Grandpa, Tell Me Again About Freedom . “Grandpa, did you have more freedom when you were my age?” It was December 11, 2017, my grandson’s twelfth birthday. For as long as he could remember, he had heard us talking about the dangers of Barack Obama’s agenda. Now Obama’s two full terms as president had inflicted their full damage on the nation, and my perceptive grandson somehow knew that things had gotten worse during his lifetime. “Well,” I said, “for one thing, when I was your age, my parents didn’t have to ask the government for permission to go to the doctor. Now your parents have no choice in the matter. Also, the government didn’t violate our right to religious expression. Under Obamacare, we have no choice but to fund abortion, sex change operations and all sorts of other things we don’t believe in.” “What else was different back then?” “Well, gas was about a quarter a gallon, instead of the $9.75 a gallon Obama’s policies have driven it up to. Now we’re all driving around in electric clown cars and paying twelve dollars for a loaf of bread.” “What about the immigrants? Grandma says Obama gave them something called am…am… ammesty.” “That’s amnesty, and yes, there’s no question that all our freedoms have been diminished because of it. You see, son, you just can’t reward people for breaking the law without others doing it, too. It’s just human nature.” “My dad says Obama didn’t defend the country. What did he actually do?” “Well, he left our borders wide open and slashed our defense budget. He took the greatest military force in the world and turned it into a social experiment by allowing open homosexuals in Army barracks and women in combat. He coddled and supported Islamist governments all over the world. And then people actually wonder why Israel had to attack Iran to keep them from getting a nuclear weapon.” “Did President Obama really hate our country? I’ve heard my dad say that.” “President Obama grew up listening to people who hated our country, and, yes, I believe he embraced a lot of that same kind of anti-American thinking.” “But why would anyone hate their country?” “You have to understand that you have been raised to be a patriot. Obama was not. Quite the opposite. He grew up thinking our country was evil and that the people who achieved success must have cheated to get ahead. That’s why he and those who believe as he does have always wanted to punish those who have more than other people.” “What about guns, Grandpa? Did you have a gun when you were my age?” “As a matter of fact, when I turned twelve in 1960, my dad gave me my first rifle. It was a single shot .22 good for shooting rabbits, squirrels and tin cans.” “Did your dad take you hunting?” “Sure. Most dads took their boys hunting and fishing in those days. It wasn’t like today, when so many people are afraid of guns. I knew where my dad kept our rifles — mine and his — and I knew where he kept all the ammo, too. There was no need to lock it up. It never occurred to me or to anyone else I knew to take our guns and shoot somebody.” “My teacher says that President Obama had to take away people’s guns so that they don’t kill each other, but I keep hearing about murders on the news, and it doesn’t seem like it’s working too well.” “Of course it’s not working. It’s like I’ve always told you, murder is in the hearts of men, not in a bullet in the barrel of a gun. A gun is just a tool, like a hammer, an ax or a baseball bat. It can be used for good or bad. That’s up to the person holding it.” “How could the president take away people’s guns? Aren’t there laws about that? And how can people defend themselves without guns?” “I know your dad has taught you about the Constitution. Our rights come from God, and the Constitution spells out those rights on paper. But always remember, that none of the other parts of that document mean anything without the ability to defend those rights. That ability is spelled out in the Second Amendment. “Did everyone give up their guns, Grandpa?” “Not all of us, buddy. Not even close.” Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and policy advisor to conservative candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org .