Monday, June 28, 2010

'The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded'

With those words, the Supreme Court of the United States held that Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban is unconstitutional -- states and cities may not make laws that trump the Second Amendment.

The city of Chicago is rife with violent crime. Last weekend alone, at least 29 people suffered gunshot wounds and three died. The previous weekend, the tolls were 52 shot and ten dead. Advocates of gun control point to those stats to support wholesale banning of firearms -- despite the fact that the body count has grown under the now-illegal ban.

So sure, Chicago has a problem. The Supreme Court ruled, however, that states and municipalities must solve their problems without violating the rights of citizens under the U.S. Constitution. Sovereignty is all well and good, but now a bright line has been drawn.

It's a good day to be a citizen, especially a citizen who keeps and bears defensive arms.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

'The older I get...'

My wife and I were sitting quietly on the patio at dusk last Tuesday, just as we do every evening. As we gazed out over our back yard, the fresh-cut lawn simmering with lightning bugs, I said,

"The older I get, the simpler I like it."

Less than a week from now I'll enter my fifty-fourth year. My perspective, shaped by experience, grows longer. Likewise, life's complexity becomes ever more apparent -- but it's anything but inescapable.

I make a conscious choice to listen to the chip of a cardinal, the toll of church bells and the wail of a freight train's horn as it approaches the crossing in the village. I shun television in favor of watching squirrels at play.

I admire a sharp knife and meditate on the pile of shavings around my feet. I drive past a commercial gym, come straight home and sweat for free in the yard. I appreciate "a good tired" and an afternoon nap on a weekend afternoon.

Through trials and countless errors I've found that while compassion is indispensable, labor trumps sincerity and competence demonstrated is more valuable than effort displayed. I no longer validate entitlement. I live to learn.

When life becomes complicated -- it certainly has over the last two years and inevitably it will again -- I neither resist nor ignore the challenge. Simplicity is the cadence which measures my steps.

I've had a run of good fortune lately. I celebrate that gift -- in perspective, simply.

Friday, June 4, 2010

In place, on balance

It's been a while, hasn't it? Almost six weeks since my last post to KintlaLake Blog and the time has fairly flown, at least for me.

We're in -- my family and I are settled in our new digs. Our May Day move went well and (for the most part) without incident. We now find ourselves in a spot that my wife calls "the best place I've ever lived."

I agree, wholeheartedly. I'll have more to say about this patch of land, but for now I'll simply affirm that it's all we hoped it'd be.

The last two months -- packing, moving, making this place our own and, running on the same track, keeping my job -- have been all-consuming. In the process I lost my equilibrium, reflected in my absence from this blog.

That's not good. Bringing my thoughts, observations and experiences into this space has become an integral part of my walk through the world. I've missed having the therapeutic outlet.

It's time to regain my balance.