Weathering the Storms of Life

Have you heard the latest news on Gun Ownership in the United States?

Household Gun Ownership Hits New Low–Fewer Than One Out of Three American Households Has a Gun

Gun-Free Households are a Substantial Majority, Gun-Owning Households a Shrinking Minority

Washington, DCHousehold gun ownership in the United States has dropped to its lowest level since it peaked in 1977 according to a report issued today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) analyzing new data from the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. The GSS has tracked household and personal gun ownership since the early 1970s and, except for the U.S. Census, is the most frequently analyzed source of information in the social sciences.

If this is true – and I don’t believe it is, simply because general distrust of our government has widely increased – wouldn’t it be just a little more conceivable that gun-owners have simply stopped registering their weapons? How do they account for guns sold in those states that have banned the federal registry of their guns? It would be impossible to keep any sort of accurate count in those states.

I know that the schools have done their best to make children afraid of guns and weapons with their idiotic “zero tolerance” policies that have expelled students for using a butter knife. It seems our so-called “tolerant” society isn’t all that tolerant.

What concerns me is what might happen when a major catastrophe hits, when  local government  services break down –  and they always do. Not only won’t you be able to protect your family against looters, but you won’t be able to protect the family cat or dog from a mountain lion either. Mountain lion sightings have become more and more common in populated areas due in part to their growing numbers combined with a shrinking habitat, as more and more houses are built.

All I can say is you better move near a river because you won’t be able to provide meat for your family either. Those without a gun will be at a definite disadvantage in their ability to feed themselves. We have plenty of wild  deer, squirrel and turkey in our neighborhood. If necessary, we could kill, dress and prepare food from the local wildlife in order to sustain ourselves.

When disaster strikes, will you be prepared?

Hurricane Katrina and Compassion

Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana with a vengeance, leaving thousands homeless and the news wire was ablaze with reports of victims and rescue efforts.

The many ghastly images displayed by news sources can stir up a torrent of emotions in those who find it difficult to imagine the horror of living in a city 80% under water, without basic necessities.

Stranded Pets

Even more horrific is the thought that many viewers are more concerned with the plight of the many animals caught in the aftermath of the hurricane, than concern for the loss of human lives and those who remain – left to survive in the disaster area.

News accounts displayed shots of dogs stranded on roof tops and our hearts went out to them. I’ve heard many lament about those poor animals and how they would love to travel to New Orleans to help them, yet those same people show very little concern over people facing those very same living conditions.

I love animals the same as the next person but I can’t begin to put them in the same category with people in need. How can we have such compassion for pets and livestock, yet ignore women and children in need of basic necessities?

Residents Looting

While the thought of looting in the areas stuck hardest by Katrina is disturbing and certainly not to be condoned, the news reports are more than a little worrisome. A recent article by World Net Daily
reported that, “Fox News reported a local McDonald’s restaurant also was looted with residents stealing burger patties and buns.” While this is certainly newsworthy, I must admit, the first thought that came to my own mind was “So what?”.

Without electricity and refridgeration the food being stolen is going to go bad, someone may as well get some use out of it. McDonald’s will be forced to throw out the burgers and the buns. The losses will be turned over to their insurance company. What’s the big deal?

I guess the big deal is that McDonald’s spent millions of dollars in advertising over the last year and Fox News wants to keep a happy customer by keeping McDonald’s name in the news.

The fact is the entire city is a disaster area and people must eat to survive. Many have elderly to care for and children to tend to. Perhaps, McDonald’s would prefer they resort to measures taken by others in harrowing circumstances. I’m reminded of the Donner Party’s passage over the Sierra mountains in the dead of winter and how many died along the way. The survivors of the party told tales of living off human flesh in order to sustain themselves through the harsh winter.

I wonder if people living off human flesh to survive this disaster would make headlines in the news? After all the media showed many dead just lying in the street because there is no way to bury them.

I read another account about how some local charities were breaking into area restaurants in order to feed the droves of people searching for food and shelter. The article seems to think that was just fine but citizens doing the same thing were looters and vandals.

It’s comforting to know that some police and rescue workers are sticking to the important job of saving people’s lives instead of going after “looters”. If emergency services were in place, as they should have been – prepared to mobilize immediately, to assist those stranded by Katrina, most of the looting could have been avoided.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

ASPCA Assists Animals Affected by Katrina

Animal lovers will be happy to know that the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) will be granting $1,000,000 to animals affected by Hurricane Katrina. Over the past two days, the ASPCA has received nearly $400,000 in donations for help and in-kind aid to help the animals affected by Hurricane Katrina and is on track to raise more than $750,000 with its board of directors allocating an additional $250,000.

The ASPCA estimates it will take millions to effectively re-build the local shelters and provide the necessary animal assistance to the local companion animals including basic necessities.

The Ant and the Tsunami Victims: A Marxist Perspective

by: Nancy Salvato

Bring on the hate mail. I know I’ll be receiving plenty of it from the people who don’t want to hear what I’m going to say. To begin with, I’m tired of the hard working people in the United States playing Atlas to those who don’t plan beyond the moment or to those who believe that the rest of the world exists to bail them out when they encounter disaster.

Government spending of citizens’ hard earned tax dollars to bail out every victim of disaster, poor business practice, or persons lacking in motive to overcome adversity has led to a greatly expanded welfare state and unnecessary regulation of private industry predicated on the idea that the government knows the best way to spend our money and that we exist to take care of those “deemed” unable to meet the demands of society as we know it.

Under Attack

Communism, which forces individuals to sacrifice their own interests for the good of the state, was allegedly defeated at the close of the Cold War. Yet our personal and intellectual freedoms are still under attack by many who play on the collective guilt of those who have achieved wealth through hard work and enterprise; suggesting that they be required to contribute a greater share of their hard earned dollars to take care of those
who are not doing as well -without any expectation of return on their money.

It has just come to my attention that Kerry Sieh, a professor of geology at California Institute of Technology, “repeatedly warned Indonesian officials  that an earthquake and tsunami would soon strike their shores.” Because these officials weren’t acting on the warnings, he and his teams began warning people directly. Unfortunately, he couldn’t reach all of the people in time.

Now I have complete and utter sympathy for the people who have suffered and lost loved ones due to this tragedy, but I also feel resentment that because their government didn’t heed the warnings that other countries have to bail them out.

Irresponsible Actions

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. On any given day, you can be sure that people are rebuilding their homes in areas of known mud slides, hurricane force winds, and tornado alleys. People are eating fast foods, not taking care of their bodies, and driving cars irresponsibly. While it is no concern of mine that anyone should want to do such things, it becomes my burden when the government pays the disaster relief or Medicaid costs of those
who choose to put themselves in harms way or allows exorbitant punitive damages to be awarded, raising everyone’s insurance rates.

We should not bail out individuals who do not use “common sense” or corporations like Chrysler, who does not practice fiscal responsibility. Who can say what might’ve happened to GM and Ford had we let events unfold as a true capitalist society mandates. We should not regulate some areas but leave others up to chance. The government should not involve itself in areas of private industry – period.

Free Market and Freedom

In a true free market, the cream rises to the top. Others will adjust to succeed. Those willing to work will survive one way or another. Those truly unable will be the beneficiaries of the generosity of a people driven to success.

We are not a welfare state. We are a free country and freedom means that you can build your house on a cliff or on the shore or even next to power lines. But with that freedom comes responsibility -for your self. Buy more insurance, find storage for your valuables on safer ground, but don’t expect me to pay for your lack of concern or foresight. If I choose to contribute a sum of money to a charity on your behalf, that is up to me. Not up to the government.

Should a person be made to feel guilty for living like the Ant instead of running around like the Grasshopper, who in the original fable dies because he does not live in a collectivist society which exists to take care of him no matter what? The moral of that fable is lost when those sworn to uphold the Constitution no longer believe it protects a person’s individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Nancy Salvato is the Director of Online Communications at Americans for Limited Government. She is an experienced educator and an independent contractor with Prism Educational Consulting. She serves as Educational Liaison for Illinois’ 23rd Senatorial District. She works nationally and locally furthering the cause of Civic Education. Her writing is widely published on the internet and occasionally in print venues such as the Washington Times. Her opinions have been heard on select radio programs across the nation. Additionally, her writing has been recognized by the US Secretary of Education.

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