Some might think the Second Amendment and the language in that text suggests possessing a gun is related to being a member of a "well-regulated militia." While that language is true, the Supreme Court has made its decision and that is now considered "settled law."

Courts have ruled "well-regulated" means "self-defense": "While there is a common law right to self-defense, most historians think that it would be remarkable news to the framers of the Second Amendment that they were actually constitutionalizing a personal right to self-defense as opposed to trying to say something significant about the militia" (Jack Rokove, constitutioncenter.org). That discussion continues, mostly having to do with background checks and licensure.

There are other concerns about regulation that have become more apparent, which have to do directly with life and death. Some of us may recall a song popular years ago: "Chicago" by Crosby, Stills and Nash, a line of which said, "rules and regulations, who needs them? Throw them out the door!" As it turns out, we all depend on reasonable and consistently applied rules and regulations to be safe.

What I'm referring to is the regulation of utilities: gas, electric and water - all of which we depend on for life and the pursuit of happiness. We saw the failure of the electric grid in Texas, far surpassing the difficulties we experienced in Oklahoma, and it can be linked to the lack of regulation. Texas leadership chose years ago to "go it alone" and not participate in cooperation with other electric grid participants to avoid federal regulation. As a result, they did not have the option to tap into other generation capacity when their system failed.

Much finger-pointing occurred and former Gov. Rick Perry went so far as to say, "Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business," in a blog post on the website of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "Try not to let whatever the crisis of the day is take your eye off of having a resilient grid that keeps America safe personally, economically and strategically." I would argue their grid is not resilient, as it is not weatherized. Now the Texas Observer reported ERCOT, the group that oversees the Texas grid, is refusing to provide information about how it planned for weather events. That is audacious after 4.5 million customers were without power and over 30 people died from their failure. Whom did they turn to for help? You guessed it: You and me! The federal government they like to disparage - FEMA, to be exact - so "stay out" unless we need help!

There's more to that story, but it should serve as a cautionary tale for Oklahoma. We had challenges, but we weathered the storm better than our fellow citizens in Texas. While we will feel the pain of the marketplace, I've not heard of one Oklahoma energy company bragging it "hit the jackpot" when the price of electricity soared to $9,000/megawatt hour, resulting in families receiving bills in excess of $15,000. Let that sink in.

According to TheConversation.com:v"In sum, the sky-high electric bills in Texas are partly due to a deregulated electricity system that allowed volatile wholesale costs to be passed directly to some consumers," I'm happy with "well-regulated" utilities. You should be, too.

Robert Lee is a retired social worker with interests in history and politics. He lives in Tahlequah.

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