Strengthening family unit good for country

By Dr. Rey Gonzalez - Guest Column
June 18, 2017 at 4:21 p.m.

Dr. Rey Gonzalez

Dr. Rey Gonzalez   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

My prayers are with those affected by the senseless act of violence in Virginia, where a man opened fire on a group of men practicing baseball on a baseball diamond. It is sure to restart a conversation which Americans have become tired of entertaining. Beyond any cogent and articulate arguments on either side of the gun-control debate, there is an issue which is overlooked and which I propose begs the attention of serious thinkers.

What I have called the "root" consideration is the issue concerning the impulses of the mind. A bullet flying at its target was once in a firearm chamber, which is part of a gun, which is held by a person who possesses a soul and who (unless disturbed by physical or psychiatric handicap or chemical dependence) takes orders from a mind, which is shaped over time by personal experiences. If the shooter's experiences, therefore, shape his mind, then shouldn't his experiences be the focus of any serious investigation? I propose that the single best laboratory for social shaping is the family. Experiments on conflict resolution, reward and punishment, saving for times of shortage and charity toward your neighbor are best carried out at home. Without this laboratory, no experiments. Without experiments, no learned guidance for the mind. And from there, we are back where we began: the point at which a person is holding a gun, deciding whether or not to shoot.

People looking for a solution to a problem present in a society must look at the society and undertake the reshaping of those aspects within it which promote its decay. I propose that there are characteristics of our society which, while not directly associated with violence, tend to tear apart the family - the structure where healthy minds are formed.

We must oppose all those ideas which, however cleverly disguised as promoting social progress and individual freedoms, tend to tear apart at the traditional family.

• Let us resist adopting homosexual marriage as a new American norm despite the Supreme Court's recent mistaken decision.

• Let us oppose allowing men into little girls' restrooms.

• Let us fight for life at every stage of existence, from conception to natural death.

Let us promote pre-marriage counseling to engaged couples, that they may figure out whether they are compatible with one another before entering a marriage doomed to fail, often with children bearing the scars of divorce far into adulthood.

• Let us teach children that veterans and police officers are due honor and respect for their selfless calling to protect us.

• Let us model patriotism and charity at every opportunity.

• Let us strengthen our laws to properly punish those who would do us harm.

• Let us not be afraid to call out injustice.

• Finally, let us model how to respectfully oppose those who think differently from us.

In focusing on such values at all times, not just during times of crisis, we strengthen the family. A healthy traditional family promotes healthy experiences which form wholesome minds.

Any debate on gun control which does not first consider these ideas is quickly undermined for lack of distinguishing cause from effect. It does not escape my notice that many social ills would exist even in societies with perfectly intact traditional family units operating as described above. That is because of the undeniable existence of evil, the purpose of which is to kill, steal and destroy. This is no excuse, however, to give up the fight for decency, goodness and honor found best within a traditional family structure. We cannot surrender virtue at the mere sight of the vile.

Dr. Rey Gonzalez is a native of San Benito, where he lives and practices law. He is seeking to represent South Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 34th Congressional District, which includes Goliad, Cuero and Yoakum. Elections will be held in November of 2018. He may be emailed at



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