Ranger Rick: Response to Ms. Mandaville’s comments

As the esteemed contributor Lynn Mandaville responded to the recent column by Robert Traxler (Army Bob), a response to her statements and questions is needed to get to the root of the problem instead of the symptoms which she describes. Below is her response:

“Bob, I never fail to read your pieces. Once again you’ve provided a lot of information about munitions that I’d never have looked for myself, much less understood, if you hadn’t taken the time to put it in language I can understand. I agree that the half-measures legislators have been able to pass have not worked to curb gun violence. Part of that may be due to the deep pockets of the NRA, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Sincerely, I ask if you might have some suggestions for solutions to the problem of gun violence in America? Here in the Phoenix AZ area there are daily multiple shootings, that is, one guy shooting several people in a single event. I believe you when you say you don’t want to see blood running in the streets. I hope you believe me that I don’t want to see the second amendment abolished. (I think most of us painted as “anti- second amendment are, in reality, anti-violence folks frustrated to death that it continues to happen.) Surely there is some way our otherwise divergent political camps can work together to find a solution to this epidemic. After all, you and I are both distressed by its continued existence. How do we stem the tide for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren?”

Ms. Mandaville, you have the same concerns I and many other people have concerning the future of the United States and our families. But you indicate the symptoms of the internal rot affecting our country, not the root cause. I can’t fault you, being a reformed Democrat myself, I can understand your thinking. I voted for Senator McGovern once, Governor and President Carter twice, so that shows how strong I felt about Democrats at the time. I had a conversion after the Democrat party left me.

There is no quick and easy answer for something that has been created, promoted, enriched, and finally come to full bloom fruition over the last 50 + years of liberal thought. Facts are stubborn things, and Democrats fear facts most of all. The first fact is acts of violence and subsequent killing by firearms is small. More people die (according to 2016 count) by unintentional accidents (146,571), suicide (44,193), and drunk driving (15,521). Murder by gun was 5,276.

In responding to Ms. Mandaville on root causes for the conflict, anger, consternation of today – leading to violence, I use the example below “If I were the Devil” and how true the sentences are for today’s symptoms Ms. Mandeville cited.

If I Were The Devil

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man’s effort, instead of God’s blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make is socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible, so that the lives of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heros to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation;

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable, because if the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifesyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities, and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naïve;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are!

 — Paul Harvey

We have many problems caused by us over time. When you dumb down the culture to thinking man is the exalted one instead of God, what remains is everyone believes in nothing and anything is fair game and there are no boundaries. If it feels good – do it! From free love to free drugs, the 1960s promoted “do your own thing” and please yourself and “if you’re not with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” As it happened with Greece and Rome, it is happening to America – we are in the downslide into the trash heap of failed governments and societies. The great American experiment and the leader of the Free World is becoming a toothless tiger and no longer sits on the moral high ground. It is the playground of the Devil.

The more society changes, the worse it gets.

The rotting of America from within continues…


  • “Murder by gun was 5,276”. Well stated, the anti gun folks add suicide in the numbers, murder by gun is a good way to put it. Paul Harvey was a great American, who lots of us who were deployed listened to every day on Armed Forces Radio world wide.

  • I was never a fan of Paul Harvey, although he did have a very nice speaking voice. And, I must say, his 5th point – (f I were the”the devil”) I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership – seems pertinent. Perhaps you might be interested in the words of Peter DeVries. ““I believe that man must learn to live without these consolations called religion, which his own intelligence must by now have told him belong to the childhood of the race. Philosophy can give us nothing permanent to believe in either; it is too rich in answers, each cancelling out the rest. The quest for Meaning is foredoomed. Human life “means” nothing. But that is not to say that is not worth living. What does a Debussey Arabesque mean? Or a rainbow? Or a rose? Man delights in all of these, knowing himself to be no more – a wisp of music, and a haze of dreams dissolving against the sun. Man has his own two feet to stand on, his own human trinity to see him through: Reason, Courage, and Grace. And the first plus the second equals the third.” Peter DeVries, from his masterwork, The Blood of the Lamb, published 1961

  • Ranger, I really liked this column. I especially liked that you mentioned things that point up what we have in common, rather than those opinions that divide us. In a spirit of sharing, I was so intrigued by the Paul Harvey piece that I looked it up, only to learn when it was written. A general search led me to the number one hit at Harvey’s piece was first a newspaper column in 1964. Even before the formative years of ’68 and ’69 when Woodstock and the summer of love happened he was tuned in to the cultural changes affecting America. Over the years, the article said, Harvey himself made some edits and revisions, but the evolved piece didn’t really change much to its final incarnation in 1996. It’s a good piece that, in my opinion, holds up over all these years, specifically because it’s far more general than the version you quoted in your response. Apparently the version you used is one that has been made significantly more specific in the “sins” against which it warns. Harvey’s original pieces don’t mention abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, the arts in general (only literature), control of the media or divorce. I’m fairly certain those items were added by one or more anonymous editors who wished to push their specific agendas. (Snopes says, in fact, that the version you quoted has no specific attribution, but is anonymous.) I much prefer Harvey’s original(s) because it/ they are open to a fairer interpretation by the left and right simultaneously, thus allowing for more productive dialogue.
    You are right in pointing out that I spoke of a symptom rather than a cause. And Paul Harvey clearly outlines in his original the long-existing roots of the cause. I would point out that, as with any malady we might take to our doctors, symptoms are treated as well as the disease itself. But treatment of symptoms, as you imply, are not the ultimate cure. That’s often a lot trickier. Relief of symptoms, however, are important in the short term for the paliative care of any patient, and I would suggest that we work on both to make our beloved nation more comfortable while she recovers from the festering within.
    Thanks so much for a thoughtful and enlightening piece. I hope to be more open to your thoughts and opinions in this new year.

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