Recently, I got to sit down with Mike Magowan and Julie Phillips with Front Sight Press.. Our conversation was primarily about choices. The choices we make, the choices others make, and the reasons for those choices. America is a country of choices.
Most people would agree mainstream media has a lot of impact on what we think, and why we think it. It is very important to remember that media stories are sound bites. In other words, the media is feeding just a sample of a much bigger picture. For example, your opinion of me might change, if you only heard a sound bite.
If I said, “Non US citizens with a history of violent crime should be deported immediately, with no possibility of gaining entry into the US,” most people would agree. But, if the mainstream media provides a sound bite of me saying “illegal immigrants should be deported immediately, with no possibility of gaining entry into the US,” the context is completely different.
That’s part of what makes this country the greatest in the world, free speech. But free speech is also the reason you shouldn’t form an opinion until you have the facts, and can make an intelligent choice of opinion. Choice is the most amazing benefit, and burden, of a free country.
Ever go to Costco or Wal-Mart to pick out toothpaste, or toilet paper? Too many choices, right? Tubes, dispensers, mint, natural, charcoal. 1 ply, 2 ply, 500 sheets, 1,000 sheets. That, my friends, is what makes this country so great. You have those choices, and a million more, that you can make, whenever you want, all day and night long.
The Country of Choices – America
Take it from me. If you lived in a Socialist or Communist country as I did for 13 years, these choices are the heart of why America is so great. During those 13 years, I was provided with one toothpaste choice, and one toilet paper choice, one soap choice, one egg choice and one beef choice, and that decision was made by the government. Further, all these household items were rationed, depending on the size of your family. I might not get all the toilet paper I need, a real problem during flu season, if you know what I mean.
Why should you listen to me? In the purchasing world there is a term for it: SME or Subject Matter Expert. No successful business buys things without a subject matter expert. Otherwise the planes you travel on would have engines provided by the lowest bidder. It takes an expert to evaluate TCO, or total cost of ownership. Maybe the more expensive engine has a much higher reliability rate and a much lower maintenance cost, making it the best overall choice.
Similarly, when you’re talking about Communism and Socialism, you can’t have those discussions without a subject matter expert, someone who lived it. If you had the benefit, or rather the unfortunate experience that I did, you would have a completely different view of Communism and Socialism. Don’t take at face value the opinion of celebrities and/or sports players, unless they’ve walked the walk.
Ultimately Communism and Socialism don’t work, because they are missing a key ingredient, CAPITAL. Without money, these systems eventually collapse. I’ve had people tell me the Venezuelan crisis is happening because the US isn’t supporting the economy there. And that just proves the point. These systems need money to work. Wait, you say. What about our public-school system? That system is supported by tax dollars, earned through Capitalism. Even then, Capitalism allows people alternative choices, like Charter schools. America really is the country of choices.
Another curious thing I’ve noticed is that most people that do bother to do some research to form an opinion, do so with an agenda to solidify their opinion. Detective 101 says you should not form an opinion until all the facts are in. This is why police rarely discuss ongoing investigations or pontificate as to what might have happened, without all the available facts. Ditto for air crash investigations.
Not black and white
This brings us to another inconvenient truth. Few things in life are black and white. All good people commit sins, and all bad people have probably done something good in their lives. We have to take the good with the bad, and recognize the color gray as an option.
Not all illegal immigrants are violent criminals and rapists who’ve escaped from prison and are looking to lose themselves in the US, and not all illegal immigrants are non-violent, peace-loving, smiling citizens just wanting to become an American. It’s not black and white, it’s not on or off.
That said, you can make some observations. If you lock your door at night, you believe in borders. If you think prisoners should be locked up, you believe in borders.
Then there is the very important issue of assimilation. It is totally unreasonable to expect to come to a country and have that country adapt to your needs, and your religion. That is not how legal immigrants think. If you’ve not done so, you should attend a Citizenship Ceremony, where legal immigrants have sometimes worked for years to become an American! Not just come to the US and expect us to adapt to them. They realize that this is the country of choices.
If you think about it, immigration today is a real kick in the face for the immigrants of World War II, who not only had to come into this country, adapt and assimilate into our world, but did so with thousands of other immigrants of all different races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds, and they did so while not losing their own identity, often expanding our world with their contribution in food, beverages, construction, medical, and services.
Eventually, we started talking about guns and the second amendment (imagine that on a show called Front Sight Press). The second amendment isn’t about hunting, it’s about the right to own and bear arms. Go ahead, call us gun nuts, prone to violence, who don’t care about children’s lives. The fact is, none of that is true.
If gun owners were prone to violence, you’d know about it. There are so many of us, the US would look like the wild, wild west, with everyone shooting each other! No, the 2nd amendment is really about our right to defend ourselves. We’re scared. Not only with mass murders, terrorism, rape and violence, but also of a government who is trying to take this inalienable right away from us. We’re scared that in Florida, our daughters can’t carry a gun on college campuses, where the highest number of rapes occur.
We’re scared that people are discussing Socialism and Communism, and we’re scared of the path our nation seems to be on. We therefore choose to be prepared to defend ourselves as has been our right since this country was founded.
We’re sorry that guns scare you, but you need only read history books to find out that our fears are well founded in facts. We’re not giving up our guns.