When I was a kid, I remember spending as much time as I could at my grandfather's side. He was a larger than life character; a 40-year veteran of southwestern law enforcement, and he was very much committed to trying to teach his grandson everything he could about surviving in a modern world. Most of those lessons were the simple moral ones: to have integrity, to be willing to stand up for what you believe in, to provide for and protect your family, and to always keep an eye out for those in need who might need a helping hand. One thing he felt was very important was teaching me the value of firearms and the importance of developing skill-at-arms for the express purpose of protecting yourself, your family, and your community. He believed in self-determination and self-responsibility, and knowing how to use a gun was one of the most important statements of self-reliance a man could make. He told me that responsible gun ownership was the mark of a strong, independent people. He would talk about the problems he saw in society at the time (this was the late '70's), and he lamented that most of them would be solved if people stopped being irresponsible, self-absorbed sheep and embraced self-responsibility and self-determination as core philosophies. As I've gotten older, I have seen nothing to make me think my grandfather was wrong. I shake my head as I look at the issues this country faces, and at the way the people of this country have turned away from the simple values my grandfather held dear; the very values our Founders hoped to codify in the Constitution. In the end, the issues we suffer from today across this country with crime and violence are due to our failures as a society. We don't expect people to take responsibility for themselves; we let them literally get away with murder, accepting pathetic excuses for the most horrific behavior. Murderers and rapists get off with slaps on the wrist but someone involved in nonviolent drug offenses gets life in prison. They celebrate thug behavior and demonize those who are tasked with protecting society and we wonder why our kids embrace thuggish behavior. We need to drag ourselves back from the brink; get back to teaching our kids about the self-determination and self responsibility intrinsic to Freedom and political Liberty... and get back to teaching our society just how important the right to be armed truly is.