Uvalde: Inanimate Objects, Documents or Vitiated Minds?

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Another mass shooting. Little children dead. An eighteen-year-old, Salvador Ramos, killed them two days before they were to start their summer vacation.

And, once again, we get the same old rhetoric from all sides—all a thousand miles away from the problem and therefore the solution. We don't need blind rhetoric. We need divine wisdom and guidance. We need biblical prudence.

Instead, from one side we get calls for more gun laws; from the other, the 2nd Amendment. 

From one, the weapon is the main problem; from the other: “It isn’t guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.” 

I’ve read everything I can get my eyes upon in the last few days to assess where we are as a culture in response to such a tragedy… and not just this one, but many in our recent past.

I’ve read calls to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I’ve read a conspiracy theory that all of this is orchestrated by the Deep State. I’ve heard AOC say this is all the result of maleness. One journalist stated that when Ramos turned 18 as a male that was a red flag in itself. This, of course, is highly sexist, but our culture allows sexism in that direction, just as we allow racism in one direction. None of this empty rhetoric leads to solutions.

And, sadly but not surprisingly, many seemed to use the tragedy to make political hay.

In response to Uvalde, Canada is putting forward near draconian legislation that will end the sale, purchase, or even transfer of hand guns anywhere, anytime in Canada. Notwithstanding the reality that the Uvalde murders were committed with a rifle.

When Biden showed up in Uvalde, some people were shouting at him “Do something!” as if the solution is bound up somehow in the power of a Savior State. 

One congressman accused Ramos of being transgender which opened up another whole can of shouting and accusations. Piers Morgan called the police “sniveling cowards”. Another used Uvalde to argue and plead for a total defunding of all police, everywhere. 

The finger pointed in so many different directions it would be hard to count them: it’s guns; it’s male toxicity; it’s a conspiracy; it’s racism; it’s poverty; it’s an attack upon the Constitution; it’s mental illness; it’s the gun lobby; it’s white supremacy; it’s the police; it’s patriarchy... and on and on it goes.

The only one who came close was Cal Thomas, but he only hinted at it. In the last few words of today's article he said there was a moral issue involved as well. It was like a quiet whisper at the end.

We have fallen so far as a culture that we no longer dare to speak in terms of sin and morality. I'm not sure we even have the capacity to do so. We don't, or can't, see evil as evil, and call it as such. Evil doesn’t spring out of inanimate objects, evil is perpetrated by the fallen nature of man. It is the woeful state of the human heart and mind that moves one to despicable acts.

When Cain killed Abel, God wasn’t upset at the weapon, whether that was a rock or a club or Cain’s fists. It was the heart of Cain that God was pointing to when He warned him beforehand:

“So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:5b-7, AB

God judged Cain for his action because it was Cain who was responsible to “master”  his desires. This is, elsewhere in the Scripture, referred to as “self-control”, something we are generally and personally adverse to in our culture. We are bent more toward “self-aggrandizing” and "self-actualization".

Before the flood, it was the heart and mind that God was looking at:

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5, ESV

Early on in our culture, it would have been held folly for someone to lay the blame of evil anywhere else than the human heart. We read it constantly from the founding generation. My favorites are from John Adams and Daniel Webster:

“We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

“To preserve the government we must also preserve morals.  Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall.  When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.”

When human passions are no longer bridled (mastered/self-controlled) by transcendent values, when the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, neither the Constitution or laws will be of any value.

And this is the focal point of crime in our culture. Whether it is someone stealing your Amazon package off of your porch in broad daylight or cutting the catalytic converter off of your car; whether it is a mob cleaning out a store or random beatings of a stranger on the street; whether it is selling young girls for sex or killing people in alleys or bars or elementary schools…it is a heart and mind issue with respect to the transcendent understanding of good and evil.

And it is here that we find our nemesis, because we have stripped from the public square the allowance to speak of such things as sin or of transcendent morality or of corrupt and vitiated minds. We don’t even know what vitiated means anymore. Our prime ethic of Malevolent Compassion forbids one to call the thinking of the heart and mind of another “wrong”. (Unless, of course, that accusation flows in the right direction and only the right direction.) How dare anyone accuse another of “sin”?

And all of this, then, prevents us from looking also at those things in our culture that provoke evil thoughts. When James Holmes killed 12 people in an Aurora theater presenting “The Dark Knight Rises”, he was acting out the Joker. But the rhetoric after the massacre was all the same: guns and Constitution. No one wanted to ask if our movies were provoking evil in the viewers hearts and minds. No one asked questions about the blatant violence played out in video games or played as lyrics in our music or played out before our eyes in high definition color and surround sound in movies and videos that, post-Aurora, are still being produced continually without restraints. 

No one asks the questions as to whether the value of human life in our culture, and therefore in our youth, is being horrifically devalued when we fight tooth and nail to retain the slaughter of millions of innocent babies in the womb. If you can kill your baby if you want to, then why can I not kill if I want to?

No one asks the question of the cost associated with teaching our children that they are nothing but accidental germs in a random, ethical free cosmos.

No one asks about the cost of removing transcendent moral values from the classroom.

No one wants to look at the clear evidence that a young man who grows up in a single-female-parent home has a much higher likelihood of getting involved in crime and drugs. Just to pose that question would raise a firestorm. It is verboten. 

So, we will yell “gun control” and “Constitution” and no one will dare talk about the real cancer in our culture. Because all of this would inevitably lead us into a discussion about God and His transcendent ethics for man. 

And we just don’t want that.

So, nothing will change. 

I would be happy if someone would acknowledge the real problem and maybe say, “Until we can begin to change the broken family problem and the violent entertainment problem, etc., it would be wise to keep semi-automatic weapons of any kind out of the hands of anyone under 30.” I might vote for that if it were accompanied by an acceptance of the real problem.

But until then, all of our machinations are taking us in the wrong direction. Mexico has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world and they also have one of the highest homicide rates. Trying to solve the problem by regulating inanimate objects or appealing to the Constitution isn’t going to get it done.

Dear Remnant, do not lose hope in these circumstances, for our hope does not rest in what happens around us, but what has happened for us 2000 years ago through Christ’s death and resurrection. Remain strong. Raise up Noble Males and Virtuous Females. 

Join me, if you will, each Tuesday, noon Eastern, to pray that God will grant our culture repentance. 

 

 

 

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24
When Infants Invade Adult Bodies
On Election Day, at lunchtime, I was at a park in Colorado Springs. On one corner of the park sits one of our big high schools. It was a nice day (normal for the Springs) and the students filled the park, several making out lying on the grass. On the opposite corner stood a young man, conservatively dressed, holding an American flag and a Trump sign. He had a radio on the ground, not very loud, but playing a conservative talk show. I sat at a bench near the young man because I was curious about what I saw happening. As the students walked by, they shouted obscenities at him and Trump. I am not willing to repeat any of it, suffice to say it was as filthy and vile as you can get. Some spit toward him. As it was getting close to the end of their lunch hour, a group gathered in front of him and pummeled him with profanity and obscene gestures. One girl was screaming at him. I suppose even worse was that after they would shout their obscenities, they would then howl in laughter pointing at him as if he were a joke. Of course, in the world of child-like behavior, this is considered the cruelest of all taunts… to make another seem like a worthless outcast… insignificant scum. Although I couldn’t hear what the young man was saying, he remained calm and would sometimes turn and wave at cars that would supportively “beep-beep” as they drove by. As I write this, I’m not sure if I was right or wrong to not jump into the middle of it. I was committed to offer help if it looked like it was going to escalate beyond words, but for now it was free-speech being played out, though admittedly disgusting. After the lunch crowd had returned to their classrooms, I approached the young man and our conversation went something like this: “Students were pretty rough on you.” “Yeah. A lot of nasty stuff.” “I’m impressed you remained calm through all of it.” “Well, I kept telling them that obscenities didn’t add to the conversation and just encouraged any of them to simply enter into a civil discussion with me.” “I’m sorry they didn’t do that.” “Me too. I really wish we could just talk about the issues like adults.” I think it was the “adult” word that helped frame some of this for me. I had, indeed, witnessed deep immaturity, with its pure emotional spewing and little to no rational thought. I don’t go to the park all the time, but I’m there enough to occasionally hear their conversations. I remember one of the first times, next to a group of high school girls, in which I was dumbfounded at the filth of their language. I spent over 20 years in the military, and I’d never heard anything that matched it. Where does this come from? My heart sank as I experienced what was happening Tuesday. It was quite scary, actually, because I was not only looking at such deep expressions of hate and loathing, but I was also looking at the generation that is going to replace us all. It didn’t look good. We woke this morning to the continued news that there are protests all around the country. Some have become violent and destructive. Interestingly, the chants of the protestors are much like those I heard in the park… quite childish, selfish and filled with hatred. Where is all of this coming from? In the park, my first thoughts were to put the blame on the high school that was right on the corner, thinking that this was coming from their classrooms. But then something dawned on me after reading the list of “tweets” that went out from Hollywood and TV and music “stars”. They were all saying the same things, in “star” lingo, of course, but just as childish. This is Cher’s mature tweet on the election: “Trump will never be more than a toilet…” Andy Cohen (along with all the other late-night talk show hosts): “Did we just elect a snake oil salesman and his wicked court of terror…?” Snoop Dogg: “The worst day in America: 9/11. The second worst day: 11/9.” Really? Worse than the Civil War? Worse than the trail of tears? Worse that Kennedy’s assassination… or Pearl Harbor or the stock market crash in 1929? This is the mindless mantra of our “entertainment” empire. And it is here we find the prime tutor of our children. The average teen consumes 9 hours a day of entertainment on their smartphone or TV. You may want to reread that or say it over to yourself: 9 hours per day of smartphone/TV entertainment. This domain of music, rap, video, shows, comedy, movies and gaming is cultivating a mind that is filled with sex, violence, obscene language and destructive ideas. It numbs them towards a true reality. It strips them of common sense. It erects in their heart, mind and soul a virtual world of all-about-me and my pleasure. And if things don’t go my way, I throw my tantrums. I call people names. I stomp my feet and chant emotional non-sense. And I demand. Like the 3-year-old girl I saw the other day stomping her feet, screaming at her mother, demanding her own way. For 9 hours a day, our youth live in a non-real world where lyrics and scripts and rap words rhythmically and cinematically draw them into believing that the virtual world of the entertainment empire is the world we all ought to live in… the world we WANT to live in. It seduces. It hypnotizes. It frames a worldview that is totally self-centered and hedonistic. And it is totally irrational. It spews out the most hateful and vile stuff. It beats up people, destroys property, flips off the world and then smugly chants “love trumps hate”. It is the la-la land of infants demanding to get their own way in their self-defined, virtual world. The problem is that the infants are increasingly in adult bodies with lots of power. Our addiction to entertainment will continue to stunt our culture's maturity. We must wean ourselves and our kids. Here is what troubles me most, however. Immaturity, when it doesn’t get its way, will often erupt into a “make you pay” rage. I sense that is what we are seeing. But I fear it is only the beginning. We are going to be treated to a host of "See what you made me do!" and "This is all your fault!" and "You'll be sorry!" acts and situations and new stories and personal stories, ad infinitim. Brace yourselves, for the revenge of self-centered infants who live in adult bodies and carry great wealth and power can, and will be, be scary.   
7
The True State of Our Union
Our President will offer, on Tuesday, his State of the Union address. However, it will most likely not be a true state of our nation, but rather another political posturing speech, just like we have heard for years, from both Republicans and Democrats. This is unfortunate, for our nation needs a true, honest assessment of where we are as a culture. It is in that spirit I offer my humble perspective. This is what I would wish for the President to say as he stands before Congress and the American people: ... To the people of this great country, I offer to you my honest assessment of the state of our nation…and it is not good. We are greatly blessed in America. We have abundant resources, rich farmland, and beauty beyond description: from the Grand Canyon to our waterfalls, from our mountains to our coastlands. We have been blessed with great people: people who have come here from all the nations of the earth, seeking the American dream. They have been hard working, good people, courageous in the face of trials and heroic in the face of enemies. We have been blessed with more than we can enumerate. And, I suppose, the Hollywood and political style would have us gush and fawn over each other in our lofty positions and applaud all kinds of supposed accomplishments as if these blessings come from our own making. It would be in keeping with most of our recent State of the Union addresses to therefore give you a long list of all the grand things that the Federal government needs to do for the American people and to smile and look into the camera and assure them that we are taking good care of them...and things are going quite well. But they are not. We are not healthy… Nor are we strong. In fact, I believe we are now, more than ever before in the life of this nation, vulnerable to destruction. This has not come as the result of an external power or force. It has not come from our current war with terrorism. I do not speak of our military might, but I speak of the state of this nation’s soul. We hang over a perilous ledge…at best, we are sliding into an insignificant oblivion. We are in a state of decay…we are rotting away from within. We have succumbed to a deep selfishness. It is eating away at our character, our strength and our core like an aggressive, unchecked cancer. Despite all the current cries for secularization, we were founded with a clear belief that the health of this nation would rest upon two foundations: religion and morality[1]. This was not to be understood that religious particulars would be legislated, but that we, as a nation, recognized the fundamental existence of God and His declaration of things that were right and things that were wrong, and that the citizenry would then govern themselves according to those transcendent laws. It was this self-government that allowed for a minimum of civil-government and therefore a maximum of personal freedom…freedom to work hard and to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor…to use that fruit and selfless efforts to raise a family and to aid one’s neighbor in distress. This was the American dream. In our great foolishness, we have now discarded those foundations. We have traded self-government for self-indulgence. We have traded transcendent Truth for self-centered identity and self-centered lust. The desires of the heart now trump any notion of divine righteousness. We have tossed aside these critical Foundations…Foundations that for years sustained and propelled us into being the greatest nation in the world. Now we chase the mirage and illusion of self-gratification and false notions that right and wrong are determined by the individual…by man himself. And these false notions are now supported and propagated by all the centers of influence in our culture: Hollywood, media, academia and even the President, the Supreme Court and Congress. And, as with every lie and deceit, its promises are false. Instead of selfishness bringing us happiness and pleasure, it reaps us strife and groaning. In the end, a self-centered culture is a hateful and violent culture…a culture seething with the seeds of its own destruction. Our cities teeter on the brink of bursting into riots and flames. We can no longer stroll safely at night on our streets. Our families are no longer secure in their homes. Our children are no longer safe in their schools. Our pursuit of selfishness and hedonism has brought the true state of our nation to one that is filled with violence. We lead the world in crime. We commit approximately 10 million crimes every year…nearly 26,000 every day[2]. No other nation comes close to us. Every day we murder 40 people and rape 320[3]. As such, we also lead the world in incarcerations. Of all the prisoners in the world, we account for 25% of them. Our prisons are overflowing[4]. The backbone of our culture, our families, are in serious trouble. For every 7 marriages this year, there will be nearly 4 divorces.[5] And when we have babies, fewer are within the security and nourishment of a mother and father. Half of our first babies are born to unwed mothers; a third of our children live without a father[6]; if you are a black baby conceived in this nation, the odds are greater that you will be aborted than that you will be born alive[7]. Since 1973, we have killed 55 million of our babies, about a million a year, and we abort more of our offspring every single day than the terrorists murdered in the World Trade towers on 9/11[8]. The true state of our Union should cause us to weep. We lead the world in producing pornography. 90% of the world’s pornography comes from our nation[9]. We are sexually addicted and obsessed. Our movies and music and media are awash in what was once considered sinful and vile. The state of our nation is truly shameful. We have lost our sense of morality and it is costing us dearly. Try to imagine this next statistic: in one year, we will contract 20 million sexually transmitted infections. That’s 54,000 people infected every day…a fourth of them are teenagers.[10] This is well beyond a level that we should label as an epidemic and plague—but we don’t speak of these things because it would dampen our lust for sexual freedom and reduce ticket sales at the theater. We are the world’s leading user of illegal drugs[11]. Approximately one in ten of us is addicted to alcohol or drugs[12]. Every day, our drinking and driving snuffs out the lives of 28 human beings[13]. We spend $50 billion federal dollars every year fighting illegal drugs while we spend $100 billion a year using them[14]. We are a nation of self-centered addicts. Our drug and alcohol addictions lead the world, but they are nothing compared to the astounding percentage of our people who have sexual addictions…people who are addicted to pornography or addicted to gambling or video games or other pathologies that have a death grip upon us, destroying our lives, our families and our fruitfulness. This, too, is a national epidemic. We are sinking fast into mental numbness and dumbness as well. Out of the top 22 developed countries, our upcoming millennial generation ranks dead last in math, dead last in problem solving, and near dead last in literacy. This is a continual decline over decades. After four years of college, our Millennials score no better than high school seniors in Japan or Finland or the Netherlands. Researchers call our Millennial scores “abysmal”[15]. Instead, our teens consume nearly 9 hours a day of entertainment on smartphones or TV[16]. By the time they are 18, our children will have witnessed approximately 400,000 murders on TV and by the age of 21, they will have spent 10,000 hours playing video games[17]. Even the future state of our nation does not look promising. We adults aren’t much different. We average nearly 6 hours a day in front of the television…a big screen TV that is most likely on a credit card. Our personal consumer debt is over $2.5 trillion. The average family owes $16,000 in credit card debt. Our students owe $1.3 trillion in school loans[18]. But the biggest runaway spending is found in Washington. The Federal debt is beyond imagination. Our debt has gone from $7.3 trillion in 2004 to over $18.8 trillion today with no sign of slowing down. This debt is now higher than our GDP—the total of ALL the goods and services produced in our country. We pay almost $230 billion a year in interest on that debt. The debt load on every taxpayer in America is now over $157,000[19]. But, in reality, the $18.8 trillion debt is a phony number. The real debt is found in our unfunded obligations, obligations to pay things in the future like Social Security and Medicare. This is the real debt of our nation. We currently have unfunded liabilities that total over $100 trillion dollars….a debt load of $1 million dollars for every taxpayer in our nation[20]. It is more than the total of the ENTIRE world’s output. This debt is beyond understanding. It is a house of cards awaiting a puff of wind to blow it down. Are we so blind that we cannot see any of this? Despite the political posturing, we have fewer people in the workforce today than in 2000. We play with numbers to keep a respectable unemployment figure by moving millions of people into a growing pool of what we call “not in the labor force”…currently over 90 million[21], but the reality is that many of them are of working age who desire to be employed full-time but the jobs are not there. That may partially come from the fact that we also have the largest trade deficit in the entire world[22] and that our high corporate tax rate is causing businesses and jobs to move to other countries[23]. All of this is transforming our nation into an ever-increasing welfare state. Over half of our people receive redistribution benefits from the Federal government. Few Americans are saving wisely and 76% of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, which means over three-fourths of our nation are loaded with debt and are one paycheck away from financial disaster.[24] How can we be so foolish? We are increasingly becoming a nation of dependents and wards of the State. We are becoming slaves to a Federal Beast that grows without restraint. The power and reach of the Federal government has become unrecognizable by our founding standards. The President and Supreme Court craft laws in defiance of the Constitution. The President thumbs his nose at the Constitution’s requirement to get Senate approval for foreign treaties. [I can guarantee that the President’s State of the Union that will be delivered Tuesday will be filled with political posturing, back patting, and that everything proposed will lead to a larger and more powerful Federal Beast. And in so doing, our people will descend deeper and deeper into dependent wards, and with it, our productivity will continue to shrivel and dry up.] And in all of this, we simply turn a blind eye and go back to our TVs and smartphones…because we are addicted to our self-centeredness. Our military has increasingly been stripped of any notion of Absolute truth…a military that was once feared by enemies, but cheered by the liberated French. Why? Because they carried a belief in an absolute moral foundation. No longer. Our military academies and military services have become a playground for social policies and political correctness and there is growing list of incidents that are creating a very “hostile” environment for the religious freedom of military members in order to crush the notion of Transcendent Truth....leaving only "State" truth.[25] Nothing should frighten us more than to think that we would desire to build a military or police force that believes truth lies within their own heart or within whatever orders are handed down from the State…that might is what makes right. We have an enemy that has attacked our homeland and yet we are too squeamish to label the worldview behind it. We cannot bring ourselves to acknowledge the existence of evil nor the existence of sin because to do so is to acknowledge a Transcendent truth that exists beyond our self-centered fantasy. Instead, we look for environmental causes of evil behavior and point a finger at guns while we ignore the violence and sex and hedonism in our movies and music. Hollywood or the media is never held accountable, nor the educational system or public policies that continue to destroy our families and our culture. And we are back to the heart of the issue. For the true State of the Union lies here, in the selfish casting off of the Transcendent for the temporary; seeking our hedonistic pleasure for today while selling our souls and our future. Do not be fooled. Selfishness eventually spawns hatred and violence. If you do not affirm me, I will spew such animosity toward you that you will be swept away with its fury. If you do not bake me an affirming cake, we will destroy your bakery. If you do not take affirming photographs, we will destroy your studio. If you do not allow a man who identifies as female to use the women’s restroom, the state of Washington will now shut down your business. If you do not affirm my self-selected gender identity with the proper pronoun, New York will now prosecute and fine you a quarter of a million dollars. Our selfishness has reached the level of stark absurdity…backed by legal and political tyranny. Somewhere in all of this, the founding generation must be shaking their heads in disbelief at what is happening to this nation. Our selfishness and rejection of absolute Truth is sucking us into a monstrous whirlpool that leads downward to utter darkness. We are committing cultural and national suicide and yet we continue to affirm and gush over each other and party while the nation crumbles beneath our feet. Does anyone care enough to fight this? Does anyone care enough to stand?...to stand for what is right…for what is true…for what is good? The Governors of the States must stand against the tyranny of the Federal Beast, but it must be the people who will stand and say no to the path that we tread. For the true State of the Union, which hangs by a thread, can be changed only if the people demand a change. But the change must begin within. If we continue to pursue our pleasure and entertainment, if we continue to abdicate our responsibility for the health of our families and this nation, if we continue to allow Hollywood and academia and the media and the Government to lead us down this path, then we, as a nation, are going to die. And the death may come in a night…it may come so swiftly that the world will stand in awe at our downfall. But health will not come over night. We live in a fallen world where you catch diseases quickly, but you don’t catch health. You can fall and break a bone instantly, but healing it takes a lot of time. If we are to regain our health, if we are to restore what is broken, it will require the courage and strength and long-term commitment of the people…if we still have the character to do so. It will come by first falling to our knees in repentance before the God who made us…the God who gave us a land flowing with milk and honey…the God who has sustained us through war and countless trials…the God before whom we now stand and shake our fist in His face. It will come by an examination of our personal lives and the pathologies that infest our social systems. It will come by both individual and national commitments to that which is True. And it will come by a sustained walk of turning back to the God to whom we owe all things…to the God who can reduce us to rubble with one puff of His breath. And if we do not, may God have mercy on us and our children. ... Though the state of our Union is perilous, Remnant, there is a reason why we remain. It is for this time that we have been preserved. May we stand for Truth in the times in which we live. Pray, dear Remnant, for repentance, Tuesdays, noon eastern.   [1] https://truthencounter.x362.com/resources/1247/the-foundations-of-the-united-states?tagid=3548 [2] https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/browse-by/national-data [3] ibid [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_Stateseration_rate [5] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm [6] http://www.theburningplatform.com/2015/03/22/the-real-reason-the-american-dream-is-unraveling/ [7] http://www.blackgenocide.org/black.html [8] http://www.theburningplatform.com/2015/03/22/the-real-reason-the-american-dream-is-unraveling/ [9] http://techcrunch.com/2007/05/12/internet-pornography-stats/ [10] http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats14/std-trends-508.pdf [11] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-leads-the-world-in-illegal-drug-use/ [12] http://www.drugfree.org/new-data-show-millions-of-americans-with-alcohol-and-drug-addiction-could-benefit-from-health-care-r/ [13] http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html [14] https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/07/how-much-do-americans-really-spend-drugs-each-year [15] http://www.ets.org/s/research/30079/index.html [16] https://www.commonsensemedia.org/the-common-sense-census-media-use-by-tweens-and-teens-infographic# [17]http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/publications/reports/stateindustryviolence/main.asp [18] http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html [19] http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html [20] http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion/ [21] https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/LNU05000000.txt [22] http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/historical/gands.pdf [23] http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/08/economist-explains-9 [24] http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/24/pf/emergency-savings/ [25] http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938