Consider for a moment the 20 beautiful, innocent children killed in Newtown, Conn.
Now consider the 50,000 beautiful innocent Iraqi children killed by U.S. soldiers and Marines with weapons similar to those used in Newtown.
Good luck. I can't do it. Somehow it doesn't compute. Actually, it's more than 50,000, but as Gen. Tommy Franks has said, "We don't do body counts."
Well, we don't have to. Dianne Feinstein and Barack Obama might have chosen to ignore thousands of beautiful Iraqi children, but the soldiers and marines on the ground can't. Extraordinarily high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide tell that story.
These are guys like Andres Raya, a Marine from Ceres who returned from Iraq in 2005 only to kill Ceres police officer Sgt. Howard Stevenson. Raya's service in Iraq was largely ignored in the press and the possibility of his former gang activity was played up. Of course the folks who downplayed Raya's service time are the same ones who are still looking for the weapons of mass destruction.
Our perpetual wars have taken us to the place where we should expect a shooting every once in awhile. They still don't happen often, and never, never involve thousands a number that leaves me both dry-eyed and confused. Obama and Feinstein, who say nothing about thousands of Iraqi children, have now taken aim on lawful gun owners even as the United States remains the major world exporter of weapons.
The president and the senator travel with security, but what about the rest of us?
I first heard about natural law during Robert Bork's failed Senate hearings for Supreme Court justice. Natural laws are rules of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings. It consists of those things we all understand as fair and right, with the first natural law being the right to protect ourselves. This one likely is as old as man. Cave men might have used sticks and stones and fire. Today we use alarm systems, security gates and guns. A call to abridge the right to self-protection is a call to end natural law, something so fundamental it was written into the Constitution.
When Sheriff Adam Christianson stood in front of a burning Modesto building and tearfully shared frustration and sorrow at the deaths of two of our citizens, one a locksmith and the other a deputy, he spoke for all of us. We became a community.
When Christianson, like the sheriff in Sacramento County, relaxed concealed-carry procedures enabling many law-abiding members of our community to feel safer, he once more affirmed his role in a community partnership.
Today, Christianson is again on target with the community when he declares we already have enough gun control laws. He is referring to the more than 9,000 federal laws and 77 pages of California gun control laws, all designed to find something criminal in the actions of the most moral gun owner, someone who only seeks the right to protect himself and his family, enjoy a natural right enshrined in the Constitution.
It's a reminder of just how far from Washington, D.C., we really are.
Bearden is a retired county social worker and current real estate agent who formerly served on the Empire school board. Send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.