Tag Archive for 'Gun Control'

POLL RESULTS: As a citizen and business owner, what do you see as the greatest threat to you and yours right now?

The Question:

As a citizen and business owner, what do you see as the greatest threat to you and yours right now?

18%The poor condition of the economy
7% - Climate change
18% - Expansion of radical Islamic terrorism
2% - Not enough gun control
56% - Over-taxed and over-regulated by the government

Jim’s Comments:
The economy sucks for many Main Street businesses, and terrorism’s on everyone’s minds. But when we asked small business owners what was the greatest threat to them and theirs, those two issues only garnered about one-fifth of our responses each. As you can see, almost six of ten believe their greatest threat is encroachment of the government.
Think about that. The thing that most small business owners lay awake at night worrying about is how their government will hurt them. What’s wrong with this picture? #GODHELPUS
Thanks for playing along. Please participate in this week’s poll below.
http://survey.constantcontact.com/poll/a07ebz4037kii24k7ss/start.html

Video-Small Business and the Gun Control Debate

In this week’s video I talk about what small business and the gun control debate have in common.

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SBA Poll: Are small business owners armed?

The Question:
Regarding the national gun control debate, do you keep a firearm handy when you’re in your business?

52% - Absolutely

32% - Absolutely not

16% - Thinking about it

My Comments:

In our online poll last week we asked this question: “Regarding the national gun control debate, do you keep a firearm handy when you’re in your business?” Almost one third of our respondents said they were, “Never,” armed in their offices. More than half answered, “Absolutely,” they are armed in their business. And 16% admitted that they were, “Thinking about it.”

I’ll let the responses speak for themselves, but here are my thoughts on this issue:

The gun control debate is pregnant with paradoxes that make resolution difficult. For example:

  • The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution gives Americans the right, in the modern vernacular, to keep and bear arms. But one product of this right is millions of firearms in America and many new ones manufactured every year. Consequently, it’s easy for the evil or the mentally ill to gain access to guns.
  • We have centuries-old systems designed to deal with the bad guys, plus newly proposed restrictions. But to them, gun control will always be merely an inconvenience.
  • Sophisticated counseling methods help identify the dangerously demented. But privacy and confidentiality issues impede an effective system to prevent them from hurting someone.
  • In my home I should be able to protect my family from an intruder. But should that extend to being armed in public?

Most of the reforms currently being proposed are a fool’s errand. More background checks wouldn’t have prevented Columbine. Smaller magazines wouldn’t have stopped Aurora. If there had never been gun show sales, Congresswoman Gifford and dozens of others would still have been attacked in Tucson. Nor would banning assault weapons have stopped the unspeakable from happening in Sandy Hook. We now know that with each killer, family and/or professionals were aware of potential violence. Furthermore, none of the currently proposed reforms address the real reasons children are killed as innocent bystanders of gang drive-by shootings.

As I wrote last December in an article titled, What’s worse than evil? my concern is that politicians will legislate control of things, like magazine size, etc., and go home smug in the belief that they’ve prevented another Sandy Hook. But to paraphrase Cassius, from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” the fault, dear friends is not in our tools, but in ourselves.

Finally, I’m with the 53% of our poll respondents: If someone comes in my home or my office with the intent to hurt me or mine, I will be exercise my 2nd Amendment right - with extreme prejudice.

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What’s worse than evil?

My wife and I were driving on a road trip when we first heard the news about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT.

As the news came in over the radio, I realized there isn’t a word in the English language that adequately describes the level of evilness that causes someone to execute small children. Either we have to create a new word that means something worse than evil, or we have to stop using it for anything else.

From hundreds of miles away and only connected to the reality by media reports, just the mere awareness of such a Godless act produces an involuntary feeling that makes you sick, angry, and cry, all at once. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, whenever I thought about what those murderers did, for days I couldn’t stop shaking my head in disbelief. The news of Newtown makes me shake my head, even today.

As our nation shakes its collective head and wipes away the tears, one thing will result in the days, weeks and months ahead: There will be a national conversation about what caused such an act and how to prevent another one like this and so many others in the past few years, especially since Columbine. Indeed, President Obama has promised it and we should all contribute to this conversation.

But here’s what we shouldn’t do: We shouldn’t focus on objects as the problem. A gun didn’t create this nightmare, a human being did. Before we let ourselves and what our society has become off the hook, let’s remember that the worst school massacre happened in Bath, Michigan in 1927, and the tool was dynamite. Let’s remember that fertilizer was the active ingredient in the Oklahoma City attack by McVeigh and others. In a school of unarmed women and children, a man possessed of evil could have killed many helpless children with a single kitchen knife.

Guns are not our problem anymore than dynamite or kitchen knives are. What you and I care about – our values – govern our behavior. And our values manifest from what our minds consume. Just this weekend, one high school student in Oklahoma wanted to kill students in his school, but his plan was thwarted by another student who, obviously, was grounded in better values.

If we’re going to have a national conversation about preventing mass murders, let’s be honest enough to ask what role the following are playing:

  • Increasing violence on TV and movies
  • The proliferation of video games where real people push buttons to kill imaginary people
  • Reality television programs that appeal to the most base human emotions and characteristics
  • Political rhetoric that attempts to divide us as Americans, instead of appealing to what Abraham Lincoln called, “the better angels of our nature.”
  • The diminishing of religious faith as a foundational component of American society
  • (Your example here)

Nothing we do can bring back those precious angels or the heroic and selfless adults who attempted to save them, knowing they would probably die in the process. But we can honor their memories, and possibly prevent other such tragedies, by demonstrating the courage to turn the responsibility on ourselves.

Objects are neither good nor evil – they’re just tools. Only humans are capable of intentional good and premeditated evil.

When the 18th century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke penned this wisdom, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” his was not a technological world. Perhaps today he would add, “And since evil is easier to leverage than good, the good people have to work harder.”

On 21st century planet Earth, all good people have to work harder to fight evil. And surely, our first job is to seek the truth.

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On The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about the conversation that needs to be started on how society - and it’s laws - may have contributed to the ability for people to leverage evil easier than good. Click here to download or listen.

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