By Dr. George E Young Sr
State Representative, House District 99

I am aware of a degradation of not only civil discourse, but also in how we as a people are beginning to place a lower value on human life and personal respect. It is quite evident that we have moved to a point that it is OK, judging by the rhetoric, to say ugly things to each other publicly and to even promote violence toward those with whom we have a difference of opinion.

I don’t agree with this change, but do not think it is as rampant as news coverage would lead us to believe. However, what does cause me concern is a piece of legislation considered in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

A bill debated recently would allow the citizens of Oklahoma to openly carry a weapon of their choice – and there would be no requirement for them to be trained or familiar with the operation of that weapon.

I am all for anyone legally owning a weapon and keeping it in their home for protection, and going through training to be qualified to openly carry a firearm. The example the sponsor of the legislation put forth was Vermont. Our problems in Oklahoma are different from those in Vermont. We are no worse than citizens of Vermont but we are different.

I am afraid that individuals with Victim Protection Orders would be able to carry weapons to terrorize those who have sought protection from such individuals. I am also just plain frightened that if I were to laugh too loud, talk too loud or walk too fast, someone would shoot me simply because they have the means to do so. I am saddened by where we as leaders are going.

And if that were not enough, the debate on this bill was supported by misquoting and misrepresenting Scripture. I have two passages that were not quoted on the House floor, but I would like to give them now: John 13: 34-35 and John 15:12.

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

“This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you”

Try these on for size before you load your gun and buckle your holster.