Day of Yore, December 19

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It’s without a doubt one of the most influential works ever written and it rings as true as ever for Christmas 2012. “A Christmas Carol” was published today in 1843. Written by Charles Dickens at the age of 31, it tells of the the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from cold-hearted, wretched miser to that of a man who embraces the light, joy and warmth of life. Scrooge is visited on a “cold, black, biting Christmas Eve” by the ghost of his old business partner and then by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come.

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Dickens’ theme was simply that love and charity conquer all and that our time spent on this earth is best used in the fellowship of one another. This year, more than any in some time, we are all faced with the somber prospect of not just Christmas Yet to Be, but life in general. Like Scrooge, we are challenged to change our ways, or as Marley tells him, be left to deal with the “shadows of what may be.”

The 18th Amendment was repealed after 17 years because it proved to be stupid. There’s another amendment on the books that was written for a world that was 223 years ago. It may not be stupid, but it needs to be fixed because it continues to fail us. It’s a far too simple decree for an awfully complex issue. Laws will always be broken but it’s incumbent on our leaders to make them as hard as possible to break. We all know what happened in Connecticut last week, laws were broken. A week before that in Minneapolis, a 4-year old shot and killed his 2-year old brother. No laws were broken. The story came and went in a flash. It happens all the time, all over the place. I know, stupid parents, I get it. You have to pass a drivers test to get a license, you should have to pass a gun safety class every two years. Too much? The picture below is too much. Perhaps all those classes would have kept guns away from a clearly troubled son. Of course they might not have, but an effort needs to be made.

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“the means to exercise the natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the capacity to regulate its competitive actions to avoid depriving others of those rights and to sacrifice itself for the greater good of the polity as a whole or for their common posterity”

It’s your right to own a gun. The greater good demands that those guns should be limited and that safety be paramount.

I understand the dialogue, but I’m really tired of hearing how things are in England, Japan or Switzerland pertaining to gun laws and murder rates. If I lived in Switzerland I’d probably be a great skier, but I don’t live there. With greater freedom comes greater responsibility.

“Titanic” and “Platoon” were both released on December 19th as well, and although the analogies abound, you just can’t do better than “A Christmas Carol.”

The opponent is strong and powerful and might be too big to fail. This is not to say that a single soul on the opposing side doesn’t want the exact same thing everyone else wants, but they’ll fight on how to get there. It doesn’t need to be repealed, but it needs to be fixed. The setting is clearly different, and I’m cheating because the movie came out on December 22, not December 19, but the message applies, especially the last line.

Merry Christmas to all and, “as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!”

— Bill Hubbell

 

 

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