January 23, 2013 - To the editor:
When I was growing up, we left our houses unlocked, left the keys in the car and generally trusted each other.
A nativity scene was placed on the public square, and we respected the police and our parents. Little by little, this has eroded and the moral fabric of America has declined. We now chastise states that pass laws to protect the unborn and celebrate the legalization of marijuana. This isn't a mental health issue, it is a morality issue.
Unlike the '60s when President John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," our leader now professes "Let the rich pay more" — politics of greed and envy.
There is now a growing movement called "freedom from religion." When I was growing up, we celebrated our freedom of religion.
America has become entitlement conscious, and when things don't come easy, people feel entitled to take from others. We govern for the worst of us, and with each new law we take away the individual rights of others.
President Ronald Reagan said, "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
In Switzerland, the vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training.
The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligation. Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.
Each such individual is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon — fully automatic 5.56x45mm Sig 550 rifle for enlisted personnel and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, military police, medical and postal personnel — at home. Yet Switzerland's gun-crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.
This discussion should not be about guns, it should be about regaining our moral compass. Guns are not the problem.
Editor's note: Mr. Murphy is president of the Tesson Ferry Township Republican Club.