The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘Newtown

When You Treat Only the Symptoms and Ignore the Cause

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When it comes to our health we’re taught not to ignore symptoms of illness and get them treated quickly so they don’t develop into something more serious later.  If we visit a doctor he or she will attempt to learn the cause of the symptoms we are experiencing, find the root of the problem, diagnose and treat.

Done right, we get well and our symptoms disappear.

However, if the diagnosis only treats the symptoms in an attempt to only relieve pain or discomfort, the root cause will get worse and if left untreated can result with far worse or even fatal results.

Using this analogy, our nation has been suffering with painful symptoms of corruption, crime, debauchery, to name a few, for decades. Some will argue these problems have plagued our country in all generations, but I would suggest not at the magnitude or frequency we see today.

hippocratic-oath-medicineThe doctors in this analogy are our civic leaders, elected to govern, to prevent societal ills if possible and treat them when discovered and to provide laws and regulations that work but are not overreaching or infringe upon the rights established in the constitution.  Like a doctor, our leaders should have the knowledge and skill to diagnose the root cause of a problem and attack it with the proven methods to solve it. The doctor uses medicine, the politician uses principles.  Without these tools the prognosis of a cure in either case is bleak at best.

The skilled physician who is altruistic in his approach can diagnose and treat disease with high levels of accuracy and success and with permanency.  The not-so-skilled doctor or the doctor who may be less concerned about the patient than the pay, may only treat the symptoms prescribing treatment to provide temporary relief but certain to require return visits and more prescriptions. Regardless of intent this is not an uncommon occurrence in the medical practice today. president-barack-obama-takes-oath-office

The skilled politician who is altruistic in his approach and true to his oath of public service will look to long-standing principles that have worked to the benefit of all segments of society throughout history to diagnose and treat the ills described and attack the problem at its source through legislation that is enforceable, fair, and specific.  The politician who seeks office for reason of fame, fortune, power, or anything outside the core values of public service will too often treat only the symptoms through appeasement, redistribution, giveaways, cronyism, deficit spending, inequitable taxation, and a litany of procedures to distract the public from the root cause and thereby avoid the more difficult task of actually solving the problem.  Regardless of intent this is not an uncommon practice of political leaders in government today.

For an example we need only look at the current gun control debate.  Too many elected officials are focused on a symptom, guns, when regarding the problem of violent crime specifically that of mass public shootings amplified by the recent school shooting in New Town, Connecticut where 26 people were shot by a mentally deranged man, 20 of those killed were children under age 7.

Indeed, guns are used to kill people, which is abhorrent to nearly every human being and because it is such a horrible thought it incites an immediate and powerful emotional response.  But decisions made in the heat of emotion are almost always wrong.  History, crime statistics, gun crime statistics, and common sense overwhelmingly discredits the current political diagnosis and prescribed treatment of the problem of violent crime in this country.  Yet the emotional response being pushed by politicians and media is to ban entirely the weapons used in the commission of these crimes which infringes upon the rights of all people not just the criminals who voluntarily abdicate their rights the moment they commit a crime.

Emotion doesn’t recognize logic and emotion is driving the debate.  Imagine your doctor making every decision on your behalf based on his or her emotional attachment to your malady. It doesn’t work in either case.

Until our elected officials recognize the root cause of most or our societal ills, moral decay and the blurring line between right and wrong, the disease will get worse and at some point it will become fatal.

I’ll punctuate my argument by sharing a video from the ongoing public hearings in Hartford, Connecticut concerning gun control, where Henson Ong issued a passionate defense of the Second Amendment with irrefutable facts and historical data. Exclamation point.

The Speech May Be Old but the Message isn’t

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Rachel and Darrell ScottIn 1999 Darrell Scott, of Littleton, Colorado, sat in front of Congress and delivered stirring testimony concerning the Columbine High School shootings that took the life of his daughter Rachel.

What congressional members heard that day was not what they expected, but it was most certainly what they and a nation struggling to comprehend and process the horror that had taken place, needed to hear.  But how quickly we forget.

The media barely paid attention to Mr. Scott’s profound message which cut to the core of the deep seeded problems this nation faces with precision and clarity, leaving no room for interpretation or misunderstanding.

Now, in light of another senseless horrific massacre at a public school where this time the victims were barely into the discovery phase of their lives, his words ring loud and clear and just as true as the day he delivered them.

For that reason I post the entire transcript in the hope that everyone who reads it, Liberal, Conservative, or at any other point of the ideological spectrum, will gain a new perspective of the serious problems we face as a nation and will consider what I personally believe is the only real solution, a return to the roots of faith and God.

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.” “The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field.

The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. “In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.

I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.”

“I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room.

Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. “I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:”

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”

You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

We do not need more restrictive laws.” Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored.

We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!” “As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!

I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA- I give to you a sincere challenge.

Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain!

The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”