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LESSONS FROM LITTLETON

Regardless of whether you think I'm on the right approach to understanding the complex subject of bullet performance or you think I'm a total fraud, I hope you agree that the Littleton tragedy was a watershed event. The liberal media and the gun control fanatics were quick to argue that we need more gun control to avoid future school massacres. That, of course, is absolute nonsense. Sawed-off shotgun with barrels shorter than 18" and an over-all length of less than 27" have been illegal for decades. My sources have told me that all the victims were killed with shotguns while the two monsters shot themselves with the 9mm pistols.

Most telling was that some well known liberal politicians resisted new gun laws at first and stated that new laws were not the answer. Once they got their marching orders, however, they quickly changed their tune. In Michigan where I've lived since 1966, I've always been required to obtain a permit to purchase to buy a handgun and then register it after purchase. In spite of this, crime continues to rise. During the 20 years I was a member of the Detroit Police Department, I confiscated one handgun that had been used by its registered owner in a crime. The problem has never been the ownership of handguns by law-abiding citizens. However as a reformed liberal I can tell you that for all their education and feelings of superiority they are generally rather stupid with little idea of the realities of life.

Littleton was created because too many parents are not fulfilling their roles. Procreation is a rather simple process, while parenting is extremely difficult and time consuming. We have seven children and we realized that our desire to have a large family would require a large commitment of time. I give the credit to my wife who has deep and wise insights in how to parent. Parents need to love their children enough to tell them no. Children need to be disciplined when they violate acceptable forms of behavior. It was often inconvenient for me to interrupt whatever "important" work I was doing to correct my children, but it was essential that values and standards be reinforced. Whatever form of discipline you favor, it needs to be applied uniformly and consistently.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. The thing that offended me most about Clinton's adulterous relationship with Monica was the liberal prattle that "everybody" cheats on their spouse. Well, I've been married for 31 years and I never have and I have a lot of friends who haven't either. I'm convinced that most people keep their marriage vows.

Children don't need things bought for them, they need time with their parents. We developed a program with our children called "special days", where each month we would allow one of the children to spend the day with the parent of their choice. When they were small, my wife or I would have to plan the day. When they got older they would plan their day down to the smallest detail. The result: seven individuals who are productive members of society who know that they are important and that their mom and dad love them. The key is time not money. Until parents assume their God given responsibilities, events like Littleton will continue. When a child lacks self worth he or she will see no worth in any one else.

As Mormon's we participate in a program called Family Home Evening. Every Monday night the TV gets turned off and we gather together with our children still at home and spend 1 1/2hrs discussing religious and moral principles, playing a game, and eating refreshments. Even if you find religion a turn-off I would recommend such a program for your family. Bill Bennett's excellent book on virtue can give you short stories that will teach you and your children valuable principles. Other worthwhile family activities would provide service for people who need help. Teaching children to look beyond themselves is critical in their ability to care for others.

Frankly, if you own a handgun and don't belong to the NRA you're a fool. Is the NRA perfect? Heck no, but they're the best game in town right now. If you're already a member send them a check. I'm personally extremely frustrated by their failure to be as proactive as they should be. There are a number of services and assistance they could provide to blunt some of the criticism leveled at them.

My children grew up in what my wife once called a five bedroom gun rack. There were always 35-50 guns in our house as I did gun tests for a number of magazines. As a cop I always kept at least one loaded gun in the house and all my children knew that. In spite of the fact that they attended school in Detroit, they never once considered the use of a gun to settle their school yard or neighborhood disputes. Why? Because they knew they were persons of value and because of that knowledge they valued others.

Human problems will never be solved by increasing or decreasing the accessibility of weapons. People need to assume their responsibilities as adults. Misconduct by adults, whether it be in moral areas or legal ones, will convince children that moral behavior is not important. Then we will find ourselves with a generation of monsters.

Evan

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