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More laws, more government not the answers

As I See It

1. Our highways are safer now that Mississippi has mandatory seal-belt laws.

2. There is no illegal drug use in our society since it is against the law.

3. Drivers on the Natchez Trace strictly abide by the 50-mph speed limit because that’s the law.

4. If we could only encourage our lawmakers to pass some more gun control laws we would be free from violence of every sort. Removing guns from our society

would eliminate the last vestiges of crime and danger from our offices and homes.

If the first three points are not true, then neither is the fourth.

Laws represent our highest goals as a society, our dreams and aspirations. They tell us a lot about ourselves as a society. Civilized societies need laws to govern

themselves, to protect property and person so that the law of the jungle does not prevail. As such, laws should be fair, practical and enforceable.

Laws provide guidelines to help us choose the right course of action in times of decision. Whether we abide by the law or choose not to is a personal choice. I believe

that goodness comes from within. Our conscience is developed through our upbringing as children and our experiences as adults. Ideally, we develop a strong sense of

right and wrong and choose the right more often than not.

If this premise is true, then we need a minimum number a laws since people will do the right thing instinctively. If, however, people do not desire to do right, then all the

laws in the world will not make it otherwise.

Over the last 40 years our country has drifted in a dangerous direction. Sociologists have a plethora of theories of why things are the way they are. I don’t suppose the

reason is really important. What is true is that we live in a violent culture where many individuals do not practice the values our society extols. Honesty and concern for

our fellow men and women have disintegrated into a psychology of instant gratification of personal wants and needs, which, clearly, we are all owed, right? Wrong.

We increasingly look to government to protect us from anything that discomforts us in any way. It seems that the goal is more and more government to the point that

we are never even inconvenienced, much less discomforted. The price we pay for this fixation on big government is lowered individual freedom and responsibility, and,

ultimately, disappointment since government cannot deliver on its promises.

Would increased gun control stop even one criminal from committing a criminal act? The answer is no! Criminals who are intent on practicing their profession will do

so by other means if guns are not available.

And even that gives credence the ludicrous idea that if guns are banned criminals will turn theirs in and comply with the law. If I am to die at the hands of a criminal, I

believe I would prefer to be shot rather than be butchered with a knife or bludgeoned to death with a club.

So, what should we do? One of the unfortunate side effects of the past 40 years of more government and less personal responsibility has been a total breakdown in

the family. Parents have relinquished their responsibility for child raising to the government, or the street. Neither governments nor corporations have a conscience and

therefore are poorly equipped to teach values of any kind. Only people have consciences and values. Parents must step up to the plate and assume responsibility for

raising their children.

We must reverse the trend, turning back toward individual responsibility and less government if our country is to avoid the demise, which has befallen every great

civilization in the past. Students of history would likely agree that there are many parallels between the direction our country is headed today and the final years of the

Roman Empire.

Can we do it? Yes. Will we do it? Yes. I am encouraged by a rising tide of conservative values occurring in America today, particularly among young people. I predict

that future generations will recognize the empty platter that American liberalism offers us and move toward the value-driven society that we have been in the past and

can be in the future.

Am I willing to forfeit the ability to defend my home just to prove one more potion of liberal claptrap wrong? No. We live in a dangerous society, made more so by

every claim to victimization, which excuses inexcusable behavior, and reality is that we may be called upon to defend our homes.

In the meantime, all I have ever wanted out of life was a solid spiritual foundation, a good wife, a guitar that plays in tune and a rifle that shoots straight. I have all four

and do not wish to give any of them up.

Thought for the Moment

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon

the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.

– Abraham Lincoln

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. His e-mail address is cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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