Published Saturday, January 26, 2013

Problem is societal demise

President Obama’s efforts to circumvent the Constitution vis-à-vis gun control demonstrates he is misguided like Macbeth with his corruption of power.

“The principles of a free constitution are irrecoverably lost, when the legislative power is nominated by the executive.” – Edward Gibbon

The disintegration of the traditional family, social denigration of normalcy, excessive media coverage of murders, and violent video games and movies are the true culprits here. The core problem is our societal demise, not the implement used to kill.

People get killed by guns, yes. But people also get run over by cars, pushed onto subway tracks, and in Georgia we’ve had two cases of poisoning by anti-freeze.

I hope Congress pushes back at these worthless, feel-good measures and takes a dispassionate look at the deterioration of American society resulting, in part, from judicial decrees permitting almost anything in the name of free speech. I seriously doubt the framers of our Constitution had violent entertainment in mind when they wrote of abridging the freedom of speech.

History records the Constitution’s authors had political repression in mind, not the permitted dissolution of an orderly society. Aristotle said, “The last virtues of a decaying society are tolerance and apathy” and sadly, there is too much of that today.

Parallels with the fall of ancient Rome and our now crumbling society bear repeating.

According to Gibbon, “the five marks of the Roman decaying culture were: 1. Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth; 2. Obsession with sex and perversions of sex; 3. Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original; 4. Widening disparity between very rich and very poor; 5. Increased demand to live off the state.”

“Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” – Santayana

Ken Schaefer, Sharpsburg

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