- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne. June 16, 2014.

Gun lust costing us freedom

The other day, it almost seemed plausible that the National Rifle Association had come to its senses.

The association issued a news release denouncing the Open Carry folks in Texas, saying their insistence on displaying semi-automatic weapons in a restaurant was not only unwise but “weird.”

Of course, after the Open Carry people protested, an NRA official hastily announced that the posting had been a mistake.

There have been times and places when people had to be conspicuously armed when they went about their day-to-day activities: areas of Asia and Africa torn by civil or tribal warfare; parts of the American frontier in the 18th and 19th centuries; and jungle settlements when rogue animals with a taste for human flesh are on the prowl nearby.

Future historians will be puzzled why what was once one of the most technologically advanced, enlightened societies in history aspired to ascend to such a high level of everyday wariness.

They will marvel at how virtually unlimited access to and display of firearms was pushed upon a reluctant majority by a relatively tiny group of particularly vocal and politically organized zealots.

They will find it particularly ironic that the unlimited-guns advocates so effectively used the concept of “freedom” to justify their cause.

As the future historians will see - as anyone who lived in one of those other places or times when guns were truly an essential part of daily life could have told us - no one is less free than a man, woman or child who must live in constant fear of death.

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Tribune-Star, Terre Haute. June 14, 2014.

Enticing more students back to campus a worthwhile initiative

Of all of the educational initiatives paraded before Indiana residents in recent years - some ideas worthy, others flops - none seems more timely or more on point than one approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week.

The program is called Return and Complete - which is also a shorthand description of what it entails: Citizens who have started but not completed their college degrees return to classes and complete their degrees. The result is that those citizens can gain higher earning potentials and see their career opportunities widen. Plus, those who can return to finish their degrees can simply feel a greater sense of accomplishment, of reaching a goal, of beating the odds. That unquantifiable spirit is a powerful incentive.

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