Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

General Stanley McChrystal


The following excerpt is from an article entitled “Home Should Not Be a War Zone,” that General McChrystal had published in The New York Times on June 16, 2016.  He is a member of the Veterans Coalition for Common Sense. 
“As Americans came together to celebrate the freedom that our great country affords and that our soldiers have given their lives to defend, 49 of them were murdered with a gun.  Scores more were injured.
“But that was just part of the bloodshed in our communities this past weekend, when at least 121 people across the country were fatally shot.  The tragedy in Orlando wasn’t even the only mass shooting; in Roswell, N.M., a man was charged on Sunday with shooting his wife and their four children to death on Saturday.  The oldest was 14; the youngest was 3.
“In 2014, 33,599 Americans died from a gunshot wound.  From 2001 to 2010, 119,246 Americans were murdered with guns, 18 times all American combat deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“That is a national crisis.  And as a combat veteran and proud American, I believe we need a national response to the gun violence that threatens so many of our communities.
“Those of us who served in the military were trained in the effective and safe use of firearms.  We were taught about the responsibility that comes with carrying a gun.  As combat infantrymen and special operators, we received thousands of hours of firearms training.
“In combat operations in places like Afghanistan, we often confronted the specter of dangerous people with powerful weapons who were a threat to their community and to our soldiers.  Our aim was to quickly determine who in that community was a legitimate actor who could be trusted with a firearm and who was not.
“Today, some of our politicians and the people who back them seem to promote a culture of gun ownership that does not conform with what I learned in the military.
“Here at home, many of us are alarmed by the carnage.  We are alarmed by loopholes that let felons and domestic abusers get hold of guns without a background check.  We are alarmed that a known or suspected terrorist can go to a federally licensed firearms dealer where background checks are conducted, pass that background check, legally purchase a firearm and walk out the door.”

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