Letter to the editor
Posted: January 3, 2013
On ‘doing something’
“Do something, even if it’s wrong!” was advice given Army second lieutenants 50 or so years ago. It was meant primarily to demonstrate that the more experienced among Army leaders had pretty low expectations of newly minted officers, but it was also an admonition to take responsibility.
Unfortunately, the advice is taken to heart by those clamoring for gun control legislation in the aftermath of the atrocious events in Newtown, Conn.
Enacting more laws restricting guns is the knee-jerk reaction of those who are unable or unwilling to admit to the real problem: More and more people are so dissatisfied with their lives, their opportunities, their very souls that they take leave of their humanity in horrific ways.
It’s likely that new firearms restrictions will not prevent the next atrocity, resulting in yet more restrictions, which will not prevent the atrocity after that, and on and on. But at least the government will have done something, even though predictably ineffective.
The answers to our problems lie not in more laws, but in a return to individual dignity and responsibility. Unfortunately, those attributes can’t be legislated. Indeed, legislation has contributed to the problem.
From abortion on demand to universal health care, individual dignity and responsibility have been chipped away over several decades. Need proof of the correlation to atrocious behavior? Try tracking mass-murder events and legislation that has made us less responsible for our own lives. The former rises in step with the latter.
Since government appears uninterested in returning individual dignity and responsibility to our lives, the burden for doing so falls on — individuals! And families. And communities. We have to begin rebuilding our country from the bottom up; the increasingly top-down approach to which the nation has defaulted simply ain’t working.