin, other knee-jerk reactions are calling for all guns to be banned.

Many think that this might be just talk, but I was in Fred Meyer the other night and they have pulled off the shelves all of the firearms that look like assault weapons or could be construed as assault weapons. 

In talking with a store employee, I learned that, not only are all of the Fred Meyer stores implementing the removal policy but, other stores are doing the same thing.

It’s not in response to a change in the law (no lawmakers move that fast) but it is an indication of what we can expect to see as people make hasty decisions.

The knee-jerk reaction came in the form of Senators Warner (D-Va) and Manchin (D-W. Va) calling for an all-out ban on assault weapons and stricter enforcement of current gun laws.

Now I’m a firm believer that the second amendment to the Constitution guarantees American citizens the right to bear arms. I also believe that we have to take care of our rights. It is a right to bear arms, not a requirement.  

It is a right, and like all rights, it can be given up or lost – just ask any convicted felon – through the breaking of laws.

What we have to do, is step back, take a deep breath and look at all possible solutions to the issues that are presented – it’s not just about gun control – and try to find enough peace in our daily lives that we can be part of bringing Peace to Earth and goodwill to men.