Dealing with our demons before they cripple us

The history I’ve read and studied suggest the biggest threat to our Republic will be from within. I’m not afraid that terrorists will destroy the United States, I’m afraid we will destroy ourselves.

Which is why I found a comment from Secretary of State John Kerry to CNN so interesting:

Students in other countries assessing where to study abroad are increasingly scared of coming to the United States because of gun violence, the nation’s top diplomat said Monday.

Speaking with CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty in Tokyo, Secretary of State John Kerry said he’d discussed the situation with officials there who said students felt unsafe in the United States.

“We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they’re actually scared. They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come,” Kerry said.

He noted Japan’s restrictive gun laws – which prevent private ownership of nearly all firearms, including handguns – and said the country was safer “where people are not running around with guns.”

The United States has grown and thrived, in large part, by attracting the best and brightest from other countries. If that flow of intellectual capital stopped, however, I fear the consequences would be immense.

I don’t think the problem is as bad yet as the perception, but perception can mean everything. I wrote about the new mobile society here, and just as people can move anywhere within the United States, it is becoming much easier to move and work from anywhere in the world. I would hate for the United States to be seen on the same level as Colombia and other crime riddled nations.

We live in a culture obsessed with guns and violence and while I strongly believe the world is a better place today than it was yesterday, this is one problem that has gotten worse. The question is when will we do something about it?

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