Censorship of Conservative Thinking

There are those who do not want you, the American public, to read these political posts. I am being censored and there are those who are trying to stop me from sharing this message. If you agree with me please share this with the world.

My fellow Americans,

I offer no apology for this posting. This is truly how I feel. This is my opinion and not open for debate. If you disagree or find my position offensive I’m perfectly fine with that. I won’t be offended if you feel the need to unfriend me or stop following this blog post.

I have lived through several United States Presidents.
In my lifetime, I have never seen nor heard of a President more scrutinized over every word he speaks, humiliated by the public to the point of disgrace, slandered, ridiculed, insulted, lied about and lied to.
Like Presidents before him, he has had death threats. However, when they threatened to rape the First Lady, they went to far. In fact, I would say that is a federal crime and grounds for legal action.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to have your wife disrespected and your children insulted and humiliated.
I am truly ashamed of the people who condone this behavior. What’s worse is we have those leaders in office who would go as far to stroke the embers and fan the flames of rage. Calling for people to attack these men, women and children just because they have a job in this administration.
I am ashamed of the ruthless, hating, cruel people who display vicious, animal-like behavior having no pride, morals, ethics or values in our Country. Let alone just being nice and civil. It’s okay to disagree with your leaders. You are allowed to have a conversation just be open to ideals and new ideas even if you don’t agree.
Our parents and grandparents taught us years ago to respect our President, whether we voted for him or not.
Many of us did not agree with the destruction of the health care system or the increase in the national debt but we respected the office of the President for the last eight years. Yes, we voiced our displeasure but we decided to vote them out instead of resorting to violence and cruelty.
Many pseudo news stations insist reporters make statements that are blatant lies.They will say and do just about anything for a good story. You know the old saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Many Presidents who have come before have been scrutinized. Republican and Democrats alike. Once they took the oath of office, it was like opening a flood gate to the most despicable of lowlife human beings.
Ever since the induction of a 24 hour news cycle, our leaders have been judged by their every word.
They’re always playing defense and never given the time to take care of the important work needed to help our citizens and the country.
I know our current President is not perfect. I know he’s very different than what we’ve become accustomed to but I promise you, he loves this country and is working hard to run it like a business and reduce the waist accumulated over many years.
I believe in his vision and feel it is time to leave him to his work.
Trust me, I will be the first one screaming should he screw up. I don’t always agree with President Trump but I think we need to think back in times when we had some crazy men leading this nation.
None of the other Presidents in their times were spotless or perfect either.
I want America to be prosperous. I want to welcome people into this country legally. I want to place constitutional judges on the Supreme Court. I want to have the best military force in the world and I want our children to have an America they can be proud of and lastly, I want those who imigrate here to come for the same reasons my father came…
To pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness! President Trump is trying to succeed and trying to make America great for many years to come.
I say we stop the hate… today

Anyone wanting to share your thoughts please be respectful. Bullying, anger and hatred will not be tolerated. Anyone spreading hate will have their comments deleted. We can disagree and still be friends

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What is Love

Love has a multitude of meanings. It has many compartments and many levels. The love you have for flowers may not be as strong as the love of your children.

Whatever or in whomever you find a common bond may very well be something or someone that you fall in love with.

A few years ago I was young, nieve and broke. I was doing what I thought was right. What God expected from me. I dated and worked but didn’t really feel like I was going anywhere.

Then I met this gal who, at first, was my complete opposite or so it seemed at the time.
I was totally infatuated with her but felt nothing but physical attraction at first. There was however, a special something that happened whenever I was around her. A feeling of completness. A fimiliarity that was very comfortable. I felt safe and uninhibited. I could be myself or be goofy and not be judged.

When I would leave to go home, I couldn’t get that feeling out of my head. I thought about her every second that I was away from her. I’m still that way to this day…
My thoughts and my desires were to return to her and be with her as quickly and as often as possible.

I struggled in school. I struggled at work. I didn’t want to go to church where I went, I wanted to attend with her. I wanted to be with her.

We dated and laughed a lot. I was startled at my reaction, my fear of the unknown. I wanted to proceed and take our relationship farther but I was having so much fun dating that I didn’t feel like I was ready for marriage.

One night, while starring at the stars she pulled me close and said she would go no further. She told me that she loved me and was tired of waiting for me to man up and ask the dang question.
We had discussed marriage but I didn’t feel like I was prepared. The thought of losing her sent waves of panic through my soul.

I had no clue how to ask someone to marry me so, with some help from friends and a shot of encouragement from my reflection in the mirrors of the bathroom at the airport Hilton in Salt Lake City, I asked her to marry me.

Today, I’m still broke and in a few ways, still nieve but I know one thing for sure…I’m not disappointed.
Oh I have regrets, but none about my choice in a bride.

We have struggled and fought our way to a very good place. We have battled against some huge obsticals, we have laughed and cried over some truly special moments that have cemented our relationship. I can honestly say that I have a best friend who also is my wife.

A few years back my wife wrote this:

“I was once told that we would never last as a married couple for very long.I’m so glad we didn’t listen to the advice or comments from that person!

Sure. It’s not been all laughter and sunshine but it hasn’t been all gloom and doom either.

That’s what makes a marriage though. It’s learning to love one another through the best and the worst times. It’s learning to lean on each other and trust one another no matter what happens.

Marriage isn’t always easy or fun, but when you get to do it with your best friend and love, it’s worth every moment.”

Well said babe.

It’s hard to believe that I was once a young, naive, super immature little boy kneeling across an alter looking into the eyes of this amazingly beautiful person.

Our relationship has not been perfect. Our marriage has been rough at times. but I have never in my life found more joy and been closer to anyone than I have my wife. She is one in five million.

The emptiness I feel when we are apart, the joy that envelopes me as we hold hands, the love I see in your eyes are worth more to me than any anniversary gift. There are no words powerful enough, no flowers blazing with glory or sparkling jewelry bright enough, no chocolates rich enough or anything that could ever describe how I feel when you are near me.

Love is… Whatever you need, whatever you want, whatever fills the void and silences your fears. Love is joyful, love is kindness above and beyond that shown to a stranger. Love is sacrifices, love is worry, love is happening, love is never saying your sorry that you made this choice to be together. Love is cleaning up puke in the middle of the night while your wife is drying tears and love is navigating through the variety of different stages of difficulties and good times that come with life.

As always, I welcome your thoughts…

The Knowledge Vortex

I have struggled all my life. I have seen many loved ones pass away. I have changed jobs and made new friends. I have even lost some friends. I have overcome addictions, spiritual darkness and am striving to become a better person.

I feel that my interactions with my mother reading to me and insisting that I read. Helped develop my imagination. Being able to get caught up in a pretend world was a vital part of my emotional development. My ability to use my imagination has molded me and helped me to become a better adult.

Throughout my life as I have struggled and played I noticed that there was always one consistency. I loved to learn. now it needs to be noted here that I didn’t like to learn in school as much as I like to learn the stuff that interested me.

Do ants spontaneously combust when a magnifying glass is held over them? Will a firecracker really blow up a toilet? Just how far can you stretch a Stretch Armstrong? These are all things that I really did as a kid it’s no wonder why my dad thought I was mentally challenged.

No matter if I was dealing with something negative or positive, I strived to see what I could gain from the experience.

I loved to learn and understand things when I was a kid but I failed to take advantage of the information I had at my fingertips. I did okay in school, I wasn’t going out of my way to put my nose deep in the books and learn everything I could but I passed my classes and in some cases I got straight A’s. I did not focus my whole attention on learning and I sure as heck was not worried about college when I was 16.

Girls, cars, and music were my life when I was in high school. I liked life and I lived it to the fullest. I was in my world and I was the leader. I was the one who could do whatever I wanted in my world.

So, that brings me to my question, Why is it that between the ages of 13 and 18, children are extreme know-it-alls full of worthless information? What exactly happens to a child between the ages of 12 and 13?

I am truly convinced that teenagers enter into a knowledge vortex, a void of reasoning and a black hole of reality.

Just in case you were wondering, the definition of a Vortex is… a mass of whirling fluid or air, especially a whirlpool or whirlwind.

Teenagers are so consumed now days with their phones, their friends, selfies, the social aspects of life and how important the opinions of their peers are to their social networking that they are literally void of the ability to gain knowledge. At least any knowledge that is useful.

Of course this is just my opinion and I am writing this blog as an opinion blog not as factual evidence. But, if you spend 15 minutes with a room full of teenagers, asking them intellectual questions, I can guarantee you that you will walk away from the experience feeling the same way I do.

No, to answer your obvious question I am not a teacher but I have spent many hours in a classroom teaching teenagers and young children through my church.

Some have surprised me with an intellect that is far beyond their age. Some however, live right up to the stereotypical assumptions of adults.”Teenagers are zombies.”

I’m sure you’re laughing at this point but think about it. Most teenagers walk around with their head in the clouds. They don’t have a care in the world as far as political events, national debt, the financial well-being of the family, the history of some old dude in the 1700s or anything other than food and their friends.

Alright so, how do we fix the learning vortex? How do we teach the Youth of today or how do we teach some of the adults who are still in a vortex? In all honesty I truly believe that there are some people on this planet who are just without hope but I digress.

Look at this statement from the Harvard Business Review,

If the U.S. is going to remain competitive in an increasingly global business environment, we need a future workforce that’s prepared. But the reality is that the youth who will be tomorrow’s innovators, educators, politicians, and business professionals aren’t ready to meet such competitive expectations — not so much because they’re untrained, but because they’re unequipped emotionally.
Teens in the United States are in dire psychological straits. Their stress is edging beyond that of adults, according to a recent report by the American Psychological Association. Their rate of psychopathology is five times that of 75 years ago, according to one meta-analysis.

Their rate of attempted suicide surpasses most other countries. America’s teens “trail much of the world on measures of school achievement, but are among the world leaders in violence, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, abortion, binge drinking, marijuana use, obesity, and unhappiness,” says adolescent scholar Larry Steinberg.

A 2013 survey of more than 123,000 students at 153 colleges showed that more than half experience overwhelming anxiety, and about a third feel intense depression during the school year.”
A large and growing body of research demonstrates that emotional intelligence — the ability to reason with and about emotions — is correlated with positive outcomes in children beginning as early as preschool, as well as in adults, including business managers and leaders..

I know this is been a lot of information to comprehend and take in but I think the moral of this knowledge Vortex that we have in our society today comes down to one basic thing…

We, as adults, must put our phones down and interact with our young children. It is absolutely imperative that we read to our children daily, that we teach them how to share, how to play, and how to use their imagination. It is absolutely vital that we explain to our children that life is not always fair and that there is going to be times where life can present disappointments.

If we are willing to invest a little bit of time into our children and into our society then our future will be a much better place.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end and for your support.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

We Learn from Repetition

A friend of mine posted that she liked to take walks during her lunch break where she practices some relaxation techniques. I decided to do the same.

Finding a spot where it was quiet I sat very still and attempted to empty my mind. (This was no small task.)

After twenty minutes or so I began to ponder the state of our world. More importantly, the condition of our country.

We are living in a rough time. Many are trying to persuade us to change the way we feel, believe, act and love. Many are justifying their actions by telling us to have tolerance, compassion, acceptance but in the end, they are asking us to go against what we know to be truth. Wickedness never was happiness…This is as true a statement today as it was many years ago.

Take a look at this….

Ross Douthat, writing for the “Gay Conservatism and Straight Liberation,” in the New York Times, June 28, 2015 said,

“Unfortunately I see little evidence that people are actually happier in the emerging dispensation, or that their children are better off, or that the cause of social justice is well-served, or that declining marriage rates and thinning family trees … promise anything save greater loneliness for the majority, and stagnation overall.”

I find this fascinating that this man, who is a strong voice in the LGBT community, sees little evidence of greater happiness now that laws are being changed and supposed tolerance is being legislated. Homosexuality is more tolerated and accepted than ever before.

Here is another point of view…

I have found this advice to be true more often than not. It comes from President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (You do not have to be a member of this church in order to understand the value in his words.)

“There are so many kinds of voices in the world. We are surrounded by persuasive voices, beguiling voices, belittling voices, sophisticated voices, and confusing voices. I might add that these are loud voices. I admonish you to turn the volume down and to be influenced instead by that still, small voice which will guide you to safety.
Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for what I consider to be the plagues of our day. They include the plague of permissiveness, the plague of pornography, the plague of drugs, the plague of immorality, and the plague of abortion, to name just a few. The scriptures tell us that the adversary is “the founder of all these things.” We know that he is “the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men.”
I plead with you to avoid anything that will deprive you of your happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come. With his deceptions and lies, the adversary will lead you down a slippery slope to your destruction if you allow him to do so. You will likely be on that slippery slope before you even realize that there is no way to stop. You have heard the messages of the adversary. He cunningly calls: Just this once won’t matter; everyone is doing it; don’t be old-fashioned; times have changed; it can’t hurt anyone; your life is yours to live. The adversary knows us, and he knows the temptations which will be difficult for us to ignore. How vital it is that we exercise constant vigilance in order to avoid giving in to such lies and temptations.
Great courage will be required as we remain faithful and true amid the ever-increasing pressures and insidious influences with which we are surrounded and which distort the truth, tear down the good and the decent, and attempt to substitute the man-made philosophies of the world. If the commandments had been written by man, then to change them by inclination or legislation or by any other means would be the prerogative of man. The commandments, however, were God-given. Using our agency, we can set them aside. We cannot, however, change them, just as we cannot change the consequences which come from disobeying and breaking them.”

We must have COURAGE. We must be willing to do that which is difficult, we must be able to stand up against the world and strive to do what is right.
Many of you will say that we believe that fighting for the rights of the few is the right thing to do and I would agree to a point. However, when you attempt to change the laws of nature and the laws of God you are not doing things that are constructive and for the greater good.
Yes! For crying out loud YES!! We should love all of God’s children but we should not have to give up that which WE believe to be true in the name of tolerance and love.
I love the sinners and the saints. I pray for this country and the world daily. I hope for the calm and the peace to return to this nation. I pray for tolerance among the differing factions of race and nobility. Those with money are not evil any more than those without are evil.
Let us all work towards a united cause of love, acceptance and tolerance for that which is sacred, that which is pure, that which is good.

All it takes for evil to exist and flourish is for good men to do nothing. I refuse to do nothing…

Thanks for reading to the end.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.
God bless.

Some Things are Hard to Swallow

In 1967, I was born in Ogden Utah but this story doesn’t start here. In fact, I’m really not sure of all the details to the story. You see, my mom didn’t know the story either. All she knew was what the adoption agency told her.

I was five years old when my mom sat me down and explained that she and my dad had tried to have a baby but we’re unable to conceive. She went on to say that she was blessed by another woman and that now I was able to be her son.

Growing up I had many adventures. Some netted me great rewards while others landed me in big trouble. I am not frustrated or mad at my biological mother. How could I be? She placed me with an amazing agency who then found me a family who loved me. How could I ever be angry over such a sefless act.

Life in 1967 was far different than it is today. Father’s had rules and most of those rules centered on tradition and religious upbringing. Having a baby out of wedlock was taboo. I can’t even imagine what she must have gone through.

Most of the time, I was happy and content being an obnoxious little boy and finding new ways to get into trouble. I did wonder if she thought about me and what she was like but honestly, I really didn’t worry about it.

Fast forward twenty years. My wife became the engine that was pushing the bus. She was instumental in obtaining the majority of the information I currently have.

She contacted the Children’s Aide Society of Utah and requested any and all information about my adoption. We learned that the courts had sealed the records so that my birth mother’s name was not known.

I did learn a few things such as nationality, height, hair color and a bit more of the circumstances of my birth. But I was still lacking vital parts to the story.

Now, let’s jump up a few more years…

My wife and I decided that it was time to do the DNA test from ancestry.com. We ordered our kits, we followed the directions, and then we waited and waited and waited. Finally, our DNA results showed up on the website!

What wonderful surprises we found. We knew that I had european and Czech on my side but neither of us expected to be irish. 12%! We had so much fun with these results.

When you put your information on the ancestry website, you are able to connect with potential relatives. There was a gentleman who had submitted his DNA a while back and when mine came up on on the website, it showed him as my close relative.

After further investigation and multiple Communications via email we came to the conclusion that this was indeed my half-brother. I had discovered a brother that I never knew I had. What’s even more insane is that I discovered he was my older brother.

In my adopted family, I was the oldest and now I have somebody who is actually older than me and my brother. This is the part where my brain exploded.

With all of this information coming in just a couple of days, finding out that I have relatives who live only a few hours away from me, and finding out that I have a half-brother in the world that I never knew existed. These are all the things that I’m finding hard to swallow.

For the last week now my head has been spinning and I’m very emotional. At the same time, I’m very excited for the upcoming possibilities and getting to know my new family.

We are still working out some of the fine details but after speaking with my cousin and my brother we have decided that we need to meet. I have not stopped smiling since I found out this information.

I was able to call my adopted sister and let her know the information and she’s pretty excited for me too because she’s trying to find her biological family.

We have compared notes and exchanged what ifs and are anxious to find out more information about each other’s birth family.

What a crazy future I have ahead of me and again all of this information is extremely hard to swallow but I am so looking forward to the next page in my life.

In conclusion, I just want to express my gratitude to God for allowing me the opportunity to belong to a wonderful family who loved me so much. I am truly humbled at the idea that God has been aware of this situation from before my birth.

He has guided me to loving parents, led me to individuals who suggested moves and aided me in connecting with these wonderful people.

I cannot find the words to describe how excited I am for this story to continue. Perhaps, this can be the subject of a futer blog post.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

viaaily Prompt: Swallow

Mental Health: What do you know? How can you help?

If there’s one thing that I want to make sure it’s that I do not take this topic lightly.

Mental Health is a growing problem in America and the world. There are more people today suffering in silence than we ever thought imaginable. It does not have to be this way.

I’m going to attempt to focus a little bit of attention on what we can do and how we can recognize those who may be suffering. I am in no way an expert on Mental Health and I refer you to the psychologists, psychiatrists, Doctors and others who know more about this.

Depression has a way of tricking even the happiest of people into thinking that life isn’t worth experiencing. Their energy is evaporated, what once was pleasurable is now less-than appealing and the physical symptoms are completely taxing.

Sounds pretty terrible, right?

Mental Health or the lack thereof can significantly alter a community or the success of that community. The saying, “it takes a village,”rings true when it comes to Mental Health.

First off let’s look at some signs that you can use to determine your own mental health.

How do you feel about you? What is your sense of self?

In an article at healthprep.com

It states:

“A stable personality indicates healthy thought processes, emotions, and behaviors, as well as a strong sense of self and one’s place in the world. When a person experiences a drastic change in their sense of self, a fundamental change in one’s identity, this could be an early sign of mental illness. Gradual changes in personality throughout one’s lifetime may be a natural experience as one undergoes new life-altering experiences, but for a healthy individual, a strong sense of self will remain. Potential issues arise when an individual is unable to cope with or adjust in a healthy way to the changes taking place, and they begin to lose their sense of self. A drastic change in one’s sense of self may require professional intervention in the form of speaking with a pastor, counselor or doctor.

You may begin to notice moments where you just aren’t hungry or times in which you have a psychotic episode. You get extremely mad for some reason and nothing has really provoked you.

What about exercise?

PhD student Julie Morgan from the University of Adelaide’s Discipline of Psychiatry has reviewed the results of earlier studies that examined the effects of stopping exercise in regularly active adults.

“Adequate physical activity and exercise are important for both physical and mental health,” says Ms Morgan.

In some cases, ceasing this amount of exercise induced significant increases in depressive symptoms after just three days,” says Professor Bernhard Baune, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide.

“Other studies showed that people’s depressive symptoms increased after the first one or two weeks, which is still quite soon after stopping their exercise.”

Professor Baune says the depressive symptoms arising from stopping exercise occurred in the absence of the typical biological markers commonly involved with depressive symptoms.

What about men vs woman?
Men and women with major depressive disorder (MDD) have opposite changes in the expression of the same genes, according to a new postmortem brain study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada. The findings, published in Biological Psychiatry, indicate distinct pathology, and suggest that men and women may need different types of treatment for depression

Let’s examine some statistics.

350,000,000

The number of people globally who are affected by some form of depression.

11%

The percentage of adolescents who have a depressive disorder.

70%

The percentage by which women are more likely than men to experience depression in their lifetime.

16,000,000

The estimated number of U.S. adults who had at least one major depressive episode 2012. This made up approximately 6.9 percent of all adults in the country.

14%

The percentage of women from a 2013 postpartum depression study who had the disorder four to six weeks after giving birth.

30%

The number of college students who reported feeling depressed, which disrupted their ability to function in school.

$80,000,000,000

The estimated annual cost of depression in the U.S. due to lost productivity and health care.

8,000,000

The number of ambulatory care visits from a 2010 CDC report where a major depressive disorder was the primary diagnosis.

50%

The percentage of Americans with major depression who don’t seek treatment for the mental illness.

10%
The estimated number of American adults age 65 and older who have a diagnosable depressive disorder.

10-20

The number of weeks psychotherapy treatments for depression usually lasts(though it varies depending on the condition). In order for antidepressants to take full effect, experts recommend giving the medication.”

The Huffington Post wrote:

“While many people consider mental illness in the abstract, an affliction outside the realm of possibility in their own lives. The sad reality is that these disorders are distressingly common.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said,

“If you are the one afflicted or a caregiver to such, try not to be overwhelmed with the size of your task. Don’t assume you can fix everything, but fix what you can. If those are only small victories, be grateful for them and be patient.”

President Thomas Monson said, “The reality of living with mental health challenges differs from person to person. Symptoms and concerns such as depression or anxiety may be manifest in unique ways, even when individuals have the same diagnosis.”

He further stated:

  • Watch your words. Your language can change perceptions. Avoid potentially harmful or negative phrases, and choose words that are more descriptive of what you observe.
  • Be a friend. Listen patiently and without judgment when others share their concerns. Help them locate professional resources if they need additional support.
  • Practice self-care. The limitations of mortality may require us to slow down and restore our strength at certain times. It is not selfish to take time for yourself.

I really appreciate your support and willingness to read these articles. I didn’t even begin to come close to touching on the vastness and wealth of information concerning Mental Health. I highly encourage you to study on your own and discover the things you need to feel more comfortable with you.

As always, I welcome your thoughts. I will help you in any way I can. Do not hesitate to reach out to me so that I can contact you and support you during this struggling time.

LDS Anti-gun/Anti-2nd Amendment Folks.

In my research I have yet to find a counter argument that can debate these truths. I borrowed this from a friend and it is spot on…

Anti-gun and Anti-2nd Amendment LDS folk: help me understand your position that only the government should have access to high power weapons. Change my mind.

How can you be so trusting that your security AND YOUR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (more important) will be upheld by the state after the Missouri Extermination Order?

Or the Saints being forced from their homes, raped, pillaged and murdered, across the Midwest?

Or when we were driven OUT OF THE UNITED STATES TO SETTLE IN MEXICAN TERRITORY, ONLY TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT SHOW UP WHILE WE WERE ON THE TRAIL AND CONSCRIPT MANY OF OUR MEN INTO MILITARY SERVICE?

How about when an unfriendly president sent a battalion of troops to our Salt Lake settlement with orders to quell a nonexistent insurrection, through force.

To review something that should be familiar to you in this context: Captain Moroni did not just count on prayers and personal righteousness to protect his people from violence. They were trained in the arts of war, and knew how to use weapons defensively. Famously, these righteous warriors said that they would not attack their brethren if they would leave them in peace. They only did so to protect their families, their property (on which their families found subsistence) and their liberty to follow God. They did not delight in bloodshed, but knew sometimes it would be necessary to defend themselves.

In fact, at one point, their government DID suffer an anti-freedom coup from within, and the only reason the nation survived was BECAUSE the ordinary citizens back home who supported a free government were able to defend themselves long enough for Moroni’s military aid to arrive.

And then we have the pacifist, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Redeemed from the most vile of sin, this group had made an oath never to take up weapons against anyone again, lest they revert to their wicked ways.

Had this group been left unprotected, they would have been destroyed. However, freedom-loving and God-fearing friends of theirs extended them both a land of their own AND armies to protect them, so that they could live peacefully and securely, without taking up arms. This life would not have been possible without the courageous and selfless soldiers that did carry the burden of warfare for them.

So, if you want to live as an Anti-Nephi-Lehi, and not carry a weapon for your own defense, or that of your family, that is your right.

However, why should your decision constrain those righteous people who DO carry arms for the protection of their families, their property, and their liberty? Those people would, in most cases, be the first to run to your aid if you were endangered.

I understand that tragic events tug on your heartstrings and make you feel insecure. I can understand wanting to feel more safe, and that the removal of certain tools from general public use may make you feel safer.

But the evidence that the removal of such tools actually WILL increase your safety is either highly suspect or completely lacking. The government in which you would put your trust for defense has been inept in the enforcement of the laws as they stand at best. At worst, they have been corrupt and complicit in the breaking of those laws.

There are far too many historical instances to count of these cases.

The vast majority of the carriers of firearms do so responsibly, with adequate training, and proper respect for life, liberty, and equal protection and enforcement of the law. Less than a few thousandths of a percent of violent crimes are committed with “assault” rifles, even though semi-automatic weapons account for almost 80% of firearms sold every year in this country. The NRA, in spite of what you may have heard, does not “pay off” politicians, or get “millions of dollars in donations” from the firearms manufacturers. Its power is in its civilian, military and law enforcement active membership: millions of legal, law-abiding citizens, who carry weapons. And you would never know who they are in your circle, because they respect the power they hold, and don’t flaunt it, or attempt to use it against peaceful people.

So I say: change my mind. I am grateful that a Creator-granted right to self defense was considered unalienable and important enough to our Founders as to be codified by the 2nd Amendment. I am glad that until a convention of the states may convene to change it, or a successful repeal effort is mounted in our government (both doubtful) that well-meaning pacifists cannot wholly strip that right away.

But change my mind. I’ve outlined my argument why it is essential for the citizenry to have the right to keep and bear arms. I’ve used historical references. I have acknowledged the rights of pacifists to conscientiously object to carrying. I also outlined the defense predicament such pacifists encounter if OTHER armed citizens are unable or unwilling to protect them.

I’m offering you a chance to tell me why I am wrong. And I expect an equally well researched and cogent argument as what I have provided here.

Because “I’m just not comfortable with assault weapons” or “no one but the police and military should have access to such things” are sentiments and opinions, not legal arguments

As always, I welcome your thoughts.