By Dr. Bill Rogers
The wise old man wrote:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. ~~
Paul nee Saul of Tarsus to the Christians at Corinth
Email brought us together.
After years of living far from home, sometimes in primitive places that had
no telephones, I relished the idea of communicating with my mother and brother
and sister using instant letters and notes, complete with pictures, interesting
clippings, and clever little .wav files. Like everyone else who first starts
using online computer services, I fell in love with America On Line.
My God! Even the name calls out to a veteran come home at last: AMERICA is
finally ON LINE! And Iím American, by jiminy, and now Iím ON LINE!
There were books and tapes and classes available to show the novice how to
use this wonderful ON LINE service. But after a few late night key strokes, one
didnít really need the formal stuff. It was all soÖintuitive. The HELP menus
popped right down to provide the answer to almost any question the novice could
devise. Once I got so turned around I had to call the 1-800 HELP line. A very
friendly fellow told me what I needed to know, but he reminded me (after he had
solved my problem) that I could have typed in the AOL KEYWORD and the
information I needed would have jumped onto my screen without that awful 15
minute wait, which he apologized tremendously for having made me endure.
He was so kind.
Of course there were many other ways to get on the internet. Scary sounding
places like MSN and Prodigy kept trying to get my business. Cates was nice. He
was AMERICAN. Who the hell knew what this Gates fellow with his NETWORK was all
about? I didnít want to be in a NETWORK like some kind of faceless, nameless
insect. AMERICA for me. The rest of you can have the NETWORK. Iím a veteran. Iím
AMERICANÖand Iím ON LINE!
Suddenly we were swimming in ISPís. BIGPLANET, JUNO, and on and on and on.
But AOL was home. AMERICA ON LINE.
"WELCOME" the voice said. "YOUíVE GOT MAIL!" The latter
giving rise to visions of cutesy Meg Ryan and stalwart Tom Hanks. (These were
the "young Hanks" days, after "Joe VS the Volcano" but
before the horrible spit-spit-spit of bullets in the sand of the neo-Omaha Beach
and the missing Private Ryan.)
Thatís all over now.
Iíve encountered two major problems over the past year. The first is the
way my lifelong, beloved United Methodist Church has let
me down with its declaration that all private ownership of handguns must
ultimately be curtailed. God in Heaven! The leadership (read that: "servantship")
of the church passed a resolution stating as much at the General Conference last
year. How "they" came up with that resolution I will never really
know, but I do know that like many organizations I used to belong to (such as
the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association), the
United Methodist "leaders" certainly didnít ask the membership what
they preferred. I never got to vote on it! In fact, Iíve never met anyone that
did get to vote on it. It just happened.
Policy statements happen.
Surprise, secret votes by unknown people happen.
The midnight demise of values happen.
Cattle cars happen.
The second problem was with AMERICA ON LINE. Bad business decisions happen
even in businesses that are making enormous amounts of money. The volume of
business and the profits generated by AOL are so huge that what little amount
will be lost by the companyís declaration that the U.S. Constitution doesnít
really mean what it says it means will probably not even be noticedÖthis year.
Perhaps not even next year. And, after all, AOL is in good company with the
United States Federal Government, Janet Reno and the Department
of Justice having openly declared their "ruling" (as if they were
empowered to "rule" over anything!) that the citizens of this great
country do not have the individual right to keep and bear arms.
Well Iíve got news for the United Methodist Church (and the Presbyterian,
Episcopal and Catholic Churches as well) and for the executive management of
AMERICA ON LINE.
If you people are successful at disarming your fellow citizens, there will be
no more America. There will be no more prosperous churches couched in a
somnolent fog of pseudo-peace. There will be no free market enterprise to foster
the dreams of an entrepreneur like Steve Cates.
But, there will be cattle cars, and there will be camps.
And the grandchildren of American Patriots who fought on the real Omaha Beach
will spill their blood and yours, for they are not the kind of people who will
live in slavery.
Dr. Bill Rogers is the director of Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws, found at http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/DSGL.
He has no immediate local connection to the internet service provided by
KeepandBearArms.com, and until that becomes available, he can be reached at email@example.com
via the free email service which
he accesses through his newly acquired connection with Prodigy Internet Services
- unless they do something stupid like AOL
has been doing.