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Jax Poppin off lead

So you probably were expecting a fun article about me making a fool of myself trying to handle this AKSU-74 at a buddy’s gun store/range, but that’s where you’d be wrong.

Although it was a lot of fun, the reason I brought it up is because it reminded me of something Jon Huntsman Jr. said a couple of weeks ago at a governor’s breakfast I attended with my wife.

I’ve always been one of those guys that paid far more attention to politics, both globally and nationally, than the average Joe, and if you had asked me who our biggest global threat was, an unhesitant “China” would have been my answer. Ambassador Huntsman’s remarks certainly changed that view.

ISIS, Iran, North Korea

No, Huntsman didn’t point to any of the above, and if you think the Kalashnikov reference was an accident, then — we’ll get to that.

According to Huntsman, we are the biggest threats to our own security. He says we have become like islands within islands, individuals so “…hooked-in [internet/cell phones/TV]…we have checked out [from being a good neighbor].” This is hugely problematic because it is the common connection we have with our neighbors that fosters unity all the way up the chain from the neighborhood to the nation.

Huntsman went on to say that in the past 100 years, social, economic, and political conditions have been like they are now only two other times — first in 1916 and again in 1939. In other words, right before World Wars I and II. The difference, as he put it, was that there was much more national unity during those times; it was this unity that was a large part of our success in both conflicts.

Today this national unity is, well, gone. People are so much more concerned about themselves and the now instead of the future. We’ve lost our community and our voice. It used to be that we all knew and cared about our neighbors, most of them anyway. Now, I wonder how many even know what their neighbors’ names are, let alone anything else. Technology and narcissism have made it too easy for us to withdraw and check out.

This will be our downfall, right? Stand for something or fall for anything.

Threat of Aggression

Ambassador Huntsman mentioned groups and countries like ISIS/ISIL, Iran, and China, but his primary concern, beyond ourselves, that is, appeared to be with Putin and Russia. He said that in the first part of the 21st century Russia’s economy exploded.

This post-Soviet growth was driven primarily by their rich oil and gas resources. However, due to tanking oil prices and economic sanctions, the Russian economy has begun to collapse.

They have an incredibly huge and volatile nuclear arsenal. Yes, call me Captain Obvious. They’ve always had the biggest guns in town. How’s it different now? The United States’ war machine has been very busy over the last decade putting trillions of dollars into war technology leaving our neighbors to the East (or West, if you are standing on Governor Palin’s front porch) in the dust. From their point of view, their only defense would be nuclear, and again, due to the technology gaps, the best defense would most likely be a good offense through a first strike.


So what then? Well, I’m not sure, but I will say this. I know my neighbors. I know my resources, and I know theirs. I am happy to share as well because I know I will be paid back when I need it. I live among good people. Does this sound like your neighborhood? If not, step up and change it. It always starts with one kind measure: a handshake, a smile, an introduction.

This weekend when we celebrate the birthday of this grand political experiment of self-governance, let’s try to remember some of the central precepts of its founding — community, service, and well, you tell me! What are we missing now? Think on an individual basis. It is too easy to dismiss if we think of it on a national scale. It has to be something we own as individuals.

Remember, it starts with one. Are you the one?

Happy Fourth of July! And be sure to check out before it’s over. They’re offering an EXPLOSIVE 17.76% discount on the ENTIRE SITE. Hurry though because supplies are limited and it ends July 5th at 11:59pm.

Stay safe, be prepared, and introduce yourself to a neighbor this weekend.

(I’m going to follow up, so make sure you have some great stories when I do!)

Jax Finn


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