WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Will  congress solve the fiscal cliff problem, will congress take action to stem the gun violence in this country? I am afraid the fiscal cliff problem will likely distract them from the gun problem. Of course the media will most likely latch on to the fiscal cliff problem for however long it takes to deal with it.

    The NRA is hoping by then people will forget about the tragedy of  Newtown, and other more recent senseless gun killings. That seems to be their strategy, to pay as much lip service as they can until people forget about it.



    The way I see it, both problems are being blocked by a tiny portion of our society. Part of the  “one percent” of the country is holding out for continued tax breaks for themselves, even though most of  them don’t feel that they need it or that it will in any way harm the economy. But I guess when you have most of the money, and control the lions share of the assets in the country, you can get a lot of pull in congress. Of course almost all of us realize that not renewing tax breaks for the wealthy will not exactly solve our debt problems. However coupled with sensible spending cuts it could go a long way to stabilizing our economy for the next several years.

    In regards to the gun issue, I was astounded by the response of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre “what we need is armed guards in all of our schools.”  I was floored when I heard that. With over 300 million guns in this country, I really don’t think we need more guns, at least not in our schools! Since that time I have heard that some schools actually do have armed guards.

    I can think of several things that make that a bad idea. There was an armed guard at Columbine High School when two teen shooters killed quite a few students and teachers.

    Who will pay for the armed guards? How many would be needed. At Westbrook Walnut Grove there are three building sites, each with multiple entries. In the high school alone there is at least 12 entries. If you hire an armed guard for each one that would probably cost at least a half million a year. You get the idea, the cost would force most of our schools out of business in a fairly short time.

    Lets say that money was not an issue. Even with all of the entrances guarded,  what’s to stop a crazy from knocking out a window and entering a class room full of kids. By the time an armed guard got to the room a bunch of kids would already be dead.

    When you get down to it there is little that can be done physically to protect our kids 100 percent of the time.

    I must say though, the violence fed to our kids from a very young age on video games, movies, television, and even toys has to affect some kids.

    I grew up playing cowboys and indians, or war games, and such, but most kids from that era knew the difference between reality and fantasy. I think one of the problems with some kids these days, is they get so involved in violent fantasy games they can lose sight of what is fantasy and what is reality. I think the best investment that we, as a country, can make is better access to mental health programs.

    I hope the majority of responsible gun owners do not support all of the actions of the NRA. The NRA is an insignificant number of people who are members, but they have a very powerful lobby when  it comes to political action.

    In fairness to the NRA, they do have some great programs regarding teaching gun safety for kids who want to be responsible gun owners.

    However, that organization needs to get over their paranoia about the second amendment. Contrary to their belief, there is a small segment of our society that would like to eliminate fire arms altogether. I assure you I am not one of those! I have boys who hunt and many friends that hunt, and if it were not for our hunters our wildlife and habitat would be much more limited. These hunters put their money where their mouth is. They contribute far more than the so called animal rights people.

    

Have a great week and do good!