No Half-staff Flag in My Yard

My flag flying high

I will not lower my flag to half-staff for the president to make a political point. I have flown Old Glory in my back yard for years. During that time, I have dutifully, with compassion, lowered it to memorialize certain holidays, the deaths of great American leaders, and tragic losses of first responders. Only in the past two years have I twice refused to lower our nation’s symbol at the order of President Biden. Both refusals were because I believed the orders were wrongly and shamefully intended to serve the president’s political agenda.

The order to fly the flag at half-staff July 5-9 describes it as a mark of respect for the victims of the “senseless acts of gun violence” (my emphasis) at Highland Park, Illinois. The 4th of July shootings were a tragedy, and my heartfelt prayers go out to the families of the seven who died and to the thirty wounded. But the Chicago area has more than that murdered and wounded on most weekends. So far this year, Chicago has had 317 homicides. Nine Chicagoans were killed and 42 wounded by gun violence on a single weekend just five weeks ago. I don’t remember the White House lowering flags across our nation for those victims. Was this present order because Highland Park is a more affluent suburb of Chicago? Or was it because the holiday shooting made lots of headlines, and the Democrats jumped on the media frenzy to make it all about gun control? This way, millions of Americans will see the flags at half-staff, think Chicago shootings, and become more supportive of firearm restrictions. And the plan will probably succeed in its objective despite its specious conception.

The Democrats in Washington are so desperate to salvage any vestige of their radical leftist agenda that they will turn anything–court decisions, the economy, the environment, traditional values, guns–ANYTHING into a frantic life-or-death partisan reaction. Whatever it takes!

No, President Biden, I will not lower my American flag for your political agenda.

Gun Deaths in America: Facts vs. Hype

America has a growing criminal gun fatality problem. It is a critical conundrum we can’t continue to ignore. Neither can we continue to ignore the misleading and biased statistical data regarding criminal gun deaths. Liberals, including the mainstream media, consistently label all gun deaths as criminal gun deaths. You will probably be surprised at the relatively few criminal gun deaths compared to all gun deaths and other preventable deaths as I have researched and presented below.

You will often see and hear that America had 45,222 gun deaths in 2021. Every gun death is a tragedy and deserves our deepest sympathy and prayers for associated family and friends. However, we need to be aware of what that number includes. Of the total 2021 gun deaths, 24,292, or 54%, were suicides by guns. Shootings by law enforcement in the line of duty accounted for 611, or 1%, of the deaths. Accidental gun discharges caused 535, or 1%, of the deaths. And 400, or 1%, of the deaths were from undetermined causes. That leaves 19,384, or 43%, of the deaths caused by criminal activity. That 43% is horrific and a significant increase over prior years. But it is less than half of the total gun deaths.

These deaths by gun wielding criminals pale in comparison to the 107,622 people who died last year from drug overdoses. Yet, the silence accompanying these drug deaths compared to the uproar over criminal gun deaths is heartbreaking and inexcusable. Drug overdose deaths at over five times the number of criminal gun deaths should spur a huge outcry from our leaders for stronger drug control. Of those drug deaths, 71,238, or two-thirds, were Fentanyl related. The primary Fentanyl source is from free-flowing drug entry into the country through our wide-open southern boarder. Drug overdose deaths from Fentanyl alone would almost cease if President Biden would simply fix our open border atrocity. But, no, the left must continue to fan the flames of gun control while guaranteeing another 100,000-plus deaths from drugs this year. A real war on drugs would also reduce overall crime substantially.

There were 42,915 traffic fatalities last year–over twice the number killed by criminal gun activity. Maybe we need a national effort to lower our vehicle accident deaths more than a nation-wide frenzy to restrict guns.

According to a Johns Hopkins study, over 250,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors. Your doctor poses a 13-times greater risk to you than a criminal with a gun. A national campaign that reduced medical errors by just 10% would save many more lives than criminal gun violence kills.

Please don’t misinterpret me as being insensitive to or defending criminal gun deaths. They represent a national cultural failure that must be addressed. But we need to keep the problem in proper perspective. Let’s consider all aspects of the enigma including the nation’s social and moral decline along with our eroding family values. Our mental health priorities need to be reexamined. We must broaden the view of the problem and rank it fairly with the many other fatal societal weaknesses that need to be corrected. Then, we must proceed with caution being careful to tread very lightly on our precious constitutional rights and liberties that should never be compromised.

The Single Answer to America’s Crisis

America is in crisis. Mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton killed 32 and injured 50. In the last ten days, 46 have died and 67 have been injured by crazed men with guns. Sixty-two have died similarly so far in 2019. Then there are the riots, the hate speech, the pouring water on policemen, the vulgar rhetoric, and the chaotic politics. Solutions abound with good intention, but are unworkable. But, there is one rather simple solution that is the sole answer to this crisis.


Champions of gun control say it will resolve everything. Others believe more restrictive legislation will save us. Maybe if we could just eliminate poverty. Or, if America would finally do something about mental illness, these killers might not reach their breaking point.

I lowered my backyard flag to half-staff on Monday as ordered by the president in mourning for those who lost their lives to these deranged murderers. Every time I look at it, I consider I am mourning for America as well as for the victims. Too many American lives are being lost in mass shootings, crimes, IMG_1749 drugs, suicides, and abortions. It has become an epidemic. No amount of legislation, gun control, mental health policies, or economic enhancements will resolve this crisis, but one thing will. And, it involves little cost or effort on our part.

The answer is simply for all of America to return to God who made our country the greatest in the history of mankind. Because we were founded on faith in God, guided by His church and the Bible, and strengthened by worship and prayer, God has blessed us and favored us as a nation. This is blatantly obvious from a casual review of our history. However, about a half-century ago, we as a nation began to fall away from the power of God and depend on our own power. That started a decline of civility that has steepened with every passing year. We are now a nation in crisis having moved so far away from God that He has virtually left us to our own evil ways.

The good news is He has shown us in His Bible and through historical observation that He will always accept the repentance of a nation and will again return a nation to His favor and protection. That necessitates a return to a culture of faith. The Bible plainly gives us the answer. If My people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

What does this look like practically and on a national scale? It means moving from dependency on government to dependency on God. It means returning to a lifestyle of praying and meditating on scripture. It means getting back into church and worshiping, studying, ministering, and fellowshiping with others. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25) It means reinstating prayer and Bible study in our public schools. It means making God part of our conversations, our news reports, our entertainment, our workplace, and our parenting.

Just this morning, I heard a news reporter say that there is not one action we can take to fix the crisis in our nation, but there are several partial solutions that we should pursue. I counter that there is in fact one action that would absolutely fix our crisis: A return to “one nation under God.” The same God who created our nation and nurtured it through two centuries desires to recover it now. It starts with each of us making a personal commitment to …choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15

Where Are the Parents of Student Protestors?

Over the last few weeks, millions of America’s children have assembled in hate-filled protests against adult authority. They have demanded that their views and philosophies replace those of the majority of mature adults having rightful authority over them. Parents are the first level of responsibility and authority for children. As I view these radical protests by minor children, I have to ask, where are the parents?

I don’t oppose children forming their own opinions and expressing their own views. That is a vital part of growing up. However, those opinions and views should be developed primarily within the family framework with parents providing the principal influence. If we could analyze the influence that drives most of these protesting students, I believe we would find it is from their schools, politicians, news media, and their peers. I have to wonder how many parents of the protesting teens actually sat down with their children and discussed the issues thoroughly. How many parents talked seriously, but lovingly, with their children about mass shootings, school security, government policy, and appropriate response? Shame on those parent who did not.

During the last half-century, we have witnessed the abrogation of parental responsibility in America on a grand and exponential scale. Certainly, many parents take this God-given responsibility seriously and raise their children properly in a respectful, loving home environment. However, I would have to consider effective parenting in today’s homes as a rapidly declining family model. We in this nation have allowed a lot of detractors to creep into our lives that have weakened our abilities to guide and discipline our precious progeny. The effect has been their lack of respect for authority.

So, what went wrong along the way? Our greatest collective failure has been the movement away from God as the foundation of our family, our education, and our government. We have departed from the Bible as the supreme source for truth. The spiritual development of children is too often left to the church or school rather than the home. More and more, misplaced work priorities are keeping fathers and mothers alienated from their children. Too many children are left alone or with non-family members too often and too long. Technology and social media are replacing nurturing and bonding communication within families. These family dysfunctions and many more have erected barriers between children and their parents leaving little incentive by parents to guide and discipline their children or by children to respect and obey their parents.

Parents who feel they have lost touch with their minor children must begin to reverse that relationship. It is a struggle, but absolutely critical. Often, professional family counseling is necessary. Most of it, though, is simply a commitment to be the parent. If the dad is present, his is the responsibility to be the spiritual leader of the family. Children must see their dad as a godly man. Church should become a top priority. Most churches will teach the proper biblical roles of parents and children. Parents need to be involved in the school. Frequently, a school’s teaching and activities may be counter to a parent’s views. In such cases, parents should make the disconnect an opportunity for family discussion. It is okay for parents to teach something different from the official view of the school or other organization. It is not only okay, but imperative that the parent not hesitate to say “no” when needed.

On a final note, grandparents also have an important responsibility for their grandchildren. They are not to act as parents except in extreme circumstances of parental absence or neglect, but they should always be accessible and approachable. Grown children sometimes need advice and affirmation from their parents, and grandchildren sometimes need a listening ear from their grandparents. Grandparents may have more time than parents to invest in children searching for answers.

When America’s children become disconnected from their parents and are given too much freedom, they will almost always become ensnared in illegal or misguided activity that can ultimately degrade or destroy their lives. They are America’s future. Parents must step up. Be present, be proactive, be the parent!

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