Stephen Heilmann: Time for reform | TheUnion.com

Stephen Heilmann: Time for reform

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Stephen Heilmann

Nevada Union High School 1968:

We were the spoiled children of The Greatest Generation.

We bullied, taunted, harassed, intimidated, we were humiliated and embarrassed. We fought, with almost daily displays of a variety of pugilistic skills, and yes blood was drawn.

Girls were sexually harassed (by today's standards) and occasionally the girls harassed the boys. We had epic food fights in the cafeteria and oh my gosh, there was smoking in the bathrooms. We boxed and wrestled in gym class and jeered and booed the visiting teams at any sporting event.

It does not take a PhD to understand how we have gotten here.

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We were prejudiced, irreverent, foul mouthed (among our male peers), short tempered and disrespectful at times to our elders. We partied and brawled on the weekends, and drugs were prevalent.

Some of the older boys went off to Vietnam and a few did not return. Some who returned were spit on verbally or literally by the Jane Fonda Left.

Guns were everywhere, in closets, dressers, garages, gun cabinets, cars, unsecured and always accompanied by ammo … lots of ammo. There were few firearms regulations until October of 1968.

At 18 years of age you could buy a gun over the counter or by mail. No waiting, no background checks. It was not uncommon for some of my fellow classmates and me to bring our rifles and shotguns (with ammo) to school in the trunks of our cars, prepared for a late afternoon hunting adventure.

And yet … no school shootings.

Could it just be that, as wild and unruly as we were, there was still a level of self control and discipline expected at school and home?

Our teachers, God bless them, allowed a bit of unruliness in the classroom, but step over that imaginary line once or twice and you were toast! Out of the classroom and off to the principal's office, either voluntarily or by physical force if required (we were paddled in some grade schools). Rumors of reform school abounded for the hard cases. Parents backed the teachers and principals recommended punishment. That was it. Guilty or not, you had been "had." No arguments. No lawsuits.

Now 50 years, and 20,000-plus gun laws later, we have unthinkable horrors in schools, public gatherings and on the streets of Chicago. Decades of "Oprah-tized" masses. Generations of overly sensitive immature parents or single mothers raising undisciplined and/or overmedicated children. We have adults still unable to cope with the results of a presidential election throwing temper tantrums that would embarrass a 2 year old.

Our schools, controlled by the left and the teachers' union, preach sensitivity, diversity, anti-bullying and tolerance for all, except Christian and conservative values and discipline. Free breakfast and lunches and gold stars are awarded for just showing up. We have grief counselors for any tragedy and yet human life has been devalued. Competition is bad. College is sold as a must were the students receive more leftist indoctrination. Blue collar jobs and trade schools are not encouraged. Clueless, self-centered millennials tout their "superior knowledge" via social media.

Hollywood and video game producers reap billions from their disturbing "masterpieces" of violence and leftist politicians gleefully accept millions in donations. We see 24-hour news coverage of the latest copy cat of a recent copy cat shooting and the media reaps billions and promotes liberal causes and candidates. Democrats scream for more gun control and firearm and ammo sales soar.

It does not take a PhD to understand how we have gotten here.

More restrictions on the Second Amendment?

How about some self control from the left and their First Amendment rights?

Stephen R. Heilmann is a custom gunsmith/gunmaker and life/endowment member of the NRA. He lives in Grass Valley.

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