Thursday, October 5, 2017

Unusually Long Call to Action... Please read and let me know what you think.

So with the recent tragedy in Las Vegas we have a renewed Right Left battle going on with all of the political’s pushing their agenda’s as hard as they can. Of course no one wants to look like they’re making this tragedy into a place to statement while doing exactly that. Unfortunately I have sat on the sidelines as long as I can without jumping in to the mix. 

The Second Amendment, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” One simple line, creates a huge amount of problems for people with beliefs as to whether or not the general public should have what type of weapons. The almost funny part of that is the type of “arms” is never mentioned in the amendment. It mentioned a well regulated militia but never anything about the types of weapons. 

Some people say that is because the weapons of that day were limited. That is in fact in my opinion a very limited opinion not based on a forward thinking document. Of course that is my opinion also. You see what we have here is a country based on free speech, remember that, it’s what that first amendment was all about. It allows us all to speak our minds. 

Let’s go into the free speech thought pattern for a paragraph or two. I have to Qualify my thoughts a little with the freedoms I have here. As I sit here writing my opinions on the laws of this wonderful land of ours, I am not worried that my door is going to be broken down and myself be carried off to some hole in the wall prison never to be heard from again. I can sit here typing away even though there are many people out there that feel I am some sort of radical right wing gun toting crazy veteran. Yes name calling has become a nation sport as of late, hasn’t it?

That same freedom of speech allows those sports stars and movie stars with huge fan bases to take a knee and push their agendas out to the national viewing population. I say it like that because my next statement seems to make those that agree with the knee taking crowd angry. They, the knee takers, also continue their protest without worry of being hauled off to jail or worse for their form of free speech. What gets me though, is that because I counter the protest with one of my own, by turning off the tv and stating I will not buy product that supports the actions of the teams and league that support the action of the knee takers I am suppressing their free speech. This is befuddling to me, because in fact I am doing exactly the same thing they are, just protesting the way they are protesting. I am not protesting their right to free speech, only their method of protest.  

So without beating this topic to death, I am now going to transition back to the second amendment by stating that the first will live a short lifespan if the second is taken away. It is simple bully methodology to take away the stick that protects oneself before taking away the rights to even talk about being protected. But to quote some famous TV advertisers, “But There is More”.

The second amendment was written without the type of weaponry because our forefathers understood that weapons overtime got better and that no matter what happened our citizens needed to be able to be armed to protect themselves against a government that did not have their interest in mind. You can not fight an opponent who is equipped with machine guns with muskets. Placing a type of weapon into the amendment would have dated the amendment in a matter of 50 years or less at that time. However, the freedom to legally purchase weapons with the proper licensing has created the freedoms still today that our forefathers were looking to create.

Now the gun rights and gun control advocates both have their reasons and will attempt to sway anyone that listens to their side. The simple fact is that we are a nation built on the freedoms given to us in the Declaration of Independence. The second amendment was not written to allow hunting and game use of weapons it was clearly for protection against tyranny having just fought a war against a King and Sovereign Nation that was not taking our countries best interest into hand. Our country and people may not be perfect but we do have laws that were and are there to protect all of it’s citizens.

I started out this article with the thought of the recent tragedy along with all other gun related tragedies that become political soap boxes. The problem with the activist for both sides using a tragedy for their soapbox is that it does not touch on the reality of the issues. Most of these tragedies happen with a massive amount of laws that are broken prior to the tragedy ever happening. What do I mean by that. Well simply put, I am pointing out that just creating new laws in hopes of stemming the violence of a tragedy is like putting a finger in a dam that has completely crumbled around where you are standing. If you cannot enforce the preexisting laws what makes anyone think that they can enforce new lows on top of the old ones. The only thing a new unenforceable law does is make a naive person feel he/she has been protected while doing nothing to stem the real problems.

The real problems, have to be handled with a proactive format. Something that actively teaches out and tries to help people that are at risk for becoming the mass shooter type. There is always a telltale. It is way to early in this last episode to understand what or why things happened. For those that have been reading my blog over time you will recognize my thoughts that we as individuals in a community have to reach out to each other. The buddy check, we in the military all have come to understand is a reality that so many Americans have forgotten comes from the old neighborhood block watch concept. Start with our community around us and watch out to make sure that we are ok.

When a community is healthy, the town becomes healthy. When a town is healthy the county becomes healthy. It has a trickle up effect. (yes that is a Reagan reversal) Each and everyone of us has to become a better friend a better member of the community. We don’t have to pull the covers of our neighbors and throw the dirty laundry out on the street to make ourselves feel better but we had better be willing to jump in the hole and help someone step up and out. It may be yourself in the hole tomorrow. The way we make our country safe is not through taking guns away but giving us all a shot in the arm of feeling like each and everyone of us belong and has something to live for. Unrest happens when you don’t fit. Find your puzzle, your talent and share it with your friends and anyone else that will listen. They will jump in and share it with others. Soon things Change around you and people start to smile.

Leadership, that is something we all have inside if we are doing what we are good at and showing it to others. Spread your joy not your angers. 

Kent Out.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Precious Gifts

Guide our feet into the way of peace. - Luke 1:79 

Yet again tragedy has struck our nation, hitting us when we least expect it. I am not sure that people have changed all that much over time. I know that communication has changed allowing everyone to have a voice or allowing information to spread much faster. Not but 50 years ago when something happened it could take a few days for the tragedy to become known to everyone. One hundred years ago it would take weeks or months and before that if something did not happen in your local area you would never know it happened unless a traveler happened to come and spread a tale of it’s happening.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

One of the hardest things for me to discern is the ability of man to bring harm to one and other for ones own gains. I served in the Military in the beginning with a youthful naivety that there was a right and wrong, a good and bad. As I served I became tainted and yes started to feel like I was losing my way, being pulled into the cesspool of humankind. We all have to travel the path we travel, the question is whether we lose our faith our joy and our hope in all things. I like many have had some very dark times in my life where I felt so alone I was ready to exit stage right. My own personal tragedy of life’s making had become so bad that the thought of living was to much to take any longer.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1: 2-4  

For me, When that time hit, I had everything a man could want for. I had a family, children, car, house, the list goes on and on. What was missing was my Joy. I could not take my life’s lessens and see where everything that I had dealt with was leading me to help others and be used in ways I could not even fathom. I knew how to talk the talk, but I could not hear my own voice in my own heart. I was barren when it came to seeing the light. I thank God that the darkest times of my life today are the shining stars. Those times that I thought were absolute worthy of pulling the trigger and giving up are today what raise me up and push me forward to help others who have the same feelings.

What I have learned is that God does not tempt us ever. But just like the Iron being forged before becoming that sword it has to be tested under the heat of fire. It is that fire that creates a new creature in us that can be transformed from a dull piece of metal to a sharpe shiny sword ready to protect and defend. 

Yes our nation is having a rough time right now. I hear the divide between people widening everyday. Politics are just that, Politics. The Color of our skin does not define who we are only the shade of the person. We can not pick what we look like but we can pick how we act. We can learn to take credit for our own actions in life and be responsible going forward. No we can not change the past. The time machine is a dream that has yet to come to fruition and I hope it never does. We learn from everything that is why history is such an important lesson to us all. 

God never calls Qualified people, he creates them!

I am not a preacher, never have been, never will be. I am a 54, almost 55 year old male who has seen more than his fair share of hate, hurt and selfishness. It is time for all of us to get off our high horses and learn how to unite. It took a DOG yes dog spelled backwards is GOD, for me to start on this journey. I am walking a road I never saw coming. Holding hands with people of all sorts of backgrounds working to create peace one hand at a time. There is nothing unique to what I am doing, nothing special I am doing but the outcome is blessed because we are allowing God into our lives and community. Join us by reaching out to the person next to you. You don’t have to travel around the world, just tap the person next to you and listen to what they have to say. Truly be with them.

We all make mistakes in our lives. Own them, then let them go. Time is to precious to hold on to anything for more than a moment. The hate in the persons heart to take all those lives was pure evil. Don’t join that evil by continuing the story. 

Mike was injured this last weekend. He ripped his DewClaw on his front leg while running in the yard. He acted as if there was little wrong because he loves to run, so he limped a little but brought the toy back wagging his tail all happy. I saw it and saw the blood. My first worry was he had stepped on something and done some real serious damage. I cleaned him up put a pressure dressing on, it helps to be a bleeder myself, and called to see if the local vet was open. No such luck. That meant a trip to Charlotte, to the animal emergency room. This is never a fun trip for anyone but thank God that the VA has the Dog of Record program where service dogs get medical benefits. 

So to make a long story not so long, I get there with Mike and they go through the process of clearing the DOR card and get Mike into the treatment room. Then decide he needed to have surgery to amputate the DewClaw. Yes, those are the terms they used. Realize that Mike goes everywhere with me 24/7 so I am starting to really get worried. Wondering what am I going to do without my trusted friend during his recovery. (How selfish can I be right?) Fast forward, Mike comes back out into the waiting room a tad punch drunk from the anesthesia and he is doing great. He will have meds for a couple days to fight the potential bacterias and need to wear a bandage for a couple days also. They help get him in the truck all comfortable and all is good.

Now for the rest of the story. The doctor was an Army Vet so low and behold when the bill (which I was not worried about) came out to the techs in front for payment, they made the calls to DOR. When I was handed my copy it read $40. yes that is not a typo, $40 that is all for the entire process. The techs were as shocked as I was. They asked all sorts of questions about Mike and why I had him. So I got to tell part of my story, they were in tears before I left the building (joy tears). It was an amazing day filled with some God moments where he showed himself in such wonder filled ways. I share this for two reasons. One because many of you read the blog to hear whats happening with Mike not to hear the ranting of the wild man. Two because after the ranting of the wild man I figured a very positive story was due.

Seize the day!

God Bless