Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Pope of Hope!

Listening to Pope Francis almost swayed me to join the Catholic Church! The ethics and pastoral spirit he embodied shone the Spirit of Christ in profound and refreshingly grace-filled and faith-filled ways. The rigor of Catholicism and spiritual arrogance accompanied with the accoutrements of ecclesiastical power were significantly lessened, though not completely absent, by his words and actions. What shone brightly were his many words and actions of hope. Here are a few memorables, along with personal comments.

INCARCERATION IS NOT EXCLUSION: When addressing prisoners and speaking of Jesus washing the feet of the poor, Pope Francis emphasized the grace of God still including the prisoners within God's sphere of grace and redemption. Being INCLUDED in God's grace empowers re-entry into society and positive reconciling lives. Never give up on the possibility of hope and rehabilitation. Abolish the global death penalty. ALL of life must be honored.

4-DOOR FIAT 500: Pope Francis was driven around in a small, average looking, non-descript, middle class, gasoline skimpy Fiat.  There was no Lincoln, Mercedes, Continental, up-armored modified Hum-Vee for transport. The message: Moderation is adequate. Spend money on helping others. Being church is not to be extravagant. I am like you. Care for our natural resources because they are finite.

LOVING THE CHILDREN: There were many times when Pope Francis took the time to touch children, smile at children, talk with children. His affection for children was heart-warming. His visit to the school was an education in the value of education. The family is essential for the building of this country. 

POLITICS IS AN EXPRESSION OF OUR NEED TO LIVE AS ONE: Politics is a gift from God to order and make real national comity, justice and opportunity. Politics writes the laws which direct structures and guarantee civil liberties. We must confront every type of polarization in order to confront violence. Good political leaders initiate and minimize armed conflicts.  Politics involves the effective distribution of power for the sake of ALL.  No group can consider itself absolute.

CONGRESS: YOU ARE THE FACE OF THE PEOPLE: The people elected you to guide and provide for the common good, to satisfy the common needs.  The people reflect and expect the common good. The task of Congress is to reflect the will of the people for the common good. The elected officials are to work for the benefit of all people. You are not elected to live within the perks of the office and neglect doing the responsible good for the people. Insure the human dignity of all people. Real human beings take precedence over partisan ambition. A nation can be considered great that fosters liberty. If you fight among yourselves you will be devoured by those outside.

FOUR EXAMPLES OF AMERICA'S GUARDIANS OF LIBERTY: Abraham Lincoln: Liberty for all; Martin Luther King, Jr.: The call to dream and create a good life for all. Dreams awaken the future of freedom. America is a land of dreams; Dorothy Day: Social justice for all; Thomas Merton: Capacity for dialog and contemplation.

REFUGEES AND IMMIGRATION: Most of us were once foreigners. We must not be taken aback by the sheer numbers.  We must see refugees as persons. Remember the Golden Rule. If we want security, let us give security.  If we want opportunity, let us give opportunity. We must allow refugees to be dignified persons of their own destiny. Refugees must have the right to an education. Governments must provide for a minimum of lodging, labor and land, as well as civil rights and religious freedom.

ENVIRONMENT: The earth is our common home. We need dialog about environmental degradation caused by human activity.  Nature must be protected. Our human survival depends upon environmental care. The environment is a fundamental good. We have a culture of waste. Waste excludes others from life. Exclusiveness focuses on ourselves at the expense of others. When we see only ourselves we abuse creation. Creation is to be used for ALL of God's creation. There are ethical limits which humans must acknowledge.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE: There needs to be international equity, sustainable development, and elimination of oppressive lending systems which generate more oppression. Justice is essential for development. Opportunities must be open for all people. We must pool our resources, foster fraternity and solidarity for the common good. Business is a noble vocation if it creates jobs for the common good. Wealth and power are only the products of man. Religious freedom is a pillar of development.

WAR AND WEAPONS: Why are deadly weapons being sold? We must stop the arms trade. War is the negation of all rights. The real danger comes from man.

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION: The spiritual supports ands sheds light.  Know that we attain God when we love. Our future rests in affirming the sacredness of all of life.  This leads to the creation of our common home. The voice of faith is that of fraternity and love. We are to care for one another, have respect for one another and be close to one another. Full meaning in life is found in selflessness and service.


Ron Letnes

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

America: Waning Democracy-Rising Fascism
Part II
A Theological-Political Response

Part I presented a description of fascism. Part II presents a theological-political response. Why unite theology and politics? Because a grace-centered, faith-filled theology is naturally political. Theology leads to action in the world, action that challenges personal decisions and structural realities. Theology always calls for renewal and change. Politics is about action, renewal and change. 

The characteristics of fascism in Part I contain many touch stones which are contrary to the Biblical witness. That's what scripture does! The Word is always focused on a contrary transformation of the world! What is the contrary Biblical witness to fascism?

TRADITIONALISM: Sitting for dinner at Levi's house, the scribes of the Pharisees asked, "Why does he[Jesus] eat with sinners and tax collectors?" Jesus was breaking with the traditional religionists, the conservative status quo, the rigid keepers of the Law, the righteous. Jesus' response: "I have come to call not the righteous but sinners." Fascist traditionalists do not see themselves as "sinners." They are the "righteous." Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, everything old has passed away...." Fascists protect the old, the established powers.

NATIONALISM: "You are the light of the world" says Jesus in Matthew 5:14. "God has established the world"-Psalm 93:1. "For God so loved the world...." - John 3:16. There are over 300 references to "world" in scripture. The Biblical witness gives testimony to God's creative affection for the entire world! God is global! No boundaries! Fascism urges an isolated native nationalism as the center of values.

INTOLERANCE: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." - Matthew 25:35. "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God." - Ephesians 2:19. Fascists are part of the "in group" which blames the "outsiders" for problems. Fascists look for scape goats. Intolerance is tolerated for the sake of control and profit.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: "If there is among you anyone in need...open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need." - Deuteronomy 15: 7-8. The Parable of the Good Samaritan stresses compassion for the wounded stranger. - Luke 10:25ff. Fascists nurture corporate power whose purpose is to support the dictatorial power of the state. All are expendable at the state's powerful mercilessness.

PASSION OVER REASON: "A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot." - Proverbs 14:30. "For the grace of God trains us to renounce worldly passions...to live lives that are self controlled." - Titus 2:11-12. "While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the Law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death." - Romans 7:5. Fascists do not want people to think deeply, to contemplate the nuances and consequences. Fascists want only to tickle the emotions of entertainment, to keep us laughing while the mind sleeps.

XENOPHOBIA: "You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice...." - Deuteronomy 24:17. "I was a father to the needy, and I championed the cause of the stranger." - Job 29:16. "There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear." - I John 4:18. Fascists create a fear-filled environment in order to maintain a powerful, militaristic control.

CORPORATION: Leviticus 25 declares a Jubilee Year in order to level the economic playing field and stir economic equality and equal opportunity. Luke 6:24-26 declares "Woes" to the wealthy and powerful because of their injustice and lack of kindness for all. Fascists control and cooperate with corporate elites for financial control and employment control of the people. People are tools of the corporation and state functionaries. The state and corporations control the levers of power and expression. The corporate boardrooms and government departments crush democracy.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION: Genesis 1:28 calls us to have "dominion" over creation meaning to care for, to be good stewards of the environment. Creation is an inter-relationship between people and the earth, each to nurture the other for life! Romans 8:21 - "...that creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God." "...for in Him all things in heaven and on earth were created...." - Colossians 1:16. Fascists are the "gods" of creation. Fascists use creation, degrade creation, destroy creation for the sake of profit.  The environment exists at the mercy and purpose of the corporate state, for profit, for control of the people. 

AUTHORITARIANISM: I Corinthians 13 speaks of love in gentle terms, of humility, of listening to each other. I Corinthians 12 speaks of the various gifts within the Body of Christ.  All are valuable. There is a collegiality and equality, an interdependence. In Romans 13, love brackets the injunctions of the state. The state is to function out of love, towards a love that nurtures, demonstrates justice and creates peace. Fascism is not concerned with people love, but only corporate profit and control for the sake of goals established by corporate and state rulers. Ruling trumps love.

Holy Scripture is contrary to fascism. The Biblical witness is about God's grace alive in love, justice and mercy; whereas fascism demands obedience and controls the levers of life for the sake of corporate dominance and profit. Scripture is anathema to fascism!

The essence of American democracy is nurtured by a faithful following of the Biblical ethic of love, justice and mercy. The trend of our government is away from this Biblical theological-political ethic and towards a demonic fascism which exists for its power and profit controlling self. Democracy is waning.

The way forward is for Christians to be Christians, to insist and give witness to its Truth. The Biblical witness is clearly contrary to fascism. Before it is too late it is time to be contrary and nurture democracy.


Ron Letnes

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Waning Democracy - Rising Fascism
Part I 

I recall an early Pilgrim clergy calling America a "Light on the Hill." I nod affirmatively reading the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" from the Declaration of Independence. I smile reading the Preamble of our Constitution and the words"We the people..., in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...."

Alas, I feel these democratic commitments waning, being blown way in the hurricane of rising fascism. I am fearful and saddened, because the good, the spark of liberty, the energy of creativity, the standards within our Bill of Rights are being flushed.  Yet, I believe the way of hope and healing lies in seeing the truth of what is happening, acknowledging its cancerous negativity, and deciding on correctives. 

PART I in moving us towards the sunrise of hope and healing will focus on an analysis of fascism. I will use the fascist portrait within an article in SALON, 26 July 2015. PART II will be a theological response to each portrait color because I see the Biblical witness as possessing a socio-political way forward. 

What is Fascism?

TRADITIONALISM: Fascism is an appeal to traditionalism.  Look to the past, look to the original meanings, look to the literal intent, look to fundamental truths. There is a negation of change unless change is deemed consistent with what has always been. Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia hangs his hat on "originalism" when voicing an opinion, asking "What was the original intent of the Founding Fathers within their context as if to deny that contexts change.

NATIONALISM: "My country right or wrong, but right or wrong my country" can be the fascist nationalist mantra. The fascist believes their nation can do anything it wants as long as it is in their national interest. International, global thinking is secondary to national will. Our thinking, our actions are dictated by whatever we understand WE need to do from our understanding to achieve OUR goals. We are supreme! Our gaze is narrow. Nationalism is all about US. Respect for other nations is secondary to our will for ourselves. War is always an easy possibility.

INTOLERANCE OF IMMIGRANTS: The fascist is protective of its power elite, its culture, its color, its religion. Any people who would want into the country due to economic necessity or asylum for fear of death, are not welcome unless their presence will enhance our national interest. Compassion and justice are sacrificed in the cauldron of fear. Walls are constructed to keep the foreigner out. The immigrant is blamed. Only those who nurture the established powerful status quo are welcome.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: The poor and vulnerable, the unproductive be damned. Only the strong and well connected survive. Citizenship becomes an extension of "The Hunger Games." Watch your back, stick your fork into the other person, slice and dice if necessary. "God is on the side of the biggest battalions." Competition is the norm for advancement. The other person is a potential enemy, a threat to your survival. All is fair because your own survival is paramount. Violence is as common as a latte'.

PASSION OVER REASON: Think Donald Trump. Think Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Tse Dung, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Idi Amin, Osama Bin Laden and.... Living by passion means living by what makes me feel good, feel right, what justifies my sense of righteousness. Passion is the drug of hubris, the grandiose ego eruption.  Passion is the quick fix, the feel good answer to challenges, the narcissistic triumph of the will! Consideration of the other is blackened out.  The nuances of relationships are annoyances. The complexity of connections are nullified.  Education is restricted and becomes propaganda. Thinking is group think. The Internet is controlled to allow only ideas that support the corporate-political elite. Only the "now" and what justifies the passionate desire is acceptable. Unchecked passion leads to justifiable violence.

XENOPHOBIA: Fear of the foreigner or stranger is paramount. They are the enemy. Justice and compassion, a welcoming spirit are squelched because of the need to protect, to survive. Violence is justified to preserve the corporate-political estate.

CORPORATISM: The political operatives and corporate CEOs run the country.  What is good for the bottom line, for the powerful elite is what is good for the nation. The political decisions are captive to what will assist and protect the profit of the corporation.  The workers are tools of the corporation for the good of the wealthy political leadership and corporate CEOs. The worker is slave to the profit makers. Political decision are made to further corporate profiteering interests nationally and globally.  Justice is defined by what is good for profit and obscene salaries for the political and corporate elite.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION:  The environment is a tool to be used and abused for the benefit of the corporate state.  Whatever it takes to generate profit is justified: deny climate change, prevent development of solar and renewable energy sources, poison our water with chemicals, over fish the oceans, encourage use of coal and fossil fuels, clear cut the rain forests, drill for oil in the Arctic, all are justified for the sake of profit.

AUTHORITARIANISM: (This is my personal addition) Democracy is denied.  decisions are made by the corporate and political elite. National will is decided by a select few.  The people are victims of the few. War is on the table as long as it fits the national goals of the corporate-political cabal. The people are the cannon fodder, the expendable. Militarization is paramount and takes the majority of the budget.

Democracy is dead.

Ron Letnes

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lack of Shared Humanity?

Following the recent shooting of two journalists in Virginia, I wrote the following on my Facebook:

Not the time? "The host of the NRA radio show reacted to the fatal
shooting of two journalists in Virginia County by attacking gun activists
for using the tragedy to call for stronger gun laws, claiming they 
'politicized' it and demonstrated a lack of shared humanity."
(Media Matters)

I am speechless.  But not for long. One can assume that this is the 
position of NRA leadership. O, they will lay low for a few days. 
This is their MO. Let emotions settle. Then will come the justifications
for needing more guns. This time the call to arm the journalists. 
Equipment: cameras, AR-15, microphones, Glock 9mm and....

Lack of shared humanity? O, yes, let's comfort the gun manufacturers,
the gutless politicians, the sellers of death, the NRA leadership. Surely
we must weep over their misfortunate publicity.

It is time to enact gun safety laws that will protect more people, 
perhaps your daughter or son, spouse and friends, the stranger and

Yes, let us affirm the dignity of a "shared humanity" and say as one: 

I also wrote on Facebook:

We have spent too much time fretting over the government wanting
to take our guns away and insisting on our right to own guns.
Show me the data that proves the big bad government is coming to take
guns away. The truth is the politicians, fueled by gun nuts
are so afraid of offending the gun nuts that they do nothing
to pass gun safety laws. Don't worry about the government
as they are chickens in pants and dresses.  Worry instead about
the gun in your home and the 300 million in public circulation.
That ought to give us serious pause.  We are hemorrhaging in
guns and the 34,000 deaths a year are the result.
Sleep well.

And another post:

Consider this all you gun lovers.  Nearly 2/3 of all gun
deaths are suicide by gun.  By my calculation those 2/3 would
still be alive if they had chosen their "right" to NOT buy
a gun. So much for how much guns "protect" us.
Indeed they enable us to kill each other and ourselves
with sad regularity. Hello!

The organization Everytown for Gun Safety recently published a chart titled "Gun Murders Per 100,000 Residents" which compared the murder rates of several countries. Yup, the United States is #1 again! Per 100,000: U.S.A., 3.7; Italy (#2) 0.68; Luxembourg (#3) 0.59; Finland 0.57; Canada 0.50; Norway (#14) 0.04. 

When will we affirm the sanctity of life? When will we take action beyond "My thoughts and prayers are with you." When will we respond with actions to Jesus' injunctions of "Enough", "No more of this", "They who live by the sword shall die by the sword" and "Blessed are the peacemakers"? 

"How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?" Bob Dylan


Ron Letnes

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fear and Rights: a Lethal Mix

FEAR and insistence upon the freedom to exercise one's perceived RIGHTS are the lethal mix that prevent significant action in gun violence prevention. 

It matters little that a gun in the home increases the chance of being killed by 72%, is responsible for the vast majority of children being killed by guns, is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide or homicide or accident than to be used in self defense, triples the risk of homicide, increases likelihood of suicide by five times, means an abused woman is six times more likely to be murdered.

It matters little that more guns equals more unnatural deaths (CBS News), that more guns in homes increases the chance of homicide by two times and suicide by three times according to the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY.

It matters little that victims of property crimes use guns in self defense 1/10 of 1% of the time according to the Violence Policy Center.

It matters little that in 2013 there were 33,636 people who died from gun violence, that states with higher rates of gun ownership have greater rates of gun suicide, that a gun buy-back program in Australia took 1/5 of the guns off the streets and wound up reducing firearm suicide by 74%, that when Israeli Defense Forces stopped letting soldiers bring their guns home over the weekend, suicides declined 40%, that 90% of people who have survived suicide do not end up dying by suicide, that the Center for Disease Control says that 85% of suicide attempts by gun resulted in death, compared to 6.7% via cutting and 6.5% by poisoning. The above from VOX and the article "America's Biggest Gun Problem is the One We Never Talk About" by Dylan Matthews and Estelle Caswell.

It matters little that the Public Policy Polling survey between June 19-20, 2015, reported that 82% of Americans support preventing domestic abusers from buying guns, that 80% of gun owners think this is a good idea, that 87% of women support the idea, as well as 92% of Hispanics and 89% of African Americans. This poll is used to support the Dingell-Dold Bill (HR-3130 and S-1520). Debbie Dingel is a Democrat from Michigan and Bob Dold a Republican from Illinois.

What does matter is that I have the right to protect myself from threat, the right to be shielded by a narrow reading of the Second Amendment, the right to allow fear to trigger violent-deadly response against anyone or anything that threatens the well-being of me or my family or my team or my group or my gang or whatever I value with few if any restraints. 

FEAR and RIGHTS trample on any notion of gun violence prevention such as universal background checks, safe storage, denial of right to purchase if family or police deem a person at risk for committing violence, requiring trigger locks on all guns, requiring a gun safety course for all gun purchasers, registration of all guns (we register automobiles which kill 40,000 a year), requiring permits for conceal and carry, banning sale of assault weapons and large ammunition magazines.

Trumpeting FEAR and RIGHTS have trumped LOVE. Fear and rights have turned us into ourselves and voided love for the other.  Fear and rights focus our being on ME.  We choose to cocoon ourselves behind a wall of weapons which isolate and insulate us from connection. The tragic outcome is more violence, more death, more grief. Battlefields are littered with the the millions of dead who marched to the drums and bugles of FEAR and RIGHTS. Streets, homes, schools, public squares, worship centers and places of business are the new battlefields.

I am moved by the words within the Declaration of Independence which state we are all entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  I am moved by the words in the Preamble of our Constitution that the words contained exist for the purpose of insuring "domestic tranquility." 

I have learned from Jesus that perfect love casts out fear. That it is time to say "Enough!" and "No more of this!" That God's response to Cain's question after he killed his brother, Abel, "Am I my brother's keeper?" is an unqualified "Yes you are!"


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Curiosity and Questioning
Gun Violence Prevention

Recently, a writer-philosopher responded to a question about the greatest gift a person can bring to life's table. His response was CURIOSITY. I can run a long way with his answer. Yet, being a Christian and a Lutheran, thereby in love with the Word of God, I opened my NRSV Concordance and looked under curiosity.  Alas, there was only one reference and that was in the Apocrypha, 2 Esdras 9:13: "...to be curious about how the ungodly will be punished...." Not very helpful!

When in question look to Jesus!  There it was in Luke 23:8-90: "When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer." Herod was curious so he questioned him.

How curious are we about finding solutions to gun violent prevention? Do we even ask questions in search of answers? I am convinced until we do get curious and ask questions about solutions, the carnage of 34,000 gun deaths a year will only increase.

Linda and I attended a conference which focused on NEW APPROACHES TO REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE IN MINNESOTA. The presenters were from Duke University, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Chief of Police, and the Executive Director of The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. The sponsor of the event was THE EDUCATIONAL FUND TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE.

Their CURIOSITY led them to ask QUESTIONS about how to reduce gun violence. They were curious and questioning because in the previous 204 days there had been 204 mass shootings (not all leading to deaths), 34 people are murdered each day, about 20,000 people commit suicide each year and there are about 300 million guns in private hands in the USA. More guns equal more gun deaths.  They were committed to asking questions and being curious about protecting life.

They concluded that being proactive rather than reactive was part of the solution. Being proactive means recognizing the RISK FACTORS which lead people to use guns, and then ordering Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) upon those individuals who are at risk for gun violence. A GVRO provides the opportunity for family, friends and intimate partners to intervene and temporarily disarm a loved one who is in crisis.  By intervening to remove guns already possessed and to prevent new gun purchases, a safer circumstance was created for their family to seek treatment or engage other resources to address the underlying causes of the dangerous behaviors.

The RISK FACTORS are: 1) Domestic violence convictions and accusations; 2) Violent misdemeanor convictions (assault, road rage); 3) Multiple DUI and drug/alcohol convictions.  In these situations, a judge could issue a GVRO for those exhibiting the RISK FACTORS and who are a danger to their families. The respondent has a right to a hearing.  After the crisis has passed, the GVRO is lifted.

Why is the GVRO needed?  Because presently there is no mechanism to restrict firearm access on a case-by-case basis when no crime has been committed or an individual does not meet the criteria for an involuntary civil commitment for mental health treatment. California has adopted the GVRO strategy. The outcome: a 29% reduction in gun violence and a 25% decrease in homicides.

The GVRO is worth a try.  It seems CURIOSITY leading to QUESTIONING has saved lives. Where are the Herods?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Alternative to the Dominant Culture

Walter Brueggemann wrote: ""[The prophet's task is] to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture." In my understanding this means Jesus preached, taught, and acted counter to the dominant culture. Following Jesus means figuring out a "Jesus Way" in our actions.

Placing this action in the context of gun violence prevention, a Jesus Way is to pray upon, reflect upon and act upon Jesus' two clear comments on weapons. 

The first is Jesus telling his disciples what to take with them when they are "sent out": "And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.... They said, 'Lord, look, here are two swords.' He replied, 'It is enough.'" (Luke 22:35-38) The second is Jesus in Gethsemane: "Then one of [the disciples] struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, 'No more of this!' And he touched his ear and healed him." (Luke 22:50-51)

At the very least, Jesus is placing limits on the use of weapons in the first example. Discipleship is not by the sword. The second example has Jesus criticizing the use of the sword and siding with the victim. The Jesus Way is enhanced by healing and nonviolence. Jesus will embrace violence upon himself and not do onto others. Likewise is discipleship.

Jesus' actions are counter to the weapons habits of the dominant culture. Christians, followers of Jesus, are freed and called to act opposite of societies gun culture by insisting upon limits and or elimination of dependence upon guns as solutions. The Christian way is an alternative way. 

I composed a song to lift up this alternative way. It is called "It is Time".

CH: It is time, it is time, it is time to say enough
It is time to say no more
It is time, it is time, it is time to get tough
It is time, it is time to restore

Too many children, too many innocents feel the sting of lead.
Too many workers, too many students lay in the ground cold dead. (CH)

Second Amendment, twisted abused, I've got my rights to put you in my sight.
Regulations, blindly refused, because I've got my rights. (CH)

Purchasing weapons like candy in a store, background checks for some.
But if you're hazy or ethically shady, private sale and mum. (CH)

I've got my right to stand my ground, make my day, protect my life.
I've got my freedom to shoot a few rounds, justifying strife. (CH)

Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, are not they a right?
Freedom to love, free to be my best, free from hate and fright. (CH)

Safety for ALL, freedom for ALL, joyous life for ALL.
Friends with each other, sisters and brothers, gentle like a feather. (CH)