Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 19, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 19, 2013 

President Barack Obama: 


 (This Op Ed piece was penned by President Obama for the Conneticut Post earlier this week.)

As a society, our first task must be to care for our children -- to shield the

m from harm and give them the tools they need not only to pursue their dreams, 
but to help build this country. That is how we will be judged. And in the wake of 
the tragedy in Newtown, it's clear we have a long way to go.

That's why, last month, I asked Vice President Biden to lead an effort to come up 
with concrete steps we can take right now to keep our kids safe, help prevent mass 
shootings, and reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. And 
on Wednesday, I put forward a specific set of proposals based on Joe's recommendations. 
Because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless 
act of violence completely, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this 
violence -- if even one life can be saved -- we have an obligation to try.

As President, I'm committed to doing my part. That's why I signed 23 executive 
actions giving law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals, and the 
public health community the tools they need to help reduce gun violence.

These actions ranged from strengthening our background check system, to helping 
schools hire more resource officers and counselors if they want them, to directing 
the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence. 

But as important as these steps are, making a real and lasting difference also requires 
Congress to act, and act soon. 

First: it's time for Congress to require a universal background check for anyone 
trying to buy a gun. Right now, as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are 
conducted without a background check. That's not safe, it's not smart, and it's not 
fair to responsible gun buyers or sellers. An overwhelming majority of Americans 
agree with me on the need for universal background checks. There's no reason we 
can't get it done.

Second: Congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and a 
10-round limit for magazines. Many assault rifles, when paired with high-capacity 
magazines, have one purpose: to pump out as many bullets as possible, as quickly 
as possible. Weapons designed for theaters of war have no place in movie theaters. 
And a majority of Americans agree. 

Finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its 
job. They should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of 
turning around and selling them to criminals. And at a time when budget cuts are 
forcing many communities to reduce their police force, we should put more cops 
back on the job and back on our streets. 

Like most Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual 
right to bear arms. There are millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in 
this country who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting, or sport; protection, 
or collection. 

But I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment 
while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from doing harm. I believe 
most of them agree that if America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands 
of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Connecticut. 
And that's what these commonsense reforms are designed to do. 

None of this will be easy. Already we're seeing pundits, politicians, and special interest 
lobbyists warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty -- not because it's 
true, but because it gins up fear, or higher ratings, or more revenue for themselves. 

The truth is, there's only one voice powerful enough to make this happen: yours. 
If you think we've suffered too much pain to allow this to continue, put down the 
paper, turn off the computer, and get your Members of Congress on record. Ask 
them if they support universal background checks or renewing a ban on military-
style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if they say no, ask them 
why not. Ask them why getting an A-grade from the gun lobby is more important 
than giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first 

This is the land of the free, and it always will be. As Americans, we are endowed 
by our Creator with certain inalienable rights that no man or government can take 
away from us. But we also recognize that along with those rights come responsibilities. 
Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will comes an obligation to 
allow others to do the same.

It's time to do the right thing -- for the 26 innocent children and devoted educators 
who lost their lives in Newtown, for the men and women in big cities and 
small towns who fall victim to senseless violence each and every day, and for this 
country we love so much.

Barack Obama is president of the United States.

STUART Tolchin..........On LIFE




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Pat Birdsall


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Ron Carter

Rev. James Snyder

Bobby Eldridge

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Wellborn

Dr. John Talevich

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Jasmine Kelsey Williams


Last week my wife took her nephews to the zoo without me. She 
mentioned that her 12 year old nephew, Steven, had said “Parents 
take their little kids to the zoo just to make themselves think they 
are good parents.” What he said interested me. The next day I 
asked him to expound upon the statement. I like talking to him 
like that. He explained that every time he goes to the zoo he sees parents arguing 
with their kids. The kids always want to run all over the park and see different 
animals. The parents always say it’s too far to walk or something like it’s too hot 
or it’s too cold or we can see them next time. Steven said that he was sure that the 
parents thought that just by getting the kids to the zoo they had done enough to 
consider themselves good. They really did not care whether the kids had a good 
time or not and the last thing parents want to do is walk all over the zoo on a hot 
day or a cold day or any day.

 Really I don’t know how correct he is in his observations but what he said 
did strike a familiar note. Over thirty years ago, before I got full custody of my 
daughter, I used to only have her only on alternate weekends. On one Saturday I 
remember taking her and my son to Knotts Berry Farm. It got to be around 5:00 
and I decided it was time to go home as traffic was already pretty bad. My daughter, 
who was about 5, said she didn’t want to go home yet. I said we had to leave and 
began the trek to the car. Well, as I remember it, my daughter did not say one more 
word to me for the entire weekend. I realized we were in a battle, about the only 
one we ever had, and I didn’t want to give in. I brought her back to her mother on 
Sunday evening and I don’t think we ever talked about the matter again. For sure 
we never went back to Knotts Berry Farm.

 These little stories tell you a lot about my family. Yes, I think my wife’s 
nephew is on his way to being a philosopher but I reserve the right to disagree with 
his view of parenthood. As to my daughter and me, it is clear that she was, and is, 
not an easy person to cross swords with. She is remarkably tough but at the same 
time she is generally very pleasant. She is not a hypocrite and rarely says what she 
does not mean but amazingly is able to exercise her power silently. I would not like 
to cross swords with her in a court case today. (Remember, we are both practicing 
attorneys. As I have said, I have offered to work for her for free but she has refused 
my offer saying she cannot afford it. See what I mean.)


 Steven is right, I think, that the main thing the parent wants is to feel like 
they are acting like a good, caring, responsible person who loves their child. This 
desire often conflicts with the reality of actually being with their child. Often the kid 
is disinterested and would rather be home with their friends. On other occasions 
the kid is full of energy and questions and won’t leave you alone to think. They just 
keep talking and don’t even listen to your answers. Often, and I think this may be 
a problem when there are divorced parents, children pick up how important it is to 
the non-custodial parent that they all have a good time. Trying to be cooperative 
they may pretend to be having a good time even when they aren’t. I can remember 
my son complimenting my omelets by saying he really likes them runny better than 
when they are cooked right or something duplicitous like that.


 For parents, like me, who have a disabled child there is always the feeling 
that one is being judged by all the strangers who are observing you. (I know that 
this concern does not seem politically correct but my son is now forty and I still 
sometimes have that concern and I don’t think my insecurity is unique.) Actually, 
being a child or a parent, or a step parent are all pretty difficult roles. Now being a 
grandparent, that’s probably pretty easy. I’ve never been a grandparent so I really 
don’t know;—but I tend to agree with Steven; those grand parent types tend to get 
away with murder and expect everyone to be nice to them no matter what they do.

 Yes, I’m kidding. Being a grand parent generally requires one to be old and 
that I am already learning is inevitably filled with new kinds of problems. So what’s 
the final resolution? Try to be kind to everyone even if they don’t deserve it. If you 
can’t be kind just follow my daughter’s example and don’t say anything until you 
really have something kind to say. Also try not to hire relatives. 

President Barack Obama signs letters written by Hinna Zeejah, Grant 
Fritz, Julia Stokes, and Teja Goode backstage in the Eisenhower 
Executive Office Building's South Court Auditorium after unveiling new 
gun control proposals as part of the Administration’s response to the 
Newtown, Conn., shootings, and other tragedies, Jan. 16, 2013. The 
children wrote to President Obama in the wake of the Newtown tragedy 
expressing their concerns about gun violence and school safety. 

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I am not superstitious 
[knock on 
wood] but some 
things happen to 
me that leave me 
a little bit suspicious. 
I am not sure if there is a connection 
between superstitious and suspicious, 
but if there were, that would 
explain a lot in my life.

I start every year with high hopes of 
making certain changes in my life. If I 
had a quarter for every change I wanted 
to make in my life but didn't, I would 
have all the change I need.

This past week was one of those weeks. 
I was minding my own business, which 
for me is a full-time job without benefits, 
and no matter what I did; I was either a 
day late or a dollar short.

I had to go across town for a business 
meeting and as my luck would have it, 
I hit every red light. I am not sure but 
it seemed that there were 1,937 traffic 
lights in route to my destination.

I had a gift card that I cannot remember 
when I got it, but I thought I would get 
a nice gift for myself. I selected my gift, 
went to the cash out counter and was 
informed that my gift card had expired 
"yesterday." I think I have just too many 
yesterdays in my life. I would like a card 
once that would expire "tomorrow". I 
have plenty of them.

The bookstore that I do my business was 
having a special on a book that I really 
wanted. I got to the store, stood in line 
for well over an hour and, as my luck 
would have it, the person in front of me 
got the last one. Where's my gun when 
I need it?

I believe if there are 100 people playing 
a $10 million lottery I would be number 
101. I come so close so many times, but 
you know what they say, an inch missed 
is like a mile missed.

When my wife and I started our marital 
journey, we did not take a vow of poverty. 
It just has turned out that way. As 
soon as we have a little cash ahead, my 
wife begins to wonder what is going to 
break in the house. And, as luck would 
have it, she is usually right.

All week long, my week went like this. 
All week long, I could not catch anything 
and then, as my luck would have 
it, I caught a cold. I did not set out at the 
beginning of the week to catch a cold. 
Whoever threw that cold at me I would 
like to find out right now. Of course, why 
I caught it in the first place is to be questioned. 
I really did not see it coming.

Why is it you cannot catch what you 
want but usually can catch what you do 
not want?

A friend of mine always reminds me 
along this line that, "That's life."

I caught a cold and now I did not know 
what to do with it.

I got up late in the morning, put on my 
bathrobe and went toward the kitchen 
wheezing and coughing as I shuffled 
down the hallway. When I got to the 
kitchen the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage looked at me with one of 
"those looks" and said rather sternly, 
"Don't you dare give that cold to me."

I was sick but I was not too sick to know 
a death threat when it came my way.

When it comes right down to it, I am really 
a generous person. I would give you 
the shirt off my back if you needed it. 
However, when I have something like "a 
cold," I cannot give it to anyone. Nobody 
wants it! Believe me, the cold I have to 
give I would give freely.

"You turn around," my wife said very 
sternly, "and march yourself right back 
into bed." Not only did I catch a cold, 
but also I am now catching the dickens.

I must confess that I am an expert at 
catching the dickens, I have just never 
figured out what to do with it when I got 
it. If I was good at catching luck as I am 
with catching the dickens I would be the 
luckiest man in the world. If someone 
knows a profitable market for "dickens" 
please contact me soon.

Slowly I turned, step by step, I walked 
down the hallway, it seemed like of 
thousand miles, I finally threw myself 
into bed. Thankfully, the bed caught me.

And so, as luck would have it, I have 
caught the cold, caught the dickens from 
my wife, and now I plan to catch up on 
some sleep.

I am not sure if you starve a cold and 
feed a fever or if you feed a cold and 
starve a fever. So in my confusion, I fed 

Resting on my bed, I thought of one of 
my favorite Bible verses. "Come unto 
me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 
11:28 KJV).

Life is full of ups and downs. Just when 
you think you are up you find yourself 
on the way down. The important thing 
in life is to have a safety net. For me, Jesus 
is my safety net and has never let me 
down. He will always catch me.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, 
FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, 
in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-
552-2543 or e-mail ( ) . His web site 
is ( http:// ) .

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