The conspiracy theorists and their internet talk radio shows are the real terrorist groups in this country, spouting off about a tyrannical government and selling their rhetoric and propaganda to weak minded people with less than ideal emotional stability. Telling them to buy assault rifles and prepare for government tyranny. Keeping them all on high alert after an election, giving them more reason to hate the current president, and telling them the media isn't reporting the truth about another school massacre, that the "killer" was merely a patsy and that the government is coming to your door next week, to take away your guns!"
Responsible gun owners, do not stockpile assault rifles in their homes, preparing for the "tyrannical government" to come try to take their guns. Responsible gun owners are the people who own a hunting rifle, even a pistol. Whether for sport or protection, they are not INVITING a firefight for any "government agency" who wishes to take their guns away. Fanatical crazy people are buying assault rifles and collecting them just LOOKING for a reason to use them. The government has every right to want to remove these automatic weapons from the hands of unstable individuals, however... for every legally obtained gun in this country, I am willing to bet there are several black market firearms. The real threat is not the people who allow the "government" to know they have guns in the house. Aside from the few idiots who are dumb enough to let them know they have multiple assault rifles... maybe THEY are the patsy's? How else would taking guns from responsible and sane people who register and apply for the necessary licenses help reduce the number of violent gun crimes in this country?
I think the government might have a better shot at trying to bring something to the table that might shut up the fools that are feeding the crazies, telling them to stop drinking the water and stop taking their meds... They are creating an army of domestic terrorists, fanatical and racist. Feeding their minds with thoughts of "race wars" and "FEMA camps" and "Lizard people" and so on.
I do not like the direction that American society has turned in, however, I am a law abiding citizen. I'd feel far less comfortable around a racist, militant atheist, doomsday prepper than I would around a suspended cop with a drinking problem.
I have come up with some great ideas in my life, every one of them someone else already beat me to... I am certain that if I can see a clear difference in the psychology of a lunatic with a gun and a responsible gun owner, that the government of the great country I live in can see it as well. My discomfort of fanatical behavior is based on healthy instinct, nothing short of miraculous given my history.
Let me be the first to admit that I was a spoiled, selfish, materialistic, child.
Was I born that way? NO.
Did society help mold me? YES.
Did my parents help enable that to happen? YES.
Did they do the best they could with what they had given the circumstances? YES.
Kids growing up a decade before me, and a decade after me appear to be at different ends of this spectrum. It's as if no parent knows how to relate to their own child today, because each generation is technologically advanced 10x over the last. For example: My parents didn't have color TV or Cable, so they couldn't relate to my addiction to shows. I didn't have internet or life-like video games, so I can't relate to my child's addiction to electronics.
The word, "addiction" may appear to be used loosely in this case. However, in my recovery I have learned about how unmanageable my life became because of my addiction, and the loss of values that came with defending my right to have my vice. If a child isn't doing his homework or chores, if he is not eating, sleeping, bathing, or going to school, but rather playing online or gaming until all hours of the night... If he is lying about the amount of time he is engaged... If he is becoming combative when confronted, or physically aggressive when his "toys" are taken away... If his life is completely unmanageable due to the use and abuse of technology... Your child may be addicted.
When I was a kid my parents had one TV in the whole house, we didn't even have cable until I was 14. However, even then I wasn't allowed to sit and watch TV, my parents had control. Kids today have smart phones, MP-3 players, e-readers, tablets, handheld video games, and portable DVD players. When I was a kid, no TV for a week was not a punishment, it was a way to get more into something else for a week, I was still allowed to listen to music on my stereo (the walk-man came later). Today, no gadgets for a week is next to impossible. The parents' frustration is mounting, yet excuses are ridiculous, "He needs it for school... I can't take his phone away, how will he reach me... I don't want him to feel like he doesn't have the things all the other kids have". Would we be saying the same thing if all the kids had crack pipes or syringes and the drugs to put in them? Of course not. But since I am the once active drug addict who became an adult with no life skills, and feeling like I was a decade behind my classmates... I believe I am qualified to recognize the ways my addiction will manifest in whatever behavior it can based on what is at my disposal.
Does that mean all video game addicted kids will become crackheads? No, BUT if you anger one enough by taking away his toys, he may act out and if the wrong people are outside when he does, anything is possible.
So why not home school our kids and keep them close to us at all times? That is how some choose to handle things, however are they gaining any life skills that way?
As a parent, I feel a moral obligation to teach my child good work ethic, hygiene, basic survival, basic financial, and basic interpersonal skills. This way at 18 if they wind up out in the real world, they can last a little while before realizing that they aren't so tough. That was my theory anyway, however there are always outside influences which can counteract your parental teachings, and this was my experience.
I was busy doing drugs and destroying my credibility when my peers were building a foundation of life skills. I was barely able to support myself, when I became pregnant and forced to support another. I did give up drugs and alcohol the minute I suspected that this was the case. I did a really great job as a mother for the first seven or so years. Everyone who knew me would agree. In the beginning, I lived with my mother, who would continuously under mind me, she would wake the baby from a sound sleep to play with her when she got home from work at night. We would fight, and we did, constantly. So I conditioned myself to leave as soon as my mother arrived every night. The only place I could go was the bar... and even then I wouldn't drink hardly ever. I would have a soda and a late dinner and my "friends" would show up. I did this every night and weekends I was rarely home at all, because the toxicity between my mother and I was too high to subject a baby to.
Before I knew it, my mother was retired, I was working 2nd shift, and control of my child was lost. This became more clear when I moved out and enrolled my kid in school, the behavior issues began, the hygiene issues began, the eating and TV control issues began. The kid had way more stamina than I had patience. The school, the police, therapists, everyone was involved, because I had asked for help. The battle became harder to win when I took my weekends and used them as a way to escape. My mother took my kid and I got high. The length of the weekend got longer and longer, soon my mother would be making a 40 minute commute daily to my child's school and I didn't even live in the town anymore.
Roughly 3 years later, I made a conscious effort to rebuild my life, beginning with my addiction. I was homeless, jobless, penniless. I was not allowed in my mother's home, my father was not speaking to me, my true friends had washed their hands of me, and my new friends, well most of them were dead or in prison by now. I begged forgiveness of my child, and my mother, I went into the hospital for a while, sober living, therapy, 3 meetings a day. Finally the words of forgiveness were spoken. I thought I was making progress, however, these were only words, the words that I wanted to hear, no less. There was no meaning behind the words, no truth, no love, no merit, and no ACTION. The relationship with my mother became increasingly volatile, my 12 year old has discovered the internet, video games, and junk food. I tried to invoke my motherly duties and try to steer the ship back on course, however my good intentions were met with resentment and resistance. These feelings simmered in a pressure cooker for another 6 years. While I was working on me, building a foundation of the skills I missed out on in my youth, my child was stewing with bitter anger toward me and there was no healing taking place at all. A high school drop out, spending all time time on the internet and playing video games with friends and never even bothered to get a driver's license, personal hygiene had become deplorable. My enabling mother continued to bankroll the whole operation.
When my child turned 18 the muscle flexing began, there was no way to avoid the verbal onslaught which I would receive. It's been months now and our relationship is at an all time low, however I have done far too much work on myself and my life to allow anyone to use or abuse me at any time. This includes my own child. She resents the way I try to help her assimilate her lack of enthusiasm toward growing up to the same underlying illness which feeds my addiction. The person is different, the symptom is different, however the disease is the same. The anger, the rage, the finger pointing and the blame, all comes from fear and uncertainty, right now it is all aimed at me.
There comes a time when we all realize the best outcome of a losing battle happens when the person with the greatest arsenal simply walks away. I feel emancipated and physically, I feel healthier, almost as if I have overcome a great illness. I feel no guilt, no shame, and I harbor no ill will. I live with a lighter heart, my family doesn't define me, and their lack of love will not condemn me. I am free today.