We live in a rapidly changing world with a rapidly growing population and exponentially changing technology. It is scary. It calls to mind another scary time during the Great Depression when people were frightened. At that time in his inaugural address, FDR made the statement, All we have to fear is fear itself.
Here we are in a very beautiful place in a very special country. We live among friendly people who care deeply for their families, their homes and their neighborhoods. Yet, many of us, even in this beautiful place, isolated as we are, are afraid because of the unfamiliarity caused by so many changes. These changes cause us to believe we are in danger, in danger of losing property or in danger of losing the comforts we enjoy. Such fear can lead to paranoia, a form of mental illness in which our fears become unrealistic and we develop an illusion of being in mortal danger.
An outside of the county group is asking the Board of Commissioners to approve an ordinance that they say is needed to bolster the Second Amendment. They say it is necessary to prohibit local officials cooperating with the federal government in Second Amendment actions.
Rather than acting on an illusory sense of danger, we need to stop and think rationally and realistically. Instead of imagining such strange ideas as armored flanks of soldiers, tanks, airplanes, drones proceeding into Wallowa County to take away the guns and ammunitions owned by our residents, lets get real, if only for a moment.
1.A majority of the population in the United States believes strongly in the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In this environment, no politician or group of politicians will be the least bit interested in weakening that Amendment.
Fearful people at the beginning of the present administration cried out that the government was going to take our guns. That fear was obviously misguided. Five years hence, not even a discussion of such action has occurred except among the fearful.
Changes in the Constitution of the United States are not easily made. In fact, it is very difficult and must be done according to specific rules set within the Constitution itself. When a change is made, it usually takes years and requires huge majorities. (See Article V.)
We have a problem. Too many people in our country are being shot and killed by guns. Regardless of whether people could be killed by knives, clubs, etc., too many are killed by guns.
2.Mentally ill people are obtaining guns and using them to shoot high numbers of people in malls, schools, theaters and other crowded places. In general, fear leads to a sense of isolation which leads to paranoia and mental illness.
If we can understand these facts, we ought to be able to realistically believe that it is silly to fight the windmill that we call The Big Government in regard to the Second Amendment. Instead we need to stand together as neighbors to oppose fear, because that fear can undermine the blessings we enjoy living in a beautiful place and experiencing the friendships
we enjoy so much.
Evelyn Swart is a resident of Joseph.