The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have many of us once again discussing our own homeland security. Most of us agree that “something” needs to be done but what that “something” is differs considerably.
Politicians, naturally, are using it as a forum to further their own agendas. People from all walks of life, whether liberals, conservatives, independents, and everything in-between, have an opinion of what needs to be done. As they should. America is, after all, OUR home — all of ours. And we all should have a say in how to protect our home.
Such a variety of opinions however often leads to conflict. Discussions turn into debates which rapidly turn into arguments which unfortunately often descends into harmful and unproductive “hate talk.” And folks, when we fight each other, the terrorists win.
Of course, it’s not only okay, but often necessary to disagree with one another. History supports that a variety of different perspectives and beliefs can create growth and progress. Hate, however, seldom does. Let’s fight the terrorists — not each other. Whatever your opinion, now is the time for us all to band together against terrorism.
I personally can find value to both sides of a coin. There are vitally urgent issues at hand: Gun control, border control, humanitarianism, world peace, unemployment, poverty, homelessness, individual privacy protection, religious freedom and many, many more.
I don’t profess to know all the right answers. Actually, I know only a few things with certainty. I know God is Good. I know I love my family and friends. And I know I love my country. But I do believe that charity begins at home. And as much as my heart breaks for the Syrian refugees, my gut instinct is to protect my home.
Unfortunately, ISIS knows that we are a compassionate, giving nation. And they are and will continue to use that compassion against us.
We know that at least one of the terrorists came in to Paris as a Syrian refugee. No one knows how many more came through, but what are the odds that there was only one?
Let’s face it, this is an ideal opportunity for ISIS to enter a country. Because there really is no way to properly investigate a refugee. Therefore, it truly pains me to say that we need to close our borders — at least to the grown men.
Perhaps, until ISIS is “contained,” refugee camps could be constructed for the women and children. Granted, it is not an ideal situation for anyone. But it may somewhat increase the safety of the refugees, as well as our own. As far as the adult men, maybe help them to relocate to a safer region in the middle east — if there is such a place.
Currently, there are at least 23 states that are refusing to take refugees. Though West Virginia is not yet one of them. Boone County Delegate, Joshua Nelson, has an online petition against W.Va. receiving refugees and has garnered a multitude of signatures.
Of course I believe that the majority of Syrian refugees are NOT terrorists. But, unfortunately, it only takes one. And Charleston, W.Va. is on the Federal Government’s list to place refugees. This year about 200 Syrian refugees were placed in Michigan. And that was just from one agency. An estimated 85,000 total refugees are expected to be here in the United States in 2016.
Charity begins at home. We must take care of our own family first. On airplanes, the flight attendants tell you that in case of an emergency, to put your own oxygen mask on first, so you will be able to help others. We, as a Nation, will not be able to help anyone if we don’t first protect ourselves. If we allow our home to be destroyed, our home will be of no use to anyone.
I liken it to a man who goes out and takes care of everyone else but allows his own family to starve to death. Again, charity begins at home.
Yes, we are a nation built of immigrants. However I’m sure some of our Native American citizens aren’t quite as happy with the outcome as we are.
We are living in an unprecedented dangerous era. And we have taken God out of too much of our foundation. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
My friends that are opposed to closing our borders tell me that I am reacting out of fear. I cannot deny that I am afraid for my children, my grandchildren, my family and friends, my country. So to all of those that call me afraid — to them I sadly say — indeed I am.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern)